I’ll admit, Monday’s are a strange day to take the afternoon off from work. But after working twelve days straight, and watching my wife come and go on brewery tours and beer adventures during her spring break, I was craving some craft. So a few of us piled in for a Monday’s drive to the Loveland-Longmont circuit.
Our first destination, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse of Loveland, CO. We initially visited Grimm Brothers shortly after its opening 18 months ago. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun to return and see their new space, and all the additional beers they now offer. If this brewery’s success is any indication, (certainly not grim by any means), the Colorado Craft Beer Scene is clearly not slipping. And it’s wonderful to seek out breweries that have specific visions for their beer. Head to Grimm Brothers to understand (and thoroughly enjoy) what a German beer is all about. From Grimm Brothers, we headed south to Longmont for a couple of our favorites: Left Hand Brewing Company and Oskar Blue’s Tasty Weasel Tap Room.
Lady Lupulin’s Tasting Notes:
Standard Tasting Tray at Grimm Brothers
Little Red Cap, winner of the 2011 GABF gold medal
Dusseldorf-style Alt Bier—6.3% ABV: great copper color, solid malty notes
The Fearless Youth
Munich Dunkel—5.7% ABV: favorite with the crowd of three tasting; this beer brought us back to drinking in the beer gardens of Munich, Germany 7 years ago . . . maybe it was the nostalgia, but the blend of malts and hops made this beer addictive.
German Porter—5.2%: delicious German hops with smooth coffee and dark malt flavor throughout; this is certainly a go-to Porter for the winter months.
Kottbusser-style Ale—7% ABV: oats and honey with light hops made this a very easy drinking beer for 7% alcohol; definitely a crowd pleaser.
German-style Hefeweizen—4.8% ABV: beautiful spicy citrus, clove and pepper flavor create a smooth, and at the same time complex, Hefe.
Seasonal/Limited Release Tasting Tray at Grimm Brothers
Sour beer, aged in red wine barrels. This is no joke.
A very hoppy beer for a barley wine, a different balance than we normally see in this style. Quite delicious.
Biere de Grimm
Beire de Guarde style with great malt notes. Took us back to Munich with a sip.
3 Golden Hairs
A solid pilsner that could make even the most die-hard Budweiser fan switch over to craft beer. This is what a hot summer afternoon session beer is all about.
Dark and heavy dry stout with rich dark malt flavor. This beer was one of the favorites of a hophead who usually only gravitates to IPAs. Another instanteous journey to Munich.
The romantic counterpart to the Master Thief porter, brewed with chocolate and cherries. I was expecting an overly sweet and fruity beer, but I couldn’t be more wrong. This was a nicely balanced and flavorful beer that I wanted more of.
Shwartzbier (Dark Lager) with a smooth and malty flavor. This is a crowd pleaser as well, simply delicious
Left Hand Brewing: Design Your Own Tray
Good Juju: Herb Spiced Ale with organic ginger
I haven’t stopped raving about this beer since I tasted it. If I wasn’t the driver for the day I could have sat and drank pints of this stuff. I love hoppy beers and malty beers, so I don’t usually fall for the gimmicks of added fruit and spices, but this beer is out of this world. It would pair perfectly with Asian food.
400 lb. Monkey on Cask with Vanguard hops: English-style IPA
The 400 lb. Monkey is a refreshing change from American-style hop monsters. The hops are there, but they’re not overpowering.
Milk Stout with Cascade hops on Cask
The Left Hand Milk Stout on Nitro is a work of art, beyond words. I appreciate visiting tap-rooms because you get to try beers that are not available anywhere else, particularly brewer’s experimental batches, like the Milk Stout on cask with fresh Cascade hops. Anyway they work the Milk Stout doesn’t change the fact that this is just a delicious beer and it’s fun to taste their different renditions.
Blackjack Porter: English-style Porter
Rich with dark chocolate and espresso—solid porter.
Stranger: American Pale Ale
Great pale with citrus and hop notes
Smoke Jumper: Smoked Imperial Porter
The smokiness hits you in the beginning and then the sweetness and spiciness of the molasses comes through. Great beer for BBQ and campfires.
Oscar Blues Tasty Weasel: A Few Sips
Hop juice IPA that’s not taking any prisoners. There’s no doubt that there are a ton of those aromatic buds in this beer. It will knock you on your ass, and Oscar Blues thankfully doesn’t apologize for that.
Schmitty (cousin of the 10 Fidy)—not just delicious because of the rhyming.