"Beer in Colorado" is dedicated to that divine elixir born of the marriage of water, malt, hops, and yeast as interpreted
by those living in Colorado. Follow the author as he visits every brewery in the state, creates experimental homebrews,
attends beer festivals, tries interesting beers from around the world, and spreads the good word of beer. Prost!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Arvada Beer Company Brings Brews to the 'Burbs

One day, many months ago, Nicole and I were walking the streets of Olde Town Arvada on route to our weekly Geeks Who Drink game at the D-Note when I paused at the corner of Olde Wadsworth and Grandview, looked up at a vacant but stately brick building, and proudly proclaimed that it would be the site of my future microbrewery.  It had everything going for it: picture windows that allow people on the street to peer in and see what’s brewing, a location in what is most certainly the only cool part of Arvada, and the building itself is historic and beautiful.  Yes, it would, indeed, make a fine brewery.  Well, chalk it up to “great minds think alike,” pure coincidence, or the CIA listening device implanted in my skull that’s been sending my thoughts out on radio waves but, a few weeks later, it was announced that Arvada Beer Company would be setting up shop there.  Thus, my search for the perfect brewing venue continues.  But, enough about my unrequited hopes and dreams, let’s talk about a business idea that’s actually come to fruition.

Arvada Beer's entrance

Arvada Beer has been a long time in the making; it was originally to open in June but, because of all the hurdles associated with creating a business, the grand opening was pushed back—way back—to last Friday, October 28th.  When I heard that Arvada Beer was finally set to open, Nicole, quiz pals Robin and Justin, and I made plans to visit on opening day.

Opening day just so happened to coincide with Olde Town Arvada’s Trick or Treat Street which was good news for Arvada Beer—people who might not normally make the trip to the brewery still popped into Arvada Beer simply because, hey, it’s there.  Plus, after an hour or two of corralling sugar-rushing, miniaturized versions of Captain America, Optimus Prime, and whatever else commercialized crap the kids are into these days, the parents could definitely use a beer.  However, as a patron, the coexisting events caused some minor headaches.  Do you realize how long a single, suburban block seems when you’re stuck behind a hayride traveling at the blistering pace of 2 mph?  Criminy!

The tasting room of Arvada Beer was a jam-packed as the streets outside but, miraculously, we spotted a table, got to it before any claim-jumpers interfered, and placed our order with the waitress.  On opening day, the brewery only had four beers on tap but, judging by the many vacant tap handles sticking out of the wall, I can only assume that Arvada Beer will have quite a repertoire before too long.  The offerings for the night included a golden lager, a brown ale, a porter, and an IPA.
From left to right: Golden, Brown, Porter, IPA

The golden lager is clear, harvest-time yellow and has a barely perceptible aroma.  It is very light and crisp and it tastes both sweet and grainy like a kid’s cereal.  Robin likened it to Kix and, since she’s a big fan of that cereal, she was a fan of this beer.  Having grown up in Indiana, I thought that the golden lager drinking experience was like a liquefied version of breathing in the air of a corn silo.  That isn’t to say that there are particles floating about that will make the drinker hack up a cough, just that there is an undeniable corny, grainy flavor to the beer.  Golden lager finishes dry.  

The brown ale is clear and dark brass in color.  It smells like mixed nuts rolled in toffee and it tastes like syrup-coated almonds.  It is a very good beer but I fear it is premature as its head retention is dismal.  I know the opening of Arvada Beer was delayed for several months but I think they should have held out a few more days to allow this beer to finish.

What is there to say about the porter?  Well, for one, I cannot believe anybody would have the audacity to call it a porter.  First of all, it doesn’t look like a porter.  It is dark, yes, but it is murky like muddy river water.  It looks like Jacob Mack Mild Ale from Dostal Alley.  It smells like chocolate and coffee which does fit the porter profile but then the flavors are off; it’s much more like a maple brown ale than like any porter I’ve ever had.  Furthermore, the mouthfeel is much too light—a porter needs to be thicker.  Somebody needs to go back to drawing board on this one.  Justin and I agreed that, if we had homebrewed this, we would have dumped the bottles and filed it  under “mistakes to learn from.”

The IPA, in comparison, is great.  It is a slightly hazy yellow and it smells like a bed of pine needles.  The hoppy bite is grassy and mild—those who shy away from IPAs would still enjoy this beer as the bitterness is fleeting; it’s on the tongue for a moment before fading into oblivion.  I, personally, would have liked a hop bomb but I consent that it is a well made beer and is pleasing to the masses.

