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craft beer

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.

 


craft beer

5 Winter Craft Beers to Try This Year

 

The craft beer industry runs far and wide across our country. Sometimes, the popular beers on the East Coast aren’t even available on the West Coast. This has a lot to do with distribution and money — many smaller breweries don’t have the capital or the resources for wide distribution.

However, for those who can try all the winter beers (no matter their area), this post is for you.

From porters to stouts to IPAs, please join us as we profile five great winter beers that you should try this winter.

1. Stone Smoked Porter: Very few breweries have an ego like Stone, but very few can actually back it up like they can. Try their Smoked Porter and find out why they brag.

2. Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter: Deschutes has branched out to the East Coast as of late, but they are still making great tasting beers. Their Black Butte is delightful, creamy, refreshing and… well, you should just try it.

3. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: Worried that Sierra Nevada has gotten too big for their britches? Don’t be. Try their Celebration Ale and discover why Sierra Nevada is an American original.

4. Lagunitas Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale: Lagunitas has made quite the name for themselves lately. But their beer is worth the hype. Test out their “ethos in a bottle” known as Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale and see why they are a popular choice this winter.

5. New Belgium Accumulation White IPA: IPA fans, we didn’t forget about you. White IPAs have long been associated with the winter season, and this IPA is a testament to why. New Belgium has done a great job creating a winter warmer without the knockout effect often associated with IPAs.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us today.

 


Do You Crave Craft Beer with Sprinkles, Whipped Cream and a Cherry on Top?

craft beer

Crave something sweet with your beer? New Belgium’s new brew may be just the ticket.

We’ve all at least seen or heard of floats made with soda but what about combining ice cream and craft beer? Sounds like an interesting prospect doesn’t it? Well before you grab some bags filled with hops and ice cream scoops en route to the U.S. Patent Office, know this. Someone has thought of the idea before:

As a matter of fact, several brew masters, including a few in Colorado, have actually made it a reality. So residents may often drink as well as eat delights like chocolate milk stout. The latest to hit pubs and shelves in Denver is Salted Caramel Brownie Ale. It’s manufactured in Fort Collins by Colorado’s own, New Belgium Brewing Company. The craft beer has 6.3% ABV and as expected, a distinctive essence not unlike its namesake.

It may be partially attributed to the two varieties of hops, pure vanilla, premium cocoa, ale yeast and a trio of malts. The nugget hops, in particular, help give the craft beer a mild, herbaceous aroma and average acidity. The Golding tosses in a hint of bitterness and deepens the craft beer’s aroma to include a touch of warm spices. The malts undeniably add to drink’s flavor too, not to mention its lovely, brownie-like coloring.

If you’re not into the taste of ooey gooey brownies, don’t worry. Other breweries in Denver have the opposite ends of the flavor spectrum covered with offerings like vanilla porter, coffee stout and raspberry limbic. One place that traditionally has vanilla porter on the menu year round is the Breckenridge Ball Park Pub. In addition to the regular vanilla porter, there are barrel-aged singles available from time to time too. They tend to contain hints of premium rum.

To learn more about ice cream flavored beers, beer flavored ice creams and other fabulously adult treats, please contact us for a weekend tour.


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!

 


craft beer

How This Denver Brewery Is Planning To Take Over The Craft Beer World

 

When people think of Denver, they now think of delicious and innovative craft beer. This great beer reputation is in large part due to the efforts of incredible breweries like Great Divide. Great Divide was started in 1994 by brewer Brian Dunn, and Great Divide’s first batch of beer won an award at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery went on to earn accolades and admiration worldwide, and was even named the 7th best brewery in the world by Beeradvocate.com.

With beers like Titan, Yeti and Colette, it’s not surprising to hear about Great Divide’s success. For years, Great Divide ran its brewing operations out of a small building located at 2201 Arapahoe St. in Denver, but has now completed the first phase of its major expansion effort in Denver’s River North district. The new facility has an awesome new tap room called Barrel Bar that boasts 16 taps and an awesome patio.

Their second location is also home to a new state-of-the-art packaging facility, canning line, barrel aged and sour beer storage(yum). Great divide is also rumored to be collaborating with Denver sour beer brewery Crooked Stave on a new beer soon. We can’t wait.

