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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.

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Filtering by Tag: Breckenridge Brewery

Hashtag Battles Week Seventeen!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our NFL season hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle (#bearrepublic) vs (#breckenridge), throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. We're starting on Saturday morning so drink up - support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Seventeen: Oakland Raiders (#BearRepublic) vs Denver Broncos (#Breckenridge)

Alright, we know that these two teams aren't actually playing each other - but they do battle for the one remaining playoff spot in the AFC.  With all the other divisions locking it up early and the Steelers with 11 wins safely in, there can be only one.

Oakland has been an up and down team.  With enough talent to secure the West a long time ago - penalties and injuries prevented them from popping the division champ cork earlier.  Now Oakland has given a small ransom to Cincinnati for Carson "INT machine" Palmer and finally (kinda) finding their stride.  With a game at home vs the Chargers (which was undoubtably thought of in preseason as a divisional crown battle), the Raiders are in a great place to advance if the Chargers play like the Chargers Against the Lions and not the Chargers Against the Ravens.  Bear Republic has been doing dynamite stuff for a while now and there's no stopping them now.  Bear Republic has one beer that always pops up, Racer 5 and never disappoints.  Along with Mach 10 (double IPA) and Red Rocket I never know which to pick, but rest assured - I'll be happy (and drunk after a few Mach 10's) and that's when my own personal fouls come in to play...

The Denver Broncos went from the Andrew Luck sweepstakes to playoff contenders.  Riding the Tebow train to a 7-1 record in 8 games, the Broncos, Denver and the entire Mountain Time Zone were riding high.  A blowout loss to New England didn't derail the train - Tebow played well.  A blowout loss to Buffalo with 3 or 4 INT's (depending when you're reading this) starts the doubts up again.  Typically its a team game, but a INT and fumble both returned for a TD in 18 seconds of game play hurts any team efforts.  But Tebow lovers rejoice, there is still hope in a "win and you're in" scenario in Denver this week and the Denver Tebows could reach the playoffs for the first time in 5 years.  The Rub?  Kyle Orton, the first QB to face a team he started for earlier in the season... will Tebow or Orton come out victorious?  Meanwhile the real QB's of the league (Brady, Brees, Rodgers) look down on these mere morals from the Mount Olympus of Passer Rating and wonder what it's like on the other side.  Breckenridge Brewery is a old Colorado favorite with multiple locations across the state.  Recently Breckenridge has been popping up in NYC and the Beer Friends are thrilled.  The classic Avalanche Ale and Vanilla Porter are the vets of the brewing team and Small Batch 471 is coming on strong -

Beer Review 91: Breckenridge Small Batch 471 IPA

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! This is a very exciting day for us, and only partially due to the beer we're reviewing! Today Greg Avola (@gregavola) of Untappd.com fame has joined "the table" to review this double IPA offering from Breckenridge Brewery. Today's review runs a little longer but while Greg was at the table we had to get some info on him and his excellent mobile app turned iPhone/Android app - Untappd. Greg also talks about some of the recent developments at the Untappd.com offices (which I can only imagine it's a laptop in a beer freezer) but you're gonna have to watch to find out! Beer! Online community! Untappd!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSsq59X5D3o]

BFF4 - Brad and Paul's Sweet 16 Brackets

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! After an exciting first two rounds, the strong have survived. These are the premier beers of the tournament. We have strong winners in Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout and last years winner, Fat Tire getting knocked off by first year Breckenridge Breweries 471 Small Batch Double IPA. Polls close on April 4th, so get out there, vote and spread the word!

 

After a surprising blow out victory by the #8 seed Breckenridge Breweries 471 Small Batch Double IPA (78% of the vote) they run into another popular Colorado brew in the #5 seed Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout. Yeti has multiple variations (espresso, oak aged, chocolate) but the popular Imperial Stout came to this tournament as a heavily favored brew. Can Breckenridge continue it's run? Will Yeti push through into the Elite 8? Vote and Decide!

[polldaddy poll=4815713]

#3 seed Founders Breakfast Stout advances, not surprising -  there but big upset in the #2 vs #7 seed... Bristol Breweries Mass Transit beats Bell's Oberon 83% to 17%!  This stunning upset is thanks to a strong Colorado voting population due to the fact that Bristol is only available in Colorado and surrounding states. Bristol faces a difficult challenge in Founder's Breakfast Stout, but like VCU they seem to be running through the big brews (Founders Porter, Bell's Oberon) - Can Bristol take down another Founder's brew? Will Breakfast Stout setup a matchup of stouts in the Elite 8? Vote now and decide!

