October 3, 2014

Thursday Night GABF Takeaways

It was a great first night for the Great American Beer Festival. I signed book for a spell in the Bookstore both and few people were crazy enough to step out of the land of ever-flowing beer into the book stop and chat with me. Here are a few of the things that stick in my mine about this year’s fest:

*The crowd seems even geekier this year. More beer discussion, more civilized, also more lines at the good breweries. This has slowly transformed back into a beer fest, versus a drunk fest. Jawesome.

*The only timed release I came across was for the Bruery’s Black Tuesday. It was at 7:29 and they said they anticipated doing it each night. Even though it requires some frantic running around the first hour ensure you get everything, I prefer it this way. I don’t like having to look at my watch all session.

*The Topplling Goliath Assassin was my beer of the night. Holy pajoles that is good. The TG guys were great as well.

*Lost Abbey had a longer line than I’ve ever seen at GABF. It still went incredibly fast though. 3 minutes or so tops.

*Almanac is still killing it. Just such impressive stuff across the board (though the Pumpkin Barleywine needs at least a year to mellow the booze a bit).

*Beachwood BBQ is my sleeper hit. OK, I know everyone has heard of them, but there was essentially no line, and every one of their beers was freakin fantastic.

*I suppose my real sleeper hit was Barley Browns. Small brewpub out of OR that bends hops to their will. Epic stuff, and really nice guys.

*There was an incredible amount of owners and/or brewers pouring beer. A real treat for geeks like myself. Additionally, the volunteers were very up on what they were pouring.

*Three Floyds apparently brought more than 3 growlers of beer this year as when I walked by 30 minutes in they were still pouring.

All I got for now. Here’s a couple of sweet pics. If you happen to be in tonight (Friday) swing into the bookstore from 6-6:30 to say hello

GABF 2014 Lost Abbey Line

GABF 2014 Lost Abbey Line

2014 GABF Book Sigining

MIrrela Amato (Beerology) and I signing books

 

Share Button
September 24, 2014

Gigantic Brewing & Wicked Weed GABF Pour Lists

And a couple more GABF pour lists that have trickled in…

Gigantic Brewing

  • Pipewrench – Ransom Old Tom Gin barrel aged IPA (Gold winner at 2014 World Beer Cup – Barrel Aged Category)
  • Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout
  • Too Much Coffee Man – Black Saison with Coava Coffee
  • Gigantic IPL – India Pale Lager
  • Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen

Wicked Weed Brewing

  • Freak Double IPA, 8% ABV
  • Tyrant Double Hopped Red Ale, 8.5% ABV
  • Ruffian Black IPA, 10% ABV
  • Serenity 100% Brett Saison, 5.5%
  • Oblivion Sour Red, 8.5%
  • Mampara, 9% ABV
  • Hopburgular, 6.5%
  • Coolcumber, 4.9 % ABV
  • Malice Wild Ale,
  • Mosaic Saison,  6.2%
Share Button
September 10, 2014

A Few More 2014 GABF Pour Lists…

Melvin Brewing (Thai Me Up Restaurant)

  • 2×4, Double IPA
  • 4×8, Triple IPA
  • Melvin, IPA
  • Ch,Ch,Ch Cherry Bomb, Fruit Ale
  • Ginger Ale, Imperial Red Ale

 

Almanac Beer Co

  • Golden Gate Gose
  • Cerise Sour Blond
  • Farmer’s Reserve Citrus
  • Heirloom Pumpkin
  • Dogpatch Strawberry

 

Boneyard Beer

  • RPM IPA, American-Style India Pale Ale, 7%
  • Bone-A-Fide Pale Ale, American-Style Pale Ale, 5.5%
  • Notorious Triple IPA, Imperial India Pale Ale, 11.5%
  • Armored Fist Cascadian Dark Ale, American-Style Black Ale, 10%
  • Bone Light ISA, Session Beer, 4%

 

Funky Buddha Brewery

  • No Crusts
  • Last Snow
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Nickolai Vorlauf Imperial Stout
  • Raspberry Berlinerweiss
  • Floridian Hefeweizen
Share Button
March 16, 2014

Deschutes Reserve Series Tasting

On Saturday I attending a tasting hosted by Jonah Edwards that covered the entire series of the Deschutes Reserve beers. This includes Abyss, Dissident, Black Butte, Jubel, and their handful of one-offs (Stoic, Green Monster, Class of 88, etc). It was an epic day and I did my scholarly best to take tasting notes. I’ll post them over the next few days.

