Com­rade Brew­ing co-owner’s top picks

The Denver Post - - LIFE&CULTURE - By John Frank Here are David Lin’s picks for 2016: Fa­vorite Colorado beer of the year: Lit­tle Ma­chine’s Fa­vorite Colorado brew­ery of the year: Fa­vorite new Colorado brew­ery: Bier­stadt Lager­haus Colorado brew­ery to watch in 2017: Brew­ery Most no­table cra

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 sec­ond in­stall­ment in the 6th an­nual Beer in Re­view se­ries fea­tures David Lin, the co-owner at Com­rade Brew­ing in south­east­ern Den­ver.

Com­rade Brew­ing is a hop mas­ter in the Colorado

Escene, tak­ing home nu­mer­ous awards for their Su­per­power IPA and con­tin­u­ously push­ing the lim­its on new beers. Razz Against the Ma­chine is a com­bi­na­tion of two beer styles that I gen­er­ally don’t grav­i­tate to­ward: ket­tle sour and fruit beer. Razz has a great bal­ance of the tart­ness and the rasp­berry char­ac­ter.

ECan­non­ball Creek had a great show­ing at GABF, and I al­ways look for­ward to drink­ing their beers. I’m not over there of­ten be­cause it’s a trek, but I’m al­ways im­pressed with their hoppy beers. for their ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion for lager beers. They aren’t tak­ing shortcuts: brew­ing on a cop­per brew house they brought over from Ger­many, lager tanks with a 1:1 as­pect ra­tio and us­ing old-world tech­niques, such as em­ploy­ing a flota­tion tank. The lagers there are world class. Liberati is the one I’m most look­ing for­ward to in 2017. I have met Alex (Liberati) a few times in the past, but I got to re­ally chat with him af­ter the Fresh Hop Fes­ti­val and toured the build­ing. I’m not fa­mil­iar with Ital­ian beers and know noth­ing about wine-beer hy­brids. Ex­cited to try his Ital­ianstyle beers as well as the food.

Fresh hop beers were pro­lific this year. With so many new ar­eas around the coun­try grow­ing hops, it has made it eas­ier to source fresh hops lo­cally and eas­ier lo­gis­ti­cally to brew. hops, hops. The U.S. has sur­passed Ger­many in hop pro­duc­tion, and with an in­crease in acreage and heavy hop con­tract­ing, it has made find­ing pro­pri­etary va­ri­eties eas­ier to find on the spot mar­ket at rea­son­able prices. An ar­ray of new hop prod­ucts are on the mar­ket, such as va­ri­etal-spe­cific hop ex­tracts, lupulin pow­der (col­lo­qui­ally called “hop kief ”), hop oils and con­cen­trated pel­lets. Lastly, the race will be on to find the next new “it” hop, as breed­ers and grow­ers are re­leas­ing new yetto-be-named va­ri­eties to test in beers.

David Lin.

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