American Craft Beer Week is coming to a close, and what a week it's been.
Maybe you've been celebrating all week or maybe you're saving it for this weekend.
In Denver it's been like a mini-Great American Beer Fest. It's obviously lacking the giant beer festival sessions, but the events around town are very GABF-like.
I've taken 24 hours off to rest my liver, so I thought it'd be a good time to recap my week so far and see what my readers have been up to.
On Monday I went to Old Chicago for the Big Shikes Orangle Blossom Imperial Pilsner release by Ska Brewing. It's named for a Denver buddy of mine and beer writer for the Westword, Jonathan Shikes aka Colorado Beer Man.
You can read the story here, but he got to spend the weekend in Durango brewing this beer and then was the featured guest at the release party.
It's ok if you're extremely jealous of him, I am too. Having a beer named after you = badass.
And the beer itself? Ska didn't scrape some fallen grains off the floor and throw them into the mash tun for this brew. It's a hefty 8% imperial pilsner, and one of the best beers I've had all week. It has a soft mouthfeel with a citrusy zest and bright, floral hop character. My glass emptied quickly.
As a homebrewer, I'm very impressed by breweries that can brew a batch of beer for the first time and nail it. That my friends, is what we call skill.
Next, Allen (BrewCrewTV) and I visited a couple of my favorite local beer beer establishments, FreshCraft and Euclid Hall. Friends Lee Williams of Hoptopia and his girlfriend Stevie Caldarola of Ladies of Great Beer just happened to be in town from NYC looking for apartments. They said it being ACBW was a coincidence, but I'm skeptical.
Tuesday and Wednesday night were spent out trying beer releases. First it was back to Euclid to try a Berliner Weisse from Crabtree Brewing. If there's a new Berliner available, I'm all over it. It's an under-appreciated and underrepresented style in my opinion.
I really enjoyed Crabtree's Berliner. If anything it could have used more carbonation. Then Ryan threw some woodruff syrup into it which added a whole new delicious dimension.
Then it was off to Bull & Bush for The Legend of the Liquid Brain – their 11.5% award winning imperial stout. This version was aged for 2.6 years in a Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old barrel. I had to ask to find out that Pappy Van Winkle is bourbon. To me it sounds like an Adam Sandler character on SNL.
Try this stout if you visit Denver. This version was insanely rich with big chocolate, bourbon, and port flavors.
So it's been a fun week, but it's not over. Beer is in the forecast for Saturday. The chances of good imbibing are 100%.
What about you? Have you done anything special for American Craft Beer Week? Is it a big deal where you live?