Taste Tease: Volume 2

Every September, 56 of America’s best craft breweries descend upon Telluride Town Park to showcase their best 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 an 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 new ‘Taste Tease’ series gives you an inside 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!

In the first edition of Taste Tease (Vol. 1) we looked at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's Tropical Torpedo, Upslope Brewing Company's Citra Pale Ale, Palisade Brewing Company's Dirty Hippie, Victory Brewing Company's Sour-Monkey, Elevation Beer Company's Raspberry Gulch.

In this Taste Tease (Vol. 2), we sample Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's Sidecar, Oskar Blues Brewery's G’Knight, Ska Brewing Co's Pilsworld, Bonfire Brewing Kindler, Fiction Beer Company's Logic is Relative and Epic Brewing Company's Tart N’ Juicy.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company - Sidecar

Orange Pale Ale | Chico, CA | ABV: 5.3% | IBUs: 35

A citrus-heavy twist on the classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that took the world by storm! Sierra Nevada’s goal with this beer was to punch up the citrus while maintaining a crisp hop bite and balanced drink using Cascade, Equinox, and Mandarina hops with a hint of orange peel. We found this beer to bright and zesty with a glowing golden complexion and felt it would be the perfect beer to complement a sunny afternoon in Telluride Town Park.

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.

Oskar Blues Brewery - G’Knight

Imperial Red IPA | Longmont, CO | ABV: 8.7% | IBUs: 60

The G’Knight was brewed in tribute to a fellow Colorado craft beer pioneer and Vietnam vet who died fighting a 2002 wild fire outside of Oskar Blues Lyons hometown. An excellent tribute, we found this to be one of the best Imperial Red IPAs, we’ve ever tasted. The aroma of this red is strong and intoxicating and with one sip you can taste an assertive hop-forward flavor with a surprisingly smooth finish. While the smooth flavor leads you to believe otherwise, the G’Knight clocks in at 8.7% ABV packing a sneaky punch! Oskar Blues is a national treasure and must try. Make sure to stop by their booth at the Grand Tasting and the VIP Tasting.

Ska Brewing Company - Pils World

Pilsner | Durango, CO | ABV: 5.4% | IBUs: 34

If you’re a mountain biker you likely have heard of or know all about Phil's World. This iconic Southwest Colorado trail system is about as smooth and flowy as mountain biking gets. We imagine Ska Brewing’s Pils World is a homage to the trail system and a play on the word “Pilsner”. Just like the trail system this beer is smooth, easy drinking and fun. We found this beer very refreshing with a slight hoppy-zing. Ska nailed it with "an American twist on the classic German Pilsner", as this is an outstanding, sessionable, summer beer. Enjoy Ska Brewing all festival long at the House of Brews and at the Grand Tasting.

Bonfire Brewing - Kindler

Pale Ale | Eagle, CO | ABV: 5.8% | IBUs: 48

Bonfire describes this Pale Ale as sessionable, well-rounded and we agree. We found this Pale Ale to be simple and easy to drink. They brewed this classic primarily with Mosaic and Simcoe hops, along with a little bittering help from Columbus and Cascade hops along with white wheat malt delivering a balanced taste. We also noted hints of citrus offering a slight zip. Enjoy Bonfire’s Kindler throughout the festival in the House of Brews along with other Bonfire Brewing styles during the Grand Tasting.

Fiction Beer Company - Logic is Relative

Imperial IPA | Denver, CO | ABV: 7.15% | IBUs: 85

It’s hard to can the New England style imperial IPA, but Fiction does an outstanding job with Logic is Relative. Living up to the current craft beer “haze craze” this beer delivers a hoppy, bold beer with pine along tropical aromas and a very smooth mouthfeel. The taste here is robustly citrusy and juicy, making for a less bitter, drinkable IPA. If you’re an IPA fan make sure to stop by the Fiction tent during the Grand Tasting.

Epic Brewing Company - Tart N’ Juicy

Sour IPA | ABV: 4.6% | IBUs: 60

A sour IPA is one of the more unique styles of craft beer we’ve ever come across. The style sounds intimidating, but this beer is stunningly drinkable and crisp. This beer is not too acidic, not too hoppy and at a 4.6% ABV is a very drinkable option. Floral aromas, a tart start with a smooth finish lends itself to a dynamic beverage. Stop by Epic Brewing during the Grand Tasting to sample a few unique styles of craft beers.

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 (Vol 3) blog installment coming soon!

Steve Gumble2017