9 Collaboration Fest beers you don’t want to miss in Denver

Collaboration Fest, which is Colorado’s most interesting and unusual brewing showcase, takes place Saturday, March 25, in Westminster and features more than 120 different beers that were brewed specifically for the festival.

Founded in 2014 by the Colorado Brewers Guild as a way to highlight the camaraderie between the state’s craft beer producers, the signature festival teams brewers together to highlight their connections and creativity.

A few of the trends this year to note:

  • There are about 35 lagers in the mix, ranging from the classic pilsners to some wild and wacky Baltic porters, Czech dark lagers and bocks.
  • Ingredients truly run the gamut, from seaweed, Chinese plums and spruce tips to shitake mushrooms, dandelions and kitchen spices.
  • The use of Thiolized yeast strains, which are designed to release and enhance flavor and aroma compounds during fermentation.

Collaboration Fest takes place at The Westin Westminster, 10600 Westminster Blvd., on March 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $65, while early entry tickets (beginning at 2 p.m.) are $85. Get more information online.

Here are nine beers you should not miss at the fest:

West Coast Pilsner (Ska Brewing and Cannonball Creek Brewing)

When two of Colorado’s best producers of hoppy beers and lagers get together to produce a hoppy lager, it seems prudent to pay attention. This long overdue collaboration between longtime friends is a 6% ABV West Coast-style Pilsner, meaning it will be both lighter on the palate as well as full of bright, hoppy notes. It will be tapped at both breweries and may appear in cans around Durango.

Shitake Bock (Six Capital Brewing and Two22 Brew)

Mushrooms make for surprisingly good beer, and there are at least three at the festival this year. One of those is a German-style doppelbock from Aurora’s Six Capital and Two22 Brew that is made with Japanese shitake mushrooms, nori (seaweed) and Sirachi Ace hops to help expand “the umami essence” in the malt, the breweries said.

Long Time Coming (Telluride Brewing and Live Slow Brewing)

Ten years ago at the Brewers Rendezvous festival in Salida, an unruly guest stole a banner from Telluride Brewing and then punched one of its employees, sending him to the hospital. So another brewer, Alan Simons, helped Telluride pack up its gear. Simons is now with Live Slow Brewing (opening later this year in Wheat Ridge), so a collaboration in honor of the day seemed appropriate. The two breweries made a West Coast-style IPA with Thiolized yeast.

Czech Your Coconut (Left Hand Brewing and Bruz Beers)

Before Charlie Gottenkieny was the brewmaster at Bruz Beers, he was an award-winning homebrewer and educator. Before Gary Glass was head brewer at Longmont’s Left Hand Brewing, he directed the American Homebrewers Association. Now that they both are brewing professionally, they teamed up on a recipe for a very American beer, a dark Czech-style lager with flaked coconut to enrich the Carafa, chocolate and Bohemian dark malts in the beer.

Lock, Stock and Two Bourbon Barrels (Timnath Beerwerks and Rock Cut Brewing)

To make this beer, Timnath and Rock Cut blended two different barrel-aged beers, one from each brewery. The first is a dark and roasty “triple” bock that was aged nine months in a Breckenridge Bourbon barrel in Estes Park. The second is an imperial stout aged for 27 months in an Old Elk Bourbon barrel in Timnath. The result, the breweries says, is a deeply complex beer.

Plum Blossom (WeldWerks Brewing and Jade Mountain Brewery & Tea House)

WeldWerks in Greeley and Jade Mountain in Aurora are two of the most innovative and experimental breweries in Colorado, so they decided to take their penchant for unusual ingredients and processes to make a beer with steamed glutinous rice and Chinese preserved plums. The result is a Mochi sour ale that they say is dry, sweet, sour and salty.

N/A Summer Citrus Italian Pils  (Tommyknocker Brewery, Grüvi & Sustainable Beverage Technologies)

There haven’t been too many non-alcoholic collabs at Collaboration Fest, if any, in the past. That’s why Tommyknocker, located in Idaho Springs, which has worked with N/A beer specialist Sustainable Beverage Technologies, got together with the Golden company as well as another one of its N/A clients, Denver’s Gruvi, on this refreshing Italian-style pils.

The Bots Made Me Do It (Banded Oak Brewing and Old 121 Brewhouse)

When it came to a new beer recipe, the brewers at Banded Oak Brewing and Old 121 Brewing decided to do what everyone is doing these days: ask ChatGPT, the new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. The result was The Bots Made Me Do It, a “wellness” beer that the AI platform created by cobbling together its own recipe using five kitchen spices. It “blends technology and anthropology, rather than marrying flavors,” according to the breweries involved.

My Brother’s Keeper (OCC Brewing and Phantom Canyon Brewing)

The brewers at OCC Brewing and Phantom Canyon, both in Colorado Springs, enjoy Belgian styles of beer, and since they are also friends, they got together to make two versions of a Biere de Garde, which is a yeast-forward, farmhouse-style ale. One version is a traditional offering, while the other was aged with South American amburana wood to give it some spice.

Subscribe to our new food newsletter, Stuffed, to get Denver food and drink news sent straight to your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article