We have since narrowed the field to eight worthy breweries, all of which will be up for voting in today’s quarterfinal Round of 8. As has been the case in all knockout stages, there will be two round of voting — one beginning Thursday morning and a second Thursday afternoon.
You can vote in both portions of voting up until 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.
It appears clear that the neighborhoods across the state — both big and small — are bursting with pride for their local breweries. Perhaps most impressively, Berthoud continues to show up in droves to support City Star Brewing, which for a sixth straight round, collected more votes than any other brewery.
INTERACTIVE MAP: Over 200 Colorado breweries, 16 groups
FINAL TALLIES: See how your favorite brewery fared in earlier rounds
Poncha Springs, a town with a population of just over 700, managed to wrangle up 631 votes to help their beloved Elevation Beer Co. to a win, while Dad and Dude’s Breweria of Aurora, the lowest remaining seed in the tournament, pulled out another close win, as well.
Though they ultimately were eliminated, several other breweries put together equally-inspired efforts on Wednesday. That group included Crazy Mountain Brewing Company and Telluride Brewing Company, both of which offered free beers to customers who gave them a vote in the Round of 16.
But there can only be one champion, and today we’ll get a step closer to plucking that winner out of a field that included each one of Colorado’s 200-plus breweries when the Group Stages began last Friday.
In honor of the Round of 8, we’ve put together a list below of eight specific details about each of the remaining breweries. Seven of the eight categories are self-explanatory. The one that isn’t is “BA of 85,” which deals with the ranking system devised by BeerAdvocate.com.
As part of that ranking system, Beer Advocate doles out aggregate scores based on beer drinker feedback on a great deal of recipes offered by craft breweries across the country. A score of 85 is the lowest for a beer to be deemed “very good.”
Below, we’ve spelled out which of each brewery’s regular, non-rotating beers have been awarded a score of 85 or better — along with those aforementioned seven other details.
|1. City Star Brewing (Berthoud)||3. Dry Dock Brewing (Aurora)|
|In a sentence||Big-time, award-winning American ales now available in Berthoud’s slice of small-town Americana.||What once was literally “The Brew Hut” has become a brewing fortress, pumping out 11,000 barrels a year.|
|BA over 85||Bandit Brown (brown ale)||Apricot Blonde (fruit beer); 3 IPAs (Hop Abomination, Double IPA and USS Enterprise); Hefeweizen; Breakwater Pale Ale; Vanilla Porter|
|Most inventive beer||Mule Kick – Great American Beer Fest-winning strong ale brewed with wildflower honey||Ambassador Barrel-Aged Sour – Toes the line between tart and fruity with a hint of oak|
|Best seat in the tap house||Under the barrel stave chandelier, handcrafted by brewery/owner John Way himself.||Inside the Barrel Room, which can be reserved for parties of up to 100|
|Events||The brewery hosts at least one fundraiser a month and live music usually twice a week.||Semi-regular grill nights are hosted at the Cherry Creek Marina and Yacht Club|
|Food?||No, but food trucks like CHUBurger and The Giggling Greek make frequent appearances||No, but you’re permitted to bring your own food or get delivery from a neighboring restaurant|
|Digital doting||“In addition to consistent crowds from Berthoud, Loveland and Longmont that come in during the week, 60 taps along the Front Range now sell City Star beer. That exposure helps draw in folks from all over on the weekends, many of whom have tried City Star’s beer elsewhere and want to see where it’s made.” –Tom Wilmes, Boulder Daily Camera||“What began as a speakeasy has become one of Colorado’s largest craft breweries. Dry Dock is getting recognized on the national level as well, taking home five medals from the Great American Beer Fest in 2013 alone. In total, Dry Dock has been the recipient of 18 GABF medals, the prestigious Brewers Association’s Small Brewery of the Year award, and four World Beer Cups.” –Christine Vazques, HungryInBoulder|
|1. Oskar Blues Brewery (Lyons)||3. Odell Brewing Company (Fort Collins)|
|In a sentence||What started out as a restaurant morphed into a brewery before becoming a way of life.||It wasn’t always Easy Street for Fort Collins’ first craft brewery, but the 90 Schillings are piling up as they continue to grow.|
|BA over 85||Dale’s Pale Ale; Old Chub (Scottish ale); Deviant Dale’s (IPA); G’Knight Imperial (red ale); Gubna Imperial IPA; Ten FIDY (Russian Imperial Stout)||90 Schilling (Scottish ale); Easy Street Wheat; IPA; Cutthroat Porter; 5 Barrel Pale Ale; Levity Amber Ale|
|Most-inventive beer||The G’Rauch — A smoked double IPA that pours a hazy, straw-orange with tannins of the same variety.||Fernet Aged Porter — A chocolate malt with notes of lavender, honeysuckle, ginger root, bitter aloe, dandelion root, rose petals, chamomile, and pepper|
|Best seat in the tap house||Anywhere you can take in the quasi-blues-related and wonderfully tacky decor — which is pretty much everywhere.||Out on the patio by the fire pit while waiting for your turn to play cornhole.|
|Events||Whether it’s piloting Burning Can — its very own music festival — designing a 145-acre mountain biking paradise known or starting a professional soccer team, it’s clear Oskar Blues is much bigger than just beer||Odell’s state of the art pilot system, which allows its brewers to turn their dream beers into small batch realities on a daily basis, is an event in and of itself.|
|Food?||Given everything else they do, it should come as no surprise that Oskar Blues also offers award-winning food.||No, but they do offer different food trucks each day of the week, with offerings that range from tacos to waffles to Hawaiian food|
|Digital doting||“Colorado head brewer Tim Matthews told us that Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis tests the merit of his company’s new beers by whether or not he can smell them from across the room when they’re poured. Hyperbole or not, it means that Dale is after beers you cannot ignore. In other words, when you crack open an Oskar Blues beer, it’s a safe bet where your attention will be for all 12 ounces.” —Sierra Nevada beer blog||“I love how Odell always grows in a smart way. Nobody in any department is too overwhelmed; we’re not making too much beer with not enough fermenters or infrastructure. Other breweries overgrow. With how craft beer has grown so fast and become a more popular product, I feel that the Odell’s really keep it under control and make sure that quality is the No. 1 priority.” —Brent Cordle, 13-year Odell brewer|