Standing Stone Brewing Company

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Beer, Bloggers & Care Packages

With the annual Beer Bloggers Conference coming up July 17-19 in Asheville, NC, we’re reminiscing about last year’s conference in San Diego. The beer, the people, the seminars…we remember most of it and some of it’s hazy, but we know we had a great time! Beer Trio

After the conference, one of our newfound beer-blogging friends sent us a care package of Colorado beers (gotta love beer writers, right?). We sat down, had a group tasting, and took notes on our loot. In the spirit of the annual conference coming up again, we want to share our impressions of these awesome Colorado beers:

Vindication Brewing Co., Big Samson’s Imperial Rye IPA

For an Imperial IPA, we thought this beer was totally approachable (but wait, aren’t all beers?). Grapefruit hop aroma, medium mouthfeel, and a round, fruity bitter finish. But watch out for that 9.0% abv – it’s easy to forget. Consider this beer vindicated; Imperial IPAs are not always what they seem.

Our food-pairing vote: Kimchi. As funny as it might sound, a spicy and briny kimchi offers a great contrast to the round, citrus fruit aroma and flavor. We tried this one alongside our Kimchi Pork Burger, and pretty much didn’t talk for the next five minutes. No time for words when you’ve got a beer-food marriage going on.   Tasting Duo

Strange Craft Beer Company, 1000 Barrel Imperial IPA

Amarillo, Simcoe, and Summit hops give this beer a strong hop aroma and bright astringency. The light body and soft mouthfeel were pleasant surprises.

Our food-pairing vote: Chinese 5-Spice. We tried this beer with Standing Stone’s Teriyaki Ribs and Sweet Potato Fries with Harissa Aioli. This beer had the right bitterness to cut the fat, while still allowing us to taste every bite with the not-too-overwhelming hop flavor and aroma. And the golden ale just looked so nice alongside the plate. Color coordination can be everything, you know.  

Apple Pie PairAvery Brewing Co., Einzigartig Barrel-Aged Wild Ale

So fun! Think Sour Apple Jolly Rancher and Sour Patch Kids candy…this apricot/orange beer gave us a face-squinting sour finish, but we couldn’t stop tasting it. Sparkling mouthfeel and pale honey color finished bright with every sip.

Our food-pairing vote: Apple Pie with Cinnamon. From our brewpub menu, we chose the Marionberry Cobbler as a great year-round pairing, but really, the Apple Pie takes the cake (so to speak). We just happened to have a slice as a special, and we wallowed in beer-dessert-tasting heaven.

Thanks to Darlene for taking care of us! Unfortunately, we won’t be able to make it to this year’s conference, but we can almost taste the beers from Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and so many more. We’ll maybe miss the Live Beer Blogging most of all (single tear, sad frown), but we’re excited to follow along with #BBC15 to check on everyone’s tasting notes. Have fun, everyone! Play safe, use the buddy system, and drink some great beer.

(photos: R. Koning)

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