Labor Day Weekend is a celebration of the achievement of American workers, and is often considered the last hurrah of summertime. This 3 day holiday weekend is the perfect time to party down with friends and family, get one last camping trip or mountain getaway in, take the boat out for a spin or hold a classic backyard BBQ. Whatever your Labor Day plans are, we’ve got the drinks covered. Coming straight from our in-house cicerone, sommelier and spirits specialist, here’s what we recommend drinking this labor day.
Labor Day Weekend is a great time to sip on those summer whites like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, pop some bubbly, or opt for a little twist like sangria or a canned wine cocktail! It’s also peak pink drinking season, which means that rosé isn’t going to drink itself. And cheers to canned and boxed wine – just think of all the places you can go!
Labor Day Weekend Rosé List
2016 Chateau Salettes Bandol Rosé House Wine Canned Rosé Infinite Monkey Theorem Canned Rosé 2016 Château Saint-Honoré Côtes de Provence La Londe Rosé 3L Box La Vieille Ferme Rosé Underwood Canned Rosé 2016 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé 3L Box From the Tank Rosé 2016 Mordorée Côtes du Rhône Rosé
Labor Day Weekend Bubbly List
Scarpetta Frico Frizzante 187ML Cans Casa de Valor Brut Cava Graham Beck Brut Caposaldo Prosecco (All great options for your Aperol Spritz!)
Labor Day Weekend New Zealand Sauv Blanc List
Otto’s Constant Dream Sauvignon Blanc Babich Sauvignon Blanc The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Sea Pearl Sauvignon Blanc
Labor Day Weekend Canned & Bottled Fruity Wine Goodness List
Shania Sangria Blanc Limé Ramona Canned Sparkling Wine with Pink Grapefruit 4 Packs Begonia Canned Sangria 4 Packs Mija White Sangira Decadent Saint White Sangria Mighty Swell Mango, Grapefruit, and Peach 4 Packs Pampelonne Blood Orange Spritz, Rosé Lime, and French 75 4 Packs
While cocktail options are always endless, we’re focusing on a few easy, refreshing drinks for Labor Day. Such as the margarita, not only is this a party pleaser, but margaritas have short ingredient lists and even shorter preparation times. Check out our list of 7 margarita recipes you have to try here.
Labor Day Weekend Spirits List
Don Julio Blanco Tequila Humboldt’s Finest Vodka – Check out the recipe for a Humboldt’s Finest Hemp Highball here! CapRock Colorado Organic Vodka Tanqueray Gin
Beer & Other:
This could be your last chance to drink up those summer seasonals such as Upslope Thai Style White IPA and Wibby Brewing Lightshine Radler. If you’re hitting I-70 and heading for the mountains, any of the 9 beers to take on a summer hike we posted about would be excellent choices. And we can’t leave out our love for hard seltzers. Read all about our hard seltzer obsession here.
Summer is in full force and the trails are calling! With all of the outdoor activities to chose from, we also need beverage options. Insert our list of top 9 beers to take on a hike this summer. Thanks to the help of Molly’s Beer Manager, we gathered 9 beers that won’t bog you down during your favorite summer activities. Quite a few of these are seasonal releases so get them while you can! And after you partake in one of these refreshing brews, please remember to dispose of your waste properly – pack it in, pack it out!
1) Upslope Brewing Craft Lager
Boulder, Colorado Available year round 4.8% ABV
Why we love it… It’s the perfect beer for when you reach the apex of your hike. It’s crisp, refreshing, and at 4.8% ABV won’t blur your vision for the road back. And 1% of every Upslope Craft Lager sold goes to Trout Unlimited.
From the brewery… Our Craft Lager is a premium American lager brewed entirely of malted barley. Snowmelt-infused and river-ready, this Colorado-style session beer stands side-by-side with our family of premium ales to bring you a clean, easy, light-bodied lager for the ages. – Upslope Brewing Company
2) 14er Brewing Mt Massive IPA
Denver, Colorado Available year round 6.5% ABV
Why we love it… It’s a hoppy yet crushable IPA for your hike. Plus 14er Brewing donates 1% of sales to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. Plus with a name like 14er Brewing, it’d be a shame not to include in this list! #HowWeClimb
From the brewery… The Mt Massive IPA is hop forward, tropical fruit, grapefruit, and juicy hops on the nose. The taste is hoppy with bright drinkable citrus, grapefruit, and guava, rounded by a solid but not overwhelming bitterness. Incredibly smooth, bright, and drinkable. – 14er Brewing
3) Montucky Cold Snacks
Bozeman, Montana Available year round 4.1% ABV
Why we love it… It’s a thirst-quenching, light, sessionable beer and money goes to good causes – Montucky Cold Snacks has pledged to give 8% of their profits back to local charities and non-profits that support the lands, people, wildlife, art, and ways of life we’ve all come to love.
