Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson, "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
I swear I had forgotten that I'm going to the game tomorrow. I was making plans for Saturday, and it completely slipped my mind. The "ah-ha" realization made me both sad and frustrated. Sad because, you know, Colorado football, and frustrated that I can't go do something else with my Saturday. Maybe I'll just go, get drunk, watch a quarter, and leave early to grab a burrito. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.
It's homecoming, so I'm looking to pick something local. It's an open secret that my favorite Boulder brewery is Upslope. I love their brewing, their Patagonia hops, and their steadfast adherence to canning their beer.
They've grown leaps and bounds over the last few years, expanding from their two-style push into the market to now offer a varied selection both on the shelves, and at their vastly improved taproom. They even can limited release runs of selected styles now. Their latest, simply named Pumpkin Ale, is my gameday beer-o-the-week.
A GABF gold medal winner from 2011, it's been available in special 16oz 4-packs since the start of September. Upslope brews it with local organic pumpkins, which used to require employees taking pumpkins home to bake in their own ovens. They've upgraded the process this year, utilizing commercial ovens to allow for a larger release. It's a well crafted ale, tasting (obviously) of pumpkins and spice. There's a brown sugar character to the flavor, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg - think in the spirit of pumpkin pie - but with just enough of a bitter bite that it's not too sweet. It's a perfect seasonal brew, and one that should compliment Saturday's Fall weather nicely.
The limited release has run it's course, ending with the calendar flip to November. I found some remaining cans on shelves earlier this week, however, and I bet you can find some as well. Give it a shot, it's well worth it.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Cardinal!