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5 Distinctive Dark Brews to Warm You Up on Winter Days

Winter is the perfect time to explore your dark side—of beers, that is. Here are five shadowy suds that stood out at Imbibe's Parade of Darks. 

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If you were in the RiNo ‘hood this past weekend, you know parking spots were scarce and squeezing through intersections was nothing short of a nightmare. Inside Bindery on Blake, host of the weekend’s Denver Flea, there was no escape from the chaos. On the far side of the massive warehouse in a secluded, exclusive area, Denverites meandered from table to table, sipping shadowy suds. Here are five of the most notable—and unique— brews featured at Imbibe’s Parade of Darks.


35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA: This ale is the perfect beverage to celebrate Boulder Beer Co.‘s successful, three-and-a-half-decade career. Ringing in at 9.5 percent ABV, roasted malt balances the robust hops of this jet black IPA. Twenty-two-ounce bombers are currently available in their taproom, and, since it’s a special-release beer, you’ll want to get your hands on it while you can. 2880 Wilderness Place, Boulder

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Elaine’s Coconut Porter: Next time you’re heading up north, stop at Loveland Aleworks for a pint of this perfectly sweet brown porter. The coconut flavors are unassuming and authentic, and the fruit is toasted in-house by resident brewers. Add a healthy dose of chocolate and the result is a creamy, satisfying brew. This seasonal, 6.8 percent ABV beer will be available in their taproom until early March, just long enough to get you through winter.118 West 4th St., Loveland

Koffee Kream Stout: When it comes to stouts, it seems the coffee variations are a dime a dozen, but Comrade Brewing Co.‘s take on the low-carbonation brew might change your mind. A custom blend roasted by local java joint Kaladi Coffee Roasters gives the beer a potent aroma—like sticking your schnoz in a fresh cup of iced coffee—and complements the natural bitterness of a traditional stout. 7667 E Iliff Ave., Suite F

(5 Boulder Beers Worth the Road Trip)

Feely Effects—Green Tea Chocolate Milk Stout: While it’s certainly not a common combination, Fiction Beer Company makes chocolate and herbal tea a desirable duo. Eighteen pounds of 100 percent cocoa powder and three pounds of pure cocoa nibs lead the overall flavor, while hints of Matcha green tea powder accentuates the raw earthiness of malts and (all that) chocolate. An ABV of 8.0 means you may need to suppress your urge to drink it like it’s dessert. Because it’s one of Fiction’s classic brews, you can find it on tap daily. 7101 East Colfax Ave.

HotShot: Twisted Pine Brewing Co. takes two of their signature beers (Billy’s Chilies, 5.2 percent ABV and Big Shot Espresso Stout, 6.0 percent ABV) and pours a bit of each into your pint. Billy’s Chilies, an unfiltered wheat beer featuring Serrano, Habanero, jalapeño, Anaheim, and Fresno chili peppers, effectively contrasts and complements Twisted Pine’s most awarded beer, their full-bodied, bitter espresso stout. The result is a titillating taste you have to experience to understand. The brewery suggests filling your glass with one-third Billy’s and two-thirds Big Shot if you prefer mild spice—or split the brews half-and-half if you like to live dangerously. 3201 Walnut St., Boulder

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(Read more beer reviews from 5280 editors)

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