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La Cumbre Elevated IPA?

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by ssteigerwald, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. ssteigerwald

    ssteigerwald Aspirant (254) Mar 4, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I saw news around GABF that La Cumbre was looking to bring Elevated IPA to Colorado soon. Anyone have insight on the status? I passed up a recent BeerJobber sale on the stuff holding out to buy it locally.
  2. erway

    erway Initiate (141) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    La Cumbre is actively looking for appropriate distribution in CO and will be available there as soon as we can be. We'd rather wait a few months and make sure that we can get there with a distro that will ensure a fresh refrigerated product.
  3. imperialbeerdude

    imperialbeerdude Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2012 Colorado

    when did they start bottling?
  4. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (163) May 29, 2005 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    No bottles, just 16 oz. cans of the Elevated IPA from them thus far. They started canning in June of this year. We are lucky here in Albuquerque to always have access to fresh cans of this while the clueless distributors keep pushing old IPAs into area stores.
  5. joshclauss

    joshclauss Aspirant (243) Oct 31, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    That's the most G response to this question you could have given. Bravo and fuck yeah.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  6. ssteigerwald

    ssteigerwald Aspirant (254) Mar 4, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the response and looking forward to trying your stuff. I'll be patient.
    hopfacebrew likes this.
  7. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,229) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Very cool. La Cumbre was a big surprise for me at the GABF 2 years ago. A friend of mine was pouring for them and swore they had some of the best stuff at the show. I was (of course) a skeptic having never heard of them and with 1000 breweries in the building, but I'll be damned if he wasn't right.
  8. blindpiggie

    blindpiggie Devotee (425) Jan 27, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Elevated is one of my favorite IPAs. I grabbed a growler going through Abq. earlier this year and drank the whole thing that night, lukewarm, out of a plastic cup at our hotel. It was amazing! Can't wait to see it in CO.
  9. bfields4

    bfields4 Zealot (579) Dec 11, 2007 Colorado

    Awesome news. My roommate brought back a few when he was in the area visiting. Can't wait to bring home a few of these guys!
  10. MileHighShooter

    MileHighShooter Initiate (154) Nov 23, 2010 Colorado

    Maybe look into who Firestone Walker and Russian River use for distro in Colorado?
  11. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Aspirant (281) May 31, 2011 Colorado

    I'd pass on RR's distributor. I was at Mile High in july when they were unpacking Pliny, and it was warm (maybe 85ish). I'll never get it again in the summer time.
  12. ucsbmullet

    ucsbmullet Crusader (749) Oct 5, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Get pumped for this one! A friend from Albuquerque just brought me some. This one is very reminiscient of some West Coast IPAs (Alpine and Societe in the San Diego area specifically) I got to try recently. The cans I got were about 6-7 weeks old so not sure if its in the right drinking window, but it has one of the better aromatics nose-wise (pine and resin). Manages to be super smooth despite the hoppy nose. Didn't get any bitterness on the tongue. Between La Cumbre and Marble, Albuquerque is making some serious big-time brews.
  13. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Poo-Bah (3,178) Jun 9, 2006 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Just got two fresh (12/3) four packs in the mail this week, it's rad. I'd buy this on the reg if it was available fresh locally.
  14. DenverBeerDrinker

    DenverBeerDrinker Aspirant (258) Apr 5, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I'm not one who worries too much about bottle date with IPAs but this one was certainly better fresh. I did a side-by-side with two, one 10 days and one 7-8 weeks old and you could taste the difference. It was still enjoyable but there was a bit of a let down on the hops in the older one.
  15. erway

    erway Initiate (141) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    This is something that I have discussed with a ton of brewers and it's interesting what some have done in the interest of getting max impact into their IPAs for the long term. One brewer that I know who is putting out an excellent IPA that does actually age somewhat well is simply using a hop back instead of dry-hopping much at all. It means their IPA never has what ours does fresh, but months down the line, WAY more. There's the Sierra Nevada approach of simply making a great beer that does not rely on big hop aroma but instead leans on balance, drinkability and an astoundingly high level of QA/QC. Stone's approach with their enjoy by is awesome, but could only be attempted by such a large brewery.

