Saturday, April 27, 2013

Strange Brewing Cherry Bomb

Funky looking but was one of the first pours? Has a weird back taste so can't finish it. Hope the they pour, it will settle out.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Upslope Brewing's new brewery and tap room

Upslope Brewing has expanded again, this time in a whole new building in eastern Boulder. I have been a patron at Upslope since they were a wee 6 months old and it warms our hearts to see them grow.

Thursday, April 18 they had their soft opening for favorite patrons and for those in the craft beer industry. All beers were on the house and for the first 100, free sandwiches from the food truck, Cheese Louise. The opening started at 4pm with them still putting the taproom right and I'm not sure how long it lasted since we left early.

The facility is very large that Upslope can grow even more from within. The taproom consist of two rooms, the main room and an over flow room that can be used as a meeting room because of the sliding glass door that separates the room from the taproom. The bar is a horseshoe shape that can sit 20 people comfortably. The most impressive item in the taproom is the beer taps, made of a chrome like material that floats as if by magic in the middle of the bar. The beers comes directly from the holding tanks and probably kegs. Segments are cut out to show the tubing from which the beer flows through. It is difficult for me to explain but you can see from the photos what I mean.

The beer taps.
In the the back is the brew house and the canning area then separated by an alley is there storage area where they store brewing supplies and the empty cans. They used to store there empty cans at Roundhouse Distillery.

On tap was the Pale Ale, Dunkleweisse, Double IPA, the Brown Ale, Foreign Stout, a Thai IPA, and the Craft Lager in cans.

Brewing tanks
The soft opening was to tweak any problems with the equipment and give the staff time to iron out serving issues. The beer sometimes flowed foamy and the staff were adding beer to the taps as the night wear on.

Canning line.
The lab for quality control.

There were many people helping Upslope iron out the kinks, Steve and Leslie Kaczeus owners of Bootstrap Brewing, Kyle from Crooked Stave and Phil Vaughn taproom manager at Avery Brewing, and Vanessa who is bartender at Backcountry Pizza in Boulder. Then there were the lucky patrons who were invited such as Larry and I, Mitch Smith, Kim, and the parents of one of the Upslope staff who traveled from Boston, plus many more.

Upslope Brewing's grand opening is on Wednesday, April 24 at 11am. Show your support in the local craft beer by heading to Upslope's new venue.

Sandwich from Cheese Louise,
food truck.

Larry and I posing with a can
of Craft Lager.

Upslope Brewing
1898 Flatiron Court

Kyle Krebsbach from Crooked Stave.

Tony Conrad, Phil Vaughn, and Chris Krauss
were on hand to help celebrate.


Larry with Leslie and Steve Kaczeus.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hops and Pie, Highlands in Denver

I'm drinking like a woman, haha! Two 3 oz tasters of; Beard Envy from Backcountry Brewing, it's a rye brown ale at 8.5% ABV and Double Black Hooch, a Marker's Mark barrel aged blend of Lugene & Mtn Standard, at 9%ABV. Both are really good and the Hooch is smooth with that hint of whiskey.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Great Storm Brewing and Pikes Peak Brewing, new breweries in Colorado Springs

It is always fun to find new breweries everywhere we happen to be visiting, we found two new breweries in the Colorado Springs area that are worth checking out.

Just 5 minutes away from Trinity Brewing is Great Storm Brewing, a nano-brewery that will be celebrating their 1st anniversary in March. They have a small taproom with a nice bar and right in the midst of this is eight 50-gallon fermenters so the beer is brewed right there for all to see.  Great Storm has eight beers on tap including a guest beer which was a red ale from Lone Tree Brewing.

To really enjoy the fruits of a brewery's labor is to buy a taster set of their beers. With eight of their beers in front of us, we indulge our senses with each one.  I enjoyed more of the darker beer, Rum Raisin Stout on nitro. It was smooth yet dry and sweet as described, a oatmeal milk stout, but at 8.1% ABV it was their most potent beer.  My husband like the Shine On, a Belgian Black Lager and the guest beer, Acres of Green, a 6.5% Irish Red Ale. He also enjoyed the Seven Wolves, an American Pale Ale on nitro.


The following day on our way back from Colorado Springs we stopped at a brewery in Monument Colorado, Pikes Peak Brewing. The pour guy serving was pretty frazzled with him being the only one behind the bar then we found out he was one of the brewers, Brian Johnson.  Pikes Peak Brewing has been open for a year and a half.  With their location right off I-25, it quite convenient for newbies and locals. They have a nice size bar and plenty of tables with a few close to the fireplace.

