2012 Beers of the Year – Wynkoop Brewing hosts a not-so-ordinary beer festival

By Julia Yugel and Lisa Bongiovanni

On Saturday, Wynkoop Brewery threw a special Beers of the Year tasting event  in which they showcased over 30 different craft beers brewed during 2012 and a couple recurring beers that are brewed annually. The event also featured select beers from Breckenridge Brewery, Fort Collins Brewery, Mountain Sun Pubs and the nature-inspired beers from Beers Made By Walking. For a full list of the beers, click here.

Here are some notes on a couple of the beers which stood out from the dozens we tried:

  • Frambozen Barrel-Aged Quadruppel – This beer will give you goosebumps — in a VERY good way. Definitely worth seeking out this beer to taste — and then taste again.
  • Orville This beer did not taste like popcorn but was still very flavorful with or without butter and salt.
  • Hibiscus Hard Cider – Don’t let the pink color fool you, this cider packs a full punch of apple flavor without the flowery aftertaste you might imagine with the name.
  • Collective Hoppiness They may have missed an “un” in the title of this beer. While still a very tasty  this beer was only about a 5 of 10 on the hoppiness scale.
  • Vagabond American IPA(Mountain Sun) – If this is what transients taste like, sign me up to be a wanderer.
  • Hop to Conclusions Double IPA – Conclusively, not our favorite beer but it gets extra points for a clever name.
  • All the barrel aged barley wines from the past 4 years – A great deal of time was spent at this table to determine which year won out. These are great beers to hone your taste buds in on the subtle differences a beer can have when brewed in relatively the same way year after year. The 2012 brew in this series is being tapped at Wynkoop in early December and if it’s anything like its predecessors, it is not one to miss out on.

For the entire afternoon the top floor of Wynkoop was packed as the crowd buzzed with excitement inebriation and conversation as people compared beers and looked for their favorite. Many of the brewers from Wynkoop and the other attending breweries were manning the taps and were a fantastic source of information; dispensing idioms on how the beers pushed the limits of the brewing process and what they had planned for the upcoming year.

This rare-beer specific event showcasing mainly just Wynkoop beers was a great departure from the more well-

known Wynkoop beers and really let craft beer enthusiasts enjoy what had not on tap for most of the year. The specificity and the smaller venue really worked as an advantage to make this event stand out against other larger brewery festivals with dozens of different breweries.While no beer could be crowned the king of 2012 a few crowd favorites included the previously mentioned longer-aged barley wines from 2008 and 2009, the Frambozen Barrel-Aged Quadruppel and the Drunkin’ Pumpkin Ale. Overall, this event was exactly the type of thing to close out 2012 and ring in type of creative innovation we can expect in 2013.
Wynkoop will be holding another similar event on December 1 with the 3rd Annual Parade of Darks. Tickets are still available, and if it’s anything like Beers of the Year, it’ll be an event not to be missed!

About Lisa Bongiovanni

A Colorado native with an obsession for everything Colorado, beer, booze, more beer, and of course, my dog who is obviously named after an alcoholic beverage.