Thirsty Thursday | Beer Review | Machine Language

Dry Hopped Saison – New Image Brewing 

Black Friday was a beautiful beer holiday for me. I got to visit a few different breweries up north and relax after what has been a busy last couple of days, weeks, months etc. When I laid out my original plan I put New Image at the top of the list because of their Melanoidin can release – 16 ounces of Imperial Coffee Stout with Madagascar Vanilla Beans and Maple Syrup, a superb offering by the way. 

But just before release day came New Image added in another can release – Machine Language – a Dry Hopped Saison. This saison is freshly hopped with Hallertauer Blanc and Motueka Hops (New Zealand Hops) and then finished with Brettanomyces – there was no way I could pass up such a unique offering.

Tagline:“But unlike that flip phone stuck in the back of your desk drawer, it doesn’t become obsolete with time. Age it longer for more brett funk. Time to compile your executable and insert into your beer interface system.”

Visual: Vibrant but deep gold to straw color – hazy. Pours with a robust and fluffy head.

Aroma: The first thing that hits your nose is the funk of the brett – funk that isn’t quite sour and leads you down a path towards something almost tropical in nature (pear, peach maybe pineapple). As you linger you find a hint of hops behind all of that – for a moment you wonder what style of beer you about to sip.

Taste: This beer is a mind bender with the number of different flavors that pounce on you at once. It’s a light, fluffy saison but there is the brett funk waiting to get you in the background and then just when you think you are safe the distinctive New Zealand hops pop out although not with overwhelming authority. The mouthfeel bursts with carbonation but it’s still smooth allowing you work through all the flavors of each sip. This beer is an adventure, a tasty adventure.

ABV: 6.5%

Overall Beer Rating:     10 out of 10 spades 

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Pick 8 | Sunday Night Football Mix Pack

Pick 8 – Not 6

We almost went with Pick 6 but the way the Broncos season has been going that felt like inviting even more bad luck. Besides the four-pack is dominating the beer scene right now and it’s easy enough to bring two of them.

Whenever we get invited to tailgate whether it’s our beloved Broncos or Buffs there is always one more request that follows – can you bring some beer? The answer, of course, is always yes. This got us thinking – what is the best way to pick a selection of beers that can meet any palate and is perfect for gettin’ rowdy before kick-off?

Here are our 5 rules for Picking 8:

  1. Find a beer that matches the weather – fall is great because it allows for more styles.
  2. Pick something for the non-beer drinker – think Berliners for wine drinkers
  3. Pick something for macro-beer drinkers – think light Ales.
  4. Go for variety – bring a couple styles so everyone can find their groove.
  5. Bring at least one beer that you know they haven’t had – it’s your job to expand their beer worldview.

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Thirsty Thursday | Beer Review | Mail Order Mule

American Sour with Key Lime and Ginger – Wiley Roots Brewing Company 

There are a lot of reasons to be drawn to this beer – first and foremost how do you not love the name and that adorable little mule? But the main reason I was drawn to it was my affinity for sours and fascination by the idea of beers mimicking classic cocktails. It’s something I have seen over and over again but for the most part, it’s led me down the path of disappointment. Like anything in life – you have to keep trying, and damn I am glad I did – Wiley Roots knocks this key lime/ginger beer out of the park. Bonus – it’s a crushable sour cocktail.

Visual: Pale gold with blonde undertones with a haze to it – minimal to no head

Aroma: The first short sniff immediately comes away with the key lime but then when you go back again and look for it the ginger shows itself from the background. It’s sweet but also warns of the sour/tart bite that’s on the horizon.

Taste: On the tip of your tongue the sweetness of the key lime bounces but as the beer moves back your taste buds perk with the sour tang and the ginger. The beer fizzes and transports – if you have the right song on and close your eyes you can see yourself in an old-time speakeasy. It’s layered, it’s easy drinking and it’s definitely a kettle soured beer that does a Moscow Mule proud. 

Tagline: A kettle soured Golden Ale inspired by the classic 1940’s cocktail

ABV: 4.6%

Overall Beer Rating:     9 spades out of 10


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Beertography | October in Review

Thank You!

First and foremost we want to give a huge shoutout to our followers who were immensely patient with us during the Month of October. We were able to meet so many of you during GABF which might have been the best part of the festival. That being said – there’s been a bit of a lag as time flew by faster than we could drink our favorite HAZY IPA last month. 