From the brewery… …our beer has been specifically formulated to refresh after skiing, fishing, hiking, boating, watching the big game, or just about anything else that happens to be awesome, when you drink MCS you get the best of both worlds… giving back to the communities in your area while getting the satisfaction obtained from cold, light, refreshing beer. – Montucky Cold Snacks
4) Wibby Brewing Lightshine Radler
Longmont, Colorado Seasonal release 4.5% ABV
Why we love it… The Lightshine Radler is quite the easy sipper with a nice sweet/tart combo yet still light and refreshing for that active lifestyle.
From the brewery… Enjoy this refreshing beverage all Summer long! This is our Lightshine Helles with a splash of raspberry lemonade. The perfect combination of sweet and tart. – Wibby Brewing
5) Denver Beer Co. Maui Express Coconut IPA
Denver, Colorado Seasonal release 6.6% ABV
Why we love it… If you’re not already in that summertime state of mind, this will take you there. The coconut, tropical flavors, and that bright aqua can will add some major beach vibes to your hike.
From the brewery… Maui Express features a distinct blend of hops and coconut to create a delightful tropical flavor explosion! Citra and Mosaic hops form a juicy fruit hop character that is enhanced by shredded coconut for a truly unique flavor combination. Easy drinking and refreshing, this IPA will transport your mind to memories of the beach, sunny days, and laughs among friends. – Denver Beer Co.
6) Station 26 Brewing Lemon Drop Wheat
Denver, Colorado Seasonal release 4.5% ABV
Why we love it… Lemondrop Wheat is Station 26’s first seasonal can and actually crafted to reduced gluten! Lemon zest aromas and flavors make this a refreshing hoppy wheat you can take anywhere this summer.
From the brewery… A bright and summery American wheat beer brewed with Lemondrop hops and lemon. Refreshing with crisp citrus and bready wheat character. – Station 26 Brewing
7) Crystal Springs Brewing Summertime Anytime
Boulder, Colorado Seasonal release 4.9% ABV
Why we love it… The name says it all. This is a light, crisp, easy drinking Kölsch style beer. Thirst quenching with mild bitterness and subtle dry finish.
From the brewery… Summertime Anytime Ale is a Kölsch-style ale, light, crisp and refreshing – perfect during the hot summer, yet great on a brisk fall afternoon or a sunny winter’s day – Summertime all the time! With a subtle fruit aroma, a hint of hops, a soft malt character and a slight dryness with a delicate pucker in the finish, this beer brings hints of summer all year around. – Crystal Springs Brewing Company
8) Liquid Mechanics Brewing Hop Nectar American Ale
Lafayette, Colorado Available year round 5.3% ABV
Why we love it… Bright, juicy, sweet-citrusy hop notes. American style pale that is medium body with mild haziness.
From the brewery… Loads of juicy hops play with a dose of flaked malt to push the envelope for this deliciously fresh new take on an IPA. – Liquid Mechanics Brewing
9) Molly’s Tarts & Crafts Sour Series by Big Choice Brewing
Brighton, Colorado Limited release series
Why we love it… This one is for your for your sour fix. We’ve teamed up with our friends at Big Choice Brewing to bring a new rotating sour beer series! Volume One of our series was a Sour Brown Ale with vanilla, oranges, and cranberries. It is complex, balanced tartness, and quite approachable. Subtle chocolate malt notes complimented with a light vanilla finish which blends seamlessly with a balanced sour profile that is accented by tart cranberry notes. Volume Two (pictured here) was a dry hopped session Sour Ale with strawberries. Unfortunately, both Volume One and Volume Two are sold out, but be on the lookout for Volume Three later this summer! This limited release series is brewed and canned exclusively for Molly’s.
