Black Shirt Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Black Shirt Brewing Company is located in the River North (RiNo) district in Denver, near the intersection of Walnut and Downing. Just north of the brewery, maybe a couple hundred yards away, is a stop for RTD’s A-Line Light Rail line. Many travelers either heading out to DIA or coming from DIA to Denver, stop at Black Shirt Brewing to try a fresh Colorado craft beer. Due to their unique location, Black Shirt has loyal fans all over the country that enjoy stopping in when they visit Colorado. Black Shirt is one of the must-try breweries in the Denver area whether you live nearby or you’re planning to visit from another state.

History:
Black Shirt Brewing Company’s story began in 2011 when brothers Branden and Chad Miller along with Chad’s wife, Carissa, decided it was finally time to realize their dream of owning a brewery. The siblings had the idea to make this happen as far back as 1999, but like they say, “good things take time”. With help from Carissa’s brother, Aaron Holstad, they worked long hours to transition the old brick building into a functioning brewery. The building is thought to be from the 1920s and there are varying stories as to its exact history. From a furniture store in the 50s to a disco in the 60s-70s, to a brothel sometime along the way (not confirmed), the building had a lot of history.

The owners worked hard to begin the next chapter for the building as it transitioned to a brewery. For nearly two years (one year, 9 months) Branden, Chad and Aaron worked to renovate what they could as they were paying for improvements as they went. Due to the fact they had a small budget, every single piece of the brewery was touched by one of the three. There are some really cool touches to the construction that have unique stories. For instance, the barn wood was brought in from Branden and Chad’s hometown.

Black Shirt Brewing Owners Branden and Chad Miller are Colorado natives, having grown up in the Southern Colorado town of Westcliffe, CO. They will proudly tell you that they are in fact, 5th generation Coloradans. The brothers gravitated towards skateboards and the music of Johnny Cash, while preferring their clothes to be black. It wasn’t what all of the popular kids did, it was what Branden and Chad did. When they decided to open the brewery, Branden and Chad thought it was important to stay true to their style and design things to fit what they liked. When you walk in Black Shirt Brewing, you quickly notice pictures of Johnny Cash and many references to music on the walls. You will hear music playing and it might just be coming from the back patio.

The Beer:
One of the questions we like to ask at Colorado Craft Brews is what makes a brewery unique from the others. For Black Shirt this is an easy question to answer. Black Shirt specializes in Red Ales, a style of beer that is an uncommon focus among most breweries. Sure, most breweries brew a Red IPA from time to time, or a Red Ale for a seasonal, but very few focus on primarily brewing Red Ales. When we asked Branden Miller why he chose to brew Red Ales, he quickly told the story of his dad and the fact he believes it’s best to one thing and do it better than everyone else.

Branden and Chad decided to pursue brewing Red Ales for a number of reasons. Colorado is a Spanish adjective that means “red”. Early Spanish explorers named Colorado for the red that could be found around the state. A great example of this is the area in Southern Colorado where Branden and Chad grew up. This area is known for being the home of the Sangro de Christo Mountains. Sangre de Christo means “the blood of Christ” in reference to the red hues of the mountain range. Branden thought Red Ales were being done well but there was definitely room for improvement. Ultimately, it seemed fitting that in a state known for its red soil and red rock formations, he could brew Red Ales and brew them better than anyone else.

We sampled a number of Black Shirt’s beers and were impressed by the variety and quality of the samples. While difficult to pick a favorite, we thoroughly enjoyed the Frontmaniac IPA. Hop lovers will enjoy this big, bold IPA with a smooth finish. The Baritone Black IPA stood out for the earthy, piney notes – definitely a beer we will be trying again. The Colorado Red Ale (Black Shirt’s flagship beer) has floral and citrusy notes that make it a favorite for American IPA drinkers. If you prefer lighter, less hoppy beers, the Semitone Saison, Common Red Kolsch are great options. One thing we noted in trying some of the higher ABV (alcohol by volume) beers was that they were not overpowering, each was smooth and balanced. Often times, higher ABV beers can be either too hoppy or too malty. Overall, we enjoyed the tastings and would recommend Black Shirt’s beer to anyone from craft beer fanatics to those that are looking to try craft beer for the first time.

Beer List:

  • Born to Hula (Nitro) – Sour Ale: 6.5% abv – Sour Ale conditioned atop Pineapple and Coconut, dry-hopped w/ Citra
  • Common Red – Kolsch: 5.5% abv – Crisp, clean, and crushable
  • Semitone – Saison: 5.4% abv – Petit Saison brewed with sweet orange peel
  • Stringender Saison – Saison: 7.5% abv – An amplified, resonant and expressive Saison
  • Timekeeper Rye Pale Ale – American Pale Ale: 6% – A precise, balanced and crisp Rye Pale Ale
  • Colorado Red Ale – Amber Ale: 7.3% abv – The flagship beer, a floral citrusy Red IPA
  • Frontmaniac IPA – IPA: 7% abv – Hopped to a rate of over 5 lbs per barrel of Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops
  • Blood Orange – Double IPA: 8% abv – Double IPA conditioned atop fresh blood oranges and double dry-hopped w/ Mosaic and Amarillo hops
  • Ocean of Noise – Gose: 5.4% abv – Gose brewed w/ Yuzu, Lemongrass, Hawaiian Red Gold Sea Salt, dry-hopped w/ Equinox and Hallertau Blanc
  • Fourtrack Porter – Porter: 6.3% abv – American Porter w/ notes of milk chocolate, caramel and toffee
  • Baritone – Black IPA: 7.5%: Dark and brooding Black IPA inspired by the original man in black Johnny Cash. Warrior, Chinook and Simcoe hops
  • Black Beacon Storm Nitro – Imperial Stout: 8.5% abv – Imperial Rye Stout aged in a variety of bourbon barrels.
  • Frontman IPA – IPA: 7.3% – A mic’d up, hoppy and loud IPA brewed w/ Chinook, Simcoe and Mosaic Hops.

