Looking for an interesting/higher end Amber or Lager for Father's Day

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by ajmitch4, Jun 13, 2013.

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  1. ajmitch4

    ajmitch4 Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2013 Colorado

    I'm an IPA man myself, but my dad is a fan of Ambers, Red ales, lagers etc. We're from the Denver Metro Area, so have tasted most of what Colorado has to offer. He loves Alaskan Amber, anything New Belgium, and we're huge Russian River fans. But I want to get him something he hasn't had before. I liked Red Banshee from Ft. Collins Brewing Co. but he's had that before also. G'Knight isn't an option either.
    Any suggestions? I frequent Tipsy's in Littleton and Hazel's in Boulder, so if there's somewhere else I should go I'd like to know where! (I know about Applejack, Arrow, and Daveco Liquors). Thanks for your help.
  2. schlegelmeister

    schlegelmeister Initiate (26) Oct 19, 2011 Massachusetts

    Grimm bros little red cap might be a good beer if he really likes the Alaskan amber, and I'm pretty sure they're all over the Denver area now.
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  3. nolimitnsb

    nolimitnsb Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Hop head red, Odell's red, and Marble's red are a few other good options.
  4. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,099) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Odell's Levity...Odell's Red is amazing but a seasonal and now out of season, though you might still find some on the shelves from stores still with some stock.
    Crazy Mountain's Boohai Red Ale
    Marble Red
    Grimm Brothers Little Red Cap
    ajmitch4 likes this.
  5. dauss

    dauss Defender (660) Aug 9, 2003 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Prost Altbier and their Dunkle
  6. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,196) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I always think of Alaskan's as being pretty malt-forward, so I'll stick with that idea.

    Backcountry's Amber is very malt-forward amber/red ale.
    FCB's 1900 is a toasty amber lager.
    While growler-only, Annapurna Amber from the Mountain Sun is one of my favorite sessionable malt-bombs in the area.
    The Bull & Bush's ESB, is heading down that path, too.
    ajmitch4 likes this.
  7. joshclauss

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

    I would be super skeptical of any Odell Red or Crazy Mountain Boohai - Odell obviously because it's highly hopped and hasn't been re-brewed should be pretty well oxidized now, and the same with Boohai unless you can find fresh can dating (although I don't think they do that). Marble Red you have to be really careful with, but they do at least print bottle dating on them.
  8. joshclauss

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

    Domingo, why not try the Hogshead ESB? Too far outside the box stylistically?
  9. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,099) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    I tried my first Boohai the other week and thought it was great, personally. It was available in the single section too, so I doubt it was super fresh, but I thought the hops held up. Would be nice if Crazy Mountain would date their cans though.

    But I do agree with Odell's Red...I wouldn't be buying any of that stuff at this point either. I did see some sixers at Wilburs a few weeks back that had best by July dates on them, but that's a beer that I personally wouldn't test the window with, even though its one of my favorite beers.
  10. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,099) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Crazy Mountain's Horseshoes and Hand Grenade if ESB's are of interest, my favorite offering from those guys.
    joshclauss likes this.
  11. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,196) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I just forgot about it :slight_smile: It's every bit as good as the one from the B&B, actually.
    A malty red/amber ale tends to be pretty similar to an ESB in my eyes. The type of hops would probably be the only major difference I'd think.
  12. joshclauss

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

    And the yeast should be pretty different, too.

    While we're on the topic, my go-to Amber/Lager (it's kinda both) might be Anchor Steam, actually. Not exciting, and I know it doesn't help you out here, but worth saying it's still great after all this time.
  13. blindpiggie

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

    I'll throw a vote to Elevation Downpour although availability and age might disqualify it. When I had it fresh I thought it was a pretty excellent, well-balanced Red ale.
    Prospero likes this.
  14. cjs61679

    cjs61679 Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2013 Massachusetts

    For a beer that fits the bill for both of you, Zoe from Maine Beer would be great. Not sure if you can get your hands on it out there, but it's a great hoppy amber. At $7-$8 for 16.9 ozs, it also fits the "higher" end scale for ambers.
  15. alexipa

    alexipa Devotee (435) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I love Alaskan Amber, so my palate may be similar. My favorite ambers I've found in Colorado thus far (that are distributed) have been Odell's Levity and Dry Dock's Amber. Ska's ESB is great as well, but it's not entirely an amber.
    ajmitch4 likes this.
  16. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,448) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    My top pick would be Backcountry Amber. It's good, malty, 6pk and good price

    After that, maybe Hall Brewing's Red, if you like the malty reds. Or the Grimm Bros mentioned above. Hogshead and Bull/Bush make some real nice English style beers. So does Pints Pub (great place to go if'in you like Scotch)
    ajmitch4 likes this.
  17. alexipa

    alexipa Devotee (435) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I always forget about this beer, thanks for mentioning it! I think this is their best year round offering and totally worth a trip to fill a growler.
  18. ajmitch4

    ajmitch4 Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2013 Colorado

    Why is that? Can you not get Anchor Steam anymore?
  19. ajmitch4

    ajmitch4 Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2013 Colorado

    Thanks everyone. This is a huge help.
  20. joshclauss

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

    No, nothing like that. I just didn't think it fit the bill of a "higher end" beer. However, it is both an Amber and a Lager (kinda, sorta...might as well be...says so on the label), and it is also delicious.
  21. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,099) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Domingo included Fort Collins Brewery's 1900 Amber Lager into the discussion already, so higher end was already thrown out the window.


    I kid, I kid.

