Give me a Hickenlooper

Tomorrow, Wynkoop Brewing releases “Hickenlooper’s Inaugurale”.

This new draft-only beer commemorates Wynkoop founder John Hickenlooper being sworn in as Governor of Colorado on January 11.

The beer will be sold at Wynkoop Brewing Company until they run out, and the brew will be offered at the official inauguration dinner on January 11 at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium. I have never heard of that happening so another first for craft beer!

The beer is a mix of brown ale and winter warmer which is appropriate for the weather in Colorado and around the country. Sounds good to me. Their should be beers for special occasions all the time.

new from Upslope

Though I would have expected a brown can to match the name. I am glad that Upslope is growing their canned beer offerings.

“Upslope Brown Ale. It’s an English-style Brown Ale with an American twist in that its sweet roasted-malt base is offset by a pronounced hop bitterness and higher alcohol content — about 6.7 percent by volume — than its counterparts brewed across the pond. It has a well-balanced character with a clean, dry finish that makes it easy to kick back several in one sitting.”

Read this update from the Boulder Camera to get the full scoop on this Colorado brewery.

Oskar Blues – Liquids and Solids

photo from Oskar Blues website
One of the best food and beer pairings is with BBQ. And one place that marries the two is in, you guessed it, Colorado. And it has a clever name to boot…

Oskar Blues’ newest down home beer joint celebrates beer culture with 43 craft taps, Southern-inspired BBQ & soul-saving live music. “This is an authentic craft beer bar right down to the keg based fountains” says owner Dale Katechis. An in-house smoker, named “the Midnight Toker”, stoked with local apple wood turns out slow smoked North Carolina style BBQ pork, spare ribs, beer-can chicken, salmon and turkey.

“Liquids & Solids is like the Big Muddy flowing through the Rocky Mountains,” says Oskar Blues founder and owner, Dale Katechis. “The slow, Southern style of cooking is the perfect match for American craft beer. Both are labors of love and have mouth-watering tastes people love to enjoy and savor.”

Set in the heart of Colorado craft beer country, Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids takes both its beer and food seriously. Jason Rogers, former executive chef at Denver’s J.W. Marriott and recognized by the James Beard Foundation – the ultimate kudos in the gourmet food world – oversees the kitchen. Menu features such items as smoked salmon fish and chips and a Dale (Pale Ale), or bourbon balls and a Ten FIDY (Imperial Stout).

Sounds good doesn’t it? And after visiting the Tasty Weasel, I know for sure it is.

Let’s Tour…Upslope Brewing

Are you ready for another Colorado beer tour? Let’s go to Upslope then!

Here are their specs and their signature beers…”Brewed with Patagonian hops, high quality Rahr malts, snowmelt and yeast, Upslope’s ales satisfy a wide range of beer drinkers. We have chosen to package our beer in cans because they are portable, light, crushable and the most recyclable container on the planet.”

Upslope Pale Ale
“This clear, crisp, dry pale ale is our signature beer. It’s refreshing characteristics, and signature dry finish, blends smooth malt flavors with a unique spicy hop bitterness. This will be the “go to” beer on any camping trip, fishing excursion or music festival.”

Upslope India Pale Ale
“Our IPA will appeal to the beer enthusiast who desires a bold, deep and bitter ale. With a coppery color indicative of a traditional IPA, Upslope India Pale Ale has a complex malty character and is more well-balanced than most IPA’s, but still offers that bitterness that IPA lovers seek.”

I was lucky enough to sample the pale ale from Upslope in Boulder. The cans logo and design is striking and simple and that carries through to the beer. It is hoppy but it does not coat the mouth. A great beer for the beach on a summer day. I made room to bring two back home to LA if that tells you anything.

Let’s Tour…Strange Brewing

from the Strange Brewing website

Now for a strange tour, brewing that is. Strange Brewing is another new entry to the high flyin’ Denver beer scene.

