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

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

Estes Park Brewery – Estes Park, CO

Estes Park Brewery Logo

History of the Brewery:
The Estes Park Brewery is located in Estes Park, CO minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park, The Stanley Hotel, and many other tourist attractions. I had to opportunity to visit Estes Park Brewery after a day of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and was impressed with the selection, and quality of the beer. The location of the brewery makes it a perfect destination for anyone that enjoys a beer after hiking, biking, or simply taking in the scenery in the area.

In 1993 Gordon Knight started High Country Brewery in Boulder, Co. That same year Ed Grueff opened the Event Center in Estes Park. In 1994 Ed and Gordon decided to combine the two businesses and the Estes Park Brewery was born. The original Brewing equipment which consisted of a 4 1/4 Barrel Brewhouse was moved to Estes. For the first summer the Event Center kept the main floor as a stage and dance floor. For the first summer the Estes Park Brewery offered four beers: Estes Park Porter, Estes Park Renegade, Longs Peak Raspberry Wheat and Estes Park Pale Ale.

In the fall of 1994, Gordon Knight decided to sell his half of the business. When Gordon left, Eric Bratrud took over as the head Brewer. The Brewery also expanded to a 14 BBL Brewhouse and moved out onto the main floor where is now located.

In 1995 the Estes Park brewery started packaging their beers in 12 oz bottles, which expanded their market. By this time they added a number of beers including Trail Ridge Red, Estes Park Gold, Stinger Wild Honey Wheat and Samson Stout. 1995 was also the first year of the Best of the West Brewfest held in the Brewery parking lot. Since ’95 we’ve continued to evolve both in our restaurant and with our brewing operations.

IMG_0435About the Brewery:
In 2003 Tyler Lemirande and Eric Bratrud took over as owners. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tyler and talking craft beer during my visit to the brewery. Tyler is a very nice guy that enjoys providing fresh craft beer to tourists, and locals alike. The atmosphere at Estes Park Brewery is unique compared to many of the breweries I’ve been to in the Denver area. Unlike many of the breweries around Denver, Estes Park Brewery has a restaurant with a pub-style food menu, a full bar, arcade games, and tons of seating. Due to its unique setup, Estes Park Brewery is a great place for the whole family to visit and enjoy a meal, or a fun gathering place for those only interested in getting a locally brewed beer.

The beer at Estes Park Brewery is comprised of quite a few different styles. There’s definitely a beer for all different types of beer drinkers available at the brewery. One of the really great things about the brewery is that visitors can try samples of different beers on the main floor before they head upstairs and order a beer. I’ve never been to another brewery that advertised free samples to visitors. Estes Park Brewery’s approach to samples allows visitors to try new styles of beer without buying a beer they don’t like. While I was trying a few samples, I overheard a lady say “she never tried anything like that, and it was really good!” As someone that’s grown to love beer in all different styles, I think it’s awesome to have a brewery promote trying different beers until you find one you like (up to 4 samples are free).

Beer List:
The list pictured below is the list of regular beers you will typically find at Estes Park Brewery. My favorite beer at the brewery was actually a seasonal, and one that can be found at The Stanley Hotel, the The Shining Pale Ale (in honor of Stephen King’s The Shining). From EPBrewery.com, “The Shining Pale Ale is brewed with rare British All-Star pale malt to give the beer a full body and unique flavor. We hop with Amarillo and Cascade hops. Of course this beer is named after the book “The Shining” by Stephen King. We don’t guarantee clairvoyance after after a pint or two we just hope you enjoy the experience.” I really enjoyed the pale ale, and look forward to the next chance I get to drink it.

The two top sellers at Estes Park Brewery are the Stinger Honey Wheat, and Bear Lake Raspberry Wheat. Both of these are great beers for those that enjoy lighter beers without much hoppiness. Of the two, I really liked the Stinger Honey Wheat, which is brewed with local Colorado honey. The honey taste is subtle and the beer is a really smooth, drinkable beer that is not overly sweet.

