| Booze |

An early Christmas for Colorado beer drinkers

Out of Hibernation.

Yes, it’s only October 2, but unlike Christmas decorations and glossy newspaper ads, holiday beers never…NEVER…come too early. This is my favorite time of the year for hops, barley and malt, and one Colorado brewery has already tapped special seasonal releases, with more on the way.

Yesterday, Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver unleashed its Hibernation Ale – a traditional, if particularly potent, strong ale. “We wanted Hibernation to be available during the Great American Beer Festival this year since there is such a high demand for it, so we released it a little early -- and I'm glad, it's my favorite,” says Patrick Langlois of Great Divide.

The festival takes place in Denver October 9-11.

Great Divide also released its fall seasonal, Fresh Hop Pale Ale, an American-style pale ale brewed with freshly picked “wet hop” yesterday. From 5-8 p.m. Friday, October 3, Great Divide will host a party to celebrate both beers at the brewery’s tap room, 2201 Arapahoe Street. In addition to the new brews, Great Divide will also offer artisan cheeses and cured meats; the party's $15 per person.

And just up Highway 36, Boulder Beer Company plans to tap its Never Summer Ale on October 16, as well as its Obovoid Oak-Aged Oatmeal Stout on October 17.

A little further afield, Oregon’s Deschutes brewery is also out with its Christmas seasonal, Jubelale – one of my favorite beers every year. The brewery is also known for the beer-label artwork that accompanies the beer, and this year’s is really cool. – Jonathan Shikes

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