7th Annual JUL-IPA Festival: July 11, 2015

Celebrating the BEST and BADDEST IPAs out there

West End Tavern LogoOn Saturday, July 11, The West End Tavern and The Farm present the seventh annual JUL-IPA Festival, a celebration of the BEST and BADDEST IPAs out there. Brewers, beer geeks, and the Boulder community will join forces for this epic event of awesome ice-cold beer from 30+ breweries, delicious bites from The West End Tavern, live music by The Goonies and Sixty Minute Man, carnival games, and summer fun in the sun. All proceeds will benefit Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence.

“We’re really excited about this year’s Jul-IPA Festival!” Says Sharon Read, Bar Manager at The West End Tavern. “It’s awesome to have the opportunity to host an event with the craft beer community while raising money for Safehouse Progressive for Nonviolence. Some of the best breweries in the country are contributing to the cause and we are stoked to taste all the delicious IPAs they will be pouring.”

Breweries slated to pour pints at this year’s fest include Avery Brewing Co., Boulevard Brewing Co., Bristol Brewing Co., BRU Handbuilt Ales, Crazy Mountain Brewing, Crystal Springs Brewing Co., Denver Beer Co., Elevation Beer Co., Epic Brewing Co., Fate Brewing Co., Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Left Hand Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing Co., Odd 13 Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewery, Pikes Peak Brewing, River North Brewery, Sanitas Brewing Co., Ska Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co., Telluride Brewing Co., The Post Brewing Co., Upslope Brewing Co., and Wild Woods Brewery

Now in its seventh year (and its third year at the Millennium Harvest House), JUL-IPA takes place at the outdoor pavilion of the Millennium Harvest House Hotel in Boulder. Lots of shade from oak trees and the cool, calm Boulder Creek make it an ideal location for outdoor IPA drinking. The West End Tavern will be serving up it’s world-famous, rib-sticking BBQ Pulled Pork, Bacon Baked Beans, and Mac ‘n’ Cheese. The festivities kick-off at 12 noon and last until 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and $10 for designated drivers (non-drinking).

To purchase tickets, and for more information, please visit: www.thewestendtavern.com/beer-and-bourbon/jul-ipa/

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

38 State Brewing Company – Littleton, CO

38 State Brewing Company is our first featured brewery in Littleton, CO, and they’re also the first brewery/taproom located in Littleton. The name 38 State Brewing is in honor of Colorado becoming the 38th state to join the union in 1876. I had the opportunity to get some background information on 38 State Brewing from Brett Blazek, VP of Marketing, and one of the 4 part owners of the brewery. 38 State Brewing Logo

38 State Brewing started much like everyone else (homebrewers), and decided to take their passion for brewing to the next level after friends and family gave them ample amounts of positive feedback about their product. Initially they began brewing as a hobby, never thinking it would escalate to anything more than that, but friends can be quite persuasive, so they decided to take 38 State to the next level and open their very own brewery.

38 State Brewing is currently located at 8071A S. Broadway in Littleton, which makes them the very first brewery/taproom in the city. 38 State is strictly a brewery, so they don’t have the capability of preparing any food on site (like the Old Mill Brewery/Restaurant – also in Littleton). The team at 38 State is quite excited to be labeled with the distinction as Littleton’s first true brewery/taproom, and look to cater to those locals who have desperately wanted a place to call their own. The brewery and taproom is located just north of C-470 & Broadway.

The four owners of 38 State Brewing are: Mike and Kim Keating, Jason Virzi, and Brett Blazek. When you take a married couple, high school friends, and literal neighbors… and put all of that together, along with their backgrounds (Mike – Master Gardener, Kim – CFO of a payment processing company, Jason – Aviation Project Manager, and Brett – a humble school teacher), you get the heart and soul of 38 State Brewing Company! 38 State Brewing is glad they could come together and give Littleton something that it has been missing, and hope they will continue to do so for decades to come. In my visit with Brett Blazek, it was evident there is a ton of passion behind what is being done at 38 State Brewing. Great beer, good friends, and a fun place to get together is how I would describe what the owners of 38 State have created.

38 State is about as small as a nano-brewery can get. The brewery is currently running a one-barrel system made by Ruby Street Brewing (out of of Fort Collins). Head brewer, Mike Keating, along with two assistant brewers put in long hours the one-barrel system to ensure that 38 State can meet the demand of its patrons. 38 State opened to the public on May 10, 2014 and had such a positive turnout that they actually went light on a couple of their beers due to demand being so high. This was great news for the brewery, but meant that they would have to crank up the production schedule.

38 State Logo

38 State Brewing’s  logo – spray painted mural in the taproom

The team at 38 State is quite fond of their little one-barrel system as it allows them to not only produce their staple beers, but gives them the freedom to try new things, recipes, ideas, etc. knowing that if lightning doesn’t strike, they’re only out one barrel as opposed to twenty. This freedom and creative approach is what they began with back in the garage while homebrewing, and they continue to keep the same thought process day in and day out. One of the many things that 38 State is proud of is the truly “hands-on” approach to what they do. According to Brett Blazek, “Each day our grains are milled by hand, and that hands-on process doesn’t leave until that beer is poured into a guest’s glass. Milling, steeping, stirring, transferring, pouring… it’s all done (by hand) by our fantastic staff who understands what it takes to make a great pint of craft brew.” Brett Blazek 38 State Brewing

The Beer: In addition to the list below, 38 State plans to constantly introduce new styles to keep their beer selection fresh and different. Since their opening they’ve also showcased a small batch of Broadway IPA (a traditional IPA), and have two others debuting within 10 days time. As Brett Blazek puts it, “Again, we have this creativity per our one-barrel system, and we couldn’t be more excited to give the people something new time and time again.”