Estes Park Brewery Beer ListI want to thank Tyler Lemirande for taking the time to sit down with me and talk craft beer. I had a great time visiting Estes Park Brewery, and look forward to my next visit. I highly recommend visiting the brewery to anyone that’s able to make it to Estes Park. There’s a lot to see and do around Estes Park, and stopping in at the brewery should be on your list!

Estes Park Brewery
470 Prospect Village Dr.
Estes Park, C0 80517
970.586.5421
www.epbrewery.com

Gunbarrel Brewing Company’s first release party: January 24, 2015

Join Gunbarrel Brewing Company for their first tapping party at Grandma’s House on Broadway in Denver, Colorado on January 24 at 4:30. Gunbarrel Brewing will be pouring a limited release of Salt Lick Gose and Rosemerry Pale Ale. Salt Lick is our interpretation of Gose (pronounced “Gose-uh”), an ancient unfiltered wheat beer from Germany. With a cloudy yellow color and refreshing lemony twang, Salt Lick is brewed traditionally with coriander seeds, and has a pleasant sharpness from the addition of salt. The finish is dry, tangy, and effervescent. Rosemerry is Gunbarrel’s signature pale ale and boasts a flowery hop character, with hints of citrus and pine and a crisp finish. Dry hopped with fresh organic rosemary, this brew evokes memories of merriment.

The Tony Guacamole food truck will be there serving up tasty grub.

GBC_release1_1.24.15_v3_websiteGrandma’s House
1710 South Broadway
Denver, CO 80210

About Gunbarrel Brewing Company
Gunbarrel Brewing Company is a gypsy brewery based in Boulder. Crafted with passion by brewer Jamie Fox and his wife Marie, Gunbarrel Brewing Company is to be located in Boulder County, Colorado. While we seek out the perfect home for our brewery, we are gypsy brewing at a partner brewery in Denver. This relationship provides the creative freedom and facilities to brew beers that we can share with you until we have a taproom of our own.

Jamie has been brewing for the past fifteen years, and earned a Ph.D in neuroscience along the way. Marie has a background in marketing, hospitality and web development. Together, they share a passion for exploring the nuances and endless possibilities of craft beer.

We chose the name Gunbarrel for our brewery to pay homage to the rugged independent freedom of the West, and to honor the little slice of it that we call home. We look forward to pouring you a pint!

FATE Brewing Company Reveals Plans For Expansion

Fate Brewing LogoProject To Include New Barrel Aging Room, Improved Packaging Facilities and Nearly 100% Production Capacity Increase

The project, scheduled to break ground December 2014, is announced more than two months before the brewery’s second anniversary. FATE Brewing Company owner Mike Lawinski states, “We knew that increased production capacity would be a goal at some point down the road. Never did we imagine it could happen so quickly but we have hit capacity and we need more space to keep up.”

In addition to nearly doubling fermentation space the plans reveal FATE Brewing Company’s recent acquisition of 1600 38th Street, Unit 103 in Boulder, Colorado. The previous home of Boulder Light, this approximately 2500 square foot space will undergo a remodel resulting in a new barrel aging room and improved packaging facility all right next door to the brewery’s existing property.

The remodel project is currently in its design phase and construction should wrap early 2015.  Lawinski states “The goal of the project started simply: brew more beer and get our beer into more people’s hands but we are excited because the space will really allow us to do much more than that.” Increasing production capacity, optimizing packaging processes, enhancing packaged goods product portfolio and driving product innovation will all be other beneficial outcomes of the expansion, according to the owner.

In addition to bourbon, tequila and fresh charred American oak barrels we look forward to housing wine and other spirit barrels in a variety of sizes. Look forward to new (and more) barrel aged products from the brewery in the near future. The plan lays out new bottling, canning and labeling facilities/equipment for the burgeoning brewery while the brew house investment includes the addition of two 30-barrel fermenters, one 10-barrel fermenter and two 3-barrel fermenters.

