Just as bonfires sometimes get out of control, our range of beers tends to have a bit of unpredictability. We’re making what we like to drink, and what we hope the community will like to drink. With the potential for 10 different taps at any given time, and small batches, there’s a good chance you can try something different at every visit. That being said, our palette tends to lean toward hoppy India Pale Ales and smooth Brown Ales. Our female friends, however, tend to prefer lighter, wheat-style beers. So, guess which ones we’re good at?
Our beers are available in pints, samples, glass and stainless steel growlers, 5.2 gallon ($65), and 15.5 gallon kegs ($125). If a beer is listed as on tap below (*) chances are you can get a keg of it by giving us 24 hours notice. We also rent jockey box and tapping equipment to eliminate that awkwardness you feel when pumping a picnic tap.
* = Currently on tap
Two Hands Wheat: Our interpretation of an American style wheat — smooth, light, and lower in alcohol for those evenings when you’re particularly thirsty but actually have something that requires brainpower the next day.
Blonfire! : Continuing on the lighter side of things, we decided to take a standard blonde recipe and add 30 mandarin oranges to the fermentation. Using fuggle hops and some orange rinds for bitterness during the boil, the Blonfire hits the spot when you’re in the mood for a light beer but looking for a bit more flavor than the wheat. It settled in at 4.8% ABV and has just a hint of sweetness.
Demshitz Brown Ale*: Also available at Grand Avenue Grill and Up the Creek. Bonfire Brewing has teamed up with the rowdy folks of Demshitz to spread the beer gospel. Mostly because of all the goodness that they represent, but also because we really like words that end with the letter “z.” In honor of this match made in heaven, our first brown ale has been dubbed “Demshitz Brown.” In the immortal words of Demshitz, “Demshitz can do anything.” It’s a smooth, drinkable brown that comes in at around 5.5% ABV. Brown ale enthusiasts will especially appreciate the slight hint of smokiness in this one — the result of roasted malts in the mash tun.
Firestarter IPA*: Also available at Paradigm’s, The Swiss Chalet, Bully Ranch, Restaurant Kelly Liken, Cima, Blue Moose Pizza Beaver Creek and Vail, The Chophouse Beaver Creek and Vail, and in 16oz CANS at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits, Old Kentucky Tavern, Avon Liquor, Beaver Liquors, Village Warehouse Wines, West Vail Liquor Mart, Alpine Wine & Spirits, Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits, Eagle Liquor Mart, The Liquor Shop, Mac’s Liquor, Grappa, and Pastatively. A traditional India Pale Ale recipe, bitterness-enhanced with Falconer’s flight hops and aroma-strengthened with an extra dose of Cascade hops. At 6.6% ABV, this one gets the fire going quickly.
Mystery IPA: Sometimes, things don’t go your way, but turn out better anyway. Such was the case with the Mystery IPA. A cold snap stalled the fermentation of a strong batch of Firestarter early, resulting in a sweeter, less hoppy IPA, but with about the same alcohol content. This one went quick, but isn’t likely to grace the taps again anytime soon. We like the Firestarter too much.
Dark Dog India Black Ale: You say Cascadian, she says Black IPA, we say India Black Ale. We all say delicious. A high-efficiency brew, the Dark Dog is our first attempt at an emerging style among microbrewers. Coming in at 7.5% ABV, we used four different malts — crystal, black, chocolate, and victory — resulting in a complex-you’d better sit down for this-flavor. It’s not a coincidence that you start looking for a DD after one of these.
Second St. Stout: A traditional “dry” stout — smooth, creamy, and nitrogen pushed, so that as many of your taste buds can engage as possible. Roasted barley imparts some additional flavor, and the ABV comes in at 4.8%. You can safely imbibe a few without worrying about forgetting where you are.
High-Altitude Pale Ale (H.A.P.A.): This dry pale ale rounds out our current offerings by giving us something to pour for the discerning palette that can’t seem to get comfy with the hoppiness of the Firestarter, or the smokiness of the Demshitz. It’s dry hopped with Amarillo hops, and served up at 6,600 feet.
