December 4, 2011

Colorado Native Lager

Last spring I made my first attempt at growing hops. The plants never sprouted and I was quite disappointed, but others had better luck than I and the 100% Colorado brew from Coors brewing has been completed.

As soon as today, a batch of Colorado Native made with homegrown hops will hit store shelves, thanks to the efforts of 130 volunteer growers.

A year ago, AC Golden Brewing put out an invitation to its Facebook fans to accept a free hops rhizome, plant it and donate the harvested crop to the brewer.

The intent was to get AC Golden closer to its goal of producing a beer with all-Colorado ingredients. It's 99.89 percent local with Colorado barley, water and yeast. The missing fraction is hops the flowery green herb that gives beer its sublime bitterness.

The yield was not enough to produce a year's worth of the brew, but it's a start. As for the product? I posted the following on the beer's Facebook page:

My two rhizomes never broke ground - perhaps they languished in the fridge too long before I planted them. I'll try again in the spring. But I picked up a 12-pack yesterday and ... love it! I love highly hopped beers but the first bottle I drank (from a glass) almost blew me away. I got a headache it was so hoppy! (Had just returned from a day near Blackhawk though so was perhaps O2 deprived.) Second bottle today was more mellow but very tasty, well balanced and on its way to being the only beer I drink for as long as I can get it. Lovely red-amber. Five stars!

Back in the day, Coors Banquet Beer, brewed only in Colorado, was not available east of the Mississipi River (a fact capitalized on in the storyline for the movie "Smokey and the Bandit.) Coors is now also bottled in Virginia and available nationwide. CO Native, however - only in Colorado, brothers and sisters.

Colorado Food and Wine Posted by JohnGalt at December 4, 2011 8:49 PM

Excellent!

Posted by: Terri at December 5, 2011 11:40 AM

I remember sneaking Coors was a big deal when I was a lad. Visiting easterners would load a couple of cases in their car. My folks shipped a case to a relative in Alabama. When Reverend <name changed to protect the guilty> showed up to pick up his "canned goods" shipped from Denver, the wrapping was torn. The Huntsville postal workers delivered the contraband amid much jocularity.

I will try the native, though I had some of the New Belgium seasonal Snow Day and I am under its spell.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2011 11:57 AM | What do you think? [2]