Our promise to you – we are getting back on track with new regular posts – maybe more meetups and general beer shenanigans as we round out 2017. We are also looking for suggestions for what you would like to see in 2018 – so send us your thoughts.

Now, finally, our favorite shots from the crazy month that was October:

Beers Made By Walking

What The Funk

GABF Friday Night

GABF Thursday Night

Denver Rare Beer

Denver Rare Beer

GABF Friday Night

Jester King

Woods Boss

Pumpkin Beer Season

Outer Range Brewing

Spice Trade Brewing

WeldWerks Medianoche Release

Loveland Aleworks

Friday Night Haul









With Stout Season In Full Effect – I Can’t Wait To See What November Brings

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Thirsty Thursday | Beer Review | Coconut Snowed In

Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels – Copper Kettle Brewing 

Snowed In from Copper Kettle Brewing is a tradition. Every year when the leaves fall and the first flakes begin to hit the ground you know something special is breaking out of its Bourbon Barrel. The OG beer is a must have and if you can (meaning you have the patience) enjoy a vertical – it is an awesome experience. But for now – let’s focus on the tropical twist on a winter beer – Coconut (seemingly this year’s favorite adjunct) Snowed In.

Visual: Dark – rich brown with minimal head.

Aroma: Your nose is immediately hit with the coconut and then the Bourbon announces its presence. The best description is that it smells like an adult Mounds bar.

Taste: The first flavor to hit your tongue is the coconut followed immediately by the toasty almost roasty Bourbon flavor. The base beer comes out more as the beer warms up a bit allowing the creaminess of the oatmeal stout to shine. The coconut and the Bourbon begin to meld together as you make your way through the bottle – it will warm you up on a chilly night.

ABV: 12.8%

Overall Beer Rating:     8.5 spades out of 10 

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Thirsty Thursday | Beer Review | DDH Rare Trait

Double Dry Hopped India Pale Ale – Cerebral Brewing 

So many great things came from GABF (The Great American Beer Festival) week and one of my favorites was the release of multiple 16oz 4-packs from Cerebral in Denver. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good crowler but it’s far easier to sip on a cool 16 ounces on a weeknight. Unable to make a choice I took home everything (all five) that were available and now I am thinking I should have doubled up on that. While it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite – I can’t tell you how much I dig being able to crush the DDH (Double Dry Hopped) version of the standard Rare Trait at home.

Visual: Straw colored haze with a fluffy head.

Aroma: The tropical – citrus (hints of even pineapple) fragrance grabs your nose as soon as the beer starts flowing. The second sniff gets you a bit more of the dank – minimally piney undertones.

Taste: This silky smooth hazy IPA is what you come to expect from Cerebral. It’s juicy, dank and has the mouthfeel you long for in this type of beer. This takes what you love about the original Rare Trait and pushes every hop boundary. You don’t have to be a hophead to love this beer but it makes any hophead smile with delight.

ABV: 6.4%

Overall Beer Rating:     9 spades out of 10

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Take Craft Back | The Brewers Association Goes For It

There is a saying in life – that it’s best to strike when the iron is hot. Not that many people work with an iron today – so perhaps the analogy would be it’s best to strike when the event goes viral.

While GABF isn’t exactly a viral event – it’s a headlining grabbing moment that only comes once a year. This is the one time whenever the beer world in the United States can get together and as evidenced by this year’s speech at the events ceremony, it was about re-asserting their belief in the choice of craft beer.

The Brewers Association launched the independent craft beer logo not too long ago. It’s been controversial (who’s truly independently craft anyway?) but it got attention – the kind of attention that usually cost more money than association can shell out. So they are following it up with the largest crowdfunding event ever – TAKE CRAFT BACK – purchase InBev for a cool $213 Billion Dollars.

Will they ever meet the commitment? Not likely – but they are going to have one hell of a good time pushing for it. I personally, can’t wait to see what shenanigans ensue and as they say any press is good press.

Check out the video below from Take Craft Back (The Brewers Association)

Drink Local When You Can.

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GABF Preparation | The Final Countdown

We are just hours away from the official start of the Great American Beer Festival – although it’s fair to say the party got started in Denver and the surrounding areas. However, it’s time to check our final checklist before heading downtown.

