Craft Beer: Good for What Ales You

A year ago, the Research Blog reported that, according to the Colorado Brewers Guild, our state had 139 licensed breweries and ranked third in number of breweries per capita.  The industry is still hopping;  we now boast 188 breweries and a ranking of number 2 in number per capita.

Jonathan Shikes, Westword's "Beer Man," explains, "As for why Colorado is so beery, my theory (which has absolutely no grounding in research) is the presence of the Coors plant in Golden, the single largest brewing facility in the world. Boulder and Longmont became high-tech centers because of IBM being there and attracting many tech-minded people to the state. Coors may have done the same for beer, attracting people who are focused on beer or focused on making beer better."

Our choices in beer include high-alcohol varieties, such as those made at Boulder's Avery Brewery, which also tend to be the priciest.  Jacob's Stout (16.3% Alcohol by Volume), although just released, is sold out in spite of its $12.99 per-bottle price tag. Other designer brews from Avery include Rumpkin and The Beast.  These can be consumed right away, or you can let them age like wine, and then share and savor them in Port glasses.  

Given the choice, Beer Man would choose an old-style German sour ale such as Berliner Weisse's to keep him company at a hot afternoon Rockies game.  "This is an old style in Germany, but is just catching on in the U.S. and in Colorado. Berliner Weisse's are wheat-based sour ales that are perfect for summer drinking both because they are crisp, tart and refreshing, and because they are low in alcohol. In Germany, they are usually around 2.5 percent ABV, but in Colorado, they have to be at least 4 percent in order to be bottled (because of one of Colorado's many odd liquor laws)."

Here in Reference, we've had our share of visits from beer aficionados, whose information needs range from those who want to try their hand at crafting beer in their own basement to those who want to open a brewery and need industry surveys and financial ratios for business plans.   


Denver Beer Fest (October 4-12)

Colorado Brewery Bus

Brewery Tours in Denver

Fort Collins Beer & Bike Tours


"Beer Man"  Archive (Westword's Jonathan Shikes)

Bizboost:  Small Business Research Help

Magazines (available only at Central;  non-circulating):

Brew Your Own


New Brewer


Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado:  Breweries, Brewpubs, Historic Taverns, National & State Parks, Ski Areas, 14ers, and Much More by Motion Pixel Lab (2011)

How to Make Your Own Brewskis:  The Go-to-Guide for Craft Beer Enthusiasts by Mark Murphy & Jordan St. John (2012)

Brewing British-Style Beers:  More than 100 Thirst Quenching Pub Recipes to Brew at Home by Dave Line (2012)

Brewing Better Beer:  Master Lessons for Advanced Home Brewers by Gordon Strong (2011)

Clone Brews:  Recipes for 200 Commercial Beers by Tess & Mark Szamatulski (2010)

Extreme Brewing:  An Introduction to Brewing Craft Beer at Home by Sam Calagione (2012)

The Brewdogs of Colorado by Brian Bennett...[ET AL.] (2009)

Beer Lover's Colorado:  Best Breweries, Brewpubs & Beer Bars by Lee Williams (2012)

Written by Lisa on August 2, 2013


pbr on August 6, 2013


If it doesn't foam, go home. Thanks for the lowdown on crafty colorado!

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