New in brew: Sours, sessions and stouts

Catching up with cans from New Image and Boulder Beer

Courtesy of Boulder Beer

For those of you who participated in “Dry January,” welcome back to flavor country. Beer’s been brewing while you were away; here’s a few you ought to check out.

Located down in Olde Town Arvada, New Image Brewing — easily one of best new breweries around — has a line of kombucha-inspired sour ales they call “Dyad,” and they are well worth the trip. Fresh, tart, funky and relatively strong, Dyad comes in an array of fruit variants — Strawberry Lemonade, Piña Rita, Blackberries and Cream, etc. — and most clock in around 7.5 percent alcohol by volume, quite a bit more than your average kombucha or sour.

Their latest, Cran Cherry Crumble Dyad, pushes the fruit and funk to a whole new level of pastry creation. Brewed with lactose, cranberries, cherries, vanilla and cinnamon, Cran Cherry Crumble sports a turbid peach color, a tart cherry nose and a sweet, bubbly and chewy mouth that delivers precisely what the name promises. You could serve it with dessert, but this beer practically is dessert.

Boulder Beer Company — Colorado’s first craft brewery — continues their rollout of new can art with an old staple: Hazed & Infused. But, there’s a twist: when this dry-hopped ale hit taps back in 2001 as a pilot brew, it came to customers as an amber ale, the staple of the Colorado brewing scene. Then, in 2014, Hazed & Infused became just Hazed, a hoppy session ale. Though nothing in the recipe changed, customer tastes did, and amber ales were pushed from the limelight in favor of hoppier India pale ales. Now, Boulder Beer has brought back the full name but tweaked the recipe to produce a dry-hopped pale ale with a four-hop blend of Nugget, Glacier, Simcoe and Centennial hops.

Golden in color with a good deal of glowing haze, Hazed & Infused 2.0 sports a thick, rocky head of foam crackling with carbonation. Hops highlight the nose and the mouth while the malt plays backup to the pine, citrus and spice dominating the brew. It’s a refreshing and enjoyable beer, the kind that plays nicely with deep-fried vegetables or syrupy sweet brunches.

But for those who crave a little more heft in their brew, Boulder Beer has also released Spaceman, a honey-hued double IPA that highlights full-body malt (Pale, Caramel, Wheat) alongside a potent combination of Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo and Centennial hops. Trouble sleeping? Down it with a heaping bowl of macaroni and cheese and you’ll be out in no time.

Need to wake up? Boulder Beer just released their January–February seasonal: Irish Blessing Oak-Aged Coffee Stout. Dark in color with a thick, foamy head reminiscent of a latte, Irish Blessing has OZO coffee on the nose, OZO coffee in the mouth and plenty of that roasty, toasty stout goodness that has come to define Boulder County in February. Yes, Stout Month is here; more on those delicious dark brews next week.