Want to check out awesome breweries like Great Divide? The Denver Microbrew Tour is a guided walking tour through downtown Denver, Colorado’s historic LODO (lower downtown) and Ballpark Neighborhood districts. The tour includes beer samplings at several microbreweries and a local tap room, info on everything you’d ever want to know about beer, a coupon for a pint of your favorite beer on the tour, and local Denver history. For more info on The Denver Microbrew tour,contact us today!

 


Downtown Denver Rock Bottom

Downtown Denver Rock Bottom – Harbinger of Denver’s Growth?

 

The early ’90’s may have brought us grunge music and a tech bubble, but they also brought us the beginning of the craft beer and microbrewery explosion. Since 1991, no tour of Denver breweries could be complete without a visit to Downtown Denver’s Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. Back before brewpubs were a thing, the folks behind Rock Bottom had the good sense to combine two of the things people love most in the world – great food paired with craft beer. Is it a coincidence that Denver exploded with growth and culture immediately after Rock Bottom opened its doors? Is it possible that Colorado’s T-REX project was necessary because of all of the traffic Rock Bottom was creating?

Maybe that’s a bit much, but the fact remains that Rock Bottom started brewing, and Denver began a renaissance period that they’re still enjoying today. You can draw your own conclusions.

The key to Rock Bottom’s greatness, at all of their locations, is their focus on the locals. Local brewers and chefs work together to create a unique combination of flavors in their menus. An IPA made with Belgian yeast? A Kolsch made with three kinds of spicy chilies? Yes, and yes, and so many more. It’s an atmosphere of quiet revolution, without the well-earned attitude of being the guys who were there when the revolution started. They’d rather just blow you away with their great beers.

As they like to say, “life begins when ‘You’ve Hit Rock Bottom‘,” so it’s not an accident that we start our tours there. Before the Rockies and the Avalanche came to town, along with the other million people who moved in during the ’90’s, there was the Rock Bottom Brewery. Please contact us if you want to experience Rock Bottom and some of the other great breweries in Denver.

 


Pumpkin Beer

It’s Pumpkin Time Again in the World of Craft Beer

 

Pumpkin beer! Nothing divides the ranks of beer lovers so deeply as the fastest growing seasonal specialty in the craft beer universe.

When the first settlers clambered off their ships and looked around the Atlantic shore, they needed something to ferment. Grain was hard to come by, but native pumpkins provided an obvious starch and sugar source. The same early creativity that led to our traditions of holiday pies had pioneers growing pumpkins for both food and beverage purposes.

The early brews (and the pies, for that matter) lacked the sumptuous qualities granted by “pumpkin pie spices” such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

By the time Bill Owens dug up a recipe for pumpkin ale from the papers of George Washington and made a batch for his Buffalo Bill’s brewpub in Hayward, California in 1986, the association with spices had become baked in to the American palate. He had to add a can of blended holiday pie spices to the brew to give it the familiar “pumpkin flavor.”

Love it or hate it, almost all modern pumpkin beer is now spiced beer. Sometimes there is no actual pumpkin killed in the making of your pint. The style appears on the shelf as early as late summer and can usually be found through Halloween and Thanksgiving, perhaps into the Christmas beer season.

Some local brewers embrace the style, others eschew it. If you do like a mug of “liquid pie,” you may enjoy comparing the offerings each year, since brewers often adjust their spice and sweetness levels over time. Some interesting variations include bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ales and darker roast variations such as pumpkin porters.

For a delightful guided tour including access to all seasonal beers and special releases found en route, please contact us. We’ll make sure you can drink the beers you love (and laugh at the ones you hate) as you adventure into Denver’s world-class beer community.

 


6 States Where Craft Beer is Catching Fire

Depending on the state that you live in, craft beer may or may not be ruling the roost. Here in beautiful Colorado, craft beer is an obvious institution that most (if not all) people are familiar with, and many enjoy.

For a long time, however, there were states of the union that featured little to no craft breweries nor micropubs; somehow, it never became part of the culture or was illegal.

According to a new study published by the Brewers Association craft beer industry group, new statistics show that craft beer is rising even in states where it was not a part of everyday culture. An inspiring thought and premise to those of us entrenched in the industry of craft beer.

Here, now, is a list of 6 of the featured 10 states where craft beer is finally, once and for all, becoming a prominent feature around town (a fact that we couldn’t be happier about), and some of the craft breweries that helped make it happen.

