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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: Colorado

Beer Review 134: Left Hand Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout

Brad

Hello Beer Friend Nation! Can you feel the chill in the air?  In NYC the leaves have fallen and snow is in the forecast - it's Stout season.  Stout season is wonderful how that dark beer you avoided in the hot months, suddenly becomes the brew you reach for to warm you up.  Traditionally, stouts should be served at room temperature - but depending on how lazy your landlord is... room temperature can vary drastically.  This week we try Left Hand Brewing Company's Imperial Stout - Wake Up Dead.  Left Hand is a favorite (see Milk Stout below) and recently featured on hashtag battles representing the Denver Broncos.  They are a favorite because the quality brews they have and continue to impress with Sawtooth on Nitro and the Fade to Black series.  Winter!  Dark Brews!  Beer!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZDKF73rcTE]

Stout Reviews: Yeti Imperial Stout - Left Hand Milk Stout - Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout - Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Stout - Goose Island Bourbon County 2012 - Cape Cod Beer Stock Stout - Founders Breakfast Stout - Cape Ann Pumpkin Stout - Sixpoint Diesel - Brooklyn Black Ops - Troegs Java Head - Cape Cod Beer Stargazer Stout - Dogfish Head Bitches Brew

Beer Review 132: Upslope IPA

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Our Beer Friends Thanksgiving Advice Beer Buying Extravaganza (working title) continues!  Today we look at another delicious and Colorado based brew - Upslope IPA.  Upslope is an up-and-coming brewery from Boulder, Colorado with 4 current styles to date (IPA, Pale Ale, Craft Lager, Brown) and a focus on the environment.  Today we join in the Thanksgiving spirit by being thankful for Untappd and Greg Avola - which joins us on this review.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x-EhJLm3Ko]

Beer Review 131: Odell Brewing Co Myrcenary Double IPA

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! We're back after technical difficulties (Brad was really lazy and couldn't get off the couch) and have only three days until Thanksgiving!  While the Beer Friends are thankful for beer, we would also like to be your go-to blog for thanksgiving beers.  Whether it be rare and  impressive beers that you can elevate your status to official "Beer Geek" around your friends or just some really good booze that has mom and dad worried and looking up numbers for AA - we've got you covered.

Today is a Beer Geek status beer - but not really hard to find if you live in Colorado or surrounding states.  Odell Brewing Company is out of Fort Collins, Colorado and been brewing delicious beer while New Belgium gets most of the love.  However - once people get a taste that usually all changes and while the fancy factory has reservation times and silly follies - Odell is brewing delicious beer with a laid back brewpub and parties every weekend.  Today we review Myrcenary 2xIPA - which features the essential oils of the hop cone with a citrusy punch.

Check back often for more beer buying suggestions this week - the true beer geek would be a little nervous about what beer to drink on Thanksgiving - meanwhile the turkey is burnt and stuffing is ruined... it can still be a good day.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7erIX0Yk9OA]

Other Odell Reviews:  Cutthroat Porter - 90 Schilling

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 5

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL 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, 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. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Five - Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (#lefthandbeer vs #samadamsbeer)

This week marks the return of a classic QB matchup, Peyton vs Brady. Let the butt kissing begin. Every network has this game circled as an in-form Brady (at 2-2) welcomes a coming-back-to-form Peyton (at 2-2) to Gillette Stadium for a nice close shave. I'm sure McDaniels will have plenty of film to look at of Peyton before the game, mostly taken from the stands during Broncos practice sessions.

The Denver Broncos have had a roller coaster few years. A Hall of Fame coach was fired - even though he thought he was going to get lunch with the owner - and a young hot -shot coach was brought in... and quickly shot down any hopes of a successful season. John Fox rode in last year with a reformation brewing under his feet, and that shaky QB with the cult following led the Broncos to a improbable season and a playoff win. In the off-season Jesus Tebow left for the Three Ring Promise Circus and in stepped Peyton Manning, the 4 time MVP and Superbowl winner. The questions came about the neck in the offseason, and the arm strength after the first few games, but last week Peyton looked good against the Raiders. At 2-2 the team is improving and Peyton is getting more comfortable with his receivers - rumor is this week they'll be wearing they're alternate blue jersey's with a horseshoe logo so Peyton gets is mojo back against the Pats...