Below is our official checklist to maximize any and every session of GABF

  1. Eat – remember meat and cheat help slow down the booze.
  2. Make the Pretzel Necklace – not just to absorb alcohol but cleanse the palate.
  3. Map Your Beers – the are 3800 so make sure you have at least your top 20 locked in.
  4. Get the App – this makes item 3 easier.
  5. Drink Water – water stations are everywhere for a reason – I don’t want to find you passed out in the corner.
  6. Don’t drink every beer you get – you won’t like everything, save room what you do.
  7. Plan the exit – Uber is giving discounts for using GABF code – be smart.

Like I have all week I will be the rocking the Spade hat – Come Say Hello!

Let’s clink glasses and maybe, just maybe get down at the Silent Disco.


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GABF Bottle and Can Release Schedule | What You Need To Know

Everything about Great American Beer Festival (GABF) week is bigger and better – which includes not the number of special bottle and can releases scheduled. If you are like us you have easily over 40 events popping up on your Facebook event calendar so we thought it would be easier to put these together in one single place. This list may not be all inclusive with everything that keeps coming up but it should give you what you need to plan out the rest of your week.

Wednesday October 4

Amalgam GABF Bottle Release at Small Batch Liquor – Sour

WeldWerks Can Release at WeldWerks Brewing Company – Hazy IPAs

Neature Walk Can Release at Wiley Roots Brewing Company – IPA

The Coriolis Effect Can Release at New Image Brewing – IPA

Serenata Notturna Variants Bottle Release at Crooked Stave – Sour

Mexican Chocolate Stout Variations at Copper Kettle Brewing Company – Stout

Single Cask J. Marie: Port-Finished Bourbon Release at River North – Saison

Open Invitation Release (with Almanac) Crowler Release at Cerebral – IPA

Thursday October 5

Double Dry Hopped East Coast Can Release at New Image Brewing – IPA

Mama’s Bear Sour Cherry Pie Bottle Release at Crooked Stave – Sour

Barrel Aged Golden Sour Ale with Muscat Grapes Bottle Release at Mockery –Sour

Cheat Code, DDH Rare Trait and Lightways Can Release at Cerebral – Hazy IPAs

Barrel Aged Concussion Protocol Bottle Release – Quad

Decennial Series Cellar Bottle Release at River North – Quad, Stout and Ale

Friday October 6

Avery Cellar Sale at Avery Brewing – Everything You Could Ever Want

Palisade Peach Dyad Can Release at New Image Brewing – Kombucha Blended Sour

Trophy Hunt Bottle Release at Cerebral – Stout

Saturday October 7

Coconut Snowed In Bottle Release at Copper Kettle Brewing – Stout

Tonal Language Bottle Release at Cerebral – Saison

Happy Beer Hunting!

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The Brewery Focus For GABF 2017

It’s that time of year again – time to make your list for GABF. Last year we attended two sessions and because somehow that wasn’t enough this year we have plans to attend all three days (only missing the Saturday evening session). We are all about making plans – sure you can have fun at GABF without a plan – but if you are a beer geek on a mission you will map it out.

Unlike last year we aren’t necessarily looking to avoid Colorado – this is because the breweries in our wonderful state have made it nearly impossible to miss out of what they will have flowing. I am looking at you Black Project, WeldWerks and New Belgium – all of which are going to be pouring beers – Covert, Medianoche and Oscar (Blackberry Whiskey Barrel) that will be nearly impossible to get in real life with such limited releases to the public.

Those are my top Colorado breweries for visits but in addition, I have thrown together a list of the breweries that have me hopping on their hype train and getting in line starting Thursday. These breweries are in no particular order and yes I may visit them more than once – after all GABF only comes once a year.

Great Notion Brewing Company

Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Scratch Brewing Company 

Half Acre Brewing Company

The Rare Barrel

Founders Brewing Company

Fremont Brewing Company 

Cellarmaker Brewing Company

Speciation Artisan Ales 

Kane Brewing

Bottle Logic 

As the final and official beer list makes the round I am sure I will update my route for beers that sound particularly interesting. I just might have to stop by Loveland Aleworks purely because the description for the Tequila barrel-aged beer says “tastes like college” – can it be true?

Make sure to be following us on our Instagram Hard12Brews as we will be going live and updating photos and stories through the week – so if you can make it, you can come with us.

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