Atwater Beer Buzz July 8

Hope you had a great 4th of July holiday!

What a beautiful time of the year to celebrate; beautiful flowers, rushing rivers, blazing sunshine, refreshing showers…you name it! We are amped up for maximum summer fun on the mountain, in the pool, with arts festivals in Lionshead and the Bravo! Music Featival going on at Gerald Ford Amphitheater.

The weekend of June 26-27, we celebrated with craft beer; New Belgium Brewing Co. craft beer to be specific. It was our priviledge to host Peter Bouckaert, Brewmaster for New Belgium Brewing Co, for a fun and casual tasting on Friday evening and then for the Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing on Saturday night.

I often mention specific courses as favorites of the attendees when compiling a review of the weekend, but it's a tough one this time. Many guests were torn between the first two pairings of the evening to be their top pick…the Alaskan King Crab Egg Roll with butter lettuce, avocado, and preserved lemon tartar sauce, paired with New Belgium Snapshot, or...the Pancetta Wrapped Monk Fish with vanilla mango chutney, forbidden rice, and ginger buerre blanc, paired with New Belgium Pear Ginger Beer. Then one of our diehard regular guests raved about the pairing of the "sauce/spread" on the Duck Confit Flatbread with blistered blueberry, cream cheese, candied kumquat and hot pepper jam with the New Belgium Slow Ride Session IPA. And Peter Bouckaert, our featured guest, had high compliments for the chefs with regard to the flavors in the final dish, a Braised Pork Shoulder with corn sopas, pickled watermelon rind, and cherry chili sauce… about how so many similar flavors from the New Belgium Cocoa Mole were reflected in the food pairing. So I will simply withhold judgment about which was "best" this round.

We absolutely extend many thanks to Peter for his time and wisdom this weekend, to Jeff Kurtenbach, our local representative for New Belgium, for being here on Friday evening for the Meet the Brewmaster event and his coordination assistance, and to Ainsley Gusaas, the New Belgium Colorado Mountain Area Manager, for her organizational assistance as well. Additional thanks to the Vail Cascade culinary team for their expertise and delicious pairings, and the front of the house service team for a seamless event.  It definitely takes a village to pull together all of the pieces for these amazing weekends, and you all have my wholehearted appreciation.

I had many requests for the complete 2015 Brewmaster's Weekend Schedule. Here it is:

We're already in the planning stages for your Oskar Blues Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing menu, so stay tuned for the announcement of the beer list…and then the menu! Feel free to go ahead and make reservations for the July 25 Small Plates Pairing if you like. You can certainly email me back at or call the Atwater reservations line at 970-479-7014.

In other Vail Cascade craft beer news, our Fireside Feature is just about to rotate once again. It's currently Odell St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale, and there are only a few left. So grab them while you can, and then look forward to Upslope Thai Spiced White IPA!

We have also now tried all of our new cellar list beers with the new Atwater summer menu, and as a staff we would recommend the following:

Boulevard Chocolate Ale pairs well with the Thai Noodle Bowl entrée (and with vanilla or strawberry ice cream, of course); Odell Myrcenario pairs well with the Steak Skewers small plate; Paradox Scully #24 pairs well with the BBQ Beef Rib entrée; Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Bigfoot pairs well with the Cheese & Charcuterie Plate (especially the Honey Goat Cheese); Left Hand Great Juju pairs well with the Grilled Watermelon small plate; Stone Chai Spiced Imperial Russian Stout pairs well with the Braised Pork Shoulder entrée; Deschutes Not the Stoic pairs well with the Colorado Lamb T-Bone; Epic Elder Brett pairs well with the Albacore Tuna Tacos small plate, and New Belgium La Folie is fun with the Cheese & Charcuterie Plate

In other craft beer news, Samuel Adams will be sponsoring our Cycling and Fly Fishing Clinic series down on the Creekside Deck every other Saturday starting July 11 from 4 - 5:30pm. Many thanks to Billy and the team at Samuel Adams for their Sam Adams Summer Ale and Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider donation for each clinic.

Likewise, Ska Brewing Co. will be sponsoring the July Aria Member BBQ on Tuesday, July 14. Many thanks to Scott & Ska for their support, and additional thanks to Sarah & Left Hand Brewing Co. for their sponsorship of the June Member BBQ.

There will be several new additions to the Atwater craft beer list over the next few weeks. You can already find Odell Levity Amber Ale and Sam Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout new on the bottle list, and Bonfire Tent Pole Vanilla Porter has rotated in to complete the Summer rotation on draft.

More craft beer news will be coming your way soon! Next edition will feature the Oskar Blues beers for the upcoming July Brewmaster's Weekend. Until then, have a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoy your summer!

Laura Lodge
970-977-0100 (cell)
Customized Craft Beer Programs, LLC -

Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival
Vail, CO - January 8 - 10, 2015

Distribution Insight for the Craft Brewer by Laura Lodge

View Details