Favorite Colorado Lagers!

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by ManBearPat, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (485) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I have to do it. I'm no expert on the lager styles (or anything for that matter), but I just finished a Zwei Helles and could not be happier with it!

    We need to collect the good ones here so we know where to find more.

    Tis the season, my friends.
    R3ason likes this.
  2. McNazz

    McNazz Disciple (386) Feb 19, 2013 Colorado

    ...pending 10,000 word essay from @Domingo...

    I'm on the edge of my seat!
  3. beeeeeeeeeeeer

    beeeeeeeeeeeer Initiate (56) Jul 3, 2010 Colorado

    I'm an absolute junkie for classic German styles, and Zwei and Prost do it right. Wibby's helles is great. Jessup Farm Barrel House has a helles on right now called Helles in Wonderland that is textbook. Just all fantastic stuff.

    For non-German, Roaring Fork Slaughterhouse and Finkel and Garf American Lagers are great.

    A little avant garde, but Caution's Lao Wang is a fun, tasty beer, especially with food.
  4. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,675) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Ha! I'll keep this to a minimum for now. Gotta keep the thread going for more than a page :stuck_out_tongue:
    Zwei probably holds the German crown for the moment. At least until Bierstadt opens. Gotta love those former Potts guys.
    After a year or two of sucking, it seems like Prost has rebounded in a major way.
    Even though they aren't always common (or even released at all), the Coors incubators kill it. That includes the Sandlot, AC Golden, and Blue Moon. Seriously, they're phenomenal and as good as any on these shores.
    Dry Dock's helles and pils are still good after all these years. They're canning shitloads of Docktoberfest this year, so that's gonna be the bomb.
    Nothing wrong with good 'ol Polestar Pilsner from Left Hand. Lost Highway pils is also good.
    After years of focusing on German styles, it seems like FCB isn't really going that route anymore. They used to be pretty good.
    The Yak & Yeti has a few German lagers. Their bock and doppelbock are both faves of mine, but they're cold-weather seasonals only.
    The B&B has a good Czech pils, maibock, and a few seasonal lagers that are always worth getting.
    Copper Kettle Helles ranges from nearly Munich-level to totally mediocre. If they ever got that recipe straightened out, that could be a big deal.
    I also like Lao Wang lager. It's a killer food beer. Plus, Danny & Betty rock.

    Even though it isn't just CO - the Rhein Haus carries a borderline unmatched German lager selection.
    tylerstubs and ManBearPat like this.
  5. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,888) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Upslope's Craft Lager is nice and easily found. We're selling a crap ton of Prost Pils, although I have not had it since that one eye guy left :wink:
    I'll agree on the Sandlot stuff, as long as it's brewed there and not shipped in from whoknowswhere.
    Blue Paddle really isn't bad, although they went with a table tennis paddle over the oar thing.
    Odell's double pilsner was nice, but think that went down Dodo alley.
    tylerstubs and Bitterbill like this.
  6. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (485) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    That Odell Double Pilsner was one of my favorite beers with easily my favorite label ever ta boot. I'm sure they sell way more of that blackberry gose though...

    Great rec's in this thread already- thanks, gentlemen!
    I have some things to keep an eye out for this weekend when I'm making my rounds...
    alexipa likes this.
  7. Canada_Dan

    Canada_Dan Savant (904) Jun 14, 2013 Colorado

    Snagged one of the last 4 packs of Finkel & Garf's Mai Bock yesterday at the brewery. I was told it went super quick on draft which I missed unfortunately. Damn tasty for a summer evening lager. All day sessionable go to lager lately has been that Wibby Helles :slight_smile:
    ManBearPat likes this.
  8. Canada_Dan

    Canada_Dan Savant (904) Jun 14, 2013 Colorado

    Also, taproom only at Avery is a delicious dry hopped, unfiltered Joe's Pils they are dubbing Zwickel Joe's. Get it while it lasts!
    Bitterbill likes this.
  9. Kman_Colorado

    Kman_Colorado Initiate (62) Aug 17, 2014 Colorado

    Tap Hunter is showing Zwickel Joe's at the Highlands Ranch Parry's Pizza. They had a big Avery tap takeover last weekend and still have a bunch of Avery beers on tap.
    Canada_Dan likes this.
  10. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,153) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Love the Upslope.