Left Hand Brewing Company has swept over the East Coast and it seems to be playing off in spades. They have quietly become one of the biggest brands out of Colorado, not named New Belgium, and Left Hand's presence in the NYC market is a huge bonus for this Beer Friend and roughly 8 million other beer drinkers in the city. Last spring Left Hand introduced the Milk Stout Nitro Pour that has instructions to pour a beer. "Pour hard" it says with QR code to a video, even proving that Left Hand is embracing the social media market. With quality in their six packs (see Stranger Pale, Milk Stout, Sawtooth Ale, and the Fade to Black Series) and amazing-ness in their brewmasters series (see Smoke Jumper and Wake Up the Dead) they continue to impress.

The New England Patriots seem(?) to have struggled so far. The question mark is because they are 2-2 and some New Englanders are acting like Bobby V took the team over in the first few weeks. The Golden Team is led by the Golden Boy and continues to lead the NFL in the "Patriot Way" (special Hashtag appearance by Teddy Bruschi - because that's all he seems to say with a camera on him). The Cardinals snuck into New Foxboro and stole a game (enough though they have turned out to be a pretty good team, and the Patriots were victim to a questionable Replacement Ref call (but honestly, who hasn't been this year?). Now the two masters square off with Brady and his clown car of short WR and Chewbacca-like Tight Ends facing a Broncos defense that they put up 86 points against in a regular season and playoff game last year - basically like Brady was playing Madden on Rookie mode. Is the Broncos defense improved enough to stop them, this will either be another great battle in the Peyton vs Brady War or a sideshow where Brady just keeps pressing the spin button...

Sam Adams is on the Mt Rushmore of Craft Breweries. Jim Koch starting brewing intense flavors years ago and turned it into a business he loves. Along with Sierra Nevada and Fat Tire, these breweries were brewing such fantastic products that it started to pull fans away from the Coors and Bud's of the world (for a whooping 5% of the market, as it stands today - but it's a start). Sam Adams has gotten tired in some peoples minds but with their barrel stuff, and the yearly contest winners, they are always on the cutting edge of the craft beer scene (including the seasonal beers). Even though their IPA might taste like a "Sam Adams IPA", they've released a "deconstructed series" which allows beer drinkers to taste individual hops within the brew itself... genius - but we knew that all along.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #lefthandbeer #samadamsbeer, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Beer Review 124: New Belgium Ranger IPA

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! This week we return to New Belgium for a favorite style of ours, IPA.  New Belgium produced Ranger IPA in February of 2010 and has gotten rave reviews ever since.  Although New Belgium typically has a Belgian influence, Ranger IPA is a pretty big IPA at 6.5% and 70 IBU's.  Ranger!  IPA!  Beer!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgUEq6lA_1w]

Other New Belgium Reviews: Fat Tire - Belgo - 1554 - Dig

Beer Review 118: New Belgium 1554

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Ah New Belgium, probably the biggest brewery that isn't in New York City.  Well the Beer Friends turned out to be pretty resourceful and have been able to review a few beers (Fat Tire - Belgo - Dig) and today we check out 1554, an enlightened black ale.  1554 is a Belgian black ale that was a test and see project (darn, have to do a bunch of in-house tasting!) that started in 1997 and was good enough that it's a year round today.  This rounds out the Amber (Fat Tire), Belgian IPA (Belgo), Spring (Dig) and Black Ale of styles we tried from New Belgium - so far... Belgium! Black Ales! Roasted Malts!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjHPzs1bKJY]

Featured Brewery: Trinity Brewing Company

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Growing up in Colorado Springs I was exposed to a lot of good beer.  New BelgiumLeft Hand, Odells were all staples in my fridge and I thought that was pretty impressive.  Today the scene has changed quite a bit.  Great Divide and Breckenridge are found in every bar, and Upslope and Bristol Brewing Co are on the rise.  On the Beer Friends Colorado Brewery Tour we came upon a up and coming microbrewery called Equinox and really enjoyed their stuff.  Recently Equinox has been playing nice with the big boy neighbors New Belgium and Odell and found their place among the Fort Collins brew scene.  Enter Colorado Springs beer scene and Trinity Brewing Company.  Trinity, like Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, is somewhat hidden in a industrial park but a gem when you find it.  I was able to find a spot at the bar and ordered the sampler of 6 of their brews including the first day release GOPrisais.  9 dollars for 6 beers and a few chunks of cheese was well worth it.  Being the beer journalist that I am, I struck up a conversation with Kirk behind the bar and found out the skinny on Trinity Brewing Company.

Trinity has been around 4 short years but established themselves as a go-to for craft beers in Colorado Springs.  Still at the original location, they just started accepting accounts for around the state (up and down the Front Range with places in Fort Collins, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo) with the 3 brew kettle expansion they just finished.  My first beer from Trinity was actually at my “home store” Old Chicago’s and was their Sunna Wit - light a refreshing and every bit as good and Mothership Wit from New Belgium.  I sought out this brewery after the buzz on twitter and pinerest was so overwhelmingly positive.

