Vail Daily column: Colorado beer for Colorado seasons |

Vail Daily column: Colorado beer for Colorado seasons

David Zuckerman
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

Who: David Zuckerman, head brewmaster at Boulder Brewing Company.

What/when: Meet the Brewmaster on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. in Fireside Bar; Small Plates and Craft Beer Pairing on Saturday starting at 6 p.m. in Atwater on Gore Creek

Where: Vail Cascade Resort, Vail.

Cost: Friday is free; Saturday event is $35 per person.

More information: Call 970-479-7014 or visit

As the days get just a little bit shorter and there’s a bite in the air in the mornings, we are reminded of a great benefit of living in Colorado: four distinct seasons. I came to Colorado 25 years ago from the West Coast, and every year I enjoy all that Colorado has to offer, from biking to boarding to beer, all of which are the envy of the country, if not the globe.


When seasons change, so do the beer offerings. Here at Boulder Beer Co. as I write this, we’ve just brought in a truckload of fresh hops from Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and the powerful floral aroma is permeating every room of the building. These fresh hops will soon be added to our annual fall seasonal FRYED Fresh-Hopped Rye Ale.

This September, we released our imperial Oktoberfest ale, Dragonhosen, to coincide with that little celebration in Germany. Brewed with generous amounts of Vienna and Munich malts for a rich, full body, Dragonhosen begins as a traditional Oktoberfest lager, then stealthily breathes fire with a 9 percent alcohol by volume.

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And while it is available in all four seasons, colder weather will inspire more people to turn to our Shake Chocolate Porter. This beer is black in color with rich dark chocolate aromatics and flavors and subtle coffee-like notes. Cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouth feel. We introduced this beer last October, and it’s already become our most popular beer — perhaps because we were honored with the Gold Award from the prestigious World Beer Cup in March.

This year, we’re also excited about introducing a new beer, Slope Style Winter IPA, which we’ll be brewing in the coming weeks.

Since I became brewmaster in 1990, one of the things I’ve focused on is variety. At Boulder Beer, we believe we make a beer for all flavor preferences. You’re probably familiar with our standard-bearing brands like the hoppy Hazed & Infused and Mojo IPA, the Boulder favorites Buffalo Gold and Singletrack Rye Pale Ale or our light Hefeweizen style beer, Sweaty Betty Blonde. Add to that our barleywine ale Killer Penguin in November, Mojo Risin’ double IPA in January, Kinda Blue blueberry wheat in March, Hoopla Pale Ale in the summer and it really is fun being in a brewery and watching the pages on the calendar turn. There’s always a new flavor and a new brew to go with the changes in daylight and climate outside.

Colorado beer for Colorado seasons: Cheers!

Boulder Beer Co. is Colorado’s first microbrewery, established in 1979. For over 20 years, brewmaster David Zuckerman has overseen the production of brews that have garnered more than 60 national and international medals in prestigious beer competitions since his arrival at Boulder Beer in 1990. Prior to that, he was a brewer at Bridgeport Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon.

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