Perhaps the best part of Arvada Beer is the fact that it is connected, via a backroom hallway, to Manneken Frites, a gourmet French fry shop and, even though they are two distinct businesses, Manneken Frites serves Arvada Beer customers in the tasting room.  I’m currently salivating on my keyboard just thinking about those fries and the multitude of dipping sauces to choose from.  I always go for the hot ones; jalapeno mayo, chipotle mayo, and ghost pepper mayo are my favorites and my favorite way to wash them down is with a glass of Colorado brewed beer.  Once again, Arvada Beer has picked the perfect location. 
Arvada Beer's tasty neighbor
The verdict: Arvada Beer is a fledgling brewery and there are kinks to work out but the potential is there.  Since I’m in that part of town on a weekly basis, I’m sure I’ll be back to see what they’re cookin’ up next; I will always support my local brewers even when they’re still trying to get their feet underneath them.  Good luck, Arvada Beer, and I look forward to seeing you grow, evolve, and establish a niche in the Colorado craft beer community. 

Like the parents herding their costumed offspring, I spent my day herding 400 middle schoolers through a muddy corn maze. Needless to say, I was ready for a beer. The hayride crawling down the street did not make matters any better. I already get frustrated when driving so one can only imagine the words coming out of my mouth as I tried to find a parking space while avoiding pedestrians and hayride pulling tractors.
I was in a state of great anticipation because this was the first time that we have been to a brewery on opening day. Sure, I have been to over 70 Colorado breweries and several others in different states and countries but never on opening day. Still, I didn’t expect wall to wall people when I walked into Arvada Beer Company. Normally I like to read a little about the beers so I know what I am getting and Chris and I like to quiz ourselves to see if our opinions match the statements made by the brewers.  But, there were no beer menus on opening day so we were left to figure out the flavors and aromas on our own. Luckily, Robin and Justin offered more noses and taste buds to help us out.
I enjoyed the toffee aromas and flavors of the brown. That is the one that stuck out the most to me and I would like to try it again in the future. Browns are slowly starting to become one of my favorite types of beers especially now that the weather is getting chilly, the leaves are falling, and snow is falling.  I want to cuddle up with something that reminds me of winter. I hope Arvada Beer brews up some seasonal beers that we can try to warm us up for trivia.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oktoberfestivities and the Colorado/Oregon War

The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) may be more than two weeks over but that doesn’t mean Denver’s going light on the beer events.  This is the Napa Valley of beer and the city doesn’t want to lose that title so local businesses keep the festivities coming faster than an assembly line on I Love Lucy.  This past week, Denver Beer Co. and Highland Tap & Burger each hosted an event that would be considered worthy of Denver’s high standards in beer celebrations: Oktoberfest 2011 and Battle of Beer Supremacy, respectively. 

What: Oktoberfest 2011
Where: Denver Beer Co.
When: Oct. 15 from 12pm till close

Still well under a year old, Denver Beer Co. (DBC) is quickly establishing itself as a major contender in the Denver craft beer scene.  Already it has a GABF bronze medal for Graham Cracker Porter, a mention in USA Today concerning the beer garden, and mad props from the beer drinking community.  Expect the accolades to keep comin’ because DBC keeps coming up with new ways to attract customers like the previously mentioned Barleywine Burritos Brewer Breakfast and the about-to-be-mentioned Oktoberfest 2011.

In case you haven’t noticed, I end all of my updates with “Prost!”—the German version of “Cheers!”  Also, if I felt so inclined as to release my last name, you would see that it is quite obviously of German origin.  I’m quite proud of my German heritage; I come from a long line of car manufacturers, wristwatch makers, sauerkraut eaters, and, of course, beer brewers.  Yep, aside from starting two World Wars and committing unspeakable crimes against humanity, the German people have done a lot to improve the lives of people around the word.  You may think that, because this is a beer blog, I’m going to say that beer is Germany’s greatest gift to mankind.  Nay, Germany’s greatest gift is the excuse to drink bucket-sized steins of beer and not seem like an alcoholic because it’s a “cultural event.”  God Bless Germany and God bless DBC for bringing a little bit of Munich to Platte Street.