Michigan: Wither brewers like Founders, Bell’s and New Holland, our friends in MI are finally stepping up to the plate and hitting a craft beer grand slam.

Nevada: Brewpubs became legal in 1993 (if that doesn’t tell you something, and kind of make you wonder…). Regardless, over a three-year period, the city of Las Vegas has seen a 25% increase in craft breweries.

Minnesota: Don’t cha know! With the help of Surly and Stalwart, Minnesota now has 73 craft beers. A huge increase over last year.

S.C.: While South Carolinians might have always had nice weather, craft beer was never on the radar. Recently, however, they have experienced a 33% increase in craft breweries over just last year.

Ohio: Ohio has been the butt of sports jokes for a long time, but with a 23.5% over just a one year period, Ohio’s craft beer industry is thriving and golden.

Alabama: Yep, good ole‘ Alabama, with their terribly stringent beer laws. Specifically in Birmingham, at the number 1 spot, has seen a 63% increase over just one year’s time thanks to new brewers in the game and relaxed brewing laws, like Avondale, Cahaba, Good People, Beer Engineers and Trim Tab.

Brew on!

For more information on us and how we can help you, please contact us any time.


Craft Beer Spotlight: Do You Dabble in Doppelbocks?

 

In today’s craft beer spotlight, curious drinkers want to know, “Do you dabble in doppelbocks?” It’s a brew style that was purportedly given to us centuries ago by Paulaner monks. They were active during the 1600s, when European brew masters were bound by the Bavarian Purity Requirement. Although originally consumed around the Easter holidays, it’s a style now enjoyed year round.

Craft beer drinkers who’ve previously imbibed a tulip glass full or two will likely recognize its sensuous, clear, copper color and toasted barley aroma. The malts used to make doppelbocks will generally vary depending on the brewer. However, they tend to be of German origin. The same may be said for the yeast and hops.

Consequently, the brews generally lack in carbonation and bitterness, which makes them perfect for pairing with desserts, meats or cheeses. As such, they tend to be very popular wherever food is also served. However, don’t let that little detail keep you from downing a glass without a plate of food at your side. They are full-bodied enough to stand up on their own.

Just keep in mind that drinkers who decide to dabble in doppelbocks may also expect their beverages of choice to have soft bodies, medium finishes and a hefty dose of alcohol. So having one too many on an empty stomach may knock teetotalers for a real loop. With that said, we generally suggest that microbrew tour patrons eat a little something before knocking back several dopplebocks.

Where can one find an excellent dopplebock in Denver for their money? Aah, now that’s a question that our dopplebock-loving tour guides can answer with ease. There are many great German bocks available in the Mile High City. To find out exactly where they are and how to get one’s curious hands on one, please contact us today.

 


Denver’s Craft Beer Masters Know How to Get What They Need, Do You?

 

Are you a craft beer fan that watches CBS News and reads the Denver Business Journal? Then perhaps you’ve taken notice of the recent stories about yeast and hops. It seems that there is a shortage of both but never fear. There are a number of brew fans turned entrepreneurs who are willing to lend a hand and help beef up the Mile High City’s caches. So we don’t expect to see Denver’s finest brew masters shutting off their taps any time soon (Whew!).

Apparently, there are also companies out there who will be giving our region’s craft beer masters their own private stash of ingredients. What’s that mean for all of us? We suspect a large number of incredible, one-of-a-kind brews will be the likely result. But until then, we’ll have to content ourselves with what’s already on the menus in LoDo and RiNo.

And we can tell you from our Denver Microbrew Tour experiences, there are still a lot of fantastic combinations to choose from. For instance, there’s the Chocolate Rye Scotch Ale and Repeater at Ratio Beerworks. With chocolate and Munich malts at the forefront, they’re a perfect segue into fall. Be warned though, the Chocolate Rye Scotch Ale has more of anABV kick than the other. So it’s definitely an adult treat.

The Rockbottom, Wynkoop and Falling Rock have a few tricks and treats of their own. A few to put on your early autumn sampling list are Weizen, Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabeza, B3K Black Lager and English Barley Wine. Try them with or without seasonal fare. If you decide to go for the fare, think about ordering new and old-school favorites like steak sliders or wings.

To learn more about what our region’s craft brewers are doing to get the best ingredients despite the shortages, please contact us. We’d be glad to help you meet the men and women behind the brew madness in person and hear their tales.

 


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