Notes from the Cooler:

The latest news, reviews, and interviews from Kevin

Fellow Beer Geeks, you've come to the right place.  Here you will find fresh content to keep you up to date on the exciting world of beer.  We have New Arrivals which is a list of the newest products in our store.  We average 5-10 new beers a week so be sure to check back frequently.  Enjoy in-depth beer reviews and maybe a pairing or two in our Reviews section.  We also interview local brewers about new products, market trends and brewing techniques in our Interviews section.  Click on one of the three buttons below to view specific sections or just check out our most recent articles below.  Don't want to miss the next limited release beer?  No problem.  Not only do we keep a list of New Arrivals on this page, we also send out a weekly newsletter and post exciting new releases on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Have questions or comments?  Visit our Ask The Experts page and drop us a line, we love hearing from our customers.

25 Latest Articles
interviews with Brewers
Interview with AC Golden Brewer; Troy Casey
Interview with AC Golden Brewer; Troy Casey

We were able to sit down with AC Golden brewer; Troy Casey, and gain some more insight behind the beers that will be part of the AC Golden Hidden Barrel Collection; Peche and Apricot. A great read for those with an interest in wild ales of any sort and a teaser as to what can be anticipated in the future for Colorado produced sour beers.

1. Can you give a brief introduction of yourself and your history at AC Golden?

I’ve been with AC Golden for about 4 years now. I started right after I finished my Masters degree from the University of California at Davis in Food Science.

2. Where did your interests in the sour/wild beer styles first arise? Can you recall your first experience with a beer of this nature?

The first time I tried a sour beer was when I worked for Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs back in 2004. They were experimenting with their Skull and Bones sour beer line and using different amounts of sugar to bottle condition. They gave me a couple cases(!!!!) of bottles, but my palate wasn’t quite ready for sours yet. I stored them in my parent’s basement after that, but I think they were thrown away. Now that I love sour beers, I kick myself every time I think of how naive I was!

The first time I remember enjoying sours was drinking Eric’s Ale at New Belgium in college during a trip home from California. After that I researched other beers like it and learned that Russian River Brewing Company was very close to my school in northern California. Before I drove back to Colorado after my program was over, I picked up a bunch of early batches of Temptation, Supplication and Beatification. I had no idea how amazing these beers were when I bought them, I just knew they were special. Once I really got into sours, I realized what I had. After that, my sour obsession just started to spiral and hasn’t slowed down yet.

3. With Herman Joseph's and Colorado Native being the familiar names most
associate with AC Golden, was it difficult to begin a barrel-aging program that would focus on beers completely different in nature to the flagship brands?

We’re an incubator brewery and so we get to play around with a lot of different styles of beer. We occasionally test these beers outside of the brewery to gauge consumer's reactions. No one told us to make these beers; we just started experimenting with them around 3 years ago. Sour beers are really gaining in popularity and we’re happy to have finally gotten on the shelf alongside some other phenomenal sour beers.

4. With the first bottles from this program to finally be released, can you give specifics on how many physical barrels were filled and total bottle counts for each style?

All of these beers had the fruit added directly to the oak barrel. We aged the fruit in the Apricot for 3.5 months. The Peche had the peaches in the barrel from the initial fill, so for about a year. We did one oak barrel of the Peche, and two barrels of the Apricot which we then blended to get the apricot flavor we wanted. If we didn’t add fruit we would get around 20 cases of beer, but the fruit displaces and absorbs a lot of the beer. We’re releasing 8 cases of the Peche, and 14 cases of the Apricot. We’re saving the rest for festivals and beer dinners.

5. Where did the inspiration come from to dedicate in making these sour fruited beers? How much fruit is generally used to fill each barrel and where was it sourced?

We love using local ingredients whenever possible, just like in Colorado Native Lager which uses 100%  all Colorado ingredients. We also love the great fruit that our state produces, so making sour beers with them was a natural fit. We added 95 pounds of Palisade peaches to the Peche barrel and 120 pounds of Palisade apricots to each barrel of the Apricot.

