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Each summer since 1994, an elite group of America’s best craft breweries travel to Telluride, Colorado to showcase their beer and celebrate the Grand Tasting. What started as the Telluride Brewer's Festival on Telluride's Main Street, has grown into today's Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, hosting 56 breweries and over 30 artists for a weekend of entertainment in the beautiful Telluride Town Park. Each attending brewery and their beers are unique, showcasing distinct flavors, colors, smells and personalities. Every beer is a work of art taking months and sometimes years to perfect. Just as our artist lineup showcases a variety of distinct musicians, our craft beer lineup showcases a variety of distinct craft beers.
Our new ‘Taste Tease’ blog series offers a glimpse at some of the 170 beer styles you’ll be able to sample at this year’s Grand Tasting. Leading up to the festival, the Blues & Brews staff will sample six beers per month and report on our findings. Crack open a cold one and get ready to discover your next favorite beer!
Chico, CA | ABV 6.7% IBUs 55
Sierra Nevada’s new Tropical Torpedo is a tropical take on their famous Torpedo American IPA, delivering a hoppy citrus flavor with each sip. Utilizing their one-of-a-kind Hop Torpedo system, Sierra Nevada’s Tropical Torpedo is a mix between an intense rush of hop flavor and the lush aromas of mango, papaya, and passionfruit. This vibrant and golden IPA delivers a less bitter and juicy taste that’s perfect for a summer day.
Sierra Nevada will once again return as the official beer partner of the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. All-festival long they’ll be serving up a variety of creations including the Tropical Torpedo and the festival exclusive, Back Porch Lager.
Durango, CO | ABV 6.1% IBUs 35
Touches of pine, gentle citrus, and floral hints define the Durango Pale Ale. Engaging and always drinkable, smooth and rich pale malts blend with subtle hops for a well-balanced pale ale. This light pale ale contains a very fresh mouthfeel with a crisp and clean taste. A very straight forward, yet flavorful, sessionable beer option for those looking for a traditional craft flavor. This the perfect companion for a summer mountain adventure or a backyard BBQ.
A regional favorite, Durango Brewing Company is in the process of opening a new production facility allowing them to expand their distribution and offer canned beer. They’ll be serving up delicious suds all-festival long in the House of Brews this September.
Boulder, CO | ABV 5.8% IBUs 37
Right in step with the craft beer citra craze, Boulder, Colorado’s Upslope has just released a twist on their crisp traditional pale ale. Prominently featuring Citra hops, the Citra Pale Ale delivers pungent grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas on the nose with a semi-dry finish. Juicy notes imparted by the hops pair with the light caramel malt character to balance this drinkable Pale Ale. The aroma of this beer is undeniably floral and produces a pleasant “zing” upon the first sip. We’d recommend adding this to your Grand Tasting “must try” list at this summer's festival.
Palisade, CO | ABV 5.3% IBUs 17
The Dirty Hippie was Palisade Brewing’s first venture into a non-traditional wheat beer. It was so well received by locals in Colorado’s Grand Valley that it has become their flagship beer and it's easy to see why! This beer is a dusky, chocolatey, bold wheat beer that offers a nutty smell and delivers a scotchy taste with light carbonation. This beer is very smooth and drinkable. If you plan to seek out wheat beer at this year’s Grand Tasting, we would recommend adding the Dirty Hippie to your list.
Downingtown, PA | ABV 9.5% IBUs 25
Victory’s Golden Monkey is a zingy Belgian-style Tripel with a golden appearance, herbal, fruity notes and a light body. The Sour Monkey takes the Golden Monkey one step further with a couple extra fermentations resulting in a sharp, citrus-laden tang and champagne-like appearance. The Sour Monkey gives-off a strong lemon smell while delivering a smooth start and tart finish. The wild beer movement is taking over the craft beer industry and this beer is definitely a staple. Make sure to check out Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Company at this year’s Grand Tasting.
Poncha Springs, CO | ABV 8% IBUs 25
The Elevation Raspberry Gulch is an imperial fruited saison brewed with a traditional yeast strain from Belgium and nearly 18 pounds of raspberries per barrel. That being said, the Raspberry Gulch is very balanced and drinkable. This beer is subtly spicy, with strong floral and tart flavors, while the appearance is uniquely hazy pink. Whether you're a fruit beer fan or not we recommend giving the Raspberry Gulch a try. With a lineup of unique beers, be sure to stop by the Elevation Beer booth at the Grand Tasting!
The 2017 Telluride Blues & Brews Grand Tasting will take place Saturday September 16, featuring 56 craft breweries, 170 styles of beer and, of course, live music. Sign up for our Bluesletter to be the first to receive the next ‘Taste Tease’ blog installment coming soon!