[polldaddy poll=4815802]

The Mid-Atlantic/Southern/ Midwest-ish bracket has been fun to say the least. Big time upsets with the clear Cinderella of the tournament with Cigar City Jai Alai IPA along with a Nebraska Brewing company that started making a lot of noise these past year is keeping it up and making a lot of noise in the tournament. Both of these are up against two beers vying to keep the Battle for the Keystone State going for one more round. Heavy hitters in Troegs and Victory still alive in this bracket and with the support all 4 beers have been getting, this could go any direction...

#16 Cigar City Jai Alai up against #5 Victory Yakima Glory. Victory is a local favorite and a favorite in the BFF4 rankings this year, but Cigar City has upset a couple of favorites this tournament already. Will Victory be able to stop Cigar City's Cinderella story, or is Jai Alai a beer of destiny?

[polldaddy poll=4819396]

#3 vs #7 Troegs Trogenator has it's work cut out for it this round. Nebraska Brewing Brunette Nut Brown Ale comes in hot after taking down Dogfish Head 90 Minute. Nebraska has shown that it has the following to be taken seriously as a brewery and as a beer in fake tournaments. Are we going to see the ultimate underdog match up, or will we see another battle between PA beers?

[polldaddy poll=4819403]

BFF4 Second Round - Brad's Bracket

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Dreams are broken and the strong move on... who ever thought the Rocky Mountain IPA had a chance against Breakfast Stout or (the biggest upset) Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout over Bristol's Laughing Lab, not to worry Bristol fans - Mass Transit pulled through over the strong year-round available Founder's Porter.  Can Yeti continue it's run?  can Bell's pull through as the two seed continuing to a 1 vs 2 match-up?  Vote and decide!

The 1 vs 8 match up has last year's winner Fat Tire advancing to play 471 Small Batch IPA from Breckenridge Brewery.  This is Breckenridge's first year in the BFF4 and they had a strong showing... can they be a Butler and bring down the #1 seed?

[polldaddy poll=4779265]

The 5 vs 13 includes the biggest winner in the Colorado/Michigan bracket vs the upset minded Equinox Brewery Nova Pale Ale who squeezed by Odell's - Cutthroat Porter (even on nitro pour?  Nova must have a big following...).  Can the magic continue?  Or do they become like Villanova and get bounced from the tourney?

[polldaddy poll=4779279]

The 6 vs 3 matchup features no surprises - Oskar Blue's Dales Pale Ale vs Founders Breakfast Stout.  Both are strong and excellent examples of a well crafted beer... Both are in my favorite go-to beers... I'm so torn!

[polldaddy poll=4779305]

The 7 vs 2 match up features the ever popular Bell's Oberion vs the little known (and well liked) Bristol Mass Transit.   These are two lighter beers going head to head so expect a high scoring affair.

[polldaddy poll=4779423]

BFF4 - Brad Bracket First Round

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! It's that time of year where EVERYONE is swept up in the madness... yes - Beer Friends Final Four Beer Bracket is BACK!

Forget Louisville in the First Round and bubble teams, we're talking ales in the First Round and drinking the suds...

This year we (kinda) followed a regional bracket match up instead of the style like last year.

Brad's Bracket includes beers from Colorado and the Michigan area (somehow Great Lakes snuck in there...).  Vote your favorite brew through and pick that Cinderella team, sorry, stout.  Pick the winner and hold it over your friends heads until the next year (Brooklyn's Dark Matter anyone?) Beer!  Voting!

The 1 vs 16 match up pits Last Years winner, New Belgium's Fat Tire against a stout from Boulder - Avery's Out of Bounds Stout.  The Out of Bounds was delicious when infused with coffee, but Fat Tire seems like the fan favorite - should be interesting.  See more of this entry for voting!

[polldaddy poll=4748425]

The 8 vs 9 match up has Breckenridge Breweries 471 Small Batch IPA against Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.  This is a interesting choice because Edmund Fitzgerald is a multiple award winner - but the selection committee always gets a few wrong (they failed the "eye" test?)

[polldaddy poll=4748430]

The 5 vs 12 match up sees Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout against Bristol Laughing Lab.  This is a Colorado knock down drag out... Yeti is known all over the US and Laughing Lab all over Colorado - both delicious beers - I'm guessing multiple overtimes.

[polldaddy poll=4748434]

The 4 vs 13 match has upset special all over it.  Odell Cutthroat Porter against the ultimate mid-major in Equinox Nova Pale Ale.  These two breweries are miles apart (if even a mile) but the beers couldn't be different.  Dick Vitale is watching this one as a "upset special!"

[polldaddy poll=4748439]

The 6 vs 11 match up has another two close breweries duking it out.  Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale against Boulder Beer Companies Cold Hop.  Both beers are available all over the US, but only one beer became available at my local grocery store which puts their RPI in the 20's!

[polldaddy poll=4748452]

The 3 vs 14 match up is another mismatch.  Founders Breakfast Stout against Fort Collins Brewery Rocky Mountain IPA.  While Rocky Mountain IPA is a great beer, Breakfast Stout is built to win.

[polldaddy poll=4748457]

The 7 vs 10 match up could go either way.  Two completely different beer styles in Bristol's Mass Transit against Founder's Porter - but great brews in their own rights.  Will the up-tempo smooth play of Mass Transit triumph over the slow down pace of Founder's Porter?

[polldaddy poll=4748466]

The 2 vs 15 match up could be another upset special.  Bell's Oberion vs Ska Brewing Company Pinstripe Ale.  Oberion is a summer time favorite but Ska is quickly moving up the popular breweries ladder.  With Ska Brewing Company now available in cans... will this be enough for the 15 over 2 upset?

[polldaddy poll=4748468]

Featured Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Breckenridge Brewery LogoThe Breckenridge Brewery is a favorite of Colorado folks with a few locations all over the state.  While the Original Brewery and Pub is located on South Main Street in Breckenridge, they have a location on Blake St. Denver across from Coors Field, a BBQ joint and brewpub in Denver, and a Ale House in Grand Junction.  Known for delicious beers, Breckenridge has a firm foothold in the brewery rich Colorado beer scene and doesn't look to be letting up any time soon.  On the recent Beer Friends Colorado Brewery tour we visited the Blake Street location to try a few beers and chat up a few bartenders.

A few details on the beers:

Avalanche Ale is one of their most popular beers and for good reason, this amber ale gives the famous Fat Tire a run for it's money in the amber scene across Colorado.  While Fat Tire is more readily available, strike up a conversation about Avalanche Ale with a bartender and prepare yourself for a detailed argument.

Vanilla Porter is a smooth porter with a heavy vanilla taste.  While overall smooth, the vanilla overpower many of the other flavors and is hard to tell what else is happening in this beer.  While not a awful beer, the main taste - and I realize it's called a VANILLA porter - is too overpowering for this Beer Friend.

Christmas Ale is a special beer during the seasonal brewing schedule.  Available during the winter months in bombers and 750mL, this is a fantastic present for any beer drinker you know.  This beer always gives enough of the holiday spices without tasting like a pine tree.

The Main Breckenridge Brewery is located at: 600 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424 [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=600+S.+Main+Street,+Breckenridge,+CO+80424&sll=39.756791,-104.991381&sspn=0.009056,0.020835&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=600+S+Main+St,+Breckenridge,+Summit,+Colorado+80424&z=14&ll=39.475659,-106.043712&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

The Tasting Room is open:

Daily at 11am

The Breckenridge Brew Pub in Denver that the Beer Friends visited is located at: 2220 Blake St., Denver, CO 80205 [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=2220+blake+st+Denver,+CO+80205&sll=39.761575,-104.992561&sspn=0.069146,0.166683&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=2220+Blake+St,+Denver,+Colorado+80205&ll=39.756417,-104.991372&spn=0.009056,0.020835&z=14&iwloc=A&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

The Tasting Room is open:

Daily at 11a

Colorado Brewery Trip 2010 Recap

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! While one Beer Friend held down the fort in NYC, the other three travelled out to the Great (Brewery) State of Colorado for a look around.  Below is a brief recap of the days and breweries we hit.