6. How do you think time through aging or “cellaring” will interact
with these beers?

These beers were bottled through out last year, and we’ve been storing them at cellar temperature ever since to allow bottle conditioning to occur. We find that we get full carbonation at around 3-4 weeks when using our strain of brettanomyces for conditioning. What I’ve been happy to see happen since then is the settling of the pectin haze that we got from adding the fruit. The beers are getting brighter and brighter as they age. I think since we used so much fruit that those flavors will last for a while. I suspect that as the fruit flavor fades over time, the acidity will continue to grow. We suggest enjoying these beers fresh!

7. What is your approach when concerning Brettanomyces as a major
flavor contributor? Do you intentionally add Brett or will it
naturally take over with time?

We do some type of primary fermentation in stainless steel tanks using a regular ale or lager yeast. After the beer is ready in the tank, we’ll transfer to oak barrels and add multiple strains of brettanomyces to the barrel once we fill it. A few months later we’ll than add a combination of lactobacillis and/or pediococcus. We’ve learned not to add too much brett at the fill or else those flavors can dominate. We don’t like one thing to be too dominant in our sour beers, so we try to keep everything in balance.

8. How much does blending play a part to the beers of this nature? Is
there a certain character of flavor that can only be achieved by the
slow process of blending?

I have no idea. We’re very new to the sour game, and blending is a skill that can only come with time and the available beer to do it. I’m excited to learn more about blending as our barrel program matures and we have the opportunity to do more blending.

9. For the conceptualization of different sour beers, do you utilize different base recipes depending on the projected outcome? Will different wort give different results, or more intriguing; will the same wort give different results upon aging?

We consider the base beer recipe to be the canvas in the work of art, with time, barrels, yeast and fruit to be the different paints. It’s amazing how the exact same inputs to different barrels can yield considerably different flavors. Just the positioning of the barrels in our area with respect to the temperatures can cause different flavors. That’s what’s so fun about these beers – as a brewer you’re constantly being challenged by things you can barely control. When we test something in our program, maybe a new yeast strain, we don’t expect to see results for a year. It takes that long to learn the outcome. 

10. What is the current size of the barrel-aging program? Is there a possibility of it growing?

We added a lot of barrels last year so that we’d have more barrels to choose from in blends this year. We’ve got a few dozen barrels aging right now and we hope to add a couple more this year for some other experiments. We hope to do a larger release of beers of this nature later in the year.

11. On a level similar to what is being released currently, what other beers can be expected to come from AC Golden? Will they all be sour or barrel aged in nature? What does the near future hold?

We’re always experimenting with new beers, but won’t even think about releasing anything until we’re 100% happy with them, and that can take some time. We’ll let you know when we have something next! 

interviews with Brewers
Questions with the Brewer: Buddha Nuvo
Jim Stinson, Rockyard
Jim Stinson, Rockyard

When did the concept arise to brew a beer of such experimental nature? Who all began the thought process and what brewers were involved in the final production of Buddha Nuvo? 
In late January, 2011 a few good brewers gathered at a pub in Castle Rock, CO to drink some beer and tell some lies.
Jason Yester Trinity Brewing, and several of his brewers and staff stopped by. He and Jim Stinson, Rockyard Brewing, began to discuss the makings of a good Saison; tradition, ingredients, techniques, etc.
Having thoroughly excited themselves at the prospect of creating a really cool beer, the two of them agreed to brew it together.
Then the discussion went to "who are some of the really great brewers in the state of Colorado?" "And wouldn't it be cool if we got them all to collaborate on this really cool beer?"
Over the next several days, brewers were invited to participate and began to contribute ideas to the project (
Were there some difficulties conceptualizing the overall beer that is now Budda Nuvo? 
No, enough beer, and a little Jason Yester, and you can conceptulize anything.
What was the batch size of Budda Nuvo and was all of it aged in barrels? 
We brewed 10 barrels of Buddha Nuvo. All of it aged in the barrels and was blended into one batch that yielded 132 cases of 750ml champagne bottles.

