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/

Arvada Beer Company – Arvada, CO

 

Arvada Beer Company LogoArvada Beer Company is located in Arvada, CO. in the historic Olde Town district. The building Arvada Beer is located in was originally built in 1916, and has changed quite a bit over the years. The building was divided into smaller units that originally included a drug store, a car shop and most recently, a printing shop. Arvada Beer decided to move into the building in November 2010, and finally opened up the brewery in October 2011 after a massive renovation that included replacing all electrical and plumbing throughout the building. The owners of Arvada Beer Company are proud of the building, and enjoy taking visitors on tours of the facility.

Arvada Beer Company was started by Cary & Kelly Floyd.  The husband and wife brewing duo have a really interesting story that is deeply rooted in a mutual love of homebrewing. Cary started homebrewing in 1988 and learned a great deal through trial and error. In 2002, Cary won his first medal for homebrewing. In 2004 he started dating Kelly (this is where the story gets interesting!). Kelly watched Cary brew one of his favorite recipes, and told him it looked really easy. Cary took that as a challenge, and told Kelly they should both brew the same recipe, and enter their individual beers into a homebrewing contest at the Colorado State Fair. Kelly won the gold medal! Cary won silver…this was when he knew he needed to make Kelly his wife!

With over 400 homebrewing medals (including 50 multi-award winning recipes), Cary and Kelly Floyd have learned a thing or two about experimenting with their recipes. They have created great beers that are always available, but they’re constantly tweaking recipes, or adding flavors for special occasions. Arvada Beer offers their ‘Brewers Limited Release’ on Thursday nights. The limited release is usually a regular beer with an extra flavor, or a twist on the original recipe. A recent beer featured in the ‘Brewers Limited Release’ was the Butter Pecan Gold. This unique beer was made with the Olde Town Brown and butter pecan flavoring from the ice cream shop next door. While Cary Floyd wouldn’t personally drink a full pint of the Butter Pecan Gold, he said the beer was a big hit among bar patrons.

Dennis O’Harrow is the brewer for Arvada Beer Company. He also has a strong brewing background, and brings a great deal of talent to the team. Dennis has won 49 professional brewing medals. His Coffee Porter won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and the World Beer Cup. Dennis previously brewed for CB & Potts before joining Arvada Beer. With a mix of experiences and techniques from years of practicing, the team at Arvada Beer Company brews excellent beers in many different styles. They are not afraid to push the limits, or to try something that sounds completely off the wall. Many breweries stick very close to their recipes, and try not to differ from batch to batch. Arvada Beer on the other hand, is contantly looking for a new way to add a crazy twist to what they do.

Beer List:

  • Water Tower Wheat: This true to style Bavarian Wheat beer is cloudy from the yeast, and includes notes of banana and clove.  4.5% ABV
  • Ralston’s Golden Ale: A crisp, refreshing beer. Easy drinking, malt oriented American ale.This beer is lighter and not too hoppy. This beer would be a great choice for someone that is looking for a good intro craft beer. 4.8% ABV
  • Goldline IPA: Smooth, not bitter with great citrus and floral tones. Goldline is hopped with 5 different hops, and then dry hopped with 3 different hops.  5.8% ABV
  • Flanigan’s Irish Red: With a deep red hue and subtle maltiness this Irish Red Ale is a sure fire easy drinking brew, with just enough hop for balance and the lower alcohol level of a traditional English ale. 4.8% ABV
  • Arvada Pride Double IPA:  American Hops and extra malt for a classic American Style Double IPA. With the high alcohol content, this DIPA still has as a great taste, and finishes smooth. 8.8% ABV
  • PoolHall Porter: A cross between a brown Porter and a Robust Porter, with all the taste of a robust porter and with some of the subtle flavors of a brown porter.      5.1% ABV
  • Lemon Shandy: This is a unique brew that starts as the Water Tower Wheat. Lemonade is added and it creates a lighter, sweeter flavor, and decreases the alcohol content. 3.8% ABV

We enjoyed tasting Arvada Beer Company’s beers. Our favorite was the Goldline IPA! Anyone that enjoys an IPA should definitely try out this beer. Arvada Beer is planning on canning in the near future, and the IPA will be one of the beers that is canned. Check back to find out when the IPA is available in cans, or you can always pick up a growler at the bar. Arvada Beer Company has a constantly changing beer list so check out their website for the latest: http://www.arvadabeer.com/our-beers/.

