So I know I normally cover mostly food — but hey, a “liquid diet” is a thing, so I wanted to talk about Breckenridge Brewery for a minute. I finally made it out to their Littleton location (you might have seen the big red barn-like building off of Santa Fe) — and it was really cool! They have a beautiful “Farm House” restaurant with tons of brightly-lit, trendy space and different rooms, a tasting room where you can taste their beers or go on a tour of the brewery, and a large outdoor area with grass, picnic tables, a food truck, and a kids’ playground. If I lived in Littleton, this is definitely where I’d hang out. (You can see more photos and details about it here.)
One of the reasons I came down was actually Breck’s announcement of their packaging re-design, which they were putting on display for visitors to see. And I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff since I do a lot of branding for my day job. I took some photos of their displays (below), or you can also read more about it on their blog. As you can see, it’s an evolution from their previous look, rather than a complete overhaul — adding a lot of detail and brightness, as well as more of a “craft” feel. All the new designs were drawn by illustrator Florian Schommer, which adds that element of artistry and craftsmanship that Breck was looking for with the re-brand.
I know, if you’re not a branding/design nerd like me, you might not care about any of that, so let’s talk about some beer! Breck’s newest release is the Oak Aged Saison (made with Gewurztraminer grapes and aged in oak barrels). And it’s so amazingly delicious, with just a slight hint of grape sweetness and woody oakiness! It’s also 10% — so watch out. Personally, I love Gewurztraminer wine — but as a former Californian, as far as I’m concerned, Colorado grapes are better used in beer than in wine (at least for now). I’d drink this Oak Aged Saison over Colorado wine anytime 🙂
For all my fellow winos out there, a little explanation: Gewurztraminer is a white wine that can be sweet, but also comes in dry varieties — and the most well-known ones usually come from the Alsace region of France or from Germany. Although there’s also some great ones in the Pacific Northwest (since the grape needs cooler climates) — like the dry Gewurztraminer from Oregon winery Foris that I usually get at the wine store around the corner from me.
You might also want to try Breck’s Spring barrel-aged beer from this series: the Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout (aged in whiskey and port casks). You can definitely taste the whiskey up front and the lingering port sweetness at the end — which makes it a really great sipping beer at the end of the night.
Another must-try if you’re ever at Breckenridge Brewery or a beer tasting event is their Autumn Ale. If you like malty ambers and Oktoberfest style beers, this may just become your new favorite. It’s just so smooth and easy to drink, without any bitterness or spice. (I’m generally a fan of malty beers as opposed to the bitter IPAs that have become so popular in Colorado.) I know quite a few beer aficionados who list this beer among their favorites. Which explains why it’s already sold out for the year (you can still buy some at the brewery or find it at stores that have remaining stock).
I’ll wrap it up with another fantastic seasonal beer that I’ll be drinking later in the year: the Christmas Ale. It’s also nice and malty, but with a slight bit of spice at the end that’s perfect for winter.