Craft Brewer’s Conference, Oskar Blues, CBC Collaborative Centennial Pale Ale


CBC 2014 Centennial Pale AleIn case you haven’t heard the buzz about town, or Colorado for that matter, the Craft Brewer’s Conference is in full swing!

Better known as CBC, this event draws people from all over and includes packaging breweries, as well as brewpubs.  Taking place from April 8-11 this year, over 7,000 brewery industry folk have ascended on Colorado.  Conferences and seminars are being held, allowing them to encounter the latest and greatest products vendors have to offer.  All the while, sharing knowledge and information with one another, and building relationships throughout the industry.

As part of the celebration of this year’s CBC event, Oskar Blues teamed up with the Colorado Brewer’s Guild and invited all to the brewing process.  Spending months on the perfect recipe, they finally came up with the Centennial Pale Ale, its name coming from the fact Colorado is known as the Centennial state.  All malts, hops, and yeast were donated from Colorado companies, and then were brewed at Oskar Blues on Monday, February 24th.  It will be the first ever American craft beer to use the Ball Corporation’s new Dynamark™ Variable Printing Technology.  The commemorative collection of 19.2 ounce single serving cans will print off to read “CBC Colorado 2014”.  You can find these special edition cans at various locations, so be sure to ask next time you’re out!

Also, beer dinners, tap takeovers, and other events are taking place all over the state!  Breweries and their staff are out and about taking tours and trying all of Colorado’s greatest beers; take the opportunity to say hi.

Check with your favorite local spot to see if they’ve got any big plans for the special week!

Black Bottle Brewery Celebrates 1st Birthday With Beer, Cupcakes, and One Man Band

Black Bottle Brewery, the newest locally-owned brewery to Fort Collins, will celebrate their one year in business with the release of their first anniversary beer, Angry Elf, specialty cupcakes and one man band, Randall Conrad Olinger, on Saturday, December 14th from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. at Black Bottle Brewery located at 1611 S. College Avenue, Suite 1609!

“It’s crazy how time has flown by this past year.” said Sean Nook, owner and head brewer. Nook, who was brewing beer in his home up until he opened Black Bottle Brewery, reflected on the last year, “It feels like just yesterday we were down here installing our copper kettle and fermenters, now here we are celebrating our first birthday.”

Join them as they kick off their birthday celebration at 11 a.m., or any time you can make it in, as the party will be going on all day. Their 40 tap system that they usually share with other local and national breweries will be full of their very own craft beer creations, including Ginger, their Gold Medal Winner at the All Colorado Beer Festival. They’ll be offering tours to the public at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. While there will be special tappings all day, the most important of them all will be at 7 p.m. when they toast with specialty cupcakes from Cupcake Cruiser and tap their anniversary beer, Angry Elf, an American Strong Ale made with brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, orange blossom honey and cinnamon that was then aged in scotch barrels with raspberries and then whiskey barrels.

Feisty Spirits, Fort Collins’ newest craft distillery, will join in the celebration as well. Following the birthday toast, stick around for the special release of the Black Bottle Brewery and Feisty Spirits collaboration whiskey, Collab-skey, at 8 p.m. If that wasn’t already a full days worth, one man band, Randall Conrad Olinger will be performing for your listening pleasure starting at 9 p.m. until close. This full day of beer, cupcakes, music and whiskey is one that you surely won’t want to miss, so join them!

Black Bottle Brewery, a locally owned and operated brewery and restaurant located in midtown Fort Collins, opened its doors in December of 2012. Brewing creative craft ales and lagers with radical ingredients in their basement is their passion and recently partnered with High Country Beverage of Loveland to help with their distribution. Offering a full food menu from its kitchen on the main level, Black Bottle Brewery provides a unique drinking environment enhanced by great food. For more information visit,

Feisty Spirits, Fort Collins’ first distillery, provides brilliant hand crafted whiskeys and other distilled spirits. Continuing a family legacy, they pride themselves in using natural and organic ingredients to produce the highest quality distilled spirits. For more information visit,

Beer, Cupcakes, and a One Man Band

Congrats to one of our newest partners, Black Bottle Brewery, as they turn one year old this month!