    I probably just have a negative opinion towards it because it was the first amber lager I tried when I got out here as I tried to find a replacement for Yuegling (amber) Lager, and was mighty disappointed to discover the two beers were nothing alike. Both are amber lagers but really comparing apples and oranges there.

    On another note, I think Anchor Steam deserves to be considered a higher end beer, personally.
    Domingo likes this.
  22. alexipa

    alexipa Devotee (435) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I have the day off today and this post had me craving a good amber/red. I went out and grabbed this, drinking one right now. It's a great beer but definitely not malt forward. It's got some strange/great flavors though.
    ajmitch4 and denver10 like this.
  23. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,196) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    On the subject of Crazy Mountain - have they ironed out their carbonation issues? I've bought 2 six packs from them and the first cans in both packs were quite good.
    However any of the cans I opened more than a week later were 100% dead flat. That was more than a year ago, but I've been hesitant to buy more.
  24. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,099) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Yeah, that Boohai isn't malt forward....

    As for carbonation issues, I haven't had any issues like that yet, but I do have a couple Boohai's left in my fridge that I will check and report back on once I open them.
  25. joshclauss

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


    Unfortunately for our awesome local craft beer scene, this consistent pattern for breweries new to packaged beer is preventing me from spending money on new brewery beer across the board - I've seen problems with multiple breweries, most prominently Telluride. But Dry Dock, Renegade, and I'm sure others I can't remember I've had bad issues with.

    <soapbox>You add onto that a lot of these beers are hoppy, and either advanced oxidation is taking place due to aforementioned packaging woes or I'm buying old cans because they don't date them, and it's really become an issue that the industry should be seriously concerned with. The reason craft breweries closed in the early 90's during the first boom (and good ones, too) was due to quality issues generally. This is something they need to manage sooner rather than later.

  26. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,448) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    It's kind of a convoluted mess out there right now in respects to QC, packaging, sales, insurers, distributors, crafty, etc. Back in the 90s I think BMC busted that bubble quick with bullying tactics and TV spots. This time around they were so focus on acquiring each other that the craft scene snuck in a grew like a weed. Now they have to do something different. One tactic would be to let the craft brewers fight themselves and wait it out. Issues with packaging, shelf space and trademark disputes is right up BMC's alley (or is it ABINBVMC's alley?)

    This is my soapbox. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
  27. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Aspirant (281) May 31, 2011 Colorado

    I don't know if it's because of the mobile canning that is used by Big Choice and several other small, local breweries, but I got a 4-pack of Big Choices Diconnected Red about a month ago, and it was flat and nasty (don't get that for your pops, lol). I wonder if the cans weren't sealed properly, or if the beer just wasn't carbed up well prior to packaging. Anyway, I've also gotten RIS's in the past year (GC and River North) that were also really low on carbonation, but not as badly as te Big Choice beer. Mobile canning sounds like a good idea for the small guys, but QC has to be an issue.
    joshclauss likes this.
  28. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,099) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Just cracked some Boohai Red Ale's that had been sitting in my fridge for a week or so and no carb issues at all.
  29. poonamibaxter

    poonamibaxter Aspirant (260) Jun 26, 2007 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    No such thing as an interesting amber or lager. Buy pops a sixer of Anchor Steam and a handle of Old Charter then call it a day.

  30. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (944) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Any mention of Anchor, or Dry Dock amber immediately makes me lose interest. Dry Dock's amber is pretty terrible. Odell Red & Marble Red are really the only 2 worth mentioning unless you're willing to trade for Zoe or NN. Or if you can consider a non-local, Red Rocket. Crazy Mountain Amber (not Boohai) is supposed to be good, but again, found it to be mediocre. Elevation Downpour was phenom, but a) probably not around anymore and b) past its prime

    One of the best available lagers IMHO would be Victory Prima Pils or Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils (or Avery Joe's or Left Hand's Polestar)
  31. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (339) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    If Irish Reds are in play, and if the OP (or, I guess, his dad) is amenable to growler fills, I've had two excellent Irish Reds in the last two days (and I don't particularly, usually, like Irish Reds nor seek them out), one from Black Shirt and one from Lone Tree. Bit of a hassle to get to, since not in a local liquor store so you have to drive to the breweries, but would certainly fit the bill of beers Dad hasn't tried before...

    Otherwise, I agree with the Backcountry recommendation, wholeheartedly.
  32. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,448) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    Hold the phone! A little place called Small Batch in the Highlands/Tennyson area has Lone Tree I-Red in bottles. I thought the taste was good, but under carbonated. But, if they have Lone Tree bottles, then surely someplace else might.
    BeerSlingerMike likes this.
  33. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,196) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    The Lone Tree Irish red is top notch on tap. Best one in town? Maybe. If the bottled version holds up - buy it. I know Lukas and Davidsons have it.
  34. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (339) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    Learn something every day! I think I just assumed they were on site only. Do they bottle anything else?
  35. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,448) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    Not sure. I just saw the I-red and snagged it
  36. biking4beer

    biking4beer Disciple (340) Oct 5, 2006 Colorado

    I've had the pale in a bomber. Not sure where they are available. I also agree they make very solid beers.
  37. ElevationBeer

    ElevationBeer Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2012 Colorado

    Hey Biking4beer,

    Downpour will be back this fall, but as our Colorado fresh hop release, should be slightly different with the addition of some great Western Slope grown hops, but will be very similar to the orginal incarnation.

    Cheers to great beer.

    The Elevation Team.
    joshclauss and Prospero like this.
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