Black Shirt Brewing distributes their beer in many liquor stores around the metro Denver area. You can also find Black Shirt in a handful of mountain towns including, Buena Vista, Gunnison, Salida and Crested Butte. If you want to find a location near you that sells Black Shirt’s beer try their beer locator. The best way to enjoy a Black Shirt beer is to visit the taproom. If you can make it on the first Wednesday of the month, you’ll be able to try a new release beer and help raise money for local charities. $1 from each sale of the special release beer is donated to a local charity. If you are not able to make it on the first Wednesday, you can still try the new release beer for the entire month, until the next special release (and your purchase still helps raise money for charity).

Events:
We mentioned that you may hear music coming from the beer garden at Black Shirt. They have a stage in the back that is a hot spot for artists in the local music scene. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Black Shirt hosts live bands on the stage and welcomes fans to enjoy music with a fresh craft beer.Be sure to check the schedule as there are many events going on throughout the spring and summer.

We would like to thank Branden Miller for taking time to chat about Colorado craft beer. It was apparent in our discussion how passionate Branden is about brewing high quality beer. We encourage anyone reading this to make a trip to Black Shirt Brewing to enjoy a delicious beer, you won’t be disappointed. If you would like to learn more about how they got their start, you can see Black Shirt in a craft beer documentary called Crafting a Nation.

Black Shirt Brewing Company
3719 Walnut St.
Dener, CO 80205
(303) 993-2799

2017 Colorado Beer Festivals

Colorado is full of great breweries and of course, great beer. Along with the great beer comes many fun beer festivals around the state. Our list includes some of our favorite festivals and is not meant to be a master list with every beer festival in Colorado. The 2017 Colorado Beer Festival list will continue to grow throughout the year and you can find the updated list here.

2017 Colorado Beer Festivals

Boulder Craft Beer Fest – Boulder, CO: The 4th Annual Boulder Craft Beer Festival brings together the best craft breweries from Boulder County and beyond for a tasting festival, offering attendees samples of Boulder’s best beer. The festival includes live music and food for purchase. This is a ticketed event for those 21 years of age and older. August 19, 2017

Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival – Breckenridge, CO:  The Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival is one of the coolest events of the spring in the Colorado Rockies!  Featuring brews, views and free live music, the Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival is an event you don’t want to miss. April 8, 2017

Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival – Breckenridge, CO: The Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival is one of the coolest events of the Summer in the Colorado Rockies!  Featuring brews, views and free live music, the Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival is an event you don’t want to miss. July 8, 2017

BrüFrouFEST – Denver, CO: BrüFrouFEST 2017 will not only be the largest craft brewer + chef pairing event in the country, but also the finest. As always, the main attraction will be the finest Colorado craft beer + culinary pairing menu featuring 120 local brewers & chefs collaborating on 80+ unique pairings. July 16, 2017

Bruises & Brews Festival – Glendale, CO: Join thousands of rugby fans and beer aficionados at Glendale’s Bruises & Brews Beerfest Saturday August 26, 2017 from 12-4 p.m. at Infinity Park in Glendale. 20 breweries will showcase their top brews, along with a few distilleries and a couple terrific hard ciders. Beer and rugby… they are better together! For the complete Bruises & Brews Beerfest experience, fans also gain admittance to the 2017 RugbyTown Sevens tournament.

Burning Can notjusta BeerFest – Lyons, CO: Music. Food. 50+ Breweries. Rocky Mountain revelry. Our cans only beer fest set in our home town that kicked off the can beer apocalypse – Lyons, CO. All proceeds benefit ‘Can’d Aid’ the non-profit side of Oskar Blues Brewery, and is a public charity dedicated to giving back and doin’ good. June 3, 2017

Collaboration FestivalDenver, CO: Collaboration Fest returns for a 4th year! Don’t miss out on America’s most creative beer festival featuring 100+ beer projects with over 150 participating breweries. Come for the beers, stay for the conversation! Every beer tapped at Collaboration Fest has a unique story as two or more breweries come together to brew something special. The result? Some of the most exciting, delicious beer tappings you’ll find anywhere. March 25, 2017

Colorado Craft Beer Week – Colorado Craft Beer Week 2017 will host hundreds of brewery supported events throughout the state from educational panels at neighborhood breweries to the fourth annual Collaboration Fest at the National Western Stock Show Complex. March 18-25, 2017

Colorado Brewers’ Festival – Fort Collins, CO: Beer (and Music) Fans rejoice! The award-winning* Colorado Brewers’ Festival (COBF) returns to Downtown Fort Collins on June 24th & 25th, 2017! This iconic event weekend will feature 90+ Colorado beers, 40+ Colorado breweries and an interactive Beer School with tastings and demonstrations. June 24-25, 2017

Colorado Brewers Rendezvous – Salida, CO: The Brewers Rendezvous is held in Salida every July, and features more than craft breweries from around the state. It takes place along the banks of the Arkansas River and features great food and music. July 8, 2017

Denver Brew Fest @ Mile High Station –  Denver, CO: The Brew Fest at Mile High Station will celebrate craft beverages from around Colorado and beyond and features; live local music, food, and other vendors. 100+ brews from 45+ craft breweries! There are two Denver Brew Fests, Winter & Summer. Summer Brew Fest: July 28-29, 2017

Erie Brewfest – Erie, CO: 30 Local Colorado Breweries, Regional Food Trucks, Music by local groups. This is the Erie Chamber’s 5th Annual OUTDOOR BREWFEST held in Historic Downtown Erie on Briggs Street between Wells and Moffatt. June 10, 2017

Evergreen Summerfest & Palette of Brews – Evergreen, CO: Colorado breweries serving unlimited tastes to ticket holders as part of Summerfest on July 15-16. The event takes place only five minutes off I-70 in Evergreen at the Buchanan Park Athletic Fields (at Hwy 74 & Squaw Pass Rd.). July 15-16, 2017

Feast of Saint Arnold – Colorado Springs, CO: The 5th Annual Feast of Saint Arnold. “Colorado’s Family Friendly Beer Festival ” showcasing the best of Colorado’s craft brewers, winemakers, and emerging distilleries. It is located on the historic grounds of the Chapel of our Saviour Episcopal Church in the heart of the Broadmoor Neighborhood at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain. June 10, 2017

