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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: Longmont

Beer Review 134: Left Hand Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout


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!


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

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 5


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 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 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 102: Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 3


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Today we revisit a favorite brewery on the Colorado Brewery Tour 2010 - Left Hand Brewing. Left Hand is moving across the US with the much anticipated (for this Beer Friend at least) Milk Stout Nitro, so in the meantime we figured we'd feature a special release as the SPotW to tide us over. Fade to Black is a great series in which Left Hand brews a dark beer with a different twist each year. Volume 1 was a Stout that poured of licorice and with a 8.5 ABV was nothing to mess with. Volume 2 was a Smoked Baltic Porter with 7.8 ABV and a decent smoky taste, and finally Volume 3, a Pepper Porter at 7.2 ABV. The ABV is a good thing because if the pepper taste doesn't slow you down, maybe the higher ABV will. Spicy! Series beers! Metallica!


Beer Review 54: Oskar Blues Gordon


Hello Beer Friends Nation! This week's Six Pack of the Week (SPotW) comes from Longmont, Colorado, Gordon from the Oskar Blues Brewery.  This was a highlight on the Colorado Brewery tour in August and most Beer Friends will jump at the chance to order a Oskar Blues beer on draft.

Throughout the review you'll notice the Beer Friends constantly on their phones - this isn't because we don't care what each other is saying but more that we were trying to find out more info on Gordon.  What we found out: Gordon is classified as a mixture between a Imperial Red and Double IPA BUT is now discontinued in favor of G'Knight a Imperial Red from Oskar Blues. So yeah... beer!


Featured Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Recently the trend in craft brewing has been cans instead of bottles.  Open Can at Oskar BluesThis is a point of high contention amongst the Beer Friends and we have a 6 month running conversation about why switch to cans, why not start with cans, whats the stereotype/stigma behind cans, etc... While in Colorado we visited one of the leaders in the Craft Can Beer revolution, Oskar Blues, then hung out, took a tour and gained more ammo for the Cans vs Bottles conversation. Now Oskar Blues produces some pretty high quality beers - here is the Beer Friends take on same:

Dale's Pale Ale CansDale's Pale Ale: Although one Beer Friend used to be against this beer, he has come around in full force.  Pale Ale can be a bit drab and focused on the plainness of the taste.  However in our brewery travels we have found some high quality Pale Ale's and Dale's Pale Ale fits perfectly in this high quality pale ale category.  The amount of hops used seems to make it a stretch that this is a true "pale ale", but we're going by what's listed on the can!

Ten Fidy Imperial Stout: If any beer is strange to drink from a can it's a stout.  Even the Guinness in a can you need to pour into a glass for the widget to create and manage the head.  The Ten Fidy is a pretty decent stout and even has a few awards under it's belt (including the Gold Medal in the 2010 World Beer Championships).

Gubna Imperial IPA: At 10% ABV this Imperial IPA has a real kick from the can.  This has a 100 IBU rating but the citrus hops used hit the tongue at the beginning and calms the bitterness while the two other hops kick in, taking the taste buds on quite a ride.

The tour that the Oskar Blues staff gave us was one of my favorites while in Colorado.  We started in the tap room, which is located in a walled room without a ceiling, so that you are enjoying your beer among the sounds and smells of a working brewery.  After having a couple beers we were summoned to join the tour group.  The tour guide was very friendly and funny, putting entertaining spins on the usual information you get at a brewery, while also spilling some interesting Oskar Blues info and answering some interesting group questions on the brewing process of specific Oskar Blues Brews.

One of my favorite parts on the tour involved the canning part of Oskar Blue's operation.  Since all of Oskar Blue's brews come in cans, there isn't a bottling line in sight, only a canning line.  Canning has received some criticism in the craft brew world, but many breweries are starting to come around to the idea, with breweries like Oskar Blues leading the way.  The tour guide had some interesting arguments in support of cans including debunking the myth of aluminum taste (there's a silicate barrier inside the can preventing the beer and aluminum from ever touching), the ease and efficiency of recycling cans over bottles, the amount of light penetration that a can allows compared to the bottle (0% - eat that Sam Adams!) and the fact that if you enjoy draft beer, then you're already okay with cans...giant aluminum cans (kegs).

It was also interesting to watch the canning line at work.  The best part being when a not-totally-full can passes over a scale and is punched off the line, quite dramatically into a bin.  The almost-totally-full cans are then given to the tour group to drink.  I'll tell you what Oskar Blues, your brews are so good that I'd be down with being employed to take those cans off your hands permanently.  What'dya think?

