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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Side Dish + D&D extras: Fieldhouse's faces and stout spots

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM

In this week's Dine & Dash column, I profile Denver's Copper Kettle Brewing Company and its fantastic Mexican Chocolate Stout
click to enlarge Go forth and purchase, my children. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Go forth and purchase, my children.

It's a beer that I recommend all beer lovers try to get ahold of for a sampling. And in that spirit, I thought I'd tell you where you can currently find it in the Springs, according to owner/brewer Jeremy Gobien, who self-distributes:
Veterans Wine and Liquor
J&K Liquor 
Downtown Fine Spirits and Wines
Coaltrain Wine and Spirits 

And soon, possibly (he was still in talks last time we spoke):
Cheers Liquor Mart
Weber Street Liquor 

Next up, in this week's Side Dish column, I preview Fieldhouse Brewing Company, set to open in the former  New Eros adult theater at 521 S. Tejon St., across from McCabe's. 

I had first sampled with and was quite impressed by owners Travis and Niki fields back in October, 2011, captured here
click to enlarge Travis and Niki Fields, pregnant on two fronts these days. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Travis and Niki Fields, pregnant on two fronts these days.

The couple once again insisted that I sit down with them ahead of this week's column, to taste before I talked about the beers. 

What follows is a little more information about the four brews that I tried plus some other peripheral details. 

First up, and as you can see in the photo to the left, the Fields are family folks and want Fieldhouse Brewing Company to be very family friendly. So look for Zeke's World Famous Rootbeer on tap for your kids next to the big boy beers. 

Travis says there will always be one gluten-free beer on tap as well, and usually a couple of seasonals too, alongside the flagship lineup. 

Jumping into this latest sampling, the first bottle we opened was the Sticky Paws Honey Wheat, a 6.8-percent ABV beer that's best likened to Bristol Brewing Company's locally famous Beehive Honey Wheat. Travis uses a pound of Schmidt Apiaries honey per 5 gallons presently, which will translate to 50 pounds per 8-barrel batch once his new system is up and running. He utilizes Liberty and Willamette hops and wheat and pale malts, and it's easy to detect honey in the beer's aroma and subtle hints in its flavor. Our bottle we sampled was unfortunately a tad flat, but I could still enjoy the flavors; once up to proper carbonation, I'm sure this will be a popular seller at Fieldhouse. 

Second, we opened the Brinner Maple Nut Brown Ale, a 6.1-percent ABV brew that incorporates around 4 ounces of pure Vermont maple syrup per 5-gallon batch. (It is named after a reference from the TV show Scrubs, referring to "breakfast for dinner.") Its grain bill calls for toasted grain and biscuit malt for a mild bread-y and roasted edge and caramel malts that yield the toffee flavors. The maple isn't very strong in the flavor intentionally, as Travis says he's "going for balance."

Next up, the 6.5-percent ABV Fist Pump Milk Stout, which does have an older imperial brother (at 9.5-percent ABV), the Double Fist Pump Milk Stout, which you'll see seasonally. As I described in my writeup for Odell Brewing Company's excellent Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout earlier this year, lactose added to the brew cannot be converted to alcohol by the yeasts, so it passes through as a sugar, gifting a touch of sweetness and generally a velvetier texture. This one's really beautifully rich, creamy and well rounded — we briefly discussed the likelihood that Travis will place it on nitro for an even silkier body. 

Lastly, the yet-to-be formally named gluten-free IPA, which uses the same Hallertau and Centennial hops as Travis' regular IPA, but subs the 2-row and caramel malts out for millet and rice, with some Belgian candy sugar to "up the alcohol" since the gluten-free grains are less sugary. Still, it comes out at 5.5-percent AVB versus the 6.5-percent of his normal IPA. Travis does "dry hop the hell out of" the gluten-free version to add aroma and flavor, though the beer remains pleasantly non-bitter and biting, likely a good IPA for typically non-IPA drinkers in that regard. (Here we discussed the common misunderstanding between the terms "hoppy" and "bitter" — this beer offers a good study.) I'd place this brew right next to Omission's superb gluten-free beer  as a great GF alternative that doesn't rely on gross sorghum, which I've always felt lends a terrible taste. This one's uniquely earthy and you will notice the millet's influence, but it's still quite drinkable even for someone who's not gluten sensitive or intolerant. 
click to enlarge It'll likely be next March until you get a sip of Fieldhouse's beers. Patience, people. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • It'll likely be next March until you get a sip of Fieldhouse's beers. Patience, people.

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