Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sneak Peak at the new Crazy Mountain Brewery in Denver with the Barley's Angels

Barley's Angels in between the fermenters.

Barley’s Angels had a great opportunity to host an event at the new Crazy Mountain Brewing facility in Denver. As some of you know, Breckenridge Brewing handed over their old brewery to Crazy Mountain as a turnkey.  I had no idea how big Breckenridge Brewing was nor how much they brewed until we went on the tour. It is huge!  The brewery has brewed 60 batches of beer so it's up and running. The taproom will be opening in the middle of November. The taproom hadn’t been updated but I imagine that it will be soon. Th
Before the event.

Roomful of Barley's Angels!

The labels with artistic design
for all their bottles.

Karl Allis, Brewery Sales Representative and Sinead McGuire, Denver Marketing Coordinator, were on hand to pour beers and answer questions. Both were knowledgeable on Crazy Mountain beers as well as in beers in general. John Allshouse, head brewer at Crazy Mountain was also there to give us the tour of the brewhouse. Deborah Cameron, founder of the Colorado sect of Barley’s Angels was there to provide check-ins, welcome everyone, spoke about the organization to newcomers and future events, and she brought some food to pair with the beers. Etai's Catering also provide some of the food for this event.

Sinead McGuire and Karl Allis,
John Almshouse and Deborah Cameron.

The beers were very good and it was virtually an open bar! It was a weekday so I'm sure none of the ladies went over board on the beer. The cheese and crackers were nice to have to soak up all that beer.

Lawyers, Guns and Money Barleywine.
in a pint glass!

Brewery Tour:

grain miller.

John standing in front of keg washer.
The warehouse.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Black Shirt Brewing's 3rd Anniversary Party

October 10, was the 3rd anniversary party for Black Shirt Brewing and it was jumping. We arrived close to the opening around 2:15 that Saturday and there was a fair amount of people in attendance. Black Shirt Brewing is close to our hearts, we have known the three founders when they were brewing in their basement in Centennial, CO.  Chad and Carissa, and Branden Miller are the heart of this brewery and it has become a local hangout.
Front patio seating with Branden Miller waiting tables.

For this special day, they had some really nice beers on tap. They had a barrel-aged Imperial Red Porter on tap that was 8.14% ABV. It was aged for 10 months in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Another wonderful beer on tap was the whisky barrel-aged coffee quad, a 9.5% beer that was aged 21 months in whisky barrels then blended with Huckleberry Roasters Guatemalan coffee. Both of these beers were excellent!
Barrel-aged Imperial Porter.
Larry holding a whiskey barrel-aged
coffee Quad.

They also had a 3rd Anniversary Sour on tap, it was brewed with Colorado barley, hops, and with their Saison yeast strain. Here's the rest of the story.

3rd Anniversary Sour/

We didn't stay the entire evening so didn't get to hear the band.  They have a really cool stage out back in the patio made with pallets.

Patio photo from Black Shirt Brewing Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Brett Pack Dinner at Avery Brewing, GABF 2015

Brett pack dinner at Avery Brewing was the Wednesday before the GABF 2015. The Brett Pack consist of 5 brewers, Adam Avery, Sam Calagione, Tomme Arthur, Vinnie Cilurzo, and Rob Tod. They all took a trip together to Belgium in 2006 where they learned from the masters at the Belgian breweries and to drink such unique beers. Usually this dinner is at the Kitchen, a restaurant in Boulder but with the opening of the new Avery Brewery facility, I think Adam Avery wanted to showcase his restaurant.  All the Brett Pack was in attendance. Even though this was at the Avery Brewing restaurant and the entrees were really good, this was a dinner where the beer took center stage.

This photo was on the hostess table at
the entrance to the restaurant.

Our table with an complimentary bottle opener.

The start of the dinner pairing was a Welcome beers from each of the breweries.
Allagash          Allagash White, a Belgian-style wit at 5.1%
Avery               Twenty Two, 100% Brettanomyces drie fermented dry-hopped wild ale, at 6.0%
Dogfish Head  Festina Peche, Neo Berliner Weisse brewed with peaches at 4.5%
The Lost Abbey      Hop Concept, hop freshener tropical IPA at 8.5%
Russian River Pliny the Elder, a double IPA with Amarillo, Centennial, CTZ and Simcoe hops at         8.0%
Festina Peche.

Not a bad start to this first major event of GABF.

Amy and Rachael, employees at
Avery Brewing.

The Brett Pack table.

Vinnie Cilurzo and Larry Smith
having a beer conversation.
Rob Tod and Mitch Smith.

Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo.

Dick Cantwell, Kim Jordan, Adam Avery
and  some Nebraska Brewing staff.
Tomme Arthur, Steve Breezley, Andy Parker,
Rob Christiansen, and Adam Avery.

Ray Decker, Service and Hospitality Director.
He made this evening possible.

The entree pairings were very good but there was too much on the plates to really enjoy each course, by the end I was stuffed. And to be honest the food was a compliment to the beer.

First course was Russian River Temptation and The Lost Abbey Veritas paired with seared scallops, squash and lobster risotto, confit cherry tomatoes, gremolata.  The scallops were perfect and the rest just enhanced it. Both sours went very well with this course. Veritas is a very rare beer, it usually doesn’t make it this far east.

