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Back in January, we invited people over to eat some bacon and brew some beer. It was awesome. So we’re doing it again. 10 months later.

Last time we brewed an extract clone of Bell’s Best Brown. It turned out great. I think we might still have some to share, actually.

This time, we’ll be doing the infamous Rye Dry Stout. All grain baby. All grain.

It all happens this Saturday, 10/23. I’ll start the water boiling around 10am, and have bacon and eggs and other suchness ready to go around that time as well.

If you’d like to join, shoot me an email (pj [dot] hoberman [at] gmail [dot] com), leave a comment, text me, tweet at me, call me, smoke signals… Whatever your preferred method of contacting me might be.

See you Saturday!

 

Graaaaaaains

Rye Dry Stout grains

 

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Well, we haven’t been completely on the brewing schedule, but, here’s what I plan to have for GABF:

  • Black something. I have no idea what style or ingredients or whatever are in it. Roulette beer! Bet on black!
  • Pam, the “natural” blonde
  • Bitch Creek ESB clone
  • Scotch Ale w/ oak chips
  • IPA
  • Rye Dry Stout w/ Carraway seeds
  • Maybe even more of the blonde. I’ve been drinking a lot of it..

Not too shabby.

I’ve been meeting a bunch of awesome beer geeks, future beer geeks, other awesome people, and it’s been wonderful. I love having beer on hand to share. Makes the world go round.

In other news, I just wrote a big article on my other blog about other things around town during GABF. For those coming to town, or contemplating it, I hope it’s a good resource. I’m copying and pasting it. Enjoy!

When in Rome, err, Denver

According to the GABF countdown clock at Falling Rock, there’s about 22 days until the start of the Great American Beer Festival. Could be a little more or a little less. Counting is hard.

The festival is sold out, but there are always tickets for sale on Craigslist and other such sites. But whether you got tickets or not, Denver has a lot of beer to offer outside the hallowed – scratch that – beer-drenched hall that is the Festival. Why, just within a few miles of the Convention Center, there are more than a dozen beer-centric establishments.

Before I get into what those are, I want to impress upon you that Denver does in fact have more to offer than just great beer. We have whiskey too!

This town is wonderful, and I implore you to explore it, should you find the time and the sobriety. Our local Yelpers are fantastic, so trust that site if you need a quick lookup. Grab a reindeer  or wild boar hot dog, see a show or a show or a showgrab a book, or maybe even take a hike. And if you like dive bars – and I love dive bars – we have a few of those too.

But, in the end, you’re here for the beer. So let’s get to that.

I made a map on Google maps of about 15 beer places within 2-3 miles of the Convention Center. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them within 100 miles of downtown, so I decided to stick to walk-able and bike-ride-able from downtown. If you want a more complete map of the region, check outbeermapping.com. Oh, and speaking of bicycles, we have an awesome bike rental program too.

In no particular order, here are the establishments I’ve pinned on the map. If you know of another I should add, please let me know. Click on the map for addresses, directions, etc.

Falling Rock
75 taps, 120 bottles, events every day, this is generally a good place to be. Full writeup.

Great Divide
It’s no secret I love this place. I think I mention them in every single article I write. Do yourself a favor and go there.

Euclid Hall
Brand new spot in town, tons of awesome beer and food. My friend Ryan is pimping out their tap list.

Mellow Mushroom
New location right downtown. 36 beers on tap, from the cold yellow fizzy to the crazy Belgians nom noms.

Strange Brewing
They just got started a few months ago and are rocking out. Go try their brews and support new micros.

Star Bar
Old dive turned into new dive with craft beer and liquors. You didn’t have a good time if you didn’t stop here.

Breckenridge Brewpub
One of the biggest production breweries around here, and right next to Coors Field to boot!

Cheeky Monk
Tons of Belgian awesomeness on tap and in bottles, plus great food. Try the mussels! Full writeup.

Vine Street Pub
Part of the Mountain Sun family, this place is one of the coolest spots in Denver. Great beer and guest taps too.

Thin Man
Funky little bar with a coffee shop attached. Right next to Vine Street.

Rackhouse Pub
I go here a bit too often. Amazing beer, liquor, food, and people. Full writeup.

Colt & Gray
I told the bartender I liked scotch, whiskey, and new things, and he made me a pre-prohibition style Old Fashioned. Amazing.

Wynkoop
Started by our current mayor in 1988 and still rocking right downtown.

