The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Oct. 5-7, is not only one of the nation’s largest beer festivals, but it is also a prominent beer competition with entries assessed by professional judges. Several area breweries send staff to attend the exhibition, research trends and beers, and submit beers in hopes of garnering a medal.
This year, Boulevard Brewing has entered Changeling in the Wood in the Barrel-Aged Sour category, Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale in the American–Belgo-style Ale category, Zon in the Belgian–Style Witbier category, and Saison Brett in the Contemporary Saison category.
“GABF is arguably the biggest and best beer festival in the country with the opportunity to reach 60,000-plus beer drinkers over the course of three days,” Boulevard ambassador brewer Jeremy Danner said.
The event is also an opportunity for brewers to connect with peers and friends from other breweries across the U.S.
“It’s like going to my high school reunion, if I like the people that I went to high school with,” Danner said. “In addition to sharing beers with industry peers, it’s an excellent opportunity to network and share info, learn about other regions’ beer markets, plant the seed for future collaboration beers, and find breweries that I’d like to invite to Boulevardia Taps & Tastes for the next year.”
Also, Double Shift Brewing in the East Crossroads entered three beers in the GABF Competition: Tin Foil Hat Saison (rye-oat saison) in the Classic Saison category, Sister Abby Dubbel in the Belgian Quad or Dubbel category, and Barrel-Aged Literally Can’t Even in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Ale category.
“We send beers to GABF to gain some insight into the product – fermentation conditions, general quality, and some ideas into what we can do to improve,” head brewer Bryan Stewart said. “Overall, the festival is a good way to network, improve, and try some out-of-market products.”
Cinder Block Brewery Turns Four
Cinder Block Brewery (110 E. 18th Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri) celebrates its fourth anniversary with daily events through Sept. 30th. Look for the release of Champagne Cider, a specialty IPA, and a Cranberry Gose scale-up made from homebrewer David Schumacher’s recipe.
“The first version of Champagne Cider was released in 2015,” Cinder Block owner Bryce Schaffter said. “It was very limited and will be again. We used a different yeast strain with it as well as an acid blend and tannins to add some additional complexity.”
“The beer starts very simple with wheat, pilsner, acidulated malt and some brewer salts,” Schaffter said.
Several beers in Boulevard Brewing Company’s Smokestack Series will be packaged in six-packs instead of the customary four-packs in coming weeks. Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, The Calling IPA, The Sixth Glass, and Dark Truth Stout will be subject to the expanded packaging format.
Boulevard anticipates pricing for Smokestack Series six-packs to remain the same retail price as four-packs of its year-round barrel-aged beers: Bourbon Barrel Quad and Whiskey Barrel Stout. The brewery will continue to produce limited release beers in four-packs and individual 750-milliliter bottles.
In other Boulevard news, the latest selection of their Sample Twelve pack includes two different year-round beers and two brand new beers from the Tasting Room. Along with Bully! Porter and American Kolsch as year-round favorites, new additions include Tasting Room – Black Walnut Ale (5-percent ABV, 22 IBUs) and Oat Pale Ale (5.1-percent ABV, 59 IBUs).
Black Walnut Ale features walnuts from Hammons Black Walnuts in Stockton, Missouri, a small amount of beechwood-smoked malt, and a touch of sea salt. Anticipate black walnut flavor with a touch of malt sweetness. Oat Pale Ale incorporates Columbus, Equinox, Citra and Mosaic hops. The grain bill includes rolled oats, pale malt, Maris Otter, Amber 50, and Cara 120 malts. Dry in character, Oat Pale Ale has tropical fruit, citrus and piney hop notes with a berry-pine herbal finish. Both beers are available exclusively in the Sample Twelve pack and on draft in the Beer Hall in the Tours & Rec Center (2534 Madison Ave.).
Rock and Run Brewery (110 E. Kansas St., Liberty, Missouri) recently brewed Cherry Bomb Wheat that will be released Sept. 29th.
“We have a brand-new menu and have moved most of our guest taps to [highlight] local and regional breweries,” head brewer and co-owner Gene DeClue said. “We just released our B-Weisser with locally-grown organic pears from Prairie Birthday Farms. We just brewed two pale ales, Wet Cascade Pale and Wet Centennial Pale, with locally-grown hops from Royal Hop Farms.”
The pale ales will be released Oct. 6.
See more beer releases for the coming week in the calendar listings below.
— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of the KC Ale Trail. Follow @FlatlandKC and #TapList on Twitter for more food news and trends.