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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Celebrating 15 years of “No Crap On Tap!”

I LOVE Falling Rock Tap House in LoDo.  With around 75 beers on tap, Falling Rock is one of the absolute best beer bars in Colorado.  They have now been here for 15 years, and last week they celebrated in a big way: 10 days of events & special beers.

I chose to go last Friday evening for a very limited & rare brew: Legend of the Liquid Brain Anniversary Edition.  Legend of the Liquid Brain is an imperial stout brewed by Bull & Bush in Denver.  It’s a great beer in itself, but check out what was done to one batch of it that was especially for Falling Rock’s anniversary (description from Falling Rock’s website):

“Steve has had a 2 gallon Cask from the original Pre-release of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey sitting in the Bull & Bush Cellar filled w/ Liquid Brain for the past 6 yrs. Chris and the Bull & Bush Team, Gabe Jeff & Erik, blended that cask with batches of Liquid Brain that were 7yrs old (aged in Burgundy wine Barrels), a 2 yr old fermented with a different yeast strain & aged in a Buffalo Trace barrel, and a ‘Double Barrel’ batch aged 1 yr in a Pappy van Winkle Barrel & 1 Yr in a Buffalo Trace Barrel. The original plan was to have the years add up to 15, but we got carried away and it came out to 17, oh well. It’s in a cask, so that makes up for the extra two years because doing cask conditioning will take 2 years off your life! Don’t expect this one to last long, there’s only 10 gallons of this!”

It was very delicious and very strong; the conditioning made this beer taste much more like a barleywine than an imperial stout.  It’s not something I could drink a lot of, but I sure am glad I got to try it.  I hope Falling Rock teams up with another local brewery to make something extra special for next year’s anniversary week too!

Great Divide is officially legal!

Great Divide, one of my favorite local breweries, is officially an adult.  They just turned 18, and they had a huge birthday bash to celebrate.  (If anyone saw the Westword slide show of photos, no I did not steal this picture; I was just lucky enough to be behind their photographer with my pitiful little camera phone.)

On Saturday, June 16th, approximately 1,500 of Great Divide’s closest friends (o.k., or people simply willing shell out the $27.37) gathered in the tap room and out on the street for 4 solid hours of music, food trucks, and tasty beverages.  For the price of admission, each partygoer got to partake in as much Great Divide beer as they could drink, listen to four bands, and choose an entree from one of four food trucks.  A pretty good deal if you ask me.  They advertised that they would have “special release beers (ones you’ll never get anywhere else!)” so I knew I had to go.  I was thrilled to see Espresso Yeti available, as it’s been gone from the tap room for several weeks now.  Mmmm…Espresso Yeti.  Had me a few of those I did.  And I was beside myself when they busted out the Marker’s Mark Yeti, which I thought was long gone as they had said (back in May when they first tapped it) that is was “one of two kegs in the world,” the other going to West End Tavern in Boulder because it was a collaboration with them.  I guess they brewed a bit more, and I’m certainly not complaining–that’s one of the best beers I’ve ever had.

For me, the Maker’s Mark and Espresso Yeti were reason enough that the price of admission was completely worth it.  But they also had many other fantastic beers available as well.  They had most of their standards and several other special releases, though I can’t tell you what they all were as I spent 4 hours in the hot sun drinking beer after beer that day, and I think it fried my brain a little.  But if you missed this year’s party, I give you fair warning, 362 days in advance: do NOT miss it again next year.  You’ll regret it, and I’ll say I told you so.

Colorado Country Club Classic 2012

On Friday evening I attended the 2012 Colorado Country Club Classic at Casselman’s in Denver.  This event was a fundraiser for the American Lung Association of Colorado, and this year’s theme was golf.  I’m really not a fan of golf; I don’t participate in it and think our country spends far too much clean water and energy for their upkeep.  However, this golf event was unlike anything I had seen before, and it was a lot of fun.

