We're heading into the final stretch of 2020 — and it's going to be a bumpy ride. Between the pandemic, the presidential transition, the usual holiday angst and cold weather, we'll all need something to warm our insides and gently relax our eyelids. For this, we rely on Colorado's vast array of craft breweries, many of whom are continuing to pump out new and creatives beers despite less business and fewer resources.
So whether you're into dark stouts, IPAs, sours or lighter lagers, there's something on this list of twenty new or upcoming beers that should help get you to January.
For 25 years, Coors has been brewing a special German-style pilsner named for Adolph Coors's home town and served only at the brewery and in a handful of bars in Golden and the Denver metro area. That changed in October, however, when Coors's pilot brewery, AC Golden, began canning Barmen Pilsner and selling it as part of a special holiday twelve-pack that also comes with Coors Banquet and Batch 19. All three lagers are special to the Coors family and have only ever been brewed in Colorado. The beer is so special to the family, in fact, that Barmen comes with pouring instructions on the cans to help people get it right.
Over the course of this troublesome year, TRVE Brewing began canning some comfort beers — nearly straight-up versions of classic styles — including a new German pilsner, a porter, a hefeweizen, a couple of IPAs and a festbier-style lager. The newest one to hit cans is Bock, a 5.8 percent ABV lager with a goat as its mascot. TRVE Bock has not been released yet, but look for it in the coming weeks.
Darklands is the third in Ratio's rotating seasonal lager series, and although the brewery makes the dark lager every fall, this is the first time it's been sold in cans. "While dark in color, this toasted malt-forward lager with notes of cocoa bean is still an easy drinker, and its crisp, clean finish is perfect for the fall breeze," the brewery says.
Prost Brewing revamped its lineup and its look this year, bringing forward a series of seasonal releases. One of the new beers is Prost India Pale Lager, which the brewery calls a "hop-forward lager showcasing the flexibility of German malts and hops. The aroma is a blend of red berries, bright citrus and subtle nectar fruits."
Lone Tree Brewing
Just six months after launching its first year-round IPA, Lone Tree Brewing has decided to revamp and re-release the beer based on consumer feedback. The new Lone Tree IPA is hopped with a blend of Citra, Cascade and Simcoe hops "that create bold citrus aromas, moderate hop bitterness that’s been toned down from the first recipe, and a crisp finish," the brewery says. It's less bitter and more easy-drinking than its short-lived predecessor.
What's this? A hazy IPA from Upslope? Indeed, this Boulder brewery may be one of the last of Colorado's largest beer makers to produce and package a hazy IPA. But, hey, time is meaningless in 2020 — and this beer will debut right around the New Year, anyway, as a new year-round offering. Brewed with kveik yeast, this 6.6 percent ABV hazy IPA will have notes of orange peel, pine and guava.
Oskar Blues Brewing
The latest New England-style IPA from Oskar Blues is called Thick Haze. It's a 7 percent ABV beer that was dry-hopped with Galaxy, Cashmere, Calypso and Eureka hops for notes of pineapple, melon and mango. Oskar Blues developed the beer in its taprooms in Colorado and North Carolina before canning it as a seasonal.
The latest entry in Upslope's series of beers made from its traditional winter warmer Christmas Ale and then fermented with Brettanomyces yeast and various fruits or spices hits shelves in late November. This one sounds like it will be particularly festive, as it includes Saigon cinnamon, orange juice and orange zest. Wild Christmas Ale is different every year, but it's always very complex and one of my favorite holiday treats.
This is an amber ale that was aged for six months in Sangiovese puncheons before being transferred to cabernet sauvignon barrels and aged for another four months with pomegranate and sweet cherries. The final beer was then blended with previous versions. So, yes, it is going to be complex. But so are your holiday celebrations this year, so this sour beer could be the perfect accompaniment to socially distanced gatherings. It's available now at the brewery and probably at a few local liquor stores.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing
Our Mutual Friend Brewing has just released a new cherry-infused version of its stellar Weirding Way, available in bottles and on draft. Balaton Cherry Weirding Way is a dry-hopped farmhouse saison fermented entirely with Brettanomyces yeast in a foeder and aged with Balaton cherries. And the clear bottle is really cool.