Mixed packs from Oskar Blues and Bootstrap

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Michael J. Casey

Oskar Blues Brewery and Bootstrap Brewing Company have been keeping Longmont hoppy for some time now, but with a new mixed-pack apiece, beer drinkers can bring the pleasures of sampling through a tap list to the patio, the pool, even on the trail.

Let’s start with Bootstraps’ Party Pack, which, according to the brewery, is the only mixed-pack out there with both beer and seltzer. The pack features six styles: Insane Rush IPA, Lush Puppy Juicy IPA, Chillax Pineapple Golden Ale, Wreak Havoc Imperial Red Ale, Stick’s Pale Ale and two types of Sparkalicious Hard Seltzer.

All are good, but if you’ve never tried the orangey Lush Puppy (so fresh and clean, you’d swear it wasn’t a hazy) or the beautifully balanced Stick’s (a stone-cold classic), here’s your chance. Bonus points go to co-owner Leslie Kaczeus for coming up with the best name for a seltzer. Sparkalicious indeed. The Greyhound, made with 5% real grapefruit juice, is delicious, sweet, fruity and slightly bitter. It’s like a Fresca, only better.

There’s plenty of hops to be had in Bootstrap’s Party Pack, but Oskar Blues’ Pack-O-Bliss crams them in to the point of “hop Nirvana”: Pinner Session IPA, Can-O-Bliss Double IPA, Can-O-Bliss Citrus IPA and, newest on the block, Can-O-Bliss Resinous IPA, which sports the nickname “the sticky-icky.” The nose is of fresh stone fruit; soft and sweet malt gives the beer body; and loads of snappy hops prickle all four corners of the mouth while activating the salivary glands south of the teeth and gums. Drink this one pre-dinner, and it’ll prepare you for just about anything.