One thing I think is really cool about 38 State Brewing is that they’re still figuring out which beers are the most popular. Since they’ve only been open about a month, they’re taking feedback from patrons to figure out which beers should become a staple. Visitors of 38 State have the distinct opportunity to help shape future beer offerings by trying different beers, and providing feedback to the staff. It’s pretty cool that the people coming in to try a fresh craft beer, may also be the reason one of 38 State’s beers becomes a local favorite.

38 State’s current stable of beers consists of a little something for everyone. Keep in mind that with the current system, styles will be rotating frequently. The beer listed below may not be available tomorrow. The good thing is that overall, 38 State brews awesome beer, so you’ll be able to pick at least 1-2 that you’ll really enjoy when you visit.

Beer List:

  • Golden Lemon-Honey Wheat: This beer is created using fresh lemons, organic lemon juice and local Colorado honey. This American style Wheat beer has a crisp and refreshing taste that will help you get through the dog days of summer – or any time of year! Not too tart, not too sweet, we dare you to have just one! ABV 5.4%
  • ColorAmber Amber Ale: This American style Amber Ale focuses heavily on the special blend of both Munich and Biscuit malts which create a flavorful beer that is unbelievably drinkable. Add to that the pairing of Fuggle and Willemette hops, and you have an Amber Ale complete with superb taste and feel, making it a truly well-balanced session beer. ABV 4.3%
  • Great Plains Scottish Ale: This ale undergoes an extensive boil to help achieve its remarkable flavor and crisp bronze color. The high levels of fermentable sugar in conjunction with the gentle hop balance make this beer a special blend of savory malts and rich aromas that is sure to satisfy. ABV 6%
  • Two Buttes Double IPA:  A brew for serious hop heads! This robust and genuinely flavorful Double IPA is inspired by the old world style of brewing, making it a favorite amongst beer drinkers. A strong Double IPA, this beer endures a lengthy boiling process to guarantee maximum flavor from its special blend of grains. This recipe’s meticulous attention to detail of both malt and hops creates a “beast” of a beer. ABV 9.2%
  • Chocolate Stout: This is a very creative recipe inspired by both classic English and Irish stouts. We use an awesome blend of chocolate and coffee malts. This stout is lightly hopped to complement the roasted flavors unleashed during the boiling process which leads to an easy drinking beer. ABV 6.5%
  • Littleton Kolsh: This one’s brand new! We’ll have a description and ABV soon!
  • Chocolate Oatmeal Stout: Chocolaty, a little smokey from the oatmeal, and a good choice for fans of stouts.
  • Dunkelweizen: Dark in color, smooth, refreshing beer for a hot day. Well, any day really.
  • Lunch Pale Ale: A great summer Pale Ale with a subtle hoppy flavor. This is a great beer for someone that may have avoided hoppy beers in the past. Try this one out, and you will see what you’ve been missing.
  • ESB: A smooth ESB, with a subtle bitterness.
  • IPA: We didn’t try this one, but it will be back soon.

After visiting 38 State Brewing, and sitting down with part owner, Brett Blazek, I can say without a doubt that beer drinkers will enjoy visiting the first brewery and taproom in Littleton. The atmosphere is inviting and the feel of the taproom is unique. 38 State is located in an area that is predominantly automotive. There are repair shops, dealerships, and other automotive business close by. The building they’re located in is actually an old garage that has been revamped, and now has the feel of a modern cabin. There’s nice woodwork on the walls, flights are served on hand-crafted wooden serving trays, and the old garage doors open to give the taproom an outdoor feel. Of course, if you want to sit outside, there is a nice patio in the front as well. It’s fitting that 38 State opened in an old garage, as that is how the owners began brewing together years ago. I look forward to seeing the growth of 38 State Brewing, and will definitely be heading back to try more of their outstanding Colorado craft brews. Check them out at the link below.

38 State Brewing Company LLC
8071A S. Broadway
Littleton, CO 80122
760-220-8580

Ironworks Brewery & Pub – Lakewood, CO

Ironworks logo - FINALIronworks Brewery & Pub is located in Lakewood, CO on Alameda Pkwy. Ironworks sits on the eastern edge of Green Mountain, a popular area for mountain bikers and hikers, and is only a 15 minute drive from Downtown Denver. Ironworks has been brewing craft beer for nearly 25 years, or as they describe themselves, “Suppliers of great beer to all beer drinkers of Lakewood, Colorado, since 1989” (www.Ironworkspub.com).

Ironworks Brewery & Pub was opened by a working class, blue collar iron worker that loved beer, and saved enough money to open his own brewery. The atmosphere at Ironworks is a direct reflection of the original owner’s blue collar roots, and has an industrial, hard-working feel. You’ve probably seen a movie where the main character works hard with their hands all day and can’t wait for the day to end. On the way home they stop at the local pub for a fresh beer from the tap, and have a beer with all of the other hard-working folks from the neighborhood. Ironworks could be the set for this type of scene. While Ironworks has an industrial, tough as nails appearance, their beer is outstanding, and as fresh as you will find anywhere in town.

Ironworks Brewery

Owner, Mike Mader (left), Master Brewer, Mike George (right)

I was able to meet with Owner, Mike Mader, and Master Brewer, Mike George. It was great to find out the background of the name, and the history of Ironworks Brewery & Pub. Ironworks was the first craft brewery in Lakewood, CO, and went nearly 25 years as the only brewery in Lakewood (Caution Brewing opened earlier this year). Ironworks has great history, and is a staple to those living in the Green Mountain area. The brewing equipment at Ironworks is the same equipment that was originally used in 1989. While the equipment is the same, ownership has changed, and the production at Ironworks is on the rise. Mike George was proud to share that Ironworks averaged 350 barrels per year, prior to last year. In 2013, Ironworks produced 852 barrels of beer! The goal is to increase this number in 2014, while keeping the same great quality that Ironworks currently offers its loyal beer drinkers.

