A weekly review of local beers for Colorado College students by Colorado College students
With the idea for the brewery starting in 2010 by a group of beer-loving individuals, Great Storm opened their doors to the public in 2012. They have been brewing great beer for the past five years. The name of the brewery comes from the anticipation of trying a new style of beer. Just like a thunderstorm rolling into Colorado Springs, the expectations of the beer are just that high. With a one-barrel brewhouse and a 10-barrel production capacity, this is the smallest microbrewery in the city. They are dedicated to brewing classic styles and putting their own unique and interesting twist into the mix. They strive to create something that is different yet highly drinkable. Definitely worth checking out this cool spot!
Our Four-Beer Flight of Flagship Styles:
#1: Seven Wolves
IPA-SRM 5.5, IBU 45.9, & ABV 7.6%
This beer is available in both a nitro and CO2 option. We chose to drink the nitro option, which is characteristically less carbonated (smaller bubbles) and creamier, making the beer quite smooth to drink. The IPA had a hazy golden color with strong creamy head, characteristic of the nitro style. The aromas are mild but distinctively hoppy, specifically floral and citrus hop scents. The taste is creamy and smooth followed by the emergence of a slight bitterness due to the hops. Easy drinking with a subtle refreshing bite and citrus undertones. Due to the adding of the seven types of hops late in the brewing process, the beer encompasses the aroma and flavor of hops without too much bitterness. The blending of different hops creates a complexity of hoppy flavor and makes this beer stand out compared to other IPAs.
#2: Shine On Oaked Belgian Golden Strong Ale
SRM 8.8, IBU 25.5, & ABV 8.1%
With a brilliant light copper color, this beer stands out compared to other Belgian beers. The aromas are typical of the style with those distinct banana and toasted malt scents. With a low head and a short finish, this beer has sweet honey flavors weaved in with the malt flavors. While it has lighter carbonation and a thicker mouthfeel and body this beer is very drinkable for the high ABV. With the addition of Belgian candy sugar, this beer is uniquely sweet compared to other Belgians and the choice of grains help differentiate from other golden Belgians with bigger body. Being aged on oak adds the last distinct touch resembling the tartness of an oaked age wine, creating a truly unique beer.
#3: Blackbear Zwartbier
SRM 34.2, IBU 25.4, & ABV 6.3%
The Zwartbier is an old Belgian style made popular 500 years ago. This black beer had a very dark brown/black opaque color. The aromas are very strong of burnt and toasted malts. While the head is light, the beer has medium carbonation. It drinks surprisingly easily with a light body and mouthfeel. The initial flavors are malty with the emergence of black pepper for the finish. The pepper flavor is nice on the palate and not overwhelming. Although it smells like a thick stout, it drinks like a lager. This beer is refreshing and a unique style to say the least.
#4: Rum-Raisin Stout
SRM 38.1, IBU 22.3, & ABV 8.1%
Another beer served on nitro, this is a sweet beer that resembles dessert. The color is black and has the characteristic creamy nitro head. The sweetness of the rum raisin flavors is immediately obvious due to the smell, along with other malt scents that are less intense and mellow. The caramelized sugar flavor is quite apparent. It has fantastic smooth mouthfeel and medium body. The flavors erupt with the first sip, and it is quite a unique variation of the stout style. With the beer containing raisin flavors, and being creamy, rich, and sweet, this beer embodies dessert and is very drinkable. The addition of brown sugars, oats, English hops, and milk sugar brings out the high sweetness and high alcohol. You could drop a scoop of ice cream right into this beer!
Where to Drink
The taproom is located north of campus off of Nevada. The exact address is 204 Mtn. View Lane #3. The taproom is quite large but they do not serve food, although they do regularly host food trucks. With free Wifi, board games, and constantly rotating taps, Great Storm Brewing is definitely a fun spot to check out with the friends.