Brewers' Favorites: Renegade, Locavore & More

5:00, Afternoon Ale, 5% ABV - Renegade Brewing Co. 

We recently brewed a collaboration beer with Renegade Brewing Company, and that’s when I was turned on to their 5:00 Afternoon Ale. I have been craving this beer! It is a golden session ale that hits the spot after a long day of brewing and you know you have to get back after it tomorrow. It has enough bitterness to balance it out, and a wonderful bready taste. It would be great in the summer as well but still also satisfies my malt-forward early spring beer cravings. 

Taylor Krantz, Brewer,
Fort Collins Brewery and Tavern

Propaganda IPA, 6.3% ABV - Iron Bird Brewing Co. 

One of my favorite new breweries in Colorado Springs is Iron Bird Brewing Company. Rather than trying to do anything fancy, they are perfecting a solid lineup of traditional styles, with a focus on cask-conditioned beer. The standout is their Propaganda IPA. Propaganda has the malty backbone of a traditional English style IPA yet boasts the citrus and pine qualities found in west coast IPA’s, resulting in a well balanced and approachable beer. I can easily sit down to five or six pints without completely destroying my palate. 

Chris Hastings, Head Brewer, 

Bristol Brewing Company

India Red Ale, 7.25% ABV - Black Shirt Brewing Co.

My wife and I recently visited Black Shirt Brewing in RiNo for the first time and we were extremely impressed. We spoke with Chad, the CEO, for a while about their inspiration and goals, and by the end of the conversation we were kicking ourselves for waiting so long to try them out. I tried a flight of the entire lineup and everything was impressive, but the beer that really stood out for me was their India Red Ale. In my opinion, what makes a great IRA is to have a beautiful ruby hue without being too caramel-y. The focus should still be on the hops, so you want an IPA that is red, not a hoppy amber. I’ve been a fan of the style since a trip to Portland last year, and this is one of the best ones I’ve ever had. 

Dave Bergen, Brewmaster/Owner,
Joyride Brewing Company

Tennyson Standard Kölsch, 5.5% ABV - Call to Arms Brewing

Call to Arms Brewing has an assortment of great beers, but the one that really stands out is their Tennyson Standard Kölsch. This is a great drinking beer because it tastes so delicate, which means there are no bold flavors to hide behind. Since this type of beer is so balanced, any small flaw will be significantly more glaring than it would in an IPA or Imperial Stout. Kölsch has no flavors and Call to Arms nailed the style that not many American breweries have gotten, so congratulations to them.”  

Jake Gardner, Head Brewer,
Westbound & Down Brewing Co. 

Lilly Hammer IPA, 7.2% ABV - Locavore Beer Works 

There are so many great breweries in Colorado that produce world-class beers. When it comes down to my favorite I need to lean towards my favorite style, which is India Pale Ales. Locavore Beer Works has two that rank at the top of my list of beers to look for when I am out and about. First is their Lilly Hammer 7.2 percent, brewed with Columbus & Centennial hops. The other is Oncorhynchus T. “Onc,” an American IPA brewed with 100 percent locally grown Chinook hops.

Jim McCann, Head Brewer,
Tommyknocker Brewery

Chai Milk Stout, 5.2% ABV - Yak & Yeti 

I am going to recommend the Chai Milk Stout from Yak and Yeti. It’s a great balance of residual sweetness and traditional Chai spicing, with pleasant roasted flavors in the finish. To me it is perfect for the colder weather months, and works well with complimentary spice flavors in eastern dishes.

Joe Savage, Head Brewer,
Odyssey BeerWerks