How many different strains of yeast were utilized to ferment and condition the beer? 
5 Saison yeasts were blended for primary fermentation. 3-4 Brettanomyces strains were added to the barrels.
How has the barrel aging affected the overall beer? Is the flavor profile bold and funky or more tart and wild? 
Aging has mellowed the beer and imparted Chardonnay and oak charateristics to the beer. The profile is more funk than tart, but has some wild notes.
 Should the beer be suitable for cellaring and aging? 
 It will continue to mature in the bottle over time. With the Brett yeast, and 12% abv., this beer is definitely a cellaring candidate.
Where can people expect to get a taste of Buddha Nuvo? Have there been any kegs filled? 
There are no kegs. However, some of the breweries involved will be hosting Buddha Nuvo sessions to promote the beer.
Could this be the beginning of more Colorado based collaborations? 
Breweries in Colorado have been collaborating for years, (Warning Sign, for example). 
 Anything planned in the future for others bees of this style?

Many of the brewers in the Super Saison League of Friends have indicated that they would like to collaborate on a  Saison like this every year. 

Jim Stinson
Rockyard Brewing Company

See the following links:

interviews with Brewers
12 Questions with the Brewer
Brad Lincoln, Funkwerks
Brad Lincoln, Funkwerks

For those not familiar with Funkwerks, how can you easily describe what best represents your beers?


Funkwerks is about creating incredible beers that are crafted with knowledge, technology, and the best ingredients in a Farmhouse tradition.

Where did the the idea of starting a brewery that focused on the farmhouse styles of Belgium come from?


We are big fans of Farmhouse styles. So when my partner, Gordon Schuck, told me that he won a Gold Medal at the 2007 National Home Brew Competition for his Saison, it was apparent that we were going to build the brewery around this Saison recipe. From the start we knew we were going to focus. We feel that many breweries (especially in Fort Collins) are very good at creating pale ales, IPAs, and porters so there isn't a need in the market place for more of these.

Was it easy for you and your partner to decide on Fort Collins as the home of Funkwerks?

Very easy. We new that we needed to be in a beer epicenter like the front range of Colorado or Portland Oregon and we wanted a city that knows what a Saison is. That pretty much left us with Fort Collins. The beer population here is very well educated, and thanks to New Belgium, Fort Collins is one of the only cities in the US where you can ask some one on the street if they know what a Saison is, and they might answer yes.

Would you say that Farmhouse Ales and Saisons in particular are well recognized by today's average craft beer drinker?

No, but it is definitely growing. As the Craft Beer market matures we are seeing more people come towards the farmhouse styles, and for that matter, Belgian styles in general.

Can you give us a little more insight into the brewing process for Funkwerks? Do you take a more traditional approach or combine elements from a slightly more technical direction?


Our brewing philosophy is not traditional, but we don't just press a button on our brewhouse and beer comes out either. Our goal is to make incredible beer using healthy organic ingredients. Whatever technology or process it takes to do this well, we will do. One thing we do differently then many breweries is to use a  multi-step mashing process. Most breweries are only setup to do a single step mash, which for most styles doesn't make much of a difference, but for Saisons it does. By using a multi-step mashing process, we have more control over the resulting beer flavors, specifically the spicy aromas.

How do you feel your current bottles should be enjoyed? Are you an advocate of aging or cellaring?

I enjoy a fresh saison more then an aged bottle but everyone is different. We have cellar limits on each bottle. Some of our beers can be aged for a long time and it will make a difference, but others like the White will mellow too much in my opinion. For the White, this happens because the spices dull over time.

So far just the White and Saison are bottled, what can we expect to be part of a regular year-round lineup?

Our next beer to be bottled will be Mauri King. It is a Saison with Rakau hops from New Zealand. It has a lot of hop aroma and flavors, but it is by no means a bitter bomb. This has been a very big success in our tap room.

Regarding seasonal releases, will different times of the year represent different approaches to new recipes?

Very much so. As we get going we want to have at least one seasonal beer for each season. Each seasonal beer will try to capture the mood of the season. Our summer beers this year will be on our lighter side. While our winter beers will be darker styles that incorporate more dark fruit flavors and barrel aging.

