We’re Back!

Happy New Year (yes, a bit belated)!

We took a longer-than-expected step away from Colorado Brewery Days, but we’re back and ready to launch some new posts.  Please watch for our first blog entry of the year coming out this Friday, February 8th.  Our hope is to publish a new article every Friday morning . . . giving you a heads-up on a great way to spend your weekend tasting some delicious Colorado beer.

And for additional tips, tasting notes, and Colorado beer sitings, like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoBreweryDays

So grab a friend, pour yourself a pint, and raise a glass to 2013, another wonderful year for beer!

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Atmosphere at Three New Breweries in Metro Denver – Part 3

Part 3: Anchoring a 5 Points Beer Scene at “Our Mutual Friend”

The name is not the only thing that stands out at one of the newest breweries in Denver.  While River North, Great Divide, Breckenridge, and several happening bars have been in this area for a while, Our Mutual Friend is part of a growing beer scene in a somewhat forgotten industrial stretch of Larimer Street. And with an incredibly welcoming atmosphere, the folks who work here will definitely be our mutual friends after your first visit. Continue reading

Atmosphere at Three New Breweries in Metro Denver – Part 2

Part 2: Red and Hip at Black Shirt Brewing

Dim lights, but high ceilings. An old warehouse building, but newly remodeled. A big crowd, but this is the only time the brewery will be open all week. An industrial section of Five Points, once forgotten, but now on the map. A neighborhood brewery, but a destination for beer fans from Boulder, Fort Collins, Oregon and beyond.

We’re seated at a table beneath a large painting of Johnny Cash holding his guitar and giving us the bird in his smiling, ironic way. These are my first impressions of Black Shirt Brewing Continue reading

Atmosphere at Three New Breweries in Metro Denver – Part 1

Part 1: A Family Saturday Afternoon at Brewery Rickoli

I’ve been pretty keen on the topic of context lately, and specifically observant about the way the “when and where” I’m drinking beer changes my enjoyment.  This was made particularly clear to me in a recent article that talked about Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  Once a hop-head favorite (before there were hop-heads), fans of this Pale Ale now claim that “the beer has changed.”  While the recipe for Sierra Nevada may have changed slightly, it’s more likely that our palettes have rapidly evolved. What was once considered “hoppy” no longer compares to the hop-bombs available today.

Similar to changing palettes (as individual beer drinkers and as a customer base on the whole), I think atmosphere dictates a little bit of our enjoyment and experience with beer as well.  And this couldn’t be more true than in three of Metro Denver’s newest breweries to open. This mini mini-series will cover Brewery Rickoli (today), Black Shirt Brewing (tomorrow), and Our Mutual Friend (Thursday).

Brewery Rickoli is a quintessential neighborhood brewery hidden away in a strip mall off Wadsworth.  Continue reading

Stout in the Springs (and a Hike)

I’m on a kick for seasonal beer, and it’s been a while since we’ve visited Colorado Springs. So I tracked down some malty beverages and we headed south on I-25 last weekend.  But it seemed far too beautiful to hide inside all day, delicious beer or not. I also researched a new hiking area, something a little different from our usual tour in Garden of the Gods.

The sudden change in weather might make this post just a little bit late.  Though if it warms up again, a hike in Castlewood Canyon State Park, (near Castle Rock and north of the Springs), will surely satisfy your outdoor cravings. Continue reading

New! Breweries Keep Opening Their Doors

Bootstrap, Big Choice, Echo, TRVE, Hogshead, City Star, Gravity . . . are these names familiar to you?  They should be, but if they’re not, why not make a point this weekend of checking them out?  These are just seven of the newest faces to the Colorado beer scene that opened their doors this year.

We focused 2012 on attempting to complete our visits to every independent brewery in the state. Not too many people can say they’ve been to every operation in Colorado.  Can you?

Well, truth be told, we can’t either. Not yet. A half dozen breweries still elude us.  But you know what?  Continue reading

Context Matters

I’m sitting on a white sand beach in Panama sipping a crisp Balboa lager, (the local beer), and reading Beer Hunter, Whiskey Chaser, a collection of essays in honor of the late Michael Jackson. It’s an interesting choice for this vacation, we won’t see a craft beer for nearly ten days, but every selection in the book will make my taste buds water for some refined malts and hops.

One essay in particular, When’s the Right Time for Barley Wine? by Stephen Beaumont, gets me thinking about how good the free-flowing Balboa beer actually is, particularly with the sun beating down and the waves crashing. While a Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues might taste good right now, there’s probably not a Winter Holiday Ale or a Barley Wine anywhere in the world that would be enjoyable to drink at this moment. Continue reading