Colorado Brewed: Fort Collins Wheat Wine Ale

Each Wednesday in this column I post my insights about one of the thousands of beers brewed in the great state of Colorado. Feel free to shoot me an email with your suggestions of Colorado beers you’d like me to feature – Lee Williams at hoptopia@gmail.com – or leave your ideas in the comments.

The flourishing craft beer industry in America has produced an extremely fertile environment for the brewing and distribution of niche, forgotten or even brand new styles of beer. One of these previously niche beer styles is the American wheatwine.

American wheatwines are brewed with at least 50% wheat malt. They have a candy apple sweet nose, and a moderate bitterness that places them somewhere between the sweeter English barleywine style and more heavily bittered American barleywine.

First released in 2010, Fort Collins Wheat Wine Ale is a summer seasonal that proved popular enough to make a return in 2011. The most striking aspect of the beer is its toffee, apricot jam, vanilla fudge and creamed corn aroma – even below cellar temp, it’s prominent. Hints of high proof alcohol are present, subtle, and expected.

The drink is decidedly less sweet than the sugary aroma suggests. Layers of preserved lemon, English golden syrup, dark honey, goji berry and goldenberry all unfold before a definite and bitter finish.

Pair this rich warming beer with 3 to 5 year old aged gouda or other nutty aged cheeses. Bolster your cheese plate with walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, dried cranberries, figs, dried apricots and honey. Mac and cheese made with mature cheddar or fettuccine alfredo are also solid bets.

THE GEEKY STATS:

  • Brewed in Colorado by: The Fort Collins Brewery, 1020 East Lincoln Avenue, Fort Collins, CO
  • Released:  Available April through August in 22oz bottles and on draft
  • Beer style: American wheatwine
  • ABV: 9.2%
  • IBU: 42
  • Hops: ?
  • Grains: Wheat

Check back next Wednesday when I highlight another Colorado Brewed beer. Cheers.

About Lee Williams


Beer writer. Founder of Hoptopia. I write for various beer related publications, websites and festivals. Email - hoptopia@gmail.com