Save Christmas: Released on Christmas Eve, 2010, this one is based on our brown ale, but with honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg added to the mix. The result is something slightly higher in alcohol than the brown, with a variety of flavors that come through as you make your way through the pint. The deep brown of Save Christmas is courtesy of a helping of black malt. The last keg of Save Christmas went out the door with the Christmas tree that was about ready for spontaneous combustion. We’ve had lots of requests to bring it back, but you’ll probably have to wait ’til next year.
Yellow Chair Peach: A one-batcher released as winter dragged on in the hopes of coaxing out the sun. The “Yellow Chair” is a hallowed piece of furniture at the peak of one of the most challenging mountain bike climbs in Eagle — it represents a sigh of relief, and this beer was designed to reward the receiver similarly. The recipe is based on a blonde ale, with dozens of peaches and a helping of apricots tossed into the boil and fermentation. Organic peach and apricot extract joined the beer in secondary to create a powerful peachy flavor and aroma. Coming in at 5.2% ABV, it lasted just a few weeks at the tap room, and we hope to do another batch in the future.
Miramonte Mild: The Miramonte beer is based on one of the original styles of beer — the English Mild. “Mild” style beers came about for a variety of reasons, but the one we like best is the idea of the working man’s beer. An alcoholic beverage designed more for sanitation than for the fuzziness generally desired. At 3.7%, the Miramonte Mild is lower in alcohol than your lightest yellow beer, but as full in flavor as a good brown ale. Low bitterness comes from just a small dose of fuggle and golding hops in this patio pleasing beer.
Tent Pole Porter*: Also available at Paradigm’s, Old Kentucky Tavern, Larkspur, The 10th; and, in 220z bottles at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits, Eagle Liquor Mart, Lionshead Liquor, Alpine Wine & Spirits, Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits, and West Vail Liquor. The Tent Pole is a smooth operator. One of the first batches off our new equipment, we got excited to play around with Madagascar vanilla beans — about 50 of them. Some in the boil, some in the fermenter, and some in secondary. Made with black patent and chocolate malt, it arrived at the tap at 6.1%ABV with a very subtle vanilla finish and an exceptionally silky mouth feel.
Tent Pole Porter S.E.: For our special edition Porter, our beverage engineer soaked some oak spirals in Jack Daniels for 24 hours. He tossed those into two kegs of the original porter, along with another six vanilla beans. After a summer of aging, we tapped one at the tap room and one in Telluride, to rave reviews. Look for this to return periodically, and randomly!
PINK-I: Fruit-beer haters tried to talk us out of this one, but we wanted a “training wheels” IPA to bring some of the wheat fans along to the joys of hoppiness. We started with an IPA recipe using the Falconer’s Flight from Hop Union. Just as we began crashing the fermentation, 84lbs of raspberry puree from Oregon Fruit was added. After substantial conditioning/clearing time, we released this just in time for the Pink Colorado unveiling party. The aroma is all raspberry, and so is the initial hit on your palette. The finish of the beer, and the ABV (6.5%+), however, is all IPA.
Brush Creek Blonde*: Also available at The Back Bowl and in cans in liquor stores throughout the valley. In the spring of 2011, we had a tough time getting enough of the signature hops for the Two Hands Wheat, so we brought the Stranger (renamed the “Brush Creek” in the summer of 2012) on board as an alternative. Using Nugget and Willamette hops, this beer was designed as a slightly maltier version of the wheat, and of course, nixed much of the wheat malt. For wheat loyalists, it may feel a little funny at first, but you’ll eventually come to love it just the same.
Farmer Wirtz: With the approach of fall imminent, we wanted a hop-tastic beer to welcome it. A traditional IPA, the Farmer Wirtz uses mostly two-row malt with a bag of pale malt in the mix for color. Using Summit and Columbus hops in generous quantities, we also added 15 lbs of our own fresh hops, grown just outside the front door over the last two years. “Farmer” Wirtz, who also happens to brew all the beer, grew and picked the hops that brought this tasty IPA up to 94 IBUs and 7% ABV.
