This year and next, top hops

Fea­tur­ing Troy Casey of Casey Brew­ing

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By John Frank

To pick Colorado’s top craft beers and brew­eries in 2016, the Den­ver Post sur­veyed more than two dozen brew­ers and ex­perts to re­flect on the year in beer and look for­ward to 2017.

The first in­stall­ment in the 6th an­nual Beer in Re­view se­ries fea­tures Troy Casey, the owner and founder of Casey Brew­ing and Blend­ing in Glen­wood Springs.

Casey spe­cial­izes in old­world brew­ing meth­ods to pro­duce oak-fer­mented wild and sour beers, of­ten with lo­cal fruit. The rare and unique beers hold a cult sta­tus in Colorado and draw le­gions of craft beer fans to the brew­ery for spe­cial tours and tast­ings.

Here are Troy Casey’s picks for 2016:

Fa­vorite Colorado beer of the year: Crooked Stave’s Brew­ers Se­lect #1, one of the best IPAs I had this year. Amaz­ing hop aroma and fla­vor, it’s hard to be­lieve they could make a clean beer taste this great on their first try. Fa­vorite Colorado brew­ery of the year: Com­rade Brew­ing Com­pany. Their tast­ing room is su­per invit­ing and their staff is in­cred­i­bly nice. Any­time I go in, they al­ways have a new IPA they’re work­ing on. Worth a visit for sure. Fa­vorite new Colorado brew­ery: Bier­stadt Lager­haus Its in­cred­i­bly au­then­tic Ger­man-style lager beer is out of this world. Colorado brew­ery to watch in 2017: Capi­tol Creek Brew­ery in Basalt. This is a self­ish pick since this soon-to-open brew­pub is in walk­ing dis­tance from my house. The brewer, Jerod Day, has worked all over our val­ley and will now be tak­ing the reins for the first time. Can’t wait to see what de­li­cious­ness he comes up with. Most no­table craft beer trend in 2016: More small brew­eries are con­tin­u­ing to sell to the big boys. These brew­ery own­ers were see­ing the writ­ing on the wall that it’s hard to grow as fast as some brew­eries could 10 years ago and fig­ured it was eas­ier to sell. The big brew­eries can scale these brew­eries with the snap of a fin­ger. Ev­ery­one wins — well, ex­cept the con­sumer. The il­lu­sion of choice. Craft beer trend to watch in 2017: Brew­eries con­tract­ing for hops based on growth they’re never go­ing to see this year. There will be a ma­jor hop sur­plus when these brew­eries start to dump their hops on the open mar­ket. The smaller brew­eries like us will have no prob­lem get­ting these de­signer hops in 2017.

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