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Author: Eliot Swank

Hop Heads in Heaven: New Techniques in Bitterness Production

Last year Sierra Nevada Brewing Company released a new year-round beer called Hop Hunter IPA. What makes this beer different from their other offerings—and pretty much every other IPA on the market—is the production method of the hops used in the brew. In traditional beer making, hops are added toward the end of the brewing process. The bitterness of the hops balances the sweetness of the malts and adds aroma to the beer. There are several ways hops can come, with dry, wet, and compressed pellets being the most common. However, there are new techniques being explored, and in...

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Irish Whiskey Primer

Let’s talk about Irish Whiskey.  If you were to walk into a bar at the turn of the twentieth century and order a whiskey, they’d automatically serve you an Irish whiskey rather than bourbon or scotch, as they do today. English owes the word “whiskey” to the Gaelic phrase “uisge beatha” (pronounced wish-ga baa), meaning “water of life.” Many scholars believe that Irish monks learned the craft of distilling from Muslim clerics and rulers in Moorish Spain and Portugal who used the alcohol for medicinal and water-purification sometime between the 10th and 13th centuries. Once the Irish got a...

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Trending: Beers, Bocktails & Cocktails for 2016

One of the key aspects of the “craft” movement is expanding the possibilities of traditional styles through alternative ingredients and different techniques. Craft brewers and bartenders pride themselves on finding unexplored flavors and pushing the boundaries of the classics to reveal something creative and delicious. BEER TRENDS ALL HAIL THE LAGER 2015 saw a new rise of lighter style beers such as pilsner and helles. Lagers are more diverse than that, though, and you’ll see dark-style lagers like schwartzbier and maltier styles like doppelbock or even eisbock popping up. In fact a new addition to the Northern Colorado beer...

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Cooler Nights Demand Bigger Beers

Mild temperatures over the last few weeks have made us mostly forget that it’s fall. Colder weather is creeping in, though, and as fall ends and winter begins, our palates start to change to anticipate the coming season of rich foods, and we look for beers that make us feel comfy and warm. Here are a few styles that fit the bill. -Imperial Stout- Stouts and porters come to many people’s minds for this time of year, and they’re a natural choice, with their dark, malty goodness. The color and flavor come from roasting the malted barley, much like...

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The Rise of Beer Culture in Northern Colorado

Few people will argue that Northern Colorado is an important hub in the US craft beer scene. In fact, according to the Brewers Association database, there are 15 breweries in Fort Collins, 7 in Loveland, and 6 in Greeley and Windsor along with over a dozen more listed as in the planning stages. A total of 42. The brewing scene here, however, is not yet even 30 years old. Perhaps to the craft drinkers’ chagrin,the first brewery to establish the area as a brewing centerpiece was Anheuser-Busch in 1988. Their massive brewing operation is a scientific feat of engineering, and serves most of the Western United States with the various brands under the AB Inbev umbrella. Craft breweries weren’t far behind, though, as the second-oldest craft brewer in the state, Odell Brewing Company, opened in 1989 (10 years after the Boulder Beer Company). CooperSmith’s opened the same year, in Ft. Colins. In 1991, what some may consider the flagship Colorado craft brewery, New Belgium, opened. Currently the 4th largest craft brewery in the country according to the Brewers Association, New Belgium produced nearly 1 million barrels of beer in 2014 and is available in 38 states, British Columbia, and Washington, DC. Their new East Coast brewing operations will open early next year. Another long-standing brewing icon in Fort Collins is C.B. and Potts.  Originally opened in 1974 as the...

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