Image Recap of all the crazy things we did last weekend

Last weekend was one of the busiest weekends in recent memory for craft beer in Colorado Springs. We've got some photos to guide you through some of the events. Included are Meet the Brewer with Doug Odell, our trip up north to pick up kegs for Battle of the Brewers, Battle of the Brewers, and Front Range's beer brunch. This is tough work sometimes!


FRIDAY


We had to pick up a keg at Lone Tree Brewing for the Battle of the Brewers so we decided to order a couple sample trays. We were poured nine 6oz samples. That's a lot of beer. I was absolutely impressed with Lone Tree Brewing, every beer was spot on. My favorites were the Alt, which everyone admitted was delicious. I really dig a proper Alt but many of my friends aren't interested. I also really enjoyed the very hoppy pale ale and the bitter 2IPA. The Pilsner was also really great. Honestly, these guys rocked and I plan to visit again soon. They're just a ways north of Castle Rock.






Alex at Lone Tree pouring our beers



We also stopped in at Yak and Yeti to pick up a keg for Battle of the Brewers. This place took us by surprise. We heard that it was a brewery and a Nepalese/Indian restaurant, but it doesn't really phase you until you walk in. Guess what? It's really a brewery and a Nepalese restaurant, people weren't lying! I ordered some curry and naan bread and a nine glass sampler. The Yak and Yeti beers were also really great. My favorite was the AbominAle, a sessionable 3.7% mild. I also really enjoyed the Himalayan IPA, which won a gold medal at GABF, The Imperial Common which was a bigger blonde ale with a bit of a bitter hop kick to it, the Bock was really flavorful as well, and the Chai Porter was surprisingly balanced and nice. A fun place. Adam the brewer gave us a tour of the place as well.


On Friday night after we finished picking up kegs we headed straight to Another Pint for one of the events we organized, Meet the Brewer with Doug Odell of Odell Brewing. This was a really special night. Doug founded Odell brewing when there were only five other craft breweries in Colorado. He has grown his business to be one of the largest and most respected breweries in the country. He talked briefly about the history of the brewery, a bit about the beers he brought with him, and then he went around and talked with curious and excited fans.

This photo kinda reminds me of a certain Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Dinner painting.


SATURDAY



Battle of the Brewers: Round One from Focus on the Beer on Vimeo.

Battle of the Brewers was on Saturday. We had a brief recap the other day. If you aren't familiar with the event, we invited eight local brewers to make new beers using two random ingredients. Brewers went head to head. These breweries participated: Rockyard, Rock Bottom, Lone Tree, Yak and Yeti, KBKB, Phantom Canyon, Pikes Peak, and Shamrock. The winners are moving on to the next round, which will be in late May (date not announced yet). We'll see Lone Tree vs. Phantom Canyon doing Pineapple and Honey and we'll see Shamrock vs. Rockyard doing Almonds and Ginger.






The line to get in was pretty long.





SUNDAY


Of course I was really excited about all our events, but Sunday was just another day that I was really looking forward to. Front Range BBQ hosted their first beer brunch. Five courses, each paired with two beers. I'm not much of a morning drinker but I have had beer for breakfast at places like the Vail Big Beer Festival. And during GABF, Avery put together a fantastic-looking beer and breakfast event in the middle of the night. I had to go to this thing, so I did, and I picked a ticket for Daniel too. We pretty much used the opportunity to geek out with beer reps, talk about the delicious pairings, and perhaps most fun was to talk about the future of the blog and what kind of direction we want it to go...how to make it better. The event for us was well worth every penny.

We walked in and the bartender was pouring beer mimosas with Avery's White Rascal. You could chose to add cranberry, grapefruit, or orange juice to the beer. I had cranberry, and I went out to the tent and took a seat. It was a very warm morning so the mimosa was a perfect start.


After the first plate, I decided the best way to start a beer dinner is always with a delicious cheese pairing. I mean it worked at Trinity, it worked at the Melting Pot, it seems to be a perfect formula. This was a goat cheese plate with three flavors - roasted chili, blue, and smoked onion. The sauces were a balsamic reduction and cranberry. These cheeses, whetting my appetite, paired incredibly well with the Great Divide Collette Saison.

Chicken and waffles was up next, paired with Wells Banana Bread Beer, which straight up matched the Banana Beer Syrup on the waffle. The Kumbacher EKU28 Doppelbock made for a nice heavy and rich pairing as well. I'm not putting up photos of all the courses, but the food was delicious, the beer was great, and the conversation was flowing at this point. Most folks were buzzing by the end of Course 2.

Kissmeyer's Denied Entry is the beer I was most looking forward to. Kissmeyer is a Denmark based Gypsy brewer, similar to Mikkeller or Pretty Things, working with commercial breweries around the US to put out collaborative or specialty batches. This one was a Biere de Garde made with pomegranate syrup and orange peel. It didn't knock my socks off but I was really happy to get to try this, as I've been quite curious about Kissmeyer. This one didn't pair so well with the BBQ Bloody Mary Ceviche Tuna Shooter, but the Green Flash IPA definitely did, perhaps the best pairing of the morning...so far...

What's a brunch without dessert? The last course was chocolate covered bacon with SkaWorks orange ice cream, paired with Ska's SkaWorks Orange Cream Stout which tastes exactly the way it sounds, as well as Boulevard's Chocolate Ale, a rare beer from Kansas City, MO that has a true dark chocolate taste in an amber colored beer. What a way to finish the brunch!






Brian, owner of Front Range BBQ, talking to the crowd

It was a big beer weekend, and I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of beer I had. But, onward and upward, I must keep working. Very much looking forward to trying Trinity's Saison Man, released on Friday, and the Session Beer Day on Saturday.

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Beer, Photo recapEric Steen