Part of the fun of craft beer is trying out the latest seasonal offering rolling off the line. But where does one even begin? With all the quirky and colorfully designed labels, making the right selection can be daunting. To make it easier, we’ve enlisted Tristan Chan, founder of PorchDrinking.com, to crack open a guide to his favorite craft beers.... more
REDCON Irish Red Ale - Comrade Brewing (Denver, CO)
Comrade Brewing is typically synonymous with producing some of the state’s best hop-forward beers. But REDCON, their Irish Red Ale, has also distinguished itself as the state’s best Irish Red. Boasting rich roasty malt-forward caramel notes with an under current of hoppiness, REDCON has been so prolific that it earned a bronze medal in 2018 at the Great American Beer Festival
Slow Pour Pilsner - Bierstadt Lagerhaus (Denver, CO)
It’s rare to find a brewery these days so completely dedicated to producing old-world styles that they’d import an entire German brewhouse to help brew true-to-style lagers. Bill Eye and Ashleigh Carter, the co-founders of Bierstadt Lagerhaus are so committed to their craft that they spared no expense when they built their brewery. The result is one of the country’s best and perhaps even the world’s best Pilsners, one that takes seven minutes to pour for the full soft biscuity pillow-y effect.
Western Conference All-Stars - Westbound & Down Brewing (Idaho Springs, CO)
Since its inception, collaboration and innovation have been at the core of what makes the craft beer industry so special. So when Westbound & Down introduced a series of collaborations bringing together the country’s best West Coast IPA producers, it fused the essence of craft beer with some of the best representations of that style to-date. To this date they’ve partnered with national leaders like Firestone Walker, La Cumbre,
Juicy Bits - WeldWerks Brewing - (Greeley, CO)
Over the past five years, hazy New England-style IPA’s have completely revolutionized the craft beer industry and in Colorado, WeldWerks Brewing’s Juicy Bits was one of the earlier pioneers to help propel that movement. Boasting bright citrusy notes with a delicate pillowy mouthfeel, Juicy Bits drinks more like orange juice than the bitter hop bombs that IPA’s began as in the early craft beer movement.
La Folie - New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO)
New Belgium practically wrote the book on mixed fermentation barrel aged sours in the US when they first introduced La Folie in 1997. Former New Belgium Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert brought his knowledge of the style from Belgium’s Rodenbach Brewery to create a beautiful sour brown ale blend that marries the perfect tart kiss with rich notes of green apple, plum, and cocoa. While it was a pioneer in the field, it still remains the gold standard to this day.
Mexican Lager - Lone Tree Brewing (Lone Tree, CO)
Sometimes what you need most from a beer is something easy drinking and super crushable. That’s very much the case with Lone Tree Brewing’s Mexican Lager. The brilliance of this beer is that it is balanced across the board. This Mexican Lager is bright, crisp and refreshing, while still showcasing enough corn driven flavor to not feel too thin. This two-time GABF winner is perfect on its own or even better with a squeeze of lime.
Dear You French Saison - Ratio Beerworks (Denver, CO)
Saisons can often be misunderstood due to the diversity of profiles that can emerge from this style. Belgian Saisons are typically sweeter with more of that distinct bubble gummy Belgian Saison underpinning, while contemporary Saison expressions often are either funkier or more closely associated with sours. Ratio Beerworks however channeled the classic French Saison as one of their flagship offerings producing a beautifully dry, complex Saison with notes of citrus derived naturally from the use of Citra hops.
Meta Coconut - Amalgam Brewing (Denver, CO)
For those looking to level up their beer fandom, Amalgam Brewing is the brewery to take your passion to the next level. Not conforming to the traditional brewery approach, Amalgam doesn’t have a regularly operating taproom, but instead is housed out of a warehouse in Denver’s Midtown neighborhood, and makes most of their beer for their membership program as well as occasional drops to local priority liquor stores. They don’t brew on-site but instead partners with other breweries to brew their base wort and then barrel-ages a majority of the beer at their warehouse. They produce brilliant mixed culture barrel-aged sours that showcase locally sourced fruit, but they’ve also quietly become one of the best barrel-aged stout producers in the state. While virtually any of their barrel-aged stout releases would qualify, Meta Coconut was one of the best expressions of the style with a strong coconut backbone and a brownie batter thickness that made this truly taste like the best dessert you’ve ever encountered.
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