Food & Drink

Monday, February 19, 2018

Bristol Brewing hosts 14th annual Firkin Rendezvous

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 1:11 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell
On Saturday, Feb. 17, Bristol Brewing Company hosted 38 breweries and hundreds of craft beer aficionados at the 14-years-running Firkin Rendezvous. This year, the event was spread out between the brewing room, the barrel-aging room and an exterior tent — the additional space made it feel substantially less claustrophobic than in previous years.

Over the course of four hours, I tasted a staggering 41 beers, mostly one-offs and special releases. It's both difficult and unfair to pick a favorite, but I'll be heading to Mockery Brewing Company in Denver after trying their stunning Mocking Baered Episode IV, a French toast imperial stout. Broomfield-based 4 Noses Brewing Company's Big MF Stout tasted wonderfully rich, with notes of molasses. And after tasting Divide-based Paradox Beer Company's Whiskey Reaper Take My Mind, a fascinating and complex sour amber aged in Laphroaig Scotch barrels with Carolina reaper peppers and Palisade peaches, it's no surprise their beers go bye-bye early at beer festivals.

Between samples, I snapped some photos of brewers and guests alike.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Brother Luck eliminated on Top Chef/Last Chance Kitchen

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 3:08 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell
Boy, reality TV is complicated.

Chef Brother Luck of Four by Brother Luck has been competing on the fifteenth season of Bravo's reality show Top Chef. On Jan. 11, he was eliminated from the competition after the judges decided his attempt to elevate German cuisine, a summer sausage egg roll with bok choy, apple and potato, stopped being German cuisine altogether, though they acknowledged that it was delicious.

But that wasn't the end. Brother was bumped to Last Chance Kitchen, Bravo's web-based companion series, where he kept cooking off against other eliminated competitors for a chance to rejoin the main competition. There, Brother's been racking up wins and keeping his dreams of returning to the main competition alive. The finale episode of Last Chance Kitchen, which saw Luck competing with Chicago, Illinois chef Joseph Flamm, aired on Feb. 8, but the winner was kept secret until Feb. 15, when they would rejoin the main competition.

Unfortunately, Flamm overcame Luck, and Luck was eliminated from the show altogether. Flamm returned to the show on Feb. 15. The season finale is scheduled for March 8; tune in to root for the sole remaining Colorado chef, Carrie Baird of Denver's Bar Dough.

We recently spoke with Luck about his experiences and his culinary background — look for that along with our biannual Dish recipe guide on Feb. 28.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Roasted Jalapeño Food Truck now serving Peyton and the Springs

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 1:45 PM

  • Courtesy Roasted Jalapeño Food Truck
Welcome yet another food truck to the Springs: the Roasted Jalapeño Food Truck, serving Mexican food since late August 2017.

Co-owner/chef Miguel Navarro has been in the industry for 20 years, having worked with family at Aurora restaurant Las Hadas, one of seven restaurants owned by his uncle, Roberto Torres, who’s been in the Denver restaurant scene since opening Las Delicias in 1976.

“I worked with him in the front of the house, and I also did a year of culinary school [at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder],” says manager/co-owner/Navarro’s wife Stacy Odorowski. The couple also works with Odorowski’s mother, Diane Marr, who boasts 40 years in management under her belt and also works as a regional manager for Pamela’s Products, a gluten-free food company.

The menu’s mostly family recipes Navarro learned from parents, including a few he picked up from Las Hadas. They serve a big menu, with offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“We’re more of a mini restaurant on wheels,” Odorowski says. In the near future, they hope to add a kids’ menu and, come summer, seafood offerings.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New Belgium Brewing Co. adds raspberry lime ale to its Tartastic fruit beer series

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 4:08 PM

Tartastic raspberry lime ale: now available at stores and bars. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Tartastic raspberry lime ale: now available at stores and bars.
Another week, another mailbag beer. This time, thanks to Indy IT director Ryan Hannigan of Focus on the Beer, we've got a bottle of New Belgium Brewing Company's Tartastic raspberry lime ale, released on February 5. Much like Ranger IPA became the Voodoo Ranger IPA series, 2017-released Tartastic lemon-ginger sour ale will act a progenitor to this new Tartastic fruit beer series. According to promo materials, they're all blends of traditionally fermented ales with kettle soured ale, which is unfermented beer (wort) exposed to lactobacillus bacteria like the kind used to make yogurt. Though the exact rotational period is up to the brewers, beer drinkers can look for more Tartastic brews in the future.