Uptown Brothers Brewing
Yet another new beer place in Denver. Tons of good stuff now, brewing their own soon.

Pints Pub
Largest single malt scotch collection in.. America? At least this side of the Mississippi. They brew there as well. Full writeup.

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This Friday (July 23) is the 4th annual Denver Summer Brew Fest. It’s at Mile High Station, and should be an awesome time. There’s about 35 breweries there, music, and even a VIP early entrance that includes a beer and cheese pairing.

Some other cool stuff of note.. If you ride your bike there, you get $5 off the ticket price. Of course that means buying at the door, and it could sell out. It’s limited to 1500 people.

It looks like some awesome breweries are gonna be there (see list below), including the 3 I brewed at a few weeks ago (Strange, Mountain Sun and New Belgium). There’s a bunch I’ve never heard of or haven’t had the opportunity to try, such as Abita and Anderson Valley. Most are in state, but a few have traveled (Stone) far (Alaskan) for us.

I went to the Winter Brew Fest (same group puts it on, but it’s in the winter. Crazy, I know) and it was a blast.

I’m going. See you there?


Info and stuff:

TICKETS: General Admission: $30 advance, $35 day of, VIP Tickets – $40 advance, $45 day of.  Available on www.denverbrewfest.com

WHERE: Mile High Station by Invesco Field  www.milehighstation.com

WHEN: 6-10pm VIP, 7-10pm GA on Friday, July 23rd, 2010

WHO: This is a RightOn Productions event benefiting Swallow Hill Music Association www.swallowhill.org.

Attending Breweries:

  • Abita
  • Alaskan
  • Anderson Valley
  • Asher
  • Blue Moon
  • Boulder Beer
  • Bristol
  • Colorado Native Now
  • Crabtree
  • Del Norte
  • Deschuttes
  • Grand Lake
  • Great Divide
  • Herman Joseph
  • Hops
  • Killians
  • Lefthand
  • Leinekugels
  • Mountain Sun
  • New Belgium
  • New Planet
  • Odell
  • Oskar Blues
  • Pyramid
  • Rock Bottom and Breckenridge
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Ska
  • Stone
  • Strange Brew
  • Tommyknocker
  • Trinity
  • Twisted Pine
  • Upslope
  • Wynkoop

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This is the second part of my event recap. For the first part of the story, please visit my post on the Hop Press.

Anyway, back to Odell. Chad poured me a Friek, a blended and aged cherry sour with a touch of raspberry, and the help of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. I’m not generally a huge fan of fruit beers, but the cheery was very understated. It was a great sour.

Bristol Brewing, one of the first breweries I ever experienced, brought their Flanders Red. It was a blend, aged for six years. Super tart and delicious. Not too much body to it, but absolutely amazing flavor. I shared it with Chad, and he explained that it had been aging for so long that a lot of the body has fallen out, letting the crisp sourness explode. Definitely a great beer.

I lived in Colorado Springs for five years while I was in school. I chatted with Boone of Bristol about our shared experiences in that town. Boone is a great guy. Very fun. He invited us to stop back at the booth at 6 for a special treat. More on that later.

Besides all the breweries, there were a few other kinds of booths. Draft Magazine was there, as well as White Labs, and a few others. I chatted with John Carroll from White Labs for a little bit. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Pointing at WLP007 Dry English Ale I like this one the best.
John: Yes! The James Bond yeast!
Me: Exactly! Sneaks in quietly, takes down everything in the room, and leaves without a trace.
John: I’ve never thought of it that way…
We both ponder the analogy, and then go on with our lives

Obviously, this was a little later into the festival…

At one point, I looked over at the Allagash booth and saw Sam Calagione serving. Apparently Rob needed a break, and Sam stepped in to lend a hand. I love this industry.

Sam Calagione serving Allagash

There was one surprise guest. Michelob was there. They brought a few beers, and I tried their Whiskey Stout. It’s funny, the bottles all had Bud Light caps on them, so the bins had blankets over to hide the caps from us, the consumer. Anyway, the Whiskey Stout… It smelled great. It tasted pretty awesome initially. But it didn’t have much body for a stout, and the flavor died as soon as you swallowed. The guys at the booth were nice. I asked if anyone had given them grief for being there, and I guess one guy had been obnoxious, but for the most part people were intrigued. Comment on their presence as you will. They still can’t make a great beer.