    Also, the Grimm Brothers offerings are very agreeable to me.
    denver10, Oxymoron and SFACRKnight like this.
  11. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Aspirant (212) May 31, 2011 Colorado

    My clear number 1 is Polestar. I love that beer, it never lets me down *cough* Prost!* cough*. I probably like Grimm's Pilsner #2, although it's hard to find. On tap, I really like Gravity's lagers. They make some killer AAL's; I really like the Cerveza they have now. It is delicious.
    Dan_K likes this.
  12. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,434) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Copper Kettle helles was hitting the spot last weekend, blue paddle is a fine pils, and I can't get enough of Prost brewing's Maibock. the hops make all that pils malt interesting, and the crisp finish keeps bringing a person back for more. I hope their marzen is on point this year.
    Spaceman_Jer likes this.
  13. alexipa

    alexipa Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado

    I really like some of Gravity's lagers, but they seem to change them up too often. Can't go wrong with Prost Maibock and the Left Hand Oktoberfest is still the best in the state IMO.
    FarmerTed, R3ason and Spaceman_Jer like this.
  14. Spaceman_Jer

    Spaceman_Jer Defender (680) Jan 27, 2015 Colorado

    I came here to say Prost Maibock! Really impressed by that one, probably the best domestic version of the style I've had.

    In addition:
    Steamworks Steam Engine Lager: Widely available, great price, and a notably better California Common than even Anchor Steam. I lived in the Bay Area for 12 years where that stuff practically came out of the tap; I'd choose the Steamworks 11 times out of 10.

    Fearless Youth by Grimm. So perfect for the summer, but I've found myself drinking this one pretty consistently since I discovered it in February. These guys do a great job with German styles in general and seem to really fly under the radar.
  15. Spaceman_Jer

    Spaceman_Jer Defender (680) Jan 27, 2015 Colorado

    Don't Mock My Bock was on just two weeks ago at Bull and Bush. Domingo mentioned it but not specifically by name and I have to agree that it was tasting superb. Keep an eye out for that one - it's really "crisp" and hides the alcohol well, with a great mouthfeel.
  16. Knobs303

    Knobs303 Aspirant (271) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    There is no way F&G American Lager can hold a torch to Upslope Craft Lager.
  17. Knobs303

    Knobs303 Aspirant (271) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    North Boulder Liquor still has some F&G Maibock if anyone is interested.
  18. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,675) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    So, I actually don't care for most "American" or unclassified lagers. It's unrelated to where they're made, but just the ones that carry that label. They usually taste like a pale ale with noble hops and a clipped finish. 2-row typically doesn't cut it when you're looking for body. Most have more sulphur than I'd like as though they could use a little more time, too. I don't hate them or anything, but they aren't my faves. I'd probably choose one of those when I'm feeling like a pale ale rather than a pils, hell, or export. Different strokes of course.

    Grimm Brothers has popped up a few times. Their stuff's pretty fantastic, IMO. Fearless Youth in cans is so crushable. It's criminal how few dunkels are brewed in or are shipped to the US. I like schwarzbiers, but dunkel > schwarz almost every time for me. For that matter, Tmave Pivo is another one I'd like to see more of, too.
    Beyond Polestar, pretty much all of Left Hand's German beers are legit. At one time they partnered with an excellent German-brewery, Tabernash. That's where most of them originated.
    Oxymoron and Dan_K like this.
  19. Wayne1

    Wayne1 Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2008 Colorado

    Ro Guenzel, who was Left Hand's Head Brewer for a very long time, used to brew at Kaltenberg Castle Royal Bavarian Brewhousenin Vail. They were making very traditional German lagers there. I believe that is where Polestar came from.
    Left Hand did acquire Tabernash and were making the Weiss beer, that was Eric Warner's recipe.

    Ro is now Brewing Manager at Great Divide. Maybe some lagers might be in GD's future.
    Domingo likes this.
  20. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (519) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    It's actually a black lager, but I sure do love 1554.
    Okay, upon further research it would be more accurate to call it an ale? But I am not sure at what temperature it ferments at.
    Polestar Pilsner is one of my favorites, although I can't say I buy much of it. I prefer Upslope Craft Lager to Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils. Would love to see a place like Jack's Abbey open up in Colorado.
  21. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (485) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Mama's is a go-to for me, mainly bc my buddy always has it for our mtn bike rides.

    as far as standards- this thread reminds me I need to grab some Upslope Craft Lager and revisit the Polestar Pils again!
    Bitterbill likes this.
  22. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (485) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I tried Puesta Del Sol from WW last night at tap and handle. I doubt it will stoke the hype train like some of their other offerings, but it certainly threw a little coal in there for this guy :stuck_out_tongue:
    Canada_Dan and R3ason like this.
  23. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,675) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    That would be nice. They used to have a few German beers in their line-up, although Wolfgang and Hoss are the only regularly brewed lagers coming to mind. Never made it to the Kaltenberg Castle in Vail, although I've been by the "real" one. If the beers were related at all, then they would have been excellent.

