Intro: A weekly review of local beers for CC students by CC students. Brought to you in association with the Homebrew Education Club of Colorado College.
This weeks brewery: Local Relic
Brewery Info: As the name entails, this brewery is fully focused on local ingredients and, after its founding in 2014, is making some big moves. With a team of diehard beer enthusiasts working together, they are producing especially unique and original styles with a seasonal focus. With a range of beers varying from stouts to sours, IPAs to porters, they have it all. Currently they only bottle from their brewing house on South Weber Street, but they have recently decided to pursue opening a taproom. After plans fell through to be part of multi-use space on Cascade, the brewery is in the process of purchasing and converting the historic, gothic era Payne Chapel, located downtown, to become their location. Originally constructed in the 1890s, this gorgeous church has 6,500 square feet of usable space on two floors and an outdoor space for a beer garden. While a grand opening date has not yet been set, keep your eyes peeled for the opening of this exceptional new drinking venue. In the meantime, check out what the brewery has to offer as they release over 200 different styles throughout the year with no flagship styles holding them back. The goal is to change how you enjoy a craft brew with a focus on seasonality and local source. Beware though, because you may find a beer you really enjoy and not be able to get it again. Based on what we tried, the use of fresh, local, organic ingredients really hits the spot!
3 styles that caught our eye:
#1 Blueberry Black Saison– This interesting saison comes in at a 7.6 percent alcohol by volume and has a nice dark brown but clear color. It is a Belgian style black ale brewed with local organic blueberries, which really shows the brewery’s dedication to seasonal items. The aromas are faint but sweet with the melding scent of blueberries and toasted malts. The initial flavor leans towards the sweeter side with the malts coming out later. The body is medium-full and leaves a creamy and frothy sensation in the mouth. While it poured with a good strong head, the carbonation seemed quite faint when drinking this style. With a short finish that was a little bitter, this beer is quite drinkable.
#2 Chinook Wild Ale– This wild ale is a 9.4 percent alcohol by volume and was fermented with brettanomyces, a yeast that is often found in sour styles. It was wet hopped with 100 percent Chinook Hops grown in the nearby front-range area. This beer is a cloudy copper color with a good head. The aromas are somewhat strong and smelled fully of the brettanomyces yeast. The flavor is mildly sour with hoppy undertones. A very easy drinking beer for the high percent, but not very balanced on palate. The body is medium-light with faint carbonation. It has a gentle mouth-coating sensation along with a satisfying and refreshing feel. The finish is short but sour and the flavor profile expands as you drink.
#3 Maple Walnut Ale– This ale has a 10.4 percent alcohol by volume and is quite enjoyable for such a strong style. It is a golden ale brewed with maple syrup and black walnuts, which are two prevalent ingredients throughout. It is a cloudy light brown color and a good head. The aroma instantly reminds you of maple. The scent is sweet and gentle with a mild walnut undertone. The flavor immediately comes out in a sweet honey profile, followed by grainy malty tastes. As Topher stated, “this beer tastes like breakfast” and really reminds you of those home-cooked meals on cold winter mornings when you just want to bundle up and hibernate. With a light body and faint carbonation, this beer goes down easy. The mouthfeel is fairly full, but leaves a pleasing and warming sensation. A short hoppy finish leaves you with a lingering sweetness causing one to only desire another delicious sip.
Where to buy: Until the taproom opens, the only place to enjoy this beer is in your own home. The bottles are available at a number of liquor stores around the springs including your two local favorites: Weber Street Liquor and Coaltrain Wine and Spirits. Also, this brewery has special collaboration beers that can only be found while dining at the delicious 503 West located at 503 West Colorado Ave. With hand printed labels and interesting bottles, this is a beer you will not likely pass over!