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Cheers! 2015 Resolution kept

January 6, 2016 Leave a comment

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I’m not usually big on New Years resolutions, but I entered 2015 with a specific desire for personal improvement. After a few years in Colorado enjoying a great local beer industry, I found myself in a bit of a rut. I generally defaulted to one of a few beer varieties and seldom wandered out of the mainstream. I despised IPAs, and rarely went with anything more adventurous than an amber or red ale or a Belgian blonde.

So with great enthusiasm I set about the task of drinking 52 different Colorado beers in 2015 that I had never had before. I tracked every one to keep myself going and to keep from accidentally repeating myself. I tracked my beers using Evernote to jot down a few observations, and so with great pride, here’s the roster of Colorado brews that helped me expand my palate in 2015:

  1. 1/1/15: Odell Loose Leaf session ale (Odell Brewing, Fort Collins)
  2. 1/4/15: Kannah Creek Red (Kannah Creek Brewing, Grand Junction) Really good red ale.
  3. 1/10/15: Red Rye Pale Ale (Black Shirt Brewing, Denver)
  4. 1/13/15: Colorado Kolsch (Steamworks, Durango)
  5. 1/17/15: Accumulation White IPA (New Belgium, Fort Collins)
  6. 1/20/15: Deceit Belgian golden ale (Funkwerks, Fort Collins) tastes very Belgian. Like Chimay, just a little more bite, not as sweet or as buttery
  7. 1/29/15: Runoff Red IPA (Odell, Fort Collins) Really nice. Not too hoppy; not at all bitter.
  8. 1/30/15: Polestar Pilsner (Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont). Really nice. Light but flavorful. Low IBU.
  9. 2/1/15: Lands End amber ale (Left Hand, Longmont)
  10. 2/4/15: Red Banshee (Fort Collins Brewery) A little hoppy. Nice color. Similar to isolation ale.
  11. 2/5/15: Prost Pils (Pale German Style Lager; Prost Brewing Co., Denver). Very mild taste; goes well with spicy food. Would also make good summer lighter beer.
  12. Farmhouse Noire (Colorado Farmhouse Ale, Paradox Beer Company, Woodland Park) very dark. Looks like 1554 from New Belgium. Very fruity. Don’t like it by itself; very powerful flavor.
  13. Sawtooth Amber Ale (Left Hand Brewing, Longmont) Perfectly serviceable Amber. A little sweet; not as good as 90 Shilling or other Odell ambers.
  14. 2/12/15: Monsieur Fleur (Mountain Toad, Golden). Very Belgian. Pretty sweet.
  15. 2/17/15: Sledge Hammer (Rock Wood Fired, Denver). Very hoppy, but not too bitter.
  16. 2/20/15: Charlie’s Golden Strong (Copper Kettle Brewing, Denver) Tastes very Trappist/Belgian. Not as sweet as Chimay but very rich.
  17. Vertical Drop Robust Red Ale (Kannah Creek Brewing Co., Grand Junction). DELICIOUS!
  18. Nomad Pilsner (Great Divide Brewing Co. Denver)
  19. Crossed Irons Irish Ale (Kannah Creek, Grand Junction) really nice. Good color, flavor. Hoppy but not bitter.
  20. 3/13/15: Psycho Penguin vanilla porter (Odyssey Beerwerks, Arvada) Reminds me why I hate porters.
  21. 3/21/15: Snow Drop Kottbusser Ale (Grimm Brothers, Loveland) Good Belgian beer. Not too sweet; pretty nice.
  22. 4/3/15: Ska Pinstripe red ale (Durango). I think it was a flat tap at Wild Game. I’ve had this elsewhere and it was pretty good.
  23. Left Hand Good Juju (Longmont). Very smooth with beautiful color and clarity.
  24. 4/29/15: Legendary Red Ale (Golden City Brewing, Golden) Kind of bitter but not bad. Not terribly memorable. Just a beer.
  25. 5/19/15: Legendary Red Ale (Golden City Brewery, Golden) I think this tap was flat.
  26. 5/29/15: Introvert Session IPA (Lefthand Brewery, Longmont)
  27. 6/3/15: Blue Paddle Pilsner (New Belgium)
