Beer Man

Beer. Rimming. Are You In or Out?

Things got freaky on Halloween at Brewability Lab, which hosted a beer-glass decorating party.
Things got freaky on Halloween at Brewability Lab, which hosted a beer-glass decorating party. Brewability Lab
Rimming. It's a controversial subject. When it comes to micheladas, for example, most people expect the rim of their glass to be covered in a mixture of salt, lime and spices. But a michelada, a bend of tomato, lime and beer, is more akin to a cocktail than to a straight beer, so it's safe to say that purists don't complain much.

When drinking regular beer styles, though, like stouts, wheats, pale ales and pilsners, you're likely to get a lot of sideways glances if you adorn the top of your glass with anything but some stray foam.

click to enlarge Wibby Brewing's confetti sugar rims taste like a rainbow. - WIBBY BREWING
Wibby Brewing's confetti sugar rims taste like a rainbow.
Wibby Brewing
Still, as breweries and beer drinkers push the limits of what defines a beer, more of them are experimenting with the playful practice. The Brewability Lab, for example, has delighted in serving its beers with everything from chocolate marshmallows to gummy bears to Nutella. In fact, Brewability, which moved from northeast Denver to Englewood last summer, will host a Nutella-rimmed porter party on Wednesday, February 5, in honor of World Nutella Day.

Wibby Brewing in Longmont, meanwhile, tapped a firkin of King Cake Helles earlier in January and served it in glasses rimmed with confetti sugar, while Rocky Mountain Brewery in Colorado Springs recently dished out cream cheese frosting on request along the top of its Rocky Mountain Cinnamon Roll beer.


click to enlarge Get your thrill at Lone Tree Brewing. - LONE TREE BREWING
Get your thrill at Lone Tree Brewing.
Lone Tree Brewing
And then there's Lone Tree Brewing, which sticks to the savory side by decorating pints of its Banana and Peanut Butter Elvis Red with a heavy coating of honey and bacon. You gonna argue with the King?

Who else is getting in on the action? Renegade Brewing has served beer with a malted-milk lining; Station 26 Brewing poured its barrel-aged stout with bacon on the rim, and Big Choice Brewing in Brighton dipped its rims of Chill Out Peppermint Stout in crushed candy canes and Peppermint Patties. Big Choice wasn't the only one to get into the holiday spirits; several other metro-area breweries concocted similar treats.

click to enlarge Paradox's sticky-looking gose. - PARADOX BEER COMPANY
Paradox's sticky-looking gose.
Paradox Beer Company
Perhaps the ruling monarch of the rimmed-glass world at breweries, though, is the elegant combination of a tart wheat beer called gose and the chile-lime-salt mixture from the Tajín spice company. Several breweries have brought these two powerful tastes together, including Cheluna Brewing, which likes to serve its Gose de Tamarindo with tamarind straws and a Tajín rim, and Paradox Beer Company, which provides Tajin rims for a couple of its beers, including its Mango Limon Gose, made with mangos, limes and sea salt.

click to enlarge ROCKY MOUNTAIN BREWERY
Rocky Mountain Brewery
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes