Draft beer worth the drive: Casey Brewing & Blending | SummitDaily.com

Draft beer worth the drive: Casey Brewing & Blending

Summit Suds: Beer news, reviews, recipes and more

Casey Brewing & Blending makes a wide variety of beers, such as the Oktoberfest, from left, Doc Holihaze, Helles and Blackberry Rosé.
Jefferson Geiger/Summit Daily News

The howling winds and icy roads currently found in Summit County aren’t conducive to travel. They make me want to not leave my own bed, let alone get in the car for a trip. Yet if you want to get away, maybe vicariously through someone else’s experiences, then my column on nearby breweries that have delectable beer may help.

Or it can at least give you a destination worth traveling to when the weather improves: Casey Brewing & Blending.

This past October was my first time visiting Casey’s taproom, as well as Glenwood Springs as a whole. A long weekend in the city included the requisite stops to various hot springs, gift shops, restaurants and, obviously, Casey. I’ve had pours from the famed brewery at Breckenridge’s Strings, Ciders & Sours and Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival, but those tastes only made me want to visit the taproom even more.

The brewery specializes in barrel-aged sour beers made with local Colorado ingredients. The beers are unfiltered and bottle conditioned. That means the brewery adds some sugar and yeast for the beer to naturally carbonate over months like Champagne.

The barrel cellar, the brewery’s main production facility further south of downtown Glenwood, was unfortunately closed for the winter season. However, it will be open Jan. 15 for a chance to enjoy vintage beers from 2015 to 2017. The event is held in tandem with the Craft Your Own Big Beers week that replaces the canceled Big Beers Festival.

I went to the taproom multiple times and tasted 10 beers from its extensive menu. A sucker for collaborations, I ordered both the Slide made with Frisco’s Outer Range Brewing Co. and Transmountain Diversion made with Greeley’s WeldWerks Brewing Co.

Slide was a hazy double India pale ale brewed with Nelson Sauvin, Talus and Hallertau Mittelfruh hops, three hops I voted for in Outer Range’s Summit Club hop sensory experience. It was a bright and citrusy, whereas Transmountain Diversion — another hazy double IPA — had a thicker mouthfeel, darker body and a heavier, richer taste from Mosaic and Nelson hops.

Another standout was the version of Funky Blender made with peach and vanilla. It made me pucker my mouth up at the start, but sweetness from the vanilla helps mellow it out like a creamsicle. The Blackberry Rose was sour, though not as tart as Funky Blender. It had a jammy quality and was reminiscent of rose, but not so much that you forgot you were drinking beer.

Casey has only recently started exploring the world of lagers, and it offers a nice alternative to anyone wanting a break from fruit beer. Its Helles and Oktoberfest were both solid, bready entries in the style. I found the Pils to be a great example of a traditional Pilsner. Made with Pilsner malt and Czech Saaz hops, it was effervescent and light.

There’s no food from the taproom, yet there is no shortage of to-go options nearby. Casey is nestled under the Grand Avenue bridge and sits near Bethel Plaza and the many restaurants on Seventh Street. The patio has a great view of the pedestrian area underneath the highway that begs you to sit and relax. I didn’t want to leave the quaint and calm spot.

Casey Brewing & Blending’s taproom is at 711 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs. It is open from 2-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Casey will also be doing a tap takeover at Outer Range on Saturday, Jan. 8.

Jefferson Geiger

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