Fresh starts are always a hallmark of the new year, but 2020, in particular, left people with a desire for change — lots of change. Colorado breweries are feeling the call as well, and since canned beers had a banner year over the previous twelve months thanks to the pandemic, which forced more people to drink at home, they will be in even bigger demand in 2021. There will be dozens of new beers announced by breweries big and small over the next few weeks. Here are a few that have just debuted or will be hitting shelves soon:
Low Light Lager
Elevation Beer Company
Elevation, which is Monarch Mountain's official craft-beer supplier, is canning up a new brew called Low Light Lager for the ski resort — and at just 3.8 percent ABV, it will keep you on your feet. "Crystal clear, even on a pow day at Monarch Mountain" is the description on the can. Elevation is one of several Colorado breweries debuting beers below 4 percent ABV, including Crooked Stave, Pikes Peak Brewing and Wiley Roots.
Mexican Style Dark Lager
Ska Brewing debuts a cold-weather counterpart to its seasonal Mexican Logger. Mexican-Style Lager Dark uses the same yeast and hops as the original, but warms things up with a darker malt that adds just a touch of roast and sweetness. The beer is hitting liquor stores everywhere that Ska is distributed. Also, stay tuned this year for a guava IPA and hazy double IPA from Ska.
Powder Run: Horchata
Living the Dream Brewing
After winning a 2020 Great American Beer Festival medal in the Herb and Spice Beer category for its Power Run Cream Ale, Littleton's Living the Dream Brewing plans to release several variations of the beer for six-pack distribution along the Front Range. They include horchata, key lime, mocha, mole and tangerine. Living the Dream has designs on a much wider distribution footprint in Colorado in 2021.
Tropical Fruit Wheat Ale
Upslope Brewing has overhauled its year-round offerings, adding Hazy IPA last month; it will also add Tropical Fruit Wheat Ale in 12-ounce six-packs to the list this spring. In addition, the Boulder brewery plans to introduce two new seasonal beers, Mexican Style Dark Lager in May and Oktoberfest Festbier in September.
Mango Rico Tropical IPA
Previously a taproom-only beer, Mango Rico Tropical IPA will make it into cans in 2021. "Brewed with a delightful blend of Calypso, Cascade and Azacca hops," along with ripe mangos, the beer is "loaded with citrus, tropical and stone fruit flavors," says Denver Beer Co., which owns Cervecería Colorado.
Is it an oxymoron to have a juicy West Coast IPA? Maybe, but Crooked Stave is giving it a shot with this new year-round entry into its lineup. Double dry-hopped with Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic, the 6.2 percent ABV Juicy West IPA has that "late-hop character" along with a crisp malt profile, Crooked Stave says.
Found Fortune Double IPA
Left Hand Brewing
Although Left Hand isn't known for its hoppy beer game, the Longmont brewery will debut a brand new double IPA called Found Fortune during the first quarter of 2021. Dry-hopped with five varieties of hops, the beer will weight in at 8.7 percent ABV but only 55 IBUs, which should result in the tropical flavors and low bitterness that are in vogue right now because of the popularity of hazy IPAs.
Key Lime Pie Nitro
Left Hand Brewing
In addition to Found Fortune (above), Left Hand plans to drop ten or eleven other new beers in 2021, including Wook Bait IPA, Moscow Mule Pale Ale, Dry-Hopped Pineapple Ginger Sour, S'mores Milk Stout and two new Nitro beers: Key Lime Pie Nitro, a tart ale with lime, vanilla, cinnamon and lactose (coming in the spring), and Black Forest Nitro, a cherry chocolate stout (coming next winter).
Midnight Munchies Peanut Butter Stout
Epic Brewing continues its series of one-off beers in sixteen-ounce cans with Midnight Munchies. "Known for big stouts that aren’t particularly crushable, we present to you a kushable one. This sticky icky peanut butter stout prefers to be sipped twice and then passed to the left because it possesses the otherworldly ability to cure your cotton mouth and munchies with one swig," the brewery says. Epic will follow that up with Creamsicle IPA, an 8.5 percent ABV IPA that tastes like a creamsicle, on February 5, and then Tart N Hazy Barrel-Aged Sour IPA and Armadillo Comet West Coast-style IPA later in the spring.
Maple Pecan Yeti Imperial Stout
Great Divide Brewing
Availability: First quarter of 2021
Great Divide began rolling out new variations of its famed 10 percent ABV Yeti Imperial Stout in late 2018 and picked up the pace through 2019 and 2020. In 2021, the brewery will introduce at least three new Yeti variants, beginning with Maple Pecan Yeti and followed by Macaroon Yeti and Cheesecake Yeti. All of them will be sold in the brewery's 19.2-ounce cans for a limited time.
Availability: Early January
Aged in Telluride Distilling whiskey barrels, this stout from Telluride Brewing "is best enjoyed at home... on the couch... in your underwear," the brewery says. It is, of course, based on the widely loved Finnish practice of staying home and drinking in your underwear — something that gained worldwide acclaim in 2020.
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