Oh and did I mention the food? There were Abyss Cupcakes, Dissident Pate, and Chainbreaker Queso. Absolutely killer to say the least.

I’ll be publishing my tasting notes on the individual verticals in subsequent posts. Get excited!

Jonah made this pate. Literally made the gelatin topping out of Dissident. Possibly my favorite tasting experience of the day. It was that good.

Jonah made this pate. Literally made the gelatin topping out of Dissident. Possibly my favorite tasting experience of the day. It was that good.

Chocolate Cupcakes with frosting made from Abyss butter.

Chocolate Cupcakes with frosting made from Abyss butter.

The 7th Inning Stetch. The Abyss lineup in the back.

The 7th Inning Stetch. The Abyss lineup in the back.

The closers, the entire Black Butte vertical

The closers, the entire Black Butte vertical

So delicious, and so necessary…

 

 

 

 

Share Button
March 10, 2014

Lowdown Brewery Hits The Spot

Dark chocolate, chewy black licorice, vanilla, coconut, and a smidge of port. No this isn’t a dessert description, it’s a list of all the layers of flavors swirling around in the glass of Imperial Stout in front of me. This beer, aged for a year in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels and then one more year in a keg, wasn’t what I expected from a brewery in it’s opening week, but it’s exactly what Lowdown, Denver’s newest brewery, had to offer when they opened their doors this February. It’s this kind of forethought and execution that quickly shows anyone paying attention that the new kid on the block is not messing around.

Headed by two ex-Rock Bottom brewers, Lowdown takes their former employer’s same approach of offering a wide range of beer styles and options. And like Rock Bottom, they are a bona fide brewpub with a full kitchen and restaurant menu; bucking the brewery-and-a-food-truck trend. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a Rock Bottom re-incarnate. Lowdown has taken a more…flavorful, let’s say, take on both their food and their beer. It’s obvious they’re not trying to cater to the tourist strolling in off 16th street looking for a light beer and a burger.

Initially, the food options might sound like standard pub grub; pizza, sandwiches, salads, etc., but a closer look at the menu reveals a bounty of unique ingredients and creativity. Beet and pickled carrot salad? Pancetta, apricot and goat cheese sandwich? Green chile and lime crema pizza? Definitely not your average fare and most importantly everything sampled was delicious. As a bonus, prices were reasonable, with sandwiches ranging from $8 to $12 and 10” pizzas from $9 to $13.

Behind the bar, an impressive 10 taps pour freshly brewed suds and accompany three guest taps currently showcasing local brewers Crooked Stave and Prost.

Hopheads will certainly enjoy their flavor-forward IPA and India Red Ale, but the real hoppy winner was the Selfish Ale. A unique 5% ABV beer with a subdued malt character and hop bitterness, but bursting with tropical fruit flavors from exotic hop varietals like Citra and Amarillo. It has all the hop punch of an IPA, without the alcohol sting, and was created by the brewers as something they could enjoy after work without worrying about feeling groggy the next morning.

Malty options abound as well with the two-year aged Imperial Stout stealing the show. While we can’t expect them to constantly have such time-intensive brews on hand, it showcases the brewhouse’s prowess and is hopefully a harbinger of more to come. Other excellent malt-forward choices included the Lonely Sheep, a Scottish style ale with sweet caramel flavors and a dry finish from a pinch of roasted malts, and the Black Bessie milk stout, a beer that gives Left Hand’s classic a run for its money.

Lowdown’s atmosphere is classic brewpub with its comfortable booths, high-tops and long bar surrounded by stainless steel fermenters. It still manages to retain a fresh decorative twist though with strings of hung lampshades and vibrant African travel photographs dotting the walls.

We look to provide readers with neighborhood specific info. Our coverage extends north to I-70, south to 6th Ave, and to Lincoln and Wadsworth for the respective eastern and western borders. Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen sits in the very southeast corner of this zone at 8th Ave and Lincoln, not far from the new History Colorado Center. Almost out of range, so not something we’d normally cover, but a few visits convinced us otherwise. With so many solid nearby options in our Highlands, it can sometimes be hard to venture too far out of our neighborhood, but Lowdown makes it well worth the trek.

Ales and menu items from Lowdown Brewery

Meatballs and dopplebock. Mmmmm

Share Button