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As anyone who was lucky enough to attend this year’s Great American Beer Festival surely knows, Colorado brewers are at the forefront of the ever-increasingly popular trend of infusing their suds with all manner of unusual ingredients. And while GABF has come and gone, many of these eyebrow-raising brews can still be found at local breweries, bars, and liquor stores. Embrace the unexpected and toast to Halloween with these five weird Centennial State brews.
Crazy Mountain Brewing Company‘s Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout
ABV: 8.2 percent
This idiosyncratic, Edwards-based brewery lives up to its name with this dark, full-bodied stout. A heavy dose of chocolate malt, cocoa nibs, and peanut butter complement the beer’s malty sweetness. With strong dark chocolate notes enhanced by a hint of peanut butter, this brew beats out a peanut butter cup candy as our treat of choice. 471 Kalamath St., 970-926-3009
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Twisted Pine Brewing Company‘s Ghost Face Killah
ABV: 5.2 percent
Let the ominous hooded skeleton and foreboding flames printed on the bottles of this Boulder brew serve as a warning: this baby isn’t for the tepid of tongue. The light bodied beer pours an unassuming-looking cloudy golden, but the overpowering wallop packed by the six pepper varieties contained within (including the Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper, which ranks as the world’s fourth hottest pepper at more than one million Scoville heat units) is sure to turn your face bright red. Expect the intense burn to linger long after the last sip (if you even make it that far). Sheer agony for most, but absolute elation for a fiery few. 3201 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-786-9270
Wynkoop Brewing Company‘s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout
ABV: 7.5 percent
Have a ball with this utterly unique stout, which is flavored with one of our state’s most infamous culinary jewels. This viscous and meaty brew actually began as Wynkoop’s 2012 April Fool’s joke, and each eight-pound batch contains 25 pounds of sliced and roasted bovine testicles (that’s over three balls per barrel!). Almost black in color, this one has a luscious mouthfeel and rich chocolate, espresso, and nut notes that complement its savory, umami-like flavor and dry, roast-y finish. It’s certainly the nuttiest beer we’ve ever tasted. 1634 18th St., 303-297-2700
Dads & Dudes Breweria‘s General Washington’s Secret Stash
ABV: 6.5 percent
Once recreational marijuana use was legalized in 2012 in Colorado, it was only a matter of time before local brewers would find a way to work some buds into their suds. And that’s exactly what Dads & Dude’s managed to do last year. Well, kind of. The brew doesn’t contain any THC, but rather a non-psychoactive cannabis oil called cannabidiol, or CBD, that has antioxidant and neuro-protectant properties (it’s also been shown to have a positive impact on controlling seizures). The surprising part? It doesn’t actually change the IPA’s traditionally hoppy taste. Such a revolutionary beer deserves an equally revolutionary name, which is why the advocacy-minded brewers decided on Washington, who is believed to have grown hemp on his farm for industrial uses. 6730 S. Cornerstar Way, Suite D, Aurora, 303-400-5699
New Belgium Brewing Company‘s Grilled Pineapple Golden Ale
ABV: 5.5 percent
Few pairings are more perfect than burgers and beer. But what about a burger in beer? That’s the crafty thinking behind this beverage, which is a collaboration between New Belgium Brewing and Red Robin. The Golden Ale aims to capture the unique flavor profile of Red Robin’s popular Banzai Burger, which includes a fire-grilled patty glazed with teriyaki sauce and topped with grilled pineapple. Thus, the beer is infused with brown sugar, pineapple, and apple-smoked malt that gives it a unique bite. At long last, you can finally have your burger and drink it, too. Available at all Colorado Red Robin locations