All-in-all Oskar Blues was a great brewery to visit and tour.  They gave us some insights into things we knew little about and they gave us good free beer.  So don't be afraid of the can and head on over the next time your in their area!

The Oskar Blues Brewery is located at: 1800 Pike Road Longmont, CO 80501 [googlemaps,+Longmont,+CO&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=38.775203,87.714844&ie=UTF8&hq=Oskar+Blues+Brewery,&hnear=Longmont,+Boulder,+Colorado&ll=40.139003,-105.12201&spn=0.073223,0.171318&z=13&iwloc=A&cid=12299102076721962176&output=embed&w=425&h=350] The Tap Room Hours are: Monday - Friday: 3p - 8p Saturday and Sunday: 12p - 7p

Tours are held: Friday at 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30p and Saturday and Sunday at 2, 3, and 4p

Beer Review 31: Dale's Pale Ale


Hello Beer Friends Nation! The recap of the Colorado Brewery Tour 2010 continues!  This week we re-visit Longmont, Colorado - home of Left Hand AND Oskar Blues!  Longmont is a great stop on the brewery tour and Oskar Blues was so great, it changed one Beer Friends mind about them.

Dale's Pale Ale is our SPotW, a excellent hopped Pale Ale that ranks up there with the best.  Enjoy!


Featured Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Left Hand logoWhen traveling anywhere around the Front Range area, yeah even Pueblo, try to get to Longmont to visit Left Hand Brewery. Left Hand has established itself as an excellent craft beer in Colorado AND all the way out here in NYC.  Left Hand Milk Stout had a great showing in the BFFF and for good reason, it's an excellent beer which the Beer Friends got to try on Nitro pour at the brewery's tap room.  The Beer Friends visited Left Hand and had a few beers and a really good time.  Special thanks to Joshua Goldberg, the Head Bartender who provided great conversation and slung pints that would make any NYC bartender proud!


Haystack Wheat- Pretty typical hefeweizen, hints of banana, cloves and a little nutmeg.  A very drinkable easy and light beer.

Sawtooth Ale on Nitro pour- On nitro this has a much smoother taste... A delicious beer made better by the nitro.  Having this in bottles in NYC really proves that this is a excellent beer no matter how you get it.

Jackman's Pale Ale- Simple pale ale, I think this needs more favor- struggling to find a good pale after Midsummer Pale Ale and Great Divide DPA.

Oktoberfest- Tasty Oktoberfest beer, a lot of favor but not overpowering.  Perfect step between the light summery beers into the darker porters and stout of a winter.  Looking forward to having a few more of these.

Milk Stout on Nitro Pour- This beer is always amazing.  Winner of several awards - including the Silver Medal at GABF in 2008 and Silver Medal at World Beer Cup 2006 and 2008, both for the Sweet Stout category.  On Nitro it becomes a creamier version of itself, smoother but loses a touch of the flavor.


Polestar Pilsner - Easily drinkable pilsner.  Crisp with light citrus, grass and earthy flavors.  The flavor is there, but very mild, which would allow one to refill their glass with this brew many times over.

Jackman's Pale Ale - The hop aroma jumps out at you with this one, followed quickly by an equally impressive hop flavor.  The malts balance this one out beautifully, but I'm sticking around for the hops.  I liked the hop flavor in the Jackman's more than in the 400 lb. Monkey.  Even though I'm traditionally an IPA guy, I think I would grab this one for the hophead in me.

400 lb. Monkey - Definitely an English style IPA with an American craft twist on it.  The hops are a little more reserved than other American IPA's and the malts give it a real bready taste.  It combines that bready Englishness with a uniquely American take on an IPA.

The Left Hand Tap Room is located at 1265 Boston Ave., Longmont, Colorado 80501


The Tap Room Hours Are: Monday to Thursday: 3p - 8p Friday and Saturday: 12p - 9p Sunday: 2p - 8p


Beer Review 30: Left Hand Sawtooth Ale


Hello Beer Friends Nation! A few weeks after getting back from our Colorado Brewery Trip the Beer Friends were getting nostalgic - so we picked up a six pack of Left Hand Brewing Company's Sawtooth Ale.  Our SPotW is Left Hand Sawtooth Ale, a excellent basic ale that's easy on the palate - but don't take our word for it... find your own!  Beer!


Beer Review 15: Left Hand Milk Stout


This week's Six Pack of the Week (SPotW?) is Left Hand Breweries Milk Stout.  A popular pour at beer festivals and a Finalist in the first ever BFFF, this Milk Stout might be slightly out of season, but the Beer Friends can always enjoy a good dark pour!  Cheers! [youtube=]