Mike George has been brewing at Ironworks for two years. Prior to that he was a regular patron at Ironworks. Mike decided he wanted to try his hand at brewing, and started training at Estes Park Brewery. New to brewing, Mike worked at Estes Park Brewery and at Ironworks in order to learn as much as he could, often putting in 90 hour weeks. Eventually, Mike became the Master Brewer at Ironworks. Mike has been on a mission to improve the quality of all the beer at Ironworks, while also trying out new styles along the way. In my visit with Mike, it was obvious how much he loves beer, and that he puts everything he has into brewing great beer. He’s not happy sticking with the status quot, and is constantly stepping outside the box to try something new.

A cool new addition in 2013 was a hop garden in the back of the building at Ironworks. Ironworks has been busy growing hops of different varieties that will eventually be used in some of the beer at Ironworks. If you’ve never seen hops grown, you’ll have to check out the hop garden at Ironworks. Mike’s passion for hops is not just evident in the hop garden. He’s working on a coop with 30+ breweries in the Denver area to ensure they have great hops available to them. There have been shortages of hops in the past, that have made it difficult for some smaller breweries to have the hops they need. To find out a little about Mike’s hop coop, check out this link: http://www.hop.coop/.

The Beer! Ironworks has 9 beers available at this time. They rotate seasonals in addition to their regular lineup. Ironworks has a good assortment of different styles, and there is something for nearly any taste in beer. My neighbor, a beer lover and someone that visits a different brewery each week, says his favorite beer of any brewery he’s visited is the Green Mountain Pale Ale. I agree with him, the Green Mountain Pale Ale is an outstanding beer. Below is a full list of the current beers at Ironworks Brewery & Pub:

  • Alameda Amber (5.1% ABV): Employees and patrons have been having fun with this one! The Alameda Amber is an approachable blend of nutty malt character and a touch of citrus hops. It is a good all-around ale “with training wheels”. The hops won’t knock you out; nor will the malt sweetness glue your mouth shut. You will enjoy the subtle addition of Rye and Honey Malts that round out Alameda Amber.
  • Agave Wheat (5.4% ABV): Everyone’s favorite easy going style just got a new twist! This wheat beer includes the unique nuance of pure organic Agave Nectar and a hint of lime zest. The result is a sweet yet crisp and refreshing American Wheat. The allure of the agave leaves you wanting more.
  • Golden Crisp IPA (6% ABV):
  • Raspsody Rye Pale Ale (5.1% ABV)
  • Green Mountain Pale Ale (5.5% ABV): For those that enjoy hops but can’t commit to the extremes of India Pale Ale, we offer Green Mountain Pale. This Pale Ale is a pleasant blend of malt and hops. Enjoy the heady, mouthwatering aroma of citrussy domestic hops without the debilitating alcohol content. At 5.5% ABV, it won’t put you under the table before you’re ready!
  • Hop Killa IPA (6.8% ABV): The “Hop Killa” defies hop shortages, bringing you the resiny citrus blast that you crave in an American IPA. This beer has a fresh, clean hop presence that will leave you wanting more.Flavor and aroma additions include Summit, Mt, Hood, Northern and Columbus hops.
  • Krausen Kolsch
  • Chocolate Milk Stout (7% ABV)
  • The Bitchen’ Belgian White (5% ABV)

Ironworks brewed 32 different styles of beer in 2013. They plan on brewing 40 styles in 2014, as they’re constantly looking to try new things. The beer at Ironworks is extremely fresh. It goes straight from the fermentation vessels to the serving vessels, then over to the tap! At this time, Ironworks does not distribute their beer outside of the pub. They do fill growlers, or any 64 oz container for $11 (IPAs are $12.50). If you want to purchase an Ironworks growler, they go for $5.

Recently a bet between Colorado and California Congressmen included an Ironworks brew. If the Denver Broncos had lost to the San Diego Chargers last week, Ironworks would have sent their Pigskin Porter to California Congressman Scott Peters. According to Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter, “In Colorado, craft beer is as important as water to economic and job growth in our communities. As a Colorado Native, I’m confident the Broncos are going to Sic ‘Em when the Pigskin crosses the goal line.” While the Broncos won, and Ironworks didn’t ship off any of their beer, it’s pretty cool that they were included in this bet. I think it speaks to the quality of the beer at Ironworks that they were included in such a high profile bet.

Activities: Ironworks has many activities throughout the week. Below is a list of the activities included at Ironworks.
– Monday: Trivia Night
– Monday, Wednesday: Free Pool
– Tuesday: Service Industry Night
– Thursday, Sunday: Karaoke
– Saturday: Live Music

I had a fun visit with Mike George and Mike Mader at Ironworks Brewery & Pub. I was able to try out some of their beer, and really enjoyed the Battlecat Black IPA, and Green Mountain Pale Ale! Ironworks is a great example of a Colorado craft brewery that brews awesome small batch beers! I highly recommend visiting Ironworks, you will not be disappointed!

Ironworks Brewery & Pub
12354 West Alameda Parkway
Lakewood, CO 80228
Phone: 303-985-5818
www.IronworksPub.com

About


Colorado Craft Brews was born after years of cultivating a love of local craft beer. Jeremy Fleming is a Colorado native, and like many locals, he had a dedicated relationship with Coors for the majority of his adult life (only after he turned 21, of course). In July of 2008, he attended the Colorado Brewers’ Rendezvous in Salida, CO for the first time. This was when he realized how many great Colorado craft beers were available. An evolving taste for craft beer led IMG_20130609_184613him to leave his longtime love (Coors Banquet Beer), to move on and see what else was out there…ultimately his love for Colorado craft beer became so great, he decided he had to spread the word to others, and Colorado Craft Brews was created in February 2013. While he still enjoys a Coors Banquet, he has developed a serious connection with IPAs.  Jeremy’s favorite Colorado craft beer is the Tommyknocker Pick Axe IPA.

