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Beer Wed Aug 22 2012
Last night Fountainhead hosted a Colorado tap takeover benefit for Colorado shooting victims and folks who were displaced by the wildfires that have been ravaging the state this summer. Taps flowed with only Colorado beers; piled near the door were bags and bags of clothing, to be shipped back to Colorado in empty casks; and the back room was filled with beer-centric silent auction items. Sneaking in amongst the din of drinkers who were doing good by drinking, a new beer hit the Chicago market.
Oskar Blues, the self-proclaimed first canner of crafted suds made it's debut in a city that knows beer. "As craft beer, as a craft bar, and as a great craft city, we had to be here." said brand representative Chad Melis last night. "We started in a town of 1400 people, are now distributing to 27 states and took a four year break to build up infrastructure in order to satisfy Chicago." We must be thirsty y'all.
Brewing since 1999 in the basement of Oskar Blues restaurant, Dale, head brewer and founder (of Dale's Pale Ale fame), decided to start distribution in cans because it fit better into his own lifestyle. The town of Lyons is perched on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, and serves as a hub for local kayaking and mountain biking. Beer should be portable, light and sort of ironic. As Dale is quoted on their website, "We thought the idea of our big, luscious pale ale in a can was hilarious. And it made our beer immensely portable for outdoor enjoyment and fun."
Turns out, it's also delicious. Fountainhead had Dale's Pale Ale on cask and not that I didn't love it in the can, but from the cask is divine. It's a classic West Coast Pale Ale: hoppy on the nose, bit malty mid-tongue and leaves you with a easy bitter finish. There is a reason these guys have cleaned up award-wise. Other must trys include the Ten Fidy, a bourbon barrel aged ringing in at 10.5% and the Deviant Dale's IPA which is loaded with Columbus hops and is a little more round and malty than Dale's pale. And if you order Mama's Little Yella Pils, get it from the can. As a classic German pils it is best straight from the aluminum.
So head over to Fountainhead, with fingers crossed that their casks aren't empty after last night. And bring them a bag of clothes to donate, as they're will be accepting drop offs through the end of the month. Or check out any of these events coming up in the next two weeks for a chance to try out Oskar Blues for yourself.
As Chad's shirt read last night: DRINK BEER. RIDE BIKES. REPEAT. Sounds good to me.