Great American Beer Festival – Denver, CO: A Denver tradition that takes place each fall. With exhibits manned by more than 400 of the top craft brewers in the nation, attendees are able to sample more than 1,800 different brews. The festival is produced by the Brewers Association, the national trade association for all craft breweries, which is located in Boulder, Colorado. October 5-7, 2017

Haunted Brew Fest – Colorado Springs, CO: The Haunted Brew Fest team have worked tirelessly preparing for one of the most unique brew fest’s Colorado Springs has ever seen!  This Is Going To Be The Biggest Halloween Party To Date! Don’t Miss It! Check back for 2017 info

Hops + Handrails – Longmont, CO: Back for its fifth year, Hops + Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam, returns March 11th to Longmont, Colorado with the support of Winter Park Resort, Burton Boards, and the Satellite Board Shop. The hybrid winter event will feature a 60+ brewery craft beer fest alongside a 40′ high snowboard ramp & rail jam competition, world-class rock and blues lineup. March 11, 2017

JUL-IPA Festival – Boulder, CO: A CELEBRATION OF THE BEST & BADDEST IPAs! The West End Tavern and The Millennium Harvest House bring you the Third Annual JUL-IPA Festival. Bringing together brewers, beer geeks + the community. Check back for 2017 info.

Keystone Bluegrass & Beer Festival – Keystone, CO: Keystone brings the wonders of Appalachia to the Rockies. Down-home cooking, mountain music and a unique blend 30 microbreweries from Colorado and beyond showcase their unique blends of hops and barleys. Live music rocks out on 3 stages. August 5-6, 2017

Lafayette Brewfest – Lafayette, CO: Come and join us for the Lafayette’s Brew Fest featuring craft beers for sale from 25+ breweries.  Explore craft/micro beers one pour at a time! No entrance fee. Tickets sold by 4 oz pours. Visit a variety of restaurant and food booths, wine will also be sold. Only Service Dogs allowed. September 9, 2017

Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival – Manitou Springs, CO: Manitou Springs welcomes 25+ local craft breweries to Memorial Park for the ultimate beer tasting experience! Tickets get you admission unlimited tastings, a commemorative tasting glass, music, food and more. Help support the Manitou Springs Heritage Center in the preservation of Manitou Springs History. September 2017 (check back for date)

Palisade Brews & Cruise Festival – Palisade, CO: The Colorado National Bank Brews & Cruise Festival offers an opportunity to taste and chat with fellow beer lovers. We will have several acclaimed craft breweries, beer, and food pairings, live music and the finest quality of handcrafted unique products and arts and crafts. New this year is the VIP tent for 100 serious beer lovers. May 6, 2017

Parker Brewfest – Parker, CO: Many of the best, local craft brewers from Douglas and surrounding counties will showcase their products for sampling and discussions with attendees. 100% of proceeds from this event go to our Rotary Club’s support for many local projects and organizations and can be eligible for matching funds from our Rotary District 5450. August 19, 2017

Red, Whites and Brews in The Boat –  Steamboat Springs, CO – The Reds Whites & Brews In The Boat Festival (formally known as Reds Whites & Brews) is proud to announce we’re moving to Steamboat Springs this June. The Reds, Whites & Brews Festival has evolved to become a ‘don’t miss’ event of the summer!  This event will feature amazing unlimited wine & craft beer tastings, LIVE music, vendors and food all in beautiful Downtown Steamboat Springs. June 14, 2017

South Denver Beer Fest – Littleton, CO: South Denver Beer Fest features over 60 breweries both local and national. The festival takes place in beautiful Clement Park in Littleton, Colorado.  The festival is set next to a lake with Rocky Mountain views in a distance.Guests will have the opportunity to sample over 150 beers and vote for their favorites in a variety of categories. Check back for 2017 info.

Steel City Brewfest & Competition – Pueblo, CO: Join us at the beautiful Pueblo Riverwalk for the 4th Annual Steel City Brew Fest. This event is part of the 17th Annual Loaf ‘N Jug Boats, Bands and BBQ Festival, presented by Loaf ‘ N Jug, an annual event that draws over 30,000 people over a two day period. The Steel City Brew Fest will allow participants to sample beer from both Colorado and national craft breweries. This event benefits the HARP Foundation, a 501(c)(3). May 20, 2017

Taste of the West – Golden, CO: Taste of the West is the premier culinary event in Jefferson County, Colorado. The “Taste” will feature award-winning cuisine from many of Jeffco’s best restaurants and caterers. In addition to tasty food samples, the festival will feature an assortment of beer from local breweries, wine and culinary exhibitors. 2017 marks the 3rd year for our Taste of The West beer garden, which highlights the great local craft beer from Jefferson County. June 8, 2017

The All Colorado Beer Festival – Colorado Springs, CO: Lots of Great Colorado Beers. Lovers of Colorado Beer allow the All Colorado Beer Festival to distribute over $80,000 to very deserving charities during the past five years. The festival is located in Colorado Springs, CO. November 2017 (check back for info)

The Springs Beer Fest – Colorado Springs, CO: Enjoy a fun-filled day of bottomless, fresh, craft beer samplings from over 55 Notable Craft Brewers. Join 4,000 beer enthusiasts for an afternoon of live music, local vendors, and local fare from food trucks and area restaurants. August 5, 2017

Wild West Fermentation Fest – Glenwood Springs, CO: The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts & Roaring Fork Events look forward to spending the weekend with you at the 2nd Annual Wild West Fermentation Fest. Craft Breweries ♦ Cideries ♦ Distilleries ♦ Wineries ♦ Music ♦ Art ♦ Food. June 30th & July 1st, 2017

Taste of the West – June 9, 2016

Taste-of-the-West-logo-finalThursday, June 9, 2016
Jeffco Fairgrounds, 15200 W. 6th Ave. Frontage Rd, Golden, CO 80401

Taste of the West is the premier culinary event in Jefferson County, Colorado. The “Taste” will feature award-winning cuisine from many of Jeffco’s best restaurants and caterers. In addition to tasty food samples, the festival will feature an assortment of beer from local breweries, wine, spirits, culinary exhibitors and networking with over 1,200 attendees. 2016 marks the 2nd year for our Taste of The West beer garden, which highlights the great local craft beer from Jefferson County! Check out the full vendor list below:

Celebrating more than 20 years of “Great Tastes,” this is an event enjoyed by attendees of all ages. The West Chamber hosts Taste of the West each June at venues in Jefferson County. This year the event will be held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 W 6th Ave Frontage Rd, Golden, CO 80401.

