This week’s beer buff adventure takes me to the heart of the craft brewing revolution, The Boulder Beer Company.
Boulder Beer was founded in 1979 and is Colorado’s first microbrewery. Well before Fat Tire and Sam Adams were household names, two CU professors on a small farm just northeast of Boulder founded the company.
Boulder Beer was founded in the dark ages of craft beer and received the United States’ 43rd brewing license. The company was created in the same year that home brewing was made legal again after the prohibition. Currently, an estimated 1,940 breweries operate in the U.S., with 141 of those in Colorado.
Boulder Beer was started using a one-barrel system, brewing two kegs at a time, the same amount the average college house party consumes in a few hours. They have since upgraded to a copper clad 50-barrel brew house that is the focal point of the pub on Valmont.
The copper kettles at Boulder Beer have brewed up some of the best beer in the state of Colorado. The wall opposite the copper kettles is lined with some of the Boulder Beer’s Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup medals to show the company’s success in the art and science of brewing.
The taproom features large glass windows that peer into the brew house, as well as windows that display the action of the brewery’s packaging line. The taproom has several rooms; the main room has a large ceiling that is lined with large posters of the brewery’s iconic brands like Buffalo Gold and Hazed and Infused.
On tap in the brewer’s taproom was a limited edition Black IPA. The Black IPA is a style of beer that is growing in popularity across the country. The black ale originated as a Cascadian Dark Ale, named after the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest, the famed hop-growing region in the U.S. The Cascade hop is one of the most popular American hops. Adopted early by craft brewers for its strong, flowery, citrus aroma, this hop led to the development of the Cascadian Dark Ale. The innovators of craft beer in Oregon first brewed the beer.
This relatively new beer style gives beer drinkers a pronounced American hop aroma, hints of roasted malt and a balance between spicy, citrus and dark roasted malts.
The Boulder Beer Black IPA is the finest Black IPA I have sampled. This beer’s aroma is a layered array of vast citrus grapefruit hop aroma. This big 10 percent American Style India Black IPA is hoppy up front, warning the beer drinker of its vast complexity. It quickly moves to a strong dark chocolate roasted malt bill and ends in a dry bitter finish blended into a dark roasted and complex malt aroma.
For all you hop heads, this beer is a dream come true, with a strong hoppy citrus aroma, strong fresh hop flavor up front, balanced well with dark malts and a strong bitter dry and complex aftertaste.
The Boulder Beer Company is the brewery that helped push Colorado into becoming the great beer state, or as some say, the Napa Valley of Beer. Boulder Beer Pub is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The brewery also hosts tours that highlight the brewery’s history and character. Tours are accompanied by a free beer sample.
Another hoppy creation worth sampling is Deviant Dales. This beer is 8 percent ABV and 85 IBU’s rolled out earlier this year in 16 oz. cans. This Colorado beer delivers huge hop aroma, copper malt and a balanced hop bitterness to create one of the finest IPA’s ever brewed.
The Salt Bistro on Pearl Street will be hosting a snout to tail eight-course beer dinner on April 16. The beer dinner is $88, and each course features a paired beer and different portion of a pig. More details can be fond at http://www.saltboulderbistro.com/specialevents.html.
AC Golden Brewing Company, the craft beer incubator for industry giant Coors, has released three sour beers. AC Golden released apricot, cherry and peach sour beers made with wild yeast and aged in oak barrels inside a hidden barrel room in the Golden Coors factory. The beers are sold as limited edition 750 ml bottles and retail at an aggressively high $21.99. The beers are exclusively sold at Mile High Wine and Spirits at Belmar in Lakewood.
If you have ever wanted to grow an ingredient for your favorite beer, now is your chance. AC Golden, also the brewers behind Colorado Native, will send growers rhizomes for inclusion in the Colorado Native Lager. The grow program is in its second year after 500 fans grew hops for the beer last summer. For more information or to sign up to grow Chinook Hops, visit http://www.facebook.com/ColoradoNativeLager.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Andrew Kaczmarek at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org.