The author and his sisters at Oktoberfest 2011

For $15, Oktoberfest 2011 patrons received a souvenir 24 oz. stein filled with one of the three German-style beers on tap, $6 refills of the stein, a “tiny” pretzel (ironically, it is as big as your face) and oompah band entertainment from The Rhinelanders.

I filled my stein with the Oktoberfest-style beer (naturally) and settled in with Nicole and my sisters for a few hours of enthusiastic stein-smashing and subsequent beer-spilling.  The Rhinelanders periodically interrupted our drinking with chants of Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oi, Oi, Oi! and monolingual (and drunk) attendees struggled through the German lyrics to Ein Prosit.  The Rhinelanders even demonstrated the alpenhorn AKA “that thing from the Ricola commercial.” 

A Rhinelander with the alpenhorn
The burliest of drinkers entered the masskrugstemmen contest in which competitors held a full stein out in front of them, parallel to the floor, for as long as possible.  This resulted in a lot of spilled beer and sore upper-body muscles but, really, all the competitors were winners.  I don’t mean that in a sappy, every-nerd-on-the-little-league-team-gets-a-trophy-for-trying way, either.  Everybody did end up a winner because everybody got their steins topped off for free prior to the start of the contest.

What’s a party without a whole roasted pig?  Something I don’t want to be at, that’s what!  Thank God DBC had just that and they let the patrons know about it by parading "Helga" through the tasting room on a silver platter garnished with hop leaves.  Oh, what a sight (and smell) it was; it could have turned a vegetarian carnivorous.  The pig was handed over to the participating food truck, Chile Billy, and, through some sort of sorcery, it became a delicious pulled pork green chili sandwich which I topped off with sauerkraut.  There’s something about the combination of green chili, sauerkraut, and German-style beer that makes me want to yell ¡Viva Deutschland!  Both Nicole and I snarfed it without delay. 

Yummy, yummy piggie

In addition to the German-style beers, Nicole and I also partook in some of DBC’s other offerings namely Whakapapa IPA and a hot chile pepper beer that Nicole said would be great to cook with (a beer cheese soup would be awesome).  I was excited to try Whakapapa because, in my days as an undergraduate student, I spent a semester at the University of Otago in New Zealand wherein I took a class in Māori studies and I’m pretty sure—as any pretentious world traveler can assure you—that makes me an expert on the subject.  Whakapapa is the Māori word for genealogy, lineage, and basically everything that’s important (correct me if I’m wrong, Kiwi readers).  The beer is Māori themed because the recipe includes hops from New Zealand.  It is a tasty, grassy IPA and, even though DBC is almost constantly rotating beers in and out, I hope they keep bringing this one back.  However, I have to warn you, DBC, to watch your ass; you don’t want to end up like Funkwerks and their Māori King. 

We all left the event filled with great beer and surprised that nobody chipped a stein from our forceful prosting.  It was a great time despite the fact that the crowded room kept bumping into Nicole's chair and fondling her sweaters.  I can say that I hope DBC continues this trend of hosting awesome events but that’s just silly because I know they’ll keep having events; they’ve already hosted more than I can keep up with.  Good work, DBC, good work.

What: Battle of Beer Supremacy
Where: Highland Tap & Burger
When: Oct. 17 from 6pm till 9pm

Nobody ever calls it the “craft beer industry” because it’s really the “craft beer community”; a system of mutual support, admiration, and collaboration.  Certainly, each craft brewery is technically in competition with every other craft brewery but they are all connected by an invisible wire of respect and—dare I say?—love.  Flowers!  Rainbows!  Two people of different races shaking hands!  Other images that conjure up feelings of peace, love, and happiness!  Well, nuts to that hippie crap!  I want a fight!  I want to see the gladiators of beer compete for the honor of being on my palate.  I want to root for my home team and see the other team ride home shame-faced on the bus.  I want a glorious champion and I want an emasculated loser.  Thankfully, my bloodlust was sated courtesy of the Battle of Beer Supremacy (BBS).

BBS: Small but tons of fun

The BBS was sponsored by the Denver Ducks—Denver’s University of Oregon alumni association—in honor of the inaugural University of Colorado v. University of Oregon Pac-12 football show-down.  To commemorate the event, the state Oregon and the state of Colorado waged war on the fields of malted barley in a brewery against brewery contest that had Odell and Left Hand fighting for Colorado and Deschutes and Widmer Brothers fighting for Oregon.  I didn’t go to either school but, of course, I was cheering for the Colorado beers (I mean, read the title of this blog).  Nonetheless, I recognize that Oregon’s craft beer scene is almost as prestigious as Colorado’s and, besides that, my favorite athlete is Steve Prefontaine from the U of O so, in a way, I was an unbiased judge.  So, I donned my Odell hat and my “Go Pre” shirt and Nicole and I headed to Highland Tap & Burger. 