Tickets are $20 each or 6 for $100. Tickets include unlimited food tasting and 5 beer, wine or spirits tastings! Join us for Taste of the West and experience the best food and drink that Jefferson County has to offer! Click Here to purchase tickets. Your ticket stub will be good for a BUY ONE – GET ONE FREE drink at World of Beer – Belmar the weekend following Taste of the West (June 9-12).

Beer-Garden-Sponsor-Banner-Web6Breweries:
AC Golden Brewing
Barrels & Bottles
Brewery Rickoli
Caution Brewing
El Rancho Brewing
Golden City Brewery
Holidaily Brewing
Ironworks Brewery
Joyride Brewing
WestFax Brewing

Restaurants, Wine & Spirits Vendors:
240 Union
Applejack Wine & Spirits
Buck’s BBQ
Chad’s Grill
Coyote Gold Natural Margarita
Enstrom Candies
Flights Wine Café
Grappa Italian Bisto
Hana Matsuri Sushi
Hurricane Grill & Wings (Littleton)
IHOP Belmar
Jose O’Shea’s
Mount Vernon Country Club
Old Chicago
Outback Steakhouse – Denver West
Pink Zebra Cupcakes
The Grove Restaurant @ Raccoon Creek
Table Mountain Inn
The Vista @ Applewood Golf Course
Village Roaster

Green Mountain Beer Company Opening in Lakewood

Green Mountain Beer Co- Coming Soon

Green Mountain Beer Company has been in the works for about five years and the owners are excited to open in Lakewood at the corner of Kipling Pkwy and Morrison Road. Their goal is to open the brewery in April or May of 2016; however, construction and building upgrades need to be completed for the brewery to open on time. The owners of Green Mountain Beer Company are asking locals for help completing the project on GoFundMe.com. Those that support the brewery can get some cool schwag, beer, and other items from the brewery.

About Green Mountain Beer Company:
Green mountain beer company combines new and innovative ingredients with classic brewing techniques to create original brews with a professional brewer’s enthusiasm for experimentation! We’ll be pouring quality beer, and offering friendly, knowledgeable service and a spacious patio, in a comfortable neighborhood with a family-friendly vibe.  Count on Colorado’s best food trucks and great BBQ all the time.  Our beer will be an eclectic mix of sessionable staples, classic styles from across the pond, and seasonal treats.

Note from the owners about their GoFundMe campaign:
After almost five years of diligent planning, our dream of being able to share our love and enthusiasm in crafting quality German and Belgian-style beer is finally coming to fruition. We have recently signed a lease in the quaint community of Green Mountain in Lakewood, CO. This ideal setting is right on a bike path and nestled among several beautiful golf courses. In addition, we are a mere five miles away from the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater. Our building plans are currently in the works and we are continuing to perfect our beer recipes at an off site pilot brewery. Our goal is to open in April or May 2016.

This is where you come in!

The cost needed to finalize our building plans have exceeded what we have been able to secure thus far. To create an efficient, vibrant brewery with a comfortable tap room worthy of the most discerning clientele we expect to serve, we need your help!  We invite you to come aboard on this exciting new venture.

Your financial support will help us create an extraordinary tasting environment that will provide our Green Mountain community and surrounding beer lovers with an outdoor patio, allowing guests to take in the splendor of the beautiful surrounding foothills and will help us fund a larger walk-in cooler to allow us to produce and store more beer on site.

Every dollar donated helps us reach our goal to provide you our high quality, specialty beer. Become part of something special by donating today. We anticipate becoming a welcome addition to this beautiful community and need your help to get us to the final stages.

Since we will be forever grateful for whatever amount you can afford, every contribution of $15 or more will include a free beer, your name posted as a funder and a huge thank you!! If you have any questions or would like to make your donation a gift to someone else, please send us a message and we will make sure that happens!!

We invite you to be part of the exciting future of Green Mountain: outrageously great beer served in an warm, friendly neighborhood tap room!

Joyride Brewing Company – Edgewater, CO

Joyride Brewing logoJoyride Brewing Company is located in Edgewater, CO across the street from Sloan’s Lake, a popular Denver park for walking, biking and even boating. Due to their location, Joyride has become a hot spot for visitors of the lake. If you’ve never heard of Edgewater, it’s because the city is less than one square mile in size. The area has a unique history that Joyride embraced in many aspects of their operation. From the logo, to the names of the beer, there are some really cool facts about the area that have been integrated into the brewery and taproom.

History of the Brewery:
Joyride Brewing Company opened for business on July 16, 2014 to great fanfare. There was a great deal of excitement for the opening because the building had been vacant for a couple of years, and Joyride would become the first brewery in Edgewater. The first day was crazy as group after group kept coming and the staff realized they were not quite ready for the amount of people that showed up. Thanks to great support, and the amount of people that visited the brewery early on, Joyride streamlined their processes and can now handle large crowds.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dave Bergen, Brewmaster and Owner of Joyride Brewing. Dave went to college for management of business computers, but it wasn’t something he was really excited about. He ended up going into sales, but felt like he wanted to do something different. Dave bought his dad a Mr. Beer homebrew kit, but his dad wasn’t really into it. He got the kit back from his dad and started getting really excited about brewing, and the science behind it. He then got a second Mr. Beer kit and started brewing more and more. In late 2008, Dave reached the point that Mr. Beer was too limiting, and he got into all-grain brewing so he could try new things, and of course, brew better beer. Eventually he joined a homebrew club, Foam on the Range, and began gaining notoriety for brewing good beer.