FATE Brewing Company has been named Colorado’s Best New Brewery (RateBeer.com, 2014), one of 10 New U.S. Breweries to Watch from D.C. to California (Bon Appétit, 2014), Boulder’s Best New Bar (Daily Camera, 2014) and Boulder’s Best New Restaurant (Daily Camera, 2013). The brewery was also recognized this year for having the nation’s best Kölsch style ale at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival®, taking home Gold in the German-Style Kölsch category for their Laimas Kölsch Style Ale.

Colorado Native Releases New IPL (India Pale Lager)

AC Golden Brewing Company, the makers of Colorado Native Lager, announced this week they have a new addition to their Colorado beer lineup, Colorado Native IPL. IPL is an India Pale Lager, which is a newer style, and not seen very often. Colorado Native IPL is similar to an IPA (India Pale Ale) with a big hop flavor, and aroma. The main difference is the IPL is brewed with a lager yeast, which makes for an extremely smooth, balanced taste. You still get the hops you would in a typical IPA, but the bitterness is really toned down. I’m an IPA drinker, and found IPL to be a really good beer that is perfect for someone wanting to try something hoppy, but doesn’t like too much bitterness. Colorado Native IPL is a full bodied, hoppy, All-Colorado beer that I highly recommend trying.
Colorado Native IPL3There are many beer drinkers that say Colorado Native is simply a Coors product in flashy new packaging. I’ve been lucky enough to visit AC Golden twice – where I met the small staff, and brewers that brew the beer. Colorado Native is brewed in a small brewery within the Coors facility in Golden, however the production is on a very small scale in comparison. Colorado Native is unique in the fact that it’s brewed with only Colorado ingredients. Due to only being brewed with Colorado water, hops, barley, and the oldest yeast strain in the state, AC Golden can only produce a small amount of beer. Colorado does not have a big enough hop output to be able to produce Colorado Native in the large quantities of a Coors Light, or Coors Banquet. So for those of you that think Colorado Native is just another Coors product, I hope you realize that is not the case. While the beers are held to the same high quality standards as Coors, Colorado Native is produced by a small, passionate staff that puts a lot of love into what they do. For more of a background on AC Golden, check out the details from my first visit, here.

Colorado Native IPL2I visited with AC Golden’s President and Co-Founder, Glenn ‘Knip’ Knippenberg, Brewer, Jeff Nickel, and Marketing Consultant, Aimee Valdez. I spent a couple hours finding out about Colorado Native IPL, touring the brewery, and trying IPL at different stages in the brewing process. The team at AC Golden is as excited about their product as any brewery I’ve featured so far. From using only Colorado ingredients, to taking on a newer style of beer, the team at AC Golden impressed me with their genuine passion for what they do, and the commitment to making an excellent product that is only available in Colorado.

Colorado Native IPL Info:

  • Hops: Chinook, Centennial, Cascade, Nugget, Crystal
  • Malts: Moravian 2-row Pale and Munich
  • IBUs: 62
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • All ingredients are grown in Colorado
  • Bottles are manufactured in Wheat Ridge, CO
  • Colorado Native Lager and Colorado Native IPL are only sold in Colorado
  • Colorado Native provides incentives for Colorado farmers to produce hops. In doing so, they helped create a market for Colorado-grown hops and a new category of agriculture.

For more information, visit www.ColoradoNative.com

 

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

Snowmass Mammoth Fest: June 13-15, 2014

Snowmass-Mammoth-FestThe Snowmass Mammoth Fest, formerly Snowmass Chili Pepper & Brew Fest, returns for its 11th year on June 13-15, 2014 in collaboration with Snowmass Tourism. Tickets are on sale now.

The Colorado summer festival season kicks off in Snowmass Village at this year’s Snowmass Mammoth Fest. Snowmass Mammoth Fest is proud to announce that Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Leftover Salmon, will headline the event this summer. Additional musical artists include Xavier Rudd, Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang, The Motet, Nathaniel Rateliff, Bonerama, Houndmouth, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Wheeler Brothers, The London Souls, Miner, and local DJs Berkel Beats, and Echo Da Funk.

