MONTROSE CRAFT BREWERS CREATE SEASONAL SPECIALTIES

MONTROSE-As Colorado’s craft brewing industry continues to expand with delicious, seasonal brews, Montrose brewers have joined the pack with an array of seasonal selections intended to tempt just about everyone. Christopher Mathews of Epicurious notes in “Classic Brews for Summer” that some of the most popular summer season brews originated in Germany and Belgium, where brewers began to experiment with adding wheat to the blend. “Through trial and error, it was discovered that including a proportion of wheat in the mash leads to a highly desirable beverage, a lighter-bodied beer with refreshing, thirst-quenching acidity,” Mathews writes.

Horsefly Brewing Company Brewmaster John Schrader has a Coconut Porter that has been called “Almond Joy-esque,”along with a summer “wit.”

“A wit is a Belgian wheat beer,” Schrader said, noting that people are also loving a summer Peach brew and an English Mild. “That’s a dark beer, but not heavy,” he said. “It’s full of good flavor but easy drinking, not heavy on the alcohol.

“We also have our Amarillo Pale Ale,” Schrader said. “We did it last summer too, and it didn’t last very long.”

Horsefly (846 East Main Street) continues to brew fresh soda pop as well—Root Beer and Orange Cream–for those who don’t want to consumer any alcohol at all. For Schrader, brewing and life could not be better—catch his band, Johnson County Coroners, at the 2015 Telluride Blues-n-Brews Festival.

“It’s fun making beer, and it’s fun making music!” he said.

At 2 Rascals Brewing Company (147 North First Street), there is only one special seasonal on tap-Citra Pale Ale.

“It’s an American Pale Ale with Citra hops,” Brewer and Partner Daniel Leonardi said. “It has been going really well.”

Leonardi, who owns 2 Rascals with partner Brandon Frey, said that the growth of the keg side of their business has kept them too busy to do much experimenting with seasonal selections. However, the year-round favorites remain on tap as always—the IPA, Irish Red and Amber.

At 320 East Main Street, Colorado Boy Pizzeria and Brewery has an array of lighter, seasonal options as well as the mainstays.

“Our Big Head Lager really sells well,” Colorado Boy Brewmaster Steve Wood said. “Our Irish is up—that’s my favorite—and we’re transferring the Blonde; it’s a nice, light beer for summer.”

Other local favorites include the English Pub Ale and Standard IPA, he said.

“We always have seasonal choices—in Fall and Winter the brews are darker, with things like Porter,” he said, “and in the summer we turn to light, refreshing pale ales and blondes.

“But really, it’s just a personal thing,” he said. “People just have their favorites, and you can’t talk ‘em out of them.”