Three brews that belong in every beer snob’s ‘fridge

Stone Levitation Ale, Ska's Modus Hoperandi IPA, and Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

Go-to ales: Stone Levitation, Ska’s Modus Hoperandi IPA, and Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

These are three of my favorites. They may not be your favorites, but I’m not holding that against you. This beer trio varies from sessionable to serious. You can start and end with Levitation. You can drink Modus Hoperandi all night if you have no responsibilities the following morning. You can have two glasses of 90 Minute and sleep well. You can do whatever the H you want, because this is America, and we Americans, apparently, do whatever we want at all times. Here’s the westtoeast-coast scoop:

  • California Amber Stone’s Levitation Ale is the standard for non-stop drinking on weekend afternoons (4.4%)
  • Colorado IPASka’s Modus Hoperandi is a bitter, extremely hoppy India Pale Ale; it’s a perfect example of the near-west-coast style IPA (6.8%)
  • Delaware Imperial IPADogfish Head’s 90 Minute is a rich, hoppy, malty, complex sipper; it will knock you off your feet if you’re not paying attention (9.0%)

These beers are all readily available at most booze-y stores in Colorado; dive in and drink up.

Stone Levitation Ale

Stone Levitation Ale costs ~$1.67/bottle. You can find crappy beer for 3-4 times that price at a bar, but I’m not sure why you would choose to do that.

 

Ska Modus Hoperandi

Colorado has at least five stellar IPAs, IMHO, and Ska’s Modus Hoperandi is in the top two.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

If you haven’t experienced Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA, you’re late to the yuppie party. Buck up, cough up $2.99/bottle, and enjoy your damn life.

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Boulder Beer Company – Colorado’s first craft brewery

Boulder Beer IPA sampler

IPA sampler – Why drink one when you can try four? The Mojo IPA and Mojo Risin’ are Boulder Beer staples.

Best veggie patty in Boulder

The Barley Burger Betasso – it’s one of Boulder’s best veggie patties, and I order it with bacon on top and a side of mashed potatoes, because why not? Keep Boulder weird.

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Black Shirt Brewing Co

Black Shirt Brewing front door

The Red Door opens to Black Shirt Brewing in Denver.

I was lucky enough to score a spot at the Black Shirt Brewing tour/tasting via the BrewDEN Meetup group in January 2013. Black Shirt is unique in that they brew only incarnations of red ale. At first that may seem odd, particularly if red ales aren’t your thing, but taking a closer look, they craft:

  • red saison
  • red ale
  • pale red
  • imperial red rye IPA
  • and… I heard discussion of a red porter on the horizon. Pretty cool. You’ll need to check their taproom “now playing” board to see what else is on offer at the moment, but those listed above are what I know of.

I found myself practically pounding the IPA (out of BSB’s custom-designed glassware) because it was so tasty and drinkable. At some point, I had to remind myself (again) to be careful with high-ABV IPAs. Yikes.

The beer was excellent. I was pleasantly surprised because red ales aren’t typically the first style I reach for, but I’m now a believer. Never doubt a craft brewer. Well, maybe not “never” but certainly “seldom”. These guys know their stuff.

Black Shirt Brewing is less than two miles from Coors Field. Just sayin’. Stop in to say hi to brewers Chad, Brandon, and Carissa, and visit them here.

Black Shirt Brewing custom glassware

Black Shirt Brewing worked with a vendor to create angled, custom glassware so patrons could fully experience the unique taste and aroma of their beers. It *does* make a difference!

Black Shirt Brewing tank

Where the beer happens at Black Shirt Brewing

Riffs Urban Fare

Riffs Brussels sprouts appetizer

Brussels sprouts, hazelnuts, brown butter + shallots at Riffs in Boulder

Riffs is giving The Med a solid run for Boulder’s best tapas. Try the macadamia Brussels sprouts and wash them down with the Firestone-Walker Union Jack IPA or the Unibroue Maudite. Look for Riffs right next to the Boulder Bookstore.

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Riffs Boulder menu

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Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe

Full review coming soon!

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