Thanks for visiting! I hope www.ColoradoCraftBrews.com is a valuable resource for you. Please feel free to contact me, or to submit information for use in blog posts here.

Cheers,

Jeremy

Yak & Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub – Arvada, CO

Yak and Yeti Logo

The Yak & Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub is located in Arvada a few blocks from Olde Town. Yak & Yeti operates from within what was once a historic Victorian Mansion, and has been transformed into one of the most unique places in Colorado to enjoy a freshly brewed craft beer. On top of the fresh craft beer served up at Yak & Yeti, visitors can also enjoy Indian and Nepalese Cuisine that is among the best in the State of Colorado.

The original structure at the present day Yak & Yeti Restaurant and Brewpub was built in 1864 by a man named Eli Allen. Allen was the second postmaster in Arvada, having taken over for Benjamin Wadsworth, who was the first postmaster in Arvada (Wadsworth is also where the name for Wadsworth Blvd came from). Eli Allen lived and worked out of the home until his son moved in and added onto the original home in 1891. The story of the home is quite interesting and includes stories of being haunted. For more information on all the history of the Yak & Yeti mansion, visit the About Us page on Yak & Yeti’s website.

The story of Yak & Yeti Brewpub is much more recent than the building it is located in. Yak & Yeti celebrated its 5 year anniversary as a brewery in 2013. Prior to being Yak & Yeti, an English brewpub called the “Cheshire Cat” operated out of the building. When Yak & Yeti first took over the building, they were not a brewery and the Owner, Dol Bhattarai, nearly sold all of the brewing equipment that came with the purchase of the building. Yak & Yeti had been operating a successful restaurant in Westminster, and was simply looking for a second restaurant location. After considering the possibilities of running a brewery, Dol decided to keep the brewing equipment, and to hire a brewer. Many people wonder how an Indian restaurant got into brewing – now you know.

Adam Draeger has been the head brewer for the Yak & Yeti Brewpub since 2011.  A Wisconsin native, he did his undergraduate work in Engineering Physics.  After a decade of engineering and homebrewing, he took the plunge to change careers. adam draeger Adam studied at Siebel Institute in Chicago, IL and the Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany where he received his International Diploma from the World Brewing Academy.

When Adam took over the brewing operations, Yak & Yeti only had 3 beers on tap, and Adam made it his goal to change that. Adam is a fan of craft lager beers, but has done a great job of having a mix of different types of beers. I spent a couple hours taking the tour of the historic mansion, and getting a taste of many of the fresh beers Adam has created. It was evident in my visit with Adam that he’s a guy that loves beer, and he loves to talk about beer (he’s also very good at brewing beer). Yak & Yeti offers a well-diversified portfolio of beers on tap ranging from Belgian-style beers, German lagers, American ales, English ales and several specialty and seasonal offerings.

  • Wheat Beer Series – Brewed in the summer, a new beer is tapped weekly with fresh fruit served right in the keg.
  • Porter Series – a new beer is tapped weekly, but focuses on fruits, adjuncts and spices that compliment porters.
  • The Haunted Beer Series – Adam’s stage for debuting small experiment pilot batches that range from Russian Imperial Stouts to White IPA’s to spruce beers and many other. The series gets its name from the stories of Yak & Yeti being haunted.

Beer List: Yak & Yeti offers 6 standard beers, which are available all year. They also offer some great seasonals (including the Oktoberfest, which was awesome). Below is a list of the standard beers you will find at Yak & Yeti. To view the entire beer list, visit their Crafted Beer Page. Yak & Yeti won’t be found in liquor stores, but can be found around Denver at many taphouses that specialize in craft beer. If you want to take some fresh Yak & Yeti beer home with you, they have growlers available for any of their standard beers, and whatever seasonals they have on tap. 

  • Namaste Pilsner – 5.1% ABV. ~ 34 IBUs (available year round)
    Our Pilsner is a Northern German style hopped with German Tettnanger hops. Third Place winner at 2011 Colorado State Fair.

  • Himalayan IPA – 6.3% ABV. ~ 70 IBUs (available year round)
    Our 2010 GABF-winning India Pale Ale is dry-hopped with Columbus and Cascade hops right before being transferred into the serving vessel. This isn’t East-coast or West-coast style IPA but rather pure Rocky Mountain gold.
  • Chai Milk Stout(*has lactose) – 5.2% ABV.~30 IBUs (available year-round)
    This stout is our flavored version of the milk stout. The Chai tea spices are the Yak and Yeti’s own blend. A perfect dessert drink.

  • Jalapeño Lena – 5.1% ABV. ~ 34 IBUs (available year round)
    A light-colored but full flavored Jalapeño pepper beer. Huge fresh aroma from the pepper served right inside the keg! Some say it isn’t that hot, others can’t handle it. You decide. We also make red beers called Bloody Lena’s!
  • GF Apple Ale – 4.9% ABV. ~ 0 IBUs (available year round)
    GF stands for gluten-free as this ale is made iwht cider and sorghum. Looks like a cider, tastes likes a cider but is still technically an ale. (a hop pellet for good measure)

  • West-Coast Glutton (DIPA)- 9.5%ABV.~150 IBUs (available year round)You like them RED, BIG & Hoppy?! This Double Red/DIPA is a Centennial and Cascade-hopped behemoth that gives some unique citrus and resiny flavors/aromas.

