Where INSIDERS SHARE THEIR OPINIONS
1. Evolution IPA, 7.1% ABV, Golden City Brewery
During my earlier days brewing in Colorado, I was at Golden City Brewery. Evolution IPA was in its infancy. It’s a lighter colored easy drinking hop forward beer that has some bright citrus and pine aromas and flavors. E-IPA has been brewed since 1999, and it’s seen a wide variety of malt and hop combinations. It’s been very satisfying to see this beer change and “evolve” from brewer to brewer and to know that I was a link in that evolutionary chain! The current recipe is very hoppy, keeping in line with current hop levels that drinkers demand. Current brewer Josh Norton is doing a great job of brewing the GCB beer lineup!
Rick Abitbol, Owner & Brewmaster, Brewery Rickoli
2. Featherweight Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co.
This is my go-to beer when traveling to and from the mountains. It’s a light, clean, perfectly balanced American pale ale. Big citrusy hops are delivered with a pleasant bready finish. Weighing in at 5.2% ABV, I can go many rounds with this beer and still be left standing at the end of the day.
Eric Schmidt, Co-Owner, Amalgam Brewing
3. Continuous Thunder, 8.8% ABV, Ratio Beerworks
Ratio is one of my go-to breweries in my neighborhood and they always have a ton of tasty beers. Right now I can’t get enough of the Continuous Thunder Double Dry Hopped Double IPA. This crystal clear beer has amazing hops notes from Mosaic and Simcoe. The aroma and first sip lead to an explosive pineapple bite that quickly moves to dank, resinous pine. It comes in at 8.8% but is still balanced. I highly suggest enjoying one on their patio.
Kelissa Hieber, Head Brewer, Goldpsot Brewing Co.
4. S’mores Stout, 4.9 % ABV, Wild Woods Brewery
I’m not one to wander far off the Reinheitsgebot in my beer designs so when I do I always tread cautiously and leave it to the guys who know what they’re doing. Wild Woods to me is a brewery that flies under the radar most of the time with their “beers inspired by the outdoors,” and their s’mores stout is a solid offering. This sweet stout, aged on cocoa nibs, has a creamy full body, with a nice coffee flavor that melds with a sweet chocolate flavor reminiscent of mocha. The medium carbonation and well-balanced bitterness in this beer are perfect for sitting around a fire!
Walter Bourque, Head Brewer, Großen Bart Brewery
5. 4 Grains in the Membrane, 14.9% ABV, Baere Brewing Co.
I have chosen Four Grains in the Membrane from Baere Brewing in Denver, a strong ale aged in Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon barrels for six months with Brettanomyces. For being nearly 15% ABV, this is by far one of the most enjoyable/drinkable beers I’ve ever had the pleasure of hitting my palate. The brett character, hopping rate, malt flavor and booze contribution have all been kept in perfect harmony. They’ve even got the intangible cool factor of collaborating with arguably the top local distillery to incorporate their grain bill and enhance the cohesiveness of the final product. These guys absolutely nailed it!
Justin Burnsed, Head Brewer, Mockery Brewing Company
6. Foreign Extra Stout on Cask, 7.5% ABV, Hogshead Brewing Company (collaboration with Blue Moon Brewing)
Pours a beautiful beer engine cascade of micro bubbles that turn the black-as-night brew into a frothy cappuccinoimpression. The head lingers well into the first sips and leaves a beautiful lace around the glass. Served warm (50 degrees), as is the custom at Hogshead, it allows me to explore this beautiful stout in all its glory. Roast notes hit the nose and palate immediately, as do hints of chocolate and coffee. One of the largest brews Hogshead serves, the bittersweet balance between the roast and the hops makes this beer incredibly drinkable. Brilliant!
Tim Myers, Owner/Head Brewer, Strange Craft Beer Co.
- Compiled by Dylan Hochstedler