Old Chicago craft beer: The restuarant's brand redesign focuses on more local microbrews, a gastro-pub atmosphere and staff knowledge. [...]
A look at Evergreen Discount Liquors as part of the Better Know a Bottle Shop series profiling liquor stores with strong craft beer selections. [...]
Fort Collins: cradle of craft beer?
Tim and I moved to Fort Collins in 2012 after traveling the world for 20+ years and set our minds and hands to work creating Horse & Dragon Brewing Company. Even my family, which has a long history in Fort Collins, and my parents — who presumably would be eager to see us move back, though the jury’s out on that — asked why on earth we would open another craft brewery in Fort Collins. “With 12 of them already doing business here, where is there room for you?” we were repeatedly asked.
It wasn’t just because we wanted to be lucky #13. There are a multitude of reasons why experiencing craft in Fort Collins – for both consumer and brewer — is uniquely wonderful. Mind you, I’m not knocking the many other places we’ve had a fantastic experience in a brewery’s taproom and in the city that hosts it, and a whole heckuvalot of those are in Colorado. But here are some of the reasons why Fort Collins is a pretty special craft beer mecca:
1. Biggies who laid the groundwork and led the way. Home to craft giant New Belgium Brewing, hometown favorite Odell Brewing Company, and local brewpub and Old Town cornerstone business Coopersmith’s, all of which starting forging the way into the craft beer business in 1989-1991, Fort Collins has learned over the past almost-27 years how to embrace craft beer. Consumers have well-educated palates and are adventurous beer drinkers thanks to the efforts of these three to introduce us all to the ever-changing and full tastes that craft provides. These three have also been the very models of the cooperation and support for which brewing is so well known. Innovations in processes and resource-saving efficiencies are shared. BreWater, a group comprised of members from almost every brewery in town and with the specific mission of educating ourselves and protecting the quality of beer’s most important resource, meets quarterly and members from smaller breweries in town are constantly benefiting from the knowledge, research, and efforts of the bigger ones. When we were in our planning stages, Tim received a phone call out of the blue from Doug Odell, offering Tim a tour and any help or castoffs we might be able to use. NBB’s sustainability department reaches out regularly to breweries large and small. Coopersmith’s routinely hosts meetings and events for the craft beer and bar/restaurant community. And all of us can be found gathering at one of these three locations for some great beer sampling and camaraderie.
2. A community and terrain with fantastic other options for the local and beercationer alike. I’ll get more into the local craft drinker’s approach in #4, but let me mention the beercation thing here. We have maps (CO, US, and world) on walls in our taproom, and when folks are clearly in from out of town we ask them to put a sticker on their hometowns. Within 3 months of opening, we had hundreds of stickers dotting the maps, including ones on Australia, China, and throughout Europe. These people weren’t coming here for Horse & Dragon – though we hope we are making our mark, our name wasn’t yet out there, we’re off the beaten path, and we were surely not a destination. They were coming here for a great, outdoorsy, small-town-feeling place but big-city infrastructure with friendly locals, mountains and river at hand, terrain that’s easy to bike over and weather that cooperates — and usually with one of those original 3 craft breweries on their minds. As one of 4 platinum Bicycle Friendly Communities in the U.S., Fort Collins’ bike paths and biking infrastructure provides an easy way for the fitness buff and the novice to explore the city and surrounds (and its many restaurants and breweries). Within a few flat miles of each other, there are many different breweries and fresh beers to experience. With the officially Wild & Scenic Cache la Poudre river running through town and nearby Horsetooth Reservoir, Colorado’s great outdoors beckons and is immediately accessible. I’d vacation here if I didn’t live here. (Actually, come to think of it, we do vacation here, every day.)
3. And about that river… Since I’m mentioning the Poudre River, I’ll say that the water supply here is as good as it gets. You don’t have to take my word for it – give the water treatment plants a call and ask for a tour, or take a hike through the hills that supply it. For a town of over 100,000 to have access to a pristine and undeveloped watershed is remarkable, and noticeable to every (commercial and home-) brewer.
4. Businesses and consumers that support craft culture. People here know their beer. There’s a decent amount of pressure on all of us not just to brew, but to create great craft offerings. Two of Colorado’s three “Top 100 Beer Bars in the U.S.” (as per Draft Magazine 2013 and 2014) are located in Fort Collins. Each of them promotes craft and provides multiple taps (in one c [...]