The Denver Summer Passport is a boozy field guide aimed at helping you discover the city’s best bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries and more! This pocket-sized book features over sixty 2-for-1 craft beverage specials valid Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. This field guide is sure to become your go-to drinking buddy when it comes to navigating Denver’s food and beverage scene.
2-for-1 drinks at every location
Over $350 in booze savings
Valid all summer (May 26—Sept 4)
Molly’s has TEN Summer Passports to giveaway to TEN lucky people!
Here are the rules to win:
Like us on Facebook (although not required, bonus points if you follow us on Instagram too)
Fill out the entry form below. One entry per person. (Update: Entry form has been removed because giveaway has ended.)
That’s it! Giveaway ends at 9am on 6/8/17.
Winners will be announced 6/8/2017 on this blog post and will also be notified via email/phone.
**6/8/17 Update! Winners announced!**
1. James (Eddie) M. 2. Jay N. 3. Bri C. 4. Erin U. 5. Robert H. 6. Daniel V. 7. Kelsey W. 8. Benjamin B. 9. Kaitlin H. 10. Amber R.
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our Denver Passport giveaway!
Molly’s is giving TEN lucky people a chance to win a $30 gift card to use for their New Years Eve celebrations via Westword’s Instagram and Twitter! Check out the posts on their social media for the full details.
How to win:
1) Like @MollysSpirits
2) Comment and tag the friend(s) on Westword’s social media post that you’ll be popping bottles with on NYE.
3) That’s all! TEN Winners announced on HERE, on this blog post tomorrow, December 28th @ 5:30p! UPDATE: WINNERS ANNOUNCED BELOW!
Each of the 8 winners from Instagram have been notified on the original post! Our 2 winners from Twitter we have tweeted at! Each of the $30 gift cards have been left under your first and last names from your social media accounts, have your ID ready to be checked for name matching from one of our front end associates. You can pick up your gift card at our customer service desk at your earliest convenience! We hope it makes your NYE celebration just that much better! Cheers!
If you have any questions, please email us at info@mollysspirits or DM us on Instagram or Twitter!
Have you been searching for the perfect gift to get your friends and family? Look no further than our 2016 Boozy Gift Guide where you’ll find something for everyone! We here at Molly’s are all about making your shopping experience easy and fun so you can get back to celebrating the holidays with friends and family!
For The Whisk(e)y Lover
Whether you’re shopping for the whisky lover or whiskEy lover, Molly’s has options! And if you’re shopping for the aspiring whiskey distiller with dreams of aging their own, check out Denver’s Bear Creek Distillery’s Age Your Own Bourbon Kit. These kits contain everything you need to age your own Bear Creek Distillery Bourbon: 2 bottles of Bear Creek’s White Whiskey, 2 liter barrel, funnel, and instructions.
Whiskey Lover Gift Ideas
Bear Creek Kit: $149.99 (Denver Distillery) – SOLD OUT Templeton Rye Gift Set 750ml $37.99 – SOLD OUT Gentleman’s Jack: $32.99 – SOLD OUT A.D. Laws Bourbon & Rye Gift Set: $69.99 (Denver Distillery) – SOLD OUT Knob Creek Bourbon: $32.99 – SOLD OUT Woodford Reserve: $35.99 Jack Daniels Black Label Gift Set: $23.99 Crown Royal Gift Set: $25.99 Jim Beam Gift Set: $15.99 Forty Creek Whisky Gift Set: $19.99
For The Outdoorsy Wine-O
Shopping for a wine lover always on the go? Molly’s has a solution that CAN keep up with their active lifestyle and drinking habits. Boxed and canned wine have come a lonnnggg way from the early days of boxed wine (shoutout to our Franzia friends) and you can now find some pretty damn good juice in those eco-friendly packages. Not only is it a more sustainable option, but boxed wine provides flexibility for all of life’s adventures, from backcountry snowshoe hikes to party hopping and everything in between! With more and more bottled wine switching over to the dark side, you’re not limited to only a few varieties. Molly’s has an entire lane (Lane 12) dedicated to boxed wines!
