One of Colorado's most specialized, and most highly anticipated, new breweries will give the public a sneak peek this weekend when it opens for two days to sell its first bottled release, a saison that was fermented entirely in oak barrels with Brettanomyces.
Casey Brewing & Blending, at 3421 Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs, is the brainchild of Troy Casey, who earned a name for himself as an expert in sour and wild ales while he worked at AC Golden, the MillerCoors-owned beer incubator in Golden.
His new venture will focus entirely on the creative fermentation and barrel-aging of beers that will be made with brettanomyces, lactobaccilus and other agents, all of which will give his beers sour or wild flavors typically associated with certain Belgian styles.
To make his beer, Casey first contract-brews his wort (which is what beer is called before it has been fermented) at the recently-opened Roaring Fork Brewing in Carbondale. Then he transports it to his own facility, where he adds yeast strains and ages it in barrels.
The Saison was brewed in April at Roaring Fork and will have aged for three months -- which is a long time for a beer, but short compared to how long most of Casey's beers will take to make. That beer, which was aged with lactobacillus, and a few fruited versions of it, will be all that Casey will have available for the rest of the year.
"I'm very excited about the beer. It has far exceeded my expectations," says Casey, who adds the Saison has developed "a great naval orange citrus nose with a clean lactic acidity." Casey isn't sure what to expect in terms of a turnout over the long weekend, but it's likely that people will be altering their holiday plans to participate.
"This release will help dictate how future releases are handled," he adds.
The beer was made with 100 percent Colorado ingredients, including malt from Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa, hops from Misty Mountain Hop Farm in Olathe, and yeast from the Brewing Science Institute in Woodland Park.
"We used three different strains of saison yeast, Brettanomyces, lactobacillus and our house sour culture to achieve a classic tart representation of one of our favorite styles," Casey says. "It's tasting great."
He has brewed several other beers as well, all of which are aging in barrels and will be ready sometime in 2015.
Casey Brewing and Blending will be open on Thursday, July 3, from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Saison will on tap and available for purchase in bottles ($15; limit of twelve). There will also be a version on tap that was aged with raspberries. There are no plans to distribute that beer outside the area.
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