Thursday, March 29, 2018

Goat Patch Brewing Co. brewer Darren Baze revives Pappy Legba cult-favorite

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 1:00 AM

  • Griffin Swartzell
Before opening Goat Patch Brewing Company, head brewer/co-owner Darren Baze spent time brewing at Trinity Brewing. That's where he, in 2009, helped develop an imperial saison brewed with a huge amount of cherries — a pound per gallon. They named it Pappy Legba, for the Talking Heads song Papa Legba.

“Over at Trinity, they like naming their beers after different songs," says Goat Patch general manager Johannah Murphy, also formerly of Trinity. “The Talking Heads was on the iPad most of the time.”

And when Baze opened Goat Patch, Trinity owner/head brewer Jason Yester, the saison man himself, did a super-chill thing and transferred the copyright and the recipe to Baze. It took a little while for everything to line up on the legal side, but in the end, Baze had the right to brew the cult-favorite beer at his new establishment, and all was right with the world.

And on Thursday, March 15, Goat Patch re-released Pappy Legba into the public, available on tap or in 750 mL bottles. Over the years, the recipe changed somewhat, but this new version is true to the original beer, made in 2009.

“The excitement of it being brought back to its original recipe [was part of the appeal],” says Murphy. “People like to hear about people working together and making things together.”

So I bought a bottle — $23, all told. And this beer is a lot. The mouthfeel's massive, almost solid. But it's not syrupy or fruity, either. I can't find a better word for it than huge, and I certainly haven't had anything quite like it. The saison yeast's prominent, adding a little spice on the nose and sip, plus a prickly, refreshing clean finish. This beer is truly an experience, one that should not be missed.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Lee Spirits Company, Distillery 291, 300 Days of Shine win big at Denver International Spirits Competition

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 1:59 PM

  • Matthew Schniper
Lee Spirits Company also took home awards at the competition: a gold for Lee Spirits Dry Gin, and a silver for Mischief Vodka. The latter's a new product they plan to introduce in the Kansas in the near future.

For a full list of DISC winners, click here.

———ORIGINAL POST: THURS., MARCH 22, 2018 —————————————

Congratulations are in order for Colorado Springs' Distillery 291 and Monument's 3 Hundred Days of Shine. Both took home awards in this year's Denver International Spirits Competition.

Specifically, Distillery 291's Colorado Rye Whiskey took home a double gold medal, marking it as the best small batch American aged rye whiskey in the show overall. Their Colorado Bourbon Whiskey also brought home a gold medal. 3 Hundred Days of Shine took home four awards: a gold medal for their bourbon-mimicking Centennial Wheat and silver medals for their Colorado Harvest Honey, Summertime Strawberry Lemonade and Peach Cobbler.

For Distillery 291, the announcement comes on the heels of a "best American rye" award at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Distillery 291 awarded World's Best Rye at World Whiskies Awards 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 5:51 PM

  • Matthew Schniper
More than a few congratulations are in order, as Distillery 291's Colorado rye whiskey aged on aspen staves was named the best rye whiskey in the world at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards in London, as announced on March 23. Earlier this month, the whiskey was dubbed the best rye in America. It was selected as the world's best over whiskies from Adnams Southwold of England, Lot 40 of Canada, Stauning Whisky of Denmark, and Millstone of the Netherlands.

The 101.7-proof spirit is distilled from 61 percent rye and 39 percent corn, aged in American white oak barrels for a year and finished on toasted aspen staves. It was originally labeled as Colorado whiskey — that name’s still used for the barrel-strength rye whiskey, which uses the same grain bill.

It's one of many awards the Distillery has picked up this year, including recent wins at the Denver International Spirits Competition.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

An overnight corned beef recipe could make your St. Patrick's Day dining dreams come true

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 2:29 PM

After a brief conversation with a friend about why kilts aren't necessarily St. Patrick's Day-appropriate attire, I realized that other than knowing the difference between Irish and Scottish, my knowledge of the March 17th holiday is pretty limited.

I do know that I love a good corned beef, though, I've never made it myself. But being the epi-curious type, I decided to see if I have the chops to handle the process.

My idea turned out to be not-so-novel, as then Indy food writer Bryce Crawford set off to make his own rendition in a 2013 piece titled "Salt and thyme: Corned beef comes home in a writer's inaugural attempt at creation." Crawford's piece was a supplement to a larger, Reuben sandwich-focused cover story for 2014 New Year celebrations (corned beef ain't no one-hit holiday wonder). Outside of the sandwich assembly, preparing the protein is the same, and his nutgraf got me excited about the prospects of my own salted meat soiree:

"When I set off to make my own for the first time, I thought it would be a heroic task of do-it-yourself fervor mixed with made-at-home principles. But it was actually ridiculously easy — so easy that I was pretty sure I was doing it wrong the whole time."
Alas, later in the piece Crawford writes his "bastardized" approach called for the meat to brine for three days, noting that he even considered a five-day brine. (At the time of this writing, I'm about 13 hours away from the official start of St. Paddy's Day. Ugh).
Back to the Internet I go, searching overnight corned beef recipes. Let me take a moment to a) recognize the power of the Internet — we are not worthy — and b) shoutout to slow cookers!