Sam Adams brought some Utopias with them. I’d never bothered to wait in line at GABF for a taste, but here there was no wait. So I had a taster of the massive beer. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan, though I am glad to have tried it. At 27%, I’m not sure it’s really even beer. But, I had it.

After bouncing around to a bunch of other breweries, including Great Divide, Schmaltz, Gore Range, Left Hand, Deschutes, Stone, Upslope, etc., it was time to go back to Bristol. Boone had a bottle of Bristol’s Grand Cru. It was unmarked, just sitting in the cooler behind the booth. He affectionately referred to it as “The Shit”. I would not disagree. He described to me the contents of this brew, but I’m sad to say I did not write them down, and my memory of the exact words escapes me. But, “The Shit” adequately describes it. Pretty much, if you have the chance, take a sip, but I’m guessing it’s one of the harder offerings to find.

I tried a lot of other amazing beers. I really could go on for even longer, but obviously I’ve said a lot so far. There is one more beer I want to tell you about.

Altitude Chophouse & Brewery in Laramie, Wyoming, brought something amazing.

They call it Krampus. According to Wikipedia, Krampus is a mythical creature, not unlike our old friend Moloch. Apparently, he travels the world with St. Nicholas. Old St. Nick hands out the good stuff to the good kids. But the bad kids get coal? I think not! Krampus finds his pleasure in punishing the bad kids.

As a beer, Krampus is a spiced weizenbock. Following the rule of 58 – a rule I learned of that night, and I’m pretty sure involves math – the brewer combines the estery flavors of banana and clove with mulling spices, caramel, and raisin malt. Oh. My. If this is what I get for being a bad boy, I’ll never be good again.

Overall, the festival is absolutely amazing. If you’re able to go next year, I highly, highly advise it. The beer, the people, the town, it all adds up to the best beer festival I’ve been to.

I’d like to thank Laura and Bill of Highpoint Brewing for setting up the event. Also, Kell Benson and Phill Tearse took some wonderful photos. You can see more of their shots in this slide show, or their individual Flickr pages: Kell Benson’s FlickrPhill Tearse’s Flickr

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Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival
This post is copied from my post on the HopPress

What are you up to January 7-9? Nothing? Then get yourself to Vail, Colorado, for the 10th annual Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywines festival.

There will be dinners. Seminars. Competition. And beer. Lots of big beers.

The event starts Thursday night with a Brewmaster’s dinner. Adam Avery, Brewmaster/Founder of Avery Brewing, and Sam Calagione, Founder/President of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, join brewing and culinary forces for their Calibration Dinner.

Friday from 8:30-12 is the opportunity to show what you know about beer and brewing with Ray Daniels’ Cicerone Program.

Friday at 12, get ready to taste the big beers. All About Beer Magazine brings in beers specifically created for the 10th anniversary of this event.

At 1:30, the AHA-sanctioned Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition gets underway. Entries for the competition are due December 30th, so get on it!

2:30 is another chance to prove your beer industry knowledge with the Certified Cicerone Exam.

Friday night at 8pm is the Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner. Featured brewmaster Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium will be joined by international featured brewmaster Lodewijk Swinkels of LaTrappe at Bierbrouwerij Koningshoeven.

Saturday morning’s seminar should be really interesting. It’s brought to us by  White Labs Yeast, and is on the recent explosion of experimental brews. The seminar is entitled “Brewing Outside of the Box: Brewers Gone Wild!” This seminar is followed by another by International Featured Brewmaster, Lodewijk Swinkels of LaTrappe/ Bierbrouwerij Koningshoeven. Immediately after is a seminar by Colorado Featured Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewing Co. Both of these seminars will be on topics of each brewer’s choice.

And finally, the event you’ve all been waiting for. From 2:30 – 7 is the commercial tasting portion of the festival. With around 150 commercially produced brews, the homebrew competition award ceremony, and a beer and food pairing challenge, this event is definitely something you don’t want to miss. Here are the breweries participating in the event:

