Beer is one of those unique elixirs that can bring people together under almost any circumstance. It’s perfect for backyard barbecues, intense sporting events, relaxing while watching TV, at the end of the trail on a beautiful hike, or a beverage of choice while having a great conversation with friends. It crosses gender boundaries, appealing to both burly men and glamorous women. A good craft beer can be a work of culinary art, bringing out amazing flavor combinations, just as a skilled chef can create a masterpiece in the kitchen.
There are many reasons to celebrate beer and why we love to drink it. So many, that the week of May 16-22nd, every beer enthusiast in all 50 states of the good ole’ U.S. of A are clinking their favorite Ales, IPA’s, Pilsners and Porters in appreciation of craft beer and the innovative brewers who create it for us during American Craft Beer Week.
Fort Collins is an incredible city to be living in during this national event. Often referred to as the “Napa Valley of Beer,” we are in no shortage of outstanding award-winning craft breweries, and the list grows substantially almost every year. You can hop on your bike and easily take a brew tour, or dine at any of our restaurants and savor a quality craft beer with your meal. We truly are a lucky bunch.
For American Craft Beer Week, nine of our local breweries collaborated together to create one hell of a beer that represents the best of each brewery – Fort Collins Collusion 2011 Ale.
In late April, brewers from C.B. & Potts, Coopersmith’s, Crooked Stave (who is brewing out of Funkwerks), Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Funkwerks, New Belgium Brewing Co., Odell Brewing Co., and Pateros Creek Brewing gathered together in Old Town to create the commemorative beer. They used Schezwan peppercorns from Old Town Spice Shop, and Chrysanthemum and Elderflower from Happy Lucky’s Teahouse, bringing all of the ingredients to brew at Coopersmith’s and Equinox’s breweries.
I had the opportunity to swing by Odell’s tap room yesterday afternoon to grab a pint of the celebratory suds. At 6% AVB, it’s an easy drinking English spiced ale, but with a flavor unlike any other I’ve ever had. The peppercorns gave it a savory bitter hoppy bite rather than a zesty heat you might expect, and the soft floral essence was distinct and tasteful. It was a complex beer, and one that I loved drinking. It’s something that Fort Collins craft beer drinkers can be very proud of.
The Fort Collins Collusion 2011 Ale is on tap at all of the breweries that were in cahoots together for as long as supplies last (which I don’t think will be too long). Today (Tuesday May 17th) at 4pm, there will be a toast at all of the participating breweries. If you have the chance, stop by to raise your glass and give them a pat on the back. They deserve it. This is good stuff and worthy of an explosive cheers!