So, we had this idea for a get-together. It’s sort of like a beer share, but instead, we’re going to drain all these beers in one night, and we’re each going to try a little bit of each. Then, we’ll eat some cheese and crackers, and make lighthearted comments about how we like the beers. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Each Bomber Banter will have a theme. Since this was our first one, the theme was “Anything Goes!” Any style, any (craft) brewery, from anywhere in the world, in any kind of container. And this time, our participants took the theme quite seriously. No two people brought the same style of beer. No two people brought beer from the same brewery. One of our participants brought a root beer in addition to the bomber of beer he brought. Overall, we all got to try beers from all over the beer spectrum – from sour to sweet, from malty to bitter, from local to international. Let’s check it out!
- Dan is the founder of The Denver Adventure, a race through the streets of the Mile High City solving Denver trivia and completing physical challenges. Dan usually picks gin over beer, making this quite the challenging event for him.
- Jordan is a longtime contributor to Rocky Mountain Brew Review, a longtime craft beer advocate, and an even longer-time beer fan. Jordan currently covers events and news for RMBR.
- Lisa is the founder of CleverFunnel Marketing, a Denver marketing firm, and former founder of a Denver-based brewery guide Boobs, Breweries, and Beer.
- Amanda is a freelance marketer based out of Denver with a penchant for IPA’s, patio beers, and getting drunk with Lisa.
- Suzanne is an aspiring novelist, full-time content marketing professional, and overtime beer drinker. She’s always up for a craft IPA…or three.
- Max is the founder of Rocky Mountain Brew Review.
Beer #1: Makin’ Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer – V3
- Brewery: Grandma’s House (Denver, CO)
- Style: Kveik (Norwegian Farmhouse ale)
- ABV: 6%
Now, this beer and the people who made it are incredibly unique. Makin’ Noise is a collective of Colorado breweries who, according to their mission statement, “have come together to use our art, platform, and voice to create a positive impact in our community. We are here to Make some Noise.” This beer style is known as a Kveik, or a Norwegian farmhouse ale. The batch that Amanda picked up came from Grandma’s House, who are part of the Makin’ Noise collective. This particular batch had juniper berries and green cardamom thrown in as adjuncts as well.
- Dan: Hmm. Yeah. It’s sweet, and it’s tangy. I’ve never tried a beer that tastes like this before.
- Jordan: Based on the color of this beer, I was expecting something a lot heavier and a lot darker. No, this beer is very light and very bubbly. It’s a flavor I’m not too sure I could put my finger on. The beer… it has its own particular… je ne sais quoi.
- Lisa: This beer definitely grows on me. I’ve likely never had a beer that has had Norwegian yeast in it, and so it’s unique. I think we need to go to Norway. I would add Norway to my European travel list because of this beer.
- Amanda: I picked this beer up as a recommendation from the brewer. It’s hard to say no to that. This is not a beer I would typically order, either. However, it’s surprisingly good, and only gets better as I drink it. It’s a surprising 6%. It drinks more like 3.2%.
- Suzanne: When I first tried this beer, I wasn’t so sure about it, but as I kept sipping it, I started enjoying it more. Yes. I like this beer!
- Max: To me, this beer tastes a lot like lemon cookies. You know, the kind that the Girl Scouts used to make? Maybe they still make them. It’s light, it’s biscuity, and very slightly fruity. If this is what kveik is supposed to taste like, I want more of it in my life.
Beer #2: Colorado Red
- Brewery: Snowbank Brewing (Fort Collins, CO)
- Style: Red Ale
- ABV: 7%
Dan brought the Colorado Red, he said, because he had it left over from a party he threw… for Christmas. Did we mention that Dan doesn’t drink beer all that much? Anyway, this is Snowbank’s take on a traditional American red ale. Do these beers age well? We’ll find out.
- Dan: Is this an IPA? I don’t really like IPAs, and I don’t know how I feel about this. (No Dan. No it’s not).
- Jordan: After the last beer, I definitely needed a few sips to adjust to this beer. It’s malty, and incredibly aromatic. I get a lot of chocolate and caramel on the nose. Yum!
- Lisa: Why is it called a Colorado red? What makes it a Colorado red ale? It’s a generic malty beer. Meh.
- Amanda: This beer is all malt, no hops, and that’s not generally my jam.
- Suzanne: It might be because of Dan’s neglect, and it might be because Dan got this at a Christmas party, but I think this tastes like Christmas. This beer awakens my taste buds!
- Max: To me, it’s all cinnamon and spice. I’ve not tasted a red ale like this. Did Dan’s inadvertent bottle aging actually change the beer? It’s tasty.
Beer #3: Nelson Sauvin Brut
- Brewery: Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Style: Wild Ale
- ABV: 9%
Suzanne was recommended this beer from the hipster at Mr. B’s liquor. It’s a wild ale, fermented with champagne yeast and Brettanomyces, and then aged in Austrian white wine barrels.
- Dan: It tastes like wine, and I don’t really like wine. This one is tough for me.
- Jordan: I don’t think I was expecting what I got. To me, this one is all white wine. Jessica, my girlfriend, would love this, but I’m not much of a white wine person.
