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 Winners: 2014 World Beer Cup

The World Beer Cup is put on every other year by The Brewers Association, which is headquartered in Boulder, CO. The World Beer Cup is a popular event among brewers and brewing companies, as it brings together the best and brightest in the brewing industry. The 2014 World Beer Cup and Craft Brewers Conference took place in Denver, CO, and included a whopping 4,754 beers, 1,403 breweries from 58 countries and 94 styles of beer! Colorado brewers fared well at the World Beer Cup, bringing home 24 medals (10 Gold, 5 Silver, 9 Bronze).2014-world-beer-cup-banner

According to The Brewers Association, “The mission of the World Beer Cup is to create greater consumer awareness around the world about the quality and diversity displayed by the various beers of the world. The World Beer Cup is dedicated to recognizing both the traditions and innovations shared by the entire brewing industry as well as those customs unique to specific countries and regions. The World Beer Cup also promotes the responsible consumption of beer as an alcohol-containing beverage and urges beer producers and distributors to encourage beer enthusiasts to savor the flavor of beer responsibly.”

Colorado Winners @ The 2014 World Beer Cup:

  • Fruit Beer (57 entries) GOLD: Cherry Kriek, Strange Brewing Co, Denver, CO, SILVER: Apricot Blonde, Dry Dock Brewing Co Aurora, CO
  • Chocolate Beer (51 Entries) GOLD: Shake Chocolate Porter, Boulder Beer Co Boulder, CO
  • Coffee Beer (109 Entries) GOLD: Big Shot Espresso Stout, Twisted Pine Brewing Co – Boulder, CO
  • Indigenous Beer (37 Entries) GOLD: Wild and Crazy Rye, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Boulder,CO / Huntington Beach, CA
    BRONZE: Got Beer, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Boulder, CO / Huntington Beach, CA
  • Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (112 Entries) BRONZE: Bourbon Barrel Aged Mountain Man, Verboten Brewing – Loveland, CO
  • Baltic-Style Porter (44 Entries) SILVER: The Baltic Gnome, Rock Bottom – Denver, CO
  • American-Style Lager / Light Lager or Pilsener (53 Entries) GOLD: Coors Light, Coors Brewing Co Golden, CO
    BRONZE: Coors Banquet, Coors Brewing Co – Golden, CO
  • American-Style Amber Lager (34 Entries) GOLD: Winterfest, AC Golden Brewing Co – Golden, CO
  • Australasian-Style Pale Ale / International-Style Pale Ale (33 Entries)
    SILVER: River Runners Pale Ale, Eddyline Brewing Buena Vista, CO
  • French & Belgian-Style Saison (91 Entries) GOLD: Saison, Aspen Brewing Co – Aspen, CO
  • Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale (46 Entries) BRONZE: Jean-Claude Van Blond, Wit’s End Brewing Co Denver, CO
  • Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale (41 Entries) SILVER: Deceit, Funkwerks – Fort Collins, CO
  • Ordinary / Special Bitter (37 Entries) GOLD: Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing Co – Longmont, CO
  • English-Style Brown Ale (49 Entries) BRONZE: No Name, Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co – Glenwood Springs, CO
  • Oatmeal Stout (57 Entries) SILVER: Pure Imagination, Verboten Brewing – Loveland, CO
  • British-Style Imperial Stout (42 Entries) BRONZE: Weapon of Self Destruction Imperial Stout, Riff Raff Brewing Co – Pagosa Springs, CO
  • Irish-Style Red Ale (46 Entries) GOLD: George Killian’s Irish Red, Coors Brewing Co – Golden, CO
  • Foreign-Style Stout (38 Entries) BRONZE: Devil Dog Stout, Red Leg Brewing Co – Colorado Springs, CO
  • American-Style Pale Ale (122 Entries) BRONZE: Featherweight Pale, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co – Golden, CO
  • American-Style Amber / Red Ale (90 Entries) GOLD: Runoff, Odell Brewing Co – Fort Collins, CO
  • World Beer Cup Champion Brewery & Brewmaster – Large Brewing Company
    Coors Brewing Company, Dr. David Ryder – Golden, CO

Colorado Craft Beer Map

Colorado-Craft-Beer-Map-HeaderCheck out our Colorado Craft Beer Map – a helpful tool to easily find local breweries across Colorado. Simply type in the brewery name in the search bar, or sort by city/region in the drop down. We hope this helps all of your wildest beer dreams come true. Cheers!

 

Denver Makes It Rain – Fundraiser for Colorado families affected by fires

Denver Makes It Rain
 
Denver Makes It Rain is a fundraiser to raise money for the many families that were affected by the devastating wildfires this summer. The non profit organizations that will receive the donations are the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and the Black Forest Foundation. The Denver Makes It Rain Fundraiser will be held this Sunday, August 4th from 2-8 pm. Tickets are on sale now for $10 and day of show is $15. If you love Colorado craft beer, and want to help out families in need, this is a must attend event!  The event will be held at Prost Brewing, which is west of I-25 accross from Coors Field at 2540 19th St. Denver, CO 80211.
 
All ticket sales include one free beer ticket and one free raffle ticket. Once inside you can buy beer tickets: $4/1 beer ticket or $20/6 beer tickets. There will be 16 craft breweries from Colorado donating 3-4 kegs each. Including: Odell, Stone, Prost, Alaskan, Elevation, Lagunitas, Great Divide, Firestone Walker, Oskar Blues, Breckenridge, Rock Bottom, Left Hand, Boulder Beer, Boulevard, Crazymountain, Hall Brewing. Raffles include over $2,000 worth of restaurants, chiropractors, bars, museums, bowling alleys. $4/ raffle ticket. Food trucks, live art, family friendly and live music including Building a Desert, Lead by Design, Digg, G.R.V., and headlining Joey Porter’s Vital Organ!
 
Buy tickets online at www.cervantesmasterpiece.com or visit our website at www.facebook.com/DenverMakesItRain 
 
100% of ticket sales, beer sales and raffle sales and 20% of food and merchandise sales go to the non profits!