Left Hand showed up raring for a fight with Milk Stout Nitro (6% ABV) and Fade to Black Vol. 3 (7.2% ABV).  Milk Stout Nitro is a bottled version of its nitro-tapped brethren found in bars across the state.  Now, however, beer geeks needn’t travel to the local watering hole to enjoy the rich, creamy, smoothness of a nitro beer; they need only to pop the top off the bottle and dump—don’t pour—the beer into a pint.  In a blind taste test, I doubt many people could discern a nitro-tapped Milk Stout from a nitro-bottled Milk Stout.  Fade to Black Vol. 3 is, obviously, the third beer in the Fade to Black series—seasonal porters that, while sharing a common name, style, and bottle art, differ in flavor on a year to year basis.  Vol. 3 is defined by its hot pepper additives and the warming sensation it leaves in the drinker’s throat.

Deschutes parried Left Hand’s attack with Fresh Hop Mirror Pond (5% ABV) and Jubelale (6.7% ABV).  Yes, Jubelale was quite tasty but all my concentration went to Fresh Hop Mirror Pond and its delicious, hoppy flavor and captivating history.  Deschutes has been in business since 1988 and Mirror Pond Pale Ale (5% ABV)—generously flavored with Cascade hops—has always been a flagship beer.  However, the funny thing about hops is that, over time, the flavors and aromas of any given variety can change.  Thus, a 1988 bottle of Mirror Pond will taste quite different from a 2011 bottle even though the recipe hasn’t changed.  Fresh Hop Mirror Pond harkens back to the good-old-days by resuscitating the original hop rhizome that had been put on archive at Oregon State University and planted a four-acre patch of these heirloom hop plants at Goshie Farms in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  Now, contemporary drinkers can have a taste of 1988.  I never knew the 80’s were so delicious. 

Odell, perhaps one of my favorite breweries, showed up with a knife at the gun fight.  Seriously, Odell?  You bring Easy Street Wheat (4.6% ABV) and Isolation Ale (6% ABV) to a competition?  Talk about half-assed; Easy Street is nearly as ubiquitous as Fat Tire (5.2% ABV) and even though Isolation is seasonal it, too, is hardly rare.  I paid $25 to get into this even because I wanted to try weird and wonderful beers not the same stuff I could get at any Denver bar or restaurant.  Yes, both Easy Street and Isolation are good but they’re also non-adventuresome.  Odell has several atomic bombs in the form of the 4 Pack Series, Woodcut Series, and Single Serve Series and yet, with that arsenal, they decided to bring a slingshot.  You’ve under-represented yourselves, Odell, and, by extension, the entire brew scene of Colorado.        

Widmer Brothers was above Odell but below the other two on the scale of risk; they didn’t bring anything that would knock your socks off but it was more interesting than the prosaic offerings at Odell’s table.  Plus, they brought three beers rather than two: Hefeweizen (4.9% ABV), Drifter Pale Ale (5.7% ABV), and Rotator IPA: Falconer’s IPA (7% ABV).  Every beer they had was good but I’m not running out my door to grab a six-pack, either.  Nicole was pretty fond of Drifter and was proud of the fact that she knew the "S" hop used in it.  Well, first she said "Simcoe" and then I interjected with "Saaz" but, after she did a bit of research, she answered correctly with "Summit." 

After the blood had been spilled and the body parts picked up, one warrior was declared the winner:  Fresh Hop Mirror Pond.  I can’t say I was surprised, it is an absolutely fabulous beer and, even though I stuck by my state by voting for Milk Stout Nitro, I concede that Deschutes deserved this win.  Next time, Oregon.  Next time.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Great American Beer Festival: Still Lookin' Good After 30 Years

This past week in Denver has been a marathon of beer-related events and it all culminated in a big finish: the 30th annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF).  I am proud to say I gave it my all; through the week’s many beer celebrations, I got my fill and everything remaining I left on the sticky floors of the Colorado Convention Center.  Do I really have to wait a whole year for the GABF to come back? 