Wine On The Go Gift Ideas
Lila Rosé Can: $4.48 | Sale $3.48 Underwood Pinot Gris Cans : $6.98 | Sale $5.98 Underwood Pinot Noir Cans: $6.98 | Sale $5.98 Infinite Monkey Back Alley Cans: $4.98 | Sale $3.98 (Denver Winery) Ciconia Tinto 3L Box: 23.99 La Vieille Ferme 3L Box: 24.98 | Sale $19.98 La Petite Frog 3L Box: $32.99 El Libre Malbec 3L Box: $22.99
For The Rosé All Day-er
It’s no secret that #RoseAllDay is every twentysomething’s life motto. Fill your friends fridge with that sweet (or dry) pink stuff to celebrate all of their rosé needs into 2017. Molly’s has an entire section of rosés on Lane 2!
We all have that friend who texts you and asks, “Brunch this weekend?” If you know what we’re talking about, this gift idea is for them! Whether they’re into a build-your-own bloody bar or bottomless mimosas, Molly’s can help you create a brunch experience in the comfort of your own yoga pants. Kick your brunch up a notch, because as the saying goes… brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast.
Boozy Brunch Enthusiast Gift Ideas:
Bolder Beans: $7.99 The Real Dill 32 oz Bloody Mary Mix: $9.99 (Denver Brand) Mile High Spirits Elevate Vodka 750ml: $21.99 | Sale $18.99 (Denver Distillery) Salty Iguana Green Bloody Mary Mix: $8.99 | Sale $7.99 (Denver Brand) Santa Barb Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives: $6.99 Blank & Booth Booze 750ml: $24.99 (Denver Distillery) Everfresh Orange juice: $2.49 Graham Beck Brut $17.98 | Sale $14.98 Caposaldo Prosecco Brut: $13.98 | Sale $10.98 Avinyo Cava: $19.98 Everfresh Pineapple juice: $2.49 Campo Viejo Brut Cava: $12.98
For The Sports Fan
Molly’s has the gear your sports fan needs for tailgates outside the stadium to cheering on his or her favorite team in front of the tv screen. Fun fact: koozies make great stocking stuffers!
Boozy Sports Fan Gift Ideas
Colorado Avalanche Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Colorado Rockies Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Denver Broncos Hot Pink & Silver Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Denver Nuggets Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Colorado State University Bottle Suit: $5.99 Denver Broncos Orange Bottle Suit: $5.99 University of Colorado Bottle Suit: $5.99 Denver Broncos Stemless Wine Glass: $10.99 25oz Elite Broncos Mega Mug: $25.99 Denver Broncos Game Day Pilsner Glass: $12.99 Denver Broncos Plastic 16 oz Tumbler 4 Pack: $8.99 Denver Broncos Bottle Opener: $7.99 Denver Broncos Rocks Glass: $12.99 Denver Broncos 12 Pack, 12oz Cans: $12.99 Denver Broncos 2 oz Shot Glass: $4.99 Denver Broncos 2 oz Game Day Shot Glass: $4.99 Denver Broncos 2 oz Satin Etch Shot Glass: $5.99 Denver Broncos Wine Tote: $10.99 Golf Ball Ice Mold: $6.99
For Your Crafty Mixologist Friend
Shopping for the Walter White of cocktail concoctions or for someone who tries really hard to be a smooth as Tom Cruise in Cocktail? Dress their bar to impress! Molly’s has the tools he or she needs to dish out deliciousness in no time and look great while doing it!
Forgot about the office party secret Santa gift exchange or tonight’s holiday get together with the in-laws? Molly’s can fix that. Check out Aisle B, Lane 2 for an entire selection of pre-made gift baskets – complete with a few treats too!
Porto Kopke Gift Basket: $72.99 Frico Gift Basket: $62.99 Breckenridge Bourbon Gift Basket: $89.99
For The Beer Snob
And we mean that in the most endearing way. Molly’s loves beer snobs! Everyone knows one, shop for yours with us. Whether you’re on the search for a funky, tart sour or a barrel-aged bomber, we’ve got you covered with our 65+ cooler doors of craft beer, 6 doors of build-your-own 6 pack options and a walk-in bomber room. We pride ourselves at Molly’s as having one of the best craft beer selections in the state.
