“All I remember was hearing 'Firestone Walker,' and then everyone around us suddenly start screaming in our faces.” That's what Brandon Proff, co-owner of Our Mutual Friend Brewing, wrote in a blog about the moment when his brewery won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival last September. (Firestone Walker won bronze.)
“It was pretty mind-blowing” he tells Westword, especially since he immediately began thinking back over the previous three years to 2012, when the brewery had gotten off the ground in a somewhat shaky condition, with a one-barrel brewing system, sporadic hours and inconsistent beer that hurt its reputation early on.
Our Mutual Friend put those early problems behind it a while ago, but the silver medal for a sour beer called 24 Frames Per Second Golden Sour Ale has really helped people notice the brewery – and also put some pressure on for the brewery to do even better.
“People have taken interest in that aspect of what we do,” Proff says of OMF's sour program. “It's nice that people are kind of aware of that. They are asking us what we are working on now and when more bottles are going to be out. It makes us want to get our shit together more and more every day. But it's a little scary, too.”
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Several cases of those bottles will be available Saturday at the brewery when OMF hosts a February 6 bottle release for the latest version of 24 Frames (which takes its name from a story in a Thomas Pynchon novel) at 2 p.m. Some of it will also be available on draft.
Not that the beer will be exactly like the one that won a silver in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour category. “We brew seven barrels of 24 Frames per month and primary-ferment in red-wine barrels,” Proff explains. “It’s always Colorado-grown malt and hops, and we blend from multiple barrels each time we do a release.”
This is only the second release of the beer since last year's GABF, and it's the first time that the beer has been available in bottles since then (although in an extremely limited quantity).
“Winning a medal is proof to us that we are doing something right. But after the dust of this weekend has settled, it is more than anything a bar set in front of us,” Proff wrote on his blog back in September. “It puts a little voice in our heads saying 'silver is good, but...' and 'imagine the possibilities and potential in front of you.'”