Join them as the doors open on Saturday, December 14th at 11am to help them celebrate their birth a year ago last December. They will be celebrating their first birthday with Angry Elf (their anniversary beer), specialty cupcakes from Cupcake Cruiser, one man band, Randall Conrad Olinger, and much more. Black Bottle will be offering tours of their brewery to the public at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 4pm and 5pm. In addition, they will be taking over all 40 of their taps with 40 different BBB beers for the entire day, or until they are gone at least, including some that haven’t been seen since they first opened.

A tapping and toast of their anniversary beer, Angry Elf, at 7pm will kick of the night’s festivities! Angry Elf is an American Strong Ale made with brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, orange blossom honey, and cinnamon that they aged in scotch barrels with raspberries and then aged again in whiskey barrels. Accompanying the toast will be a specialty cupcake made with their anniversary beer and made by Fort Collins’ favorite cupcake truck, Cupcake Cruiser.

Stick around until 8pm and you’ll be able to have the first crack at the Black Bottle Brewery and Feisty Spirits collaboration whiskey, Collab-skey. This first batch has a strong, yet sweet, aroma of roasted malt with subtle hints of apricot, and its full body finishes warm and crisp compliments of the rye. Fair warning, this is a small batch and will be limited, so get a taste while it’s still around.

Randall Conrad Olinger, a one man band of sorts, will begin his foot stomping, “hobo honkey-tonk” (as he calls it) at 9pm, so be sure to stick around for a song or two! His acoustic combination of blues, country, rock and metal, played on loud guitars and a homemade foot drum, will keep your foot tapping and hands clapping well into the night.

A full day of activities, that’s the only way to celebrate a 1st birthday!

BBB Anniversary Poster

An Epic Beer Festival Hits Colorado

For the first time ever Denver, Colo. will be graced with the Epic Beer Festival on June 28th and 29th!

If you missed out on last weekend’s Colorado Brewers’ Festival, you can make it up to yourself by attending the Epic Beer Festival.  In its inaugural year in Denver, the Epic Beer Festival will feature 120 different craft breweries from all over the United States and plus many International breweries as well.

Local favorites like AC Golden Brewery, Boulder Brewing Co, New Belgium and Oskar Blues Brewing Co. will be in attendance. Other national favorites such as, Alaskan Brewing Co, Anchor Brewing Co, Big Sky Brewing, Flying Dog Brewing Co and Lagunitas Brewing Co, will also be sharing their craft brews.  You’ll find plenty of stouts, porters, IPAs, reds, wheats, pilsners, gluten free beers and many more styles, so be sure to branch out and try something you’ve never had.  Slated to serve upwards of 350 different crafts brews you’re bound to find at least one new favorite, if not more!

This festival will have three different tasting sessions, one on Friday the 28th and two on Saturday the 29th, and will take place at the Colorado Convention Center.  Friday’s session will start at 7pm and end at 10pm, and Saturday’s first session will take place from 1pm-4pm and the second from 7pm-10pm.  Purchase of a $40 general admission ticket will gain you entrance to the festival, an Epic Beer Festival tasting cup and 2oz tasting pours of all festival beers.  Be sure to grab a bite to eat before hand as there will be only be concession food available for attending patrons.

Are you a designated driver?  Well there’s good news for you, Epic Beer Festival has a Designated Driver program that gets you all the fun and souvenirs at the festival for FREE!  All you have to do is purchase a regular General Admission ticket, show up, have fun without drinking alcohol and then stop by the Designated Driver station on your way out to take a breathalyzer.  Blow .00 and your ticket cost will be refunded in FULL!   Otherwise, you have obviously consumed alcohol and will NOT be refunded your ticket cost.

Best of all the Epic Beer Festival benefits We Don’t Waste, a nonprofit based in Colorado that provides food for the hungry.  The program collects leftover food from various food purveyors, restaurants, and events, and then distributes the unused foods to those in need.  So purchase a ticket and help feed the hungry!

Purchase tickets and find more information at the link below!  As always, please remember to drinking responsibly and designate a driver.

20th Anniversary Commemorated with an Ale

As always, the anticipation of Opening Day began many excited days and weeks in advance but this year there was more than just baseball to be excited about.  The Colorado Rockies and Blue Moon Brewery released their 20th Anniversary Ale on Opening Day to commemorate their 20th year of professional baseball in Colorado!