On to the specifics, the raspberry lime ale pours a pretty pink color. The aroma's all raspberries and wheat, bright and fruity. It starts mildly sweet and fruit-forward, with an almost mineral crispness that finishes round with a drying pucker on the lips and tongue. We get more honey than actually-in-the-beer lime in the finish — all the restrained tartness reads lacto and berries, not citrus.

All told, it's the wrong season for this beer, but come summer, I'll be happy to knock back a pint or two of this refreshing brew. And since it's a sessionable 4.2 percent ABV, I can make plans after. It's now available in 12 oz. bottles and on draft.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Brewer's Republic reopens with Tuscan-influenced menu

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 4:47 PM

  • Griffin Swartzell
After going dark for a mere 48 days, Brewer's Republic has re-opened, beginning February 6th, run by returning owners/Cerberus co-owners Tom Halfast, Jerry Morris and Joshua Adamski. The model (20 rotating craft taps) is the same, but the menu's all new, designed by Cerberus Brewing Company chef Mark LeFebvre. It's largely Italian, drawing especially from Tuscan dishes. They have, of note, retained popular pizzas. Unfortunately, the patio is still being renovated. Manager Meredith Champion says they hope to have it open by Spring.

We stopped by for lunch on opening day and sampled a meatball sub made with house lamb meatballs, paired with a side salad with house-pickled onions and decadent maple vinaigrette. The food's promising, a credit to LeFebvre's well-known chops. Per custom, we'll wait a few weeks before we review. For now, check out the photos below.
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Great Divide Brewing Co.'s Hop Disciples IPA highlights Ekuanot hops

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 9:58 AM

Hop Disciples IPA, now with Ekuanot hops, is available in six packs or on tap. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Hop Disciples IPA, now with Ekuanot hops, is available in six packs or on tap.
Great Divide Brewing Company recently mailed us samples of three of their seasonal beers: Hop Disciples IPA, available December through May; Orabelle Belgian-style tripel, available January through March; and chocolate oak-aged Yeti imperial stout, available January through March.

Hop Disciples is a single-hop, rotating hop IPA that, this year, features Ekuanot hops, a brand owned by Yakima Chief Hopunion the Hop Breeding Company, which they also call HBC 366 and have previously sold as Equinox hops. And I am a total nerd for single hop beers.

A single hop beer should be an exploration of the varying qualities of a given hop — that means every other aspect of the beer should be held constant. The brewer uses the same grain bill to produce the same wort, which gets fermented with the same yeast, with all times and temperatures kept as close to identical as possible so that the base beer is as consistent as possible. The variable being tested, the only thing the brewer changes, is the hop, and ideally, that hop should be added in the same amount, the same number of times at the same points in the brewing process so the only thing that changes is the flavor of the hop varietal.

The base beer for Hop Disciples, a reasonable 6.2 percent ABV brew, amber-y gold in color, has a sweet, light malt backbone, which allows the hops to shine while offering a small counterbalance to the bitterness. The hops themselves, presented "juicy" as East Coast-influenced IPAs tend to do, taste tropical and citrusy — mangoes especially come to mind — with a faint herbal bitterness that offers a balance I find missing in a lot of East Coast IPAs.
Great Divide's Orabelle shows good yeast characteristics. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Great Divide's Orabelle shows good yeast characteristics.

At 8.2 percent ABV, the cloudy-blonde Orabelle is nothing to take lightly, hiding its boozy punch well. I've had more than a few tripels, and while the aroma presents some of the peppery and pear notes, it tastes more like an extra-big hefeweizen, expressing the traditional banana and clove notes more than anything else. It's brewed with Belgian- and Dutch-traditional orange peel and coriander, but those play relatively mild roles. All told, it's a nice beer I'd be happy to sample again.

I've had chocolate oak aged Yeti on a few occasions. The base beer's a big, sturdy imperial stout — a mighty 9.5 percent ABV — with plenty of roasty notes and a relatively dry finish. It's not sticky or sweet like some imperial stouts I've had, which is nice. The oak and chocolate — think cocoa more than Hershey's — provide a big roundness at the front of the mouth, but that's the only place in the mouth where it lingers. I still prefer the espresso Yeti, but that's a matter of taste, and this one's far from disappointing.
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Friday, February 2, 2018

9 game day recipes to snack on between commercial breaks

Posted By on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 3:01 PM

America's infallible love of football and food will be on full display this Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 4. Regardless of your feelings on the teams taking the field (sorry, Broncos Country), the annual spectacle is almost impossible to avoid, so you may as well take advantage of the opportunity to overindulge.

