Category Archives: New Beer

Fall Harvest Brew Festival

A Photo Album

By Julieanna Jalonski and Lauren Hoff
Photos By Julieanna Jablonski

The 6th annual Fall Harvest Brew Festival took place this month at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. This brew fest benefits the Animal House Rescue, a large no-kill shelter. Over 30 breweries, cideries and distilleries sampled their wares to help save the animals. They are apread out through out the Lincoln Center, on patios, in ballrooms and lining hallways. It was a bit rainy this year, which kept the patios sparse. Last year, over $16,000 was raised at the festival.










VIP Guests received a mug to sample their beers in






Josh Green of Verboten Brewing Company





Shannon Westcott of Equinox Brewing



Odell Brewing Company sampling a new seasonal






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Local Love

Local Love

Fort Collins Beer is near completion, which means so is my guilt for writing on Napa instead of my book, and regular posts will soon commence. In the meantime, take a trip down to The Old Mine in Erie, CO. A new cidery, they have an excellent draft beer selection and have been teasing me with their not yet available cellar selection. The owners have been mentioning on social media how they have been saving bottles for years in order to offer some great beers. Their moniker claims they are also a BBQ joint, but the menu is limited to a pulled pork sandwich. However, I have seen families bring in their own dinner.

While you’re there, fill a 32oz growler with some of their Handlebar Cider. The globe + apple + moustache logo on the glasses is adorable and will be sure to be a favorite in your collection.

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January 21, 2014 · 11:58 am

The combination of cookies, procrastination and beer is delicious

I have always known I am a procrastinator, even if it took me a while to actually come to that realization. I have also always known that I have a hard time saying “no” and an inability to anticipate stress( read future breakdowns). All of these factors came together when I was asked to write a book of 40,000 words in 3 months. Of course I said yes, and of course I have been procrastinating.   I had assumed that my main form of procrastination entertainment while writing a beer book would be drinking beer, IMG_20131211_215448but I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. In fact, I have been drinking less. All in an effort to balance the insane amount of sugar I am eating in the form of cookies and other delicious baked goods. What fun is writing when you can bake cookies and watch a marathon of the Home Alone movies for days?

Recently I made Triple Chocolate Stout Cookies with Avery Czar Imperial Stout, and you can find that recipe here. This recipe used a cake mix as the base for the cookies. I grew up in a family of “from scratch” bakers, but I liked the simplicity of using the cake mix. It truly serves the purpose of being a lazy procrastinator.  But the first recipe must not have been enough for me, because I have come up with an even easier cookie recipe.

On a cold day while trying to find something to do other than stare at a screen, I found a box of red velvet cake mix stuffed into the back of the pantry. Now that I think about where I found it, I probably should have checked the expiration date before I made them. But then I wouldn’t be a true procrastinator.

I paired these with the last couple beers from a 6 pack of Odell Brewing Company Isolation Ale. The hop bite and smooth mouthfeel of this seasonal ale provides a balance for the thick, rich, sweet cookie. It also pairs well with Home Alone 2 or American Horror Story: Coven.


1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix

2 Eggs

6 TBS Butter, melted

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and roll in powdered sugar

Bake for 9 minutes at 375 (until the tops look dry)

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How to Take a Newbie to a Beer Fest

I recently reconnected with an old friend from a few years back when I moved back down to Thornton. I wasn’t as far down the beer hole back when I last saw him, so he had a lot of questions about my new career and passion. Eventually, I asked him, “what beers do you usually like,chef-brew-2013-300x211 any craft beers?”. When he responded “I’ve had Shiner Bock, I liked that”, I understood just how little craft beer he had been exposed to, despite living less than a mile from award winning Echo Brewing Company. When a craft beer fest came up, and none of my other writers were unable to attend with me, I figured this was the perfect chance to share my world with him. Beer fests are great opportunities for those new to the world of beer. There are tons of different styles, pours are small, and if you don’t like it, there is probably a dump bucket around.

If you have some newbie craft beer friends, here is a guide to taking them to their first beer festival

1) Find a Fun Component: Matt is a foodie, so I knew I could convince him to attend this years Chef N Brew festival with me. Each brewery was paired with a restaurant that offered one or two dishes to pair with the beer. He was all over it. Even if he didn’t want to try the beer (we found out real quick that he was not a fan of hops), he still wanted to down the dish. There are tons of fests that have additional components, everything from food and music,IMAG0983 to curling tournaments, are offered along beer samples.

2) Translate: When the brewer looks at your newbie friend and says “This is our new saison, fermented in traditional style in open vats and we also added coriander and lavender late in the boil before running it through a hop back then dryhopped it on sapphire hops before barrel aging it in white wine barrels” be ready to run interference to stop them from running for the door. While this is information beer geeks want and crave, the average person has no flipping idea what the hell you are talking about. A simple “this is a saison, a lighter belgian style beer traditionally made on farms, and can have spices or herbs added” will suffice. Really, all they want to know right now is if it tastes good to them or not.

3) Get the VIP treatment: If VIP tickets are available, get them. Going in an hour earlier than most attendees will give your newbie a chance to get a grasp of how fests work without the crazy crowds that can easily be overwhelming. Give them a run down of typical etiquette for beer fests so they know what to expect. Don’t forget to remind them that if they don’t like a beer they can dump it, and no one will be offended. By the time general admission doors open, they will be a pro. Plus, you can take solace in knowing you are not with a group of bros or hipsters who insist on standing RIGHT IN FRONT of the booth drinking and eating their samples (and getting seconds) so no one else can get to them, because you taught your newbie well.

4) Meet People: Introduce your newbie to your craft friends. Make a point to show how a beer fest can be a gathering of amazing people. Strike up conversations with brewers. Telling the brewer “It’s my friends first beer fest! What would you recommend?”, might help you avoid #2 and also help them get a real personal connection to why you are all there.

5) Follow Up: Take note of beers or breweries they enjoyed. Grab stickers or free beer coupons from the table. Make a plan to visit one of these breweries soon. While only a couple of the breweries beers were available at the event, many more will be available in the taproom. Seeing the taproom and having a beer they enjoyed there will surely send them down the wonderful rabbit hole of beer. Or at least we hope.

I apologize for the lack of photos, and descriptions of the food pairings in this post. after a solid 10 year record, I lost my phone for the first time 😦

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Imperial Stout Triple Chocolate Cookies

I love cooking and baking from scratch. Using a pile of whole, real ingredients to make something beautiful and delicious is always an accomplishment. Unfortunately, baking from scratch isn’t always possible. On a blustery Saturday I decided to forgo my bike ride to bake some cookies for my family. After deciding that the low-fill bottle of Avery Czar would taste delicious mixed with the three types of chocolate chips I found, I went on a hunt for the rest of the ingredients in my moms kitchen. I found a 10lbs bag of sugar…but no flour. No flour. How in the hell am I supposed to make cookies?!?!

Oh look, a devil’s food cake mix.

photo (1)

While using ingredients like this isn’t my favorite, it sure does work in a pinch. Frankly, this might be the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine the following ingredients in a bowl

1 box devil’s food cake mix

1 stick butter, melted but not hot

2 eggs

1/4 C Avery Czar Imperial Stout

2C of chocolate chips and nuts of your choice (I used 1/2c dark, 1/2C milk, 1/2C white and 1/2C pecans

Spoon 1 inch balls onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper

Bake for 11 mins

Hint: Don’t make the cookies too big, cake cookies hold up better in smaller form

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