Cara de Luna, Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, Vail Valley

Style: Black Ale

ABV: 5.5 percent

Serving Type: 22-ounce bottle

Malty? Hoppy? It’s a battle.

Reviewed: September 2013

Come fall, pretty much anything is possible for a weather forecast in Colorado. Snow and sunshine. Rain and warm temperatures. Early frosts. Late hot spells. You get the point. This uncertainty ensures that Coloradans are experts at layering clothing. It also means that we become as worried about pairing our beer with the weather as with food.

That’s where Crazy Mountain’s Cara de Luna ale comes in: It is an ideal shoulder-season brew for when you aren’t ready to commit to an oatmeal stout, but are ready to turn off the lawnmower beers. The brew smells mild-mannered enough, but there is a hearty smoky aftertaste. There’s also a hefty amount of hops—and malts, but the pairing is at odds. We’d like to see the chocolate malts have more of a punch, but love that this dark brew goes down with a softer edge, more like its summer counterparts.

Would we buy it again? Yes, especially as we move from the backyard to the fireplace in the evenings.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.