Our Indy recipe archive has grown steadily over the years thanks to local restaurants and chefs submitting to our Dish recipe guides (check newsstands Feb. 28 for the next edition), and a recent search finds a wealth of game-day-suitable recipes any home cook can handle in the kitchen.

The following dips, apps and finger foods are sure to impress, no matter what happens on the field, and perfect for killing time in between commercial breaks.
(Click images for full recipes.)

Shrimp and scallop ceviche

click image Bonny & Read's Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Bonny & Read's Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche. (Click for full recipe)

When the Indy got Bonny & Read's ceviche recipe in 2016, it was one of the most popular options on the menu. It's hard to imagine it doesn't retain the same standing today. The simple dish begs for experimentation and personal touches, so get a little creative. The hardest part is waiting to eat it.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

click image Sals Brava's Tomatillo Salsa Verde. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Sals Brava's Tomatillo Salsa Verde. (Click for full recipe)

In 2011 we got ahold of Salsa Brava's tomatillo salsa verde recipe — a must for any party that calls for the attendance of tortilla chips. The only way to make this recipe more difficult would be to make enough chips for everyone. Not just a dip, this salsa verde can jump start meals at any time of day, or can easily be turned into a sauce for Southwestern dishes.

Pork green chili

click image Rock City Café's Pork Green Chili. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Rock City Café's Pork Green Chili. (Click for full recipe)

We are well aware how dangerous it can be to deem anyone's green chili "the best" — it's serious business around here. But Rock City Café's is definitely among the Springs' better offerings. Obviously, this green chili is made to be put on anything, or just send it straight down the hatch (get it?). And clocking in about 20-30 minutes cook time, you'll spend more time finishing the pot than putting it together.

Cold Tofu Appetizer

click image Jun Japanese Restaurant's Cold Tofu Appetizer. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Jun Japanese Restaurant's Cold Tofu Appetizer. (Click for full recipe)

Jun Japanese gifted us this recipe back in 2012, a stupid-simple, vegetarian friendly dish to squeeze in between chicken wings — or to keep to yourself. Added bonus: prep to plate takes about as much time as a 2-minute drill.

Salt-Baked Carrot and Beet Bisque Shooters with Cinnamon Crème

click image Picnic Basket's Salt-Baked Carrot and Beet Bisque Shooters with Cinnamon Crème. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Picnic Basket's Salt-Baked Carrot and Beet Bisque Shooters with Cinnamon Crème. (Click for full recipe)

You can skip the Fireball shots everyone pretends to like for a round of The Picnic Basket's carrot and beet bisque shooters, which we first tasted in 2012. A rich broth couples with the sweetness of the vegetables, naturally seasoned with a bed of salt. Topped with a touch of cinnamon créme this soup cannot disappoint, and not as regrettable as Fireball.

Warm Bacon Fat Vinaigrette

click image Mark Musial's Warm Bacon Fat Vinaigrette. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Mark Musial's Warm Bacon Fat Vinaigrette. (Click for full recipe)

It's safe to assume that very few will be reaching for the salads at your game day celebration, but that's because they haven't had this vinaigrette. A staple in then Summit at The Broadmoor chef de cuisine Mark Musial's repertoire, it can be put on pretty much anything. As Musial said, "They say fat is flavor, but bacon fat is in a class all its own."

Beer Cheese Soup

click image Colorado Mountain Brewery's Beer Cheese Soup. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Colorado Mountain Brewery's Beer Cheese Soup. (Click for full recipe)

When done correctly, beer cheese soup is a thing of beauty. That's why Colorado Mountain Brewery sent us this recipe in 2011. Granted, CMB has a bounty of beer to set this dish apart (at the time they recommend their Old 59er Amber Ale), but any good amber will do the trick. Beer selection aside, the hardest part of this dish not eating all the cheese before it goes in the pot.