    The story they've always told is that the beer is and has always been a lager. Kinda similar to a schwarzbier, but not exactly the same. They called it an ale because of cultural bias at the time. "Lager" was synonymous with macro and light lagers until really recently.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  24. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (519) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    Actually New Belgium has addressed this in great detail on their website:
    Feb 10, 2014

    Early this year New Belgium changed the labels for all its beers. You probably noticed this already. But what you might not have noticed is a slight change to

    Now, we're not talking about the beer itself. It remains the same (which is to say it's still the delicious, crisp brew you've known and loved). We're simply talking about the description of the beer on its label. If you've had a 1554 in the last decade you'll know that it was labeled an "Enlightened Black Ale." The new labels now say "Black Lager."


    To be clear, both labelings are correct. (Kind of.) See, 1554 is brewed with a lager yeast, but at an ale temperature. It's a unique beer brewed using a unique process, and classifying it in either category leaves something to be desired.

    So, why was it traditionally referred to as an ale? Well, the answer is Texas. Yeah. Texas.

    Until recently Texas had a law stating that any beer with an ABV over 5 percent must either be labeled an ale or a malt liquor. Since 1554 is kind of an ale — and because we wanted to sell 1554 in Texas — we labeled it an "Enlightened Black Ale."

    The law was ruled unconstitutional in December of 2011, and brewers everywhere rejoiced.

    We took the new labels as an opportunity to change the wording on 1554, labeling it a "Black Lager." We feel it's a more appropriate classification for the beer (though not perfect). Again, the beer hasn't changed, only the labeling.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  25. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,675) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I never put 2 and 2 together with the Texas thing. Lots of German (and Mexican) lagers used to be labeled as "Ale" until pretty recently. The story they always gave on the tour was just that lager had a stigma.
    I lean in the direction of calling anything that has been "lagered" as a lager. Hence, alt and koelsch are called "obergärig lagerbier" in Germany. The BJCP disagrees, though...
    Bitterbill likes this.
  26. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (519) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    I would call something that was lagered a lager and something that is not an ale. I know some people do witbiers with lager yeast at ale temps. That's an ale, baby.
  27. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,888) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Wynkoop's B3K is a good Schwarzbier for Colorado....for now anyway.
  28. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,930) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Love Tivoli Helles.

    Grimms fearless youth is great. As is their maidens kiss, imo.

    Upslopes Craft Lager is a winner. As is Prosts dunkel. I also enjoyed Lowdowns Patio Pilsner.
  29. WildDalby18

    WildDalby18 Initiate (82) Dec 13, 2014 Colorado

    Draft only and brewed just once a year, but Hoghead's Billsner (collaboration with Bill Eye) is hands down my favorite pilsner in the state...but don't go drinking it all!
    Domingo likes this.
  30. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,675) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Billsner is the truth. Not like I'd ever be caught drinking one...
    ClayStation likes this.
  31. SiflandOlly

    SiflandOlly Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2010 Colorado

    4 Noses Hikers Helles has been drinking nicely for me in the hot weather.
    ClayStation likes this.
  32. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron Poo-Bah (1,813) Aug 14, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Wibby out of Longmont is only doing lagers. They are relatively new but doing a good job. They have an IPL last time I was there that was pretty good.

    Also throw out Ska Mexican Lager out there. Hadn't had that one in years and had a friend drop off a sixer that I was able to snag a can from. Very impressed for what is was on a 90+ hot day.

    Grimm has Dragon Slayer which is a Rauchbier on tap. I think theirs is one of the best in the country. A little bias here but that style is all about balance.
    Domingo likes this.
  33. chango

    chango Initiate (85) Mar 31, 2006 Colorado

    The new Prost Helles!
    So good!
    Canada_Dan likes this.
  34. Canada_Dan

    Canada_Dan Savant (904) Jun 14, 2013 Colorado

    I was going to buy this but second guessed myself because I mistakenly thought it could be old instead of new. Next time....
    chango likes this.
  35. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,434) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Can't even get two pages of love for CO lagers...
  36. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Aspirant (212) May 31, 2011 Colorado

    Well, I also liked the Epic Loco Lager. I got two six-packs of it, but I think the second one sort of did me in. It's a fine summer beer.
  37. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,888) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    How about Tommyknocker's Butt Head Bock??
  38. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (396) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    I am probably going to pick up some Tivoli Helles today in the stubby bottles. Used to love this on tap 2-3 years ago but was disappointed in the bottled version and then stopped seeing it around as much on tap.

    Also need some Prost Helles, and Pils. Have heard some very good things about positive changes there.

    There are some very popular, at least at the store I work at, and mentioned in this thread, Colorado-brewed lagers that miss the mark by a pretty wide margin, at least to me. Would far rather drink old and past their peak imports, frankly. Or, at similar prices, a very well made Colorado IPA of which there are many. No names because that's not how I roll.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  39. BeerBredBeardBread

    BeerBredBeardBread Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2016 Colorado

    I always drink a shit-ton of Avery Kaiser when it's around. So satisfying.
    Mebuzzard likes this.
  40. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron Poo-Bah (1,813) Aug 14, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    WeldWerks Vienna Lager