Blue Moon Brewery has been in existence since the 1995 Colorado Rockies season and in fact the very first batch of Blue Moon was created at the brewery located in the right field concourse at Coors Field.  Who knew that it would turn into such a hit!? (Pun intended).  To commemorate the second decade of Colorado Rockies baseball, Blue Moon’s brewmaster, John Legnard, put together the 20th Anniversary Ale for beer and baseball fans alike.  Using Abbey malts and a combination of domestic and import hops, Legnard created this easy drinking Amber Ale.  Perfectly crafted for an afternoon or evening baseball game, this limited release beer surely won’t disappoint.

Prior to the April 5th release, Blue Moon Brewery and the Rockies reached out to fans to help come up with a description.  From March 15th to March 28th fans of legal drinking age were able to submit their own descriptions for a chance to win a private tour of the brewery located in Coors Field with head brewer John Legnard, a commemorative tap handle and two tickets to a home game.  Given a handful of guidelines and a few keywords, this is what the winning contestant came up with…

“Like Cargo’s sweet swing, Blue Moon’s 20th Anniversary brew is uncommonly smooth and easygoing.  It’s a refreshing Amber Ale built with all the right players, home-grown and imported hops and Abbey malt.  Just as 1993 was the exciting start of a love affair with the Rockies, 2013 is the year to enjoy the beginning of a new beer tradition for the ages!”

There’s a catch though, the 20th Anniversary Ale can only be enjoyed while catching a game at the ballpark.  So, next time you’re at a Rockies game be sure to catch this awesome beer at one of the many Blue Moon stands around the park!

Colorado Craft Beer Week March 18th to March 24th!

It’s not too late to partake in Colorado Craft Beer Week!  Join breweries and establishments all over Colorado this week as they celebrate Colorado breweries, their brewers and of course their amazingly crafted beers!

Take the time to stop by your local breweries this week and help them rejoice in all their hard work.  Many breweries will be hosting tapping parties with special and/or rare beers that they want to share with those who enjoy the taste of their many hours spent working in the brewery.  Some will be hosting tours and educational events, giving those new and seasoned craft beer lovers the chance to expand their knowledge of the industry and its craft.  You can find beer and food pairings at some local restaurants as well, allowing you to explore a wide variety of dishes perfectly paired with beers that compliment all their flavors.

Be sure to ask if the restaurant or establishment has any Colorado Craft Beer Week specials when you are out in Northern Colorado!

And below is a list of just a few events you can still check out!

3/18/2013-3/24/2013 – Visit Tommy Knocker Brewery for week long specials!  Schedule a free brewery tour and mention Colorado Craft Beer week when you’re there and get $2 off your growler fill!

3/19/2013-3/23/2013 – Visit New Belgium Brewing Company in their Liquid Center while wearing your SOCIAL shirt, share a toast and receive a full size beer of your choice for FREE!

3/21/2013:  Oskar Blues Firkin Night @ Black Bottle Brewing!  Starts at 6pm, Oskar Blues will be tapping a firkin of oSKAr the G’Rauch

3/21/2013:  Road 34 in Fort Collins will be tapping various New Belgium beers including: La Folie, Biere de Garde, Abbey Grand Cru, Clutch, Heavenly Fiejoa and others!  Tapping starts at 7pm and many of these will go quickly!

3/21/2013:  Oskar Blues @ West End Tavern Specialty Tapping Party.  Join Oskar Blues for the tapping of Herradura Barrel Aged Chub, starts at 6pm.

3/22/2013:  Firk-Off @ Cranknstein starting at 8pm!  Join Oskar Blues reps as they tap a special firkin for this Colorado Craft Beer Week.

3/22/2013:  Legends & Rarities Event! This event celebrates the old guard, the behemoths, the forerunners, The Legends. Guests will revel in the glory of 10 breweries. Each brewery will pour two beers: one legend, one rarity.

4/1/2013: High Country Beverage and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Team Up with Tap n Handle for the Biggest Tap Takeover in Colorado! High Country Beverage, a locally-owned and operated beverage distributor, is teaming up with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Tap n Handle, a local beer bar and grill, for the biggest tap takeover at one location to ever hit Colorado.  The tap takeover, which is a celebration of Tap n Handle’s one year anniversary in Fort Collins, will kick off on Monday, April 1, 2013 at 5 pm.

A Night Spent Lost in the Woods

A special release party held at the brewery was the first of its kind for New Belgium, Fort Collins’ largest craft brewery, and was a big hit for all of those who attended!

