Taste Tease 2018: Volume 1

Every September, 56 of America’s best craft breweries travel to Telluride Town Park to showcase their beer at the Telluride Blues & Brews Grand Tasting. Each of these breweries and their beers are unique, showcasing distinct flavors, colors, smells and personalities. Every craft beer is a work of art taking months and sometimes years to perfect. Just as our artist lineup showcases a variety of distinct music masters, our craft beer lineup showcases a variety of brewing masters.

The Telluride Blues & Brews ‘Taste Tease’ series is our attempt at giving you a look 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 be sampling six beers a month and reporting on our findings. We hope you find this series as informative and fun we do!

This month’s blog features Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing IPA, Big B's Lazy Daze Hard Lemonade, Telluride Brewing’s Whacked Out Wheat, Ska Brewing’s Rue B. Soho Grapefruit Lager, Uinta Brewing’s Mango Lime Pilsner and Crooked Stave’s Sour Rosé.

Sierra Nevada - Hazy Little Thing IPA

New England Style IPA | Chico, CA | ABV: 6.7%

Hazy IPAs are all the rage in the craft beer world. A style that originated in the New England Region can now be found just about everywhere for a good reason- this brewing method results in less bitter flavor and maximum citrus-juicy profiles. The staff at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival was eager to try the Hazy Little Thing IPA when our brewery partner Sierra Nevada announced the new beer and it lived up to the hype. We found this unprocessed beer to be true-to-style with beautiful gold-haze and a dynamic flavor featuring heavy citrus upfront with a smooth hoppy finish. Lively carbonation deliver a smooth mouthfeel and semi-light body, making this beer good for more than just one.

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 festival exclusive, Back Porch Lager.

Big B's Lazy Daze - Hard Lemonade

Hard Cider Lemonade | Paonia, Co | ABV: 4.5%

The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is excited to feature more craft cideries at the Grand Tasting this year, including long time House of Brews Partner Big B’s. Not only a cidery, Big B’s is also an orchard and grows cider ingredients in nearby Paonia, Colorado. Big B’s is known for stepping out of the box with creative flavors and their Hard Lemonade is no exception. The Hard Lemonade is described as more of a Cider Shandy and is created by combining their Orchard Original with Big B’s Organic Orchard Recipe Lemonade. We found this light colored cider to feature a very refreshing apple and lemon flavor, crisp with zingy tart finish. This Hard Lemonade is perfect for a hot summer day.

Telluride Brewing - Whacked Out Wheat

American-style Wheat | Telluride, CO | ABV: 5.1%

Recently Telluride Brewing took home a silver medal at the World Beer Cup for their Whacked Out Wheat American-style Wheat Beer, so we were excited to take another look at this regional classic. This beer is a very straight forward wheat featuring a golden complexion, a light body and wheaty, grainy flavor. We find this wheat to be exceptionally sessionable and a great beer for a warmer day. Catch Telluride Brewing in the House of Brews and during the Grand Tasting at this year’s festival.

Ska Brewing - Rue B. Soho

Grapefruit Lager | Durango, CO | ABV: 5.1%

Durango’s Ska Brewing has been getting creative with their beer-styles over the last few years. While the Mod Project “brewery inside of a brewery” has produced a handful unique sours and wild beers, the Rue B. Soho Grapefruit Lager comes from their production brewery and is a nod to the traditional lager with some modern-age style fruit flavor. Some fruit beers are overpowering, but we found Rue B. Soho to be clear, well balanced and drinkable, with a subtle grapefruit flavor and aroma. Ska Brewing will once again return to the House of Brews and the Grand Tasting at this year’s Festival.

Uinta Brewing - Mango Lime Pilsner

Fruit Pilsner | Salt Lake City, UT | ABV: 5.0%

Fruit Lagers and Pilsners are another great 2018 craft-beer trend allowing complex flavors to build upon a drinkable, light-bodied platform. Uinta Brewing’s Mango Lime Pilsner features a puckering, subtly tart flavor with a very clean finish. The mango and lime flavor in this beer is distinct, but recognizable and not overpowering. This beer is a great selection for the fruit-beer fan in the hot summer months.

Crooked Stave - Sour Rosé

Wild Sour | Denver, CO | ABV: 4.5%

Crooked Stave is one of Colorado’s most unique breweries focusing on wilds, sours and non-traditional brewing methods. Showcasing the wild-style they do best, the Sour Rosé is a wild ale fermented in oak foeders on second-use raspberries and blueberries with a mixed culture of wild yeast. When poured this beer features a hazy-pink glowing complexion and a super carbonated mouthfeel. Not straying from the rose name, the beer is very wine-like with an acidic, citrusy and sour flavor. This is a great beer for wine and non-traditional beer enthusiasts.

The 2018 Telluride Blues & Brews Grand Tasting will take place Saturday, September 15 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 (Vol 2) blog installment coming soon!

Steve Gumble2018