The Beers of Boulder and Boulder County is an iPad app from the Daily Camera that doesn't just give you an interactive map and comprehensive list of the breweries in the beautiful city and county, it also equips you with Boulder beer history and some craft beer 101. [...]
A Sept. 19 post from Arvada Beer Company's Facebook page told fans "We want to let you all know that we have replaced our brewer. Our beers are no longer 'Thin and Watery'..." [...]
In 1986, Lyons resident Rick England began tinkering with family Kahlúa recipes. He was looking for a homemade gift idea, but he ended up stumbling on something much bigger: a full-fledged company.
Although his home-made hooch wouldn’t become a business for more than 20 years, his friends and family knew he was onto something. By 2011, England’s liqueur production had gotten out of hand. “I was brewing 120 gallons of the stuff at home. It was a very expensive hobby,” he laughs. [...]
“More” has been trending at bars and restaurants as of late. You may have noticed the bottles race—tap lists growing longer, wine cellars deeper, and the number of whiskey label selections ever higher. While more choices for consumers is great in theory, the reality is that without an organized list or a knowledgeable staff, deciding what to drink has become a daunting task. [...]
Hop the Vote 2015: The Birth of Senate Shout Out Stout
By Brian Hutchinson, Cannonball Creek Brewing Company
Co-Founder and Head Brewer
When the Colorado Brewers Guild initially approached us to participate in Hop the Vote this year, my partner Jason and I discussed it for about thirty seconds before we jumped on the opportunity. As a former member of the Board of Directors for the CBG, it is always a pleasure to participate in anything that helps promote the guild.
In late April, Jason and I headed down to for the first Hop the Vote 2015 organizational meeting. We entered the Lost Highway Brewing Company where we were to be assigned to collaborate with either the House or the Senate. Upon our arrival we were informed that we would be working with the Colorado Senate and meeting at the adjacent Cheeky Monk. A couple of friendly, yet slightly surly House reps immediately began playfully taunting us and informing us that we would not be victorious in this competition. We shall see.
After moving next door to the Cheeky Monk we were introduced to several members of the Colorado Senate. Over pints and appetizers we began to formulate our plan. Cannonball Creek came into the meeting prepared to brew almost any style of craft beer, and we were really hoping that the senators would come to the table with some ideas. The senators enthusiastically began to brain storm, and it quickly became evident that the group was leaning towards a rich, dark ale. We wanted something that would be unique and really stand out on the floor at the Great American Beer Festival. We decided that adding fresh locally roasted coffee and dark chocolate to an already bold stout would fit the bill perfectly.
The brew day was set for July 21st and we couldn’t have been more excited. Several members of the senate rolled into Cannonball Creek in the mid-morning eager to hit the brew deck. From adding hops to mashing out grain and weighing out the dark chocolate, the senators were not afraid to get their hands dirty. The brew was executed flawlessly and as the day began to wind down it was time to name the beer. The senators wanted to come up with a name that referenced the Great American Beer Festival tradition of “shouting out” when someone drops their tasting glass. After some deliberation it was decided that “Senate Shout Out Stout“ was a winning name for what is sure to be a winning beer.
The resulting beer features intense notes of fresh roasted coffee beans balanced by a pleasant bitterness from the dark chocolate. Early samples of the finished product indicate high hopes for Cannonball Creek and the senators, and a decidedly dark GABF for the House of Representatives and our friends at Big Choice Brewing Company.
The post Hop the Vote 2015: The Birth of Senate Shout Out Stout appeared first on Craft Brewers. [...]
The Colorado State Senate Brewing a batch of Senate Shout Out Stout at Cannonball Creek Brewing for Hop The Vote 2015.
Colorado Brewers Guild Brings Hop the Vote Back to GABF
It is time to start planning for GABF! Last year we introduced Hop the Vote, a spirited but friendly brewing competition held between Colorado State House of Representatives and Colorado State Senators. This year we are doing it again.
Hop the Vote was launched to highlight the vital role beer plays in the Colorado economy and the relationship between lawmakers and Colorado craft brewers. Last year, the Colorado House of Representatives team and Denver Beer Co. won with a beer called Representative Saison. The team was honored inside the State Capitol with a custom brewing trophy.
