A Week In Denver Part Two: …and ALE

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By: Corey Jenkins, Communication Volunteer/Visitor Services

Those of you who read my previous blog know that I recently  spent a week in Denver, during which  I was fortunate enough to experience some of the city’s art offerings. The art was only part of the experience. This particular region of Colorado is home to several breweries, two of which I visited.

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My first night in Denver I was treated to dinner at the Breckenridge Brewery. Breckenridge is a microbrewery, and much like you might find at Goose Island in Chicago or Great Lakes in Cleveland, they operate a restaurant with their brewery. I enjoyed a platter of smoked wings and pork covered in a unique sauce that complimented the Breckenridge Agave Wheat ale that I had chosen to try. The Agave Wheat is an unfiltered American style wheat ale with a hint of agave. This particular ale was flavorful and bitter, yet still refreshing and light. Although I did not tour Breckenridge, it was an excellent experience and introduction to Colorado brew.

A couple of days later I made it the largest single site brewery in the world, Coors of Golden, Colorado.  I realize that those of you with sophisticated beer palettes may not be excited by Coors, however in terms of an everyday beer of choice Coors Banquet is my go to, so I was particularly excited for the tour. The brewery looks exactly like the Coors mythology would lead you to believe, nestled in the Rocky Mountain Foothills with a fresh flow of mountain stream water running beside it.

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Coors offers free tours that guide the visitor through their entire process and history. From their beginning in 1873 with founder Adolph Coors to their survival during Prohibition making malted milk, to Bill Coors’ innovation of aluminum cans in the 1950’s all the way up through their merger will Miller and their latest offerings.

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MillerCoors produces and feature a large variety of products including Coors Banquet, Coors Light, Keystone Light, the Miller Family of Beers, Killian’s Irish Red, Blue Moon, Colorado Native, Leinenkugel and Batch 19 among the others that they either produce, import or have partnered with. Midway through the tour, visitors of age are offered a sample of fresh beer. I opted to sample Banquet, and I can honestly say that it may have been the best sip of beer I have tried. It carried a quality that I have never experienced in any beer I have found at the store.

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The end of the tour also included free beer, at which point I had the chance to enjoy Colorado Native, a superb lager that Colorado is apparently keeping to themselves, Batch 19, a lager brewed according to a Pre-Prohibition recipe, and of course a mug of fresh Banquet beer.

I would encourage any beer lover to check out the local flavors of any given region they are visiting, as well as the ones that may be in your own back yard that you never considered visiting. Many breweries and distilleries for that matter offer free tours along with free samples, and typically only take up forty-five minutes of your day.

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Some of you might be wondering what this has to do with the museum. It has everything to do with Art and Ale on March 8, 2013. Each year some of the greatest local brewmasters in the region bring their beer to the museum for adults to sample while enjoying the museum and for the first time, the galleries will be open for the first hour. The sooner you purchase your tickets, the cheaper they are. Also, a “green” membership for the year is including in the price!

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