Fortunately for me, there was no actual golf involved.  There were 9 Colorado breweries (plus one CO winery) who were sponsors, and each one had a table set up (to represent a hole).  The object of the night was, just like in golf, to get the lowest score possible–not by getting the ball in the hole, but by sampling 3 different beers at each “hole” and marking your scorecard as to which was which.  Each brewery provided the names and descriptions of their 3 beers, and participants blindly tasted all 3 and then had to figure out what was what.  Some were far easier than others: for example, one hole had a brown ale, an IPA, and a pale ale.  And some were much more difficult: one featured 2 different lagers and one pilsner.  The highest possible score (for those who don’t know golf, “highest” score in this case means worst) was 30 with the lowest being zero, of course.  At the end of the night a handful of people ended up with a 5–pretty impressive, meaning they correctly identified 25 out of 30 beers (and wine).  Unfortunately for some of us, a couple of breweries ran out of one or even all of their beers, forcing us to randomly guess what might have been.  I wound up with a score of 8, but I can’t fully accept it since I missed out on 2 breweries who failed to plan ahead.  But, an 8 still isn’t too bad.

The participating breweries were:

  • Twisted Pine
  • Hops
  • Del Norte
  • Bristol
  • Strange
  • Upslope
  • Rockyard
  • AC Golden
  • Elk Mountain
  • The Vineyard Club (wine)

Here is a picture of some couple who wanted to be a part of my blog.  Sorry about the lighting; I forgot my camera and my phone doesn’t have a flash.

All in all, it was a great time.  I thought the theme was quite inventive, though there were some issues such as beer shortages and a somewhat annoying setup, but perhaps they will learn from these, as I’d love to go back and do it again next year, provided it’s slightly more organized.

 

State Beer Challenge: I’m out!

I started off the State Beer Challenge by failing on day one: an error on my part, as I forgot since I was still within the first 24 hours.  But I did well for the next 10 days or so.  However, I am officially OUT.  There are two contributing factors here:  I’m lazy and didn’t want to make a liquor store run and all I had were non-Colorado beers in the fridge, and also because I just love Santa Fe Brewing‘s Happy Camper IPA.  

Oh, and some Jester King and Saint Arnold bombers just found their way to me all the way from Texas–who can wait until July to try them?!

I failed challenges before, and I will fail again.  But I’m not gonna worry about this one.  I estimate that around 90% of the beers I drink in any given month are Colorado brews, so I am a huge supporter of my state’s craft breweries as it is.  

Sorry to disappoint.  I’m a girl who knows what I want, and I wanted a non-Colorado beer!

State Beer Challenge: Not good for the forgetful drinker

I went into the State Beer Challenge on June 1st with the best intentions to drink only Colorado beers for the whole month.  However, unfortunately for me, I have a bad memory.  So I blew it on day one…less than 24 hours after I started.  It was an honest mistake, and I’ve been doing really well since then.  I beg your forgiveness!

Here’s a rundown of all the tasty Colorado beers I’ve had during the first week of the challenge:

Day 1:  Odell Ranger IPA, Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA, Great Divide Titan IPA, Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA from California–OOPS!, Breckenridge Brewery Avalanche Ale

Day 2:  all 3 of the above IPAs, Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery FYIPA, Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s IPA

Day 3:  Odell Ranger IPA, Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA, Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s IPA

Day 4:  Avery Maharaja, Ska Modus Hoperandi, Great Divide Rumble Oak Aged IPA (it’s BACK for the summer–yay!)

Day 5:  Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery FYIPA

Day 6:  Dry Dock Double IPA, Bristol Nitro 1Up IPA, Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s IPA, Odell Ranger IPA

Day 7:  Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery FYIPA, Ft. Collins Brewery Rocky Mountain IPA

As much as I love many of the great beers brewed in the state of Colorado, doing this for the rest of the month is going to be somewhat tough.  I hope it’s not cheating to sip off of others’ beers, as there are some new and exciting things I can’t resist drinking…like Firestone Walker Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA.  I will do my best, but if something rare comes along I just might have to imbibe.  If nothing else, June just might have to be 95% Colorado beers, as a beer lover like me can’t really be expected to pass up the occasional special brew.

June: Take the State Beer Challenge!

Today is June 1, and I am going to be participating in a month-long challenge.  The challenge?  Drink beers only from my state.  Fortunately for me, I live in Colorado, the “Napa Valley of beer.”  Shouldn’t be too tough, as I’d estimate out of every 10 of my beers, 8-9 of them are from Colorado.  But there are many other great beers out there, and I have  feeling there will be days I’ll find myself feeling a little deprived.  Can I do it?!  Stay tuned to find out.  I know you’re on the edge of your seat.

Also check out You Stay Hoppy Austin to read about all the tasty Texas brews that will be consumed there.  Texas has some amazing beer, Austin is such a fun time, and this is a great blog.

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