Over the last few days we’ve given you a few special sneak peeks of the beers you’ll see at the October 8th tapping at Wynkoop in Denver. Each of the beers in this program have been created after going on nature hikes, learning about the plants along the trail, and then using those plants as inspiration for a brew. Next week, seventeen breweries from around the state will showcase their beer at our special event. For today’s sneak peek though, we wanted to show you how the breweries in the big city tackle the Beers Made By Walking challenge. Today we’ll show you two breweries from Denver; they decided to take urban walks and they’ve taken some artistic license with their beers. Check out the updates we’ve received from Wynkoop Brewing and Mountain Sun (Vine Street).
Last year, Bess Dougherty at Wynkoop asked us if she could do an urban walk instead of a nature hike. She made some pretty radical beers inspired by a Japanese market, and another inspired by a series of medical marijuana shops. This year she wanted to take a similar process with another urban walk, allowing the sites and the sounds of the city to direct her attention and influence the direction of a beer.
She happened to be out walking during the tail end of one of the largest storms in Colorado history and got soaking wet, but she still enjoyed herself. I’d like to let her tell the story from here:
I wandered aimlessly around downtown for a few hours. I found myself standing staring at the big blue bear at the convention center for quite some time and decided it was time for a blue bear beer. I did some research on the sculpture, which is actually of a black bear, so I decided to base my beer on the dietary habits of the Rocky Mountain black bear.
Bess goes on:
Raspberries grow in the mountains and bears eat berries so that was easy. I did not want the beer to be a straight fruit beer so I spiked it with thyme, which pairs well with raspberry. Lastly I threw in a few blue gummy bears because what is a blue bear beer without blue bears? One of the coolest parts about this walk was learning that there is a Blue Bear Farm at the convention center, who knew?! Another neat part was seeing the old church on the Auraria campus in the rain was a total throwback to Belgium. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time this year to do the beer I wanted to do to represent that building and feeling but hey, there is always next year.
Like always, we’re looking forward to trying Bess’ beer. We’re a big fan of her and her ideas. Here’s a picture of Bess at Beers Made By Walking last year after a couple beers:
|Photo by Daniel Flanders.|
|Davis Brown in front of some yarrow.|
Last year, while we were pouring some beer at Wynkoop’s Beers of the Year event, we ran into Brad Landman, one of the brewers at the Vine St. Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery. Brad connected us with Mountain Sun brewer, Davis Brown, who was excited about the program because it reminded him of some experiences he had with a Free School in Denver. Here’s what he had to say:
A few years back I was doing a lot of homebrewing and got asked to make a beer for a Harvest Celebration a group of community organizers were putting on. It was a fundraiser for a community-run education group called Free School Denver. I was good friends with some of the organizers and through them I was fortunate to meet people that were really excited about herbs, wildcrafting and natural medicines. Their enthusiasm rubbed off on me and I started looking around the city for plants I would want to utilize in beer. My Yarrow Saison originally came out of those experiences.
This was awesome news. One of the inspirations for Beers Made By Walking came during an experience with Environmental Education, on a canoe trip in the Yukon Territory, when we were first introduced to the Norwegian term “Friluftsliv,” which is translated as “Free Air Living.” It’s a term that describes a lifestyle where being outdoors is a welcomed, purposeful and natural aspect to everyday life. We’re always happy to see groups participating in alternative forms of education that involve the outdoors, which is why we’re super happy to be raising money for the Cottonwood Institute. Through Environmental Education they are helping our youth become leaders at their schools. They also connect other local businesses and organizations to the outdoors through hikes and walks, so we’re likeminded in that way. Anyway, sorry for the tangent. Davis goes on to describe his beer:
“Achilles Fields” is a different beer [than the one made for the Harvest Celebration] but it’s inspired by the enthusiasm of those radical educators and the perennial allure of the yarrow plant. It’s everywhere in Denver – across the street from Vine Street Brewery, all over the city and in about half the front yards of homes all over the Front Range. It’s also about the last thing that’s popping with color in this area as the summer’s winding down; kind of a promise that even if the winter’s bad, the summer’s coming back.
Look out for Mountain Sun’s Yarrow Saison on October 8th. It weighs in at about 5.6% abv, has a medium-light body, a dry finish, and it highlights the earthy flavors and aromas of the yarrow plant.
Wynkoop’s beer and Mountain Sun’s beer, along with 15 other beers inspired by the landscapes of Colorado, will be available for one night only – October 8th, from 5-8pm, at Wynkoop Brewing in Denver. Tickets are $30 and give you unlimited samples of each beer. A part of the proceeds go to the Cottonwood Institute.
Also, please stay tuned for more sneak peeks! You can get our updates via email, you can join us on Facebook and on Twitter. Also, connect with Wynkoop on Facebook, and Mountain Sun Vine St. on Facebook, if you haven’t already. See you on October 8th!
Wynkoop Brewing / 1634 18th St. Denver
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