"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!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Strange Days are Here Again

The Colorado beer geek is the human equivalent of the mother grizzly bear.  One would likely find either milling about the mountains, minding their own respective businesses, enjoying the outdoors, frolicking in streams, eating berries, and crapping in the woods (Coloradoans do a lot of camping; they have to do it somewhere).  And, if you’ve seen the impressive, bushy beards hanging on many a taproom patron’s chin, you know neither is lacking in the fluff factor, either.  For the most part, the Colorado beer geek and the mother grizzly are just affable, shaggy lugs hanging out in the wilderness. 

Unless, of course, they feel threatened. 

If, for example, you feel it necessary to lob a bear cub around like a volleyball, you may find that loveable, huggable ball of fur bearing down on you in a frenzy of teeth, screams, and blood.  Beer geeks, while slightly less murderous, are nonetheless protective of the people and places they love and, in the absence of fangs and talons, use social media to tear their enemies asunder.  I allude, of course, to the public outcry in support of a beloved Denver brewery, Strange Brewing Company, who has been on the defensive end of a months-long legal tussle with a somewhat-similarly named homebrew shop in Massachusetts over trademark infringement.  Now, bitchin’ and moanin’ on Facebook is one way to combat the powers of evil but, to truly fight for justice, allies must assemble.  And assemble they did last Sunday at Rackhouse Pub for Strange Days, the legal fundraiser for our brewery under attack.

With the event slated for 3pm, Nicole and I arrived at the Rackhouse parking lot at 2:30 and, even then, the line for admittance was curling all the way around the lot and past the street.  I don’t care how made-of-stone you think you are, many a beer geek “had something in their eyes” when they saw the outpouring of support for their local suds-slingers.

While it is obvious that everybody in attendance was a fan of Strange, it’s not as if we were all straight-up donating to the cause; we were getting plenty in return like unlimited samples from 33 Colorado breweries, skull-rattling Celtic rock courtesy of Indigent Row, and the camaraderie of fellow Strange supporters.  Beer geeks got their fun, participating breweries got their advertising, and Strange got some money to help battle those relentless jerkwads in Massachusetts.  It was a win-win situation for all involved (except for those relentless jerkwads). 

Appropriately, of all the breweries in attendance, Strange was placed prominently at the end of the bar, closest to the entrance. It just wouldn’t be right not to start the event off with beer from the brewery of honor, now would it?  Nicole and I got our pours of Cherry Kriek and drifted off into the melee of brews, tunes, and merriment.
Tim from Strange pours Cherry Kriek

Of all the beers in attendance, I would place my top five as such: Hippity Hops from CAUTION: Brewing Co., The Logical Fallacy from Very Nice Brewing Company, Wilford from Wit’s End Brewing Company, Apre Shred Winter Ale from Big Choice Brewing, and Ten FIDY from Oskar Blues Brewery (a classic that cannot be denied).  Although I’m pretty sure Dry Dock Brewing Co.’s Seven Cease & Desist Double IPA is just their Double IPA re-renamed for the event, it’s still a great beer and the appellation is appropriate seeing as both Strange and Dry Dock have had similar experiences in the realm of trademark infringement.

Nicole was awfully fond of Snowy River Vanilla Porter from Pateros Creek Brewing Co., the same winter ale from Big Choice, Rumba from Boulder Beer, Pome Mel from Colorado Cider Company, and the latest Fade to Black from Left Hand Brewing Co.

We mingled with familiar faces such as Danny from CAUTION, John from Gravity Brewing, and our pals Travis and Angela with Travis’s dad in tow.  I feel I drank a decent amount of beer at Srange Days (I did, after all, unlock the “Take it Easy” badge on Untappd; 12 beers in one day) but Travis’s dad, on the other hand, was systematically marking every beer off the list—that’s at least 38 beers!  Granted, they were all sample sizes but we’re talking about two-to-three times the amount as a typical Great American Beer Festival pour and most of the beers in attendance were high in alcohol.  My hat is off to that fine gentleman.

Indigent Row
What a great event and what a great cause!  The last I heard, we raised $6,000 which is, eh, a bit lacking when considering how much lawyer fees can add up to but, you know what, it’s something and that’s a whole lot better than nothing.  Besides, the money is only a small part of the picture; the ardent support put forth by the local beer community is worth more than all the hops in Bohemia.  Should the worst happen, should the judge presiding over the case happen to be the uncle of those Massachusetts jerkwads, should evil prevail in the courtroom, Strange will survive (albeit under a different name) thanks to our undying support.  No matter what happens, it isn’t the end of the world (or of Strange’s business).

When it was time to leave, I gave Tim of Strange the awkward high five/fist bump hybrid, I hopped in the passenger seat of Nicole’s car, and I mused on all the fun I had just experienced.  Hey, other Denver breweries, I got a great idea; you, too, can get yourself into a legal dispute and we can have another great party like this one to help bail you out!  Look, it’s just something to think about.



No comments:

Post a Comment