Beer Reviews

Anniversary Ale 5

River North Brewery

By Aaron Burns on Thursday, March 30, 2017

Beer Style:Imperial IPA
City:Denver, CO
Rating:9.5 out of 10
Smell:Floral bouquet with an edge of piney and citrus-like hops.
Taste:Succulent cantaloupe, peach and resinous hops, blended with toasty sweet malt.
Ingredients:Hops used: Amarillo, Mosaic, El Dorado, Columbus and Falconer's Flight, and this was bottled for River North's 5th Anniversary Bash in mid-February, 2017.
Impression:The brewer claims this beer was "irresponsibly over-hopped." It's nice of him to confess, but there's really no problem here! River North celebrates their birthday in grand style by releasing this baby. It pours a lovely copper color--semi-hazy-- with a generous, fluffy beige head. The taste follows the nose wonderfully, with a full, sticky mouthfeel to top it all off. Wonderful beer. Grab it now, while you can!
River North Brewery - Anniversary Ale 5 2017

Four Grains in the Membrane

Baere Brewing Company

By Aaron Burns on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Beer Style:Barleywine
City:Denver, CO
Rating:9.4 out of 10
Smell:Blend of floral hops and bourbon with a juicy sour edge.
Taste:Toasty grain and caramel; slight sourness, followed by smooth bourbon on the finish.
ABV:Not published.
IBU:Not published.
Ingredients:Brewed with four grains (barley, rye, wheat and corn), the same four used by nearby Laws Whiskey House in their bourbon (those bourbon barrels were used to age the beer for six months). Bottled by hand on November 9, 2016.
Impression:This beer is about as complex as they come. One major risk with this type of brew is if any element dominates. Fortunately, that is not the case here. The Laws bourbon barrel has imparted a smooth, well-rounded bourbon/oak dimension that integrates well with the traditional caramel notes of a barleywine. The dry-hopping adds just the right touch of aromatic hops and the wild yeast (brett) ties things together with just a kiss of sourness. Get this beer while you can, either at Baere, or in select Denver liquor stores. It should age well as many of the beer's characteristics will linger and continue to meld.
Baere Brewing Company - Four Grains in the Membrane 2016

East Coast Transplant

New Image Brewing Company

By Aaron Burns on Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Beer Style:Vermont-style Imperial IPA
City:Arvada, CO
Rating:9.5 out of 10
Smell:Earthy and fruity hops.
Taste:Mango and orange marmalade.
IBU:Not published.
Ingredients:Brewed with Pearl Malt, Honey Malt, White Wheat, Sucrose; Warrior, Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra Hops; English Ale Yeast.
Impression:"New England IPAs" are purposefully unfiltered to create a cloudy look and a creamy, full body; they utilize hops that lend tropical fruit flavors and aromas. This beer lays a legitimate claim to the New England moniker. Sniffing and sipping from this glass of haziness puts you in the mood to watch the leaves turn in Vermont (or in the Rockies!) on a cool, crisp fall day. A bold yet rounded hop profile brings mild bitterness along with succulent fruit flavors.
New Image Brewing Company - Eastcoast Transplant 2016

Superdamp IPA

By Aaron Burns on Monday, October 3, 2016

Beer Name:Superdamp (a.k.a. Fresh Hop Superpower)
Beer Style:American IPA
Brewery:Comrade Brewing Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:9.8 out of 10
Smell:Cannabis and pine with a faint hint of tropical fruit.
Taste:Cannabis with a kick of spiciness on the finish.
IBU:Not published.
Ingredients:Fresh hops added less than 24 hours after harvest from High Wire Hops Farm in Paonia, Colorado.
Impression:It's back! The GABF 2014 & 2015 silver medalist has become an annual fall tradition at Comrade. Superdamp is the wet-hop version of their classic IPA "Superpower." The only difference is that they have added organically grown hops, fresh from harvest. The result is a "wet-hopped" beer which means this IPA is bursting with all the pungent, fresh character that hops can bring to a beer. Available at the brewery now through approximately mid-October. Also, look for it around Denver on tap. The beer is neither bottled nor canned.
Comrade Brewing Company - Superdamp American IPA 2016

4.0 GPA Pale Ale

By Aaron Burns on Friday, September 2, 2016

Beer Name:4.0 GPA
Beer Style:American Pale Ale
Brewery:Bull & Bush Brewery
City:Denver, CO
Rating:8.5 out of 10
Smell:Subtle biscuit.
Taste:Biscuit and slightly bitter grapefruit peel.
IBU:Not published.
Ingredients:Brewed with fresh grapefruit and grapefruit peels.
Impression:Lately, many craft brewers have introduced IPA's and Double IPA's with real grapefruit added. Bull & Bush decided to dial back that approach by adding grapefruit and grapefruit peels to a Pale Ale. The result is a very light beer, low on hops and subtle on grapefruit. Up front the beer is very malty. The grapefruit you seek comes through on the finish and lingers pleasantly with the sensation of peel more so than juicy fruit. This sessional summer beer was bottled on 7/21/16 and is still available these days, so grab it while you can before fall hits.
Bull & Bush Brewery - 4.0 GPA Pale Ale 2016