    So what do we as small brewers do? You can keep your dissolved oxygen to a minimum, you can require your distributor to keep your beer cold (cold is key to hanging on to hop aroma) you can encourage everyone who buys it to drink ASAP (thank Vinnie C. for starting that trend), but at the end of the day, hop aroma is what IPA lovers want and dry hop aromas are by far the most volatile aromatic in beer. So I'll continue to see that drinkers like our beer on draft better, and that's ok. IPAs like elevated are better fresh, period. Canning or bottling a beer will not make it better, as a brewer you can only do your damndest to not mess it up. And the freshest Elevated you can get is at the brewery on tap.

    We have done side by sides with fresh cans (literally canned that day) and the same batch on tap and notice absolutely no difference. 1 week old, nothing. By 2 weeks in the can all of us start noticing a drop in hop aroma. But 2 months out the beer still is bitter with an aroma that becomes increasingly tangerine-like. The cans that we have from June are still tasting nice, though a shadow of what we have on tap. The aroma is completely gone in the torture tested beers from that time and is lightly present in the samples that have been kept cold. At the end of the day, we're simply happy that only 5 months after canning we can pretty well guarantee that the beer we're sending out will not be severely "off" any time soon.

    We will be looking at a 30 bbl brewhouse in the next few years and a hop back will be part of that. Until then, we'll keep on using an obscene amount of hops (including dry-hops), throwing in the varieties that we know will get us to where we want to be, get it into the can the best way we know how, and keep our fingers crossed that all of the people that purchase it will get it as fresh as possible.
  16. DenverBeerDrinker

    DenverBeerDrinker Aspirant (258) Apr 5, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Appreciate the insight. Now I have a little bit better understanding of the QA process and testing you go through. I also would expect IPAs to taste better on tap. Obviously having to purchase it close to the source and get it to Denver it wasn't in ideal conditions. I wasn't doing the side-by-side to test anything. I just happen to have them both cold in the fridge. Like I pointed out, I still enjoyed it and I look forward to being able to purchase it locally.
  17. MinorThreat

    MinorThreat Devotee (488) Apr 7, 2008 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    Very happy to hear this! I was in ABQ over Thanksgiving and was blown away with Elevated IPA. I have kicked a few cans in as extras in trades and the response has been overwhelmingly great. I will 100% put it on draught at my pubs if it is available in in the Denver market. Side note.... CR Goodman has some of the best beer loving reps in Denver. From a sales perspective they kill it though I cannot speak to they way they store/handle at their warehouse.
  18. SalukiAlum

    SalukiAlum Disciple (332) Dec 19, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    A friend brought a growler back from ABQ, loved this IPA!!
  19. erway

    erway Initiate (141) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    This brewhouse arrives Monday the 9th.
  20. Denver_Beer_Guy

    Denver_Beer_Guy Initiate (46) Jun 4, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Very happy to get La Cumbre here soon. Their taproom is awesome to go along with great beer. Cheers!
  21. Kramerbarthomer

    Kramerbarthomer Crusader (785) Mar 22, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    @erway Any chance this means La Cumbre is finally, actually coming to Denver soon? Or still just staying in SW Colorado? Hadn't heard anything definitive recently...
  22. buttesnake

    buttesnake Initiate (79) Sep 25, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Everything I've had by them was great. Thanks again, @M_chav.
    M_chav likes this.
  23. PeterP-516

    PeterP-516 Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    This beer is fucking awesome! And i was able to get a 7 day old case for 36$!
    Better than heady topper in my opinion.
  24. erway

    erway Initiate (141) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    While there is a big part of me that wants to enter the Denver market right now, unfortunately there are only a couple of descent distributors in the area that 1: Clean their draft lines, 2: Rotate stocks well, 3: Pull old beer when it needs to be pulled, and lastly 4: Can actually get beer on the shelves of the chains where most of the craft beer in this country is still sold.