  • Alaskan
  • Allagash
  • Altitude
  • Anchor Brewing
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Avery
  • BJ’s
  • Bosteels
  • Boston Beer Co.
  • Boulder
  • Boulevard
  • Breckenridge
  • Bristol
  • Bruery
  • Cambridge
  • Caracole
  • Carver
  • Chouffe
  • Corsendonk
  • Delirium
  • De Ranke
  • Des Rocs
  • Deschutes
  • Dogfish Head
  • Dry Dock
  • Dubuisson
  • Dupont
  • Duvel
  • Eisenbahn
  • Flying Dog
  • Flying Fish
  • Glenwood Canyon
  • Gouden Carolous
  • Grand Lake
  • Grand Teton
  • Great Divide
  • Green Flash
  • He’brew/Schmaltz
  • Hoegaarden
  • Jolly Pumpkin
  • Kapuziner
  • Kasteel
  • Koningshoeven
  • Klumbacher
  • Leffe
  • Left Hand
  • Lindemans
  • Lion
  • Lost Abbey
  • Maredsous
  • Meantime
  • Mendocino
  • Moinette
  • New Belgium
  • Odell
  • Ommegang
  • Orval
  • Oskar Blues
  • Pagosa Brewing
  • Papago
  • Pinkus
  • Port Brewing
  • Pumphouse
  • Redstone Meadery
  • Rogue
  • Russian River
  • Samichlaus
  • Samuel Smith
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Silverton
  • Ska
  • Slaghmuylder
  • St. Bernardus
  • St. Feuillien
  • Steamworks
  • Stone
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Trinidad
  • Uinta
  • Urthel
  • Val-Dieu
  • Victory
  • Westmalle
  • Wynkoop

I will be the festival all day Saturday, and if work allows, all day Friday as well. I’ll have a full write up here, so if you can’t make it, you can read all about it. It looks like an awesome event, and I’m really excited to check it out. Plus, it’s in Vail. Anyone up for some turns on Sunday?

For more information on the festival, check out their website at bigbeersfestival.com.

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The first ever Breakfast & Brewing is planned for this Sunday (12/20).

baconAround 11am, we’ll have omelets, bacon, coffee, and more, and maybe even some Fraggle Rock or Pinky and the Brain.

Around 12 or so, we’ll kick off the brew. I’m not sure what style we’re going to make yet, but it will be a partial-mash of deliciousness.

If you really want to see a certain style, leave a comment or ping me on Twitter. And make sure you sign up for the newsletter to get these notices ASAP.

Whether you want to be a part of every step of the process, or just hang out with like-minded beer people, this should be a fun day.

If you want to join, reply to this email. I need a head count for bacon purchasing, and I’ll give you directions and whatnot.

See you Sunday!

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Summary:

  • Party
  • Monday, November 30, 2009
  • 6-9pm
  • $15 – Admission includes food and drink
  • Mustache contest
  • Proceeds benefit prostate cancer research through the Movember fund
  • Awesomeness

Great Divide Brewing Company
2201 Arapahoe Street (map)
Denver, Colorado 80205

If you can’t make it, or even if you can, and you want to support me and my team’s efforts to raise money, you can donate through me at http://us.movember.com/mospace/82274/.

In other news, I have a sweet stache. Show up Monday to see it.

Read more after this cool image:

Movember

This post is taken straight from the Great Divide blog.

Ever heard of the month Movember? Yep, Mo not No.

 

“Movember is an annual, month-long celebration of the moustache, highlighting men’s health issues – specifically prostate and testicular cancer.” according to movember.com. As part of a worldwide fundraising effort, Great Divide is proud to host a moustache contest party at the end of the month.

 

Official contest rules state that contestants are to register, then start with a clean shaven face on November 1st and grow out the Mo all month, ending with a friendly competition on the 30th. Well, we realize not everybody may have known about the competition on Nov 01, but you can still compete! Although if you start growing it now, you may not be eligible for the GRAND PRIZE (Man of Movember title with a sash you can wear proudly!), but we’d love to see as many Mos as possible, even if they are only grown out a couple weeks. Heck, even if you don’t want to grow one, show up with a fake and join the party!

 

Ladies, there is a prize up for grabs for you too! Title and sash for Miss Movember, the Mo Sista who has supported and encouraged the Mo Bros. This means you have a true appreciation for the Mo and have recruited the most Mo Bros for the competition. Wrangle up your men and get them to start growing a Mo!

For the party on Monday, Movember 30th, creativity is encouraged. Costumes and other creative efforts are encouraged and DO help your chances of winning. Admission (includes beer and food) is $15 and proceeds benefit the Movember fund, which supports the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Party runs from 6-9 pm.

 

Check out the official Movember website for official rules, details and style guide.

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