BY: ALI OWENS
Colorado is a confusing place to live, climate-wise. We all know this, which is why we wear layers – but as summer nears its end and we start preparing for fall, the unpredictable weather patterns can have serious implications for our beverage choices. Do we reach for something to cool us down? Something to warm us up? What does it all mean?? Seeking answers to these pressing questions, I visited Snowbank Brewery in search of unique all-weather libations – and hit the jackpot.
>>>SCHWARZDOG BLACK LAGER
One of the more deceptive beers I’ve come across lately, this brunette beauty, though appearing rich and heavy in the glass, has a surprisingly crisp mouthfeel and light body. Very interesting, when you consider the palate: notes of burnt toast and cacao mingling with vanilla bean and cola. It’s packed with classic dark flavors, but scores like a lager on the refresh-o-meter. Perfect for those bipolar autumn days when you could be sunbathing one minute and shoveling snow the next.
>>>SOURADO TART SESSION IPA
IPAs are awesome. Sours are awesome. Put them together, and what do you get? A beautiful marriage, that’s what – packed with the flavors of blood oranges and fresh-baked sourdough. While the hop presence is perhaps more subtle than other, more intense IPAs, it boasts a hint of bitter citrus and a quiet but commanding structure that perfectly balances the pucker factor. Great for a patio on a warm day, where you can sip to your heart’s content and ignore the fact that winter is coming.
>>>TRAIL RUN RED
I find the name of this inspiring brew apropos, as it perfectly describes me on a trail run through the forest. Graceful creature that I am, I will inevitably stumble, pitch forward, and dive face first into a tree, ending up with a mouthful of pine needles – which, incidentally, is exactly what this beer tastes like. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a whiff from the glass and just try to tell me you don’t smell pine sap, pine sap, and more pine sap. This beer makes me want to get in touch with nature, by way of a remote backcountry cabin and a fire in the wood stove. Cozy, comforting, and oh-so-Colorado.
>>>CRANKNBREW COFFEE PALE ALE
If you’ve ever needed an excuse to drink in the morning, this is it. Even from across the table, it smells like your co-worker brewing that first pot of coffee. (To clarify: it smells like the coffee, not the co-worker.) At the first sip, the intense dark espresso flavors announce themselves with some serious fanfare, while notes of caramel and hazelnut wave from the sidelines. The combination of hops and coffee make for a bitter bomb, but the light body, lively acidity and roasty, toasty goodness round out a beautiful, easy-drinking masterpiece. If Cranknbrew won’t wake you up…nothing will.
Whatever this crazy weather of ours decides to do at any given moment, Snowbank’s got you covered. Drink up!