Denver Brewery Expedition 2013 Day 1

Boreal Brewers Chad and Jack decided to make a run to Denver and surrounding area to check out several of the area’s brewpubs and small breweries.  The rains and flooding around the Boulder area may limit their sampling a bit, but hopefully the area will dry out and some exploration will be made.

We arrived in Denver at about 6:00pm and made our way to the Hotel VQ located downtown near the Mile High Stadium.  Okay, there are better hotels around, but this one is clean, central and priced about right.  But the real selling point is their great shuttle service — anywhere within 3 miles for free (we tip well).  And there are lots of microbreweries to check out within that distance.

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Wednesday the 18th is our first night, and we got a late start, but still did okay.  We started out with the Ale House @ Amato’s.  Not a brewpub, but great choice of local beers on tap.  We had dinner and a brew, then headed to our first brewery…

Prost Brewing Company Tap WallProst Brewing Company was our first stop.  Just a few blocks north of the Ale House, it was a nice little place.  No food inside, but there was a food cart vendor who sets up every day outside.  We might have been better off eating here than at our previous stop.  But I’m not complaining.

Prost makes a few traditional German beers.  I had the sample flight of 5, which include a Pils, Kölsch, Altbier, Weißbier, & Dunkel.  Jack had a pint of the Altbier.  They all tasted quite true to the style.

Denver Beer CompanyNext Stop – Denver Beer Company.  Located just across I25 on North Platte street, this place is a little gem.  They are not a large volume producer, but they have a huge number of their beers on tap (for a small place).  I tried the following on the beer flight: Cascara Pale Ale, Citra IPA, Fresh Hop and Hide the Rum (a quadrupel).  The Cirta was my favorite, though the quadrupel was quite warming as it went down my throat.  Jack had the Graham Cracker Porter, and said it was not quite what he expected, more of a smoked flavor than porter.

If we cannot get into Boulder, we’ll probably check out DBC again on this trip.  As for tomorrow, there are several stops planned downtown.  Will post more then.


Beer Jello?

Yup, you can make jello out of beer. Really. No, seriously.

Our good friends at KAXE (91.7fm) recently announced a creative jello contest, and while there were some conflicting rules about what jello should or should not contain, there was no mention of beer. I thought, what the heck…

So, I grabbed a bottle of home brewed IPA, poured it into a KAXE pint glass, and stirred in some unflavored gelatin. It did not mix very well, but heating it up a bit in the microwave oven did the trick. When it chilled down, the beer firmed right up into a real, honest to goodness jello.

I call it ipajello. I have not tasted it yet. IBU ~ 60

Lest you think I am crazy, I have a photo of the lime jello that I made for my friend Dan who works at KAXE. He tried to force a contest rule banning any “floaties” in the jellos. I call this one “Grandma’s Revenge” in honor of my Scandinavian heritage.

Fermenter Crisis Avoided…

I brewed a chocolate milk stout on Sunday (2/24/2013) and it was a little slow taking off. By Monday morning, almost no sign of krausen. Tuesday morning was a different situation. Airlock was plugged and I was out of town. Luckily, Karen called and said “it’s hissing.”

I coached Karen on how to put in a blow off tube, and she helped avoid a beer disaster! (But…there was enough pressure in there that she got sprayed good when she popped the airlock.). It’s really hard to apologize for that over the phone. 🙂

Eighteen hours later this fermenter is still blowing hard. Quite remarkable for a low gravity beer (OG 1.053).