After sixteen years of brewing beer near the banks of the Cherry Creek, the Bull & Bush will finally bottle up some of its own liquid gold to sell elsewhere in Denver.
The first beer off the line was the brewery's flagship, Man Beer, an award-winning malty IPA that looks and tastes more like a hoppy ESB. The brewery will package about 5,000 bottles to start and sell it from the restaurant and at a few local liquor stores.
See also: - Photos: The Bull & Bush Pub and Brewery reopens after four months - The Bull & Bush will begin bottling a small amount of beer in November - Best New Beer Idea 2012 -- Bull & Bush Pub & Brewery
After that, Bull & Bush co-owner Erik Peterson says he'll bottle Turnip the Beets, a Belgian-style trippel made with turnips and beets and refermented with Champagne yeast in chardonnay barrels. Then, later in the year, he plans to bottle Legend of the Liquid Brain Imperial Stout and Royal Oil, an English-style barleywine.
All four will be packaged in 500 ml bottles (16.9 ounces), making Bull & Bush one of the only craft breweries in the United States to use the unusual size.
"It is kind of an odd one, but it's a good universal size for us," Peterson says. "The 22-ounce bombers are such an accepted size that I think a lot of people tend to go with that, but we chose this one specifically because it's not as big as a bomber. Some of the beers we will be bottling, like Liquid Brain and Royal Oil, are really big, and 22 ounces of Liquid Brain might be too much."
The Bull & Bush has operated as a bar and restaurant in Glendale since 1971 when Peterson's (and his brother Dave's) father and uncle founded it. The younger Peterson's began brewing in 1997, but bottling only became possible earlier this year after the brothers finished a major renovation and expansion of the kitchen and the brewery.
The bottling line -- a six-head Meheen filler -- and labeling machine are located behind the restaurant in a huge new building and cooler.
"It was kind of mind blowing for me because I have been going back and forth on bottling for sixteen years," Peterson says. "After we did the first batch, I took a bottle and went outside and toasted my dad, Dale. I wish he was around to see that. He would have been proud. He was always very supportive of the beer side of it."
Before the bottles are released in Denver, however, the Petersons will take them to New York next weekend for SAVOR, the annual big-deal craft beer and food pairing event put on by the Boulder-based Brewers Association. Six breweries from Colorado are attending this year; Bull & Bush is going for its first time.
"We're calling it our global launch party," Peterson says.
Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan