Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A day in the life

Photo by Andrew Carter

A sampler enjoyed last weekend at Colorado Boy Pub and Brewery in Ridgway. From left, an amber, Irish red, porter and IPA.

The Irish red and IPA were particularly tasty (both won medals at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival, I now see), and the atmosphere at the 1915 pub was excellent.

Unfortunately, shortly after this photo was taken, some local drunk hit my brother-in-law's rental car parked outside. Fortunately, there were several witnesses, and the local marshal appeared to be on the case. Insurance can be a wonderful thing.

Friday, August 26, 2011

San Juan Brewfest is Saturday

The 13th annual San Juan Brewfest takes place Saturday in downtown Durango. Some 25 breweries are expected to attend the annual celebration of craft beer.

Tickets are $25. Attendees will receive a five-ounce sampler glass.

Most of the breweries come from Colorado, although a few are from farther-flung locales. Each year, the festival doles out awards for best beers.

I'm most interested in some of the small brewpubs that don't distribute, including the the two Ouray breweries, Colorado Boy and Moab. It's also worth noting that brewing giant MolsonCoors shows up to promote Blue Moon and Colorado Native, two attempts at reaching the craft beer market.

The event benefits United Way of Southwest Colorado. This is one of the most significant craft beer events in Durango each year, and I always have a good time.

Here's the full list of breweries attending:

Alaskan Brewing Company (Juneau, AK)
Big Sky Brewing Company (Missoula, Mont.)
Blue Moon Brewing Company(Golden)
Breckenridge Brewery (Breckenridge)
Carver Brewing Company (Durango)
Colorado Boy Pub and Brewery (Ridgway)
Colorado Native (Golden)
Durango Brewing Company
Eskes Brew Pub and Eatery (Taos, NM)
Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company (Glenwood Springs)
Jacob Leinenkugal Brewing Company ( Chippewa Falls, Wisc.)
Left Hand Brewing Company (Longmont)
Moab Brewing (Moab, Utah)
New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins)
Oak Creek Brewing Company (Sedona, Ariz.)
Oskar Blues Brewing (Longmont)
Ouray Brewery
Ourayle House Brewery (Ouray, CO)
Pagosa Brewing Company (Pagosa Springs)
Palisade Brewing Company
Rockslide Brewery (Grand Junction)
Samuel Adams (Boston)
San Luis Valley Brewing Company (Alamosa)
Ska Brewing Co. (Durango)
Steamworks Brewing Co. (Durango)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ska Brewing to release Belgian dubbel

Ska Brewing Co. on Wednesday will release the latest beer in its Local Series, Sethvleteren 8.

The beer comes courtesy of Seth Townsend, who won this year's Ska homebrewing competition and will have his beer entered in the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition in late September in Denver.

Sethvleteren 8 is an organic, Belgian-style dubbel. It should be strong and yeasty.

It might not be dubbel weather yet, but I'll buy a couple of bottles for when temperatures cool off.

(For now, I'm enjoying my dwindling supplies of Mexican Logger. For what it's worth, everyone around town is running out of the summer seasonal. Get some before it's gone if you wish).

Last year's winner of Ska's homebrewing competition was really nice. Clancy's Black Beer was a German-style Schwarzbier with a malty and chocolatey taste.

The great thing about this one is it's been pre-screened for deliciousness. As with all the beers in Ska's Local Series, Sethvleteren 8 will be available in 22-ounce bottles in and around Durango.

About that name: presumably, it's a play on Westvleteren 8, a rare Belgian beer that is something of a Holy Grail for beer geeks. A lot of knowledgeable people say it's one of the best beers in the world. Not that Ska is setting Seth up for any pressure or anything.

Anyway, stop by Ska on Wednesday evening to meet Seth and get a taste of this organic, Belgian-style dubbel.