Powder Keg: Local, regional breweries celebrate Colorado Craft Beer Week | SummitDaily.com

Powder Keg: Local, regional breweries celebrate Colorado Craft Beer Week

Special to the Daily
Special to the Daily |

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Breweries all over the state are hosting festivals, dinners and other events to celebrate Colorado Craft Beer Week. To learn more, visit http://www.coloradocraftbeerweek.com.

It’s Colorado Craft Beer Week, seven days of festivals, special beer tappings and more presented by the Colorado Brewers Guild to celebrate the craft beer industry in our great state. Local and regional breweries are jumping aboard, and we’ve rounded up a few highlights to close out the week.

New beers on tap at Pug Ryan’s Brewery in Dillon

Pug Ryan’s Brewery released a trio of new beers to celebrate spring and Colorado Craft Beer Week. The first, the whiskey-barrel aged ESB2 made with Colorado-grown hops, was tapped on Saturday, March 21, and kicked soon after, but fear not, the brewery is also offering two other beers that will be flowing all week long. The first is the WassAle, a brewed tribute to wassail, or hot mulled cider.

“It’s a subtle spicy, not spiced, per say,” Dave Simmons, head brewer at Pug’s, said of the beer. “I took some orange juice, some apple juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and a dash of some pumpkin spice, a little bit of rum and some spicy Masala chai tea, just a little bit of that. I made an elixir of that and added it to the beer when we transferred it over to the serving tank.”

The WassAle is selling for $3 a pint anytime, while it lasts. The second beer Pug’s is pouring for spring is a Marzen Lager, a traditional German style with a deep copper color. It’s brewed with nine different malts for a medium body and velvety mouth feel, balanced by Hallertau and Northern Brewer hops. To learn more about Pug Ryan’s Brewery, visit pugryans.com.

Broken Compass joins Fuss Off, New Kids on the Block

Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge is taking part in two unique craft beer festivals as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week and tapping a brand new beer.

The first event, which took place Wednesday, March 25, in Denver, was in response to the recent Super Bowl ad poking fun at pumpkin peach ales. Dubbed Fuss Off, the event touted that “some festivals are worth the fuss” and was hosted in a secret location known only to those who purchased tickets. Attendees were encouraged to bring their beard wax and dress in their best hipster formalwear.

On Thursday, March 26, Broken Compass also is taking part in the third-annual New Kids on the Block beer fest, which celebrates those Colorado breweries that are less than 2 years old. The event includes unlimited beer tastings from 20 new breweries while rocking out to ’80s jams, and ticket holders are invited to break out their best ’80s duds for a costume contest. General admission tickets for New Kids on the Block are $30, and VIP tickets are $45, which also includes a three-course seated beer dinner. Visit http://www.imbibe-events.com for more information and to buy tickets.

If you’re sticking around Summit County, Broken Compass also tapped its new golden ale this week. It’s a sweet, light beer for sunny spring days. Follow the brewery on Facebook for the latest news http://www.facebook.com/brokencompassbrewing.

Experimental IPA, Wee Heavy at Breck Brewpub

Breckenridge Brewpub tapped its new Big Drop Wee Heavy this week for Colorado Craft Beer Week. Head brewer Jimmy Walker calls this 7.5 percent alcohol by volume beer a “malt bomb,” with help from Biscuit, Special B, Roasted Barley, Caramel 80L and Munich malts. Walker said it’s a good spring beer for here in the mountains, where it isn’t quite spring yet and you still need a strong beer option.

“It has lots of prominent notes of caramel and biscuit, with subtle aromatics of dried fruit from all of the complex malts used to make this beer,” he said. “Wee heavy is similar to a Scottish ale but much stronger. … For the malt lovers, this is the beer. There’s a lot of complex malt nuance in the beer that you can savor.”

Both the Breck Brewpub and the larger Breckenridge Brewery in Denver are experimenting with a series of IPAs and pale ales, which have been cycling through the taps here in Breck, and Walker also recently began pouring a Salted Grapefruit Saison, which he said has been “going over like wildfire.”

“That one is a test batch and eventually will be made exclusively for World of Beer and all of its outlets,” he said. “We’re getting feedback on it. It’s a saison, farmhouse ale brewed with dried grapefruit peel and red Hawaiian sea salt. There’s a couple of different beer styles that involve a little saltines; they’re all the rage now. For years, people have been sprinkling a little salt in their domestic beer, but it just adds a real subtle, salty finish that makes you want to drink more.”

To learn more about what’s happening at the Breckenridge Brewpub, follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/breckenridgebrewpub, or visit http://www.breckbrew.com for more general information on the brewery.

Rum barrel-aged brown at Dillon Dam Brewery

Dillon Dam Brewery tapped its new rum barrel-aged Sweet George’s Brown on nitro this week, part of series of barrel-aged beers the brewery is putting on nitro to give them that smooth, creamy finish, said Mike Bennett, head brewer at Dillon Dam.

“It was aged in a Breckenridge Distillery rum barrel for about three months,” he said. “It’s our Sweet George’s brown ale, and the rum gives a nice sweetness to that brown, which is already a sweet beer, a smooth, chocolaty sweet flavor.”

Following the brown, Dillon Dam will be tapping a few more barrel-aged beers on nitro, including a Belgian black rye IPA aged in bourbon barrels and the brewery’s McLuhr’s Irish Stout aged in bourbon barrels. Visit http://www.dambrewery.com to learn more.

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