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Thursday, February 28,2013

All together now

FATE collaborates its way into the beer scene

By Steve Weishampel
Photo by Elizabeth Miller

In Northeast Ohio, where I’m from, Great Lakes Brewing Company is pretty much the beginning and the end of the craft beer conversation. Maybe nobody else makes good craft beer — I wouldn’t know, I moved when I was 18 — or maybe everyone’s too hooked on Bud Light to embrace good beer, but the effect is the same: Great Lakes exists in a bubble — so much so that its taphouse doesn’t have anyone else on tap.

In Boulder County, that would be pride bordering on blindness. Having other breweries on tap is only sensible. There’s tons of good beer around, first of all, and most brewers seem to want to serve good beer no matter who makes it.

And then there’s the whole community thing that’s such a big deal here. Craft breweries are popping up left and right, but the consensus — maybe even unanimous view — is that they aren’t battling for customers. They’re way more likely to collaborate than compete.

Community is definitely the theme at FATE Brewing Company, one of Boulder’s newest. Headed by a veteran of Boulder’s Big Red F restaurant group, Mike Lawinski, and a former brewer at Golden City Brewery, Jeff Griffith, FATE is starting off with strong ties the brewing and restaurant communities.

The way the brewpub is opening is only strengthening those connections. Although, more accurately, FATE isn’t a brewpub yet. Its brewing room in a corner of the restaurant is draped in plastic sheets, as Griffith and Lawinski decided to open the restaurant before FATE could start brewing its own beer.

Its first batches are expected to be ready in March, but for now, FATE’s rolling through collaborations it did with other breweries in Boulder and beyond. Its Cocoa Punk’n Porter, made with Asher Brewing, was a favorite for our group, with strong chocolate notes and great depth. The other collaboration on tap, Cherry FATE stout with Mountain Sun, didn’t have much punch but showed notes of Mountain Sun’s cherry chocolate stout — as in, more sour cherry than sweet. Sadly, at the time we were there, the Twist of FATE Rye Brown (with, naturally, Twisted Pine) was all tapped out. FATE has collaborations coming out soon with Broomfield’s Big Choice, Upslope, BRU and Lone Tree.

And then there’s the guest tap list. That’s usually off-limits by the beer tour’s rules, but we made the rules, so we can break them, and FATE’s eclectic and varied list is one of the best we’ve seen, drawing heavily from Colorado, California and the Pacific Northwest, as well as six straight from Belgium.

We have high hopes for FATE. If they like beers this good, they’re likely to try to make beers that are even better. When their brewing operation gets started, we just might double back.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

Next stops: Gravity, 1150 Pine St. Unit B, Louisville, 5 p.m. Feb. 28; J Wells, 2516 49th St. #5, Boulder, 5 p.m. March 7. Members of the public are welcome.


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I just wanted to let readers outside of Northeast Ohio that Steve is very uneducated to on craft beer scene in our area. First of all, I'm not sure what his opening paragraph has anything to do with the focus of his article. Secondly, why anyone who admits he was not of legal drinking age while living in Northeast Ohio even feels he can offer a valid opinion of the local craft beer scene is beyond me. Steve, do yourself a favor and research the breweries in our area before making an ignorant statements like "Maybe nobody else makes good craft beer — I wouldn’t know, I moved when I was 18 — or maybe everyone’s too hooked on Bud Light to embrace good beer, but the effect is the same: Great Lakes exists in a bubble — so much so that its taphouse doesn’t have anyone else on tap."


First of all, to be educated about beer is like being educated about Ohio Beer..not useful. Steve is a good judge on beer and a great writer. Don't mess with Colorado Beer fans. We all agree that Boulder beers are better than yours.


NotTooShabby- While I agree there is great Beer in Boulder(not necessarily better, I know you didn't imply that being educated on beer is not useful in being a beer judge? right?


Chris, I can tell you're educated about beer, otherwise how would you know that you're uneducated about beer and that's all it takes to be a beer judge. Besides, as a Ph.D, that's me, I can comment on being a judge on a subject, when I doubt that you can judge on being a writer or a beer judge. Step off Ohio, its Boulder Weekly and we want to advertise Boulder Pride. Ohio as a weakling in beer production is just a lede (what we call an intrigue fire starter) - also notice how much comments this article is getting. Being a good beer judge is not useful. That's from a Ph.D. And yes, I've tasted good beer, from England - where everyone else is just a butter churning nut compared to us British men.


You actually posted to gloss yourself as having a PhD...what a total douche.


You're a total douche bag because you claim to be shabby when you're just a douche. Back off monster. Get out of the internet.


Who isnt a PhD online? "The Best beer in the world is made in America" - Michael Jackson


Shabby, you're stilla douche. That's an educated truth.


Chris, and you're an idiot, so is Eric. Back off!


Is that a prescription Doc?


Chris, Eric and Shabby, this is from one your Ohio friends. You're all idiots from the land of low class beer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0


This is Colorado's list of breweries! Yes, we can judge! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breweries_in_Colorado Steve! Kaggi up lad!


Ok, Steve(We know its you). Settle down there little fella'. Why dont you come on home and pay Mom a visit. Im sure she misses you.


Okay "NotTooShabby" we all get it after witnessing this display; you're the coolest kid in the third grade at your school.


I am the great professor, and sorry you didn't pass third grade Eric. I am also very sorry to see so many people from Ohio reading Boulder Weekly. Yes! We (Steve included) are better than you. British NotTooShabby, Ph.D


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Fat Heads, The Brew Kettle, Hoppin' Frog, Thirsty Dog, Willoughby Brewing all make really good beer, some of it world class, in Northeast Ohio. But why is this even relevant to this article?



You have a gift Steve, but it's certainly not writing about beer (or writing in general).  The first paragraph of your article is inflammatory and innacurate.  Furthermore, it has nothing to do with the rest of the article.  You yourself admit you have no clue what you're talking about because you haven't been to Cleveland as an adult and, apparently, have never heard of a website called google -- but, I must confess, your self-admitted naivety was my favorite part of your piece, or at least the most accurate.  For your information, the Cleveland area has four breweries that have won multiple medals at GABF: Fat Heads, Hoppin' Frog, The Brew Kettle and Great Lakes.  As for Great Lakes not having "anyone else on tap", umm, that's what a lot of breweries do across the country - the key word here is BREWERY not TAPROOM.  If you travelled and researched the industry you're writing about, I'm sure you would have known that.  In summary, I'm not sure what your point is, but I do know you need to think twice before attacking a community or scene you know nothing about.  In Cleveland, that would be pride bordering on blindness.  Prost!


Steve...you just got served.



What they said plus, don’t piss off the Cleveland beer community.  We're fiercely proud of all our local, nationally recognized breweries. Hence the only reason this article is getting any hits, is to comment on the absurdity of it.  I'm sure none of the beer savvy people in Boulder actually read this drivel!



Hmmm.  Last time I was there, Mountain Sun lived in the same bubble just having their own on tap.  Oh wait, so did the taprooms at Left Hand, OB (Tasty Weasel), New Belgium & Funkwerks.  I guess the GLBC taproom is held to a different standard.


Don't forget Boulder Beer Company which he reviewed on Feb 7th. They don't have guest beers either.