Summit Suds: Outer Range Brewing Co. celebrates third anniversary with 12 Beers of Christmas
On Saturday, Dec. 21, Frisco’s Outer Range Brewing Co. turns 3 years old. In that time frame, the operation at 182 Lusher Court was named the second-best new brewery by a USA Today poll, partnered with Whole Foods Market and Jasper Hill Farms and is in the midst of an expansion into the space formally occupied by Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant.
To celebrate the anniversary, the brewery is releasing the 12 Beers of Christmas, its biggest can and bottle release ever. According to co-founder and brewmaster Lee Cleghorn, they already had eight beers scheduled to come out and decide to up it to 12 to tap into the Christmas spirit. Many are remixes of best sellers, but there new creations, as well.
In bottles are an imperial stout named Atlas and two versions of Timber, a bourbon barrel-aged stout. Both Timbers were aged a year, but one is made with a pound and half of Madagascar vanilla beans per barrel, roughly $4,000 to $5,000 worth, according to Cleghorn. He said the beer is rich and velvety, highlighted by notes of vanilla and dark chocolate.
In cans are Light Waves (the brewery’s latest lager following its Pilsner), session India pale ale Iota, a double-dry hopped version of In the Steep IPA made with Nelson Sauvin hops, double-dry hopped Blocks of Light IPA, double-dry hopped Steezy IPA and double-dry hopped In the Deep Steep IPA. Joining those are the triple-dry hopped double IPA Third Anniversary, a triple IPA named Bear Grillz (with a label designed in collaboration with Denver-based artist Paul Michel) and finally Jib, a strawberry shortcake milkshake IPA, which means it was brewed with lactose for a creamy and sweet profile.
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“We’re doing different dry hops and double-dry hops and triple-dry hop, just taking all of the fan favorite beers and doing a cool spin on them,” Cleghorn said. Dry hopping is the act of adding the plant later in the brewing process, making the beer more aromatic and flavorful rather than bitter. According to him, Third Anniversary is bursting with tropical notes of passion fruit and mango.
In addition to the holidays, the primary celebration theme is Frisco Extreme, based on the 1993 movie “Aspen Extreme.” Doors open at noon with swag for the first 100 attendees, including a retro, lime-green headband. Guests can enjoy sandwiches and soup made by Craftsman as “Aspen Extreme” silently plays on a loop in the background.
Then at 2 p.m. the Outer Range crew will pop open an oversized bottle of one of the stouts while passing out samples of birthday cake. Vanaken Bass, who performed at the brewery’s Halloween party, returns to DJ at 4 p.m., and the yurt will host a dance party.
Last year, I camped out at 8 a.m., which admittedly was a bit overzealous, to make sure I could get a four-pack of the blueberry vanilla milkshake IPA Pow Bender. Topped with sprinkles, it was like desert in a glass, and I imagine Jib will be no different. The après crowd, which might prefer its morning on the slopes, will be happy to know that the festivities will repeat with another round of cake and stout at 5.
Along with an appetite, bring your skis and boards for waxing and tuning by The Ski Doctor and wear your best ’80s gear to enjoy the photo booth and for a chance to win more prizes.
“Each year, we try to outdo the year before, so next year is going to be really hard after 12 beers,” Emily Cleghorn said.
Jefferson Geiger is the arts & entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Everything Summit. Have a question about beer? Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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