Three Putt Pale Ale

By Aaron Burns on Thursday, August 4, 2016

Beer Name:Three Putt Pale Ale
Beer Style:Pale Ale
Brewery:Wonderland Brewing Company
City:Broomfield, CO
Rating:8.7 out of 10
Smell:Subtle grain and caramel.
Taste:Bready malt melded with slight spice from the hops.
Ingredients:Tettnang and Crystal hops.
Impression:As the name dictates, this beer plays well during a hot day on the golf course. Though technically an ale, Three Putt reminds you of a Pilsner, due to the Tettnang hops (from Germany). The spice from these hops meld nicely with a bready malt character. Though not exactly a thirst-quencher, the lager-like flavors edge this beer away from an American definition of "Pale" toward something more refreshing.
Wonderland Brewing Company - Three Putt Pale Ale 2016

Life's Trade

By Aaron Burns on Thursday, July 7, 2016

Beer Name:Life's Trade
Beer Style:Saison
Brewery:TRVE Brewing Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:9.0 out of 10
Smell:Lemon peel with a hint of funkiness.
Taste:Lemon blended with malty grain, slight tartness and earth.
IBU:Not published.
Ingredients:Multiple yeast strains, fermented in puncheons.
Impression:This was the first beer TRVE released from its second production facility, The Acid Temple, which focuses on sour beers. Technically, though, this beer is not a sour since it was produced as a test at the new place before brett (bacteria) was introduced to the environment there. The beer features a fluffy white head that nicely complements a dusty, grainy profile. Because it is so low in alcohol, Life's Trade is very drinkable, but it's also very distinctive. The puncheon (barrels) lend a bit of woody earthiness to the taste.
TRVE Brewing Company - Life's Trade Saison 2016

Princess Yum Yum

By Aaron Burns on Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Beer Name:Princess Yum Yum
Beer Style:Raspberry Kolsch
Brewery:Denver Beer Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:8.4 out of 10
Smell:Tart raspberry.
Taste:Tart raspberry with light biscuit undertones.
IBU:Not published.
Ingredients:Fermented with real raspberries.
Impression:This beer is so dominated by the raspberries--in terms of color, aroma and flavor--that the base beer is more of a vehicle to deliver the fruit. Nevertheless, it's a pleasant beer, especially during these hot summer months. The thin body and low alcohol level epitomize a session beer; the tartness and dry finish counteract the notion of a session beer. Look for Princess Yum Yum in cans through August.
Denver Beer Company - Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch 2016


By Aaron Burns on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Beer Name:Contrarian
Beer Style:Imperial Pilsner
Brewery:Renegade Brewing Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:8.5 out of 10
Smell:Grain, corn, wheat.
Taste:Corn, booze.
Ingredients:Pilsner and Dextrin Malts; Noble Hops.
Impression:Say what you will about this beer, you cannot label it "tame" or "generic." You hear "Pilsner" and you think light beer but like any Imperial beer, this one delivers more. The Contrarian is unfiltered which explains its cloudy appearance. The rather syrupy body cascades smoothly off the bubbly head. It's quite a boozy beer--even more so than the 8% ABV indicates. The alcohol overwhelms the other dimensions of the beer. After consuming one 12 ounce glass, only a contrarian would pour another of this Spring seasonal from Renegade.
Renegade Brewing Company - Contrarian Imperial Pilsner 2016


By Aaron Burns on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beer Name:Beatrice
Beer Style:Saison
Brewery:Spangalang Brewery
City:Denver, CO
Rating:9.2 out of 10
Smell:Lemon, spice.
Taste:Belgian yeast with lemon and coriander.
Ingredients:Ingredients not published.
Impression:This beer is on tap frequently at Spangalang and rightly so, as more and more breweries consider this style a staple in their lineup. Beatrice brings a high level of carbonation, creating a lively, jazzy riff of lemon and coriander across your palate. There is a slight hint of banana from the Belgian yeast. Beatrice is a versatile beer that you can enjoy no matter the weather. But with spring and summer emerging, she plays particularly well these days...answering the farm worker's need for afternoon respite.
Spangalang Brewery - Beatric Saison

'Bout Damn Time

By Aaron Burns on Monday, February 22, 2016

Beer Name:'Bout Damn Time
Beer Style:American IPA
Brewery:4 Noses Brewing Company
City:Broomfield, CO
Rating:9.2 out of 10
Smell:Tropical fruits.
Taste:A bitter yet smooth blending of tropical and citrus fruits.
Ingredients:Simcoe, Mosaic and Equinox hops.
Impression:About damn time, indeed. 4 Noses had already proven adept at brewing various other IPA's: Session, English and Imperial. Now they have embarked on a classic American style, in the West Coast tradition. The results are right on-target. This is a hop-forward, tropical-fruity affair with a touch of earthiness, perhaps from the Simcoe. This first batch was so well-received, 4 Noses plans to start canning the beer soon.
4 Noses Brewing Co. - American IPA

