In honor of last weekend's Great American Beer Festival (see our IndyBlog for a review), and because there just happens to be a lot happening on the beer and spirits scene, we're devoting this week's column to hooch and hops. Let's start with a look at three — yes, three — tentative brewery projects in various stages of development.
• First up, and sporting a badass moniker, is Steampunk Brewing Co. (steampunkbrewingco.com), the vision of homebrewers Jeff Adkins and Ian Ray. Adkins says they're still in the capital-raising phase (to pay for up to six months or more of rent with no income) and in search of a location, which is required to initiate federal and state licensing applications. So think mid- to late 2012 on this one. Once running, they want to serve a local-food-inspired menu and Belgian-inspired beers with high ABV, "nothing less than 10 percent, ideally."
• Next, Fieldhouse Brewing Company (640-6814, see Facebook page) is the work of Travis and Nicole Fields. They, too, could be a year from opening, with no location and licensing, just a registered name. Travis says he wants to serve pizza, paired with a wide spectrum of beers, anything from a basic blonde to raspberry stout, pumpkin porter and gluten-free beer.
• Last, and furthest along, Great Storm Brewing (204 Mount View Lane, #3, greatstormbrewing.com) should be open by spring 2012, under the care of Jeff and Lynn Jacobs. (Disclosure: Lynn contributes freelance writing to the Indy.) Their licensing applications are submitted and they seek to operate only as a tasting room, not an eatery, with only a one-barrel system. (That's even smaller than the recently opened Kevin Baity Kraft Beers.) Jeff bills his brews as "a marriage of the traditional and the rebellious," where experimental brewing meets drinkability in such ales as his rum raisin oatmeal stout.
• The second Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival, or Still on the Hill (gobreck.com/spirits-festival) takes place from Friday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 9, featuring a pub crawl, open house at Breckenridge Distillery, a grand tasting featuring small-batch spirits from Colorado distilleries and more.
• Brewer Alan Stiles and chef Bon Hewlett of Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. (2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., phantomcanyon.com) present a six-course, seven-beer, fall brewer's dinner at 6 p.m., Oct. 13. Seats are $50 plus tax/tip. The Halloweenhead Pumpkin Ale will make its debut, and other specialty brews no longer available on tap will be served.
• Fort Collins' Crooked Stave (crookedstave.com) brewer Chad Yakobson, known for his oak-aged brews, will host a talk and tasting at Another Pint/A Second Cup (13860 Gleneagle Drive, asecondcup.net) at 7 p.m., Oct. 14. Entry is free, but the new-to-the-Springs beer is on you.