The ten best new Colorado beers of 2012
Deceit was a Funkwerks tap-room favorite that the brewery decided to bottle in the fall -- just before the Belgian Golden Ale won gold at the Great American Beer Festival. It was a deserving victory for one of Colorado's most up-and-coming breweries -- and lucky for us. Boasting an ABV of 9.4 percent, Deceit is indeed deceitful, as its lighter character belies a serious punch in the mouth. Crisp and carbonated like a saison, Deceit has sweeter, citrusy notes that make it taste and feel more like a Belgian-style dubbel.
6) The Meddler Oud Bruin
Like the Flemish Reds it pays tribute to, the Meddler was made by blending together several versions of a beer -- a brown ale, in this case -- and then aging it for a year and a half, a process that smoothed out any rough edges. Tart from the wild yeasts, brettanomyces and lactobacillus, the Meddler is also sweet, rich and complex, exuding a fruity, malty characteristic that gave it an almost sherry-like drinkability.
5) Belgian Style Pale Ale
After hiding the good stuff in its Boulder tap room over the past few years, Upslope finally hit us with a flurry of beautiful beers in 2012, including the seasonal Pumpkin and Christmas ales and Foreign Style Stout. But a fourth beer, one that is difficult to categorize despite its name, stood even taller. Belgian Style Pale Ale most closely resembles a Belgian wit -- a wheat beer made with spices like coriander and orange peel -- but this one wasn't a wheat beer, though it does carry coriander and Trappist yeasts. But, style be damned, the ale, which weighed in at a dangerous 7.9 percent ABV, imparted such a smooth creaminess that I couldn't stop drinking it all summer.
4) Apis IV
Elevation Beer Company
Apis IV was the first packaged beer released by this brand-new brewery from Poncha Srpings, and it made a great first impression. Like a candy sugar-dusted figgy fruitcake, this Belgian-style quadrupel reminded me of Avery Reverend in some ways. It was syrupy without being cloyingly sweet, and showcased a powerful but balanced battle between biscuity, bready malts and and hops-forward, resiny notes. I drank a lot of it.