Every brewery strives to have a unique style that helps define them. Certain regions of the country are known for influencing unique styles of beer. Granted, this does not mean they were the inventors or even originators of a style, but due to the unique and popular nature of the beer in that region, the names stuck.
Some examples that spring to mind are West Coast IPAs, known for their resiny, piney, grapefruit flavored hops, Cascadian Dark Ales (Black IPAs), the black-as-night roasty hop bombs of the Northwest and the Florida Weisse*, a tart fruity concoction popular with those in more tropical climates. It’s pretty much a Berliner weisse with fruit.
With the sheer volume of beer that Colorado produces each and every year, one would think we would have defined a style of our own. I’m here to contend that we do, and we have a couple local examples of our regional style that really do it up right.
So, what is Colorado’s regional style? We’re glad you asked! We are (more than just geographically) centered between the hoppy offerings of the West Coast and the sour offering of the Florida weisse in such a fashion that we’re combining the two into the distinctively wild Colorado Style of Sour IPAs.
“It’s the Gateway Sour.”
– Jeffrey Airman, Paradox Beer Company
It’s a merging of the last big popular style (IPA) and the current/upcoming style (sours/wild ales), and we’re on the forefront of this new trend in brewing. We propose to call the style: Colorado Wild IPA, a tour de force of hoppy bite and sour pucker playfully captivating our taste buds in balanced harmony.
Trinity Brewing’s Red Swingline
New Belgium’s Le Terroir
Crooked Stave’s Hop Savant
Paradox Beer Company’s Skully Barrel #6 and #8.
We think we really have a prominent presence in producing these beers which bears showcasing the style and linking it to our locale. Nothing against Coors, but having a craft beer style identifiable to Colorado is in my opinion overdue.
In the coming weeks we’ll discuss some of these fantastic beers listed above and how they fit into the style, as well as getting insight and commentary from the brewers on their unique and tasty creations.