Can you talk about the Organic origins of your ingredients as well as the difficulties that come with Organic certifications?

We try to use all organic ingredients in every beer but sometimes it isn't possible because certain hops and malts aren't available in organic form. Instead of being constrained we have chosen to use organic grains whenever they are available, but if an organic grain is not available we will not sacrifice the beer taste. Unfortunately this means we will not be able to be certified organic at this time. Though that might change in the future.

Where would you like to see your beers in the future? Any desire to distribute outside of Colorado?

Right now we are focused on Colorado and more specifically the Front Range. If we decide to leave the state it won't be for many years.

Can customers find your beers in any local bars or restaurants at this point? What can they expect if they arrive at the brewery?

We are at a few bars in Denver pretty consistently (Rackhouse and Freshcraft come to mind). We are always looking for new places that would be a good fit for us, our goal is not to be in every place, but be in the right places. When customers come by the tasting room they can expect to taste many different beers that are only brewed for the tap room. They might be experimental beers that may be bottled in the future, a tap room only seasonal, or just a beer that Gordon and I decided to have fun with.

What does the future hold for Funkwerks? Any new projects or concepts we should be excited for?

I am very excited about our summer seasonal that involves Key Limes. I spent some of my youth in Key West and my favorite pie is Key Lime.
interviews with Brewers
10 Questions with the Importer
Tom Jasko, Merchant du Vin
Tom Jasko, Merchant du Vin

For those of us who don’t know what Merchant du Vin is, can you explain the role of importers in the beer industry, and why Merchant du Vin stands out?

Importers have contracts with breweries outside the US.  Merchant du Vin is the only importer that started and still remains, focusing on styles of beer of folklore breweries.  MdV was the first company in the US to market beer by style, similar to wines.  Our portfolio is comprised of breweries that are the benchmarks for the styles they produce.   

Can you please tell us about the history of Merchant du Vin, including the progression of the beer portfolio?

We were founded in 1978.  Most of our breweries have over 25 years of history with us: Samuel Smith, Ayinger, Lindemans, Orval, Pinkus (the world’s first organic brewery), Traquair.  Our more recent additions are classic or innovative beers that fit into our portfolio: Westmalle, creator of the Tripel style & still the benchmark, 2004: Rochefort, brewer of one of the world’s most respected strong dark Belgian ales, 2005: Zatec, a historical and classic Czech brewery located in the heart of the Czech hop-growing region, 2006: Green’s, the only gluten-free bottle-conditioned Belgian ales.  In 2008, we introduced Samuel Smith’s Organic fruit ales, brewed at Smith’s tiny & historic Melbourn Brewery in Stamford, England.  We also sell beer in Canada, Australia, and, starting in 2009, China.

What is your favorite beer in your portfolio?

Oh man, I’d have to say Orval.  Yep, my eyes grow a little wider when I see an Orval.  However, I’m also partial to signature styles like Sam Smith IPA, because it’s not like American IPA’s that are super hoppy.  It’s more balanced, and a great example of the original IPA style.   Also, Ayinger Ur-Weisse, it’s a bit darker hefeweizen and there’s so much flavor involved in the beer. On a sunny summers day there’s nothing better.

How did Merchant du Vin’s relationship with Samuel Smith start, and how was the beer welcomed into this country?

On a trip to England, our founder got the suggestion personally from the late Michael Jackson, a Yorkshireman himself.  (Samuel Smith’s is located in Tadcaster, a village in Yorkshire.)

In the early days, the price of Sam Smith’s was ridiculously high compared to other beers sold in the US market, but once folks tasted it, their concerns went away and they bought it cheerfully.  Samuel Smith’s has played a huge role in the US beer revolution – helping expose Americans to classic styles, offering new flavors – and has steadily increased in sales for over 30 years.     

Samuel Smith beers are now widely available in the US, which has provided an important sales channel to the brewery.  We are very proud to represent this historic, family-owned, benchmark brewery.   

What was the inspiration for the Samuel Smith Salute that’s going on this month? 