Calabrian Flatbread

click image Pizzeria Rustica's Calabrian Flatbread. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Pizzeria Rustica's Calabrian Flatbread. (Click for full recipe)

It's a special feeling when you serve a dish with a name as impressive sounding as the flavors. Pizzeria Rustica is no stranger to that feeling, and sent us this Calabria flatbed recipe in 2016. The dish gets its name from the Calabrese peppers, but red Pueblo chilies make a good local substitute. It's hard to mimic the flavors of a 500-degree wood oven at home, but you can never go wrong with goat cheese, mushrooms and peppers. 

Autumn's Veggie Pizza

click image Supansa Banker's Autumn's Veggie Pizza. (Click for full recipe) - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Supansa Banker's Autumn's Veggie Pizza. (Click for full recipe)

Because the winter of 2018 feels much more like fall 2018, this dish from Supsansa Banker, Wobbly Olive executive chef, seems an appropriate game day finger food. Banker sent us this recipe in 2015. She was executive chef at 2South Food + Wine at the time, but good pizza is good pizza. The familiar flavors of this dish tops the greasy delivery options everyone else will be eating any day of the week (and twice on Sundays).
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Piglatin Cocina soft opens on Dublin Boulevard

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 4:27 PM

Located on the north end of town, Piglatin Cocina will introduce the Velezes' cooking to a largely untapped customer base. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Located on the north end of town, Piglatin Cocina will introduce the Velezes' cooking to a largely untapped customer base.
As of Saturday, Jan. 27, Andres and Tricia Velez have soft-opened their brick-and-mortar eatery, Piglatin Cocina. It's the the long-awaited expansion to their popular Piglatin Food Truck, which closed for repairs in August 2017.

I had the good fortune to stop by for a friends-and-family preview on Thursday, Jan. 25, and while I was only able to stick around for a plate of Caribbean nachos ($10) and a shot of Colombian aguardiente, a cane sugar-based spirit flavored with aniseed, everything looked promising. Keep an eye out in our Side Dish column for more information soon. Until then, check out their hours and menu here and make your own judgement.
Those who enjoyed Piglatin Food Truck will be happy to know the Velezes appear to have maintained their standards of quality. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Those who enjoyed Piglatin Food Truck will be happy to know the Velezes appear to have maintained their standards of quality.
Location Details Piglatin Cocina
2825 Dublin Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO
Diner/comfort food

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sunbird Mountain Grill & Tavern to close

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 3:37 PM

It's sad to hear that the 42-year-old Sunbird Mountain Grill & Tavern plans to close shop for good after service on Sunday, Feb. 4. But the last few years have been far from smooth for the California-based Specialty Restaurants Corporation-owned spot. We saw the fine dining standby transform into a Western-themed bar and grill in 2013, and found plenty of points for improvement during our visits.

Before closing for good, the restaurant will host a series of specials and celebrations, including a three-course prix-fixe dinner and a "Drink the Bar Dry" party. Check out the press release below for details.
Anaheim, Calif. – January 24, 2018 – After 42 years of serving the Colorado Springs community, the Sunbird Mountain Grill and Tavern will be closing its doors on February 5th. Sitting on top of Rattlesnake Hill, the restaurant has been a destination for local cuisine, special events, Sunday brunch and amazing views. “We want to end on a high note and honor the Sunbird before it takes its last flight. Our guests will have a few more weeks to dine and reminisce with us before we close,” said John Tallichet, President and CEO of Specialty Restaurants Corporation which owns the Sunbird, “We hope you’ll stop by, raise a last glass with us and send the Sunbird off in style!”

Opened in 1975, The Sunbird became an icon in Colorado Springs with award-winning cuisine and “one of a kind” views of the city scape, Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain. Specialty Restaurants Corporation and The Sunbird would like to thank their loyal customers, many of whom have been frequenting the restaurant since it first opened 42 years ago, as well as the City of Colorado Springs, the dedicated staff, and all the longtime partners of the Sunbird. “Over the years, we’ve made many friends here and I’m proud of our amazing staff for their hard work and contributions that helped make this a great restaurant,” said John Tallichet.

