Organizers of the inaugural Denver Rare Beer Tasting report that more than 20 of America’s leading craft brewers have committed to pour rare, limited edition and hard to find brews during the Sept. 25th event at the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver.
The event, presented by All About Beer Magazine, in cooperation with BeerAdvocate.com, will benefit Pints for Prostates, an awareness campaign aimed at encouraging men to have regular prostate health screenings and PSA tests. Breweries that have accepted invitations to the event include Allagash, Alaskan, Avery, Boston Beer, Bison, Brooklyn, Deschutes, Dogfish Head, Foothills, Founders, Harpoon, Highland, Jolly Pumpkin, Lost Abbey, Michelob, New Belgium, New Glarus, Odell, Rogue, Saranac, Stone, Stoudt, Victory and Wynkoop.
“This is a phenomenal collection of the best craft breweries in America. They have a real passion for great beer and the special beers they are bringing to this event are some of the hardest to find in the world,” said Daniel Bradford, publisher of All About Beer Magazine, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. “The Denver Rare Beer Tasting is going to truly live up to its name and support a great cause: prostate cancer awareness.”
Each brewery at the event will be pouring one unique beer, including some vintage aged beers and brews that were made in extremely limited batches as part of special projects. A partial list of beers scheduled for the event includes:
Allagash Fluxus ’09: This saison from Maine is brewed with sweet potatoes and black pepper, weighing in at 8.3 percent alcohol by volume. Jason Perkins will represent the brewery.
Alaskan 1999 Vintage Smoked Porter: The last known draught keg of the 1999 vintage of Alaskan’s much decorated Smoked Porter. This beer will be served alongside a sample of 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter for comparison.
Brooklyn Wild 1: This beer started off as a batch of the popular bottle-conditioned Brooklyn Local 1 farmhouse ale, then spent nine months in Bourbon barrels and then it was bottle conditioned with Belgian re-fermentation yeast and a strain of Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Only 80 cases were made for consumption by Brooklyn Brewery staff. Garrett Oliver will represent the brewery.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter XX: Brewed in 2008 to celebrate Deschutes’ 20th anniversary, this 11 percent alcohol by volume beer was pulled from the brewmaster’s private library. This beer starts off as a Double Black Butte Porter, has cocoa nibs and Bellatazza Coffee Roasters’ Sumatran and Ethiopian beans added, then it is aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. Brett Porter will represent the brewery.
Dogfish Head 2006 Raison D’Extra: This is a super charged 18 percent alcohol by volume version of the popular Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre. The brewery has not made this brew for the past two years.
Foothills Barrel Aged Total Eclipse Stout: One of only 10 kegs of this beer in the world. This North Carolina brewery took its award winning stout and aged it for three to four months in ex-whiskey barrels that previously held 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. Jamie Bartholomaus will represent the brewery.
Great Divide 2008 Old Ruffian Barley Wine: A hop-forward barley wine at 90 IBU and aged for a year that weighs in at 10.2 percent alcohol by volume. Taylor Rees will represent the brewery.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Glacier Harvest ’09 Wet Hop Ale: The 28th edition of Harpoon’s 100 Barrel Series, this deep copper colored beer is made using fresh Glacier hops. Todd Charbonneau will represent the brewery.
Highland Big Butte Smoked Porter: Winner of the Highland Cup homebrewing completion and based on a recipe created by Alex Buerckholtz, this beer is only available for a very limited time in North Carolina. Features smoked German malt and Fuggle hops. John Lyda will represent the brewery.
Lost Abbey Angel’s Share 2009 Brandy Barrel Finished: This 11.5 percent alcohol by volume English-style barleywine has spent more than 15 months in ex-brandy barrels.
Mich Brett: This is an experimental beer from Michelob Brewing so rare that only brewery insiders and a few lucky beer journalists will ever get the chance to taste the brew. Get ready to be surprised. Kristi Saviers will represent the brewery.
New Glarus Golden Ale: This Belgian-style ale is the first of the Wisconsin brewery’s R&D Series and previously was only available at the brewery. The 7 percent alcohol by volume beer is bottle fermented with Brettanomyces yeast. Dan Carey will represent the brewery.
Odell Brett Barrel Crimson Strong Ale: Brewed with Munich malt and Belgian candy sugar, this ale is fermented in stainless steel and then transferred into virgin American oak barrels and pitched with Brettanomyces yeast and aged for three months. Doug Odell will represent the brewery.
Reunion – A Beer of Hope: This Double White Ale was collaboratively designed and brewed by four brewers across the U.S.: Bison Brewing and Pizza Port Brewing in California, Elysian Brewing in Washington and Terrapin Brewing in Georgia. This Belgian-style witbier uses sweet orange peel, coriander, lemongrass and rhubarb root. Sales of the beer support The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. Daniel Del Grande and George Allen from Bison Brewery represent the brewers.
Rogue John-John Hazelnut Dead Guy: Named for Rogue Brewmaster John Maier and Rogue Master Distiller John Couchot, this brew starts off with Rogue’s famous Dead Guy Ale that is aged in Rogue Hazelnut Rum barrels. Brett Joyce will represent the brewery.
Saranac Imperial IPA: Part of the New York brewery’s limited release High Peaks Series this ale features 10 different hop varieties and 10 different malts.
Stone 2008 Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Red Wine Barrels: This 95 IBU barley wine has a massive malt character that is made even more complex thanks to the barrel aging. Greg Koch and Mitch Steele will represent the brewery.
Stoudt 2007 Barrel-Aged Reserve Old Abominable Barleywine: This vintage barleywine from Pennsylvania was aged for 10 months in oak whiskey barrels before being keg conditioned. Carol Stoudt will represent the brewery.
Wynkoop 2008 Barrel Aged Berserker Mead: This 11 percent alcohol by volume mead was made using Colorado wildflower honey and has spent about 20 months in barrels that were formally the home of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. C. Andrew Brown will represent the brewery.
“The craft brewing community has stepped forward with a truly special line up of beers and Pints for Prostates is proud to be a part of this event,” said Lyke. “The Denver Rare Beer Tasting will be the talk of this year’s Great American Beer Festival. Each week 4,000 men in this country hear the words ‘you have prostate cancer.’ The goal of Pints for Prostates is to use the universal language of beer to reach men with information about a disease that, if detected early and treated, is nearly 100 percent survivable.”
The event will be held at the Wynkoop Brewery at 1634 18th St. in Lower Denver. Only 450 tickets are available for the event and more than 85 percent have already been sold.
Admission, which includes unlimited beer samples, hors d’oeuvres, a commemorative tasting glass and the chance to meet some of America's top brewers, is $55 in advance and $65 at the door (if still available). Tickets can be purchased through Etix at www.allaboutbeer.com/pints. For information call 800-977-BEER or visit www.ustoo.org/pints.