Summit Suds: The Bakers’ Brewery celebrates five years, hosts Rail Jam after-party
Five years ago, Cory Forster took a Village Inn and transformed it into The Bakers’ Brewery. There have been challenges with seasonal turnover in staff, but co-owner Cory Forster is happy with where the brewery is at and excited for its anniversary party Friday, March 6. The night will have special barrel-aged beers, giveaways and live music from Spare Parts.
“Most of our employees have been here a year or two or some of them three years,” Forster said. “It shows across the board.”
Canning, bottling or trendy hard seltzers aren’t on the horizon, as Forster wants to focus on the pub’s fresh, from-scratch food and full bar that also serves wine, cocktails and guest beers.
“Our main focus is just really growing the in-house business, and I see restaurant tap accounts not so much as a money maker but more of getting the word out there and bringing the tourists in. … Most of the drinks we pour are Bakers’ brews, even with the wine menu and cocktail menu.”
To go along with those drinks, Forster’s favorite menu item is the green chili.
“If I’m not having it as a meal, I’m having it as a side,” Forster said, adding that he can be found dunking his burger or grilled cheese in it, or enjoying it with mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.
Though The Baker’s Brewery has been the official afterparty site for Silverthorne’s annual Rail Jam, this is the first time that the two are happening on the same day. As part of the town’s First Friday series, more than 80 skiers and riders will launch themselves off park features on the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center Lawn.
Starting at 5 p.m. March 6 — the same time Bakers’ is tapping special releases down the road at 531 Silverthorne Lane — are the ski qualifiers followed by the snowboard qualifiers. Finals begin at 7, and there’s a retro air competition at 8.
The jam closes with a snow skate demo and awards ceremony that’ll give out a $2,500 cash purse and more than $6,000 in prizes. After the awards, Spare Parts will perform at 9 at the brewery.
“It’s definitely on the rocking side, but unplugged style, but still with a heavy edge on it,” Forster said about the band’s acoustic rock.
Though I didn’t get the opportunity to taste the sour cherry pie stout that was aged for six months in 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co. barrels — it’s still receiving its finishing touches — every anniversary brew is worth at least one sip as you listen to the band jam.
Forster aged the 2018 version of the Sasquatch Scotch Ale — one of his favorite beers — and the 15 malts blended together into a smoky and deceptively smooth drink. It’s reminiscent of a campfire, and at 7.5% alcohol by volume, it’s doesn’t have the burn like heavier scotch ales from other breweries I’ve had.
Probably the most special beer is the SCUBA Dooba Dubbel, a Belgian dubbel brewed with the Summit County United Brewers’ Alliance back in 2015 that Forster has been saving and aged for roughly four months in a Breckenridge Distillery rum barrel. Added in the barrel was cherry puree, and I could smell the fruit’s skin. It tastes almost like port wine, but I also picked up almond notes similar to an amaretto liqueur. The 9% ABV beer has a tart cherry, tannin-like finish.
The aged version of Double Diamond Imperial Red is another interesting brew. The base beer was 8% ABV, and it increased to about 10% after spending 2 1/2 months in a 10th Mountain Whiskey rye barrel. It’s sweet on the nose and palate with floral vanilla notes. Only at the end does it have a slight whiskey bite but goes down smooth overall.
And though the beer wasn’t brewed specifically for the party, Bakers’ also has the Winter is Coming Saison that was brewed in late December. Forster considers the imperial dark saison his masterpiece, and the 7.25% ABV beer is richly complex. Aged in a barrel that also housed Breckenridge bourbon and tawny port, the beer has a surprisingly bright flavor for how dark in appearance it is.
There’s flavors of chai tea, dark fruit, malty caramel and more.
“The depth and the layers of character in this beer is just bottomless,” Forster said. “It just goes and goes.”
If you can only have one, go for the imperial red and raise your glass to another five years of The Bakers’ Brewery.
Jefferson Geiger is the arts and 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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