The atmosphere at Arvada Beer Company is very laid-back and has a great vibe. Olde Town offers a cool historic feel but with updated modern interiors in the buildings. There is a great neighborhood feel, and in our experience everyone was very friendly. While food is not provided by Arvada Beer, a cool option they have is to order from a number of closeby restaurants. Not only will these restaurants deliver your food, they will bring it right to your table! You can have Italian, Chinese, Indian, or many other options delivered in just a few minutes.

Arvada Beer Company has become an important part of the Arvada area. They participate in many city festivals and activities, and are a main part of many Olde Town gatherings. On March 16th Arvada Beer will be participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This festival will close off traffic in Olde Town, and will include activities for kids and adults. Arvada Beer will be providing green beer, and their Irish red as well.

Other Activities:

  • Brew Class: For $25 per person, you get your first pint of beer and a 6 pack of the beer made that day when it is ready ( limited to the first 10 people who sign up). If you want to just come watch and ask questions, our classes cost $10 each person, which includes your first beer. All Classes start at 9 am with mash in and should end around 3 pm. Must be over 21 to attend class.
  • Pro-Am Competition: We will be holding a competition again this year to determine our GABF Pro-Am entry. All entrants must be a member of the AHA at the time of judging and on 10/15/13 to be able to participate in the GABF Pro-Am.
  • National Homebrew Association Competition: Arvada Beer Company will be hosting some of the competition.
  • Arvada Oktoberfest: check the Arvada Beer website for more details as the event gets closer.
  • Beer Dinner: April 3rd at the Golden Hotel in Golden, CO.

We want to thank Cary Floyd for sitting down with us and sharing both the history and the beers of Arvada Beer Company! We had a great time, and look forward to visiting again. Anyone that wants to try great beer in a great environment, should head over and try out Arvada Beer for themselves. If you’re looking to try something different, and maybe a little outside of the box, look no further. With unique beers, and creative twists on everyday recipes, Arvada Beer Company is doing things most other breweries don’t. We hope you will take a trip to Arvada and see for yourself!

Arvada Beer Company
5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd.
Arvada, CO 80002
Phone: (303) 467-BEER
E-mail: info@arvadabeer.com

Golden City Brewery – Golden, CO

Golden City Brewery LogoGolden City Brewery is located in Golden, CO. next to the Colorado School of Mines campus. We had the pleasure of visiting the brewpub and sitting down with Sales & Marketing Manager, Derek Gilmore, and part owner, Andy Taylor. It was really fun finding out more about Golden City Brewery — “The 2nd Largest Brewery in Golden!” Anyone that is looking for a neighborhood brewpub with a friendly atmosphere and great beer, needs to visit Golden City Brewery.

Golden City Brewery was founded in 1993 by two geologists, Charlie & Janine Sturdavant. They filled the old machine shop behind their historic Golden home with used dairy tanks, and Charlie began brewing German-style ales. The tasting room was originally located in the sunroom of their house, and provided Red Ale and Pale Ale to the local community in 1/2 gallon growlers and kegs. The brewery started out with the help of investments made by many of Charlie & Janine’s friends. Andy Taylor was one of the original investors and thought that he would most likely lose money on the brewery. It took nearly ten years, but the investors started making money on their investment, and to this day there are still 23 part owners. One of the main factors that helped the brewpub take off was the addition of a beer garden. Customers started sitting in the grassy area next to the brewpub… eventually this area became the official beer garden at GCB.