The Sunbird will be open through Sunday, February 4th. The restaurant will continue to serve its a la carte menu along with a special three-course prix-fixe celebration dinner menu, Sunday Champagne Brunch, and Happy Hour specials in the Tavern. In addition, the Sunbird will host a final “Drink the Bar Dry Party” with Well Drinks and Domestic Drafts for $3, Premium Drinks and Craft Beers for $5, and Food Specials on the last two days of service, February 3rd and 4th.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dueces Wild Brewery opens

Posted By on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 4:01 PM

Dueces Wild Brewery has opened, as of the afternoon of January 23. Earlier this month, holiday delays pushed back the Colorado Department of Revenue's final walkthrough of the brewery, owned by Richard Hysing and William Gillette. But at around 12:30 p.m., they received final go-ahead and immediately opened their doors for business.

Hysing says that they are finalizing plans for a grand opening sometime later this month. But for now, they're welcoming customers and serving up six flagship brews, plus a vanilla porter.
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Monday, January 22, 2018

Viceland's Beerland winner Jessica Fierro buys Great Storm Brewing

Posted By on Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 4:39 PM

Jessica Fierro, center. - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Jessica Fierro, center.
In June 2017, local Jessica Fierro won on cable network Viceland’s Beerland homebrewing competition show. Her winning brew, Doña Neta, a tamarind Bière de Garde, was brewed, canned and retailed by Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned show sponsor Golden Road Brewing. At the time, Fierro said she hoped to open her own brewery somewhere down the line.

Somewhere down the line is now — as of Friday, Jan. 19, Fierro owns Great Storm Brewing. She’s been working with former owners Jeff and Lynn Jacobs on the move since summer.

“Jeff and Lynn are great people, and they decided it was their time to sell,” says Fierro via e-mail. “We were lucky enough to have just won Beerland and were looking to move the brewing out of the garage.”

Of course, there’s a big difference between homebrewing and pro brewing — recipes don’t scale one to one for reasons you’ll find in any physical chemistry textbook, to list one of many complications. Fierro knows there's a difference. She says she’s been brewing on large systems across the front range to prep. Further, Great Storm’s current brewers Gretchen Foster, Kelly Bugbee and Ian Steele will be staying on. Long-term, Fierro plans to change the name and refocus the lineup to emphasize Latin flavors, honoring her heritage as she did with Doña Neta. She will, of note, be paying homage to Great Storm’s beers as well. She’ll also be redecorating the space in short stints — craft fans can expect a few one- to three-day closures throughout the process.

Unfortunately, she will not be brewing Doña Neta — Golden Road owns the trademark for the beer, which she named for her grandmother.

“I have other things I can do, and of course I can make a tamarind beer like nobody’s business, so there will be a tamarind beer in our future.”

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Monse's Taste of El Salvador announces grand opening in Old Colorado City

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 9:32 AM

  • Courtesy Monse’s Taste of El Salvador
Monse Hines has never owned a restaurant before, but she’s established her new pupuseria, Monse’s Taste of El Salvador, on well-tested recipes. Since she and husband Tim moved to Colorado from El Salvador in 2011, she’s been producing pupusas as a wholesaler. Locals may know her frozen pupusas from Natural Grocers and certain Safeway stores in northern Colorado, as well as Whole Foods, where a UPC code change has temporarily caused her products to be pulled from shelves.

At first, Hines says she planned to use the space to increase her production. But the city’s lack of a brick-and-mortar pupuseria (all respect to food truck Sosa's Pupusas) weighed on her, and she decided to use the former Venue32 as a restaurant. And based on her soft opening on January 12 and 13, the customer base is there.
Location Details Monse’s Taste of El Salvador
115 S. 25th St
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, CO

“We had 20 to 30 people out waiting — some people were waiting two hours to get inside,” she says.

For those unfamiliar, pupusas are a Salvadoran specialty, essentially an extra-thick corn tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables. Hines has been making them since she was very young, learning from her mother “the rustic way.” Hers are all gluten-free (corn flour is good for that), stuffed with organic ingredients, including specialty peppers grown in Pueblo. For the soft opening, she offered three vegetarian options with cheese and three cheeseless vegan options.

“We learned a lot with the soft opening, so we’re going to add more flavors,” she says. She plans to offer a full menu of Salvadoran cuisine, featuring dishes like curtido, a Salvadoran pickled cabbage salad. The grand opening for Taste of El Salvador will be on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions Day can't come soon enough

As if you haven't already, it's time to forget about all that "new year, new me" stuff — who are we kidding anyways?

The best excuse to put it off for another year is Wednesday, Jan. 17: Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions Day.