The wheels are already in motion for the 2015 battles of the houses.. The Colorado House of Representative team will brew at Big Choice Brewing on Saturday, July 18. Team members include Jeni James Arndt, Polly Lawrence, Paul Lundeen, Dan Pabon, Kim Ransom and Yeullin Willet. The Colorado State Senate team will be brewing at Cannonball Creek on Tuesday, July 21. This team is made up of Chris Holbert, Matt Jones, Andy Kerr, Tim Neville and Pat Steadman.
During each session of GABF, team members will be pouring and campaigning for their beer at the Colorado Brewers Guild booth. GABF attendees will try both beers and cast a vote for their favorite brew. The winner will be announced at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. Beers will be available for sampling during the Saturday evening session.
Make sure to follow us on social media for updates on the progress of this competition. During GABF make a plan to stop by our booth and vote. Your vote counts!
The post Hop The Vote 2015 appeared first on Craft Brewers. [...]
Parker-based Hall Brewing Company announced on Facebook yesterday that it has finally secure its plans to open a taproom in downtown Parker, Colo. [...]
Although I’ve never been to England (in fact, I’ve never left North America, something I intend to change soon), I’ve wanted to brew an English IPA for some time. I’ve always been a fan of English hops, especially East Kent Goldings, and the delicate and delicious flavors they provide. My favorite English example of the style is probably Bengal Lancer by Fullers, and my favorite domestic example is probably anything from our friends down the street, Hogshead. If anything, it’s because of how amazingly well made the beers are at Hogshead that’s prevented me from producing many English style ales since we’ve opened. When you’re less than a mile away, you tend to stay out of the other guy’s wheelhouse. But I wanted to put my own spin on the style, and I also wanted one to sip on here at our brewery. And when I was able to source a decent amount of East Kent Goldings, I made up my mind. At some point, I intend to brew a historically accurate English IPA based off 1800’s recipes (when the style originated), but that’s for another day and another blog post. Gobsmackin’ is definitely much more of a modern interpretation with a little bit of American flair thrown in.
But what to call it? I was browsing through a Google list of British slang when I came across Gobsmacked, which means astonished, surprised and amazed. If you break it down, it means to be hit in the mouth. I thought it was a pretty fitting name for this beer, not that it is absolutely amazing or that the fact that it’s quality is so great should be surprising. I really think the name fits because it’s a little bit of a departure from our normal beers. Generally speaking, I think we are best well known for our hoppy and Belgian beers, and the fact that our 6 highest rated beers on UnTappd are either hoppy or Belgian seems to back this up. Now, I understand that an English IPA is also a “hoppy” beer, but I think it is a different type of hoppy than what most people are used to.
American hops usually have citrusy, piney and resinous characteristics, while English hops tend to have more floral and earthy tones. Also, an English IPA is supposed to be much more balanced in terms of malt vs. hops than it’s American counterpart. In the United States, especially on the west coast, an IPA’s malt is mostly there just to be a hop delivery system. Crystal malt is usually discouraged as the sweetness hides hop flavor and bitterness. Hopping rates are usually much higher, with much of the hops being added during the whirlpool or the dry hop. We definitely follow these “guidelines”, as our Edgewater IPA only has crystal malt as 6% of the grist and 90.8% of the hops go in either the whirlpool or dry hop.
Gobsmackin’ is a little different. While the Crystal malt percentage is also 6%, the malts are of a much higher lovibond, meaning that they are going to contribute a much more intense flavor profile. While the crystal malt in Edgewater provides more of a golden color and a mild caramel flavor, the Gobsmackin’ malts provide more color impact (lots of red), as well as a rich caramel flavors with hints of raisins. We also add 3% Belgian biscuit malt, which adds delicious biscuit, bready and toasty flavors and aromas. For hopping, only 49% of the hops go in the whirlpool and dry hop, which is a much bigger change from Edgewater’s 90.8%.
Other than the Belgian biscuit malt, all other ingredients are all English. Our malts are from Crisp, we used East Kent Golding hops throughout and used a very well known English yeast strain, which adds a touch of fruitiness. Usually, English IPAs are also well known for their hard water profile, which adds more of a minerally flavor on the back end and helps to accentuate bitterness. I decided not to adjust water chemistry at all, as I’ve been pretty happy with our water since we opened, and wanted this to be our interpretation of the style instead of trying to mimic something exactly.
