3 Bonfire Brewing throwback beers and the stories behind them
Beers will be reappearing on the menu this week during the 10th anniversary celebration
Bonfire Brewing is celebrating 10 years of beer at its Eagle taproom this week, from Sunday, Nov. 8, to Saturday, Nov. 14. In addition to a full schedule of live music, new releases and exclusive merchandise, the brewery is also bringing back some favorite beers from years past. Here’s what they have on tap for this week, and the stories behind each of them.
Mistress – Winter Wheat
When Bonfire first brewed this beer in 2013, it came out a lot darker than a typical wheat beer, which is pale golden in color. This winter wheat was a “brown amber color,” according to Bonfire founder and owner Andy Jessen. At the time, his wife Amanda, also a founder and owner, had dyed her natural blonde hair brown. Someone saw her behind the bar and “you know how small towns are,” Andy said. “Rumors get started really easily. Somebody saw me kiss her behind the bar and rumor started that I was cheating on my wife.”
Bonfire decided to make a joke out of it in good humor, and the Mistress was born.
Coloradler – Radler
Bonfire co-founder Matt Wirtz, who’s since left the business to live in Slovakia with his wife, was visiting his future in-laws overseas and came back with an idea for Bonfire: Radlers. Popular in Europe, Radlers are light beer, typically Pilsners, mixed with Sprite or Seven Up, and they clock in at 2%-3% alcohol. Wirtz’s Radler came out 6% alcohol and he was upset because it wasn’t true to style. But the beer kept selling. After Wirtz left, Andy decided to put the radler back on the menu, only this time, with a purposely high ABV and a slight lemon flavor. Fusing Colorado and a radler, the Coloradler became one of Bonfire’s best-selling summer beers for a while.
The Roundabout – Imperial Red
This less well-known throwback harkens back to the days of the Eagle roundabout construction, which Andy called “three years of absolute misery.” This beer was a super high ABV — “drink one of these to forget about how bad the traffic is,” Andy said — and even included instructions on how to use a roundabout with turn signals and everything.
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- Sunday, Nov. 8 – Limited Edition Anniversary Glass release, Anniversary Chalkboard Reveal
- Monday, Nov. 9 – Throwback beer release #1
- Tuesday, Nov. 10 – Throwback beer release #2, Guess Your Flight Night — Guess your flight and it’s free
- Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Specialty Slush release #1
- Thursday, Nov. 12 – Throwback beer release #3, Brew Tours at Bonfire production facility, live music from Lance Boyle and the Red Bottom Boys 6-9 p.m
- Friday, Nov. 13 – Specialty Slush release #2, Throwback beer release #4, live music from The Evolution 6-9 p.m
- Saturday, Nov. 14 – Annual Mug Club Auction, live music from Hardscrabble from 6-9 p.m., 10th Anniversary Bottle Release and Quad Brown release on draft with collectors’ glass, prize drawing for a YETI 45L Hard Cooler filled with Bonfire goodies