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Tag Archives: Beer

Uniter, not a divider

Wagon Ryed
Wynkoop Brewing Company in conjunction with Denver off the Wagon- Denver, CO
Dry Stout
5.99% ABV

Beer brings people together. A toast, a round, a brew. A year ago Denver Off the Wagon was born, a collaborative effort among a number of local bloggers with one thing in common: a shared love for drinking. The craft beer scene, much like the blogging scene, is rapidly growing. Yet even with the increase in both attention and volume they remain small communities. And so, Wynkoop Brewing Company assisted the good people behind Denver Off the Wagon in crafting a first anniversary brew: Wagon Ryed.

This dry stout, brewed with toasted caraway, is thick and very dark brown-almost black. The toasted malts offer a warm flavor but it’s dry, not overly sweet or heavy. It lives up to the promise of rye, being reminiscent of the darkly spicy flavors of rye bread.

But on the night of Denver Off the Wagon’s self-proclaimed “Birthday Bacchanalia” it was hard to say whether the beer or the company drew more attention. (Cute) Brewers, (witty) bloggers, and (drunk, not at work of course!) bartenders, oh my! There were many old friends along with any number of new introductions. As one local blogger put it, “We’re uniting people.” In the end, it’s as much about the people you drink with as it is the beer you drink.

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You Can Dance If You Want To

February 23, 2012
Harvest Dance Wheat Wine
Boulevard Brewing Co.-Kansas City, MO
Wheat Wine, Winter Seasonal
9.1% ABV

As much as we both enjoy beer, we are by no means alcoholists. We do not discriminate against other kinds of booze. In fact, we both thoroughly enjoy wine. When we heard that Boulevard had a beer that incorporated both…well, we were intrigued.

According to Boulevard, the impetus for the beer is from the English folk tradition about John Barleycorn. Barleycorn is the personification of barley, sacrificed and reborn as ale. The Harvest Dance is an homage to this fable, with a change in malts. This beer pays tribute, naturally, to wheat.

Pouring a golden hue, the first notes are bright and almost acidic on the palate (with a similar effect as biting into a perfect piece of pineapple.) The wine notes lighten the often heavy wheat beer qualities. The beer certainly mellows, as it begins warming to room temperature, but manages not to lose the tropical fruit notes. There are times in which you must defer to the experts; the beer can’t be better described than by Boulevard:

The result is a big, warming burst of tropical fruit favors, highlighted by subtle wine-like notes, and rounding slowly to a long, dry, oaky finish.

We feel that this bridges the gap between wheat beers and others, more crisp, styles. Wheat beer and non-wheat beer lovers will appreciate this “wheat wine” beer.

Two Girls Walk Into a Bar

We don’t know how many friends can honestly say they’d jump at the chance to co-write a blog. While drinking craft beers at one our favorite beer halls in Denver, the idea for showcasing the best of what our city has to offer was born. 
 
Euclid Hall’s opening was our gateway drug. Lia has the distinct honor of being one of Euclid Hall’s first regulars, darkening their doors on day one. Stephanie was in Prague, loading up on Czech beer (as it is cheaper than water!) but became hooked on Euclid upon her return. Before Euclid Hall we were beer drinkers, to be sure. We drank craft beers from Old Chicago’s list, seeking out breweries we’d never been to, Deschutes in Bend, OR; Stone Brewing Co., in San Diego, CA; and of course Dogfishhead in Delaware. We were initially overwhelmed by the beer list at Euclid Hall but quickly found favorite beers and made lots of friends. 
 
There was one failed attempt (though we firmly believe that any opportunity to drink beer can’t possibly be considered a failure) at drinking the beer list at Euclid Hall. We learned from this attempt and now have a plan, some focus, and real goals to get us through the rest of winter and spring. Our roles in this endeavor are equal. We both love craft beer and real food. Luckily, Denver is an incredibly walkable city and we can work off some of the calories. This project is a long time coming. We’ve had ideas floating around for years, we just didn’t know how to make it happen.