One of the things that we are fortunate to do a lot of here at Colorado Culture is interview music artists from around the world about a variety of different topics. No matter the artist however, we’ve got a stock question that we like to ask everyone, mainly because it always prompts such diverse and interesting answers. The question is (since we’re Colorado CULTURE) “what does culture mean to you?” And it’s a bit of a two-parter, this first part just concerns defining the term itself, and the second part involves defining it as it applies to Colorado. For the second part, the answer (more often than not) contains something to do with weed and/or bass music. Which is something we’ve always found to be a bit curious. No one hardly ever mentions beer.
Beer is booming here Cultureheads. There’s no other way to put it. We have the third most microbreweries per capita (7.3 per 100,000 residents) and boast 284 craft breweries in total (behind only California and Washington). We have all kinds of beer festivals here year-round, plus the biggest one in the country. So why doesn’t beer get more love? Good question, but all we know is that the folks who run the Denver Winter and Summer Brewfests are doing much to make sure that the beer culture only continues to perpetuate. We had the pleasure of covering the event in January, and this weekend they’re back at Mile High Station with another huge list of beer vendors (local and national alike), and we felt that it’s our duty to point you in the direction of some of our favorite brews that will be on tap on the respective nights. We’re big fans of big beers with high ABV here, but since it’s summertime, here are some seasonals sure to please the palate of even the most hardcore hophead. You can also find tickets for both nights here.
Great Divide Nadia Kali Saison (Denver, CO)
Traditionally brewed during the winter for consumption during the summer, saisons are a complex style of brew that are often mixed with various types of fruit, which leave their signature all over the taste and aroma of the beer. This variation is infused with hibiscus (which gives it a pink hue), ginger root (to add body to the flavor profile) and lemon peel (which gives it a tartness that so many people look for when the weather is hot, kind of like lemonade on a hot day). Great Divide will be pouring during the Friday night session.
Denver Beer Company Sun Drenched American Ale (Denver, CO)
Named to celebrate Colorado’s oft-touted “300 days of sunshine,” this is a mix of India Pale Ale and American Wheat styles, featuring three different types of hops: (Simcoe, Cascade, and Mosaic), and while it still offers that dry, bitter hoppiness that IPA lovers crave, the infusion of wheat mellows the character out considerably. The brewers describe it as “the perfect thirst-quenching reward after a long day of adventure.” Denver Beer Company will be pouring during the Saturday night session.
Lagunitas Brewing Company A Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale (Petaluma, CA)
Being from California (the state with the largest amount of craft breweries), Lagunitas always comes with high expectations. And they never disappoint. Although they’re known for their different variations of hop-monster IPAs (much like their NorCal counterparts Russian River), this brew falls somewhere between IPA and hefeweizen. Which makes it perfect for summertime. How could it not be when the brewer describes it as “way smooth and silky”? Lagunitas Brewing Company will be pouring during the Saturday night session.
Upslope Brewing Company Craft Lager (Boulder, CO)
Upslope has been on the Colorado craft scene since 2009, and this lager is one of their original offerings that has been a large part of their continued growth and success. It’s a session beer brewed entirely with malted barley, making for a nice, light, smooth sipping beer that is ideal for drinking on a patio during the summer while pretending to be outdoorsy. Actually who are we kidding? Drinking on patios 100% qualifies as being outdoorsy. Upslope Brewing Company will be pouring during the Saturday night session.
Ratio Beerworks New Wave Strawberry Berliner Weisse (Denver, CO)
If you think that “weisse” has anything to do with “hefeweizen”, think again. Weisse beers are sour, tart, and acidic, featuring almost no hop bitterness whatsoever. Being one of the newer faces in the craft beer scene, Ratio has continued to impress with their combination of innovation and attitude. They just rolled out this summer seasonal a month ago, so get some while it’s still being poured! Ratio Beerworks will be pouring during the Friday night session.