Beer Man

Ten Warm-Blanket Beers to Wrap Yourself In on Election Night

Yes, 4 Noses Brewing, it's about damn time.
Yes, 4 Noses Brewing, it's about damn time. 4 Noses Brewing
If you’re like me, you’ll be spending Tuesday under a pile of warm, cozy blankets, TV on mute, one eye occasionally peeking out at the brutal world. You’ll be nauseous, fearful, drunk.

The last thing you want on Election Night 2020 is something that will cause even more consternation: scratchy pajamas, for instance, harsh lighting or a weird beverage. That’s why I’ve built this list of Colorado beers that will function like warm blankets for your mouth and your soul; they are all lovely, consistent, and some of the best examples of their styles in the country — no matter what that country looks like on Wednesday.

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Upslope Brewing
Craft Lager
Upslope Brewing

With Upslope Brewing's Craft Lager, you'll be cracking your second can before you even realize that you finished the first: It's just that easy. A silver-medal winner at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, it's brewed with a good dose of Saaz hops and clocks in at just 4.8 percent ABV, so you can crush the entire sixer by the time those East Coast polls close. Keep ’em cold.

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Bierstadt Lagerhaus
Helles
Bierstadt Lagerhaus
Once available only at the brewery, Bierstadt's Helles can now be found at a wide variety of liquor stores thanks to the pandemic, which forced many beer makers to seek out new ways to get suds into hands. Light but flavorful, effervescent but easy to drink, this is the beer you should start the night with. Sit down on the couch with a big mug — the bigger the better — and pour one in. Make sure it has a foamy head. Now pull your covers up to your chin. Take a long, slow pull on the beer. Okay, here we go...


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Odell Brewing
90 Shilling
Odell Brewing

It just doesn't get any more chill than 90 Shilling from Odell Brewing. This old-school amber ale is smooth and malty, gently pleasing the palate and the senses with a lovely balance that will keep you calm. Sip after sip after sip after — who are we kidding — chug, you'll be happy you chose 90 Shilling as your evening companion.

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Great Divide Brewing
Claymore Scotch Ale
Great Divide Brewing

On a normal day, your eyes might pass right over Claymore Scotch Ale. It's not a sexy style these days, and the beer has been around since the early days of the Obama administration. But it's good — really good — and when you need a warming brew for an icy night, this malty "Wee Heavy" will do the trick. Full of caramel and pleasant thoughts, Claymore also comes in at 7.7 percent ABV, so it will help those shoulders relax.

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Telluride Brewing
Russell Kelly Pale Ale
Telluride Brewing

Inspired by the great Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Russell Kelly Pale Ale took an old idea and made it new again. Brewed almost entirely with Mosaic hops, it has a smooth, easy-drinking characteristic that comes from the very low bitterness achieved through dry-hopping. Do you own a pitcher? Just pour three of them in there and pretend like you're in an alternate universe, watching the returns on TV at a packed bar.

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4 Noses Brewing
’Bout Damn Time
4 Noses Brewing

Are you a hophead? Then there's nothing out there that is going to make you happier than an American IPA, crackling with traditional bitterness and loaded with that lupulin goodness. One of the best is ’Bout Damn Time from 4 Noses Brewing, a beer that knows what's up, both in its recipe — Simcoe, Amarillo, Ekuanot and Mosaic hops — and its name. Assertive, classic, delicious and drinkable — oh, and with a real balance of power.

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New Image Brewing
Coriolis Effect
New Image Brewing

If you love hoppy flavors but not the bitterness, then you've probably switched over to New England-style IPAs. Coriolis Effect, one of New Image Brewing's flagships, is smooth, a little sweet, and balanced — a gentle lullaby of a beer that will remind you of warm islands with its tropical fruit notes. There's eloquence here rather than bombast, cohesion rather than division, careful planning rather than chaos.

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Denver Beer Co.
Graham Cracker Porter
Denver Beer Co.

Honest, friendly and forgiving, Graham Cracker Porter would make a terrible politician but a great friend.
Evocative of s’mores with its chocolate malts, graham-cracker flavor and soft mouthfeel, this beer is a staple in liquor stores and grocery stores — and probably in your fridge. It never makes a promise it can't keep.

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Left Hand Brewing
Milk Stout Nitro
Left Hand Brewing
A salve, a balm, a soft caress. Left Hand's Milk Stout Nitro is infused with nitrogen gas so that it pours like a classic English stout from the tap, with a cascade of fine bubbles and a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Pillowy soft, the beer tastes like milk chocolate, pie crust and hope for the future. Careful — it's a gulper.

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Oskar Blues
Ten Fidy
Oskar Blues Brewing

Stay off of social media tonight. You'll be happier. Can't do it? Okay, fine, then promise me you won't post anything after pouring a few Ten Fidys down your gullet. The polls show that this beer comes in at 10 percent ABV, with little margin for error. Enormously roasty, but with a rounded sweetness that balances it out, this imperial stout reveals lots of nuance after the first few sips. And if things go badly, it will put you to bed.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes