Fermaentra Brewing Will School You in Beer

PLATTE PARK — Tucked in a brick building on South University, Fermaentra is pretty unassuming… until you step inside and taste their beers. As a DU student, I have been here a number of times during my school career, but typically to wash away my school woes, which are admittedly pretty deep.  However, Fermaentra is […]

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Banded Oak Brewing Co

BAKER — Barrel aged beers bridge the gap between serious beer nerds and wine connoisseurs. When crafting barrel-aged beers, the base beer must be hearty enough to stand up to the wood.  The brewery’s motto is “Expertly crafted. Aged when applicable.”

Barrel aging is a labor of love.  I say this as a devoted spouse with a 55-gal barrel, filled with home brew aging in my basement.  Barrels take space and attention to do right.

While not all the beers were on oak, the beers, in general, stood up quite well.  The barrels at Banded Oak are Cabernet barrels from Napa Valley’s Rutherford region.

I visited with some friends on a chilly early fall night and enjoyed the in-between weather, sitting on the inside counter with the open bay doors facing South Broadway.

The space is modern, with wood accents throughout in homage to the mighty barrel.  The location in Baker had me reminiscing about the old days when I rented an apartment at First Ave and Sherman St and drank cheap beer at the now-defunct 404 Lounge.  Like the rest of the city, the neighborhood has changed dramatically, but the beers are a welcome addition.

I started with the Imperial Pils, (7.3% ABV).  Imperial Pilsners are a characteristically tricky style because the yeast must be vigorous to convert all the sugars to alcohol.  This pils had a bit of residual sweetness, but was very tasty, a good foray into Banded Oak’s offerings.

Next, I moved to the American IPA (6.8% ABV).  The beer was nice and spicy and had a fresh green grass flavor.

The Marzen Oktoberfest (6.1% ABV) was stupendous. It arrived with a deep amber color.  The flavor was creamy, mouth-coating, and caramel flavored.

The beers got darker and more serious from here.

The Atomga Brazilian Imperial Stout (9.5% ABV) was pretty hardcore. The dark profile of this one continued to build.  A little bit smoky, the darkness of the malts carried the day here.

Belgian Strong (11.7% ABV) was sweet and deep and had some nice dried prune flavors.  The beer hid the very strong alcohol content well.  The Belgian Strong would make a great night cap on these chilly autumn evenings.

On to the barrel aged goodies!  As I said before, the beer must be mighty to go into a barrel, lest it be overpowered by the oak.  Banded Oak nailed it with the beers I tried.

Imperial Rye Saison Aged in Cab Barrels (10.3% ABV) was an oaky, spicy, unique beer.  Rye adds a spice and texture to beer that transferred well to the cab barrels.  Nothing was overbearing in this glass, despite the high ABV.    

Scotch Ale Aged in Cab Barrels (8.2% ABV) The barrel shined in this beer.  This beer had traditional scotch ale sweetness and malt, combined with a deep, wine musty wood flavor. Top notch.

I suggest a visit if you’re on South Broadway.  One snap to Banded Oak for its on-tap kombucha, free for designated drivers.  Two enthusiastic snaps for sharing the parking lot with the highly delicious Dae Gee Korean BBQ.  Get a barrel-aged beer and some pork belly, and prepare to be wowed by the balance of fatty and rich.

Banded Oak Brewing Co | www.bandedoakbrewing.com
470 Broadway | Denver, CO 80203

What else?

5th Annual Chef & Brew
6–10 PM, November 17th | EXDO Event Center | 1339 35th Street

If you’re reading this, and it’s Thursday, November 17th… put the paper down and drive to the EXDO event center.

Chef and Brew take the stage for a night of exquisite beer and food pairing from top Denver chefs and brewers. Chef & Brew is a competition: thirty dishes, forty beers, an overwhelming palate experience. A portion of ticket sales will go to Denver’s Project Angel Heart, feeding Coloradoans with severe illness.  Tickets are $ 55 but trust me; they’re worth it. Don’t miss this.

Cheese and Beer | Strange Brew Co |1330 Zuni Street

By November 28th, you’re going to want to forget about poultry.  What better way to wipe the slate clean then to head to Strange Craft Beer, for a “Strange Cheese Incident”? The brewery pairs up with the Truffle Cheese Shop for a pairing that includes five different cheeses, with five different beers.  Tickets are $ 25, and while this is a monthly event, it’s also a good way to usher in “slightly larger or stretchier pants season.”


