Posted: January 01, 2012
Colorado cool stuff: Brew guide, toddy time, wine for non-drinkersBy Eric Peterson
MOUNTAIN BREW BOOK
Denver Business Journal scribe Ed Sealover visited 101 Colorado breweries researching "Mountain Brew: A Guide to Colorado Breweries." Sealover captures the characters and the flavors of the state's superlative beer culture in individual chapters on each brewery, covering nuts and bolts like hours, location and signature beer as well as delving into the story behind the suds. Sealover cites Breckenridge 471 IPA and New Belgium La Terroir as two of his personal local favorites.
"I like to drink bigger beers: IPAs, double IPAs, Belgian sours," he says. "I like people who push the envelope." $21.99 retail.
Written by Ed Sealover, Denver, published by History Press, Charleston, S.C.,
Founded by Todd Simpson in 1964, Toddy moved from Houston to Fort Collins last year after Julia and Andy Leach bought the company. Simpson discovered cold-brewed coffee in Peru and brought it to the U.S. in the form of Toddy.
The system takes 12 hours to cold-brew a coffee concentrate to mix with hot water to taste. Julia describes the finished product as "smooth, not bitter," citing 67 percent lower acidity. Not much has changed with the Toddy over the years, she adds. "The replacement parts work on the units made in the 1970s." $35 to $40 retail; $65 for the commercial model.
Made by Toddy LLC, Fort Collins, (888) 863-3974, www.toddycafe.com . Available at numerous retailers in Colorado.
NEW PLANET BEER
When Pedro Gonzales was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003, he had to give up "everything," including his favorite comfort foods: pizza and beer. Five years later, he turned the tables on his gluten intolerance by launching a gluten-free brewery with his wife, Seneca Murley. Eschewing gluten-heavy grains like wheat, barley and rye, Gonzales uses such ingredients as sorghum, rice and molasses in New Planet's trio of beers: Tread Lightly Ale, Off Grid Pale Ale, and 3R Raspberry Ale. The market has spoken: New Planet's distribution map covers 25 states as the company saw sales triple in 2011. $6.99 to $8.99 for a four- or six-pack retail.
Made by New Planet Beer, Boulder, (303) 499-4978, www.newplanetbeer.com. Available at numerous locations in Colorado; a beer locator is
on the website.
Former owners of an Aspen liquor store, Robert and Ingrid Grueter came up with VinSanté after recognizing a void in the market. "So many people came in looking for a nonalcoholic beverage that tastes good," says Robert. "Forty-three percent of the adult population in the United States does not drink alcohol. There was really nothing out there for them." High in antioxidants thanks to grapeskin extract, VinSanté is specially formulated for both health and flavor, available in red and white. The Grueters employ a juice-based production process with flash-pasteurization to kill unwanted yeast, unlike nonalcoholic wines that remove alcohol after
fermentation. Robert touts the process as the key to the flavor. The market agrees, he adds. "There's been a very good response." $7.99 retail.
Made by Vinifera LLC, Basalt (888) 927-0139, www.drinkvinsante.com. Available at Whole Foods and numerous Vitamin Cottage
stores in Colorado.
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com