Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crooked Stave

I love a good IPA and really enjoy dark beers, especially this time of year. But few things get me as excited as rare wild ales. Cantillon and Russian River are two of my favorite breweries ever and I can't wait for Boulevard's Love Child series to get going. In the meantime, local access to such beers is a struggle to say the least. Most of us have to resort to beer trading or stocking up when we go out of town.

A friend of mine opened a brewery in Colorado called Crooked Stave that is dedicated to producing this sort of beer. While Crooked Stave's beers are not distributed to Kansas City, I thought some of you might still like to hear about them. In my first post for this blog, I wrote a Colorado Beer Travel Guide based on my time working as a beer retailer in Denver. Crooked Stave was one of the breweries I mentioned in that post and I think its a brewery fans of barrel aged wild ales need to know about.

Chad Yakobson started the Brettanomyces Project as part of his dissertation at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, he helped develop Friek and Deconstruction Ale while brewing at Odell, and last November he created Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project in Fort Collins. Crooked Stave initially opened as a brewery within a brewery leasing space from Funkwerks, another new Fort Collins brewery (an idea other brewery startups might consider). Now the brewery is ready to move to its own facility in Denver and to raise money they are offering membership in a Cellar Reserve program that will provide exclusive access to some of the most rare barrel aged beers in the country.

As I mentioned, Crooked Stave does not sell beer outside of Colorado, but I know how resourceful you beer geeks can be. If I was able to track down some bottles, I'm sure you guys can make it happen too. Membership is not cheap, but then again, good barrel aged beers never are. Also, according to the brewery, "The proceeds from the purchased memberships will be going directly to our Denver expansion project and be the first big push needed to lay the groundwork for the rest of the project and our future brewery."

Here is a link to the brewery's website and below are details about the Crooked Stave 2012 Cellar Reserve Program:

2012 Cellar Reserve Membership which will be available starting at 10am MST on December 17, 2011. 2012 Cellar Reserve Memberships will be $300.00 each this year. Given the low production for most of the beers on the list (some only being a single barrel) space is limited to 400 members. We look forward to seeing you at future Cellar Reserve Member events!

If you are located out of Colorado and choose to have someone other than yourself pick up your Cellar Reserve allocations, you must email trustee@crookedstave.com with the name of your designated trustee who is the person responsible for picking up your beers.

Crooked Stave Cellar Reserve Membership 2012:
- 2012 Membership Card
- 2 Cellar Reserve stemware glasses
- Exclusive members only T-Shirt
- Neoprene Dual Bottle Beer Tote
(1 bottle) Blackberry Petite Sour (upon release, estimated Feb 2012)
(2 bottle) Batch #1 (100% Brett, 100% barrel fermented) (upon release, estimated March 2012)
(1 bottle) *Surette Reserva Chardonnay barrel-aged (upon release, estimated April 2012)
(1 bottle) L’Brett d’Or – 100% Brett Golden Sour (upon release, estimated May 2012)
(1 bottle) *Persica – Sour Peach (upon release, estimated July 2012)
(1 bottle) *Nightmare on Brett Street (Cognac barrel) (upon release, estimated Aug 2012)
(1 bottle) *Nightmare on Brett Street (Brandy barrel) (upon release, estimated Aug 2012)
(1 bottle) *Sour Quad (Cognac barrel) (upon release, estimated Nov 2012)
(1 bottle) *Cellar Reserve Blend (upon release in 2012)
*Denotes beer is a Cellar Reserve exclusive.
- Access to purchase specialty bottle releases at 20% discount (subject to allocation limits)
- First right of refusal for 2013 membership
- Future discounts to be added once our taproom is open.
- Future planned Cellar Reserve Member events (additional charges apply)

As well as receiving the above listed beers and merchandise, the following beers are planned for release from our Barrel Cellar in 2012 and available to Cellar Reserve Members.
- Blackberry Petite Sour
- Batch #1 (100% Brett, 100% barrel fermented)
- L’Brett d’Or – 100% Brett Golden Sour
- Burgandy Sour (not yet named)
- Oculus – Sour Belgian Golden Ale with Vignole grapes
- Barrel Aged 2012 Petite Sour (w/soon to be added fruit)
- Dark Sour (not yet named)
- Sour Quad (Bourbon barrel) (not yet named)
- First Anniversary Blend

**Please note that a few of these beers will likely be available to the public for purchase. As a Cellar Reserve Member you are guaranteed the first opportunity to purchase these beers, to some limitation, before they go on sale to the public.

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