Issue: February 2013
Tags: Wynkoop Brewing Co., Wit’s End Brewing, Vine Street Pub & Brewery, Trve Brewing Co., Strange Brewing Co., Rock Bottom Brewery, River North Brewery, Renegade Brewing Co., Prost Brewing Co., Pints Pub, Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Hogshead Brewery, Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver ChopHouse, Denver Beer Co., crooked stave artisan beer project, Craft Beer, Copper Kettle Brewing Company, Caution: Brewing Co., Bull & Bush Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Black Shirt Brewing, beer
The Ultimate Guide to Craft Brewing in Denver
If drinking beer is good, drinking freshly brewed beer straight from the source is even better. Lucky for all of us suds lovers, there are 22 craft breweries, serving hundreds of inventive beers, right within our fair city’s limits. Pull up a stool and taste the revolution.
EXPLAINER: What's a Firkin?
❉ At some point, you may have seen a smallish, keglike container sitting on the bar at your favorite watering hole and thought, What the f$#& is that?! Turns out these aren’t kegs at all; they’re firkins (the name is a reference to an English unit of measurement that equals 10.8 gallons). Brewers love this small container for a couple of reasons, but mostly because it allows them to experiment with different, sometimes odd, flavors. Vine Street Pub & Brewery brewer Brad Landman says he once added candy atomic sourballs to a batch of his beer. “With firkins you can be experimental,” Landman says. “This firkin was for a candy store party and it was perfect. But, what works in one instance doesn’t always work for another.”
There are other differences from traditional brewing, too. Firkin beer, or cask ale, goes through a “second fermentation” that produces a lighter carbonation than unfirkined beer, which gets an infusion of CO2. Less carbon dioxide means more flavor, less bitterness, and an overall smoother mouthfeel.
When the beer is ready, brewers hammer a tap into the cask with a mallet—and the beer starts flowing. Quick tip: Firkin beer isn’t pasteurized and only lasts a day or two after being exposed to oxygen, so drink up. —Lindsey R. McKissick