Beer Snob Gift Ideas
Colorado Bombers, ALL LOCAL Ursula Brewing Aurora Strong: $13.49 De Steeg Brewing French Saison: $11.99 Liquid Mechanics Peanut Butter Porter: $11.49 Breckenridge Brewery Holidale: $11.99 Copper Kettle Brewing Mexican Style Chocolate Stout: $10.99 Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist: $13.49
The Funky Stuff Duchesse De Bourgogne 750ml: $13.99 Almanac Farm to Barrel Blueberry Sour: $10.49 Del Borgo Prunus Sour: $8.99 Crooked Stave Petite Sour Rosé: $8.49
Beer Gift Sets Kazematten Brouwerij Gift Set: $21.99 Kazematten Brouwerij Gift Set $21.99 St. Bernardus Deluxe Tasting Set: $37.99 St. Bernardus Gift Set: $24.99 Duvel Collection Gift Set: $17.99 – SOLD OUT
For The Scotch Aficionado
“I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.” Ron Burgundy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Scotch lovers sure do love their scotch! What do they love more than scotch – trying new scotch! Check out a few of the taster packs Molly’s has to offer, like the almost-too-cute-to-handle Glenmorangie Pioneering Collection 4 Pack.
Scotch Lovers Gift Ideas
Glenmorangie Pioneering Collection 4 Pack: $29.99 Johnnie Walker Black Gift Set: $43.99 – SOLD OUT Johnnie Walker Collection Sampler Pack: $89.99 Chivas Regal Gift Set: $32.99 Kilchoman Islay Single Malt Scotch: $57.99 Glenlivet 15YR: $60.99 Laphroaig Select: $52.99 Macallan 12YR: $62.99 | Sale $59.99
For The Cider Connoisseur
Struggling to find a gift for the friend who’s always into the latest trends? Then Molly’s cider section is where you need to be! Yep, believe it or not, cider has proven to be the world’s fastest growing beverage category over the last 10 years, and Molly’s is known to have THE best cider selection in Colorado – with a huge focus on local cideries like Stem Ciders, Snow Capped Ciders and more.
A shot of tequila a day keeps the doctor away, right? Molly’s has gift sets to delight all tequila fanatics! From tasting flights for the tequila sipper to margarita kits for the margarita lovers, Molly’s has what the tequila lover wants!
Tequila Gift Ideas
Sangre de Vida Tasting Flight: $27.99 Corralejo Tequila Reposado Gift Set: $23.99 – SOLD OUT Jose Cuervo Especial Silver & Gold Tequila Gift Packs: $15.99/ea 1800 Tequila Silver Gift Set: $25.99
For Winter Cocktails
A wise elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” And while that may be true, there’s nothing quite like sipping on a warm cocktail shared with loved ones during the holiday season. These liqueur gift sets make spreading (and drinking) holiday cheer easy and fun.
Winter Cocktail Gift Sets
Baileys Irish Cream Gift Set: $22.99 RumChata Gift Set: $17.99 Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur Gift Set: $30.99 – SOLD OUT Courvoisier Cognac Gift Set: $29.99 Disaronno Amaretto Liqueur Gift Set: $22.99 Kamora Coffee Liqueur Gift Set: $10.99
For Stocking Stuffers
Don’t forget about the stocking stuffers! Mini liquor bottles, bar keys, koozies, etc. make great stocking stuffers and are a great way to top off any gift. (One can never have enough wine openers!)
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Shooters New Amsterdam (and all New Amsterdam shooters): $0.99 Baileys Irish Cream: $2.49 Bacardi Rum Limon: $0.99 Titos Vodka: $1.99 Jim Beam Bourbon Apple: $0.99 Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire: $1.99 Smithworks Vodka: $0.99 Crown Royal Vanilla: $1.99 Smirnoff (and all Smirnoff shooters): $0.99 Absolut Peach (and all Absolut shooters): $1.99 Rum Chata: $0.99 Deep Eddy Grapefruit & Sweet Tea Vodka (and all Deep Eddy shooters): $0.99 Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (100ml): $1.99 Baileys Almande Almond Milk Liqueur: $0.99
And Now That You’ve Found The Perfect Gift…
Don’t forget about the presentation! Molly’s has gift bags in all shapes and sizes to choose from!
Gift Bag Ideas
Pricing from left to right: $2.99, $1.99, $3.99, $4.99, $1.99, $1.99 & $2.99
All prices limited to stock on hand. Molly’s Spirits reserves the right to limit quantities. Prices are subject to change.
Friends of Molly’s! Come help us celebrate as we turn 2!
Time sure flies when you’re having fun, we are so grateful for our customers continued love, support and opportunity to be a part of this amazing Greater Denver area community. We are having a 2 day celebration for our customers in honor of our store turning 2!
