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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Summer beers in the Grand Valley

May 26, 2017 09:28AM ● By Kristian Hartter

Beer drinkers, rejoice! Summer is here, and all of the Grand Valley’s local breweries are offering special beverages for the next few months. From light lagers to funky farmhouse ales, this wide variety of beers is one more reason to love summer.

Copper Club Brewing Company We’ll start our beer tour on the west side of the valley at Copper Club in Fruita. Here, customers will find Oar’s Light, a riff on a river beer. This light lager has very low bitterness and a low alcohol by volume (ABV). Visitors can also look forward to the return of Hammock Time, Copper’s take on a light, well-balanced English summer ale. Hammock Time departs from common builds of this beer with the addition of unrefined piloncillo sugar to lighten up the body while adding just a bit of maple-like character. Later this year, head brewer Daniel Collins will offer an India Pale Lager, a hybrid style embodying the assertive hoppy character of an India Pale Ale (IPA) but the light mouthfeel and clean fermentation of a lager. Suds Brothers Just up the road at Suds Brothers Brewery, Nate Sitterud has brewed a raspberry honey wheat beer. True to a traditionalists’ methods, Suds used real raspberries, lending a subtle fruit flavor and aroma to the beer. He also created a Czech pilsner that will be released later in the season. Pilsner malts, exclusively Sazz hops, and cold storage should ensure that this beer is light, clean and balanced toward the spicy, floral, hoppy side of the scale. The Rockslide At The Rockslide Brewery and Restaurant in downtown Grand Junction, head brewer Zorba Proteau looks forward to offering beers ranging from traditional to avant-garde. The 2 Bit Wit is a largely traditionally styled Belgian witbier, a 400-year-old style that uses orange peel, coriander and chamomile along with a large percentage of wheat, making for a light-colored and medium-bodied ale with hints of orange and spice. The Rockslide’s version includes locally sourced lavender, too. The Hop Mess, a hop-bursted IPA created in tandem with Casey Brewing and Blending from Glenwood Springs, takes drinkers a little farther off the beaten path. The beer is made at The Rockslide in one batch, then split between the companies so they can each ferment the ale their own way. Proteau uses the controlled fermentation most often seen in modern brewing, while Troy Casey uses old-world techniques and microorganisms to create a funky version of the same beer. Both are limited but will be available at The Rockslide for a short time. Kannah Creek Kannah Creek is brewing beer aplenty for the summer. Two of these are purpose-built to raise money for worthy causes. The Philanthropy Ale is based on the kölsch style, a light German ale, and created to help raise money for multiple sclerosis research. The 300 Watt Ale is a light American blonde ale with the slightly floral and subtly spicy characteristics of its Mt. Hood and Willamette hops. This beer will raise funds for 88.1 KAFM. It will be featured at the Radio Daze event on August 12 at Kannah Creek’s Edgewater location. Before either of those beers are available, customers can enjoy Kannah’s pilsner. This lager displays less influence in its flavors from the action of the yeast. Colder fermentation temperatures and an extended cold storage period create beer that emphasizes the malt and hop flavors themselves, as opposed to yeast phenols and esters. You can bet more innovative brews will be coming out of the brewhouse on 12th Street, where new drinks are created as inspiration strikes. Palisade Brewing Company No place in the valley brews beer according to schedule better than Palisade Brewing Company. Right now, visitors can enjoy the Zoso Pale Ale, which is brewed in the hazy New England style that exclusively uses Zoso hops, a cultivar proprietary to Misty Mountain Hop Farm in Olathe. Hop-bursted but not strongly bitter, it displays the tangerine and tropical fruit notes of its namesake hop, and has a slightly creamy mouthfeel. On June 3, the company will release Love Potion #7 for the brewery’s seventh anniversary. This farmhouse ale is for the more adventurous palate, fermented partially with Brettanomyces yeast and dry-hopped with Citra hops. Those wanting something on the more accessible side should wait until the following weekend, when the company will be pouring its Picker’s Delight during the Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival. Made specifically for the event, it won’t last long in the brewery taproom. “[It’s a] built-to-drink, refreshingly crushable beer with enough flavor to keep you happy,” said head brewer Danny Wilson. There will be more from Palisade throughout the season, including the summer iteration of a rotating double IPA they call Let It Grow, which will be released on June 20. The sunny season makes for thirsty people, and the valley’s breweries make a summer beer for every taste. Drink up!

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