Beer Festivals: Yak & Yeti is an active participant in beer festivals across the state. Here are a few places you will most likely find them:

  • GABF (Great American Beer Festival) – Denver, CO
  • Vail Big Beer Festival – Vail, CO
  • Brewers’ Rendezvous – Salida, CO
  • Epic Beer Festival – Denver, CO

Awards: For a small brewery, Yak & Yeti has picked up some big awards. Here’s a list of what they’ve won, and where the won it.

  • 2010: Gold Medal for the Himalayan IPA (American Style Extra Pale Ale, GABF)
  • 2011: Bronze Medal for the Namaste Pilsner (Pilsner category, Colorado State Fair)
  • 2012: Bronze Medal for the Honey Ginger Soda (Soda category, Colorado State Fair)
  • 2013: Bronze Medal for the Honey Ginger Soda (Soda category, Colorado State Fair)
  • 2013: Silver Medal for the Chai Milk Stout (Urban Spiced, GABF)
  • 2013: Bronze Medal for the Himalayan IPA (Fresh Ales/IPA/DIPA), Colorado State Fair)

I had a great visit with Adam and learned a lot about Yak & Yeti, and the awesome beer they brew. I would highly recommend a visit for the food, and of course for their beer. The atmosphere at Yak & Yeti is truly unique, and one that will impress anyone that has an interest in history. Even those that don’t drink beer will have the ability to enjoy a fresh brew – the Honey Ginger Soda is very good. The Chai Milk Stout is one of the most unique beers I’ve ever tried, and has won awards for good reason. If you love craft beer made in Colorado, a trip to Yak & Yeti is a must! Thanks Adam for the tour, and of course for sharing your fresh craft beer.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub
7803 Ralston Road
Arvada, CO 80002
(303) 431-9000
www.theyakandyeti.com

 

Brewery Rickoli – Wheat Ridge, CO

Brewery Rickoli Logo

Brewery Rickoli is located in Wheat Ridge, CO. on the Southwest corner of Wadsworth Blvd. and 44th Ave., just west of Denver. Brewery Rickoli opened up in November 2012, becoming the first ever brewery in Wheat Ridge. The idea behind opening Brewery Rickoli was to provide the local neighborhood a place to enjoy a fresh pint close to home. While the brewery has only been open a short time, it has already made a big impression in the community.

Brewery Rickoli is the creation of Rick Abitbol, a seasoned brewer with 10+ years of professional brewing experience. Rick has a unique brewing story. He started out in homebrewing, and entered his first contest at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. His Cream Ale did very well and was highly regarded among judges at the fair, it was even a finalist for the “Best of Show” award. Rick decided to approach a local brewery to see if they would be interested in letting Rick brew his cream ale. He was able to convince the owner of Shamrock Brewing to give him a shot, and Rick was able to get his first experience brewing in a brewery.

Later on, Rick joined Hop, Barley & the Alers, a well known homebrew club in Boulder. This club happened to be the same club Charlie Sturdavant (Owner of Golden City Brewery, and Tommyknockers), was also in. Rick met Charlie and basically begged him to give him an opportunity to help out at GCB. Rick started out doing anything he could to help, and eventually began helping brew. After gaining more experience, and the departure of the head brewer, Rick took over as head brewer at GCB. Rick worked at GCB for two years, then gained additional experience brewing at Rock Bottom, Denver ChopHouse and finally Renegade Brewing.

Over the years, Rick learned a great deal from his time brewing in several types of breweries. He developed tastes and methods that grew his love of brewing, and he began dreaming of starting his own brewery. With a bankruptcy looming, Rick began to make plans to open his own brewery. Thanks to financing from Rick’s dad, and the Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream Program, Rick was able to realize his dream. Rick officially opened Brewery Rickoli on November 28, 2012. Since then, locals have been enjoying fresh pints – some have visited as many as 80 times in the roughly 150 days Brewery Rickoli has been open!

Rickoli Black and Tan

A Black & Tan served especially for us!

Beer List: For a small brewery, Brewery Rickoli offers a ton of beer choices! Not only are all of Brewery Rickoli’s beers Gluten Reduced, they are great tasting. There are beers for every taste, and all levels of beer geekdom. From the lighter Cream Ale, to the hoppy Double IPA, the beers at Brewery Rickoli are very good. My personal favorites are the Aldo Red and the Black Pline! Although, it was a tough call to pick any favorites. Rick said it best, “Brewery Rickoli brews big beers to compensate for their small equipment!” Of course this is in reference to their small homebrew setup, that produces outstanding, consistently flavorful beers. Rick is proud to be able to produce the beers he does with what he calls, “the smallest brewery setup in the state.”