Genius Kitchen has a 12-hour overnight recipe for a Crock Pot Corned Beef Dinner that reads uber simple and includes a brown sugar and mustard glaze, reviving my hopes of a homemade savory holiday.

Procrastinating meat eaters may rejoice with me, but what of our veg-based counterparts? Swapping "overnight" with "substitute" in my search bar yielded another stupid-easy vegan corned beef recipe, courtesy the Springs' own JL Fields of JL Goes Vegan.

So a happy St. Patrick's Day to all! Bet you didn't think I'd make it through this piece without a clover or leprechaun reference, did ya? (Damn.)
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McCabe's Tavern says goodbye

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 1:00 AM

At the end of service on Sunday, March 18, McCabe's Tavern will close, ending 12 years in business. Owner Ari Howard reports the restaurant will re-open as Streetcar 520 in late May, pending renovations to the block planned by property owners Niebur Development.

“We honor the memories made at McCabe’s,” says Howard via press release. “We have such an extraordinary community and we’re thankful for everyone’s support.”

Streetcar 520, Howard says, will focus on globally-inspired food and shared plates, with vegetarian and vegan options, though that'll be less of a focus than with the 2015 menu revision she oversaw at McCabe's.

Streetcar 520 is one of several new eateries on the block; it'll neighbor Dos Santos Taqueria de Mexico and three-in-one business Atomic Cowboy/Denver Biscuit Company/Fat Sully's New York Pizza, both of which will go into the former Southside Johnny's next door.
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Aluminum and steel tariffs worry local craft brewers

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 5:03 PM

It may become more expensive to can Bristol's Laughing Lab Scottish ale. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • It may become more expensive to can Bristol's Laughing Lab Scottish ale.

President Trump’s new steel and aluminum tariffs may have an effect on one of our city’s most near and dear industries — craft brewing. The tariffs, which exempt Mexico and Canada, add a 10 percent tariff on aluminum and a 25 percent tariff on steel. They could result in a blow to companies that use these materials, breweries included.

“It’s definitely something we are watching very closely right now,” says Todd Baldwin, president and founder at Red Leg Brewing Company. “We buy about 200,000 cans a year, so obviously it’s going to affect us as some level.”

Aluminum is the most visible metal in the industry, and much of it used for canning in Colorado Springs breweries comes from wholesale suppliers such as the Ball Corporation, located in Broomfield, and CanSource, located in Longmont.

“The tariffs may shift [brewers] to go back to bottles instead of cans if the price is higher on cans,” says Mike Bristol, founder and owner of Bristol Brewing Company. “From the brewery perspective there’s not enough margin to absorb a change like this without changing something on our side.”

Some breweries don’t have the choice of bottles, though.

“We would never switch to bottling over this,” says Travis Fields, founder and owner of Fieldhouse Brewing Company. “Our canning operation cost us $50,000, and it would cost way more to switch than whatever we will lose.”

And while aluminum is more familiar to customers, steel is imperative in the brewing and distribution process, and could cost brewers more in the long term. Kegs and tanks are made of steel, and while they don’t have to be replaced like aluminum does — once every 10 years most brewers say — they are expensive to buy and the tariff could increase that total cost.

The tariffs will officially go into place on Friday, March 23rd, but it will take a while for the costs of production to reach consumers. What does this mean for consumers?

“I would guess this summer we would start to see a change,” says Josh Adamski, co-owner and head brewer at Cerberus. “Once the effects hit our supplier, it will hit us, then our shelf price.”

The Brewers Association, a trade group that promotes and protects American brewers and others associated with the brewing industry, released the following on their website shortly after the tariffs were announced:

The Brewers Association is concerned about both the aluminum and steel tariffs and the potential implications they will have on small and independent brewers. Though we think the more targeted tariffs exempting Canada and Mexico are a step in the right direction, we do not believe that can sheet aluminum or the steel used to make brewing equipment poses a threat to national security.

More than 100 members of Congress signed a letter to President Trump stating that imposition of tariffs would have unintended negative consequences on industries including breweries. Expect more political action once the tariffs are in place and start affecting prices. The Brewers Association is currently working with can manufacturers, large breweries, non-alcoholic beverage producers and Congress to address concerns with the administration’s proposed tariffs in an attempt to mitigate the impact on members.

“Ultimately, it’s going to affect brewing all the way from the manufacturing team to you, the customer,” says Baldwin. “That’s not something anyone in the business world wants.”

