Beer Man

The Mountain Sun Group Readies Nearly 600 Kegs for Its 22nd Annual Stout Month

John Fiorilli expects to host a lot of guests in February -- so many, in fact, that the head brewer for Mountain Sun's string of pubs and breweries has prepared 590 kegs of beer for the company's 22nd annual Stout Month. "That's about 100 more than last year," he says. "It boggles the mind that people will consume that much dark beer in 28 days."

Stout Month kicks off on February 1 at the Mountain Sun and Southern Sun breweries in Boulder, Under the Sun in Boulder, the Vine Street Pub and Brewery in Denver, and the newly opened Long's Peak Pub & Taphouse in Longmont.

See also: How Great Divide and Sam Adams Decided Not to Fight Over the Whitewater Beer Name

To pull it off, Fiorilli's crew of seven brewers made 28 different stouts, more than they've ever brewed for Stout Month; it's a list that includes mostly old favorites, but with a couple of new beers, too.

And for the third year in a row, the list of fifty rotating guest beers on tap will come only from other Colorado breweries. "That has been a huge focus of mine since I took over," he says. "This is a way for us to be involved locally and to support up-and-coming and brand new breweries."

Fiorilli chooses breweries based on the beers he and his staff have tried -- and on the buzz that they hear on the street, he says. Others get added to the tap wall at one of the pubs, though, via sheer determination.

"A lot of people are motivated and they call us and want to be involved and tell me what stouts they have," he explains.

At least eight of the breweries this year are first-time Stout Month visitors: Comrade Brewing and Diebolt Brewing, both in Denver; Wonderland Brewing in Broomfield; Crabtree Brewing in Greeley; The Brew on Broadway in Englewood; High Hops Brewery in Windsor; Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada; and Sanitas Brewing in Boulder.

But there will be many other return guests, including Backcountry Brewery, Pagosa Springs Brewing, Copper Kettle and Avery Brewing, which will be serving kegs of its Mephistopheles, as well as some Tweak.

With all the guest beers, the number of kegs tapped will likely rise above 650, and could even climb to 700, Fiorilli says.

And to whet your appetite, here's the opening-day lineup at Vine Street Pub.

1. N2 Old School Dry Irish Stout 2. N2 Casual Friday Stout 3. N2 48 Smooth Chai Stout 4. Yonder Mountain Oatmeal Stout 5. Sharkbite Foreign Stout 6. Stoked Oak Stout 7. Girl Scout Stout 8. Addiction Coffee Stout 9. Raspberry Wheat 10. Big Krane Kölsch 11. F.Y.I.P.A. 12. Annapurna Amber Ale 13. Colorado Kind Ale 14. XXX Pale Ale 15. Java Porter 16. Illusion Dweller I.P.A. 17. Number One Tripel 18. Backcountry Brewery Breakfast Stout 19. Pagosa RIP Milk Stout 20. River North Avarice Belgian Stout 21. Diebolt The Commodore

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

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