Ten brand-new Colorado canned beers to look forward to in 2014
Colorado's largest craft brewer, New Belgium, and one of its smallest, Black Shirt, both broke new ground in January when they began canning a pair of unusual beers. New Belgium's offering was the tart Snapshot, one of the first canned beers using lactobacillius as a souring agent. Black Shirt rolled out four canned beers, including its Red Saison, which is one of the first and only canned saisons in the state.
Colorado's canned beer offerings, which exploded in 2013, are only going to get wider and deeper in 2014 as breweries big and small expand their existing lineups or take the aluminum plunge for the first time. And the trend is really just beginning, as less expensive means of canning become more popular -- both for the new guys, like Grimm Brothers or Lone Tree Brewing, and the old guard, like Tommyknocker or Boulder Beer.
Here are ten brand-new canned beers -- from a real cross-section of breweries -- that we're looking forward to seeing this spring and summer.
1) River North IPA
River North Brewery
River North IPA will be a new beer for the brewery when it comes out in cans this summer, although the recipe, based on co-owner Matt Hess's original Belgian IPA homebrew, is similar to a taproom staple, Belgian Pale Red (or BPR). Like River North White, it will be sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Once it debuts, it will likely replace the BPR in the taproom to avoid confusion.
2) Lawyers, Guns & Money
Crazy Mountain Brewing
This massive beer began as a seasonal for Crazy Mountain but is now slated to become a year-round offering -- and when it does, it may be the first Colorado barleywine to be packaged in cans. The Edwards brewery is expanding by leaps and bounds, so it may soon need all the lawyers, guns and money it can get its hands on.
3) Escape to Colorado IPA
Although Epic, which is based in Utah, has packaged its beers exclusively in 22-ounce bomber bottles, the opening of its new production facility and taproom here in Denver seemed like the perfect excuse to try something different, like cans. And since cans are very "Colorado," the brewery will start with Escape to Colorado IPA, one of three beers that it made in honor of its major expansion in mid-2013; it will also can Hop Syndrome, a pilsner. Look for them in June or July.