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pi may be irrational, but Pi Day is anything but

Posted By and on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 10:35 AM

  • Griffin Swartzell
There’s nothing irrational about celebrating “the confluence of math and food,” as brewing company Local Relic puts it. Every year on March 14, math teachers and bakers alike celebrate pi, an irrational number in every sense of the word, with infinite digits and a weirdly intense fanbase. Pi is most commonly represented as simply 3.14 (hence the holiday’s date) but it’s been calculated out to trillions of digits, which is admittedly pretty damn cool. While a learning opportunity for some, Pi Day’s primary function (to most of us, at least) is to provide the oft- unnecessary excuse to gorge oneself on pie. Bringing in the talents of local pie masters such as Gold Star Pies and Mountain Pie Co., Local Relic will be hosting a celebration of Pi Day with plenty of their locally brewed beer on tap. Need a little more pi in your life? We've got your back.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Red Rabbit Café and Ice Cream announces soft opening

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 5:14 PM

Much like the other two businesses owned by David and Laura Thomason, Red Rabbit Café and Ice Cream is a family affair. But unlike Red Dog Coffee and Pikes Peak Chocolate and Ice Cream, Red Rabbit will be managed by their 25-year-old daughter, Danielle, a recent University of New Mexico graduate.

“She has been working in our businesses since she was 14, so she’s got a lot of experience,” says David.

Set to soft-open on Wednesday, March 21, Red Rabbit is located in the same Broadmoor-area shopping center as the Hatch Cover.

“We were buying a bakery case for Red Dog [from previous tenants Ski Barista]...” says David. “By the time we walked out, we thought ‘Oh my, this could be a great place.’”

David Thomason says the new business is something of a fusion of their existing businesses in Manitou. Red Rabbit will have the extensive selection of coffee drinks, sandwiches and baked goods from Red Dog, as well the house-made chocolates and Josh & John’s ice cream they serve at Pikes Peak Chocolate. And as they have since added espresso to Pikes Peak Chocolate, they’ll be serving coffee from Colorado Coffee Merchants.
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Friday, March 2, 2018

Eight recipes to celebrate Latin cuisine in Trump's America

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 8:53 AM

Azteca Gourmet's Roasted Poblano, Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Salsa Verde and Jack Cheese Tamales. - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Azteca Gourmet's Roasted Poblano, Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Salsa Verde and Jack Cheese Tamales.
We asked local chefs to celebrate Latin culinary cultures from here to Tierra del Fuego. We did this because the president has, in part, anchored his campaign and administration on exploiting racial tensions and white supremacy for political gain.
Making these Latin-inspired recipes won’t suddenly make someone part of the solution to this rising tide of hate, but these trends cannot go unopposed, and food has always been political. Enjoy the following recipes, and let the flavors stand as an expression of why America is better as a melting pot.

Find links to each dish here.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Distillery 291 named best American Rye at World Whiskies Awards

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 3:31 PM

  • Courtesy Distillery 291
Congratulations are in order for Colorado Springs' first distillery, Distillery 291. On Feb. 28, the distillery's Colorado rye whiskey aged on aspen staves was named the best American rye at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards.

We'll be talking to owner/distiller Michael Myers for Side Dish in the March 7 issue of the Independent.
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Black Forest Brewing Company nears planned opening

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 12:20 PM

The German-themed brewery's owners hope to open in late March. - COURTESY BLACK FOREST BREWING COMPANY
  • Courtesy Black Forest Brewing Company
  • The German-themed brewery's owners hope to open in late March.
Slowly but surely, Black Forest Brewing Company is approaching its opening date. The brewery’s sign went up on Feb. 23, and the owners are hoping to open the weekend of March 24. It’s a small brewery — they can only brew a barrel and a half, or 46.5 gallons of beer, at a time, so they’ve been stocking up on ready-to-tap kegs for some time. It’s been a slow process with more infrastructural challenges than they would have faced had they built elsewhere in the region.

“Out in Black Forest, there’s no sewer system, so we’ve had to go through the County and the State for our wastewater testing,” says brewer Donovan Routsis, who also co-owns the brewery with wife/manager Tara. It’s Routsis’s first gig as a professional brewer — he retired from the Air Force in September of 2017 — but he’s been homebrewing since 1993, and he and Tara have been training with Paul and Teresa Vieira and Mike Hagan of Peaks N Pines brewery.

While the brewery has a German aesthetic, that doesn’t carry over to the beer. Mostly, they’ll be brewing ales, though Routsis does plan to try his hand at a lager down the line.
Location Details Black Forest Brewing Company
11590 Black Forest Rd #50
Black Forest
Colorado Springs, CO
“My wife, she’s a dark porter/stout person. I’m kind of a hop-head, so we’ll have [hoppy beers],” he says. “The challenge you have, especially with lagers, is the time to produce the product.”

For now, Routsis will use the brewery’s brew pub license to stock craft lagers from locals and German breweries alike. They’ll also support other local boozemongers, offering meads and wines from Black Forest Meadery. While they won’t be a full-on bar, they’ll be offering a few craft cocktails with spirits from Cockpit Craft Distillery. For food, Routsis is eyeing paninis and wraps prepped off-site and heated on-site; he's planning a partnership with Schnitzel Fritz, to bring in another element of German flair.
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