Boulder: Craft Beer at the Foot of the Mountain

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Boulder-FlatironsAutumn-WikiCommons-300x210Long famous for mining and ranching, Boulder and its neighbouring Front Range towns have successfully tapped a more fluid natural resource in recent decades. Few could have predicted the seismic impact that Colorado craft beer would have on our contemporary drinking habits when Boulder Brewing Company threw open its doors in 1979. But even if Colorado has slipped out of the top three in the U.S. in terms of breweries per capita and absolute number of craft breweries, you could still make a convincing case that the Front Range region of Colorado remains the epicenter of North American craft beer.

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Out of Beer Names, Brewers Get Into Legal Trouble

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By the end of May, a Fort Collins brewery will change its name permanently from Zwei Brüder Brewing to Zwei Brewing in order to avoid a costly lawsuit.

Just a few months after opening their business last August, brothers Kirk and Eric Lombardi received a cease and desist letter from a Chicago-based brewery called Two Brothers Brewing Company.

“We could have taken them to court,” said Kirk Lombardi. “But really we would have had to invest a lot of money in a legal fight that could have been used in more positive places.”

The Lombardis thought they were safe with the name Zwei Brüder, or “two brothers,” in German, but their dispute involves a deeper level of U.S. trademark law — the doctrine of foreign equivalents — which prevents the same name from being used in the same trademark category, even in two different languages.

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Could a Colorado Craft Brewery Sell Out to Big Beer?

The growing landscape of independent U.S. craft breweries now in the hands of corporate owners has a Colorado-size hole.

The past year has seen megabrewer Anheuser-Busch InBev and private equity firms either take over or purchase stakes in a number of smaller breweries outside.

More moves are expected, and Colorado is a lucrative target with well over 225 craft breweries, with scores more in planning and with serious street cred as one of the centers of independent American brewing.

Sooner or later, will we see a local brewery born in a garage or dreamed up on a cocktail napkin snatched up by one of the big boys?

“I think it’s likely that we will,” said Kim Jordan, president and CEO of New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins. “My sense is, with A-B anyway, they are probably looking at a regional strategy. They have a brewery here (in Fort Collins). They have a distributorship here. It makes sense to me we would see an announcement about a craft brewery as well.”

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Craft Beer in the Mile-High City: Colorado’s Northern Front Range Series

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Imperceptibly but steadily the arid ranchland terrain of dry gullies and crevices rises to meet the horizon as I leave behind a limitless expanse stretching eastward as far as the eye can see. A few hours pass before I crest a small hill, and there, spread out before me in the distance is the spine of the continent soaring to majestic heights.Albert Bierstadt - SurveyorsWagonRockies (1859-WikiCommons) Tucked up against the Front Range palisades that form the entry to the Rockies, Denver and other erstwhile frontier settlements beckon with a cosmopolitan flair that belies their one-time reputation as a collection of cow towns.


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Beer Profile: Fat Bottom’s Knock Out IPA

Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA


Image courtesy
Image courtesy
OK, I’ve had a few questions regarding their brews over the years, and just their name. “Fat Bottom?” Really? Why don’t we just call it, “The Bring Me a Beer, Bitch, Brewery?” Then there was a coffee beer that was carbonation espresso. So, let’s just say, “had my doubts.”

The serving container was a can: 16oz.

Great head: very white pillow. Holds very well and thick. Hint of chill haze, but clarity good otherwise.

Mouthfeel: bitter, not heavy: heavy side of light. Pale malt, mostly.

Nose: hint of hop driven grapefruit and pale way in the background. there’ a hint of dusty, or musty. Pale malt, but the grapefruit-like hops are demanding, insistent. Nice slow bitter, low on flavor.

My only issue is mostly bitter: could use more flavor and nose.

Malt is faint but does support hops. Pale malt, mostly.

This is better than previous FBs I’ve had, so the overall is a 4 but specifically a
3.8: getting more taste is easy with hops. The boil here was a tad too long so it just went bitter.


Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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martianKen Carman was born of a deity named Bill many moons ago when his wife Winnie was fermenting well at the time. He is a beer judge, beer writer and reviewer of brew-based business, beer commentator and BEER GOD. Do not challenge the one who ate too many hops one year, hence the green pigment you see to the left!

Stone Brewing.: Two Beautiful Barleywine Behemoths


Stone is better than your favorite local brewery. Unless you live in Milton, Delaware, or Bend, Oregon, or maybe Northwest Tampa, that statement is just true the way it’s true to say that Pope Benedict is a religious kind of guy or that Alex Rodriguez is a little misguided: a vast understatement.

I’m currently preparing a post called “America’s Best Beer Regions” and realized that, being brutally honest, the seven of the ten regions would have to be Out West. It’s just a fact that breweries become better over the long arc of a thirty year history than one that’s been around for three, five, seven years. Stone has been at it, now, for twenty years and, while they were good almost immediately, they are flatly spectacular now. I’m certain that Steve Gonzales, head of Stone’s small batch experimental brewing department, occasionally sees a test batch or two that just doesn’t work but whatever makes it into a Stone package is going to be exquisite. EX-QUIZ-ZIT, no exceptions.

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Mikkeller to Open San Diego Brewery

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SAN DIEGO—Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is arguably the world’s most famous gypsy brewer; a gallivanting fermentation specialist exploring a myriad of styles, he’s known for pushing the envelope to the point that some of his beers challenge conventional beer guidelines.

Throughout his nine-year career, the Danish brewer used the systems of brewing comrades around the world. This will always be a part of who he is and what he does, but beginning this summer, he will have a permanent place to hang his mash paddle—the current home of San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Co. On Tuesday, Bjergsø and AleSmith owner and brewmaster Peter Zien announced that they are finalizing an agreement for a creative partnership that will see the duo occupy AleSmith’s roughly 20,000-square-foot facility, which is separated into five suites comprising the brewery, tasting room, packaging, warehouse, barrel storage and administrative space. The deal is made possible by AleSmith’s impending move to a new, 105,500-square-foot brewery and tasting room in San Diego’s Miramar area, which is two blocks west of the current facility and expected to be completed by June 2015.

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