To no surprise, this "holiday" is as old as New Year's resolutions are, according to, which also points out what a shame it is that this annual self-accountability tactic usually proves to be as effective as "a hole-ridden umbrella is at keeping the rain out."

Given our propensity for vices, our minds immediately thought of all the pleasure-inducing events we'd be missing had we actually stuck to our stated goals. Cerberus Brewing Company's Firkin Wednesdays seemed one of the greatest sacrifices. If craft beer is wrong, we don't want to be right.

Celebrate Ditch your New Year's Resolution Day and get $1 off a pint of Elysium IPA w/Experimental hops Wednesday, Jan 17. - CERBERUS BREWING COMPANY
  • Cerberus Brewing Company
  • Celebrate Ditch your New Year's Resolution Day and get $1 off a pint of Elysium IPA w/Experimental hops Wednesday, Jan 17.

The brewery, voted 2017's Best New Brewery (as well as winning/placing in 11 other Best Of categories) by Indy readers, is known to test the boundaries of beer and the palates of customers with its weekly tappings — among 30+ local breweries satiating the Springs thirst for craft beer. It'd be downright irresponsible for us to resolve not to support them. But if one-of-a-kind small batches (and the economy of the Springs) aren't enough to coax you out of #dryanuary, more power to you. We all know it's just a matter of time. 

Perhaps your grade school gym coach didn't tell you, but sometimes it's OK to be a quitter. So throw in the towel on this resolution business all together, or at least consider a more sensical, moderate approach to your 2018 personal goals. At least you won't be completely miserable for the next 11 months.

2019 is our year for sure.

Who's your 2018 spirit animal?

Take our Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day quiz and get a password for $1 off your first pint of Cerberus Brewing Co.'s Jan. 17 firkin, Elysium IPA w/Experimental hops (offer good Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2017 only; must be 21 or older). Passwords given at the end of the quiz.

Location Details Cerberus Brewing Company
702 W. Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO
Brought to you by Cerberus Brewing Company and the Indy Promotions team.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Colorado Craft to replace The Ritz

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 3:22 PM

On Thursday, January 11, members of various local media outlets were invited to a preview dinner at Colorado Craft, the public house concept that takes the place of the long-standing Ritz Grill. We'll have the full story in the issue coming out Wednesday, January 17. In the meantime, check out the slideshow below and prime your appetite.
Location Details Colorado Craft
15 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Belgium's Juicy Haze IPA the latest Voodoo Ranger variant

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 3:29 PM

  • Courtesy New Belgium
It's that time again: free beer has entered my mailbox (or, in this case, Indy IT director/Focus on the Beer co-founder Ryan Hannigan's mailbox), so I offer the following review.

Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Company sent us two bottles of their Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA, an East Coast-style IPA defined less by the bitter alpha acids in hops and more by their aromatic terpene compounds, the result of adding the hops later in the brewing process. It's a new release from the brewery, to be available year-round. It's out in bottles and on draft now, with four-packs of pint cans set to come out in March.

A press release says it's the first of four New Belgium special releases set for 2018. It's also the fourth Voodoo Ranger variant, alongside an IPA, Imperial IPA and 8 Hop Pale Ale.

Right off, this cloudy, golden Juicy Haze IPA sips with a citrus note that reads mandarin oranges and something funky. More of aroma/flavor compounds in the Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, and Nugget hops used in this beer have stuck around than one might expect from most beers, leading to a more complicated flavor that tastes more like a hop flower.

There's almost no bitterness to be found until the end of the sip, cleaning off a leading sweetness and leaving a lingering coating on the tongue. It's also impressively fresh — I've had homebrews go into the bottle tasting like this, though there has been some mellowing. Surprisingly, this 7.5 percent ABV beer was brewed with a hefeweizen yeast, which probably bolsters the haziness and the almost-sticky mouthfeel.

Hannigan, when he shared this beer with me, talked about "implied bitterness" from the hops. It's an interesting way to balance out everything else going on in the beer, and I've found it can make hoppy beers accessible to people who would otherwise balk at actual, direct-hop bitterness. For more experienced drinkers, beers like this can give people a new perspective on the flavor profiles of various hops.

But all told, I won't be seeking this out on my own. I dig that bitterness that East Coast IPAs tend to eschew, and this beer cloys my palate a little more than I'd like. But it's definitely an interesting beer, and from a beer nerd standpoint, I respect what they appear to be going for.

  • Griffin Swartzell

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