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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Last chance to catch stout month!!!

Check out this link to Denver Off the Wagon in which I, Colorado Beer Girl, team up with Josh Rapp to review several of the excellent stouts at Vine Street Pub.  You officially have TWO more days to catch Stout Month, thanks to Leap Year for the added day in 2012.

http://www.denveroffthewagon.com/2012/02/27/last-chance-for-stout-month-recap-featuring-the-colorado-beer-girl/

If you haven’t been to Vine Street (or Mountain or Southern Sun) during the month of February, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.  BUT you can make up for it through this Wednesday.  Get there!

River North Brewery: Belgian Beer (now in pint glasses!)

I was so excited about the opening of River North Brewery, just 2 blocks from my loft.  I stopped by over the weekend to check it out during their grand opening. 

The taproom is quite small, with around 6-8 barstools and about 5-6 tables.  It’s a nice little space but was overly crowded.  I’m not sure if it was only because it was opening weekend or if this will be the case every day.  River North had 4 beers on tap: a Belgian Wit, a Saison, a Belgian Pale, and a Black IPA.  All beers are served in plastic cups, which was a huge turn-off.  As I’m not a fan of Belgian beers, I decided to go with the Black IPA.  Well, that too was a Belgian style though there was no indication of it on the menu.  It wasn’t bad, but I did not care much for it since it was obviously made with Belgian yeast.  I am disappointed in this new brewery, as it seems they are most likely not going to brew anything that doesn’t use Belgian yeast.  But I will keep checking in to see if they add anything new to the lineup.  I hear they might try a Double IPA in the near future.  As a hop-lover, I have high hopes for the Double IPA…but we’ll see. 

I don’t think I’ll be spending much time at River North.  But I would definitely recommend trying it out, if you enjoy Belgians.  I think they make a quality beer–just not my style.  I’m always happy to see new little breweries in Denver, so stop by and have a beer…you might love it.

UPDATE:  They are now serving beer in actual pint glasses.

Caution: Falling Rock may cause Dain Bramage

February is yet another fantastic month for beer in Denver.  Not only is it Stout Month, it’s also Barleywine Month, a.k.a. Dain Bramage month, at Falling Rock Tap House. 

Falling Rock is undoubtedly one of the best tap houses around.  With over 75 taps and the motto “No Crap on Tap,” you can never go wrong, regardless of what kind of beer you’re in the mood for.  While I normally choose IPAs, I’ve had to make a couple of trips lately to try out some of the dozen or so rotating barleywines which have been available this month.  Some are newer recipes while others are vintage kegs.  Some are served in full pints while others are half-pints.  To date I have tried the following barleywines:

  • Anchor Old Foghorn
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2008
  • Napa Smith Grateful Dog
  • Great Divide Old Ruffian 2010
  • Alaskan Barleywine 2011

I am unable to provide reviews for the above brews, as my dain is a little bramaged.  I’ll try to do better next time.  But if you’re a fan of barleywine, get thee to Falling Rock ASAP, or you’ll be sad you missed it.

Women, beer, and…pubic wigs?!

The last thing I thought I’d be shouting in front of a group of dozens of women at a beer event on a Wednesday night is, “A pubic wig!”  But often the most spontaneous things end up being the most memorable. 

Last week I had the pleasure of experiencing my first Crafty Ladies Beer Club meeting at Highland Tap & Burger.  The Crafty Ladies have been going strong since the group formed in January 2011.  So strong in fact, that all the spots usually fill up within hours, if not minutes, of going “on sale” (it’s actually free to attend but ladies must sign up through Event Brite to secure a seat).  Last week’s meeting featured Firestone Walker Brewing Co.  Elizabeth from Firestone Walker lead the event and brought some wonderful beer-food pairings for all to enjoy. 

We started with Double Barrel Ale paired with mustard that was made with the beer (and crunchy pretzels for dipping).  While I didn’t care for the beer, the mustard was excellent.  Next was the Pale 31 with an orange & greens salad with a Pale 31 vinaigrette.  The Pale was pretty good, but there wasn’t enough dressing on the salad to be able to taste very well.  The third pairing featured my favorite Firestone beer, Double Jack IPA–I can’t say enough positive things about this extremely hoppy double IPA.  And the smoked tomato soup made with the beer was to die for.  That was by far my top pairing of the evening.  Being a vegetarian I had to pass on the next food item, which was pulled pork sliders, though I did enjoy the Walker’s Reserve Porter that came with it. 

And now it’s time to talk merkins.  Elizabeth informed us that the next beer was Velvet Merlin, an oatmeal stout.  When this beer was originally brewed, its name was Velvet Merkin…until Firestone Walker was forced to change it due to customer complaints.  “Does anyone know what a merkin is?” asked Elizabeth.  One of only a few, I raised my hand.  She then called on me to share my knowledge with the group–a group of women I’d never met.  On the spot, I replied, ” A pubic wig.”  “Yes, a pubic wig,” she echoed as she continued to talk about its historical significance.  The crowd roared with laughter while one woman at my table said, “I had no idea there was such a thing.”  Fun times.  Anyway, they changed it from “Merkin” to “Merlin” after apparently offending certain consumers.  The Velvet Merlin was paired with brownie bites made with the beer–my second favorite pairing of the night.  Finally came the 15th Anniversary Ale, a barleywine which was quite tasty.  Again I skipped the food course, as it was S’mores, and marshmallows are not veg-friendly.  But the beer itself was sweet and rich enough to be dessert on its own.   

I had a great time at my first Crafty Ladies event, and I plan to be a regular attendee as long as I’m able to get on the list.  I look forward to sampling and learning about beers from different breweries from Colorado and beyond.

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