August 12th -

Garden of the Gods

Phil, James (honorary BF this trip) and Brad arrive in Colorado Springs, quickly finding themselves standing in front of a liquor store cooler inspecting the new and interesting beers in the cooler.  Then a quick run around Garden of the Gods, in North-west Colorado Springs.  Then a drive to Denver to pick up Graham and back home for our first beers of the tour - an extension of Christmas in July/August with a New Belgium 2 Below and Odell's Isolation Ale to kick off the trip (beers remaining from my winter holiday trip home).

August 13th -

A beautiful drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.  After taking some time to find a campsite (be sure to call ahead) we stop at our first brewery, Estes Park Brewery.  This small brewery  stays true to their roots, producing small batches to sell to local stores and supply their pub which is upstairs.  A few highlights were the Trail Ridge Red - also known as the Redrum Ale (playing off the famed Stanley Hotel in Estes Park - inspiration for the Steven King novel "The Shining") and the Estes Park Porter.  Then we headed into Fort Collins to check out Coopersmiths Pub and Brewing and Equinox Brewery a short walk away.  Equinox had a great feel - a bit of a coffee house vibe, it's a bar without any heels and no Coors Light on draft.  We enjoyed their sampler with six offerings - Sunrise Golden Ale, Vernal Hefeweizen, MidSummer Pale Ale, Orbit ESB, Zenith IPA, and the Sunset Stout.  All we very enjoyable but MidSummer Pale Ale was a favorite of these Beer Friends.  From there we headed to a favorite drinking hole - Old Chicago, had a few before returning to the forrest.

Rocky Mountain National Park

August 14th -

After waking up in Roosevelt National Forest, we pack the tents and head to Fort Collins to visit

Odell Brewery

Odell Brewing and New Belgium Brewery.  Odell had some fantastic stuff - including a Cutthroat Porter on Nitro and we played some board games, which turns into a theme this trip.  From Odell's we head to New Belgium to try to get on a tour, but on a Saturday afternoon we had no chance.  We decide to head to Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colorado before heading down to Denver for a Colorado Rockies game.  Oskar Blues was a great experience in visiting a brewery known for craft beers in cans.  Dale's Pale Ale is always delicious and no different here.

August 15th -

On Sunday we headed down to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  A beautiful 4.5 hour drive from Colorado Springs, with a visit to San Luis Valley Brewing Company.  This was a very cool brewery built inside of a old bank building, using the thick layered vault as the cooler.  At the campsite we enjoyed some Ska Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery and Bridgeport Brewery beers.

Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park

August 16th -

The Beer Friends jumped in the car again and drive through Pike National Forest on route to Denver.  In

Great Divide

Denver we checked out Great Divide Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery Pubhouse, and Wynkoop Brewery before checking out a different Old Chicago which every one has a unique selection of beers on draft.

August 17th -

After a early start we head up through the town of Breckenridge on our way to Mount Evans, home of the highest paved road in America.  After coming off the mountain, we visited Dostal Alley Brewpub in Central City, Colorado before heading to Lefthand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado.

Mt Evans

August 18th -

After a tearful goodbye to Phil, Brad and Graham head up to Fort Collins again for their scheduled tour of

New Belgium Brewery

New Belgium.  Before New Belgium we stopped at Fort Collins Brewery which was moving into a beautiful new facility, but alas not open for business.  Right down the road was ODell Brewery and we stopped in for another taste and tour, including exciting news of Odell's shipping beer to England starting in September!  Lucky Brits!  After a long and very informative tour of New Belgium (including four different beer tastings!) we stop in to Equinox Brewery for a game of Candyland, and - since we were there - a beer.  Then into Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park for another night under the stars.

August 19th -

Tents packed and campsite cleaned, the Beer Friends head down to Boulder with a quick stop off in Lyons to check out the original Oskar Blues location.  Once in Boulder we head to the Boulder Brewing Company and then to Avery Brewing Company - with highlights of Cold Hop (at Boulder Brewing) and Out of Bounds Stout small batch with a coffee kick.  Then we drove and wondered around Red Rocks and Garden of the Gods before heading to our last brewery, Bristol Brewing Company.

Overall an excellent time had by all and look forward to Colorado Breweries becoming our Breweries of the Week!

Colorado Brewery Tour - Beer Friends Style!