Fun happenings going on for the duration of our party:
Live chalk artist painting by Mythica! Mythica recently competed on Skin Wars (now on Netflix) and is the same amazing local artist who did the first chalk art installation of Molly during our first anniversary! She will be back doing another Molly rendition in our Spirits section.
Free food trucks! What’s a party without free food?? Come grab a bite to enjoy while hanging and shopping at Molly’s.
Free special tastings! Friday, from 5-7pm (usual time) taste through the Campo Viejo wines from Spain. Saturday, from 3-5pm taste through Left Hand Brewing beers from Colorado.
Photobooth + Photo Contest! We will have a 1920’s themed photobooth setup on Saturday, bringing you back to prohibition era when drinking with friends and family was even more celebrated than it is today. Snap a photo as you enter the store, choosing from a myriad of props such as feather fans and boas, 20’s mobster hats, pearls and big faux fur coats! We will be randomly selecting ONE photo after our celebration each day to win a $50 giftcard to Molly’s!
Games! From guess the bottle to scavenger hunts, we have a few fun party games you’ll be able to partake in and win prizes from.
Giveaways! Stay tuned and check back soon! We will be hosting at least one giveaway per day. (Think snowboard giveaways, cocktail packages, etc.)
Anniversary Sales! We will of course be having special in store sales for our Anniversary! Curious what they are?! You’ll have to come to find out! Trust us, they are worth it!
Molly’s has partnered with Drizly for alcohol delivery. Because dreams do come true.
You get everything else delivered, why not your alcohol too? Molly’s Spirits now does consumer alcohol deliveries via the Drizly platform! If you live in Lakeside, Lakewood, Denver North (Lower Highlands and Highlands), Sloan’s Lake, Edgewater, Arvada or Wheat Ridge you are most likely within our alcohol delivery radius! Shop from thousands of Molly’s products directly from Drizly’s website or mobile app!
Ordering on the Drizly platform is extremely easy:
To start, go to Drizly.com and enter your delivery address in the top right corner.
From there, you can filter your search by store name (4th option down on the left hand navigation).
If you live within Molly’s delivery radius, you will see our name pop up here. Once you click on Molly’s, you can buy from our product inventory.
All deliveries will be personally delivered to your door by the same Molly’s staff you know and love! Order on demand and have your delivery in an hour or less.
Need something to get you over humpday, but don’t want to fight 5pm traffic? Have Molly’s deliver product for when you get off! It doesn’t get easier than that.
If you’re completely new to Drizly, enter promo code “MOLLYS” at checkout to get FREE delivery ($5 off your total) from our store.
Drizly Delivery Hours:
Monday through Thursday: 12pm-8pm || Friday and Saturday: 12pm-10pm || Sunday: 11am-7pm
So you’re a beer drinker. It’s in your DNA. Then it’s likely you are a whiskey drinker too. And there is a good bet that if you like a good dram of the whiskey that you enjoy a nice drought of the ale or lager. Why does the enjoyment of one coincide with a favored taste of the other? It might not only be in your DNA to like both liquors but also in beers’ and whiskeys’ as well.
Beer and whiskey are more closely related to one another than to any other liquor. Their DNA is so similar, the way they are made so closely parallel that they could be step-brothers, or steep-brothers if you would.
The relationship between beer and whiskey begins with their ingredients – cereal grains and water (hot) that are combined and steeped together in order to extract sugars from the grains. This sugar water is called wort and it is the foundation for every drop of beer and whiskey produced. Of course, most beers and many whiskeys use malted barley as their cereal grain of choice, but other grains may be used, from oats to wheat and from corn to rice.
Where beer and whiskey diverge is in the kettle during the second step in the brewing process. In this stage, water is added to the wort and mixture is boiled for a considerable time. This is the stage when brewers of beer add hops – and they can add hops at any time during the boil. Whiskey makers do not add hops during the boil – or ever. In whiskey terms this stage is called the wash and they like their wash clean of botanicals like hops – or of anything.
Once the boil is finished for both whiskey and beer, the wort (it is still wort, even though it is watered down and hopped up) is cooled so yeast can be added for fermentation. After the necessary fermenting time has elapsed both liquids are still technically beer and they go through one final, common stage: filtration. Most beer is filtered before kegging, bottling or canning; whiskey is always filtered before distillation. After filtration, beer and whiskey go their separate ways..
