Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Belgian IPA

The hop blend pre-dry hop addition. 

Since I began working for Funkwerks last July I’ve wanted to make a really hoppy beer.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the subtle complexity of most Belgian styles, but sometimes I just want a beer with massive hop aroma.  When Gordon approached me about brewing a Belgian IPA to enter in the Belgo-American category at GABF this year I couldn’t wait to brew it! 

We sat down and figured out what we wanted in the beer.  We didn’t want it to be as dry as our saisons, so we used the Belgian yeast that we used for Fruition, Alchemy, and Ron Burgundy.  For hops we wanted to use some traditional American hops but throw in a wild card as well.  We settled on American Cascade, Centennial and German Emerald.  I’m very familiar with Centennial and Cascade, but Emerald was new to me.  It’s described as having a distinct fruity nose with flowery hop notes.  It was bred as a European alternative to Simcoe and Amarillo.  Sounded like fun to me!

We had a decent idea of malts we wanted to use, so Gordon put in the order and let me put together the recipe.  This was one of the more fun brewing projects I’ve done!  I was given three types of hops, some base malts, and free reign over the specialty malts we had on hand.  I settled on pale malt, some munich, and a small amount of crystal malts that we had on hand.  I wanted a big hop aroma so I had one bittering addition and saved the rest for a large whirlpool addition and even larger dry-hop addition.

We think this beer came out really well!  It has a big hop aroma and restrained bitterness.  There’s a bit of Belgian character in there, but the hops are the star.  We are excited to brew this again and tweak it to perfection.  If you don’t get a chance to try it at our taproom (or one of the bars we distribute to), be sure to stop by at GABF and give it a shot!


A full glass of Belgian IPA on the Funkwerks patio.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Colorado Brewers’ Festival 2012

The Colorado Brewers’ Festival is always such a fun weekend to celebrate great beer, and this year’s festival was record breaking in heat as well!

Funkwerks kicked off the festivities on Friday evening at the Connoisseur Beer Tasting Party, hosted by our friends at Choice City Butcher and Deli. The event was a great way for us to showcase a new beer that is normally only available in our taproom. I personally poured the beer to partygoers, and I must say, our Belgium Double aged in red wine barrels was a hit! It was also nice to visit the different brewery tables and catch up with old friends while meeting new ones.

On to the big party … the Downtown Business Association stepped up to the heat this year and made the triple digit days as comfortable as possible. Starting with the kind greeting at the entrance from volunteers with sunscreen, to the water stations to keep us hydrated, the DBA continues to make each year better and better. The re-zoning of the grounds was a great help, too, with added shade to sit and relax to some live music at Washington Park.

Busy both days with lines of beer lovers wrapping every-which-way to try that next micro-creation, the festival maintained a vibe of happiness all weekend. Fort Collins is full of wonderful people, and our guests were a joy to have. With the new option to purchase a full glass of beer, if festival-goers stumbled across that Golden Gem, it created a chance to take a break from standing in line and check out the other booths, or simply stand in front of the fan misters for a minute or two.

We decided to bring our ever-popular Tropic King to the festival, and the Imperial Saison delighted the masses again this year. It’s always a good sign when you don’t have to bring beer back home!

Well, we all made it through the weekend and got some nice tans, too – another year at the Colorado Brewers’ Festival in the books full of good, sud-soaked memories. Thank you to the DBA, our fellow Colorado brewers, and you all who attended the festival for making it such a great event. We’re already looking forward to fun times next year!