To More Great Beer in 2014!

We’re looking forward to another tasty year of beer drinking in Colorado.  Please find us on Facebook and let us know what you’re drinking and enjoying, and where.  Also, if you have ideas for beer tour drives,  spots that we’ve missed that must be included, or suggestions in general, please let us know.

Most importantly, have a wonderful year exploring Colorado’s breweries!

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Colorado Springs’ Red Leg: Your Local Brew #4

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Tasty beer, knowledgeable and friendly staff, locals that will share a pint with you, and a theme dedicated to honoring our military men and women: Red Leg has it all. Colorado Springs is lucky to have this new spot on the northwest side of town … another great place to enjoy a post-work pint, or a beer after hiking in Garden of the Gods.

I stopped in there on a Friday afternoon earlier this month, right as they opened their doors at 2 pm. The bartender happily poured me a tasting tray while sharing many thoughts on the beer and Red Leg’s mission as a brewery.  Some regulars indulged me with their appreciation for Red Leg’s drafts, and other beer tourists, including a couple from Oregon and two army colonels, shared in my enjoyment of the tap selection.

And I’m always looking around businesses for clever innovations. Let’s just say that Red Leg’s is hidden … on purpose.  There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about breweries being designed to build community, and to do so, brewery designers recommend focusing the brewery on conversation and interaction by not filling the tap room with flatscreen T.V.s.

I appreciate this. But let’s be honest with ourselves, when Bronco Fever takes over, a bar without a T.V. will see a drop in customers and lose a prime opportunity to build camaraderie.  With all this in consideration, the crafty minds of Red Leg installed a retractable big screen.  So when the big game is on, (Broncos, Hockey Playoffs, or Lindsay Vaughn in the Olympics), we can enjoy our sports, and drink our beer too. Then the T.V. disappears when it would otherwise just be blaring  in the background with a golf match, or even worse, the dreaded ESPN football commentary show.

The Tasty Privilege of Maui’s Local Variety

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Beer List at Maui Brewing (by KRoark)

We recently enjoyed a little beach vacation time in Hawaii, which meant the good fortune of checking out the Maui Brewing company facilities first-hand, (both their brewery and their brew-pub).  We heard the owner speak at a GABF event two years ago and have been intrigued by the company’s deep commitment to local production and sourcing ever since.  Maui-made is something in which the islanders have a great deal of pride and they should, especially since many “Hawaiian” products are brewed or manufactured on the mainland.

The biggest surprise though during our visit was the shear quantity of beers the brew-pub had on-tap. In took three visits, but we managed to sample all 22 of their ales, lagers, and specialty beer.  They’d organized their menu into the categories of “hoppy,” “regional releases,” “dark and malty,” and “lagers,” which made each visit and tasting flight distinct.

This diversity was astounding for the obvious reason that here in Colorado, we don’t benefit from the vast array of delicious beer that Maui Brewing Company creates; shelf space, limitations on distribution, and the volume of production make this impossible and understandably so. While we enjoy a few of their brews via can (Coconut Porter and the Big Swell IPA), their most exciting and interesting beer demands a long flight and some dedicated beer tourism. Continue reading

An Old Favorite: Odell

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Anybody know the current count of breweries in the state?  Continue reading

A Roadside Reprieve: Suds Brothers in Fruita

So much of food and beverage writing is focused on criticism, whether it be high praise or brutal, honest disgust. From Yelp to Wine Spectator we are saturated with other people’s perspectives about what we are going to eat or drink. And there’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s quite helpful.

But another category of writing interests us a bit more here at Colorado Brewery Days: the story.  Not is something good or bad, or worth a 10 hour drive or not worth a second of our time, but what happened while you were there? Why did you go? What did you see? Who did you meet? Continue reading

Calling All Colorado Beer Enthusiasts

Dear Colorado Brewery Days Readers and Fans-

Life has a way of ebbing and flowing.  Despite our five year journey across the state of Colorado enjoying beer, meeting brewers, writing about our experiences, and putting together tasting experiences and trips on this blog, our beer travel has slowed a bit.  With summer almost here and more than a dozen new places opening across the state, we’re afraid that we can’t keep up.  We need your help . . . Continue reading

American Beer Remembers Its Past

No, despite some people’s attempt to claim it as fact, beer is not an American enterprise in the way that baseball, July 4th, and the word “dude” are absolutely defined entities of the U.S.  Like it or not, the brewing process traveled the high seas from Europe to the Jersey shore. While America is certainly defining beer for the 21st century, craft beer-makers here in Colorado spend a lot of time considering, adapting and reinventing Old World styles, honoring their ancestors everyday.

Though my attendance at the Crafty Ladies Holiday Beer Event is no longer news worthy, the “Old World/New World” theme presented at the dinner by Merchant du Vin and our very own Avery Brewing Company, got me thinking, and paying even more attention to the roots of the styles I enjoy everyday.

Beer surrounds us with a living history: Continue reading