When Golden City Brewery first started out, the craft beer industry was much different than it is now. It was difficult to get started, as demand for craft beers was not like it is today. In 1993, most Americans simply made their choice for beer between one of the two or three major U.S. beer producers. This was referred to as “BMB”, or “Before Microbreweries”, in our talk with Golden City Brewery. Things have really changed for the craft beer industry, especially in the last 10 years.

Over the years, Golden City Brewery has expanded at the same location (still the Sturdavant’s home). The carriage house became the tasting room, and the backyard is now the beer garden. The brewery is still in the machine shop, but a second level was added inside. All of the old equipment has been replaced with real beer fermenters and a slightly used gas-fired kettle. The Golden City Brewery now produces the legendary Red Ale & Pale Ale, in addition to a few other brews, which are listed below. Each beer has it’s own logo, which are very creative and unique to the taste of the beer. Here’s the logo for Clear Creek Pale Ale, which was a very good beer, one of our favorites!

Golden City Pale Ale Logo

Beer List:

  • Clear Creek Pale Ale: Ale might not be what miners were looking for in nearby Clear Creek, but Clear Creek Gold can always be found at GCB. This is a traditional German Kolschbier that is hopped with Czech Saaz for a pleasant floral finish.   4.8% ABV
  • Evolution India Pale Ale: Evolution IPA has become one of our most popular brews. It’s stronger, hoppier character was designed to survive the arduous overseas journey from Britain to its colonies in India. Today, brewers continue to alter the formula and produce bigger, even hoppier renditions like smooth, aromatic Evolution. 7.3% ABV
  • Legendary Red Ale: Legendary Red was the first beer ever brewed at GCB. Its award winning flavor is derived from a large portion of Munich malt, a touch of crystal malts, and just a pinch of black malt. A healthy dose of German hops balances this altbier of epic proportions. 5.2% ABV
  • Mad Molly’s Brown Ale: Our award-winning English Northern Brown Ale is inspired by the infamous brewery wench, Mad Molly. You’d be mad too if you served ale all day without a single drop for yourself. Hence the origin of the age-old adage: “Tip your wench well, lest she go mad. For rest nor ale has the sweet girl had.” Molly’s Brown is light and malty with a nice chocolate quality. 4.5% ABV
  • Lookout Stout: Named after Lookout Mountain, which overlooks Golden. This oatmeal stout is characterized by a dose of chocolate malt and balanced out with oats for body. It is dark, chocolatey, coffee-like, and smooth. 5.0% ABV

Golden City Brewery mainly sells beer from the brewpub, and is not sold in many retail locations. This is not due to a lack of demand for the beer, it is because the owners prefer to sell from their pub. You can purchase 22 oz. bottles of all the the beer types, except for the IPA. GCB beers can also be found at My Brother’s Bar in Denver, and Woody’s Pizza in Golden. Liquor stores that carry GCB beers include: Foss Building Wine & Spirits in Golden, Clear Creek Wine & Spirits in Golden, Canyon Point Liquors in Golden, and Union Wine & Spirits in Lakewood.

We really enjoyed our visit to Golden City Brewery. GCB offers a fun environment and great beer! We enjoyed all the beers, but our favorites were the Clear Creek Pale Ale and the Evolution IPA. We highly recommend stopping by this fun brewpub, especially in the spring/summer. The beer garden is located in the back of the brewpub and is a popular place when the weather is nice. We’re looking forward to a return visit when we can sit outside and enjoy a breat beer at GCB.

Golden City Brewery
920 12th Street
Golden, CO. 80401
303-279-8092
http://www.gcbrewery.com/

Eddyline Brewing – Buena Vista, CO.

Eddyline Logo

This weekend we had a chance to head up to Buena Vista, CO. Just 2.5 hours from Denver, Buena Vista is a popular destination for kayakers, hikers, skiers, mountain bikers, and people that simply enjoy visiting some of the smaller towns in Colorado. While in Buena Vista, we met with Brian England, Manager & Owner of Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery. Brian was a great host and filled us in on all the history of Eddyline, as well as the exciting growth that is in store for this proud Colorado brewing company.

