Don’t Drink and Zoom
14.3% ABV: Prince of Liechtenstein Oeno-Bière de Garde, Burns Family Artisan Ales
Wayne Burns, main brewer and co-owner of Burns Family Artisan Ales in Valverde, specializes in high-ABV beers, including this very special oeno-bière de garde fermented with Gewürtzraminer, Riesling, and Muscat grapes. The malty hybrid beer, a nod to Burns’ grandfather’s royal friend, is a slow-sipping treat.
12.9% ABV: Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Scoville Stout, Crooked Stave
Chad Yakobson is a chile junkie. Case in point: The Crooked Stave owner-brewer grew Scotch bonnet peppers on-site at his Sunnyside taproom for the brewery’s barrel-aged Scoville Stout, an imperial stout brimming with chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon flavors—and just the right hit of chile heat.
10.5% ABV: Bligh’s Barleywine Ale, Dry Dock Brewing Company
Deep aromas of coconut and toffee make this barleywine ale, named after 18th-century nautical hero William Bligh, a delightfully malty pairing for all manner of meats—and even desserts. The 2021 edition will be released this month and is the brainchild of Kevin DeLange, co-owner of the Aurora brewery, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2020.
You Can Still Cook Dinner
9.5% ABV: Winter Stout, Old 121 Brewhouse
Most breweries in Colorado aren’t known for their root beers, but at Old 121 in Lakewood, house-made sodas are always on the menu. That’s why head brewer Brett Zahrte decided to create a root beer variation, pouring now, on his Winter Stout—as well as dark chocolate and Ugandan vanilla varieties. Hurry for tastes of the three spinoffs (there are limited quantities), but be reassured that Old 121’s base stout, which gets its toasty cocoa notes from chocolate wheat malt, is an ideal fireside companion available all winter long.
9.6% ABV: Stingo English Strong Ale, Mockery Brewing
A rare beer indeed is to be found right now at Mockery in RiNo: an English-inspired Stingo. Specifically, it’s a whiskey-barrel-aged amber strong ale fermented with a mixed bacteria strain that dates to the 1600s. The dry sipper has lovely notes of toffee, tart cherries, and raisins.