Tap into Boulder County’s seasonal brews

Marissa Hermanson

Boulder County — where the beer flows like wine, and where the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. No, wait, that’s Aspen. But the beer does, indeed, flow like wine here in the Foothills. Boulder County boasts 23 breweries, brewpubs and meaderies. With 103 breweries in the state, Colorado is second in the nation for most breweries (California leads the way with 221), according to the Brewers Association. Now, that’s a lot of beer!

This holiday season bring your own Boulder County brew (BYOBCB) to a holiday party. There are plenty to choose from. The local brew masters have their seasonal lagers, ales and Belgium brews on tap and in liquor stores, ready for the drinking. So head down the street to your neighborhood brewery, grab a stool and order a winter warmer (make sure not to fall off your stool) — or pick up a six-pack from your corner liquor store and imbibe with holiday spirit. Bottoms up!

Twisted Pine

Imperial Porter

Style: Imperial Baltic-style porter Flavor: full-bodied chocolate malty flavor with sweetness Alcohol: 9 percent

Availability: 22-oz. bombers Note: Silver medal winner at the 2006 World Beer Cup and took the bronze at last year’s Colorado State Fair

Reilly’s Oak Whiskey Red

Style: Scottish ale

Flavor: sweet, malty, bourbon

Alcohol: 6 percent

Availability: fourpacks

Note: 2007 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal winner

Pumpkin Brown Ale, Sour Brown, Belgium Style Porter and Truffle (Raspberry Espress) are currently on tap. Twisted Pine has rotating seasonals on tap, which are available by the growler or pint. Looking for a gift? Gift certificates to the Ale House are also available, as well as gift baskets filled with beer, glassware and Twisted Pine apparel. Another great gift is a gift certificate for parties of one to three to spend the day brewing with their master brewers. Visit www.twistedpinebrewing. com for more information.


Old Jubilation Ale

Style: English strong ale

Flavor: Hint of hazelnut, with mocha and toffee

Alcohol: 8 percent

Availability: six-packs

Note: Uses five specialty malts — two-row barley, special roast, black, chocolate and victory.

Czar Russian Imperial Stout

Style: Russian imperial stout

Flavor: Spicy and floral. Hints of English toffee, rich mocha,
molasses, candied currants and hint of anise

Alcohol: 11 percent

Availability: 22-oz. bombers

Note: Store additional bottles for three to four years; Czar becomes denser and more complex with age.

Mephistopheles’ Stout

Style: Belgium imperial stout

Black licorice flavor, vine-ripened grapes, anise, chocolate-covered
cherries, rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and double espresso finish

Alcohol: 15.1 percent

Availability: 12-oz. bottle (limited quantities)

Note: Ages even better than the Czar. Store for five to 10 years.

Old Jubilation

Style: English strong ale

Flavor: Nutty hazelnut, mocha and toffee flavors

Alcohol: 8 percent

Availability: six-packs

Note: Most brewers add
spices like cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg to their holiday brews, but
Avery uses five different kinds of malts instead.

Visit www.averybrewing.com for more information.

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

Hollers Haze

Style: Smoked porter

Flavor: Smoky Alcohol: 6.5 percent

Availability: $14/growler at Vine Street, Southern Sun and Mountain Sun

Winter Lager (official name TBD)

Style: Lager

Flavors yet to be disclosed

Alcohol: 8 percent

$14/growler at Vine Street, Southern Sun and Mountain Sun

Note: Known
for their hoppy beers, the Mountain Sun rarely brews lagers, so this is
a special occasion. Their last lager was brewed three years ago.

Visit www.mountainsunpub.com for more information.

Walnut Brewery

Mountain Rescue Ale

Style: Belgium double

Flavor: Fruity with cloves

Alcohol: 6.7 percent

Availability: $11.95/ growler

Note: Proceeds benefit Rocky Mountain Rescue Group

Old Thumper Barley Wine

Style: English barley wine

Flavor: Sweet and malty

Alcohol: 10 percent

Availability: 10-oz. or pints (Sorry, no growlers)

Note: Limited amount, so hurry on down before the keg is dry!

Visit www.walnutbrewery.com for more information.


New Belgium Brewing Co.


Style: Belgium-inspired brown ale

Flavor: Spiced with raspberries

Alcohol: 6.7 percent

Availability: six-packs

2 Below

Style: Deep amber ale

Flavor: Tawny-roasted malt, floral notes with a hint of pepper spice

Alcohol: 6.6 percent

Availability: six-packs

Visit: www.newbelgium.com for more information.

Odell Brewing Co.

Isolation Ale

Style: English winter warmer, brown ale

Flavor: Rich and sweet malt flavor with spice hop finish

Alcohol: 6 percent

Availability: six-packs

Visit www.odells.com for more information.

Boulder Beer Company


Style: Oak-aged oatmeal stout

Flavor: Black and chocolate malts give it a bittersweet chocolate finish, being oak-aged allows vanilla to come through

Alcohol: 6.8 percent

Availability: 22-oz. bombers, growlers

Never Summer Ale

Style: Winter warmer

Flavor: Dark caramel malt

Alcohol: 6 percent

Availabily: Six-packs, 22-oz. bombers

Visit www.boulderbeer.com for more information.

Boulder Draft House

Barrel-aged Imperial Chocolate Porter

Style: Imperial porter

Flavor: Whiskey, wood and chocolate notes

Alcohol: 8.5 percent

Availability: It’s a one-barrel batch, so grab a pint before the Draft House is out.

Note: Aged in a Stranahan´s Colorado Whiskey barrel for six months

January, the Draft House will have a Belgium double pale ale on tap. It
was fermented with golden raisins and dried apricots, giving it fruity
characteristics and bitterness. It will be dryhopped like an American
pale ale, but have the fruity taste of a Belgium beer. One pint of this
10-percent alcohol beer will warm you up this winter.

Visit www.boulderdrafthouse.com for more information.

Left Hand Brewing Co.

Fades to Black

Style: Stout

Flavor: Licorice, espresso beans, molasses and black cardamom notes

Alcohol: 8.5 percent

Availability: six-packs and kegs

Upslope Brewing Co.

Colorado Christmas Ale

Style: English old ale

Flavor: Orange, ginger, allspice and juniper berries

Alcohol: 6.7 percent

Availability: $7/22-oz. bombers, $4/10-oz. pour in Belgium glassware

Note: One batch in taproom