Dan Tullos: Best of the BARley | SteamboatToday.com

Dan Tullos: Best of the BARley

Dan Tullos/For Explore Steamboat

I love beer. I love drinking it, I love making it and as you can tell from my past articles, I love talking about it. But I'm just one man. There are millions of other beer lovers out there who probably have something to say about the subject.

So this week, instead of babbling on about what I like, I decided venture out into the cold and enlist the help of Megan Grey Stromberg, owner of the BARley.

With 28 Colorado brews on tap and a few guest taps to choose from, the BARley is one of the best places in town to try something new, build yourself a tasting flight or sip on an old favorite.

Since they have so many varieties from so many breweries and trying them all might put me in the hospital, I decided to taste a few of Megan's favorite beers from the menu. So if you drop in and find yourself lost in the chalkboard full of names, these might be a good place to start.

No. 8, Elevation, Signal De Botrange: Tart, dry and complex are the words that come to mind after your first sip of this classic Belgian farmhouse ale. The not so classic part about this beer is how it was aged in Chardonnay barrels. Aside from making it sound cooler when you tell your friends what you ordered, the aging process adds a slight oak flavor that cuts through the sour flavors to give it a nice balance.

No. 16, Equinox, Super Collider Imperial IPA: I know, an Imperial IPA sounds scary. Trust me, they can be. But this one is different. It clocks in at 11.5 percent ABV, so make sure you don't have anything important to do afterwards, like driving or performing surgery. Now that you've cleared your schedule, you can enjoy this surprisingly light and floral IPA. With a strong hop flavor up front and only a slight bitterness at the end, this one is very drinkable. They achieve this feat by using only one type of hop, one type of malt and by being very good at what they do.

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No. 26, Colorado Cider, Grasshop: That's right, a cider. Trust me, I wasn't expecting it either. I also wasn't expecting it to be so good. Normally, hard cider is made of two things, apple juice and yeast. The good folks at the Colorado Cider Co. decided to go in a different direction: They added hops. The hops add a whole new element of earthy cut grass and lemon to the mix, which balances out the apple flavor. Even if you don't like cider, I would recommend giving this one a shot.

No. 30, New Holland, Dragons Milk: Although they aren't from Colorado, New Holland Brewing would fit right in with this bourbon oatmeal stout. Its rich, it's creamy and it tastes like bourbon. What more could you ask for on a cold winter's day. It has a deep red color and a very complex flavor that comes from being aged in whiskey barrels.

While Megan's favorites are a great place to start, you can find the complete tap list on the TapHunter app. For a special treat, try the Former Future Whiskey and the Vine. It was brewed for Megan and her husband Chris' wedding and is a must-try while it’s on the menu.

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