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Apr 17, 2014

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Beer honors Colorado pioneer

'Imperial IPA' pays tribute to Gordon Knight

Jan 20, 2003 - Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colo., is set to will release Gordon, a limited-release, bottle-conditioned "Imperial IPA" brewed in honor of the late Gordon Knight.

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Knight was one of the early pioneers of Colorado's craft beer business, founding Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Boulder), Wolf Tongue Brewery (Nederland) and High Country Brewery/Estes Park Brewery (Estes Park). He won Great American Beer Festival gold medals at each of those breweries, including one in 1993 for High Country's Renegade Red, an India pale ale, in 1993. At Wolf Tongue, his last brewing stop, Mr. Hoppy had a cult following.

A former helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Knight also flew helicopter missions for various Colorado and federal agencies. He died July 30 when the helicopter he was flying crashed while Knight was dropping water on the Big Elk fire, near Lyons.

"We all miss him," said Brian Lutz, brewmaster for Oskar Blues and its sister location, Redfish New Orleans Brewhouse, in Boulder, Colorado. "We appreciate the sacrifice he made and the kind of person he was. Gordon was one hell of a role model for humanity, he did a million things for everybody, and he did them all very quietly."

Gordon is an amber-colored, heavily hopped, extra-strength beer in the India Pale Ale style. It's brewed with massive amounts of American hops from the Northwest, including a dry hop addition of whole cones of Cascade hops. Gordon delivers approximately 90 IBUs (International Bittering Units) and weighs in at just over 9% alcohol by volume.

Corked, 750 ml champagne bottles of Gordon will be available at select Boulder and Denver retail stores beginning Jan. 27. The beer is also available on tap at Oskar Blues Brewpub.

"This beer is big, just like Gordon Knight," Lutz said. "He had a big spirit, he'd be proud of this beer."


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