They have a selection of 9 beers according to their website. Including these 2 that I would like a sample of…

Cherry Kriek
We named this Strange Brew ‘Cherry Cherry’ because that’s what it is. There’s so much cherry in this beer even its foamy head is red! We start with a Dark Belgian Wheat recipe, cram it full of Montmorency Tart Cherry goodness, then age it with oak. The result is a cherry cherry lovers dream come true. Goes great with dark chocolate, with fudge brownies, with chocolate gateau, with cacao nibs, with…well you get the picture. And did we mention cherries?
4.7% ABV 15 IBUs

Le Bruit Du Diable
Our spin on a classic Belgian farmhouse ale. We start with high quality Belgian Pilsner malt and add some Belgian Caramel Vienne and Caramel Munich for color and complexity. Bring it back down to earth with just the right amount of Czech Saaz hops to provide refreshing balance. Fermented hot with a very special yeast strain from the Wallonia region of Belgium, this unique yeast gives our Diable its earthy, fruity, spiciness and dry malt character.
7.5% ABV 42 IBUs

Beer Blogger Conference – Day 3

Here is the final quick impression posts from the 1st Beer Bloggers conference.

I had to pace myself on Saturday night but I still tasted a few new beers from places here-to-fore never sampled. Upslope, Odell’s and Boulder Beer. Then I had to get up and listen to Eric from BeerTap TV. The very cool Kerry Finsand from Taplister and eminence gris, Jay Brooks. “Had to” seems harsh, like an assignment. I don’t mean it that way. I had to so I could learn from the folks that have a knowledge set that I do not possess yet. They were great. I picked up new bits from all three.

That’s all for now. Complete wrap up to land in the next few days along with photos and beers drunk list (that will blow you away, that is a promise)!

Beer Blogger Conference – Day 2

Here is the Day 2 report. Starting with two great presentations on blogs and tech and two that did not have info for me. But that may be due to me being un-tech-geek and obstinate. I will talk in more detail later about what I learned and what may appear on this very blog in the coming months later since this is more of an itinerary post

Then on to Avery where me and my band of cohorts from Olympia, Santa Barbara and Portland were really treated well because of that Beer Blogger badge. Avery is housed in a little industrial park. Great little tap room. Got Ruminator, Rumpkin and Moloch among other gratis samples! Highly recommended.

Speed beers were next. In two words: exhausting but great. 12 beers. 5 minutes each. I dare you to fully enjoy Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald porter (which is awesome, as were the people from the brewery) then turn around and have World Wide Stout from Dogfish Head. I ended up stockpiling tasters and slowly catching up.

The massive bottle share and Oskar Blues dinner will be covered in later posts along with the Boulder Beer dinner and Pearl Street Pub crawl.

Let’s tour…Elk Mountain

Let’s tour around this extremely new brewery in Colorado. According to their website “Elk Mountain Brewing, Inc., was established in April of 2009, is owned and operated by Tom and Marcia Bell.”

As many breweries do (I assume due to cheap rent and easy highway access) Elk Mountain Brewing is located in an industrial area of Parker, Colorado. They are starting small and “serving truly unique handcrafted microbrews with award winning recipes.”

The spin is German style with an American twist. As is evidenced by their line-up

Rock Slide Amber Ale
A spin off from our Oktoberfest; this full flavored Amber Ale is well balanced with a hint of toasted malt; making it a smooth brew to enjoy.

Mine Shaft Kolsch
Brewed with our house yeast; our Kolch is a clean crisp light colored Ale. Made with a variety of 3 different German hops, this brew leaves you with a prominent but not extreme hoppiness flavor. Not one to abandon so tap into this brew and take pleasure.

Wild Wapiti Wheat
Our German Hefeweizen beer made with Wheat & Barley has a malty sweetness with a big banana and clove essences that comes from our special Hefeweizen yeast; making it heavenly on your palate.

Ghost Town Brown
Our American Brown Ale is crisp and clean. With a hint of roasted nuts and chocolate flavors this is a well balanced brew that will leave you begging for more. So don’t get left behind let the flavors lure you in!

Elk Horn Stout
Medium in body, dark in color; our Oatmeal Stout is brewed with flaked oats and barley along with 5 specialty malts; making it a very big beer that is smooth going down.

Ute Bill Pale Ale
Our American Pale Ale has big hints of hop flavor due to the variety of 3 different hops used in combination with the malted grains leaving a well balanced moderate floral flavor; not overwhelming but just right for the adventurous beer drinker in you.

Puma IPA
For the Hop head – Our India Pale Ale has 3 varieties of hops, complimented with caramel and honey specialty malts. Rich in flavor, Puma IPA is a big beer with a big hop finish.