Left Hand Brewing marked its twentieth anniversary last week (a trying week, considering the floods that nearly wreaked havoc on the brewery), and to celebrate, the Longmont company is temporarily bringing back five beers it no longer makes.
"These are some old favorites," says Joe Schiraldi, who is vice president of brewing operations and was one of Left Hand's original employees.
"Whenever we discontinued a beer, there was always a backlash, and we like to joke to the people who complain, 'Well, then you should have bought more." So we're doing this now to satisfy the fond memories of those who liked these beers."
Of course, there are many old favorites that aren't on the list -- but choices had to be made "based on pragmatism and spiritual desire," Schiraldi says. "We could have made twenty for twenty years, but we just don't have that breadth of capacity."
Left Hand is brewing sixty barrels of each beer, all of which will be sold on draft only in Colorado and in other states starting later this month and continuing through October. Check the brewery's Facebook page for locations and updates (but here are a couple of quick dates: Deep Cover will go on tap in Left Hand's tasting room on September 26, followed by Munich Dark Lager on September 28).
The five throwback beers are:
1) Jackman's Pale Ale was a bestseller for years in Left Hand's tasting room, but the brewery stopped making it in 2011 when it stopped selling well elsewhere. "Jackman's was one of my personal favorites," Schiraldi says.
2) Motherload Golden Ale was brewed between 1994 and 1998, but "it never really made the jump from bombers to six-packs that we made in 1998 when we merged with Tabernash Brewing," he explains. And while many of Left Hand's recipes were designed by co-founder Dick Doore, this one was created by Eric Wallace, the other co-founder. "It's probably the most retro beer we are doing."
3) Deep Cover Brown Ale, a low-alcohol version of a classic style, was discontinued at the end of 2009, when Left Hand began updating its lineup.
4) Left Hand/Tabernash Dunkelweiss "was a great favorite," Schiraldi says about the beer, which was originally brewed by Tabernash before the company merged with Left Hand. "There were very few of them -- and still are -- made in the United States, and especially of that caliber.
5) Tabernash Munich Dark Lager wa another of Schiraldi's personal favorites. "It was way ahead of its time and got a lot of accolades, but it didn't sell well," he says. "Now, breweries that specialize in this style are doing very well, which shows you how much the craft beer industry has matured."
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