However, I’d first like to talk a little more about the lead-up to GABF.  You’ve already read about some of the other Denver-area events I attended but there is one more I’d like to talk about before delving into the grand finale: Denver Beer Co.’s Barleywine Burritos Brewer Breakfast.  That’s right, barleywine for breakfast.  That’s the way we do it in Denver.  For six bucks, attendees could get a chorizo, bacon, or veggie burrito with a side of the house-made brew and, surprisingly, the two seemingly disparate offerings went quite well together.  I never would have figured a strong ale of English origins would taste great with a Mexican entrée but I suppose it’s all in the spirit of experimentation. 
Burritos?  Check.  Barleywine?  Check.
I also had In Da Hood Hop Swap NPA (Neighborhood Pale Ale).  This beer tasted great but its story is even better; Denver Beer gave out free hop rhizomes to neighborhood beer geeks that planted the hops in their backyards.  Then, come harvest time, those beer geeks brought in their yield and it was all mixed together to create In Da Hood.    
In Da Hood

While the food and drink were quite satisfactory, so, too, was the people-watching.  There is a reason it is called the Great American Beer Festival; it’s an event that showcases all that America has to offer in the way of beer and, appropriately, people from all corners of the nation descend upon Denver when the GABF is in town.  It’s easy for Denverites to pick these out-of-towners out of a crowd.  For one, everybody is wearing a brewery shirt.  Now, I have a respectable collection of brewery memorabilia and it’s not an uncommon occurrence for me to wear them about town but it was beer hipster central at Denver Beer Co.; everybody was wearing a shirt from some obscure brewery in a far-flung region of the country because, y’know, they’re really into those underground places.  Don’t worry, you’ve probably never heard of them but try to remember that these people liked those breweries before they were cool.  The second way to spot a visitor is by the way they bundle up for Denver’s “harsh” weather.  It was hot and sunny the day I went to Denver Beer Co. yet I still saw people layering clothes and wearing wool socks.  People don’t realize how temperate our weather is.  They just hear the word “Denver” and assume they’ll have to dress like an Iditarod contestant.
Star Wars geeks and beer geeks--get together and explain to each other why this shirt seen at Denver Beer is funny

Also, congratulations to Denver Beer Co. for snagging the bronze in GABF’s Specialty Beer category with Graham Cracker Porter.  Not too shabby for a brewery that has only been open for about three months. 

Speaking of GABF, yes, if you’ve never been it is exactly as fun as you’d imagine times fifty.  This was my third time going and it always exceeds my expectations.  This year’s group included me, my two sisters, Kevin (my older sister’s friend from our hometown in Indiana), and fellow beer geeks and pub trivia teammates/opponents Robin and Justin.

I guess the best way to start is to describe GABF.  That’s just it, though; describing GABF to somebody who has never been is like describing color to a blind man or crappy music to somebody who’s never heard a Nickelback song.  These are the cold-hard facts: 465 breweries, 2,400 beers, and 50,000 attendees.  Impressive numbers, yes, but it’s hard to visualize.  You can know that Mt. Everest is 29,029 feet tall but it really doesn’t mean much until you’re standing in its shadow.  The enormity also presents a challenge to me, the reporter.  The best I can do is relate my personal experience with the GABF with your understanding that this is but one man’s interpretation of the event.
It's HUGE!!!
Our party arrived at the convention center in many different ways (bike, bus, and foot) but we managed to be in line at roughly the same time.  Unlike previous years where I entered the line when it was already wrapping around the building, this year we all got there early and had a relatively straight shot into the entrance.  You may be standing for over an hour before the doors even open but it is worth it to be among the first in line because the festival floor won’t already be plastered with people by the time you get there; the open space give you room to maneuver and strategize your next move.

We didn’t have a hard-set plan for taking on GABF—we just made it up as we went.  The first move was to walk to the back of the convention center and work our way forward; the front end gets crowded quickly and we wanted at least a few minutes of shoulder room.  To keep our group together, we walked in thirty foot increments, found distinguishing features on the floor of the aisles (the convention center has regularly-placed steel plates in the floor), and used them as home bases.  We spread out to the nearby breweries and reconvened at home base.  It was a pretty effective strategy; we only had two instances where we lost a person (I was that lost person once) but we were always able to recollect them.  Plus, we tended to do the Mexican hat-dance around home base or argue loudly about who received the most generous pour so we were an easy group to spot in a crowd.

