If you are headed to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival in September beer is probably your top priority, so first the news about a unique beer tasting.
More than 80 percent of the tickets for the Denver Rare Beer Tasting on Sept. 25 are already sold. The event in the afternoon at Wynkoop Brewing benefits Pints for Prostates, an awareness campaign aimed at encouraging men to have regular prostate health screenings and PSA tests.
Each brewery at the event will be pouring one unique beer, including some vintage aged beers and brews that were made in extremely limited batches as part of special projects. Ticket information can be found here (and a list of some of the beers that will be available at Wynkoop follows after the other news).
– The fourth annual Boulder County Brews Cruise will feature two bus trips that visit the original four Boulder County breweries â€“ Avery Brewing, Boulder Beer Company, Left Hand Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery â€“ from the very first cruise. The trip begins at 8 a.m. Sept. 23 from downtown Denver.
The cruise includes seat on the bus, free samples at each stop, a light breakfast, lunch, and a commemorative T-shirt. Last year’s cruise sold out. Ticket information.
– The Simpsons are one of the sponsors of this year’s GABF. They are scheduled open each session of the festival with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Now back to beer, and some of those that will be at the Rare Beer Tasting:
Allagash Fluxus â€™09: This saison from Maine is brewed with sweet potatoes and black pepper, weighing in at 8.3 percent alcohol by volume. Jason Perkins will represent the brewery.
Alaskan 1999 Vintage Smoked Porter: The last known draught keg of the 1999 vintage of Alaskanâ€™s much decorated Smoked Porter. This beer will be served alongside a sample of 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter for comparison.
Anheuser-Busch Pilot Batch: This is an experimental beer from Anheuser-Busch so rare that only brewery insiders and a few lucky beer journalists will ever get the chance to taste the brew. Get ready to be surprised. Kristi Saviers will represent the brewery.
Brooklyn Wild 1: This beer started off as a batch of the popular bottle-conditioned Brooklyn Local 1 farmhouse ale, then spent nine months in Bourbon barrels and then it was bottle conditioned with Belgian re-fermentation yeast and a strain of Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Only 80 cases were made for consumption by Brooklyn Brewery staff. Garrett Oliver will represent the brewery.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter XX: Brewed in 2008 to celebrate Deschutesâ€™ 20th anniversary, this 11 percent alcohol by volume beer was pulled from the brewmasterâ€™s private library. This beer starts off as a Double Black Butte Porter, has cocoa nibs and Bellatazza Coffee Roastersâ€™ Sumatran and Ethiopian beans added, then it is aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. Brett Porter will represent the brewery.
Dogfish Head 2006 Raison Dâ€™Extra: This is a super charged 18 percent alcohol by volume version of the popular Dogfish Head Raison Dâ€™Etre. The brewery has not made this brew for the past two years.
Foothills Barrel Aged Total Eclipse Stout: One of only 10 kegs of this beer in the world. This North Carolina brewery took its award winning stout and aged it for three to four months in ex-whiskey barrels that previously held 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. Jamie Bartholomaus will represent the brewery.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Glacier Harvest â€™09 Wet Hop Ale: The 28th edition of Harpoonâ€™s 100 Barrel Series, this deep copper colored beer is made using fresh Glacier hops. Todd Charbonneau will represent the brewery.
Highland Big Butte Smoked Porter: Winner of the Highland Cup homebrewing completion and based on a recipe created by Alex Buerckholtz, this beer is only available for a very limited time in North Carolina. Features smoked German malt and Fuggle hops. John Lyda will represent the brewery.
New Glarus Golden Ale: This Belgian-style ale is the first of the Wisconsin breweryâ€™s R&D Series and previously was only available at the brewery. The 7 percent alcohol by volume beer is bottle fermented with Brettanomyces yeast. Dan Carey will represent the brewery.
Reunion â€“ A Beer of Hope: This Double White Ale was collaboratively designed and brewed by four brewers across the U.S.: Bison Brewing and Pizza Port Brewing in California, Elysian Brewing in Washington and Terrapin Brewing in Georgia. This Belgian-style witbier uses sweet orange peel, coriander, lemongrass and rhubarb root. Sales of the beer support The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. Daniel Del Grande and George Allen from Bison Brewery represent the brewers.
Rogue John-John Hazelnut Dead Guy: Named for Rogue Brewmaster John Maier and Rogue Master Distiller John Couchot, this brew starts off with Rogueâ€™s famous Dead Guy Ale that is aged in Rogue Hazelnut Rum barrels. Brett Joyce will represent the brewery.
Saranac Imperial IPA: Part of the New York breweryâ€™s limited release High Peaks Series this ale features 10 different hop varieties and 10 different malts.
Stone 2008 Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Red Wine Barrels: This 95 IBU barley wine has a massive malt character that is made even more complex thanks to the barrel aging. Greg Koch and Mitch Steele will represent the brewery.
Stoudt 2007 Barrel-Aged Reserve Old Abominable Barleywine: This vintage barleywine from Pennsylvania was aged for 10 months in oak whiskey barrels before being keg conditioned. Carol Stoudt will represent the brewery.
Wynkoop 2008 Barrel Aged Berserker Mead: This 11 percent alcohol by volume mead was made using Colorado wildflower honey and has spent about 20 months in barrels that were formally the home of Stranahanâ€™s Colorado Whiskey. C. Andrew Brown will represent the brewery.