Thursday, August 22, 2013

Three Cool Notes from the Colorado Brewing Scene

Just catching up on a few tidbits from today that will make you want to raise a pint glass:

1) Black Fox Is Back

Black Fox Brewing was Colorado's first all-saison brewery, adroitly churning out farmhouse-style ales with ingredients like ground gingerroot, black peppercorns and red chilies, even before saisons were cool. Then John Davidson left Bristol Brewing, in which Black Fox was housed while he also made beer for the Colorado Springs brewery, went to work for Dry Dock and put his side project on hiatus.

Black Fox announced via Facebook Thursday that is has made its comeback beer, "Cracked," and expects to have it on tap in 10-14 days at Dry Dock. A lot of breweries have specialized in and made some great saisons over the past four years, but Black Fox's John Schneider turned out head-turning creations, including a chocolate chili saison one that was the talk of Vail Big Beers 2011. It will be good to have the brewery back.

2) Patty's Chile in Your Living Room

Patty's Chile Beer, the longtime Wynkoop Brewing gem, is neither the best chile beer in Colorado (that's Billy's Chilies from Twisted Pine) nor the best beer from Wynkoop (that's Belgorado). But it is the most intriguing beer to quaff before a summer Rockies game, that subtle but fiery touch of Anaheim chiles and smoked Ancho peppers perfectly complementing the German-style ale to be both light and complex.

On Thursday, Wynkoop announced it is now canning and distributing Patty's Chile Beer, making it one of the most interesting of the brewery's products available for take-home enjoyment. And unlike the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which is sold only in two packs, you can get four of these at a time.

3) BDG2C Ups Its Game

I'm a bit behind on finally poring over the 7th edition of the Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado, which was released on July 31, but I have to say it's pretty extraordinary. The map now includes 224 operating and soon-to-open breweries, including some in towns that even us beer geeks didn't realize offered a brewery.

What Mike Laur has done so well in crafting this map - aside from including $300 in free beer coupons in a product that retails for $14.95 - is capturing the constant growth of the beer scene throughout the state. It lists breweries, beer bars, homebrew shops, recommended glassware, even national monuments. And it is well worth the investment to pin this puppy up to your wall and thumbtack your conquests, so you can stay ahead of the game - at least until the 8th edition comes out with 300 breweries on it.

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