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Stormfront

When we last checked in with Great Storm Brewing (204 Mount View Lane, #3, greatstormbrewing.com) this past March, on the eve of its second anniversary, it had just acquired two neighboring storefronts and announced a planned expansion from a one- to 10-barrel brewing system.

Now, says owner Jeff Jacobs, that equipment has been ordered, with an anticipated arrival date of January. Licensing and build-out should follow, with a target to come online by year's end, or by early 2016. Great Storm's brewers have already made good use of the extra space, though, initiating a barrel-aging program that will yield specialty brews such as a loganberry sour and an imperial red ale brewed with honey.

As founding brewmaster, Jeff likes to challenge his employees to create fun beers for the holiday season. From head brewer David Osterhouse, assistant brewer Gretchen Foster and the service staff, look for a carrot ale, dark rye, cranberry-ginger saison, toffee porter, gingerbread stout and raspberry-cinnamon ale in the coming days.

Toasting 291

At Oct. 25's Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival, Distillery 291 (1647 S. Tejon St., 291coloradowhiskey.com) earned the People's Choice Award over 30 peers. Earlier in the month, its Decc citrus-clove liqueur received a gold medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute. And both its aspen-stave-finished Colorado Whiskey and Bad Guy Bourbon Whiskey have earned the Liquid Gold Award in the esteemed Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. A review excerpt from the latter reads: "arguably the most astonishing whisky of its age worldwide of the year. That a whisky just a year old can be this good is obscene."

Point being, you may wish to visit its tasting room soon; open from 5 to 11 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays only.

Brews news

• Pueblo will host its inaugural Big Bear Brew Fest Saturday, Nov. 22, at Pueblo Memorial Hall (1 City Hall Place, pueblobrewfest.com) in support of The Home Front Cares (thehomefrontcares.org). More than 50 breweries (mostly Colorado, but many national) will pour unlimited samples for $40 ($35 advance; $60 to $80 VIP and deluxe admission). The first session runs 12:30 to 4 p.m., the second from 5 to 8:30.

Ute Pass Brewing Co. (209 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, utepassbrewingcompany.com), on whom we first reported in early 2013, has finally begun releasing a small portion of its own beers, having acquired all its licenses and gotten much of its equipment up and running. (It's still doing wort transfers from other area breweries temporarily.) They won bronze medals for their Kick Back Irish Red Ale and the Live the Dream Pale Ale at this past weekend's All Colorado Beer Festival. Look for more styles on house taps soon.

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