Irish Goodnight

Avery Brewing is up to a 59th Barrel experiment! That is crazy. And I have a soft spot for the Emerald Isle since my better half has that blood in her veins.

This beer looks very cool. Peat smoke and milk stout could be a really striking flavor profile.

Funk is Werking in SoCal

Funkwerks is venturing to SoCal. Adding distribution to Southern California to it reach with draft and limited six-packs.

Stone Distributing has been tapped to handle the influx of Funkwerks Saison, Tropic King and Raspberry Provincial beers, to name a few from the Fort Collins, Colorado brewery.

Hopefully a solid supply has been stashed for this large market.

Beer Book Review – The Opposite of Woe

To be upfront, I was 100% more interested in the beer portion of The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics by Governor John Hickenlooper.

By the end though, I found myself much more interested in his childhood and his mother and how that affected his personality and choices throughout his life.

Maybe that was because both the beer and the politics really get short shrifted in this telling. Wynkoop Brewing was one of the pioneers of craft beer in Colorado, and I didn’t really get to read much about it other than an anecdote about cleaning toilets and fundraising through friends and families. There wasn’t mention of his favorite beers or much about the customers and the growing beer scene or even the Great American Beer Festival for that matter.

The tenure as Mayor of Denver got some coverage but his first term as Governor is just blitzed through with just a laundry list of accomplishments and personnel who helped him.

It is probably too early for a thorough accounting of his political career but I would have hoped to learn more about the craft beer part of his life. But maybe that is for another book. There were many hints dropped as to buried stories underneath the polite line of history that just were not picked up.

But the section up until he got to Denver is really interesting stuff from the point of view of how people are affected by those in their lives and how you can keep pushing and learning all through life. Just following his geographic route through life is remarkable.

Overall, this memoir suffers from what many do. The initial pages are full of content but as the pages go by, the coverage gets thinner until the end, whole years are barely even sketched. There is interesting stuff here but not enough for the beer fan.

Gluten Free Brewery # 1 – Holidaily Brewing

We begin our May tour of Gluten-Free Breweries with a stop in Golden, Colorado. And it is not the place you first think of, instead we head to Holidaily Brewing Company which was started by Karen Hertz who was forced by illness into a treatment plan that included a gluten-free diet. Instead of forgoing beer, she and her team researched ingredients and taste tested beers and followed what other breweries were doing in this niche market before launching her brand. And they mean gluten-free, they do not allow even one gluten-containing ingredient beyond their doors.

In looking at their list, I decided to go basic and try their standard bearers since they cover a nice range of styles:
Favorite Blonde
Buckwit Belgian
Beulah Red
Riva Stout
Double IPA

Holiday Ale # 18 – Northstar Imperial Porter

Next stop is for an Imperial Porter from Twisted Pine in Colorado.
“Northstar, which carries a 98 on, is black as a moonless night and gives off an aroma of toffee and dark fruit laced with licorice. Once the porter hits the palate, the tongue dances to notes of chocolate-covered raisins which harmonize well with subtle traces of roasted nuts and molasses. The beer is dry enough to punctuate the flavors with a crisp finish, while just silky enough to leave a stamp of the epic experience behind for a while. An ABV of 9.1% provides a slight warming glow that grows up the chest as the ale drops in the glass.”

Holiday Ale # 16 – Wild Christmas

Upslope has transformed their popular Christmas Ale into a wild version of the holiday classic. Aged for 10 months in Leopold Bros. Maryland-Style Rye Whiskey barrels and their house sour culture, the Belgian-style spiced dubbel Wild Christmas Ale is a complex yet balanced blend of holiday spices, dark cherry caramel and whiskey-spiced oak. Mildly tart due to the Brettanomyces, this ale also boasts a slight chocolate finish and notes of candied orange. At. 9.2% abv, Upslope’s Wild Christmas Ale is sure to bring you warmth and cheer this holiday season.”