I get strong floral and lighter caramel/biscuity aromas in the nose, while the earthy profile of the EKG’s come out a bit more in the flavor. The biscuit and caramel are also a bit stronger in the flavor compared to the aroma, with a moderate to moderate strong bitterness. It pours delightfully clear with a beautiful redish hue and outstanding head. As for the style itself, I think it leans more toward the malty side compared to other English IPAs, but still has enough hop flavor and bitterness to keep it within style and keep things interesting. The stats are 6% abv, 55 IBU and 15 SRM.
So hiya love, fancy a drink? Come try a pint or two before Gobsmackin’ says “Cheerio ol’ chap!”
The post Joyride’s Gobsmackin’ English IPA appeared first on Craft Brewers. [...]
LONGMONT, CO • October 20, 2015 – Returning for its second year, Left Hand Brewing presents Nitro Fest on November 14th– America’s only exclusively nitro beer fest, bringing together a collection of rare, out of state nitrogenated styles from over 40 craft breweries. With general admission and VIP tickets available, guests are invited to don their best threads and join a collection of the best breweries in the nation for a transcendent evening of unlimited tasting alongside live performance art.
Famous for their Nitro series, Left Hand is a true believer in the unique impact that Nitrogen has on a beer’s flavor and mouthfeel, inspiring the brewery to pioneer nitrogenated craft beer in the bottle with Milk Stout Nitro. With the continued growth in the category, Left Hand is excited to showcase a wide offering of nitrogenated beer from the craft community. Nitro Fest guests can sample never-before-seen styles from out of state breweries including Ballast Point, North Coast, Founders, Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker, Victory, Green Flash, and more. “Some of these beers will be nitrogenated for the first time, and many do not make it out of their home brewery tap room. This will be a truly unique opportunity for craft beer fans to get their hands on exclusive styles from 40+ widely acclaimed breweries.” comments Josh Goldberg, Community & Event Manager.
From 6-10pm, Left Hand Brewing invites their guests to imbibe under a grand tent with mystical performances from Lunar Fire, Fractal Tribe, and the Boulder Circus School, including fire dancers, stilt walkers and aerial artists. Local fare will also be available, highlighting Longmont’s own Samples World Bistro, the Roost and more. Finally, Nitro Fest guests are encouraged to get in on the action, dressing in their best cocktail attire, masquerade and even getting into costume, portraying their own favorite spin on a Left Hand label.
For full event details + tickets, see Nitro Fest on LeftHandBrewing.com.
Full brewery beer list attached.
2015 Nitro Fest Brewery Participants
Left Hand | Victory | Founders | Dogfish Head | Firestone Walker | Boulder Beer | Dark Horse | Empyrean | Surly | Lagunitas | Ballast Point | Elysian | Stone | North Coast | Sierra Nevada | Breckenridge | Oskar Blues | Deschutes | Bristol | Epic | Mountain Sun | Grand Teton | Hammerheart | Great Divide | Fort Collins | Boston Beer | Flying Dog | Wibby | Coronado | Big Thompson | Crazy Mountain | Odell | Ska | New Belgium | Elevation | North Coast | New Holland | Three Weavers | Zipline | Telluride | 300 Suns
For more information contact:
Left Hand Brewing Company
About Left Hand Brewing Company
Celebrating twenty-two years of brewing a well-balanced portfolio of craft beers, Left Hand Brewing Company is located at 1265 Boston Avenue in Longmont, Colorado. Left Hand is one of the most honored and recognized breweries in the state, with over 27 Great American Beer Festival medals, 9 World Beer Cup awards, and 7 European Beer Star awards. Famous for their Nitro series, Left Hand Brewing was the first craft brewery to release a bottled nitrogenated beer. Left Hand’s collection of perennial and seasonal beers are available in 35 states & DC. “Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone else is having.”
Distribution: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI
The post Left Hand’s Nitro Fest Pairs Unique Beer with Live Art appeared first on Craft Brewers. [...]
275 Professional Medals Awarded, 423 First-Time Participants Compete
Boulder, CO • September 26, 2015—The 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 275 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of amateur brewers paired with professional brewers.
Read the complete press release.
The post 242 Breweries Take Home Medals at 2015 Great American Beer Festival® appeared first on Great American Beer Festival. [...]