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Jul 31, 2014

Beer Break

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Beer Break Vol. 1, No. 4
A Colorado 12-pack

Sept. 28, 2000

Maybe you are headed to Colorado next week for the Great American Beer Festival, or you know somebody who is and want to have them bring you back some beer. A trip to one of the better beer stores in the Denver-Boulder area can be overwhelming. That's why we asked Chris Black, publican at the venerable Falling Rock Tap House in Denver, to assemble a special 12-pack.

The only rule was that the beers be available in bottles -- that meant no brewpub beers or draft-only specials -- whether they are 12 ounces, 22 ounces or (in the case of the New Belgium Folie) 375 ml and 750 ml.

With his apologies to all the brewers and beers he didn't get to mention, here are his picks:

Avery Brewing "Hog Heaven Barleywine" (Boulder)
Lighter colored barleywine weighing in at ~9.8% (9.2 on label) with incredible HOP AROMA. Great fresh, great older, Kim's favorite (one of my bartenders).

New Belgium Brewing "La Folie" (Ft. Collins)
Sorry but you have to drive to the brewery for this one. Very limited first release from their double secret experimental wood aging program. Sour Brown Ale. Serving tip - don't serve too cold and pour vigorously into wide mouthed glass.

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Great Divide "Denver Pale Ale" (Denver)
Classic English Style Pale Ale (as evidenced by the ever growing list of medals) fits the style guidelines to a 'T'.

Twisted Pine "Twisted Amber" (Boulder)
Hoppy, balanced Amber Ale made by some of the nicest folks in the industry.

Golden City "Old Centurion Barleywine" (Golden)
From the second largest brewery in Golden, this Barleywine is big-bodied and darker with great aging potential (recently had some '96 - awesome dried fruits and sherry with still a hint of hops). At this time of year your best bet is the brewery for this one.

Tabernash Weiss (Longmont)
Best Bavarian-style weizen around.

Odell's "Colorado Stream Beer" (Ft. Collins)
Summer offering, Lager-Brewed-at-More-Ale-Like temperatures, somewhat lighter in body and color than others in the style and very refreshing session beer.

Il Vicino "Wet Mountain IPA" (Salida & Colorado Springs)
Harder to find but well worth it for the hops heads out there. Biggest Hop Bomb you can find here in the bottle -- the other beers that are hoppier are draught only and can only be found at the brewpubs and a few select outside venues like mine :)

Bristol "Laughing Lab Scottish Ale" (Colorado Springs)
OK, OK, I'll get off of the hop kick with this one and venture onto the maltier side of the fence. Nice malt-centered offering here (but not by any means cloyingly sweet).

Left Hand "Imperial Stout" (Longmont)
BIG, CHEWY, RICH, YUMMY! (Danger Will Robinson!)

Twisted Pine "Twisted Stout" (Boulder)
I know I'm repeating myself but this stuff is really nice. Definitly American in style, roasty, rich stain-the-enamel-on-on-your-teeth black color, yeah baby!!!

Avery "IPA" (Boulder)
So shoot me, but this is crisp, hoppy, and incredibly aromatic. These guys are the local kings of late addition hops.

Except for the Colorado Convention Center, where the festival is held, nobody will have more interesting beer during GABF than Falling Rock. It's at 1919 Blake St. On the Internet you'll find it at:

     http://www.thefallingrock.com

Tasting notes

MAISEL'S WEISSE ORIGINAL
Brewed in Germany

Michael Jackson writes:

Tasting note: Maisel's Weisse Original has a peachy colour, and is very fruity in aroma and flavor, with suggestions of apples and bananas; a fluffy, textured middle; and a tart, refreshing finish.

Food pairing: Germans often enjoy this style of beer with a herbed veal sausage (Weisswurst). More exotically, I have seen wheat beer served with elderflower fritters. I think this style is, indeed, fruity enough to go with desserts. Ideally, fruity ones, of course. How about an apple pie, with cinnamon and cloves?

SIERRA NEVADA PORTER
Brewed in Chico, California

Ray Daniels writes:

Appearance: Deep amber with definite red cast. Big head.
Aroma: Fresh hoppy nose with spicy and citrus notes.
Flavor: Some dark malt notes in a nicely balanced presentation of malt and hop flavor. Hop notes tend to win out, but there is plenty of malt flavor here. Very crisp finish with just a hint of lingering dark malt. Medium bodied.

Read more from Ray about American porters.

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