Think you're a Colorado beer connoisseur? Try some of these weird and wonderful brews to take your appreciation of craft beer to the next level. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but merely a sampling to get you going on a tasty adventure in Denver.
Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout
A frontier favorite is given new life in beer form. Wynkoop Brewing Company’s foreign-style stout is made with Colorado base malts, roasted barley, seven specialty malts, Styrian Goldings hops, and 25 pounds of freshly sliced and roasted Rocky Mountain Oysters. That’s right, bull testicles. As off the wall as that sounds, it is pretty delicious. Wynkoop has introduced a canned version of its world-famous brew.
Feely Effects – Green Tea Chocolate Milk Stout
This award-winner by Fiction Beer Company takes you down an adventurous path as soon you notice the aroma of roasted barley mixed with chocolate (100 percent cacao) and the toffee flavors of light caramel malt and a touch of sugar. Oh, and there’s one more inventive ingredient: green tea powder.
Palisade Apple Ale
Deep Draft’s Palisade Apple Ale is more along the lines of unusual than extreme. Its signature ingredient is a home-grown fruit, 45 percent apple juice from Palisade, Colo. in the western part of the state. At under 6 percent ABV, drink up this dry “cider-y” ale.
Cherry Chocolate Zombie Bang
Put the word zombie anywhere on a label and you know you’re going to get attention. Goldspot Brewing Company collaborated with Wynkoop on this unique brew (5.8 percent ABV), which also points more toward the unusual with the addition of dark chocolate and cherries. “Get some for the man in your life who loves you for your brains,” according to Goldspot.
With a deep burgundy color and aromas of honey, nutmeg, mandarin orange and pineapple, Avery Brewing Company’s massive and challenging grand cru brew has flavors akin to a beautiful Caribbean rum. But you may want to share this one – its ABV comes in at a whopping 17 percent!
Elevation Triple IPA
Renegade Brewing Company has created some amazing beers, but this one might be their crowning achievement so far. At a powerful 11 percent ABV, the bold malt character of this brew balances out the hops well so you won’t be overwhelmed with bitterness.
Barrel Aged Old Ruffian
Great Divide Brewing Company’s hefty barleywine (12.7 percent ABV) has been aged for more than nine months in Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey barrels, giving it heady whiskey flavors and subtle oak notes. Each limited edition, individually numbered bottle is special in its own right.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery gets the nod for the most intriguing and extreme beer names (with a Western spirit) like Devil’s Abyss, Cougar Slayer and Doppel Black Diamond. Devil’s Abyss arrives in the glass after 15 months of aging in bourbon and whiskey barrels to make for a bold, dark Russian imperial stout. It also packs Jagged’s hardest punch (17.5 percent ABV).
Interested in exploring Denver’s famous beer culture? Check out the Denver Beer Trail.