After a few years of learning, and gaining experience brewing quality beer, Dave and two friends, Grant Babb and Brent Smith, decided they wanted to partner up and open a brewery. The trio decided to treat their goal like being in a band, and they dedicated regular time to brewing, much like a band having regular practices. After about three years they started writing a business plan, looking for investors, and searching for properties for the brewery. They found the location in Edgewater after walking about fifty buildings. They signed a long-term lease on an abandoned pawn shop that had been vacant for about two years. The building Joyride Brewing occupies had been various businesses, including a pawn shop, a record store, and Edgewater’s first grocery store and meat market. The building was built in 1910 and operated as Knoll’s Meat Market.

Sloan’s Lake also has an interesting history. Thomas Sloan, a cattle rancher, was digging on his land in 1861 and hit an underground aquifer, creating Sloan’s Lake (which people dubbed Sloan’s Leak when it first happen). Sloan would cut ice blocks from the lake in the winter and sell it to breweries. This fact inspired Joyride to name a beer “Ice Cutter Kolsch” in honor of the German breweries that were prevalent when Sloan was supplying them with ice blocks. Manhattan Beach opened in 1881 on the shore of Sloan’s Lake and was the first amusement park west of the Mississippi River. Roger the Elephant was the first elephant that P.T. Barnum (founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus) purchased, and he spent time at the Manhattan Beach Amusement Park at Sloan’s Lake. Roger had a woven basket on his back, and gave kids rides around the park. There was an accident and Roger was put down, then buried nearby at 20th and Depew. Joyride Brewing really embraced the great history of the area, and this why they have an elephant in their logo. Dave is very knowledgeable about the local history, and says that it’s a good reminder that life’s about the journey instead of the destination. Joyride Brewing1 (1)Another historic aspect of the Joyride story, is that their building had a mural detailing the history of Edgewater. Unfortunately, they had to tear off the mural to meet the city regulations for having windows for a minimum transparency from the outside looking in. Where the garage doors are now located, there used to be a mural detailing much of the history of Edgewater, and Sloan’s Lake. Joyride’s ownership was really bummed about taking down the mural, but they were happy to have helped bring more people to the area, which has helped many of the local businesses. I’m very impressed with the level of knowledge of local history, and the amount of history that Joyride incorporated into their operation.

The Beer:
Joyride boasts a diverse mix of beer, with options for people that like all different beer styles. They embrace having people visit that may not have a lot of experience with craft beer, and educating them on different beer styles. Dave loves the discovery aspect of craft beer, where he can try new beers. He even plans his vacations around being able to check out new breweries and brewing styles. The brewers at Joyride (Dave + three assistant brewers) brew six regular beers, but they try new styles, and are constantly looking to evolve their skills. They use a wide variety of hops in their beers, where some breweries use the same hops for many of their beers.
Joyride Brewing1 (2)Regular Beers (descriptions from the Joyride menu):

  • Ice Cutter Kolsch5.5% ABV, 25 IBUs: In the winter after Thomas Sloan flooded his farm, he would cut ice from the lake and sell it to local breweries. As most brewers in the day were of German decent, a Kolsch style beer could have been produced. Joyride’s Kolsch is a classic interpretation of the style, very smooth and drinkable like a lager with a light fruit flavor from ale fermentation. It has moderate levels of bitterness and noble hop flavor and a crisp, dry finish. Nothing pairs better with our Lakeside view than our Kolsch.
  • Bear Paw Oatmeal Milk Stout7.2% ABV, 45 IBUs: The Bear Paw is a deliciously decadent Sweet Stout that is robust and silky smooth. Seven different malts create chocolate, roast, caramel and coffee flavors, while five pounds of lactose sugar per barrel balance it out with a velvety sweetness. The flaked oats contribute to a luscious mouthfeel that will leave you wanting another glass. It may seem cute and cuddly, but at over 7%, this one’s got some claws.
  • Cougar Pale Ale5.1% ABV, 40 IBUs: Cougar Pale Ale is west coast inspired with English character. We use a method known as “hop bursting” and add all of the hops after the boil during our whirlpool. This gives the beer an extremely soft and pleasant bitterness while maximizing hop flavor and aroma. We also add Maris Otter malt as about 20% of the grist to provide a more toasty and bready malt backbone. The result is a very balanced American Pale Ale without the hops or malt being over the top. Take a Cougar home tonight!
  • Dry Hopped Antelope Amber5.3% ABV, 50 IBUs: Antelope is a bold rich and hoppy American Amber that leaps across your tongue. Antelope weaves caramel, nutty and dark fruit flavors from six premium malts with the citrus characteristics from four types of American hops to create a delicious Amber Ale. For this batch, we dry hopped with Amarillo hops to increase the grapefruit and floral aromas. Let this one run wild.
  • Edgewater IPA6.5% ABV, 70 IBUs: Edgewater IPA is a west coast style IPA that bursts out of the glass. We use obscene amounts of Apollo and Chinook with a touch of Amarillo hops to layer citrus, piney, resiny and floral characteristics across your palate. The hop explosion and dry finish make this extremely drinkable and enjoyable. Edgewater. This is our town. This is our IPA. Take it for a ride.
  • Joyride Double IPA9.3% ABV, 100+ IBUs:  Intended to be seasonal but the response was strong it’s now always on tap. Calling all hop heads, this beer is for you! We used three pounds of hops per barrel to give our Double IPA an aggressive and delicious hop profile. We used 4 different types of American and German malts, but the hops are definitely the star here. We did 7 different additions of Simcoe and Citra hops to layer piney, citrus, tropical fruit and melon flavors into this dangerously drinkable ale.

Seasonal/Rotating Beers:

  • Black Razz Blonde
  • Give Peach a Chance Berliner Weisse
  • Sloan’s Pale Ale
  • Emerald Irish Stout
  • Batch 69 Hoppy Wheat Ale

As described above, Joyride offers a diverse mix of beer to fit nearly any taste. I was impressed by a few of the beers, but my absolute favorite is the Antelope Amber. I’m not normally a huge fan of Ambers, but the dry hopping makes this one unique and flavorful. My next favorite is a tie between the Ice Cutter Kolsch and the Batch 69 Hoppy Wheat Ale. Both are simply easy drinking, complex, tasty beers. Joyride switches out their beer menu about once per week, so the list above may not be exactly what they will have when you stop in. They’re looking at doing limited canning through a mobile canning provider, but that has not been finalized. For now you can only get Joyride’s beer at the brewery. You can purchase a 64oz glass growler for $20, or a 64 oz stainless steel growler for $60. The cost to fill a 64oz growler is $12. You can also purchase a 32oz growler for $8.

