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.
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