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History of Denver: Raise a Glass to Larimer Square’s Quinquagenary!

Have you ever heard of a quinquagenary? It means 50 and there is one place in the Mile High City that will be celebrating its quinquagenary anniversary this year. Can you guess where it is and how it fits into the beer history of Denver? Okay, pull up a bar stool and we’ll tell you:

history of denver

We’ll introduce you to a number of colorful characters who once worked the beer taps, and the system, in the heart of Larimer Square

It’s Larimer Square, the one place in Denver where beer history runs deeper than the world’s biggest keg, which holds 55,345-gallons of beer by the way. In 1971 it was named a historic district and that’s certainly worthy of a toast. Back in the 1800s, the area was the heart of Denver’s craft brew industry and it remains an important beer Mecca to this day.

During our weekend tours, you’ll get to learn more about the historic area and its once thriving, 19th century watering holes. Among them are Lincoln Hall, Gahan’s Soft Drink Parlor and the Double Eagle Bar. We’ll also introduce you to a number of colorful characters who once worked the beer taps, and the system, in the heart of Larimer Square. Examples include Soapy Smith, Countess Katrina Murat, Davis H. Waite and the lovely, albeit forlorn, Amelia.

Of course there will be plenty of craft beer drinking going on during the tours too. We’ll be warming the bar stools at a number of popular places, including the Rock Bottom Brewery, Breckenridge Colorado Craft, Falling Rock Tap House and the Wynkoop Brewing Company. And we promise, the conversation will be as compelling as the beers.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time for a quinguagenary anniversary celebration. Contact us now and reserve your tour of the historic district and its once suds-filled streets. All tickets include general admission and beer samples. Plus, we’ve got a special deal that includes a great pint glass to help you remember why Denver is the best place for craft beer drinkers.


Denver Breweries: Come Celebrate with Strange Craft and Others

denver breweries

The much-beloved Strange Craft brewery turned five years old in May 2015.

If you’re a faithful follower of all things Denver brewed, you’ll know that it’s time to raise a pint of Strange Craft’s beer in celebration. The much beloved brewery turned five years old in May 2015. But don’t let their toddler status fool you in missing out on a pint. Although the brew masters have only been at their Zuni Street location for a half a decade, they possess the wisdom of brewers beyond their years.

Oh, and they’re pretty savvy marketers too. They know that nothing goes better with great, Denver craft beer than special events like One Barrel Wednesdays, Band Night, Strange Days, Gamers Group and Blues, Brews & BBQ. Plus, they make sure to open the taps early and stay late every time the Denver Broncos stop to throw the pigskin around at Sports Authority Field over on Bryant Street.

The Broncos, by the way, will be in town this August to take on the San Francisco 49ers. So be sure to stop by in the late afternoon. Hit up fantastic food trucks, like Burger Smith, Tony Guacamole and Wheels on Fire. Then position yourself at Strange Craft’s bar and down a glass of Watermelon Hefe or another seasonal beer before heading to the stadium.

And just so all the Denver brew fans out there don’t get the wrong impression; Strange Craft serves up more than just seasonal fare. As a matter of fact, they have a history of always inventing something new. Case in point, since they opened five years ago they’ve surprised craft brew fans with more than 100 different beers. So you just never know what Tim Myers and John Fletcher will have on tap when the Broncos roll into town.

To discover more about Strange Craft and other fantastic, Denver breweries, please contact DMbT today. We know the bottom of a Denver brewed pint glass like the backs of our hands and information rich tours are offered on the weekends.


“Blue Moon Isn’t Craft Beer,” Says Pending Class Action Lawsuit

 

craft beer

One of the criteria that craft beers must meet is that yearly production of the beer must be 6 million barrels or less.

While some classify craft beer as how a brew is crafted, or closely associated with a lifestyle they have chosen, the simple truth is, craft beer is an industry, with specific legal definitions, all in place for craft protection.

So because the Brewer’s Association defines American craft beer as an industry, it must fit into finite definitions that allow brewers and micro-brewers certain rights, benchmarks, and associated statistics broken into an applicable three categories:

1. Small: Yearly production of 6 million barrels of beer or less, with production attributed to the rules of alternatingproprietorships.

2. Independent: “Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.”

3. Traditional: Total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor is derived from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients as well as their fermentation.

