I attend Beer Betty’s at The Mayor of Old Town every Tuesday at 6pm. Beer Betty’s is a female only beer education group led by Michelle Peth, bar manager extraordinaire. This past Tuesday we had a flight with double IPA’s, in honor of the beer Michelle, owner Kevin and bartender Emily made in collaboration with Odell Brewing. Michelle explained to us that she chose the beers in the flight because they are all great beers, and that because of where we live and our great beer culture we are able to get them so easily. We had Myrcenary Double IPA, Deviant Dale’s and Greenade Organic Double IPA. We are very spoiled living in the great beer valley. A few months ago while browsing the tap handles at a local watering hole I was bummed that I would have to go for my old stand by Easy Street because there were no specialty or seasonal brews on any of the 10 handles. When Alyse and I were in Gunnison the bartender was excited that they had 5 Barrel on tap finally, and then said to us “but I guess you can get it whenever you want!”. She is right, we can. How lucky are we to have such easy access to New Belgium’s, Odell’s, and Fort Collins year round brews? But wait, there’s more! That’s not even the best part. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I bought a six pack of any of those breweries. I can however show you a mini fridge full of specialty bottles from Funkwerks, New Belgium’s Lips of Faith and Avery, among others. We have such a huge variety of beer constantly available to those lucky enough to call this place home, and often time that beer is only available to us.
The collaboration beer, Fat Old Sun, is one such beer. You can only find it on tap at Odell’s and The Mayor of Old Town. And there isn’t much of it as it was brewed on the small 5 barrel pilot system. Michelle explained to us the process of how they brewed this delicious Imperial IPA. They had to use rice husks to layer between the 500 pounds of grain to prevent the boil from becoming a huge sticky mess. The addition of the hops is my favorite part, as they gradually increased the amount of hops added every 10 minutes. This process lends to the hops giving the beer a more floral, sweet aroma and taste. The longer the hops are sitting in the wort, the more they create bitterness. Just as tea becomes bitter the longer you steep it. By only adding 10-20 grams in the first addition, and increasing to 700 grams in the last, Fat Old Sun has a fantastic floral aroma and a sweet, almost toasty after taste. It might possibly be my new favorite Douple IPA.
The flight contained Equinox’s Haver Scottish Ale as well, which is a similar beer to the one we will be brewing soon in a tandem brew with Pateros Creek. Michelle’s enthusiasm and excitement over the beer she brewed was contagious, and I am now even more eager to dive more into the process.