As Colorado’s Craft Beer Industry continues to grow, so does the Brewtally Insane Team. Please Welcome Brian McKenzie to the Team. We hope you enjoy his look back at last weekend’s 1st Anniversary Party at Casey Brewing.
You’d think an Anniversary Party / Bottle Release on the Fourth of July wouldn’t yield a large turnout, but traditional rules simply don’t apply when you’re talking about a destination brewery like Casey Brewing & Blending. From watching paragliders while waiting in line, to seeing rafters roll down the gentle rapids of the adjacent Roaring Fork River, to the divine mountain views – Casey is the definition of a destination brewery. The crowd, a record turnout, attracted visitors from the far reaches of Texas, Missouri, New Mexico and beyond. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take much to convince the wife and kids to take a family camping trip to the Colorado Rockies – it just doesn’t. The hard part is explaining why you vanished for 5 hours before reappearing with a box full of beer.
People arrived early to snag a nice place in line, although there was really no need to get there before sunrise due to the abundant amount of beer available to-go. The crowd for these releases is always incredibly friendly and welcoming. So much so, that it’s hard not to make a connection with a perfect stranger in line who is just as passionate about craft beer as yourself. There’s just something about having coffee and donuts with 150 of your fellow beer-nerds, waiting for Owner / Brewer Troy Casey to address the crowd and open the doors.
At 11 AM, the line moved swiftly, yet orderly into the brewery – some moved to the left to grab pours from the bar, while others continued straight ahead to buy bottles to-go. There was an obvious excitement in the air, as many were entering the brewery for the very first time. Once you picked up your bottles and grabbed a pour, it was time to enjoy an amazing day with friends.
As the day progressed and the crowd began to thin out, those who stuck around were treated to a special Tasting With The Blender. It was here, that Troy poured a sneak-peek of a special three-barrel blend of Saison which had been transferred to a tank with 490+ pounds of locally grown Balaton cherries. The cherries had only been added 6 days prior. It was amazing how much color had already transferred into the beer despite such a short contact period. And the taste, oh boy…the cherry was fully represented. A portion of this beer will be used in an upcoming blend of Fruit Stand, while the rest will be bottled as a new series under the name Casey Family Preserve. Stay tuned for a possible September release!
Alright, let’s go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room already. The Cut: Montmorency Cherry.
The color of the beer is a beautiful, glowing ruby red. After you get done taking your Untappd snapshot, you can’t help but be borderline knocked out by the aroma, which was noticeable from nearly 3 feet away. Unmistakable cherry straight to your nose. As if that’s not enough, take a sip. An inrush of fresh picked cherries with thoughts of cherry pie enter the mind. The tickling sourness harmoniously balances the sweet fruit showcase. People, the cherries are just jam-packed into this beer.
We won’t use the “L” word that rhymes with sh-ambic out of respect for tradition and specific brewing techniques, but there simply aren’t any American Wild Ales you can use as comparison for what’s happening over at Casey Brewing & Brewing. Perhaps the Oak Theory and The Cut series beers are just in a league of their own, crossbred with our favorite true Belgian-style sours. Maybe we’re all just hypnotised by the sheer beauty of the location. Whatever you want to call it, the beers are absolutely delicious and we are all incredibly fortunate to have the Casey family in our fine state to invite us over for a Fourth of July party year in and year out. Let’s call it a new tradition.
And how about that dreaded drive home that has zero scenery…
By: Brian McKenzie