From the Bottle Collection: H.C. Berger Chocolate Stout

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

H.C. Berger Brewing Co.
1900 E. Lincoln Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80524

H.C. Berger was a brewer out of Fort Collins, CO. I’m sure this was one of the beers I offered at my beer events I hold in the summer. Seems to me it wasn’t all that remarkable. According to Beer Advocate they are closed. Chocolate mild at best. Not a lot of head and brownish-black.

According to H.C. opened in 1992, and in 2002 it was shut down due to non-payment of taxes and reopened as well known craft brewer Fort Collins. They do a Chocolate Stout, but I doubt the recipe is the same.

Here is how describes that beer…

Chocolate Stout: Featuring Chocolate malt and roasted barley, this house favorite is no stand out, but in fact a magnificently balanced American stout. Lots of chocolate notes mesh well with a bitter, dry somewhat chalky (in a good way) finish. Perhaps a little light in body and color for a stout, this beer is still pleasing in its ratio of sweet to dry/bitter.

Beer Advocate was not as kind, and from my memory, they’re more on the mark. Of course this is looking back at something I tried a while ago. And from the date: had to have been on the shelf for a while.

Here is a statement by a judge regarding H.C.., in legal form if you click on the link. Not sure why “in legal form.” Obviously before they were closed.

In its first year, the company sales were 930 bbls, all to the Fort
Collins area. The brewery now (1996) sells in excess of 5500 bbls a
year to buyers throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Ohio, Texas, Kentucky,
Illinois, Michigan, and London, England. Plant expansion, completed
during the summer of 1996, provided a new capacity of 25,000 barrels a
year, while still maintaining the high H.C. Berger standards of
quality. Bob Davidoff handles all Distributor relations and sales both
in Colorado and the rest of the United States. Peter Davidoff handles
brewery operations and marketing.

H.C. Berger beverages are brewed in both American and German styles
using blended malts to produce truly outstanding micro-brewed beers and
ales. H.C. Berger creates beers with the care and dedication of a
vintner, and like a great wine, the company has flourished with age… (snip)

Recent plant expansion increases the brewery’s capability to 25,000
barrels a year. H.C. Berger offers a stellar selection of beers and
ales under its label, including Whistlepin Wheat, Mountain Kolch,
Indego Pale Ale, Red Banshee Ale, Chocolate Stout, Red Raspberry Wheat
as well as several specialty and seasonal ales.

During 1996, H.C. Berger launched their high-end Grand Cru
Brewmaster’s Choice Dunkel, Kolsch, and Stout. The Brewmaster’s Choice
label also includes seasonal specialties such as Maibock (in May)
Dopplebock (fall), and smoke beer (Rauchbier)–ideal beverages for fine
dining establishments.

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