I would like to thank Dave Bergen for sitting down and talking craft beer with me. The team at Joyride is extremely knowledgeable, and create a fun environment for beer lovers to enjoy a fresh local brew. I definitely recommend a trip to Joyride for anyone that is looking to try a new brewery. The taproom is a fun, open room that is normally full of people enjoying a beer and a conversation. Denver Westword recently awarded Joyride as the “Best New Brewery Taproom” and the “Best Brewery Taproom Ambiance”. So get some friends together and take a trip down to Joyride Brewing, you won’t be disappointed!

Joyride Brewing Company
2501 Sheridan Blvd
Edgewater, CO 80214
(720) 432-7560

Odyssey Beerwerks Brewery & Taproom – Arvada, CO

Odyssey Beerwerks logoOdyssey Beerwerks Brewery & Taproom is located in Arvada, CO near I-76 and Sheridan Blvd. Odyssey is known as a happening brewery with live music, great food trucks, and a fun atmosphere. The brewery is in close proximity to the Clear Creek Bike Trail, and has great access to a few of the major metro area highways. Whether on a bike or in a car, Odyssey is a popular place to stop in for a fresh Colorado craft beer.

History of the Brewery:
Odyssey Beerwerks opened for business on May 25, 2013. Owners, and Colorado Natives, Chris Hill and Josh Van Riper are longtime friends and homebrewing partners that had a dream of opening their own brewery someday. Chris and Josh had extensive homebrewing experience dating back to the mid-90s. Chris grew up in Fort Collins, a town widely known for it’s amazing craft beer. Josh grew up in Montrose, on the Western Slope of Colorado. The two met in Fort Collins, and developed a friendship that ultimately led to the creation of Odyssey Beerwerks. Over the years they honed their craft with help of a friend that brewed for, and helped open some of the CB & Potts locations in Colorado.

Initially, Chris and Josh wanted to open up a brewery in Fort Collins. After doing some research they decided it was best to look elsewhere – due to the high density of breweries in Fort Collins. Since Fort Collins was out, they began looking on the north side of the Denver metro area, and landed in a newly built industrial park on the eastern edge of Arvada. Odyssey Beerwerks is a great example of a team coming together with different skills to create an excellent product. Chris brought experience in marketing, while Josh brought engineering experience. Together the two designed, and built an impressive brewing setup at Odyssey. Josh was actually responsible for much of the wiring and setup of the controls for the fermenters. It should be noted that the wives of both owners have also played an important role in running the brewery, helping with bookkeeping and scheduling.

IMG_0545(1)About the Brewery:
While many new breweries simply open up with the intent of selling beer inside their facility, some like Odyssey open with bigger plans in mind. When Chris and Josh opened Odyssey Beerwerks, their business plan included distributing their beer to local liquor stores and taprooms. Odyssey’s brewery includes a canning line, a 15 barrel brewhouse, four 15-barrel fermenters, and two 30-barrel fermenters. The brewery has the capacity to have 120 barrels fermenting at one time. Josh has done a great deal of testing and tweaking the brewing equipment in order to maximize production, and ultimately distribution of Odyssey Beerwerks’ beer.

Beer List: Odyssey has a beer locator that can be viewed here. I’ve seen Odyssey’s beer in many local liquor stores around the Denver area, so it should not be difficult to find their beer somewhere close to home. While they will try many different styles of beer, Odyssey tends to stick mostly with ales. They do some season lagers – it just depends on the time of year for exactly which options will be available. You will always find a diverse menu at Odyssey, thanks to Josh Van Riper’s experience traveling, and learning about different beer styles along the way.

  • Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter: ABV 5.4%, IBUs 36 –  Dark, silky maltiness will slide down the throat but not before the nose and tongue have picked up the smooth and smoky flavor of Mexican vanilla beans lurking within.  It’s an easy drinker and hard to put down.
  • Heliocentric Hefeweizen: ABV 5.5%, IBUs 12 – Very good, light, crisp, banana hints from the Belgian yeast strain. This was one of my two favorite beers at Odyssey.
  • Ghost Drifter Pale Ale: ABV 5.8%, IBUs 36 – Smooth flavor, hop forward, northwestern hops.This is a classic American Pale Ale, and was my favorite beer at Odyssey!
  • Clan Warrior Scotch Ale: ABV 8.7%, IBUs 29 –  A rich and sweet, and malty ale that showcases a blend of specialty malts. There is also a nice smokiness to this awesome scotch ale.
  • Eye of Ra Belgian Strong Ale: ABV 8.9%, IBUs 39 – Malty, yet not strong tasting for a higher alcohol volume beer, very smooth. Has a deep, crisp, and seductive fruit and spice notes. The Eye of Ra is worthy of devotion.
  • Seasonals: Rum Barrel Aged Olde Ale, *Hop Shot IPA, Lazy Gopher Dry Stout, Dubbel Down Abbey Ale,, Belgian Black Ale (always have stout and IPA), Seething Stout, Palm Tree Caribbean Pilsner Lager (hop note with peppery note).

Odyssey just came out with 12-pack mix packs, which you can purchased at the brewery, or in select stores. If you would prefer to purchase a growler, you can pick up a 64oz glass growler for $7. The core beers are $14 to fill, seasonals are more expensive depending on the style of beer. For the outdoorsy types, you can purchase 64 oz Hydro Flask Growlers, which will keep beer cold for 24 hours!

I had a good time discussing Colorado craft beer with Chris Hill at Odyssey Beerwerks. I would recommend a trip to the brewery for anyone that enjoys a fresh, locally brewed beer. You will find a wide variety of beer styles so everyone in a group should be able to find one that fits their taste. Bring a bike and check out the Clear Creek Bike trail, or simply stop in and hang out on the patio, you’ll enjoy visiting Odyssey Beerwerks!