Lost in the Woods, a private ticketed event, showcased New Belgium’s 2013 La Folie Sour Brown Ale and Transatlantique Kriek.  The brewery saw more than 700 guests come through their doors last Friday night.  The buzz had built for weeks and tickets sold out faster than expected so it was no surprise that the line to get in started forming early and stretched clear back out on to Linden Street.  Once the doors opened the line quickly dissipated and guests slapped on a name tag, took their three tokens (each good for one free draft beer of your choice) and set out to see what the Woods had in store.

The Liquid Center was packed, serving the 2013 La Folie and Transatlantique Kriek alongside a variety of other New Belgium beers.  Here people spent their time snacking on tasty appetizers, discussing first thoughts of the new beers, and talking of what might be found in the rest of the brewery.  Taking a walk and sticking to the right you found a dimly lit conference room where brewers like Peter Brouckaert and Eric Salazar, along with other New Belgium staff, explained the processes and techniques used to brew these craft sensations.  Offering tasters of the showcased beers at their different stages in the brewing process allowed enthusiasts to both see and taste the drastic changes it goes through.

After grasping an understanding of what it takes to make these delicious beers, it was time to head to “Cache La Foeder”, the whole reason this event was even possible.  Walking through the “woods” of the enormous cellar that houses 30 plus wood foeders (pronounced foo-ders), you could find various beverage stations serving up the sour beers with more details and facts of the creation process.  Candles and various decorative lights splashed the wooden barrels with bits of light leading you back to a forest of white trees projected up on the walls.  Wondrous sounds of blues, rock and soul came from the back of the cellar where you could find Mama Lenny & The Remedy performing all night.  Getting Lost in the Woods while enjoying live music, good company and dancing around but being ever so careful not to waste a drop of beer, was a perfect way to spend a Friday night.

Needless to say, a good time was had by all.  Job well done New Belgium, we look forward to attending your next event!

If you weren’t able to attend the event and want to try these beers you can use New Belgium’s Libation Locator to find where you can purchase these awesome beers!

Thanksgiving Beer Recommendations

With Thanksgiving upon us, we have those who have helped us in our hearts and turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie on our mind. Or maybe that’s just us! Many will spend the day with family and close friends, enjoying football, cheese balls, turkey, green bean casserole, pie and, of course, a good beer to wash it all down. That being said, you should put some thought into the beer selection you make.

There are a few things to take into consideration when picking out your beverage for the day, keeping in mind when you’ll be having it and what you will be eating. Your favorite beer might be a stout, but drinking something dark and heavy early in the day will fill you up quickly, leaving no room for all the fixins’ you thought about for the last week. Instead, stick with something light, like a lager or pilsner, until it’s time to enjoy your big meal.

When choosing a beer to have with dinner, you can go in a variety of directions. Sticking with the light beer you’ve already been drinking will allow you to taste all the flavors that are on your plate. Another option is a darker, malty beer that will allow the flavors to complement one another. If you are skipping the bird and having ham instead, it’s suggested that you pair it with a wheat beer, or “Weizen” as the Germans call it. And if you’re thinking about picking up an IPA, DON’T. The extra hops can take away all the rich flavors you’re expecting to have in the perfect bite you have on your fork.

After dinner is over and you’re ready for dessert, bring out those dark, heavy beers that you enjoy so much. The sweet, spiced or fruity beers pair perfectly with many of the desserts you may find on the table. A chocolate stout or a sour beer might bring out a few extra flavors in the pie mom made! Or maybe this year that pumpkin ale you’ve been dying to try will take the place of that piece of pie that you always have!

And if you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the day without stepping foot in the kitchen, you should be extra thankful!

Lagers/Pilsners: Coors Brewing “Coors Banquet”, Bards Brewing “Bards (gluten free)”, or Flying Dog Brewery “UnderDog Atlantic Lager”

Ales: Big Sky Brewing “Moose Drool Brown Ale”, or Anchor Brewing “Brekle’s Brown”

Wheat/Weizen: New Belgium Brewing “Sunshine Wheat”, or Boulder Beer “Sweaty Betty Blonde”

Stouts: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Stout”, Lagunitas Brewing Company “Cappuccino Stout”, or Alaskan Brewing Company “Stout (oatmeal)”

Pumpkin Ale: Coors Brewing “Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale”, or Tommyknocker “Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale”