Beer Man

Drink better beers in 2011; start this week with Odell, Wynkoop and Great Divide

If you're like me, you make your New Year's resolutions easy. For 2011, I vowed to watch both the new and old versions of True Grit. Done and done, and don't I feel good!

But if you want something that takes a little longer, try upgrading your beer-drinking program. Give ten news beers a shot this year. Or sample a new beer every week for 52 weeks. Ambitious? There are enough craft-beer selections out there to have a new one each day in 2011.

And this week is particularly obliging, as Odell, Wynkoop and Great Divide are all releasing new beers or re-releasing some favorite seasonals.

On Monday, Odell Brewing in Fort Collins brought back its Red Ale, a very popular spring seasonal that balances malts and hops in a lighter way. Red Ale is available through April.

On Friday, the Wynkoop Brewing Company will give Denverites a taste of Hickenlooper's InaugurAle, a beer that was brewed to honor Wynkoop co-founder and soon-to-be governor John Hickenlooper. The beer, which will be served at the Inauguration, is a cross between a winter warmer and a brown ale and includes Colorado-grown malts, specialty grains and Colorado beet sugar. The draft-only beer will be available until all eighteen barrels run out.

Also on Friday, Great Divide Brewing goes big with the re-release of two of its favorite seasonals, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti and Belgica, and the debut of a simply-named, but much-anticipated new beer called Grand Cru, a Belgian-style dark ale.

The Yeti is an intense beer made that is made from with coffee from Pablo's and pours like oil. The coffee flavor is definitely predominant, but it is amazingly well balanced with vanilla, sweet malts and enough hops to add a pleasant bitterness.

Highly sought after by beer geeks across the country, the Espresso Yeti made GQ's list of fifty beers to try before you die. It also won a Westword Best Of award in 2009.

Great Divide will have a triple-threat release party from 6 to 9 p.m. on January 7 at its Tap Room; tickets are $20 and include four drink tickets and food.

Resolve to go.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan.

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