Here we also ordered a full taster set.  I liked the Summit House Stout at 7.2% ABV and the Witchback Coffee Porter that was 6.5%. The coffee porter was packed with coffee flavor. Larry liked the Old Rush Belgian Ale which was a whopping 9.0%. Pikes Peak Brewery also has pre-made sandwiches and pretzels that are served hot from a panini press plus hot soup heated in a large pot. 

Great Storm Brewing
204 Mount View Lane #3
Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak Brewing
1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr.
Monument, CO

Gravity Brewing in Louisville, CO

From right to left;
Schwag-Cream Ale that is 5.0%ABV.
Steve-Weizenbock that is a rich, bock-like German wheat with bready malt flavors with hint of pear at 7.3%ABV.
Tsar Bomba Russian Imperial Stout that is aged in oak and rich flavors at 11%ABV.

Gravity Brewing is the brainchild of Julius Hummer and John Frazee. Today we met Julius who is the Master Brewer with many years experience in the craft beer industry. His father is the founder of Boulder Brewing. He was very pleasant to talk to and this time around we could actually say to him that we enjoyed drinking his beer. Our first experience was when Gravity Brewing first opened around 6 months ago wasn't ideal but we are glad things have changed.
Julius Hummer

My favorite brew was the Weizenbock and the Imperial Stout. I braved the 11%ABV and ordered the 9 ounce pour, I wasn't disappointed but it did kick my butt.

With Gravity Brewing a mile away from my house this could become our local hangout.

Tsar Bomba Russian Imperial Stout

Chocolates and Beer pairing at Avery Brewing Co, January 30, 2013

Chocolates are a sensory experience with many nuances in it's flavor and because of this  depth of flavor it pairs very well with wine, but I recently attended a chocolate beer pairing that was interesting and delicious.

Beer enthusiasts well know that beer has that same depth of nuances were you experience drinking it in three stages.  Before drinking any style of beer, the first thing that you should do is smell the aroma, is it hoppy, sweet, or fruity? Then upon the first sip there's a flavor of sweet, sour, or maybe a spiciness that swirls in the front of the mouth.  The last stage is the aftertaste that occurs when you swallow the beer, there should be a back flavor, bitterness or a sweetness that leaves a residue in your mouth.  As stated earlier, chocolate has that same three stages.

Avery Brewing Co in Boulder hosted a chocolate beer pairing with Piece, Love, and Chocolate owner/chocolatier, Sarah Amorese and Jeff Mendel, Director and Ambassador for Left Hand Brewing Co.  Sarah and Jeff worked together for a few months trying to marry the best flavors of of chocolate and beer for this event.  Same of the pairings were complimentary while others were contrasting in flavors.  Some of the pairs weren't my favorites but it was fun eating chocolate while tasting beer.

We first received an appetizer of Avery's Reverend which is a Quadruple Ale with a Reverend Mousse Cup and Reverend Cut Ganache. This pairing was amazing in richness and texture.

Then a plate of 7 pieces of chocolate confection were artistically arranged in order of pairing.

The first pairing was White Chocolate Lemon Tart with Sierra Nevada's Kellerweiss Ale, an American Hefeweizen.  This wasn't one of my favorite pairings, I didn't like the hefeweizen at all nor did it pair will with the dessert.

The next pairing was with White Chocolate Cheesecake with New Belgium's Frambozen, a raspberry brown ale.  This was a favorite because the flavor melded so well together.

Third pairing was Left Hand Milk Stout Chocolate Cup-0-Love Cake that was paired with Left Hand Milk Stout.  Of course, the flavors were very complementary.

The next was a pairing of Chocolate Pecan Tart with Avery's Hog Heaven, a barleywine style ale. The hoppiness of the Hog went very well with the sweetness of the pecan tart.

Fifth pairing was with Lightly candied and panned nuts and a dark chocolate with salted liquid caramel
that was paired with Foreign Stout from Upslope Brewing. The saltiness of the nuts went well with the stout as did the dark chocolate.

The sixth pairing was of a Salted Caramel Cookie Tarte with Wood Shed Smoked Porter from West Flanders Brewing.  I didn't care for this pairing for the beer wasn't to my palate and the cookie was just okay.

The last pairing was a Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread with a dollop of white chocolate that was with Tweak, Avery Brewing's Mephistopheles that is infused with a cold coffee toddy. Loved the beer but disliked the dessert.
Milk Stout, Hog Heaven, Foreign Stout, Smoked Porter,
and Tweak.

While we were indulging in each course, Mendel and Amorese talked about beer and chocolate, the history of both plus the process they went through in each industry.  The only bad comment I have about that night was that we weren't given enough time in between courses.  The beer kept flowing then they would talk about the next course.  It went too fast for me.

At the end of the event we were given a care package of 4 chocolates that were made with 4 different beers. The beer chocolate pairing event was worth the $55.