For the brewer, their beer is done, with some exceptions and it is on to the next batch of beer, the next filtration, or the next 4 hour nap until another brewing day begins. At this point, the work of the distiller has just begun. After filtration comes the distillation process; two or three (or more) times the ‘beer’ is distilled in accordance to style and preference. After distillation is complete, the white whiskey is transferred to age in wooden barrels for a minimum of two years and for as long as a couple of decades – for that really high-end hooch.
So, is this the reason beer and whiskey pair so well together; that beer drinkers are often whiskey drinkers and the vice of versa. Perhaps. One other test is to look at the foods you prefer to eat. Is your preference cereal grains as a food staple: bread, rice, pasta, oats? In any case, when you’re wandering through your liquor store or bellying up to the bar, thinking about which beer to order, which whiskey to sip, think of its step-brother and steep yourself into a nice beer and whiskey pairing.
The state of Utah is known for many great natural wonders – from Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park to the slopes around Park City. The state is also known for its adherence to strict alcohol laws. Because of these laws, it was a wonder of its own when Uinta Brewing Company opened for business in 1993 in a renovated Salt Lake City automotive garage. The brewery’s philosophy can be summed up as: “There’s no one right way to get anywhere. What you need isn’t a well-trod path, it’s a compass to trust as you cut your own.” Following his own path and the trails and wonders of Utah is how founder Will Hamill ended up opening a brewery in Utah.
Honoring Utah Heritage
Unita Brewery is named for a mountain range that extends across northern Utah from Salt Lake City into western Wyoming. The Uinta (pronounce You-in-tuh) are a subrange of the Rocky Mountains and are the highest range in the contiguous United States running east to west. Naming themselves after this range is just one way the brewery honors the state and its traditions. The Golden Spike Hefeweizen honors those who worked on the trans-continental railroad; the Dubhe is name after the state star; and the Cutthroat Pale Ale is named after the state fish.
Beer of the Month
Molly’s Spirits is happy to have Uinta Brewing Company as our August Beer of the Month. We love Uinta’s adventurous style as much as we do their delicious beers. Whether you are looking for a great beer to enjoy in the backyard or on the trail, stop by Molly’s Spirits and pick up a six pack or three of the Uinta Brewing beers we offer.
Cutthroat Pale Ale
Uinta Brewing’s flagship beer is their Cutthroat Pale Ale, named for the Cutthroat Trout that is native to the great basin and rocky mountain regions. This traditional American Pale Ale pours amber in color and medium body from the sweet, caramel malts and ends with a piney hop finish. It is a session beer, with only a 4-percent ABV and its 45.7 IBUs put it smack in the middle for this style. This beer is easy drinking and perfect for after work or play and like all Uinta’s beers, it is packaged in both bottles and cans.
Baba Black Lager
Another of their popular beers, the Baba Black Lager is Uinta’s version of a German-style Scwarzbier. Black in color and rich in malt flavor this robust yet smooth drinking dark lager brings roasted coffee and sweet chocolate flavors with a little dry and crisp finish, both from the roasted barely and its well apportioned hops. This style is a lager’s version of a porter but because it’s a lager it is a smoother drinking beer. Like the Cutthroat Ale, Uinta’s Baba Black Lager is a session beer, coming in at 4 percent alcohol, perfect for a beer after work or on the weekend. This beer pairs well with a variety of meats including barbeque, sausages, and baked hams.
Hop Nosh IPA
Beer Advocate designated Uinta’s Hop Nosh IPA as ‘world class’ and for good reason. This IPA brings the hops, both bittering and aroma, hitting 82.4 IBU well above the average for an American-style IPA. Its generous hopping is noticeable in every sip and gives Hop Nosh a piney and citrus taste, flavors that are well-balanced with caramel malts. It also hits the average for ABV for this style, coming in at 7 percent. The Hop Nosh IPA is a treat whether at a camp site or for relaxing after a day’s work. It pairs well with spicy foods such as Cajun, Indian, Mexican as well as Asian cuisines.
The India Pale Ale beer style is quite possibly the most popular craft beer style in America today. The many IPA varieties and sub-varieties exploded onto the craft beer scene just a few years ago with wide distribution of the American-style IPA, especially beers from the West Coast. And just as this style saved beer starved Englishmen in India at the turn of the 1800s, it also helped revive a stagnant craft beer industry in America at the outset of the 21st Century.
