There's something about the crack of a can of beer being opened that says summer: The sound is loud, proud and promises refreshment. In the past, that crack was reserved for cans of mass-market beers, but now there are dozens of choices available from Colorado's favorite craft breweries.
Here are some new ones -- all released within the past six months -- that will make summer last longer.
Deviant Dale's Oskar Blues, Longmont Sixteen ounces Born in the twisted depths of the Oskar Blues brewery, Deviant Dale's IPA first burst forth out of Boulder County in January 2011, when it was featured at Old Chicago restaurants for three weeks. It has since become the first beer that Oskar Blues poured into sixteen-ounce cans. Chewing on one of these bad boys is like chewing on a hop vine. Hoppy Boy Twisted Pine, Boulder Sixteen ounces Grassy citrus notes characterize Hoppy Boy, one of Twisted Pine's flagship beers -- and the first the Boulder brewery has put into a can. Marketed as Tall Hoppy Cans -- or THC -- by Twisted Pine, the brewery should be cranking these out all summer on its new canning line from Wild Goose Engineering. Shift Pale Lager New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins Sixteen ounces New Belgium rolled out its massive marketing machine for Shift, a light beer designed specifically to be packaged in sixteen-ounce tallboys and on the brewery's brand-new, multimillion-dollar canning lane. Shift is named after the New Belgium's policy of allowing employees a free beer after each shift. Mountain Livin' Pale Ale Crazy Mountain Brewing, Edwards Twelve ounces One of three varieties of beer (the others are Amber Ale and Lava Lake Wit) that this quickly growing Vail Valley brewery puts into cans, Mountain Livin' is a crisp, clean pale ale with a nice, tropical, pineapple-y hop taste. Mountain Livin' will give you your pallet something to hold on to while you are holding on to the lawn mower or the S'mores skewer. Oatmeal Stout Crabtree Brewing,Greeley Sixteen ounces A candidate for Frontier's Choose Your Brew Facebook Contest last April, Crabtree's Oatmeal Stout is smooth, sweet and a little roasty. Crabtree began canning the beer earlier this year with the help of Mobile Canning, the company that travels from brewery to brewery with its own canning line on the back of a truck. Drink it as you watch the sun set around 9 p.m. Belgian Style Pale Ale Upslope Brewing, Boulder Twelve ounces Although it's called a pale ale, this beer -- if you can still find it -- most closely resembles a Belgian wit in spirit and flavor. It doesn't have the sweet orange flavor of say, Avery's White Rascal, but it does include coriander and Trappist yeasts. Weighing in at a dangerous 7.9 percent ABV, the best thing about this pale is its creaminess. It's perfect for hot summer weather.
Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.