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Craft Beer Drinkers May Expect Plenty of Eye-Openings Sips Before Spring

 

Several breweries are planning to tempt craft beer connoisseurs with some very special offerings before spring. And many of those offerings have something in common. Can you guess which ingredient they’re hoping to focus on? We’ll give you an eye-opening hint. It’s something people tend to drink the moment they open their eyes. That’s right, it’s coffee.

Adding coffee to craft beer isn’t new. Creative brew masters have been doing for decades. However, this latest crop of coffee-loving, craft brew masters has come up with ways to elevate the classic pairing to whole, new, incredible levels. For example, have you ever heard of cascara sagrada? If not, you will in the next few weeks when brewers start releasing their finest.

Normally considered a holistic health essential, it is a natural ingredient found in shrub bark. One would think that adding bark to beer would make it bitter or negatively alter its texture. Surprisingly, it doesn’t do either of those two things. Instead, it tends to deepen the craft brew’s existing, coffee profile without adding unwanted aftereffects. And as we promised, cascara isn’t the only natural additive being used by 2016’s brewers.

Many are experimenting with the beer’s aging process to bring more to their coffee and cascara brews. For example, the young brews may be placed into wine or whiskey-soaked barrels to help give them a remarkable edge. Other craft beer manufacturers may skip the barrels and try adding a blend of exotic coffee beans or flavored syrups instead.

By now, you might be wondered where to get your coffee craft beer fix. One place slated to feature beanie beers in the months ahead is Copper Kettle Brewing Company. To learn more about them and other places to find excellent coffee beers in Denver, please contact us today for a tour.

 


river north brewery

River North Brewery Moving with Funk The Man Celebration

When it comes to some of the best craft beer in Denver, River North Brewery has been a highlight staple in the RiNo district. But by the end of October, you won’t be able to visit the brewery in its famed 24th and Blake location of the neighborhood.

The building River North has called home for over three years will be bulldozed in order to rebuild on the lot some apartment dwellings. River North is now preparing to move, but they’re going out with a big celebration and a big beer. Called the Funk the Man series, these special beer releases are variation of the brewery’s brett saisons from their archived barrels. Funk the Man challenges what River North Brewery calls “insatiable redevelopment, growth for the sake of growth and cash over community.” In contrast to the new development, the Funk the Man wants to celebrate how breweries like River North help to revitalize the community through engagement, collaboration, and fun in the district. The neighborhood will miss this location, and we’ll miss the 24th and Blake stop on our craft beer tour.

But we don’t have to worry for too long about River North’s disappearance. Their new location will be at 6021 Washington Street, slated to reopen before the end of the year. The new location will expand production and provide more space in thetap room, giving more space for drinkers to enjoy the local brew. In addition, the Brewery plans to make a comeback in the neighborhood with a new pilot brewery and taproom.

So good luck to River North, and make sure you stock up before the move! To learn more about some of the best RiNobreweries like River North, contact us.


craft beer

Don’t Let Craft Beer ABV Concerns Keep You from Sampling Denver’s Finest

 

Have you heard the latest froth blowing off the tops of pints across the nation? Law enforcement and various public health experts have been teaming up to discuss one element of craft beer, it’s ABV. As this FOX video proves, stories about the two groups’ concerted efforts to educate America’s hops faithful have been cropping up on major news networks since early October.

We suspect the timing of the push has a lot to do with four of the biggest, concurrent drinking holidays, starting with Halloween. All across Denver, craft beer manufacturers and thirsty residents’ favorite hang out spots have been gearing up for it as well as the other top three. You guessed it. We’re talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

People worry the characteristically high alcohol content coupled with amazing flavors will cause some people to drink and drive. We’re hoping that they drink and walk responsibly instead. At Denver Microbrew Tour, we don’t believe in drinking and driving. So, all of our brewery tours involve walking throughout scenic Denver. As a consequence, participants may drink in the autumn beauty too. And we’re not simply signaling out the leaves.

RiNo and other craft beer laden areas of Denver are blessed with more than fall colors. Many businesses choose to add autumn art work to the idyllic picture, including murals and outdoor sculptures. Some of the bar and brew pub interiors happen to be well decorated too. Thus, our autumn walking tours are truly a feast for craft beer lovers’ senses.

Scheduling a safe tour that allows everyone to drink and walk responsibly is easy. Merely reach out to our craft beer tourguides online or by phone, the sooner, the better. And we’ll set aside tickets to one of our most-loved, craft beer tours, which generally occur on the weekends. Hope to see all the holiday beer lovers at our starting locations this week!

 


An ethnic history of Denver, as it relates to drinking

 

Ethnicity is a key to the history of Denver, and at the center of ethnicity are the saloons each group established, clustered around Larimer St.

There’s no better way to get a feeling for the origins of this town than via a history of Denver, as it relates to drinking. Early residents of Denver, no matter their ethnic origins, enjoyed a good beer. While all groups enjoyed beer, they enjoyed it most in the company of their own ethnic group, where they could relax and enjoy the comfort of their native languages and cultures.

Originally part of the Territory of Kansas, what became the Denver area was sparsely settled until 1858, when three different groups established settlements in the area. General William Larimer, a land speculator from eastern Kansas, jumped the St. Charles claim and staked his own one-mile square claim, renaming it “Denver” after the governor of the Territory of Kansas, James Denver.

Although Denver didn’t “pan out” as a mining community despite an initial flurry of activity, it grew rapidly as a supply hub once the Gold Rush began. General Larimer’s claim, and the saloons around Larimer St., were at the center of activity as immigrant communities found themselves at home in them. Various ethnic groups “relished their taverns as ethnic clubs and community centers for a wide range of social, political, and economic activities.”

By 1880, more than 1/3 of Denver saloons were German-owned. Inside these establishments, “customers could speak and sing German, enjoy German music and dance, read German newspapers and magazines, procure strudel and sauerkraut, and quaff German beer and wine.” The best-known of these German establishments was Turn Hall, established in 1889.

Germans were wealthy and politically powerful in Denver and enjoyed great influence until first, Prohibition in 1916, then World War II, diminished their influence. Because of their wealth and prominence in the saloon business of Denver, Prohibitionists targeted them, and many Germans lost their jobs in the liquor industry. Irrational hatreds related to the War made life even more difficult for Denver’s German population.

Nonetheless, Denver benefited from German music and culture — and enjoyed Bock Beer Day. In 1874, “Otto Heinrich ‘s saloon at Sixteenth and Larimer set the record for Bock Beer Day, serving some 3,000 glasses of beer, 50 loaves of bread, and 125 pounds of meat.”

Many Irish arrived as part of the railroad crews and settled in working class neighborhoods near the tracks. Also well-received, Irishmen soon established bars strategically placed between their homes near the tracks and their jobs. Irish saloons promoted Irish clubs and organizations, Gaelic literature, lectures and band music and distributed the Rocky Mountain Celt, the “only” Irish-American newspaper in the West.

By 1900, the Irish were less than 3% of Denver’s population, but they owned 10% of the bars. Irish political clout came from a triangular partnership between saloon owners, politicians and policemen. “Saloon-keeping Irish councilmen included James Doyle, John Conlon, Andrew Horan and William Gahan. Of these bartending aldermen, one of the most successful and long-lived was Eugene Madden. Madden served nine consecutive city council terms with strong support from his Larimer Street saloon and the nearby police department, where his brother was a captain.”

Like other ethnic groups, Jews found the liquor business relatively easy to enter. Albert Wongrowitz’s popular saloon and delicatessen, located next to a synagogue, was one of the first sources of kosher food. Despite anti-Semitism, Jewish immigrants, many originating from Germany, were successful in Denver. The fact that Denver elected a Jewish mayor in 1889 signified a relatively easier integration process. Blacks, Asians and Italians suffered from more violent and intensive discrimination.

Italians, recruited as cheap labor for the railroads and other industries, suffered from a more unwelcoming reception in Denver, but they, too, eased their entry by establishing saloons that served them as cultural centers.

Starting in tents and shacks in the bottomlands, and operating grocery carts and businesses, Italians, with the help of more well-established compatriots with whom they connected in the Italian saloons, eventually achieved success and moved into the tree-shaded neighborhoods of north Denver. Here they established popular restaurants and bars. Italians, who viewed consumption of alcohol as healthy, were largely unaffected by Prohibition, simply moving into their basements.

Finally, the Slavs (Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenians, Serbs, Croats, Poles, and Russians, including many Russian Jews and non-Slavic Germans from Russia) established a significant community in Denver. By 1920, the Russians became the single largest group immigrating to Colorado.

The Slavs settled in Globeville, the smelter factory town just north of Denver. As had other ethnic groups before them, the Slavs enjoyed their many saloons in Globeville, not only for the beverages but as community centers. Like the saloons in other poor areas, these also served as banks.

Among the many cultural institutions that immigrant groups brought to Denver, saloons were perhaps the most numerous and conspicuous. They played a key role in bringing their customers into American life and into the life of the city. Few immigrant taverns reappeared after Prohibition, but the effects of these influential business qua community centers remain.

In 1988, it became legal in Colorado to produce and sell beer to retail customers on the same premises. The WynkoopBrewing Company ran a close race against Carver Brewery to claim the title as the oldest micro-brewery in Denver.

John Hickenlooper, founder of the Wynkoop Brewing Company and now governor of the state, looks back on those anxious early days. He remembers the all-consuming effort required to open Wynkoop first, which it did on October 18, 1988, selling 6,000 cups of beer at 25 cents each.

Today Denver continues to enjoy its beer in its many micro-breweries. For more information or to schedule a micro-brewery tour, please contact us.