  • M.E.H. (Most Excellent Homebrew) Cream Ale – This is a very refreshing and light ale that is very similar to Genesee Cream Ale. This beer is only 4.3% ABV, so you can relax and have a few after work and still get stuff done. A malty leaning beer that has just the right kiss of hops! 4.3% ABV, 20 IBU’S. 
  • ALDO RED –  (Named after Rick’s Dad) This is a very flavorful derivation of a German style called ALTBIER. A little fuller boded than the German version, this beer has the depth of flavor of an Irish Red, but finishes cleaner.  This beer is 5.3% ABV and uses Munich, Vienna, and Pilsner malt with a little noble hop to give it character. 5.3% ABV, 30 IBU’S.
  • Totally EYE-P-A  –  Everybody has an IPA and we have a great one! Pale malt and a touch of Munich malt combine to provide a clean and sturdy base for the intense hop flavor and aroma in this beer. At 6.8% abv, This beer falls in line with the new wave of IPA beers on the market. 6.8%ABV, 65 IBU’S.
  • Rickoli’s Rye Stout – This is a hearty Rye Stout that satisfies the soul! Roast and coffee notes are combined with rye spiciness and the full body sweetness of malt to cradle the gentle American hop flavor that this beer takes advantage of.                 7% ABV, 45 IBU’s.
  • Social Lubricant – This is traditional Scotch ale.  Golden Promise malt with a touch of roast barley, boiled extensively to concentrate the caramel flavors with just the stingiest amount of English hops! 8% ABV, 30 IBU’S.
  • Disturbed Reflection Double IPA – This is our double version of Totally Eye-P-A! It reeks of pungent hops and alcohol and has a wonderful creamy mouth feel that lays the lupulin goodness across all of your senses.  9.7% ABV, 190 IBU’S – Whew!
  • The Black Pline – This is a very intense Imperial Black IPA! Extreme hop nose and flavor supported by just a kiss of dark malt that gives a subtle smoke in the profile. 9.8%ABV, 70 IBU’S
  • Session IPA Our second offering in our Single-hop Pale Ale Series.  We make a nominal Pale Ale recipe and change out the featured hop variety.  This month we combine Summit with 2 experimental hop varieties. 5% ABV, 65 IBU.
  • VannFaw Red Hefeweizen –  Inspired by the awesome folks in our homebrew club, the VannFaw Hefe uses a darker shade of caramel to compliment the banana-like esthers and reminds one of Bananas Foster on the palate while still light and refreshing! 4.55% ABV
  • Thrilla in Vanilla –  Rickoli’s Rye Stout spiked with vanilla!  The heartiness of this very approachable stout is balanced and softened by the subtle vanilla flavor.        7% ABV, 45 IBU’s.
  • Elke Brown – (Named after Rick’s Mom) An American-style brown ale, with an array of medium to dark caramel malts. Accented with English chocolate malt, which gives a full-bodied sweetness that cradles the Williamette hops used throughout this brew. 6.8% ABV, 45 IBU

Brewery Rickoli serves all of their beers from the tap. If you would like to purchase beer to take home, Growlers are available. I personally grabbed a growler of the Aldo Red, and can’t say enough about the great quality of the beer, and the freshness. Brewery Rickoli is working on distributing kegs to local restaurants and bars that specialize in providing quality craft beer from the great State of Colorado.

Events: Here are a few local events where you will be able to try Brewery Rickoli’s beers.

I had a great visit with Rick Abitbol at Brewery Rickoli. He’s created a nice local brewery and taproom, which is perfect for beer lovers in the Wheat Ridge area. Of course, Denver is only a few minutes away, so it is a short trip down to Brewery Rickoli from around the metro area. Rick brews awesome beers and the vibe in the taproom is positive and laid-back. Brewery Rickoli provides good music, fresh beer, and a simple, fun environment to relax and enjoy a pint. I highly recommend making a trip to see Rick and enjoy a beer at Brewery Rickoli. Keep an eye out as Rick has plans to add a beer garden area behind the taproom. His plans include a 4-tap system and live music! Thanks again for the hospitality, and keep up the good work Rick!

Brewery Rickoli
4335 Wadsworth Blvd
Wheat Ridge, CO. 80033
303-344-8988
www.BreweryRickoli.com

River North Brewery – Denver, CO

River North Logo

River North Brewery & Taproom is located in Denver, CO. a few blocks north of Coors Field in the ballpark neighborhood. The area around River North is a fun, lively and popular area with many breweries, galleries and restaurants close by. This area, called RiNO (River North Art District) was once a rough, mostly abandoned part of Denver, but has been transformed with redevelopment. RiNO includes many 100+ year-old brick buildings that have been renovated, giving the area a historic look and feel.

River North was started by Matt Hess, a former Engineer for Lockheed Martin. Matt was tired of the “cyclical nature of the aerospace industry”, and wanted to do something different. He had experience in homebrewing, and decided that starting a brewery was his ticket to doing something different. Matt had been homebrewing in 5 gallon batches, then splitting up the 5 gallon batch into smaller 1 gallon batches to try new ideas. Each smaller 1 gallon batch gave Matt an opportunity to tweak his recipes, or to add something completely new. With 2-3 years of experimentation, Matt was able to create some great homebrew recipes that he would eventually use to brew beers at River North Brewery. Matt has not only been the driving force behind the beers at River North, he also designed the logo. He has done a great job in creating a clean, distinctive brand that is easily recognizable. When he’s not brewing, Matt also handles deliveries and sales, manages the taproom, and many other tasks that arise in the day-to-day process of running the business side of the brewery.

Patrick Annesty is the Director of Communications for River North, and was nice enough to give us a tour and share their excellent beers. Patrick joined the River North team just after they officially opened last year. He came to Denver from Ft. Laurderdale, FL., after graduating from the University of Florida. Patrick was looking to move to a fun place with a good beer culture, and Denver was a prime spot for that. After coming to Denver, Patrick visited local breweries hoping to use his journalism and homebrewing skills to help out a local brewer. A few weeks after Parick visited River North, Matt Hess called Patrick and asked for help — opening weekend was bigger and busier than Matt ever imagined! Since then, Patrick has taken on a jack of all trades role, and does a bit of everything. Patrick is Matt’s right hand man, and does everything from generating buzz on social media to brewing to making deliveries.

River North officially opened in February 2012. In their first year, River North produced 300 barrels, and made a big name in the Denver community. The business plan for River North was different than many breweries that simply start a taproom and hope to distribute someday. Matt Hess started the brewery with the plan to bottle and distribute immediately. The facility behind River North’s taproom is huge for a smaller brewery, and provides a great deal of room for expansion going forward. If you visit the taproom, you will see just how big River North plans to become. The plan for 2013 is to produce 900 barrels, or 3x the amount of beer River North produced in their first year! River North Taproom

Matt Hess enjoys brewing Belgian-style ales, and American style ales with a Belgian twist. River North brews exclusively in the Belgian style, and is dedicated to always brewing quality beers. Ingredients are brought in from the best sources around the country in order to consistently brew high quality, great tasting beers. River North has an eclectic beer list, and does not focus on having all the American style beers that are typical at most breweries. We really enjoyed all of the beers, but especially the BPR (Belgian-Style Pale Red), the Hello, Darkness (Black IPA) and the Unified Theory (Oaked Imperial Wit).