Odyssey Beerwerks Brewery & Taproom
5535 W 56th Ave, Suite 107
Arvada, CO 80002
(303) 421-0772

The Post Brewing Company Taproom Grand Opening: March 19th

The Post Brewing Company Logo1On Thursday, March 19, The Post Brewing Company is throwing a party for the official grand opening of its Taproom in Lafayette, CO. Brewmaster Bryan Selders will serve up fresh cask beer from The Post’s spankin’ new beer engine, and all guests will get their FIRST BEER FREE as well as FREE HOUSE BITES. Doors open at 5pm and Grant Farm Acoustic Trio featuring Tyler Grant, Jordan Ramsey, and Meathook will perform from 5 – 8pm.

The Taproom will be a welcoming place for guests age 21+ to go to relax and enjoy fresh brewed beer, great music, and snacks. It will feature 12 lines of Post beer, including fan fav and GABF silver medal winner Howdy Pilsner. The special release, Taproom-exclusive cask beers will be tapped every Thursday, known as “Firkin Friday on a Thursday.” Casks will be prepared with beers already fermenting in The Post’s brewery and will almost always be ales rather than lagers. First up is Meathooks Dark Mild Ale specially dry-hopped with Azacca. Guests will also enjoy Fun & Games and can pair their brews with some delicious bites from GoodBird Kitchen which will include:

Chicken Poutine – house fries, brown gravy, cheese curd – $6
Pig in a Pretzel – house mustard sauce – $5
Howdy Beer Cheese – spent grain flatbread, carrots, celery – $7
Wood Oven Potato Skins – bacon, cheddar, poblano, chives – $7

The Taproom will be open at 5pm Monday – Thursday and at 3pm Friday – Sunday.

About Cask Beer:  Cask beer is the traditional method of beer dispense originating in the UK. Often called real ale, cask beer is unfiltered beer which is naturally carbonated and conditioned in it’s final dispense vessel, the cask. This is accomplished by adding a small amount of sugar to the beer in the cask. The yeast in the beer converts the sugar into carbon dioxide and since the cask is sealed, the pressure build up causes the CO2 to go into solution thus carbonating the beer. The carbonation level is low compared to more mainstream draft beer leading to a softer mouthfeel. The Post’s cask beer is served cool, not cold and not warm, at 52°F. This allows full enjoyment of all of the beer’s flavor and aroma.

About Beer Engines:  A beer engine is the proper way to dispense cask beer. It basically pumps beer from the cask into the glass. As the beer is pumped into the glass, it’s forced through a cap with tiny holes called a sparkler. This expresses the CO2 creating a thick durable head of foam which is important to deliver full aroma from the beer and it makes the beer look beautiful. Nitro beer was invented to mimic this desirable  aspect of properly served cask beer.

About The Post Brewing Company:  A Big Red F Restaurant Group restaurant, The Post Brewing Company & GoodBird Kitchen brings family style dining and sessionable brews to Lafayette, Colorado and beyond. The Post brews beers that are gosh darn delicious. Bryan Selders, Brewmaster, designs each beer to pair perfectly with the food of GoodBird Kitchen. Chef Brett Smith serves comfort food cooked with the love of your grandma and the skill of passionately trained chefs that is meant to be shared like a family supper.

Barrels & Bottles Brewery – Golden, CO

Barrels & Bottles is a unique craft brewery located just south of the Coors facility in downtown Golden, CO (literally across the street). While most of the country knows about Golden because Coors is located there, the small city with a population under 20,000 has become a hot spot for craft beer enthusiasts. Golden is a short 15-20 minute drive to Downtown Denver, but it has the feel of a small Colorado mountain town. Barrels & Bottles is one of a handful of craft breweries in Golden, and they bring a unique flavor to the local craft beer scene.

Barrels & Bottles Golden, CO

History of Barrels & Bottles
Zach and Abby George opened Barrels & Bottles in September, 2013. The idea to open a brewery came when the couple backpacked through Europe and fell in love with the beer and food. Zach was in the Marines, while Abby worked for the government. They thought it would be fun to work for themselves, and originally the couple planned to look into a 5-year plan on starting a brewery.

The original 5-year plan changed and Zach and Abby decided they wanted to open a bottle shop. The intent was to supply a wide selection of bottled craft beer that could be purchased and consumed on site. Due to some of the state laws, they could not do that. With the laws in place that would prevent the bottle shop from being a viable option, Zach and Abby’s 5-year brewery plan became their immediate plan.

They wanted to find a niche that made them unique to the beer scene. The motto at Barrels & Bottles is “why not” when thinking of ideas to make them different than some of the other breweries. One idea was to allow people to bring food in, or buy food from their own kitchen. This approach led to families bringing dinner so they can enjoy a family dinner while having a fresh local beer. They also include a selection of wine, and a really unique feature – wine slushies. I didn’t try a wine slushy, but I have heard great things from friends that have enjoyed a wine slushy at Barrels & Bottles. The selection of wine is pretty impressive for anyone that prefers wine over beer. While I didn’t try any wine, I did try a roast beef sandwich from the kitchen, and it was the perfect compliment to the beer samples.

Due to the open nature of their taproom, many people can come and have good time, even if they don’t like beer. They can enjoy wine, or there are many options for non-alcoholic drinks. The tables are European style where it encourages visitors to interact and have discussions, rather than sit by themselves. Guests range from ages 21-60s, and sometimes even 70s. Weekends can get pretty full with groups on bikes, so don’t be surprised to see a full house. There is some good news – as of last week, Barrels & Bottles is now open 7 days a week.

Barrels & Bottles Taproom - Golden, CO

Head Brewer Kim Collins
Having a woman as Head Brewer is another aspect of Barrels & Bottles that makes them unique to the Colorado craft beer scene. Kim Collins is the head brewer, and a very talented one at that. Kim enjoys brewing many different styles of beer, and is always looking to try something new. She relocated to Colorado from Indiana for the opportunity to be in the beer industry. Tommyknocker Brewery took her in as an apprentice, and eventually Kim was brought on full-time. After that she worked for Boulder Beer full-time for about 5 months, but it was a long commute. Next Kim got an opportunity to join Epic Brewing, where she brewed for about 8 months. Zach & Abby George attend Epic’s soft opening, where they met Kim. The trio formed a friendship, and Kim began helping Zach & Abby when they needed help with their beer. Kim loved the people, and the opportunity to brew at Epic, but she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work full-time with Barrels & Bottles. It was a difficult decision to leave Epic, but Barrels & Bottles offered the opportunity to be a head brewer, and work close to home. Below is a picture of Kim holding a growler.

Kim Collins, Headbrewer, Barrels & Bottles

The Beer
Barrels & Bottles, and Head Brewer Kim Collins embrace creativity and the idea of pushing the boundaries of traditional beer styles. While they enjoy trying new beers, they also have seasonal beers that are popular that time of year. The taps are set so the styles are balanced to fit beer drinkers that enjoy different types of beer. A cool thing about Barrels & Bottles is they include guest taps. If Barrels & Bottles doesn’t have their own IPA or Pale Ale on tap, they will normally have an IPA or Pale Ale from another local brewery available. They rotate through their taps frequently so that each visit you’ll have different options to try something new. Barrels & Bottles normally has 6-8 taps of their own beer and 10-12 guest taps. If you would like to purchase their beer, you can do so with a 32 or 64 ounce growler. The only way to enjoy Barrels & Bottles beer is to visit the taproom – they don’t sell their beer anywhere else. Below are the beers that were available for my visit. Keep in mind this list will change often.

  • Sinful Coffee Stout: Malty, balanced hoppy flavor, hints dried fruit. Made with coffee from local coffee roaster, Pangea Roasters.
  • Sure Thing IPA:  Citrusy taste with hint of grapefruit. I was not able to try the IPA, but it is a favorite of the Barrels & Bottles visitors.
  • Big Lebeerskie: Rich, Chocolaty with creaminess from milk sugar.
  • Pixie’s Stout: Named after the family dog. Full body aged with oak chips for two months. Has a subtle oakey flavor, but is lighter than most aged beers.
  • Billy Branch Brown Ale: Brown Ale with a Cider Blend. It has the taste of a cider with some maltyness from a brown ale.
  • Tequila Serendip Saisan: This one is really unique, as Kim used a tequila barrel. The beer has the taste of a margarita. The original beer went from a 6% to an 8% saison after barrel aging.

I had a great time visiting with Zach, Abby and Kim. Barrels & Bottles Brewery is a fun place to visit, and offers a unique experience to anyone that enjoys local craft beer, wine, or simply having a conversation in a laid-back atmosphere. I was really impressed with the level of creativity of the beer, and the open nature of the taproom. Barrels & Bottles offers an opportunity to bring together a diverse group because they have so many options for beverages, as well as a full kitchen for the lunch or dinner crowd. If you have not been to Barrels & Bottles, I would highly recommend making your first trip soon.

Barrels & Bottles Brewery
600 12th St #160
Golden, CO 80401
(720) 328-3643

Local Beer Info

Local Beer InfoHere are resources to help you find out more about Colorado craft beer. We support local breweries, and hope the information below will help you find the local beer information your looking for.

American Homebrewers Association – Over 1.2 million people brew their own beer at home in the United States. The American Homebrewers Association® (AHA) is a not-for-profit organization based in Boulder, Colo., dedicated to promoting the community of homebrewers and empowering homebrewers to make the best beer in the world. Since 1978, the AHA has worked to educate people worldwide about the coolest hobby there is—homebrewing.

Beer Drinkers Guide to Colorado – The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado is passionate about producing engaging, informative, and entertaining stories, creating vivid and memorable imagery, and finding, discussing, filming and promoting the great beers, breweries, and travel destinations of Colorado.

Brewers Association – To promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers.

Colorado Brewers Guild – The Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG) was founded in 1995 by Colorado craft brewers in an effort to promote the quality and diversity of the growing Colorado craft brewing industry. The CBG provides valuable information to the beer-drinking public and the media while also serving to protect the industry and promote positive legislation for Colorado craft brewers.

Colorado Canned Beer Database (CraftCans.com): A very cool searchable database of Colorado Breweries that use craft cans. Users have the ability to search by brewery, beer type, or name of beer.

Denver Westword Beer Man – An outstanding beer blog written by Jonathon Shikes, Managing Editor of Westword. Find out about the latest brewery openings, events, etc.

Fermentedly Challenged – An outstanding beer blog written by Dave Butler. Fermentedly Challenged is all about expanding your tastes in craft beer by providing reviews of hundreds of craft beers, tips on homebrewing beer and reporting the beer news around Northern Colorado. This site is intended for audiences of legal drinking age (21+ in the USA).

First Drafts Blog (Denver Post) – In Colorado, our pint glasses overflow with excellent beer. New breweries, new batches, festivals every other week. How lucky are we? First Drafts is The Denver Post’s beer blog aimed at helping you keep tabs on the state’s ever-expanding craft beer culture. We offer a mash of news, event coverage, homegrown stories, tasting notes and tips to help you imbibe.

Colorado Brewery For Sale – Foothills West of Denver

Interested in buying a Colorado Brewery-Restaurant? There is an opportunity in the foothills about 30 minutes from Denver! Colorado Craft Brews was contacted by the party involved in selling the business, and possibly the property. Here are more details:

1189_mountain_brewpub_02_400-250

Brewery-restaurant in highly desirable foothills mountain community. The facility was planned and constructed for the brewery and restaurant. Established clientele and stable income stream with many opportunities to grow the business. This is a rare opportunity to step into an established and desirable business. Brewery is acclaimed for its variety of beer offerings and the restaurant for its tasty food prepared on-site in the custom built smokehouse. There is a wide variety of indoor and outdoor dining, bar and entertainment spaces within the facility and on the expansive deck overlooking the surrounding mountain terrain. Craft beer is brewed on-site and is not yet but could be distributed throughout the metro area.  Facility is available for purchase as well.

Asking Price:     $350,000
Annual Sales:     $1,000,000
Cash Flow:         $93,000
Inventory:           $30,000*
FF&E:                  $200,000*
Real Estate:        Lease $6,000/mo. NNN
Employees:        2 FT Owners, 2FT/18PT
Location:            Denver-Boulder Foothills

For more information, Contact: Henry Tiberi 303.271.1010 or Click Here