Eddyline Brewing started out in Socorro, NM. back in 1999. The company had a different name then (Socorro Springs), but they still had a passion for microbrews. The founders of the company thought that Colorado may be a good place to add a restaurant and microbrewery. Buena Vista, CO. was an easy choice for the ownership group as it provided excellent water, an area where people enjoy a good beer, and a nice town to settle down in. The owners of Eddyline Brewing continue to run Socorro Springs Brewing Company in Socorro, NM. If you visit Socorro Springs Brewering Company, you will be able to find Eddyline Brewing beers as well.

Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery started out as a small restaurant that served its own beer, but did not distribute the beer to stores. While Eddline’s beer started to become popular with the locals, and at events throughout Colorado, the company saw the opportunity to expand. In 2009, Eddyline added a second location in Buena Vista. Now with two locations, Eddyline was poised to begin the process of increasing production, which would allow them to distribute their beer around the state. In 2011, Eddyline officially went from a local restaurant with a brewery, to a brewing company ready to reach beer drinkers throughout Colorado.

In January 2012, Eddyline Brewing began distributing their beers to stores around Colorado. By November 2012, the Denver area began to see Eddyline’s beers in several stores. If you’ve never seen Eddyline’s beers, you will not have a hard time finding them. They have come up with really great marketing and branding campaigns, that make them stand out among other brewers. Eddyline uses 16 oz. cans for their beers, and were the first in Colorado to do so. They are currently the only microbrewery in Colorado that sells their 16 oz. cans in 6 packs. Each type of beer has a unique can design, color scheme, and nickname. Below is an example of one of the new can designs (this one will not be seen in stores until some time in March, 2013). Eddyline River Runners

Awards and Interesting Facts:

  • 2012 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner International Style Pale Ale.
  • Won “Best of” the last 3 years at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Telluride, CO.
  • Eddyline Brewing is the new Title Sponsor for FIBArk, “America’s Oldest and Boldest Whitewater Festival in Salida, CO.”
  • Title Sponsor for Paddlefest in Buena Vista, CO.
  • Went from producing 400 barrels in 2011 to 1,500 in 2012
  • The water Eddyline uses is among the purest in Colorado. Due to the close proximity of the collegiate peaks, the water gets filtered by granite as it runs down the nearby 14ers, making it naturally pure.

Beer List:

  • Boater Beer Pilsner: A premium American lager, crisp, light and refreshing. 4.5% ABV
  • River Runner Pale Ale: A Colorado pale, big citrus hop aroma with a crisp, dry finish. 2012 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner! 6.0% ABV
  • Mountain Fairy Raspberry: American wheat brewed with real raspberries & honey. Enjoy the magic of the mountains! 5.0% ABV. (Don’t let the name fool you… many rugged mountain men enjoy this beer, and it is one of Eddyline’s favorites.)
  • Crank Yanker IPA: Strong malt and strong El Dorado hops combine for the most drinkable IPA around. 7.5% ABV
  • Kickin’ Back Amber Lager: A vienna style lager, with hints of chocolate, starts crisp & finishes smooth. 5% ABV
  • InnerGlow Red Chile Porter: A robust, smoked red chile infused porter. Roasty, hoppy & sure to warm you up! 7% ABV
  • Jolly Roger Black Lager: Roasted coffee & chocolate malt abound, yet is smooth & crisp. Finishes clean. 5% ABV

We really enjoyed meeting with Eddyline, finding out about their history, and sampling their great beers! No matter which type of beer you prefer, we’re confident Eddyline has at least one that you will love. There are plenty of different Eddyline beers to try if you can make it up to Buena Vista. If you want to buy Eddyline in the store, you’ll have 4 choices: Pilsner, IPA, Raspberry Wheat or Pale Ale.

Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery
926 South Main Buena Vista, CO. 81211.
(719) 966-6000

For more information, or to visit Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery, visit http://www.eddylinerestaurant.com/.