The Beers:

Sunna Wit - Light and refreshing as I mentioned above.  I can’t remember drinking a lot of these brews (Witbier) but I enjoy the style.  At 4.8% this is pretty sessionable and perfect for a hot summer day.

3 Flowers Saison - Another light and airy bres with the herbal taste of the 3 (mystery) flowers.  This walks a fine line between herbal and saison to create a hybrid with a 7.0% ABV.  The lightness makes it seem sessionable but the ABV will sneak up on you!

Slap your Mammy Double IPA - Holy Crap.  This is the definition of hoppy, and in particular - flowery hops.  The description calls this the hoppiest beer ever made and it’s certainly one of the hoppiest I’ve run into.  Trinity says: “this huge ale is brewed with 7 of the highest malts and 9 varities of hops... we pack in 125 IBU’s... we dry hop this one twice to pack in as much aroma as possible” - trust me, at 10.5% ABV these people don’t lie.

GOPrisais - Released on June 15th (thats what they told me) this is perplexing beer.  This saison is aged with apricots and Chardonnay grapes to create a complex flavor.  It was completely lost on me.  Thinking of other Apricot brews (Magic Hat #9 and ApriHop from Dogfish) this doesn’t actually achieve the same profile, but doesn’t attempt to? (This actually is a question - confused about the purpose of aging and the attempted flavor profile).

Soul - This horkey beer (basically the Grandfather of all brown beers) is very malty - which is because it is brewed with little to no hops.  At 5.5% this malt beverage is delicious with a different flavor profile from the other mainly malt beer I know of (Cigar City Maduro Brown)

Awaken - Taken from my Untappd check-in (and I still stand by it): Balancing the Chickory with espresso was a brilliant choice.  The only other beer I can think of that uses Chicory is Dogfish Head Chicory Stout - wish I didn't enjoy (not a strong enough coffee flavor).  However, the Chicory seems to tame the espresso and creates a nice mellow taste.

Overall I really enjoyed my (brief) time at "TriNity Brewing Co" and look forward to going back. TriNity Brewing Company is open Monday - Thursday from 12:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday 12:00p - 11:00p, Saturday 11:00a - 11:00p and Sunday 11:00a - 8:00p and Located at 1466 Garden of the Gods Road Colorado Springs, CO 80907 [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1466+Garden+of+the+Gods+Road+Colorado+Springs,+CO+80907&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=35.357014,85.517578&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1466+Garden+of+the+Gods+Rd+W,+Colorado+Springs,+Colorado+80907&t=m&z=14&ll=38.89726,-104.856204&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

Beer Review 113: New Belgium Fat Tire

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Today is the third in the series of the New Belgium Reviews (Dig - Belgo).  New Belgium has recently announced a new $175 million dollar brewery in Asheville, NC and the Beer Friends are terribly excited about it - so we decided to find and review some of their brews to get the East Coast (mainly New England and NYC Area) ready!  Fat Tire is certainly the most popular brew from New Belgium and the name was inspired from the "fat tires" on the mountain bike that the founder Jeff Lebesch rode through European village on his career-inspiring beer tour.  History!  Colorado Beer Tour!  Expansion for Delicious Beer!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYFWqgu0xsc]

Beer Review 108: New Belgium Belgo

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! You know what makes this a Good Friday?  Another review from the Beer Friends! We return to our New Belgium Series with Belgo, a Belgian style IPA. This is part of the Explore Series which also features favorites like Ranger IPA and the new Shift (Pale Lager).  This week Greg Avola from Untappd joins us again - giving great insight and fitting in nicely at "the table".  If you are interested in joining us at the table email us and we'll see what we can do - we're always looking for new (beer) friends! Fort Collins!  Belgian beers (Thank God Phil wasn't here...)!  New Friends!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7JbZ2YXNMU]

Beer Review 105: New Belgium Dig

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! New Belgium is a legendary brewery on the East Coast.  We've all met that friend that grew up out West and Fat Tire was more available than Sierra Nevada - or have that East Coast buddy that went to Vegas on a bachelor weekend and came back telling of a magical beer... Growing up in Colorado, I didn't know what I had until it was gone.  By the power of motor vehicles and some well planned traveling - the Beer Friends were able to get their hands on some of the New Belgium line for samples.  This week we review Dig the spring seasonal offering taking the place of Mighty Arrow, and this Beer Friend likes the change.  Enjoy this review in our New Belgium series (yeah we bought a couple six-packs back!) Beer Road Trip! New Belgium!  Spring!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM66gI9UixU]