Snowmass Mammoth Fest will include great music and food, but don’t forget about the brews! Come celebrate the Grand Tasting on Saturday, June 14th from 2:00pm to 5:00pm in the festival grounds where 25+ breweries will participate with over 50 different beers. Come sample some tasty brews from your favorite breweries on Saturday afternoon while listening to great music in Snowmass Town Park.

Mammoth-Fest-Brewery-ListThere are options of staying in a local hotel near the event, or you can camp at the event. Snowmass Mammoth Fest is coming up pretty soon, so be sure to check out avialability at local hotels here. Snowmass Mammoth Fest is a unique opportunity to be able to camp out at a festival with great music, food, and of course, craft beer. If you’re more interested in camping, check out the options here.

Snowmass Mammoth Fest – June 13-15, 2014
Snowmass Town Park
2835 Brush Creek Road
Snowmass Village, CO 81615

Colorado Native Lager Offering Free Blue Spruce Saplings to Aid in Colorado Reforestion

AC Golden Brewing Company, the makers of Colorado Native Lager, are offering free Blue Spruce saplings to those interested in regrowing the state. For full details see the flyer and additional information below.

Colorado Native Regrow

Golden, Colo. – Colorado Native Lager, Colorado’s only homegrown beer, is offering free tree saplings to Coloradans who want to help regrow Colorado.

After several years of devastating wild fires and beetle infestation, and last year’s 100-year flood, the state’s forests and urban areas have lost millions of trees.

To celebrate Arbor Day, which is Friday, April 18 in Colorado, and to help regrow Colorado, locals can join Colorado Native’s club, The Brew Crew, and request a free Blue Spruce sapling be sent to their home for planting.

The Blue Spruce saplings, about 1½ years old, were grown by and purchased from the Colorado State Forest Service’s Seedling Tree Nursery in Northern Colorado.  The trees come ready to plant.  The Blue Spruce is Colorado’s state tree and is well suited to the local environment.

“As Colorado’s home grown beer, Colorado Native Lager is the perfect fit for helping Coloradans regrow the state, one tree at a time,” said Glenn Knippenberg, president and co-founder of AC Golden Brewing Company, brewer of Colorado Native. “Colorado Native is brewed with 100 percent Colorado ingredients, and is packaged and shipped only in Colorado. We reinvest 25 cents from every single case sold back into the state through projects like this one.  Colorado is our home and we feel strongly that our efforts and investments should benefit our beautiful state,” said Knippenberg.

To receive a sapling, go to www.ColoradoNative.com during April and click on Brew Crew.  There is no cost to join the club. Members receive free gifts and special offers like this one. Last month, Brew Crew members were able to join Colorado Native’s legion of volunteer hop growers and receive a free hop rhizome.  Members can grow and harvest their hops for inclusion in a Colorado Native brew in the fall.

About CSFS Seedling Tree Nursery
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) seedling tree program allows farmers, ranchers and rural landowners to obtain trees at a nominal cost. Its goal is to encourage landowners to plant new forests; to establish effective windbreaks that reduce erosion; to protect homes, cropland, livestock and highways; and to enhance wildlife habitat. The nursery has many outdoors acres and an 18,000 square foot greenhouse. It sells an average of one million seedlings annually.

About Arbor Day
Arbor Day is a nationally recognized day to encourage individuals and groups to plant and care for trees. It originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1872.   National Arbor Day is April 24 this year however each state observes its own date to facilitate the best tree planting time.  Colorado’s Arbor Day this year is Friday, April 18.

About AC Golden Brewing Company
AC Golden Brewing Company, located in Golden, Colo., is a small-batch brewery specializing in handcrafted beers for discerning beer drinkers. Among its beers are: Colorado Native, an amber lager made with 100 percent Colorado ingredients; Herman Joseph’s Private Reserve, a German-style lager; Barmen, a German-style pilsner, and Winterfest, a Vienna-style lager shared only during the holidays.