Saturday, November 07, 2009

Answering yesterday's question . . .

The Anniversary Ale created by Rock Bottom Downtown is a raspberry porter.

As a reporter, I hate not knowing things, especially in regard to subjects about which I write. So, the Beer Geekette and I made a trip over to RB to find this new ale and discovered something that we both termed as interesting.

A strange scent from the dark concoction is prevalent, but until the helpful bartender identified it for me, it was reasonably hard to determine whether it was a fruit or a spice. The raspberry characteristic is more obvious on the taste, though the medium-bodied porter certainly steals the flavor, with the fruit a pleasant, but not overwhelming, additive on the top.

This is at least the second raspberry experiment coming from the brewery this year, and it is much better than the overly fruited Jazzberry Ale that came out in June. This feels more like a sweet addition to cold-weather beers, and while it won't be mistaken for a classic English porter, it's a noble experiment in the style.


Friday, November 06, 2009

This Week in Colorado Beer

Oh, it's a good weekend for beer lovers . . . .

Beer Festivals
Saturday: The All Colorado Beer Festival is on for a third year in Colorado Springs at Mr. Biggs' Family Fun Center. About 30 brewers are expected to be dishing out some 70 beers, all for the price of $30. There are two sessions: Noon to 4:30 and 5:30 to 10. Though the festival is certainly a place to indulge in the best that the Springs has to offer, brewers come in as well from all corners of the state as well. I'd suggest the earlier session if you're planning to go.

Beer Events
Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.: Wynkoop Beers of the Year. This mini-festival features 24 different kegs of the downtown Denver brewpub's offerings, including some rare ones. It's a buck a sample or $25 for unlimited tasting.
Saturday, 2 to 6 p.m.: Upslope Brewing, the plucky Boulder company that took home two medals at this year's Great American Beer Festival hosts its first anniversary party at the brewery. Six beers will be on tap, including two new ones: Pumpkin Ale and First Anniversary Stout.

New Tappings
*Rock Bottom Downtown tapped its Anniversary Ale last night. Try as I can, I can't find a description of what exactly this is. But they've been on a roll lately, so it's probably worth a look.

Beer Construction
Friday: And finally, the strangest e-mail I got this week was an invitation from Oskar Blues for people to come see the installation of two 200-barrel fermentation tanks and a 200-barrel bright tank at its new Longmont canning facility. I can only imagine what kind of thirst this can whip up.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Most Colorado of All Colorado Beers

Small Colorado breweries can brag all they want about making homegrown products, but Odell's latest experiment, its Mountain Standard Reserve '09, lays more truth on that claim than anything that's come before it.

Made with 400 pounds of hops from Rising Sun Farms in Paonia, no beer has ever featured more of the locally grown flower than this. As Colorado's hop industry begins to grow, the Fort Collins auteurs have taken advantage of the trend and concocted an ale overflowing with cascade and chinook and creating a truly unique flavor.

This, after all, is a dark brown ale, one that is thick and hearty and the kind that you sip in the dead of winter. But the very first scent released from the corked 750-ml bottle that debuted on Monday is hops, citrusy hops - and the collision is rather stunning.

Here is a heavy beer, one sweet with a caramel cocoa tongue bath, that is also thick with a sweeter-than-usual hop character reflective of the unique taste of a Colorado-grown plant. Every drop is full of a multitude of flavors, and this slow sipper grows just a little sweeter with every rising degree in temperature.

It is one more testimony to the brewing genius that is becoming more and more apparent at Odell. But far from being just a tasty product, this is one that supports the local economy in every way - Colorado grown, Colorado brewed, Colorado sold (at least most of it) - and well worth the $15 you can invest in the many industries of this state.


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