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AUG/SEP 2005 | REGIONAL | ROCKIES

Rocky Mountain Brews : Tabernash Weiss Rides Off into the Sunset
By Marty Jones

After a good long run, a Colorado beer icon has left the scene. Tabernash Weiss, once one of Colorado’s most celebrated craft beers, is no longer. “We’re slowly putting the Tabernash beers to bed,” reported Eric Wallace, Left Hand & Tabernash Brewing’s head man. “It’s something we’ve been struggling with for years.” Wallace said the Tabernash brand has had a hard time holding its own after the brewery left its home in Denver a few years ago to join forces with his Longmont, Colo., craft brewery.

When Tabernash was in its original downtown Denver location, it was a right of passage to visit the brewery and fill a growler with the legendary beer (created by Eric Warner, now Flying Dog’s leader). But while the Tabernash Weiss brand is no longer, the beer will live on in tweaked fashion. Wallace said the beer has been renamed Left Hand Haystack Wheat and is brewed with the same Bavarian-style yeast strain that has been its trademark.

Tabernash’s pilsner has also been repackaged as Polestar Pilsner. Wallace said it’ll be a “more authentic” version with more hop character and Czech style. Look for the repackaged, revamped beers in all Left Hand markets now.

Great Divide earned the “Top Brewer in Colorado” award, claiming five of the 10 available slots in “Colorado’s Top 10 Beers.”

Fort Collins, Colo.’s Odell Brewing Company has updated the packaging for its entire line of bottled beers. The company’s products now sport what staffer Joani Denyes calls “a more handcrafted” look and feel. The new packaging started hitting shelves early this summer, and the bottled lineup now includes the company’s hoppy 5 Barrel Pale Ale.

Denver’s Great Divide Brewing Company has been releasing a line of assertive beers aimed at lovers of that genre, and the move helped the company clean house in RateBeer.com’s “RateBeer Best, Summer 2005” awards. The brewery ranked 33rd in the competition’s “World’s Top 100 Brewers,” and three of its beers (Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Hercules Double IPA and Yeti Imperial Stout) landed in the competition’s “Top 100 Beers in the World” list. Great Divide also earned the “Top Brewer in Colorado” award by claiming five of the 10 available slots in “Colorado’s Top 10 Beers.”

Brewery founder Brian Dunn says he’s thrilled to win such lofty acclaim from Ratebeer.com’s consumer reviewers. “For Great Divide to brew three of the top 100 beers in the world, and half of the top 10 in Colorado, is an incredible honor,” Dunn said. “We have always sought to brew the world’s best beers, and this shows we’ve been successful.”

On August 7, Boulder’s Avery Brewing Company is hosting a bash to celebrate its 12-year anniversary. The event takes place at the brewery and will feature tastings of the full line of Avery beers, including some treasures from Adam Avery’s aged stock. There will also be live music, roasted pigs and other treats. Lodging accommodations nearby are also available, a good thing in the face of Avery’s array of whopper beers. Get details at averybrewing.com.

Colorado brewpub hunter Roger Kirkpatrick reports that the Silverton Brewery is now open and serving fresh beer. Founder Joel Harvie, a longtime homebrewer and Siebel grad, is serving an amber ale and a hefeweizen, and said he aims to keep four beers on tap. The beers are made on a five-barrel system at the brewpub, which serves gourmet sandwiches, soups, pizzas and other fare.
Beer lovers and beer-makers across Colorado and the U.S. are gearing up for the 2005 Great American Beer Festival, September 29 to October 1 in the Colorado Convention Center. This year’s fest will feature 1,600 beers from 372 U.S. breweries, and an expanded presence for the fest’s beer and food pairing demos. Get details at greatamericanbeefestival.com.

Silverton Brewery
1333 Greene St.
Silverton, CO 81433
(970) 387-5033

Marty Jones is a Denver freelance writer and leader of Marty Jones & the Pork Boilin’ Poor Boys, Colorado’s kings of bash-grass and drunky-tonk. Got beer news from the Rocky Mountain region? Contact him at martysjones@worldnet.att.net.

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