The second course was Allagash Fluxus and Russian River Supplication paired with duck, duck, goose. Duck confit, foie gras torchon, soft boiled duck egg, frisee, and cherry gastrique. Another good pairings, the fruit of the Fluxus and the sour brown ale cut through the richness of this course.

Third course was Avery Brewing Vallum and Dogfish Head 2010 Immort Ale. These beers were paired with a ribeye steak that was coffee rubbed, sunchoke gratin, and maitaki demi. The 11% ABV 2010 Immort Ale added to the richness of the steak while the sour ale, Vallum complimented this course.

The fourth course was with Allagash Farm to Face and Antonius Carmen from Avery Brewing. These beers were paired with a meat and cheese plate of Jasper Hill’s Alpha Tolman, MouCo’s Colorouge, house-made pork rillette, and anaheim date jam. I have to admit that by this course I was stuffed but these sours paired well with the robust cheeses and the rich rillette.

The dessert course was 2008 Fort from Dogfish Head and The Lost Abbey Track 8, they were paired with a raspberry semifreddo, dark chocolate, and toasted coconut. I really can’t remember this course except the semifreddo was good.  I think the beers were excellent, only because I had Fort before and a 2008 could only get better with age, it’s 18.0% ABV. Track 8 is a 13.7% ABV and my husband raves about it.

This is an event that we will probably make a tradition every GABF. It surpassed most of the other events we went to, excluding Sour Sunday which I really enjoyed. Adam Avery and staff at Avery Brewing did a wonderful job setting this event up at their new brewing facility in Gunbarrel, CO.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GABF week 2015, day 3

Tuesday was Upslope Brewing GABF specials that hit both our fancies, mine and my husbands. Upslope Brewing has something new on tap everyday of GABF.  Upslope has two taprooms, the original at Lee Hill Rd in North Boulder, and the Flatirons Circle in east Boulder.

The Lee Hill taproom had on their Lee Hill Vol. 3 barrel-aged series. It was an imperial stout that was aged for 6 months in a barrel and then keg aged for another 6 months.

At the Flatirons taproom, the special beer was a 3 year old Barleywine.

For more GABF specials at Upslope Brewing, http://upslopebrewing.com/blog/

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Day 2 of GABF week, 2015

Monday at Backcountry Pizza was an IPA event with Melvin Brewing, Comrade Brewing, and Cannonball Creek Brewing. 

The lineup was fantastic!

Melvin 2x4 and Comrade Hop Chop.

1. Melvin 2x4                                       
2. Melvin Fresh Hop 2x4
3.Melvin The New Sheriff
4. Melvin Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb
5. Melvin Donkey Punch
6. Comrade Superpower
7. Comrade Superdamp
8. Comrade Honeyman VII
9. Comrade Hop Chops
10.Cannonball Creek Not Mind Bender
11. Cannonball Creek Project Alpha 4
12. Cannonball Creek Black 28
13. Cannonball Creek Mocha Porter
14. Fresh Hop Featherweight Pale Ale
Also- Classic Kung Fu Movies on the TVs, Wu Tang on the stereo. this is tradition when Melvin Brewing is featured at Backcountry Pizza.
(list from Backcountry Pizza Facebook page) 

GABF 2015 week, day 1

It's GABF week again and this is going to be another great week of beer events going on before the festival. Let's start with Sour Sunday at Backcountry Pizza and Tap House in Boulder, CO.  Owner, John Fayman has done it again with over 50 sour ales from all over the world. This is the third year he has kicked off GABF week with Sour Sunday.

Backcountry Pizza opened at 10 am that day but there was a line that started much earlier with enthusiastic beer drinkers. We got there at 10:05 at the place was packed, it was a good thing our friends got there earlier and saved us two seats.

This was taken around 10:30 am, place was packed!

For Sour Sunday, beers were either a full pour or half, where full pours were 10 ounces. I decided that to be able to taste more beers I would order half pours. I ordered two sour ales, The Cut, a 5.0% ABV cherry sour from Casey Brewing and Blending and Peach Oscar, a 8.5% sour from New Belgium. I didn't like the Cut at all, it had some really funky tastes going on but the Peach Oscar was really good.
Cherry Busey and The Cut.

My next sour was from the Sun King Brewing, Cherry Busey. It is a barrel aged Flanders-style Oud Bruin with Montmorency cherries that is 6.5% ABV. It was another tasty sour ale with a cherry aroma and just the right tartness.

The last beer for me was one of the reason I love Sour Sunday, a cask of Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus. It's a lushous fambroise that's only 5.0% ABV. The nose of this beer is full of raspberries with a rosey colored body. I waited 2 hours for a pour of this beer and it was worth it.
Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus and a slice of cheese pizza.

There was also a special menu for this event. Breakfast was served,  eegs, biscuit and gravy, raspberry scone, mushroom and goat cheese quiche, and a fruit parfait. There was also a special lunch menu that had some tasty looking entrees too. I had the mushroom and goat cheese quiche, it had a little too much goat cheese for my taste. Larry, my husband, had the eggs, biscuit and gravy. He said it was good but there were ham pieces in it which he thought was kind of weird.

Mushroom and goat cheese quiche.

Sour Sunday was a success with good friends, great beer, and good eats!

The servers were hopping that day.