Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Quick Update: Colorado Plus

Last month, the Fearless Tasting Crew headed to the soft opening of the newest brewery in Wheat Ridge - before it was brewing its own beer.

On Friday night, Colorado Plus finally tapped its own creations. And the results were as worth the wait as any local brewery in recent memory.

Brewmaster Adam Draeger only offered up four beers - no more were needed when the brewpub has 52 other Colorado taps - but he chose judiciously and brewed experimentally. The result was two that represented interesting takes on foreign styles and two all-American servings that absolutely knocked it out of the park.

First and foremost was the Cinnamon Almond Ale, a beer that was even more intriguing than its name may make it sound. Draeger layered on the almond in a way that made it the smooth backtaste for sharp cinnamon, giving it an almost creamy feel with a spicy flavor kick that is one of the most original beers being served in Colorado right now.

His Bitter Off Dead - a wonderfully named double IPA - didn't break such new ground but still is an excellent addition to a crowded field of high-alcohol hop monsters. This one is extremely well-balanced, leaving a mouthfeel of an earthy, resinous nature that is not so much bitter as fuller.

The Dead Kaiser is a Berliner weisse that tones down the sour attributes of the style for a sweeter-than-expected body with a hint of pineapple. And the Undead Red is a Belgian-style red ale with a body that tends toward semi-floral sweetness rather than overwhelming Belgian yeast. Neither will win awards given on classic style guidelines, but both are pleasant and fairly unique experiences.

One last thing: When Colorado Plus opened, the tap list was widespread but not terribly challenging. It's been upgraded, featuring some of the newest breweries in the area (Odyssey Beerwerks), some that don't get nearly enough tap space (Asher Brewing) and offerings like Crooked Stave's St. Bretta and Crazy Mountain's Blame it on the Boil American sour that will please even beer geeks.


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