  28. 6/8/15: Crank Yanker IPA (EddyLine Brewing, Buena Vista) Super hoppy, high IBU.
  29. 6/13/15: Laughing Lab Scottish Ale Bristol Brewery (Colorado Springs) Totally forgettable. Really kind of sucked.
  30. 7/31/15: Great Divide Hoss Rye (Great Divide, Denver). Kind of sweet, lots of flavor. Low bitterness.
  31. 8/5/15: Rock Steady Red (The Rock Woodfired, Belmar)
  32. 8/5/15: Suicide Blonde (The Rock Woodfired, Belmar) Meh.
  33. 8/5/15: Wild Thing clear wheat (The Rock Woodfired, Belmar) Meh.
  34. 8/5/15: Jump ‘n Jack Black English ale (The Rock Woodfired, Belmar) Not terrible, but not for me.
  35. 8/5/15: Lite my Fire (The Rock Woodfired, Belmar)
  36. 8/14/15: Mountain Toad Red IPA (Golden)
  37. 8/15/15: Odell IPA (Odell Brewing, Fort Collins) Odell does just about everything really well; hard to wrong with this brewery whatever style you like.
  38. 8/28/15: Naja Imperial Red Ale (Copper Kettle Brewing, Denver). Pretty good. Not terribly complex for me but decent hops.
  39. 9/3/15: Homefront IPA (Left Hand brewing, Longmont, CO)
  40. 9/5/15: Colorojo Imperial Red (Wynkoop, Denver) A little sweet, but still hoppy. Not bad.
  41. 9/10/15: Farm House Ale (River North, Denver) Really citrusy, borderline “lemonbeer”
  42. 9/12/15: Rumble Oak Aged IPA (Great Divide, Denver). This was the first IPA I fell in love with.
  43. 9/12/15: Roaring Fork Pale Ale (Roaring Fork Beer Co., Carbondale)
  44. 9/13/15: Titan IPA (Great Divide) Really liked this IPA. They’re starting to grow on me.
  45. 9/15/15: Whitewater Hoppy Wheat Ale (Great Divide)
  46. 10/13/15: Green Bullet IPA; (Asher Brewing, Boulder) Pretty hoppy & bitter.
  47. 10/20/15: Slope Style IPA (Boulder Brewing Co.) Really tasty IPA. Great hops in here.
  48. 10/21/15: Zeppelin IPA (Suds Bros, Fruita) Not bad, but not awesome. Not too complex hop profile.
  49. 10/22/15: Rocky Mountain IPA (Fort Collins Brewery)
  50. 10/28/15: Superdamp (Comrade brewing, Denver)
  51. 11/6/15: Oktoberfest Marzen Lager (Left Hand, Longmont)
  52. 11/7/15: IPA and a Half (Tommyknocker, Idaho Springs) Really hoppy, as the name suggests. Pretty good stuff.
  53. 11/10/15: Moirai IPA (Fate Brewing, Boulder)
  54. 11/12/15: Consilium Pale Ale (Renegade, Denver)
  55. 11/15/15: Incredible Pedal IPA (Denver Beer Co.) Very hoppy with high IBU. Gotta be ready for the punch to the taste buds.
  56. 12/2/15: Mirror Image IPA (Echo Brewing Co. Frederick)
  57. 12/4/14: Tempter IPA (Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride)
  58. 12/7/15: El Rancho I(70)PA (El Rancho, Evergreen) Okay IPA. I’d like to see El Rancho work on their beers a little.
  59. 12/7/15: Chief Hosa IPA (El Rancho, Evergreen) This IPA really kind of sucked. Very low flavor for an IPA. Poor hops but bitter = lousy beer.
  60. 12/10/15: Kindler IPA (Bonfire Brewing, Eagle)
  61. 12/13/15: Evolution IPA (Golden City Brewery, Golden)
  62. 12/16/15: Angry Elk Amber (Lariat Lodge, Evergreen) Meh. Once I developed the taste for IPAs a lot of the tamer ambers aren’t interesting enough for me.
  63. 12/27/15: Sun Drenched Exploratory Ale (Denver Beer Co.) A little cistrusy but not too much.

And so if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing more of it. I started with the intention of drinking 52 different beers and had at least 63. I only counted full pints, not just every taste and sample here or there.

I begin 2016 with a great fondness of IPAs and complex hops profiles. I still like a good pint of 90 Shilling on draught, and I still generally avoid porters and stouts. But my palate is indeed broader now than it was 12 months ago.

Resolution complete!