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Diebolt Brewing celebrates it’s third anniversary

Kelli Schermerhorn[email protected]

SUNNY SIDE — Diebolt Brewing celebrated its third anniversary the weekend of Sept. 17, and I was lucky enough to join in the festivities, along with some friends.  Back in 2013, Diebolt graced the Sunnyside neighborhood with its presence and gave us locals a very cool place to drink great beer and connect as a community.  I will admit, I am biased towards Diebolt.  It’s the closest brewery to my house and the beers are stellar.  I am happy to see them succeed and I fully advocate that you pay a visit yourself!

I drank some old favorites and some special releases brewed just for the occasion.  I started with the Greenback IPA, a 4.9% ABV, 75 IBU beer, and great for session drinking. I am super down with session IPA’s.  I am a busy adult with many important things to do, and if I get the chance to day drink, I need to do it with a sense of responsibility.

I moved from here to the crisp Mariposa Pale Ale (6.0% ABV, 39 IBU) named after the street that Diebolt calls home.  An American Pale Ale, this beer balanced a caramel malt flavor with a nice piney hop backbone.

The Sunnyside American Wheat, named after my favorite hood, was next, at a sensible 4.9% ABV and 16 IBU.  This was a little less “wheaty” than most wheats, meaning it was a bit more crisp – exactly what I’d prefer in a wheat beer.  Again, I love the moderate ABV beers for the sheer fact that you can try MORE of them.

Wiggy Wiggy was my favorite.  It was literally magenta colored.  The flavor was that of a light saison, with just a touch of sweetness from the wildflower honey.  Such a lovely beer!

My husband tried the Wethers Weizenbock (7.7% ABV, 24 IBU).  It had all the enjoyable yeast esters typical in a bock beer and sported a lovely auburn color.  Diebolt does a top-notch job with brown beers (In fact, they won a GABF medal for their Braggart’s Brown), so check this one out if you see it out and about.

Bluebarb – A blueberry Rhubarb Grisette, at 4.7% AVB and 25 IBU, was a fruity, tangy treat specially released for the party.  Next time!

Magdelena came next, an imperial IPA, at 8.2% ABV and 70 IBU. Very well balanced, a strong, fruity hop aroma flavor in a great big beer.

Diebolt is a great place for a low-key beer with friends.  Bonus: the ping pong table in the back brings out your competitive side!

Diebolt Brewing | 3855 Mariposa St. | Denver CO 80211


The 35th Great American Beer Fest, an annual three-day beer fest of EPIC proportions.  This year, there are 800 breweries in attendance, so it’s not physically possible to try them all.  North Denver has a strong representation at the festival, but if you’re going, here are my top ten breweries from outside of North Denver that might tickle your fancy:

  1. Bell’s Brewery – Comstock, Michigan. Bell’s Two-Hearted has a cult following because of its lack of availability in the Denver market. A simple, straightforward, solid brewery.
  2. La Cumbre Brewing – Albuquerque NM. Home of my favorite beer, Elevated IPA, and its literally dope big brother, Project Dank… a must try.
  3. Grimm Bros – Loveland, CO. Grimm Bros brews solid, fantastic German-style beers.
  4. Lickinghole Creek Brewing – Goochland, VA. I will admit, that I first tried this brewery due to its name, but they pour out some consistent goodness… so check em’ out.
  5. Melvin –Jackson, WY / Alpine, WY. Somewhat new on the Denver scene, brewing up some hoppy goodness.
  6. New Glarus – New Glarus, WI. Worth the hype. It’s ok to be annoyed by the cult status of this beer, and the length of the line… but you ought to try it, especially their fruit beer offerings.
  7. Surly – St. Paul, MN. Another great upper Midwest treasure… Furious is the real deal.
  8. Weyerbacher – Easton, PA. Bold beers. Worth a look see.
  9. Wind River Brewing – Pinedale, WY. I am going to say it, and it won’t be popular, but Wind River cooks up some solid brews from the least populated state in the nation.
  10. Verboten – Loveland, CO. Snubbing its nose at Reinheitsgebot (the German purity law), Verboten makes off-the-beaten-path beers that are tasty and original.


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