AUG/SEP 2006 | REGIONAL | ROCKIES
||Rocky Mountain Brews : Avalanche
Conditions In Denver
Breckenridge Brewery, one of Colorado’s pioneering
and longest-standing craft breweries, has expanded. The company
has put the finishing touches on a new structure at its Denver
headquarters, which now holds two 150-barrel fermenters and
has room for four more 200-barrel tanks.
“We are planning,” says Breck’s marketing
man, Steve Kurowski, “to name this expansion “The
Avalanche Ranch,” since most of this space will be dedicated
to the production of Avalanche Ale.” Fans of the company’s
growing lineup of more richly flavored beers will be happy
to know that the expansion means more of their preferred Breck
beers, too. “This will allow us to brew more small-batch
and seasonal beers with the fermentation tanks that we have
now,” Kurowski says.
Breckenridge Head Brewer Todd Usry has plans in the works
for a ramped-up rendition of an ESB that will appear in late
September or early October. To celebrate its 10th year of
brewing at the company’s Kalamath Street brewery in
Denver, Breckenridge whipped up an extra-strength version
of it biggest seller. The über-Avalanche weighed in 7.5%
abv and was sold in limited-release, one-liter bottles (just
1,200 of them) in select Breckenridge markets.
Left Hand Brewing is turning loose a few new brews of its
own now. A reworked version of the late Tabernash Marzen is
being released under the Left Hand label in mid-August. It
will be sold in six-packs and kegs. Fans of Belgian-style
beers will be happy to hear about Left Hand’s St. Vrain
Tripel, the latest entry in the company’s Big Mo series.
The beer is made with Styrian Golding hops and Belgian candi
sugars and will hit stores in late August in 750-ml champagne
There’s a contest where customers
pair a homemade recipe with one of Left Hand’s beers.
The grand prize? Free beer for a year.
In other news from the Longmont-based brewery, Jackman’s
American Pale Ale is getting a packaging facelift, and Black
Jack Porter earned a gold medal in the Brown Porter category
at the 2006 North American Beer Awards. There’s also
a contest being conducted in the brewery’s tasting room
in which customers pair a homemade recipe with one of Left
Hand’s beers. The grand prize? Free beer for a year.
Get details by visiting the tasting room at 1265 Boston Avenue
in Longmont. Colo.
Bristol Brewing’s Jason Yester reports that he’ll
have a few choice arrivals in August and September. The lineup
will include a pale bock, a Belgian-style wit, a hefeweizen
and the company’s glorious Winter Warlock Oatmeal Stout.
If you like to hug trees and beer mugs, the Colorado Springs
brewery’s August 12 Craft Lager Festival is your kind
of beer fest. This year’s fourth annual celebration
of bottom-fermented beers takes place in nearby Manitou Springs,
and proceeds from the event go to protect open spaces in the
Pikes Peak region. The event takes place at Soda Springs Park,
1016 Manitou Avenue. Admission is $20 for unlimited sampling.
Get more info at craftlagerfestival.com.
David Mentus reports that the Pump House is serving Summertime
Organic Saison, his second organic beer of 2006. The beer
is fermented at a toasty 90°F and brewed with organic
malts; a few dashes of flaked rye, wheat and oats; and organic
Hallertau hops from New Zealand. Mentus will also be serving
up a delicious-sounding porter made with carob molasses and
aged with Belgian chocolate. Yum. There will also be a Survivor
Cream Ale, named for the Pump House’s assistant general
manager, John Ryan, who escaped a serious brush with death
this past spring while stranded for three days in the forests
of Colorado’s Keystone Resort. (Now there’s a
man worthy of a beer brewed in his honor.)
Speaking of Keystone, on August 5–6 the annual Bluegrass
& Beer Festival takes place at the popular ski resort.
The lineup includes The Biscuit Burners, Grass It Up, The
Ackermans and yours truly sitting in with the mighty Halden
Wofford & the Hi-Beams. Get details at their website located
The 5280 Roadhouse & Brewery at 578 S. Rapp Street in
Littleton has changed its name. The establishment’s
new handle is Mill Steakhouse and Brewery, and Greg Shofner
remains in charge of the beers there. The new handle was taken
on to better reflect the establishment’s upscale-casual
feel (far removed from that of a roadhouse) and to end some
confusion with the often-used-in-Denver “5280”
handle. On a recent visit, the always-hospitable Shofner was
serving his usual array of finely crafted beers, including
an elegant Brit-style IPA and a delightful, caramelly brown
ale. Shofner is one of the area’s under-recognized pub
brewers, a maker of consistently tasty and well-balanced brews,
and the Mill’s new menu sports a nice mix of steaks
and other goodies. Get the latest info on the beers and the
brewpub at 303-730-8000.
Marty Jones is the “Bard of Beer Songs,”
Oskar Blues Brewery’s lead singer and a cheerleader
for various gems in Colorado’s craft-beer culture. Got
beery news? Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hear his music at martyjones.net.