Our apologies for the delay in getting out the afternoon round of voting for our Colorado Brewery Cup quarterfinals. Getting a chance to dissect each one of these breweries more thoroughly has been a time-consuming treat that we’ve been trying to savor!
But there can only be one champion, and this Thursday, we’ll get a step closer to picking that winner out of a field that included each one of Colorado’s 200-plus breweries when the Group Stages began last Friday.
INTERACTIVE MAP: Over 200 Colorado breweries, 16 groups
FINAL TALLIES: See how your favorite brewery fared in earlier rounds
In honor of the Round of 8, we’ve put together a list below of eight specific details about the remaining breweries in our two afternoon matches. Seven of the eight categories are self-explanatory. The one that isn’t is “BA of 80,” which deals with the ranking system devised by BeerAdvocate.com.
As part of that ranking system, Beer Advocate doles out aggregate scores based on beer drinker feedback on a great deal of recipes offered by craft breweries across the country. A score of 80 is the lowest for a beer to be deemed “good.”
Below, we’ve spelled out which of each brewery’s regular, non-rotating beers have been awarded a score of 80 or better — along with those aforementioned seven other details.
Just a reminder, you can vote in these afternoon matches, as well as this morning’s matches, up until 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
|1. Elevation Beer Co. (Poncha Springs)||3. Big Choice Brewing (Broomfield)|
|In a sentence||The newcomer to the exploding Arkansas River Valley brewing scene has elevated themselves with high-end artisan beers.||I don’t always drink beer, but when I do it in Broomfield there’s really only one choice.|
|BA over 80||Apis IV (quadrupel), 8 Second Kolsch, First Cast IPA, Little Mo’ (porter)||Disconnected Red (amber/red ale); Hemlock Double IPA; #42 Poblano Stout|
|Most inventive beer||Oil Man — An Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels from Breckenridge Distilling||Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster Session IPA – The world’s best beer as defined by “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” is a light IPA in real life.|
|Best seat in the tap house||Bellied up at beautifully-stained bar, sitting on bar stool fashioned out of an old tractor seat.||Playing foosball or one of the bevy of board games up in the second-story fun zone.|
|Events||Elevation was such a popular resting stop for bikers, the folks at the Colorado Pro Cycling Challenge decided to take their August 2014 route right past the brewery this year — twice.||Weekly family movie nights are great, but the brewery’s Facebook page is an event unto itself, where witty posts like “Beer – Because one doesn’t solve the world’s problems over white wine” always end with the signature tagline “Choose Wisely.”|
|Food?||No, but there is typically a food truck outside. And popular Salida caterer Juniper Kitchen stops by on Fridays during the summer.||No, but you can bring in your own food or stop by for Taco Tuesday, featuring creations from Green Monkey. The Tasty Eats and Marco’s Pizza food trucks also make frequent appearances.|
|Digital doting||“The four co-owners and brewers at Elevation have their stuff together. I could be more verbose, but I’ll just say that at one point during our tasting, I was completely overwhelmed. All six of the beers set in front of us, (everything from their Saison to their farmhouse Signal de Botrange), were revelations. In addition, the brewers made a point of talking to us, giving this place the full I’ll-drive-back-here-even-if-it’s-out-of-my-way sort of experience.” –M.L. Gray, ColoradoBreweryDays.com||“For the Front Range beer drinker, picking a brewery is like stealing toys from a toddler — it’s easy. That is, unless you’re in culinary wasteland of Broomfield. Thank goodness for Boulder-natives Tyler Ruse and Nathaniel Mill, who have brought a bevy of options to a once-barren land of beer.” –Lauren Hendrick, Eater.com|
|2. Industrial Revolution Brewing Company (Erie)||4. Dad and Dude’s Breweria (Aurora)|
|In a sentence||Sometimes there’s a revolution waiting to be offered in the form of reversion and getting back to the basics of brewing.||Small-batch brews meet high-quality pizzas with a whole lot of room for weird in between.|
|BA over 80||Hot Iron Orange Ale (cream ale)||Dank IPA|
|Most-inventive beer||Pinfire Double IPA — As strong as it is easy drinking, with a sweet body and basil finish.||Ryot Red Ale — A rye beer with little dabs of peppercorn and a caramel finish.|
|Best seat in the tap house||The two bars are great, but the spacious patio, with shade from nearby trees and warmth from heat lamps if necessary, is a great spot to enjoy a beer year round.||The dollars that used to line the bar area’s walls have gone towards fighting pancreatic cancer. But the characters behind the bar, who celebrate 1933 (the year prohibition ended) every day, remain. Sit near them.|
|Events||The 2nd annual Erie Brewfest, an event The IRBC helped create, will take place this Saturday. And the brewery is conveniently located in the middle of the action.||Love the actual World Cup? So does Dad and Dude’s, who hosted a Belgian beer smashing this week and will continue to host soccer watch parties year round.|
|Food?||Pub grub is located inside the tap house courtesy of Miners Tavern and food trucks make the rounds outside, as well.||If you didn’t come for the beers, you probably came for the pizza, which seems to be responsible for 50 percent of this spot’s reputation.|
|Digital doting||“While the vanilla porter and orange-cream ale are spectacular, enough cannot be said about the service. Prompt, attentive and possessing a kind of fatherly warmth that made us want to send him a Christmas present this year, co-owner Tim Suttman couldn’t have made us feel more welcome and at home. His was the kind of service that compels people to blog its praises.” –TheBeerDrifter.com||“Finding a place that not only hand crafts their own small-batch beers, but also hand makes some high-quality pizzas is a great experience. Mix that with a friendly staff that makes you feel like a regular on your first visit and that is the ultimate recipe for a great business. That is what you’ll find at the Dad and Dude’s Breweria.” –Mile High Brews Introduction|