Graham

The moment you have all been waiting for is here: The Beer Friends Colorado Brewery Tour starts today!  Three of the Beer Friends and one guest, who you most likely be hearing about, are heading out to the great state of Colorado today, August 12 to experience the mountains, forests and, most important, the craft beer. Colorado has the highest concentration of craft breweries out of any state in the country, and they feature some heavy hitters in the craft beer world.  We will be doing posts, talking to brewmasters and imbibing the finest craft beer creations from breweries such as Avery, New Belgium, Left Hand, Dostal Alley, Boulder Brewing Co,  Bristol, Tommyknockers, Oskar Blues, Odell, Great Divide, Breckenridge aaaaand...Fort Collins.  Woo.  Almost ran out of typing stamina trying to get through that huge list of great Colorado Breweries.

This trip will be the finest Beer Friends Brewery Tour to date and we are going to enjoy every second of it.  Although in no way will it be possible for you to live this trip like we will (it's going to be pretty fantastic) we will be providing you the opportunity to see and hear about everything craft beer we experience by posting reviews, pictures and videos of beers and breweries.  Make sure check in daily and follow those twitter/facebook feeds for everything Colorado Craft Beer...Beer Friends Style!

Old Chicago Bar and Restaurant

Brad

Old Chicago will always have a special place in this Beer Friends' heart.  My home bar – it’s a chain restaurant – is located on the North End of Colorado Springs off the Woodmen Exit. Old Chicago is a typical bar/restaurant, serving deep dish pizza, calzones, salad bars and pasta. What sets Old Chicago apart is the beer list. Old Chicago is my Holy Grail of drinking.  This is where I learned about beer, about good beer, and the difference between bottles and draft -- basically my beer-education.

Old Chicago has the infamous World Beer Tour, a brilliant way to drink your way around the world.  Old Chicago has a standard list of 110 beers, which can increase to over 150 on any given night.  When you sign up for the World Beer Tour (WBT), you receive a card that keeps track of the beers that you drink and can be used at any Old Chicago location.   As you reach certain beer marks (5 beers, 15 beers, 25 beers, and so on…) you receive a number of different prizes including Foamer Bucks (Old Chicago coupons), bottle openers and t-shirts.

Every beer has a number attached and you run down the list and try to collect as many beers as you can… swipe your card and try again the next night.    As you travel through you pick from a variety of beers, everything from the Macro breweries like Coors and Bud, to the local Micro-brews – supporting the local economy.

In addition to the larger WBT, Old Chicago periodically holds “mini-tours,” which are month-long theme events. For example, during March, the mini-tour will bring you great Irish beers, both in draft and canned. October brings, obviously, an Oktoberfest mini-tour, featuring German beers as well as other fall theme beers from local breweries.

Although a chain restaurant, I believe Old Chicago does a pretty good job reflecting the beer taste of the area.  I’ve visited Old Chicago all over Colorado and each has a great sampling of the local breweries – Denver Old Chicago often features Breckenridge Brewery, the Fort Collins and Greeley area features New Belgium Brewery and Colorado Springs often features Bristol Brewery.

Overall a great attempt to be a local brew house operating under a chain restaurant name.

*Special thanks to Kevin Bell for his contributions and discussion on this post… he was my original Beer Friend.

UPDATE:  The Old Chicago Mini Tour starts April 14th at your local Old Chicago.  The Cinco De Mayo Mini Tour includes:

  • Dos Equis Special Lager
  • Corona Extra Lager
  • Tecate Lager
  • Pacifico Clara Lager
  • Dos Equis Amber Lager
  • Modelo Especial Pilsener
  • Negra Modelo Dark Lager
  • and the Managers Choice of each individual Old Chicago.

Like the World Beer tour and all other Mini Tours there will be a t-shirt when finished... want to know what it looks like?  Finish the tour to find out!

UPDATE: Deja Brew Summer Mini Tour at Participating Old Chicago's.  The Colorado Old Chicago's include 8 pours from Boulder Beer Company, starting July 7th and ending August 1st.  The Deja Brew Summer Mini Tour includes:

  • Old Chicago American Red Ale - 5.6 ABV
  • Flashback IBA - 6.8 ABV
  • Hazed and Infused Dry Hopped Ale - 4.9 ABV
  • Buffalo Gold - 4.5 ABV
  • Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat - 5.2 ABV
  • Mojo Risin' IPA - 10 ABV
  • and your choice of two more!

Click here for the t-shirt design!  Enjoy!