As you may have noticed, we forewent doing a voting contest this year, but we're not going to let 2016 slip by without recognizing a top 10. It's all for the betterment of our craft brewing scene, so don't go getting all fired up on social media about this. Gone are the barrel-aged beer categories, as well as anything else that someone could vote multiple times for. Josh and I sat down the other night with a few other craft beer lovers and hashed out a pretty damn good list.To kick things off, we'd like to honor some breweries who have gone about some pretty major changes, but haven't quite cracked our top ten. These are in no particular order, nor are they a "bottom-ten," but just a few places we've noticed working hard to up their game. If you haven't visited one of these recently, head in and see what you think!
Whistle Pig Brewing
We often struggled with positive things to say about Whistle Pig's beer when they first opened. For almost every different flavor, there was some sort of off flavor also present. Luckily, they realized that and are making a focused effort to change it! Their food has been top notch, thanks to Bobby Couch manning the kitchen, so all they needed to do was dial in the beer. We're hoping that 2017 provides them that chance. They've talked with local beer judges and brewers to figure out what's going wrong, and from what we've heard, it should be on the up and up. Just the ability to take a step back and try to assess the problems is a huge step in righting their ship. We're optimistic that the Beers clan can get it done. Cheers!
Fossil Craft Beer Co.
With the exit of a founding member and head brewer, it was always in the back of our minds that something could happen to Fossil's beer. This is going to be short and sweet because we're pretty sure that they haven't skipped a step since replacing Josh Bye with Josh Mater. The beer is on par with what we expect from them, and the Maters have really helped the Bensons keep Fossil on the craft beer map in Colorado Springs. Nice job all!
Academy Boulevard has long been a craft beer desert, but thanks to Cogstone and Whistle Pig (see above) there just might be light at the end of the tunnel. All we ever hear about Cogstone is duck fat fries and good quality beer, and that's a good thing. With two master homebrewers behind their beer, Cogstone is really helping set the tone for breweries in the middle section of our town. Nice job guys!