Your Local Beer-By-Design: Northglenn

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A wide selection of beer, really well organized tasting series, friendly locals, and a knowledgeable beertender and brewmaster, this is Northglenn’s Local! These pictures share the tap room, the atmosphere, and my favorite, the organized beer menu. Certainly not in a thriving metropolis area, but Beer-By-Design is another awesome example of how wonderful it is to have a local spot in every corner of the state.

Black Bottle: Your Local Brew #6

We’ll be adding updates about other breweries that have opened up down here on the plains in the coming weeks, and then hopefully sharing some thoughts on new spots in the mountains this summer as well. But for our final post at this point for this series, I thought we should finish up our tour of new local spots on the Front Range with something a little different in Fort Collins.

Fort Collins has been a beer Mecca since New Belgium opened its doors in the 80s.  And with Odell and Fort Collins Brewing soon to follow, it became a major beer destination.  In the last few years, Fort Fun has seen the addition of FunkWerks, Pateros Creek, Equinox, and in their early days, Crooked Stave.  All of these offer great beer diversity to an already happening town.  This is the pattern we’re seeing in a lot of places in Colorado (Loveland is another great example).

In addition to all the wonderful micro-breweries, Fort Collins has some great beer bars where you can drink selections from a variety of local breweries, and beer from across the nation. These are especially nice when you want to try several beers from different breweries side-by-side, or get a hold of a brew that you haven’t been able to find in the store.

So you can see where we’re going with this … Black Bottle offers an incredible combination of both approaches to serving beer.  They have a great selection of beers they make in-house, along with beer from several other breweries.  In a spacious tap room with tasty food to accompany both bottles and draughts, this is a beer lovers’ paradise. But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself:

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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

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

Big Choice, Yes Indeed

Big Choice Taps and Menu

Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield definitely exemplifies the growing craft beer scene. After a summer away, we’ve been playing catch-up to visit all the new breweries that recently opened in Colorado.  And we’re not there yet; we look forward to the spots we still need to visit. None-the-less, two very clear themes have emerged in our recent explorations:

1) The need for a local brewery in neighborhoods of a large metropolis, and down the street in small towns, remains a driving factor and business model.  This is wonderful news.  Until every town and lots of neighborhoods have breweries, it’s quite possible that the Colorado beer scene can, and will, continue to grow. Sounds good to me . . . we’ll continue to have lots of choices about breweries to visit throughout the state. Continue reading

Neighborhood Breweries: Loveland Aleworks and Berthoud’s City Star

Someone recently asked me why I spend so much time writing about the craft beer scene, particularly focused on a brewery’s ability to build community. A recent article in Rocky Mountain Brewing News titled, “The Intersection of Craft Brews and Society,” outlines the many ways that breweries give back to their local community. In addition to breweries offering a wonderful gathering place for locals, they also donate significant time and money to environmental and humanitarian causes, contribute to the local economy, support artists and musicians, and inspire customers to do all of the same.

So my answer to that person?  How could I not write about an industry that exemplifies corporate social responsibility and makes such a strong, local impact, particularly in Colorado? We drive around the state with breweries as our destination, because we enjoy good beer, and it’s also exciting to see each brewery’s approach to their interaction with community and to the craft of brewing beer. We write about all these adventures to encourage craft beer enthusiasts to responsibly support breweries all over Colorado.  City Star Brewing in Berthoud and Loveland Aleworks are two more must-visit spots. Continue reading