- Lisa: This is a beer for wine drinkers. You can definitely taste the white wine from the barrel this beer was aged in.
- Amanda: Oddly enough, this beer smells like Cheetos and lemonade, but has such a nice flavor. Lemony, citrus, almost like a wine spritzer. I like the acidity.
- Suzanne: I love wine, and I love beer, and this beer tastes like a fancy mix between the two drinks. It has such a rich, smooth flavor.
- Max: It’s very rich and funky. Tastes like an acidic Belgian beer which is not something I normally expect. I’m not sure I’ve had any beer from Denmark except for Carlsberg, and this is way different from that… I could drink this entire bottle.
Beer #4: Pink-I
- Brewery: Bonfire Brewing (Eagle, CO)
- Style: Raspberry IPA
- ABV: 6.8%
Well, there’s no mistaking that Bonfire dumped a bunch of raspberry puree into the beer, because of its bright pink hue. The beer, according to the brewery’s website, is hopped with Citra hops, and then dry hopped with even more Citra.
- Dan: I know I said I hate IPAs earlier, but this one is awesome. It tastes fruity, though I wouldn’t say it tastes a lot like raspberry. We found one that I like!
- Jordan: Well, it smells a lot like raspberry… oh man, on the aftertaste, it’s all raspberry. If you don’t like IPAs, this might be something you love. Baby’s first IPA!
- Lisa: When I want an IPA, I want an IPA. This one is too sweet, but I’m not much of a fruit beer person. And by “not much of one” I actually mean I generally despise them.
- Amanda: It’s really sweet, too sweet. I’m with Lisa here. If the raspberry was out of it, I would probably enjoy this more, but it’s way too sweet.
- Suzanne: When I first smelled this beer, it was all hops, and IPA. When I tasted it, and then smelled it again, I was blown away by the fruit profile in this beer. Delicious!
- Max: This one is surprising. It’s balanced, it’s very sweet, but it also has a nice, citrus pine flavor. Maybe not what I’d grab for if I want an IPA, like Lisa said, but for a lighter, sweeter, more effervescent summer beer, this one is awesome.
Beer #5: The Meddler
- Brewery: Odell Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO)
- Style: Oud Bruin
- ABV: 8.6%
Here’s another beer style that is sort of difficult to come by in Colorado. The Oud Bruin is a sour brown ale that originated in the Flemish Region in Belgium. They’re typically an interesting mix of malt and sour and are often times very fruity. The Meddler is aged for 18 months in oak barrels. Max picked this one up because of his love for another beer in the style, The Duchesse De Bourgogne by Brouwerij Verhaeghe, out of Anzegem, Belgium.
- Dan: Oh, no. Not for me.
- Jordan: I have to admit: I’m not typically a fan of sour beers. It has a bit of tartness and fruitiness, but there’s just so much going on in this beer. Chocolate, vanilla, sour. Whoa.
- Lisa: They go hard raisins on this beer. It’s like they filled it with raisins, and then added a bunch of raisins in it. Are there actually raisins in this beer? There must be.
- Amanda: It tastes a bit like pepper and dried fruit. What’s throwing me off is this strong metallic aftertaste. It’s almost like blood. It’s absolutely not my type of beer.
- Suzanne: It’s not really refreshing, but I do really enjoy it. It reminds me of licking a battery, because of the metallic flavor, and the tingliness it gives me on my tongue. Yes. I have licked exactly one battery in my life.
- Max: Oh yes, this is a more sour, less sweet, slightly more metallic version of The Duchesse. I really like the dark fruit flavor that comes through, but it does taste a little bit like a roll of pennies. Was that intentional? Did we get a weird batch?
Beer #6: No Rules
- Brewery: Perrin Brewing Company (Comstock Park, MI)
- Style: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Porter (with coconut adjunct)
- ABV: 15%
To really sum up the evening, Lisa brought a bottle of No Rules, which is billed as a Vietnamese Porter – a nod to John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski. There were truly no rules for this Bomber Banter, and this beer emphasized that. The beer is brewed with turbanado sugar and coconut, before sitting in bourbon barrels for quite a long time. The beer actually won RateBeer’s Top New Beer Release in the World in 2015.
- Dan: Wow. That’s one interesting beer.
- Jordan: It’s milky, and super boozy. I bet people who love bourbon-barrel beers would love this beer, but it’s a bit much for me.
- Lisa: I get the coconut, and I hate coconut, but I love this beer. I could bake a cake with this beer!
- Amanda: Wow, this is crazy. This is not what I expected. I was expecting something less dynamic, but man, this one has a lot going on. It’s like drinking a plot twist.
- Suzanne: All I can really taste in this beer is chocolate and coconut. It tastes like dessert.
- Max: All booze, sweet, and vanilla. It is so strong. Holy shit. It’s cloyingly sweet. Oh man, it’s 15%?! That makes sense. This like drinking a shot of whiskey dropped into chocolate milk. No thanks.
Have an idea for a Bomber Banter theme? Want to recommend some beers for us to try? Let us know about it!