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Yampa Valley Brewing Co. red ale cans released in honor of cranes

Yampa Valley Brewing Co. celebrates the upcoming Yampa Valley Crane Festival with the release of Sandhill Crane Red ale in cans. The beer was previously only available on tap.
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If you go: What: 7th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival When: Thursday, Aug. 30 to Sunday, Sept. 2 Where: Various locations with headquarters and information table at Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — At the Yampa Valley Brewing Co., the amber ale is distinctive.

Different in taste, it’s comprised of roasted barley, evened by hints of sweet caramel malts and resembling traditional Irish red ale.

Perhaps even more unique is its color.

“It stands out,” said Erica Tieppo, Yampa Valley Brewing Co. head brewer. “The ruby hue, it’s like spotting the red blaze of a Sandhill crane.”

In celebration of the release of the Sandhill Crane Red ale in cans, the Hayden brewery hosted its first Birds and Brews event Sunday. The special event was also a precursor to the upcoming Yampa Valley Crane Festival, which kicks off Thursday and continues through Sunday with a variety of speakers, events and activities for all ages. The festival’s headquarters is at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs.

“Before we moved here, we hadn’t heard much about cranes or a crane festival,” said Tieppo, who helps runs Yampa Valley Brewing Co. with Christian Dufresne and owners Jared Aylor and his wife Elaina, since it opened in October 2015.

Moving to town around this time last year, she quickly learned about the Greater Sandhill crane from devoted “craniacs,” who frequent the brewery and helped start the festival to celebrate the large birds.

“The names of our beers come from local things people love — things that feel like home and remind people about where they live,” Tieppo said.

Not only does the beer feature the crane in its name, it also features the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition logo and their slogan, “Celebrating Colorado Crane Conservation.”

“Now more than ever it seems that there are a lot of birding or nature organizations partnering with craft breweries all over the country,” said Nancy Merrill, one of the Yampa Valley Crane Festival event organizers and president of the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition. “I think it’s because a lot of young people are community minded and looking for a way to give back to good causes.

“For us, it’s a way to have our iconic birds reach a larger audience, and it’s a way for us to get our message out,” Merrill added.

Through the new partnership, Yampa Valley Brewing Co. will be donating a portion of revenues from the sale of the Sandhill Crane Red cans to the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition to benefit the cranes and the Yampa Valley Crane Festival.

Tieppo said for every four-pack of the red ale purchased, 25 cents will be donated. She expects the donation will total around $500.

“The people who are into cranes are really excited about it, and the people who are really into craft beer are really excited about it,” Merrill said.

The brew is for sale in the Yampa Valley Brewing Co. taproom and at select liquor stores.

To find the full schedule for the Yampa Valley Crane Festival visit coloradocranes.org.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.


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