Archive for the tag “Denver”

19th Anniversary Ale – Great Divide Brewing Company

19th_GreatDivide10.2% ABV
Purchased at Best Damn Beer Shop in San Diego and poured into mugs.

Denver brewers Great Divide made this beer to celebrate their 19th anniversary, although their wares are still rarely if ever seen on Sacramento store shelves.  19th Anniversary Ale was “brewed with birch syrup and aged on birch chips”, and it pours a clear honey gold with a tight white head.  The nose is certainly unusual, boasting an indefinite sweetness that is hard to pin down, although honey, banana, graham crackers and green apples eventually come into focus.  This beer wallops the palette with desserts and tree branches on the first swallow, coming off like a wood-fired caramel apple.  Some wood chips and cracker-y spice linger on the tongue, finishing off a beer that is tasty and original, but a lot for the palette to handle.

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Hop Savant – Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

crooked_savant_bttl6.2% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market in Sacramento ($8.99/12.7 oz. bottle) and poured into mini wine glasses.

This “100% Brettanomyces Pale Ale” from Denver-based sour specialists Crooked Stave pours a cloudy, citrus juice orange-yellow. The smell is very earthy and farmhouse-based, predominantly soil, mangoes, grapefruit rind, and grape must. Hop Savant has a uniquely sharp, citrus and cheese rind-like bitterness on the first swallow, with the sourness coming in several waves. A big grapefruit pulp presence dominates the next few sips, with dry wood and bitter fruits on the finish. Despite the name, the brettanomyces, the oak foeder fermentation, and the grapefruit bitterness make the strongest impressions, not the hops. Some band-aid aftertaste seeps into the palette towards the end, meaning this 12.7 oz. bottle is best shared among 3 to 4 friends.

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