Home Base

The best part of any beer festival is the ability to try new and weird concoctions of which you wouldn’t necessarily want a full glass.  Sour, whiskey-barrel aged, and barleywine style beers were all on my drinking resume’ for the night because, while I love all types of beer, I’m not as accustomed to those particular types.  Since the cups are so small at GABF, if you order a nasty-tasting beer, you don’t have to drink very much of it.  In our group, if your beer's a dud, you sip it, make a disgusted face, and make everybody else in the group taste it, too, so that the misery can be shared.

Obviously, we visited a lot of breweries that night and I definitely can’t remember them all but a few stick out in my mind.  I remember that Amicas Pizza & Microbrewery had a mighty tasty hot pepper beer.  I made a point to visit Sun King Brewery so I could show my Indiana love.  Unfortunately, Sun King had kicked most of the beers they came in with.  A lot of breweries run out of beer on the Saturday session if their beer is really good and Sun King is, indeed, really good;  it won the most gold medals (4) out of all breweries in attendance and it also earned the most medals overall (8).  Likewise, the state of Indiana earned more medals at GABF than any other state.  Hoosier Pride, baby!  I also visited some other Indiana breweries whose names I never heard: Brugge Brasserie and Figure Ei8ht Brewing.  I’d also say that Nebraska’s craft beer scene might be one to look out for; I didn’t have any disappointing beers from their breweries. 

As big as GABF is, I still managed to run into two of the guys Nicole and I were shooting the breeze with at Upslope Brewing Company’s tap takeover at Hops & Pie.  Considering the solid mass of people in the convention center, it’s pretty amazing that two people would be able to happen upon each other and, furthermore, have the clarity of mind to recognize each other.

Now, the fervor is gone.  The day after GABF is like the day after Christmas; there’s a lot of hype and excitement and the anticipation absolutely kills but then the day comes and eventually passes thus leaving beer geeks with the post-GABF blues.  Of course, those blues are much more difficult to handle when you have to leave Denver and go back home to a place much less prestigious in the craft beer world.  Denver beer geeks have it much easier; we have most of the best breweries at GABF right here in the city limits.  So, to all you out-of-town GABF-goers, see ya next year, suckas; I’ll save you a seat at the bar. 



I was lucky enough to attend a couple of the beer events that took place before the Great American Beer Festival. I had my eye on a couple of pumpkin beers that I wanted to try; fall is my favorite time for beer because I love pumpkin beers—specifically the ones that have pumpkin pie spices. The first pumpkin beer that I had was Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub’s Small Patch Harvest Pumpkin Ale.  Small Patch has a faint cinnamon aroma, but no other detectable aroma.  The flavor is bitter up front with an aftertaste of pumpkin pie spices. The color is a clear brown with orange highlights. Compared to other pumpkin beers, Small Patch has a thin mouthfeel. This beer tastes like a watery pumpkin pie.

The second pumpkin beer was part of Denver’s Littlest Big Beer Festival held at Hops & Pie. Upslope Brewing Company brought four beers including their Munson Farms Pumpkin Ale which is brewed with pumpkins grown in Colorado. This beer was slightly hazy but mostly clear. As I looked at the glass, the color gradient ranged from orange at the bottom to reddish on top. Upon first sip, this beer tasted like straight up pumpkin pie. The pumpkin flavor dominated with strong tones of nutmeg flavor and hints of vanilla. Upslope’s version of a pumpkin beer ranks near the top of my list of pumpkin beers. As I enjoyed Upslope’s offerings, I learned about three pumpkin beers from Elysian Brewing Company. I am now on a mission to find these beers.

My favorite part of beer week is Sweet Action’s Denver Beer (Ice Cream) Fest. I had the Strong Coffee Oreo which was made with Sunday Morning from Renegade Brewing Company.  Sunday Morning is an American Strong Ale (6.8% ABV) that is brewed with coffee beans.  It was delicious but did not have an overwhelming coffee flavor that I expected.  Chris had the Silverback Honey Spice which was made with Silverback Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) from Wynkoop Brewing Company. Fifty percent of the sales of Silverback Pale Ale go to help the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund.

Not only did I get to enjoy some fantastic beers this week, but also delicious desserts made with beer. My goal next year is to convince The Denver Cupcake Truck to make some beer themed cupcakes for GABF week.