    I have approached the three that I would be interested in distributing through and none of them were interested. Sorry guys, wish I could do more, but if the distros don't want our product, they don't want it. Not much else that I can do about it. The Denver market is REALLY crowded and might I add that while it might be good for the majority of craft beer drinkers to have REALLY competitive keg prices, it means that only so many brewers will ever try to sell draft in the area; locals and big regionals and nationals, but most mid-sized will be package only.
  25. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (349) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    So how far south do I have to drive to get this? Buena Vista? Alamosa? Pagosa Springs?
  26. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,229) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Even though I'm disappointed we don't get La Cumbre in Denver, I applaud the fact that you've actually evaluated all of those things.
    I think a lot of places haphazardly enter the Denver market and get lost on a shelf with hundreds of other options. Either that or they don't have the means to deliver fresh/affordable product and people are disappointed with old or overly expensive beer.
    Keep serving an underserved market (although NM is getting much better) and see where things are in the future.
  27. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,192) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Got to agree with Domingo here. While I would have loved to have had access to La Cumbre, I can't fault the reasoning behind not entering the market. If Firestone Walker's Union Jack and Double Jack can sit on local shelves for months, I'd say most just about any hoppy beer can run the same risk.

    (Though it is possible I enjoy those FW beers more than most)
  28. breadwinner

    breadwinner Meyvn (1,162) Mar 6, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    Hopefully these are all reasons that, say, the Phoenix market is much more attractive...
    SalukiAlum and ONovoMexicano like this.
  29. DenverBeerDrinker

    DenverBeerDrinker Aspirant (258) Apr 5, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Not sure what you mean by this statement. Not bashing the statement but just trying to figure out what you are saying here.

    Are you saying that your keg prices are too high for the Denver market? If so what is the price (ballpark)? I know quite a few people who buy kegs. There is a waitlist for Super Power. BCBS sells out fast when kegs hit the market. Several stores right now are taking names (pre-orders) for kegs of Alpine. And I don't think any of those kegs are "cheap".
    ASak10 likes this.
  30. kuelhof

    kuelhof Initiate (133) Apr 18, 2013 Colorado

    It is definitely available on a regular basis here in Durango! (also the hefe and stout)
  31. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (349) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    Well I could run down to, say, Walsenburg & back on a Saturday in my '85 Mercedes with all season radials, but Durango is a little different story, at least until spring...
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  32. Andrew3366

    Andrew3366 Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2012 Illinois

    Not to get off topic, but I see FW used as an example in a lot of threads throughout the country as good beer that just sits...
  33. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,049) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Never seen it in Walsenberg or Alamosa.
  34. 4truth

    4truth Aspirant (220) Jan 30, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Guess no hope for Chicago, then :wink:

    Gotta get my annual trip to Duke City (or So. Col) on the calendar!
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  35. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Crusader (747) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Just one more reason to head to Santa Fe National Forest for some backpacking this summer...
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  36. erway

    erway Initiate (141) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    Sorry, re-read that and it doesn't read right. The draft market is really competitive, so selling kegs at ~$100 or less wholesale is common place. If I have to pay shipping and return shipping on my kegs, I can't sell mine for less than $150ish. That's WAY above the market in Denver.

    But this really has very little to do with why we will most likely forego Denver in the immediate future. It's really all about the distributors.
  37. erway

    erway Initiate (141) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    Which makes zero sense to me. If FW is on tap, I don't care what brand, I know what I will be drinking.
  38. Denver_Beer_Guy

    Denver_Beer_Guy Initiate (46) Jun 4, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    As someone starting a bar in Denver and meeting with distros - I'd happily pay ~$150/keg for your IPAs. That's actually not too bad...
  39. dauss

    dauss Defender (664) Aug 9, 2003 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    $150 + 30%-40% Distributor markup?
  40. Denver_Beer_Guy

    Denver_Beer_Guy Initiate (46) Jun 4, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    For sure. I won't even tell you what they want for Nelson pre-sale.... With that pricing it's possible for me to sell it for $6.50-7 a pint which I think is going rate for high quality/rare/out-of-state IPAs.

    I think the biggest thing for them would be the total number they need/want to have here. I'd buy 1-2 kegs a month/periodically which probably won't meet what they need/want to sell at all. That's the main problem of course. If they ship a ton here everyone has it and those places will buy less of it because it's not as rare anymore. Just the way the market is...
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