In case you missed the first part of the Year In Beer, click here to read it.
The Woods and The Black Project
Denver is certainly a hot spot for craft beer and with our annual trips to Estes Park I get the opportunity to swing into a few new taprooms now and then. Being the legendary beer creator that New Belgium is, they also have a quality sour program. The Woods at The Source Hotel will be a small batch and barrel program in the RiNo part of Denver. This will be a nice addition that will grant us the opportunity to get the freshest New Belgium beer as we prefer to take the Boulder route to get to Estes Park. Also, since Fort Collins is a bit out of the way to get to their main base of operation this will provide us with convenient access to it.
The Woods won’t open for a few more months so hopefully if we make another trip out to Colorado towards the end of 2018 we can make a stop. Plus, it is conveniently located on the other side of the parking lot to The Source which houses another barrel aged sour beer outfit’s taproom, Crooked Stave, this will be a regular must stop location when we are in the area.
Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales has me curious as the concept of wild fermentation is full of possibilities. Its also nice to see this old world concept happening more regularly. I must admit I don’t always care for these funky beers but it does have a crafty mystic that is respectable in its own right. There is quality beer to be had in every style, just have to find the right mix that works for you. Timing hasn’t always worked out for us to visit while they were open so I’m hoping to get in there this year.
Every now and then I read about an upcoming taproom with intrigue. Here is another taproom I’ve been eager to get to ever since it was announced. Since we have been so busy with our project this year and with their limited hours of operation of every other weekend, I have not been able to get down to New Ulm when they have been open. Schell’s have delved deeper into sour beer with their Noble Star Collection at The Starkeller. The aesthetics of this taproom is amazing. The room is adorned with Schell’s relics from their museum and storage rooms. The towering cedar fermentation tanks rise high on other side of the tables. Being surrounded with all that history makes this for an impressive taproom. This article has some nice photos showcasing why I’m so thrilled to take a seat in that taproom. They exclusively create beers in the Berliner Weisse style which I tend not to be too fond of but as with so many things in life, there is bound to be a good one in there that suits my tastes. I’ll just have to sit back and hang out in the awesome taproom until I find it.
Opening of Oakhold
The vision behind this operation and all I’ve read on it sounds quite amazing. As a fan of Saisons, Farmhouse ales and other spontaneously wild fermented beers, this caught my eye. The fact that it will be for the most part a self sustaining operation on a farm just outside of Duluth puts it in that perfect setting. While I was disappointed to learn recently that they won’t actually have a taproom at the brewing facility they do have plans to open a taproom in Minneapolis. Well, at least that is close to home and will be a great addition to the Twin Cities beer scene.
International Taproom Visits
With the expected journey to Germany again, I’d like to get to some more international breweries. A number of years ago we stopped at the Abbey in Ettal operation but it was a quick visit and had no time for anything but a quick stroll through their courtyard.
Of course their is a brewery in Amsterdam with a windmill and is located just over a canal bridge that has a bike locked to it. A quintessential scene of Amsterdam.
Even if I’m not trying the beer fresh from the source, its nice to have partake in any beer at a suitable local location. Drinking a Belgian Trappist beer in an old city such as Ghent makes for an enjoyable and memorable experience.
F-Town Moving to Saint Paul
We had a good time down in Faribault at F-Town. Had a nice talk with a patron and proceed to play some Hammschlagen with him. F-town is a fairly small facility but as one would expect, it was packed with people. I know their operation will be missed in Faribault and we are fortunate to have them take on a new venture here in Saint Paul. I just hope they will still be brewing that tasty peanut butter porter, Moon Boots.
With the intended location to be an old fire station just off West 7th, I’m sure that space will be very conducive for a brewing operation. I wonder if they will utilize the theme of firefighters. Brau Brothers has their taps coming out of a firetruck and Station 26 in Denver is in a re-purposed firehouse.
Bring on the beer in this new year and enjoy it folks!