I have single handedly taken on drinking a shit-ton of Colorado beer

Photo by Nick Stevens

Photo by Nick Stevens

By guest writer Emily Hutto

Hello, my name is Emily. I am a journalist and a craft beer lover, but not in that order.

I got swept up in beer when I was a student at the University of Oregon drinking Ninkasi Brewing Company Total Domination IPA like it was my job. I went on to become a freelance magazine journalist—i.e. desperate post-grad who would take any job she could get— and pleaded with editors like PJ Hoberman to publish my words about anything and everything. I got a gig writing about a brewery that turned into more and more gigs, a few editing jobs, and a new book, all of which tell stories about the craft beer industry.

I can proudly say that I’ve done some outlandish things in pursuit of the best stories about craft beer— I lived like a gypsy out of my Jeep for almost two months on a beer pilgrimage down the West Coast, I tracked down the brains behind Mikkeller at a private tasting at a beer festival in Paso Robles, and set my alarm clock for 3 a.m. to interview China’s first craft brewer over Gmail chat, to name a few.

Currently, I’m on a one-woman mission to visit every brewing company in the state of Colorado, my home state and what I believe to be the epicenter of the craft beer movement in the United States. Sure, I’m biased, but the high quality of beer and caliber of brewery owners in my native land is hard to top. Not to mention Colorado’s brewers are constantly conquering industry milestones, everything from producing the world’s first craft beer in a can (Oskar Blues) and the world’s first nitrogen beer in a bottle (Left Hand Brewing Co.), to submitting to the Guinness Book of World Records for the most individual beers brewed at a brewery (Denver Beer Co.). Colorado breweries are cultivating their own yeast strains (Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project), helping to start craft distilleries (Ska Brewing) and receiving awards for their support of best ecological practices (New Belgium Brewing). Colorado breweries are a force to be reckoned with.

With more than 60 breweries in planning in the state, I have a lot of drinking… I mean research to do. I’ve been to 117 breweries so far.

I digress. This mission to visit all of Colorado’s breweries developed as a result of my first book, Colorado’s Top Brewers, that hits stores next month. It profiles 26 of the state’s best breweries and their beers, showcases 10 of Colorado’s most craft beer-centric bars and taverns, and features food pairings and recipes from 24 of Colorado’s most talented culinary talent. The photographs of these recipes by my lovely colleague Emily Heller are gorgeous, and borderline gastronomic pornography… it’s going to look great on a coffee table.

Okay, I’m finished shamelessly promoting Colorado’s Top Brewers. Thank you to Denver Off The Wagon for the opportunity to do so.

Cheers to Colorado beer.

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