Beer Man

Double Rainbow and four other intense Colorado beers to try soon

I love holiday beers.

But that's not all that Colorado's breweries are putting out right now. Here are five beers that have just been released -- or are about to be -- that were brewed simply because, well, because Colorado is awesome.

Double Rainbow Trinity Brewing, Colorado Springs Black Fox Brewing, Colorado Springs It's so intense!! Yes, this beer -- which is being released today at 5 p.m. -- was inspired by the Double Rainbow YouTube video you've come to know and love, and its ingredients sound just as crazy: saffron, rose hips, pumpkin, tangerine zest, turmeric, honey, parsley, green peppercorns, agave nectar, blue corn, syrah wine grapes and purple barley. This Belgian-style saison is a collaboration beer between the two breweries and is sadly only available at Trinity.

Wake Up Dead Left Hand Brewing, Longmont This limited-edition barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout is aged for more than a year before it is released. According to the brewery, it contains hints of raisins, cherry, licorice and toffee, "followed by earthy, herbal hope notes that rise up, joining you in your fight for a better life. Don't be afraid of the dark. All power to the stouts!" Brown Ale Upslope Brewing, Boulder This English-style brown has been around for about a year on draft, but the brewery only began canning it this month. It was apparently first made at home by Upslope's tap manager, but the brewers liked it so much, they decided to add it to their lineup. Brown Ale is now Upslope's third canned beer, joining its Pale Ale and IPA. I'm not a huge fan of Upslope's two mainstays, but have heard that their tap room beer is the best stuff. Vrienden New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins/Allagash Brewing, Portland, Maine Flemish for "friends," Vrienden is the second collaboration beer that New Belgium and Allagash have made. But it is the first that has been commercially available in bottles (through February) via New Beglium's fantastic Lips of Faith series. This one is brewed with caramelized endive and hibiscus and uses a strain of yeast, brettanomyces, that makes sour-style beers. I'm not sure why you would put endive and hibiscus in a beer, but I will give it a shot since the other Lips of Faith beers have been delicious.

Grand Cru Great Divide Brewing, Denver Always pushing the limits, always surprising beer drinkers, Great Divide's beers are often revelations. Grand Cru - which won't be available until January - is a Belgian-style dark ale that gets a spicy character from a Belgian yeast strain. At 11 percent ABV, a bomber will get you bombed.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes