Monday, August 08, 2011

Cheers for All Seasons

This month's edition of 5280 magazine has a thought-provoking article - or at least the things I like to think about - in which it lays out seven beers that are perfect in each of the state's four different seasons. It's a well-written and mouth-wateringly photographed piece by Patrick Doyle, Natasha Gardner and Geoff Van Dyke.

But no proper geek can look at a story such as this without weighing in with some opinions. And with that, let's take a walk through the seasons to dissect this piece of work ...


Cheers for: Giving a nod to Steamworks' Colorado Kolsch, one of the most refreshing beers in the state. Including Avery Joe's Premium American Pilsner, because even lagers deserve a good hopping. Citing Ska's Mexican Logger, a light, particularly apropos beer for the season.

What they forgot: I realize that the lists were made up of beers that you can buy in the Denver area, but no summer list is complete without Pug Ryan's Helles Bock, sweet and full of body and the best there is for the season. Also, this seems like the proper season for New Belgium's delicate but flavorful Mothership Wit, which the article put in the spring collection.


Cheers for: Including Breckenridge 471 IPA, the most well-balanced double IPA in the state and a great pick for any season. Noting the "mashup of flavors" in Boulder's addictive Flashback India Brown Ale. Giving special recognition to Great Divide's Fresh Hop Ale, a wonderful get-it-while-you-can fall seasonal.

What they forgot: It's no sin to leave out most Oktoberfest beers, but Avery's The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest belongs in here for amping up everything the Germans taught us about the season and making it better. In the dark-but-not-dark-of-winter category, Crystal Springs' full-bodied Doc's American Porter is a perfect sipper while you watch leaves blow by.


Cheers for: Leading the section with Bristol's Winter Warlock Oatmeal Stout, simply the most consistent, most warming winter seasonal brewed in Colorado. Including Odell Red as a beer with the malt and hop characteristics to stand up to typically darker winter beers.

What they forgot: Twisted Pine's beers are conspicuously absent from all four seasons; Big Shot Espresso Stout seems an awfully good choice here. Avery's New World Porter negotiates better than most beer the transition from hoppy fall beers to malty winter beers, straddling both worlds well.


Cheers for: Recognizing the greatness of Breckenridge's Imperial Pilsner, which shocks the pilsner genre alive with its 7 percent ABV content. Lauding Mothership, even if it seems a better summer beer. Giving the fist bump of love to Dry Dock's Apricot Blonde, a great beer to ease your tastebuds back to normal after a winter of beating them with heavy malt and hops.

What they forgot: Spring is the time to crack open a light-bodied but slightly spicy saison, and Funkwerks' Saison seems to fit that bill perfectly. And while it's not distributed in Denver, it is highly worth driving to Frisco to get Backcountry's Breakfast Porter, the closest thing there is to hopped coffee, when it's released in mid-spring.

Altogether, though, it's excellent work that is worth debating over a beer or two, 5280.


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