Beginnings of the IPA Style
Englishmen in the British India colonies had little or no access to beer in the 1700s and 1800s. It was a serious problem for British ex-pats who liked their ales but it offered a burgeoning market for brewers in Britain. These brewers understood the preservative qualities found in hops as well as in alcohol and realized these qualities would allow their beers to last the sea voyage around the Horn of Africa and on to India. According to legend, George Hodson of Bow Brewery created the IPA-style around 1800 by increasing the hops and alcohol content in his Pale Ale beers. Recorded history states that Samuel Allsopp of Burton Brewers was commissioned to brew an India Ale by the East India Trading Company.
IPA and Craft Beer 2.0
The modern Craft Beer scene started in California in 1971 with Anchor Brewing’s Steam Beer. It finally stretched across America by the 1990s, thanks to brewers such as Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada as well as several regional craft breweries. Ales were the majority of beers marketed, specifically Pale Ales, Browns, Red, and Stouts and these styles had legions of fans but their limited tasted profile also caused some beer drinkers to seek more robust character in their beers. They found bigger, bolder flavors in the English-Style IPA and by the mid-2000s American craft brewers began pumping varieties and sub-varieties of IPA and the general craft beer enthusiasts began to appreciate what hop heads already understood – the hop is a not just a preservative but a beer seasoning that enhances beer with an entirely new level of flavor and character.
India Pale Ales can be broken into three basic categories – but there are many sub-categories as well. The English-style is the mother of IPA styles. They are brewed for balance of hop flavor and character though English-style IPAs do to tend to be sweeter than American-Style and a lot has to do with sweeter malts they are brewed with, and these do balance well with the earthy notes and flavors of the hops often used. The indomitable Double IPA, often known as Imperial IPA, is a monster beer. These intensely hopped beers are brewed with considerably more malt than used in traditional beer recipes, so they are bigger in flavor and considerably higher in alcohol. Yet, these beers tend to be more balanced between the sweet malt flavors and big hop concentration than even a typical American-style IPA. It is the American-style IPA that can really be broken into sub-categories. From east coast to west coast and various regions around the county, brewers have tweaked the IPA style or downright blown it up.
West Coast IPA
The style that brought the IPA to the head of the craft beer lineup. These beers bring big hop character and flavor such a pine, resin and grapefruit and chart high on IBUs. They also tend to be lighter in malt character and color and are filtered, so their appearance is clear. Brewers known for producing this style include California breweries: Stone, Green Flash, and Lagunitas. Yet, several northwest brewers have shied away from the bitterness of their California brewers-in-arms, opting for highlighting the hops more grassy, piney and citrus notes. A notable northwest-style would be Deschuttes Fresh Hopped IPA.
East Coast IPA
This style bridges between English-style and West Coast-style IPAs. The East Coast IPAs tend to be more malt forward than IPAs brewed on the West Coast-style , they are still not as balanced as the typical English version. One interesting development over the past few years is the advent of the Vermont-style IPA – a beer that is brewed to highlight hop flavors not bitterness an attribute enhanced because this style remains unfiltered. Rather than achieving high IBU, this style seeks to highlight the hops used, bringing out the hops fruity and tropical flavors. Alchemist Brewery in Vermont is a great brewer of this style as is Odd13 Brewery in Colorado.
Like session beers of other styles, this IPA style is brewed to be enjoyed for balance of flavor, not for high bitterness quality. As with the East Coast-style, these beers do not overwhelm the drinker’s palate. Their lower alcohol content also allows people to enjoy more beers.
Which IPA is for you?
There are many kinds of IPAs, styles and sub-styles. Which one is the IPA for you? To start, you should understand what types of food and drinks you like and also, simply put – are you a beer drinker, dabbler or connoisseur? If you really know beer and drink a lot of style of beer, the best way is to compare the beer to another that you have enjoyed – or not enjoyed. If you are not a big beer drinker, one easy question to ask is: do I like food and drink that tastes either bitter or that taste citrusy and piney. These are big flavor qualities in most IPAs and a good place to start your search. Then, ask beer drinking friends what they like; ask your beer-tender for his take as well as a sample; then head on down to your local liquor store and ask the folks working in the beer department what they have in stock. By the way, Molly’s Spirits own Grant and Tony have excellent beer knowledge, experience and taste.