Usually when people hear the word ‘lager’ they associate it with beers that are sponsors on Super Bowl commercials. Breweries like Del Norte and Bierwerks have been proving to us that there’s a whole world of lagers. Lagers don’t have to be the industrial beers that we get from Coors and Bud, there’s a full spectrum ranging from light and crisp German Kölsches to heavy, dark, and smokey Baltic Porters. The Craft Lager Fest will hopefully highlight this spectrum and bring many variations of lager together for a 2 day festival that promises to be a good time. Additonally, the festival has a fine looking list of participating distilleries. I’ll fill you in a little more on the Festival and it’s organizers, and then I’ve got a beer list below as well.
The Festival is organized by a non-profit called the Craft Lager Fest, Inc. All workers and
organizers are 100% volunteer. One of their major hopes is to connect people to other outdoor non-profits and open space groups and thus far they’ve helped raise over $42,000 for multiple organizations in Colorado Springs and Manitou. So, know that the profits from your ticket will go toward these causes. More information about their ‘Save A Tree?’ program here.
I pulled this straight from their site. What I like about this list is that it’s scattered with small breweries that we really don’t get to see very often, and they’re bringing specialty beers (although some of the beers come from huge companies too). Some of the breweries will also bring a few of their flagship beers so you can see what they have to offer. This give us the opportunity to try their special lagers and also know more about what they do on a day to day basis. Some of the breweries don’t make lagers but they’re still coming to the festival and providing beer.
– MateVeza Brewing Co – Yerba Mate Black Lager
– Lost Rhino Brewing – Rhino Chaser Pils
– New Planet Beer Company – Tread Lightly Ale, 3R Raspberry Ale, Off Grid Pale Ale (all gluten free)
– Pikes Peak Brewing – The Brits are Here, Devils Head Red
– Durango Brewing – Dark Lager
– Kona Brewing – Longboard Lager
– Rocky Mountain Brewing – Lemongrass Lager, Rocky Mountain Blonde, Smoked Hefe
– Redhook Brewery – Red Hook Wit
– Del Norte Brewing – Cinco, O’rale, Mañana – 3 different Mexican Lagers
– Rock Bottom Colorado Springs – Warning Sign (Bock), Goat Toppler (Bock), Silver Mullet (Malt Liquor), La Vida Es Buena (pepper infused Mexican Lager)
– Dillon Dam Brewery – Paradise Pilsner, Montezuma Marzen, Dam Straight Lager (Vienna Lager)
– Landshark – Landshark Lager
– Redbridge – Redbridge (gluten free)
– Pug Ryans Brewing – Pallavinci Pilsner, Helles Good Beer
– Carver Brewing – La Plata Pilsner, X Rock Bock, Celebrated Raspberry Wheat Ale
– Alexander Keith’s – Nova Scotia Style Lager
– Full Sail Brewing – Session Premium Lager, Session Black Lager
– Samuel Adams – Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light, Summer Ale, Octoberfest, Black Lager, Double Bock, Double Bock, Black Lager, East-West Kölsch, Rustic Saison
– Phantom Canyon – Stonebridge Maibock, Sister Ray Pilsner
– Schmaltz Brewing Co. – Coney Island Lager, Albino Python (white lager), Sword Swaller (IPLager), Mermaid Pilsner, Human Bockhead
– Firestone Walker – Double Barrel Ale, Solace
– Wild Blue – Wild Blue – fruit infused lager
– New Belgium – Somersault, Blue Paddle (Pils), 1554, TBA Lips of Faith
– AC Golden – Colorado Native Lager, German-Style Pilsner
– Bierwerks – Helles, Dunkel, Dopplebock
– Michelob – Amber Bock
– Odell Brewing – Kölsch, St. Lupulin
– Trinity Brewing – Jamaican Jerk Beer, Sunna Wit Bier
– Anchor Brewing – TBA
– Left Hand Brewing – TBA
– Ska Brewing – TBA (hopefully we’ll see my summer favorite Mexican Logger)
– Colorado Mountain Brewery – TBA
List of Distillers:
Leopold Bros, Downslope Distilling, Dancing Pines Distillery, Breckenridge Distillery, Roundhouse Spirit, Altitude Spirits, Robs Mtn Gin, Mystic Mountain Distillery, 303 Vodka,
What I first notice about this list is that it’s not full of Octoberfest style beers, which could be an easy solution for breweries who probably will be developing their recipes for Octoberfest pretty soon. I also notice that while there is a good amount of small brewers, there are a lot of breweries not present, I really wish we could see more local breweries taking part in this and really trying to get out of their box a bit. In their absence is a handful of larger breweries that I’m just plain not excited about at all.
Anyway, here’s my list of picks (lagers, not ales). If you haven’t had Bierwerks yet, I would highly recommend starting off with their Helles. I think that’s a fantastic beer. I’ll sample it during the fest but I’ve had it a few times, I think I’ll be heading straight to Rock Bottom and trying their Pepper Infused Mexican Lager. I’m also really looking forward to Del Norte’s selection. For some reason I rarely buy their beer, but when I do I really enjoy it, so now I have an opportunity to try some of their variations of a Mexican Lager back to back to back. Plus this brewery has been winning big awards at GABF. I’m also very intrigued by Schmaltz’s white lager and their India Pale Lager. The only other IPL I’ve had was from Left Hand and it was a very enjoyable beer. I’m also excited about the Odell Kölsch. I had one on cask at the brewery and I’m wondering if this is the same? Anything Odell makes I’m willing to give a shot. I really enjoyed Dillon Dam Brewing at the Vail Big Beer Fest so I’m looking forward to their beers here too. And I’m also looking forward to trying some small batch whiskey.