Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review: Ice Pick Ale (Silverton Brewery)

Silverton Brewery remains a relatively tiny operation. The Greene
Street brewpub has never brewed more than 200 barrels a year, said Head Brewer Colin Peterman, who I found tending bar on a recent visit.

That may be changing.

Peterman was hired in May to oversee expansion. He hand-built a canning line, and Silverton now sells six-packs of 12-ounce cans to go. Silverton Brewery cans are sold in liquor stores in Ouray, and Peterman said he hopes to begin selling to Durango liquor stores soon.

During my visit, only three beers were available: a brown ale, a red ale and Ice Pick Ale.

Ice Pick is a fairly typical American-style India Pale Ale. Peterman hops it with a Magnum hops extract that is used for all Silverton beers, along with some Cascades, and Palisades for aroma.

Ice Pick comes in at 6.5 percent alcohol by volume and 73 IBUs.

It’s really quite a good IPA. The hop bitterness is pleasant but not over the top. Some IPAs knock you back with bitterness. Silverton’s doesn’t. For an IPA, it runs toward the floral/fruity end of the spectrum.

Every town, I think, deserves its own brewery. Silverton can justifiably be proud of Silverton Brewery. Hopefully, the brewery will be able to expand its offerings. Three beers constitutes a fairly paltry menu; most brewpubs offer a dozen or more beers at a time. To be fair, though, January is not exactly high season in Silverton.

If you happen to visit Silverton, sipping an Ice Pick (now that’s an image!) ain’t a bad way to while away some time, and now you can bring it back to the camp site in cans. Silverton’s version is a worthy member of Colorado’s impressive roster of IPAs. B+


  1. Great looking can. Wish I could try this one out here in MI!

  2. As fate would have it after spending the day in the neighboring town of Ouray watching the ice climbing festival a frosty can of Silverton’s Ice Pick Ale (IPA) found its way into my hands. Cracking a can of this smooth tasting beverage I noticed I was gaining strength (and a speech impediment) with every sip. Like Popeye with a can of spinach I was elevated from ordinary man to superhuman. Uncertain if it was the 6.5% ABV or the fact the Silverton brewery now offers beer in can form I wasn’t complaining. Thanks Ice Pick Ale for giving me the swagger needed to defeat Soggy Coaster in a vicious game of ping pong!

  3. Leave to a guy from Pittsburgh to put beer in a can, god love you man!!!

  4. Ice Pick Ale was the GOLD medal winning beer at the following competitions:
    2009 North American Brewers Assoc. Beer Awards
    2009 U.S. Beer Championships
    2009 Colorado State Fair


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