Beer List:

  • River North White White Ale / Belgian-Style Wit 5.0% ABV
  • Hello, Darkness Black IPA: 6.2% ABV
  • BPR Belgian-Style Pale Red Ale 6.4% ABV
  • J. Marie Saison / Farmhouse Ale 7.5% ABV
  • Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle Belgian-Style Double IPA 9.0% ABV
  • Quandary Quadrupel 9.6% ABV
  • Unified Theory Oaked Imperial Wit:  8.5% ABV
  • Avarice Belgian-Style Imperial Stout 9.3% ABV

Barrel Series (Limited Availability):

    • Barrel Series No. 1 – J. Marie Aged in Whiskey Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 2 – J. Marie Aged in White Wine Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 3 – Quandary Aged in Whiskey Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 4 – BPR Aged in Whiskey Barrels
    • Barrel Series No. 5 – River North White aged in white wine
    • Barrel Series No. 6 – River North White aged in whiskey
    • Barrel Series No. 7 – Avarice Imperial Stout aged in whiskey
    • Barrel Series No. 8 – Barrel Reserve 2013 (currently available).

In Bottles (22 oz. bombers) Click here to see the River North beer locator

    • J. Marie
    • Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle
    • Quandary
    • Unified Theory
    • Avarice

River North has a membership program for anyone that would like to become part of their local club. The program will be announced in July, and the details for this year are not available yet. Last year, members paid $50 and received a member’s only glass, $4 beers all day/everyday and had access to a special member’s only barrel aged IPA. The program for members will be different this year, but there will be great opportunities to get exlusive access to some cool offerings from River North.

Festivals: This only includes a couple that are already booked. To find out about all of the festivals and activities River North will be part of, check out their Facebook, and Twitter pages.

We had a great visit to River North, and look forward to seeing bigger and better things from them. They provide great beers, and a fun, laid-back atmosphere at their taproom. They recently opened up a patio which provides a nice place to enjoy fresh air and a little scenery. A great time to head to River North would be before a Rockies game. With the close proximity to Coors Field, it’s only a few minutes walk to enjoy a fresh beer. Thanks to Matt Hess and Patrick Annesty for their hospitality, and for sharing their story with us!

River North Brewery
2401 Blake St #1
Denver, CO. 80205
(On the corner of 24th & Blake)
303.296.2617

Wit’s End Brewing Company – Denver, CO

Wits End Brewing logo

Wit’s End Brewing Company is located in Denver, CO, and is a self proclaimed “Impossibly small Denver nanobrewery fueled by dreams and inspired by the limitless potential of craft beer.” Wit’s End was started by Scott Witsoe, a transplant from Seattle, WA. After coming to Denver, Scott realized there was a beer culture similar to Seattle, and the dream of starting a brewery was born.

The moment the light bulb turned on for Scott Witsoe was when he first attended the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). Scott had seen the event on TV, but always thought it looked gimicky, basically like an informercial. There was no way this event was as great as advertised…well maybe it really was. Scott couldn’t believe the amount of brewers, the different types of beer, and all the people that were so passionate about craft beer! The wheels started turning, and Scott began dreaming about becoming a brewer.

As Scott became more familiar with Denver, he quickly found great local craft beers. Great Divide became his favorite craft brewery, and happened to be in Scott’s neighborhood. Avery, another local brewery, turned Scott onto Belgian style beers. After getting some ideas and trying different types of beers, Scott began tinkering with his own recipes via a homebrew kit he acquired from his father-in-law. The kit had been collecting dust, so Scott simply needed to dust it off and pick up ingredients to make his first homebrew. Scott’s hombrewing quickly got him excited about opening up his own brewery. As Scott describes it, “opening the first beer, hearing the sound, and smelling the first beer, I knew what I wanted to do.” By his 5th homebrew batch, Scott filled his first keg. Scott’s friends tried his beers and the response was great…it was time for Scott to realize his dreams. 

Scott was laidoff from his job in the MMA industry in March 2011. It was at this point that Scott, and his wife Heather decided it was time to pursue his dream full-time. They made the decision to go through the difficult process of starting a brewery with no back up employment to fall back on. As Scott put it “Without the support of my wife, I would not be doing what I am. She has supported me completely, and she deserves a ton of credit for that!” After months of paperwork, planning, inspections, licensing, painting, construction, and a lot of long days, Scott and Heather officially opened Wit’s End Brewing in September 2011! Immediately, Scott realized how much he enjoyed watching people build relationships at Wit’s End, and he knew he was finally doing what he was meant to do.

Wit’s End is a small taproom that offers up fresh beer, and a neighborhood feel that is hard to find these days. Scott has placed an emphasis on fostering conversation instead of sitting and staring at TVs like at a typical sports bar. Each person that came to Wit’s End during our visit was personally greeted by Scott, and made to feel at home. If you want to enjoy a beer at a fun, friendly taproom, Wit’s End is a great place to go.

Scott has creativity that shows in his beers. With names like “Jean Claude Van Blond” and “Mick Jaggery” the beers at Wit’s End offer options that are a little outside the box. Standards are not necessarily followed, and are not meant to be. Scott has made an effort to do things his way, and does not worry about following institutionalized “style” guidelines. It’s more fun to do something different, and to create a unique recipe.

Beer List: Our favorite beers were the Wilford, and the Green Man Ale! The Wilford won an Award at the Colorado State Fair. The Green Man Ale is Scott’s oldest recipe and was modeled after the 1st craft beer he had in Seattle (Redhook). Wits End 40sIf you head down to Wit’s End, you can try many different beers from the tap. Availability changes from time to time, but there are always some great options to choose from.

If you want to purchase beer to take home, Wit’s End has a really cool option. They have 40oz. stainless steel “40s” that are very popular. In fact, Westword awarded Wit’s End with the “best new beer to go idea” for their 40s. You can even find Wit’s End’s 40s in the A-Z exhibit at the Colorado History Museum in the beer section. Wit’s End will also fill any seal able container with the beers they have on tap, so bring in a growler, Nalgene, or any other seal able container.

  • Jean-Claude Van Blond: Inspired by the action hero in all of us. It features a Belgian yeast strain and is built on a lighter malt profile with just a touch of oats for a silky body and some additional depth. You will find this beer intriguing and hard to define—which is just the way we like it.
  • Wilford: Introducing the Belgian Oatmeal IPA! Flaked oats play a major role in this Belgian-American porridge. Pungent spicy noble hops, citrusy American hops, and a Belgian yeast all wrapped up in a silky blanket of oats–yes please! We will not make any claims as to the health benefits of using oatmeal in beer, but if there are any, then…it’s the right beer to drink, and the tasty way to do it!
  • Super FL I.P.A. : A no nonsense Black IPA—can you dig it? This bad-ass beer features nine different malts, as well as a combination of Columbus and Cascade hops. After the fermentation, it is then dry-hopped and rests on just a touch of real cedar wood chips. The game it plays it plays for keeps!
  • Green Man Ale: Inspired by the malty and hoppy beers of the Great Northwest, Green Man Ale is a rich and layered beer that lies somewhere between an IPA and a Red Ale—not exactly radical, but not quite the conformist, Green Man Ale just is.
  • Kitchen Sink Porter: What started out as a basic porter recipe evolved by adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, using a wide variety of malts not typically seen in a porter. This includes various types of rye and a dash of smoked malt. The result—a roasty, spicy, chocolaty glass of goodness. We just threw in the Kitchen Sink moniker for good measure.
  • Experimental Beers: There are many of them…probably too many to list here! Check out the beer list or see what is available when you visit. The experimental beers are available from time to time. To view Wit’s End’s beer list, click here

We had a great visit to Wit’s End Brewing, and were impressed with the beers, and the passion behind the making of them. Scott Witsoe has created a great environment to enjoy a beer, or as he puts it “slow beers for fast times.” Wit’s End is all about personality, and making it enjoyable for people to visit. If you’re looking for an unpretentious environment, and are open to exploring new types of beers, Wit’s End would be a great taproom to visit. Thanks for the hospitality Scott!

Wit’s End Brewing Company
2505 W 2nd Ave. Unit 13
Denver, CO 80219
http://www.witsendbrewing.com/

Taproom Hours
Thursdays
4:00-8:00pm

Fridays and Saturdays
2:00-8:00pm

Sundays
2:00-6:00pm

The 2013 Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival was a great event!

The 2013 Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival was held Saturday, April 6th in Downtown Breckenridge, CO. There was a lot of buzz as beer enthusiasts gathered to sample some of the best craft beer Colorado, and the United States has to offer. From big national brewers like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada to smaller regional brewers like Palisade Brewery and San Luis Valley Brewing, the event provided visitors a chance to sample many different types of beer. Several Colorado favorites were available with AC Golden, Breckenridge Brewery, Great Divide, Left Hand, Odell and Oskar Blues providing their popular craft beers.

The atmosphere in Downtown Breckenridge was lively and fun as beer enthusiasts from all over gathered to sample a great mix of quality craft beers. The event catered to an audience of all ages, and many families came to enjoy the festival. Live music created a nice vibe as many participants danced in the street to the music of 7Horse, Mountain Standard Time, and Max Gomez. There is nothing quite like drinking a fresh beer, while listening to good music with the mountains above Breckenridge in the background!

 Breck Beer Fest (2) 4-6-13 Breck Beer Fest 4-6-13

Best Beers (in our opinion). Keep in mind that there were so many great beers available to taste, we didn’t even come close to trying all of them! To see a list of all brewers that participated in the event, click here.

  • Wheat: Pug Ryan’s Morningwood Wheat was outstanding. A smooth taste, with very subtle spiciness and a nice finish.
  • Stout: Left Hand’s Milk Stout was really tasty. The subtle taste of coffee, without being overpowering. The Milk Stout has a nice creamy/frosty finish and goes down really smooth.
  • Belgian: Avery’s White Rascal has a spicy, sweet and unique taste. As we overheard someone say “It tastes like Christmas!” While that is not how we would describe it, the saying actually works.
  • Lager: Colorado Native was our favorite lager of the day. A distinct malt flavor with some bitterness and an overall clean, crisp taste.
  • IPA: The Odell IPA was our first beer of the day, and just so happened to be our favorite IPA as well. Great hoppiness, with smooth, subtle hints of fruity finish.
  • Pilsner: The Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils. This beer has a bit of a different flavor than most Pilsners. A rich, smooth and subtly hoppy beer with a nice finish.
  • Most Unique/Unusual: Breckeridge Brewery’s Roasted Habanero Lucky IPA. This crazy beer has a subtle kick from the habanero, but is not overpowering. It’s a creative twist on the IPA, and was unlike anything else we tried!   

We had a great time at the Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival! If you were unable to make it to the Spring edition, plan on making it to the Summer edition. The Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival will be held July 13, 2013. To find out more check out http://breckenridgebeerfestival.net/july/