Gyptoberfest*: Our first lager, this was brewed specifically for Gypsum’s inaugural Oktoberfest — a huge hit with locals. It took all summer (and lots of electricity) to make this traditional Märzen, which came in at 5.6% ABV. We used a German lager yeast, and some Hallertau hops to create a delicious and powerful fall beer.
Puffing Billy*: When the Colorado Brewer’s Rendezvous rolled around in July 2012, the organizers challenged Colorado breweries to create a beer that would evoke thoughts of a locomotive chugging through the mountains on a hot summer day. Rising to the task, we elected to create a “steam” beer — a beer that uses lager yeast, but is fermented at ale-like temperatures. Instead of leaving it a boring amber color, we turned it black by tossing in a healthy dose of black barley and midnight wheat malt at the tail end of the boil. We also kept the ABV low, leaving your glass with a pint of dark beer that drinks like a sessionable lager coupled with a hint of roasted flavor. The name itself was the moniker for one of the first steam locomotives of our time — the Puffing Billy. 4.0% ABV.
The Cleve: Anchor Steam makes lots of this style of beer — lagers fermented at ale temperatures. The result is an amber colored beer that’s a touch on the malty side with a noticeably dry finish. Nugget hops bring just a touch of bitter to the beer, while Cascade hops bring the aroma and a hint of citrus. It pours from the tap at 5.8% ABV.
Awry*: Also available at Larkspur, Game Creek, and Kirby Cosmos; and, in 220z bottles at Eagle Liquor Mart, Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits, Lionshead Liquor, Riverwalk Wine and Spirits, Village Warehouse Wines, and West Vail Liquor. Something familiar yet slightly different – a rye pale ale. With about 15% of the grain bill comprised of rye malt, that “Did I just eat a Reuben?” style flavor comes through strongly. It’s hopped with Nugget and Glacier goodness for a traditional pale ale finish. 5.8% ABV.
Mistress Winter Wheat: Typically golden to blonde in color, wheat beers are a summer staple. Toss in blue agave, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and some midnight wheat malt, however, and you get a winter warmer style wheat that you won’t recognize at first glance. Lots of people are asking for a Mistress for Christmas. 6.4% ABV.
TEBREW Sunday Sipper (American Barleywine): By now, you know the story of how the name came to pass. But what about the beer itself? Brewed on October 6th, with 800lbs of grain for a 175 gallon batch, this traditional barleywine was aged for 2+ months before flowing from the taps. It pours a brilliant ruby red, has a strong malty start, and a citrus hop finish thanks to generous helpings of Nugget and Columbus hops. As an additional bonus, and just for fun, we used a bag full of fresh picked Chinook hops as a filter bed in the mash. Our strongest beer, at 10% ABV, this one is limited to 10oz pours, and only at our tap room…for now.
Virginity Thief Cherry Red*: A traditional Irish red ale — caramel malt, roasted barley, and fuggle hops — with 88 pounds of cherries added as fermentation came to a close. A distinctive red color with a subtle cherry aroma and finish, this one goes down easy and will convert the most prudish of beer drinkers. 21 IBUs and 5.3% ABV.
Dumpin’ Dunkel: The dumpin’ came around as the 2011-2012 ski season wound down and we hoped a beer name could influence the weather pattern. It seemed to have the opposite effect, but has been a hit nevertheless. A Munich Dunkel Lager, the Dumpin’ is a traditional ruby red, utilizing Saflager yeast, and a light dose of hops. It’s easy drinking and contains 4.9% ABV.
Breckenridge Distillery Barrel Aged Beers: We’ve experimented with a variety of our beers in oak barrels from Breckenridge Distillery, including a Whiskey Coffee Chocolate Stout, a Rum India Black Ale, a Whiskey Porter, and a Whiskey Brown. These come about in 45 gallon doses and don’t tend to last long — so make sure you try one if you see it on the menu!