For years, we’ve heard US beer consumers, beer retailers, professional brewers, distributors, and media talk about how their “first great beer” was a Taddy Porter, a Sam Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, or a Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout.  We have watched the US beer industry become the most vibrant in the world, and we are very proud of the role Samuel Smith has had in that transformation. 

We want folks to be aware of that role, and we began to conceive of The Salute as we passed our 30th year of bringing Sam Smith to Americans. Samuel Smith was the brewery that helped launch the craft beer revolution and we wanted to honor that. 

The US craft beer market has grown exponentially in the past few years.   How has this affected the sales of imports?

It’s been great to watch and be a part of the “better beer” movement for the last 10 years of my life.  Craft imports like the MdV portfolio are selling very strongly, and increasing with sales gains similar to US craft beers.  All the mass produced domestics and imports are suffering declines but craft beer and specialty imports are thriving.

Have you been surprised by how well Green’s Gluten Free Beers have sold? 

Green’s Gluten Free Beers are referred to by many, as the best gluten free beers in the world so the sales are not a surprise.  We import three styles of Green’s from Belgium; an Amber, Dubbel and Tripel.  These styles are traditional to the Belgian beer industry. Thinking about it, what may be a surprise, is that Celiac and non-Celiac are enjoying these products.  I recall when “sorghum” gluten free beers began to hit the market.  At the time I was working for a wholesaler on the east coast.  We had the responsibility and obligation to taste the sorghum beers that we had in our portfolio. Let’s just say the difference in taste and quality from these beers, compared to Green’s is like night and day. 

Merchant du Vin represents three of the world's seven Trappist breweries.  These are some of the most highly respected beverages in the world.  Can you tell us about these beers? 

The beers that Orval, Westmalle, and Rochefort produce are absolutely fantastic.  They define their style, and offer flavors that have been proved over the years and decades to be something uniquely tasty.  Look at Westmalle Tripel, the first Tripel style of beer ever produced, and Orval the Abbey was founded in 1070!  

Probably more than any other single word, the term Trappist means “quality” in the beer world.  Guidelines of the term “Trappist” are very specific.  For example,  they must be made within the walls of a monastery of the Cistercian order. Secondly, they must be brewery owned by the Cistercian community.  Lastly, profits from the sale of the beer are given to charity.  There is no such thing as a “Trappist-style” beer.  A non-Trappist brewery using the term “Trappist style” is either mistaken or trying to borrow mojo in a misleading fashion.

What do you think of an 8th Trappist brewery in the works in Austria? 

We wish Stift Engelszell in Austria the best; we have not heard of any beer actually brewed there yet or whether they have approached the International Trappist Association.

What’s next for Merchant du Vin?

Mdv is approached by many breweries to come into our portfiolio.  We are very specific to who those breweries will be.  MdV will only take in breweries that are folklore and defines their style.  The youngest brewery in our portfolio is Sam Smith est. 1758.   You have Orval circa 1070.  Breweries like these, stand way far out of thousand upon thousands of European breweries.  That said, we do our best to let people know news as it occurs:; ; .

interviews with Brewers
10 Questions with the Brewer
Dave Chachura, Oskar Blues
Dave Chachura, Oskar Blues

Can you describe the history and inspiration for Ten FIDY Stout?


FIDY was originally brewed in Lyons in 2006. We had some time to do new, different beers that had a longer tank time and FIDY and Mama’s Little Yella Pils were made around the same time. FIDY was based on a homebrew recipe of another brewer who was working with us at the time.  



How is Ten FIDY made and what about this process reflects the price tag?