Blame It On Kane

By Aaron Burns on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beer Name:Blame It On Kane
Beer Style:English Dark Mild Ale
Brewery:Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:9.0 out of 10
Smell:Caramel and nut.
Taste:Biscuit, nut, earthy quality.
IBU:No IBU listed for this beer, but should be low being a mild ale.
Ingredients:Our Mutual Friend does not publish all ingredients used, but the malt was provided by Troubadour Maltings, from Fort Collins, Colorado.
Impression:A great beer for a cold winter day. Or most any day, for that matter. This style is known as a lower ABV, very malty beer with just a hint of hops. Blame It On Kane actually tilts higher with the ABV but does not hit you with booze, nor hops. This beer is all about the malt. Troubadour has created an excellent grainy, earthy malt profile here. For such a light, drinkable beer, the body is surprisingly substantial, not watered down at all. It is best enjoyed near room temperature, so take your time. You can try it yourself at Our Mutual Friend, where it was tapped on January 8, 2016, as a small batch offering.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company - Blame It On Kane, English Dark Mild Ale

Triple Bypass Imperial IPA

By Aaron Burns on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Beer Name:Triple Bypass
Beer Style:Imperial IPA
Brewery:Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery
City:Denver, CO
Rating:8.7 out of 10
Smell:Citrus and pine.
Taste:Citrus, caramel, and booze.
Ingredients:Jagged Mountain does not publish ingredients used.
Impression:Served from a tap at the brewery. Jagged Mountain calls this a "Triple IPA" which is a catchy way of saying "Super Imperial IPA." The term Triple IPA is reserved for high-alcohol behemoths like this one. Triple Bypass is a sipper for sure. To approach this beer, you want to get in the mindset of sipping on a liqueur, not throwing back a beer. The hops are bold but not overpowering. For some people, the booze factor is overpowering. The caramel sweetness blends well with the hops. A big syrup-like body adds a wonderful dimension to this beer.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery - Triple Bypass Imperial IPA

Citra IPA

By Aaron Burns on Monday, November 9, 2015

Beer Name:Single Hop IPA: Citra
Beer Style:IPA
Brewery:Station 26 Brewing Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:9.7 out of 10
Smell:Tropical fruits, and citrus.
Taste:Zesty and lively hops-- a blend of lime and papaya in a punch of up-front hop bitterness. This gives way to a faint cracker malt profile. It ends dry with lingering hops.
Ingredients:brewed with 38 lbs of Citra hops in each batch.
Impression:Served from a 12-oz. can, which was canned on 9/22/15. The motto on the can instructs you: "Drink Me Now." This is one in a series, each offering features a certain hop -- in this case, Citra. This beer delivers exactly on what the brewer set out to do. The fresh, lively, intense taste of the beer follows directly from the promising aromas. If you like IPA, especially in the citrus and tropical fruit realm, this beer is for you. Stay tuned for the next in the series: Chinook.
Station 26 Brewing - Single Hop IPA: Citra

Märzen Oktoberfest

By Aaron Burns on Monday, October 26, 2015

Beer Name:Märzen Oktoberfest
Beer Style:Märzen
Brewery:Prost Brewing Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:8.8 out of 10
Smell:Lightly toasted grain.
Taste:Rich maltiness with slight nut accents.
Ingredients:brewed with Munich, Vienna, and Caramunich malts; and Hallertau Mittelfruh hops.
Impression:This fall seasonal offering is brewed in the Oktoberfest tradition. By using authentic malts, hops and yeast, Prost makes this beer true to style. The medium body complements the bread-like flavors nicely. Thanks to the low ABV and faint hop character, this tasty yet modest brew goes down very easily.
Prost Brewing Company - Märzen Oktoberfest

Fresh Hop Pale Ale

By Aaron Burns on Thursday, October 15, 2015

Beer Name:Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Beer Style:Pale Ale
Brewery:Great Divide Brewing Company
City:Denver, CO
Rating:8.2 out of 10
Smell:Grassy, floral.
Taste:A mild grassy hop flavor with a hint of citrus, combined with a honey-like malt sweetness.
Ingredients:brewed with wet, whole cone hops from the Pacific Northwest.
Impression:This seasonal offering is available in four-packs. Bottled on September 30, 2015, this beer comes with a label declaring "Brewed fresh to drink fresh." The tradition of using the fall hop harvest to liven up a pale ale is a popular trend in the craft beer industry. This beer has been a big part of that movement; the 2015 version delivers a relatively tame hop experience, considering the dynamic hops typically available from these recent harvests.
Great Divide Brewing - Fresh Hop Pale Ale