What isn’t craft beer?

By definition, global beer conglomerate MillerCoors. More specifically, Blue Moon, their “craft style” beer. However, Blue Moon can not be a “craft beer” per the definition above, even though it is sometimes marketed as such.

For this reason, a man in California is taking a stand against MillerCoors.

On April 24, 2015, San Diego home brewer Evan Parent filed a class action lawsuit against MillerCoors (check out here), stating that they have been pulling the proverbial wool over the eyes of consumers who seek craft beer by overtly lying about what’s in the bottle and who makes it.

Mr. Parent is seeking an unspecified amount for damages for “misleading advertising and unfair competition.”

“What this case is really about,” he told his local news in this Huffington Post article, “is people think they’re buying craft beer and they’re actually buying crafty marketing.”

And that’s not all…

According to the lawsuit, Evan Parent claims that MillerCoors actively disassociates itself from Blue Moon in an attempt to mask their association. A scheme used as subterfuge, he implies, so those looking for craft beer at the grocery store won’t see through their elaborate ruse, and will buy Blue Moon instead of an actual craft beer.

Here is MillerCoorsresponse:

MillerCoors is tremendously proud of Blue Moon and has always embraced our ownership and support of this wonderful brand. The class action filed against MillerCoors in California is without merit and contradicted by Blue Moon Brewing Company’s 20-year history of brewing creative beers of the highest quality.

Unfortunately, “artfully crafted” isn’t part of the definition of craft beer… no matter how you spin it.

Then, of course, there is MillerCoors‘ production values: at 76 million barrels of beer produced annually, it’s difficult to consider Blue Moon, via MillerCoors, a “craft beer,” even if they designed it as such.

As for marketing, MillerCoors stands by the fact that they never actually said that Blue Moon was a craft beer, nor actively try to dictate otherwise.

It’s uncertain yet if a judge will throw this case out. Pending litigation hasn’t picked up speed, but the entire thing is very interesting.

What do you think about this case? Chime in below!

Feel free to contact us or more information or how we can help you.

 


Breckenridge Brewery – 1 of 5 Colorado Breweries on Top 50 List

breckenridge brewery

Breckenridge Brewery is riding the craft-beer wave and is soon to open another brewery, with a beer garden, in Littleton, CO.

The count is in and the results are awesome: Colorado is home to five of the fifty biggest craft breweries in the nation!

According to the Denver Post, Fort Collins’ New Belgium Brewing maintained its position as the state’s largest craft brewery and snagged itself 4th place in the nation-wide list. Coming in behind were Longmont’s Oskar Blues Brewery at 24th, Fort Collins’ Odell Brewing at 34th, Longmont’s Left Hand Brewing at 40th, and Denver’s own Breckenridge Brewery at 50th.

The craft brewery rules, defined by the Brewers Association, stipulate that a brewery must have relatively small production, be independently owned, and use traditional ingredients in its beer in order to qualify.

These rules don’t seem to be hindering the craft beer industry, however, as it is experiencing a huge boom in popularity and growth. Breckenridge is riding the wave and is soon to open another brewery, with beer garden, in Littleton. The project is valued at $36 million, but it should be paying for itself soon enough. According to spokeswoman Terry Usry, “Our (2014) growth was only 4 percent because we are so capacity constrained.” With the new location, production should jump from 64,000 barrels to 184,000 barrels. As such, Breckinridge will be doubling its sales and marketing staff this year. They’ll also be experimenting with some new malts and hops and increasing their barrel-aged program, meaning new and exciting beers are on the horizon!

If you want to keep up with all the Denver brewing happenings, contact us today and arrange a tour!


A new addition to Denver breweries, shows us the skills.

On July 5, 2014 there was a new addition to Denver breweries. Baere Brewery in the baker neighborhood at 320 Broadway, is that great new addition. The co-founder Ryan Skeels has used his mindset as a skateboarder to build on the simple foundation of brewing to create unique flavors and styles. In skateboarding simply landing a trick and riding away is not good enough. One must have style.

denver breweries

Mastering both craft-beer brewing and skating takes artistry and personality. Baere Brewery does both.