It’s a time-consuming, labor intensive process to make Ten FIDY.  FIDY is made with nearly 50% specialty malts like Munich, crystal malt, chocolate malt and roasted barley. These malts are all more than twice as costly as our base 2-row malt. As if that weren’t enough, we take only first runnings from TWO MASHES to fill the kettle. This means that we are leaving a lot of sugar that could be sparged from the grain, but it would dilute the high-gravity wort of the first runnings. If we had another kettle we could sparge the grain left after collecting the first runnings and make another beer from the wort we get from it, albeit a smaller gravity brew. The point is to get very high gravity (lots of sugar) wort in the kettle. After boiling the wort is concentrated further and we end up with a 25 Plato original gravity wort. Here’s the thing: that’s just half of a batch.  After that we perform two more mashes to collect another kettleful to make the other half. So we’re using almost three times the amount of grain we use for 100 bbls of Dale’s Pale Ale to make 100 bbls of FIDY.  Besides the extra expense for ingredients and labor the tank residence time of FIDY is longer, too. This gives it extra time to mature in tank before packaging.


Do you recommend aging Ten FIDY?


Once it’s in the can or keg you can drink it right away or you can cellar it. True fact. We don’t put a shelf life on it. We are archiving a certain amount of each batch to release in limited quantities at a later date. I have two cans of ’07 sitting on my desk right now. We recently tapped a few kegs of year-old FIDY that were amazing. It’s great to see how the beer matures over time. The intense roasted character subsides and blends with the big crystal malt in the beer. The alcohol fades into the background so you don’t realize the double-digit ABV as much. It rounds out nicely.



With Sour Cherry Ten FIDY aged in oak barrels, and Stranahan’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Selections of nearly every brew, it seems Oskar Blues has a bit of a barrel aging program happening behind the scenes.  Are there any plans to expand on this?


The Sour Cherry FIDY was just a single whiskey barrel full of beer. I filled that barrel with more FIDY after we emptied it. I haven’t tried it in a while to see if the bugs took to it, but when it’s ready I’ll throw some more cherries in there so we can have another small amount of the Sour Cherry FIDY. Mostly the beer will be available at the brewery and at Home Made Liquids & Solids.  We’ve aged our beers (all of them, including the Pils) in Stranahan’s barrels for the last few years. We’ve put the barrel aging program on hiatus for a while so we could focus more on the main business at hand. We just finished racking the barrel-aged ODB Barleywine and it’s pretty effing good. Any barrel-aged FIDY in house is minimal right now and may all end up getting cherries. Other than that, there is nothing else is in barrels right now. We’ve been oak aging all of our beers, though. They’re coming out quite nicely, with big, spicy oak flavor and vanilla. We’re looking at the possibility of getting new oak barrels and firing up the program again soon.  Where the beers end up I don’t always know. When they’re ready they always end up at our place.  



Ten FIDY is your only seasonal beer.  Can you tell us if there are more on the horizon, and if so what they might be?


We occasionally talk about that but there’s nothing in the works for now. We did just brew a big batch of Deviant Dale’s IPA which will be on tap at all Colorado Old Chicago locations starting January 24th. They’ll be the exclusive outlet for that beer until February 1st when we’ll tap it at our places.



Oskar Blues was the first craft brewery to put beer in a can, now there are more than 70 brewers canning, what are your thoughts on the trend continuing to grow?


It looks like it can only increase. There are established bottling breweries adding canning to their packaging and new breweries foregoing bottles altogether, choosing to can instead. With already reputable breweries moving to cans it’s giving more and more legitimacy to the fact that cans are the superior package for beer. We’ve done a lot of the work to help persuade the craft beer-drinking public of this, and we can all see how that has helped others move to cans as consumers become more accustomed to seeing craft beer in aluminum.



I've always thought it would be really cool if Oskar Blues produced "bombers" in larger cans.  It would also be a great way to set another example in canning craft beer.  Is this a possibility?


Certainly. We talk a lot about producing a big-ass can. Years ago we talked about going straight to 40 oz. As we grow and get more packaging equipment the possibility of seeing a 16 oz. or larger can from us will be greater.



Have you been surprised by the success of Gubna?  At Mile High alone, it is our 2nd best selling IPA, and one of the 20 best selling beer SKUs in our shop.


I’m really glad to hear how popular the beer is. It’s an aggressive, challenging beer so it surprises me somewhat to hear how well y’all have done with it but apparently you have an adventurous clientele. I think that the beer rating websites help people make more informed decisions about purchasing premium beers like Gubna. That, coupled with beer sellers doing in-store tastings definitely helps to make a $14 four-pack seem like a worthwhile venture.


Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids has been a huge success in Longmont.  What are the differences in the two locations, and Is the Lyons location still considered your home-base?


Yes! Lyons is where it all came from and it’s where it’s still happening.  Every Oskar Blues beer on tap in Lyons is brewed in Lyons. We brew Dale’s, Mama’s, Gubna, Gordon, Chub and FIDY in Lyons and serve them right there. We don’t filter the ales in Lyons, only the Pils. In addition to the main brands, we brew an ever-expanding list of specialty beers in Lyons that are available there AND at Home Made Liquids & Solids. We have a larger selection of beers at Home Made Liquids & Solids (43 taps) than in Lyons where we can serve up to 10. We serve every brand that we package at Home Made Liquids & Solids in addition to as many specialties of our own from Lyons that we can provide, sometimes up to 14 different Oskar Blues beers.  The unfiltered core brands in Lyons are a big draw for me. That’s how we’ve always done it there, and the beers are different and worth the trip. What you won’t find in Lyons is the assortment of other breweries’ beers. We haven’t had a guest tap there in a long time. It’s all Oskar Blues, all the time.



What's next for Oskar Blues?


Another big year of growth! We’re getting five 200-bbl fermenters and one 200-bbl bright beer tank delivered to the Longmont brewery so we can prepare for the increased production planned for 2011. We’ve added more people to our sales team both locally and out of state to help us grow and keep the beer fresh everywhere. Our brewing, cellaring and packaging teams are all getting ready for the challenge. We’re about to fire up our new keg washer/filler that we bought from Sierra Nevada last Fall and we’re adding new equipment to the brewhouse to help us get more brews per day. The addition of a wort receiver will add to our daily brewhouse throughput capabilities which will benefit all of us.

interviews with Brewers
10 Questions with the Brewer
Team Avery, Avery Brewing
Team Avery, Avery Brewing
After 17 years of brewing, Avery has decided to can its beer. Why?

Ahhh the can revolution is upon us. Many craft breweries have embraced the can in the recent year. The jury is still out on whether or not this is a better vessel for your beer. But the fact that 0% light is allowed in a can versus around 10% of light being allowed into a brown bottle makes a serious mark in the cans “pro” column . Add to that, cans are easier to take on a hike into the back country or a trip down the river. They seem a natural fit at the Avery Brewing Company. Their ability to be recycled much more efficiently doesn’t hurt our karma either.

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interviews with Brewers
10 Questions with the Brewer
Charlie Berger, Wynkoop Brewing Company
Charlie Berger, Wynkoop Brewing Company
1. Wynkoop's offerings are primarily German, English, Czech or Belgian in style. Why such an old world influence?
When the Wynkoop started in 1988, they primarily brewed English cask ales which opened many people's minds at the time that beer could be something other than light lagers. We still keep at least 3 cask ales on at all times, but have recently won some GABF gold medals for our German beers: B3K Schwarzbier and our Wixa Weiss. We do try to make a couple of Belgians throughout the year and our Two Guns Pilsner is a Czech Pils. We are lucky to be able to offer such a diverse range of brews, and we love to push the envelope with crazy American Brews as well!


2. Wynkoop started brewing over 20 years ago, but you did not start widespread Denver distribution until late 2009. Why now?
This place has been and always will be known through Denver as a fantastic Brew Pub. We constantly have a bar full of friendly faces enjoying our classy fare. But we in the brewery wanted to challenge ourselves and raise our profile by getting our beer to our fans who live a little farther away. It is an ambitious project, but we are enjoying it.

3. Why cans instead of bottles?
Cans are the future of Craft Beer! They are a better package for the beer (it stays out of the light and fresher longer), they are more environmentally friendly (100% recyclable and cheap to ship), and they are highly portable (cans can go places glass can't, golf courses, beaches, hiking, etc.). We love bottled beer, but cans are way better. Plus our Colorado consumers are getting past that old myth that canned beer is cheap beer.

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