The foundations of brewing beer are simple. Barley, malt sugar, and hops get boiled together. Yeast is then added to the mixture and left to ferment. In street skateboarding, the foundation is the ollie, or jumping with the skateboard. These two things might sound easy. What’s so hard about mixing a bunch of ingredients together? What’s so hard about jumping with a board. In reality, these are both very hard to learn. Mastering them is another story, altogether.

When kids first learn to skate, they practice for hours, days, even weeks to learn the ollie. When they finally get the coordination down and jump without falling, chances are they are barely leaving the ground. It takes another few months to actually get any height. Similar to brewing, which also begins with practice at home. Anyone’s first brew is probably drinkable, but usually lacks any style or complexity.

Once the ollie is master, to add complexity, the skateboarder learns flip tricks. Skateboarders do flip tricks by flicking feet in various ways while doing an ollie. This makes the board rotate before they land back on it, and ride away. Each variety of trick takes hours of practice, repeated failure, and often pain. After learning a trick, landing and riding away isn’t enough. The skater has to make it his own, by adding style. This basically means, making it look effortless in a personally artistic way. When it comes to brewing, simply creating a beer with an alcohol content isn’t enough for the skateboarding brewmaster. Through years of practice, he has learned to make beer personal, by adding complexity, artistry, and style. The people atBaere brewery really have created something amazing.

After I had a drink at Baere Brewery, later that evening I couldn’t get it out of my head. The smooth delicious taste, the aroma, the overall feeling, became a memory. I was back the next night to relive that memory.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.


Denver Breweries: A Place for Those Who Are Sweet on Sours

Denver breweries may not always have a lock on original beer names but they do know how to create one-of-a-kind atmospheres for their patrons. Such is the case with the heavy death metal focused, Trve Brewing Company on Broadway. They opened in the early 2000s but expanded their portfolio by adding a new location in 2014. Presently dubbed, “The Acid Temple”, it’s a great place to go when you want to have a rousing, albeit sour, night of revelry.

denver breweries

Trve Brewery’s new location spotlights sour, barrel-aged beers.

That’s right. The new location spotlights sour beers. They’re traditionally made with wild yeasts or fruits and come in a variety of styles. Among the most popular are oud bruin, Berliner weisse, gose, American wild ale, limbic and Flanders red ale. Trve Brewing Company has been producing several of them for some time now and we can’t wait to see what sour beers they come up with next. Their current line of sour beers is made with the aid of Breckenridge Whiskey, California Chardonnay and California Cabernet soaked barrels. They give the company’s brews a taste that even today’s self-proclaimed, Norse Gods would be hard-pressed to ignore.

At this time, there is no food slated to be served at either location. So, fuel up before or after you swing by for a great tasting brew and a throbbing earful of death metal. There are plenty of restaurants along South Broadway and in the general area. Consequently, it shouldn’t be difficult to find everything from a good egg roll and wood-fired pizza to a traditional pad Thai. The next time you join us for a guided tour of Denver’s best places to down a wild beer, ask us and we’ll be sure to point out our favorite dining spots nearby. To learn more about the tour and places like the ones we mentioned above, please contact us today.


A Self Serve Bar in Denver

The Denver brewery and bar scenes are both booming, but this summer something new is coming to town, according to Westword. Mark Slattery, the popular beer blogger also known as the Denver Beer Guy, is moving into the 2601 Larimer development in River North, and he’s bringing a dream with him.

denver brewery

The dream is a tap room that is completely self service. In lieu of a bartender, the room is managed by a program called iPourIt, which allows customers to open tabs and pour their own beers in amounts strictly tabulated by corresponding wristbands. It’s an excellent way to sample small amounts of a variety of beers.

And the beers are worth sampling. Slattery says he plans to carry beers that are one-third to one-half from Colorado breweries, with the rest being choicely selected from across the country. “We plan to showcase the best beers we can get our hands on,” he says. The beers, as well as ciders and wines totalling forty in all, will rotate regularly.

Slattery has only the highest respect for Denver’s breweries, but felt he wanted to take things in a different direction. “Denver already has a great craft brewery scene,” he says. But rather than add his voice to many, he has decided to bring “a unique drinking experience” to the city.

First Draft will feature small but quality plates of food that pair well with the beers on offer, as well as a 900 square foot patio with a fire pit. He hopes to be open in June.

If you want to learn more about the latest beer news in Denver, please contact us!