A sampling of Durango brewer's offerings
for the special day
|Robert Coy pours a fresh
pint at Carvers’ back bar Monday afternoon around
happy hour. Durango brewers are serving up a special
batch of microbrews just in time for St. Patrick’s
Day./Photo by Todd Newcomer.
St. Patrick’s Day is a meaningful holiday for the
Irish – a religious celebration to honor their patron
saint and pray for missionaries worldwide. For the rest
of the masses, it’s an excuse to drink way more
Guinness, black & tans, Irish whiskey and green beer
than is reasonably prudent.
Then there’s us, the true desperados who use the
holiday as a thinly veiled excuse to “research”
a story on local, seasonal beers that the aforementioned
masses can enjoy this St. Patty’s Day. Although
we cannot profess to possess any official beer tasting
credentials, we do happen to be the proud new owners of
a Kegerator, which is more than sufficient in most people’s
books. Thus, armed with our Mug Club cards and a powerful
thirst, we set out on our taste quest.
The journey started with Ska’s Nefarious Ten Pin,
an imperial porter from the boys in Bodo. With a hefty
8 percent alcohol content, its name, which is directly
translated to “wicked” for non-English majors
out there, was wisely chosen. However, we soon learned
at a local liquor store that the limited supply of the
wicked brew had evaporated into the thirsty community.
Using a little fiendish behavior of our own,we coerced
our friends at Lady Falconburgh’s into breaking
into their secret stash of Nefarious bombers.
We split a bomber bottle – 22 ounces, or 1 pint,
6 ounces – after the bartender fidgeted with the
stubborn wax seal.
"They kinda got the childproof thing going,”
he said as he struggled to open it.
Once it was poured, we went in for a smell. Bryan felt
it was “light on the nose for a porter,” and
once we drank it, we found it was medium bodied with a
mild (and delicious) flavor. Jen’s take was that
the Ska guys like to drink copious amounts of beer, so
a high-octane, drinkable porter is a no-brainer for them.
As our first beer of the night, we were pleased to feel
the start of a buzz after splitting the bomber, and toasted
to the beer’s well-endowed properties. We decided
to resist the urge to “cleanse our palettes”
with rum and cokes, and headed to Carvers.
The Carvers crew also loves to sample its wares, which
makes for fine brews. They used St. Patrick’s Day
as an excuse to brew up a red ale called “Sweet
“We steeped a leprechaun in it,” quipped
Aaron Seitz, co-owner.
Sweet Irish Revenge was “still cooking” at
the time of the tour, but we were able to sample a bit
of the unfinished product. It has an attractive color
and promises to be quite drinkable, in keeping with the
spirit of the day. It has an alcohol content of 5 percent,
still respectably more than that 3.2 crap.
The good citizens of Durango will be able to sample Sweet
Irish Revenge on St. Patrick’s Day – March
17, in case you’re wondering – while listing
to the live Celtic sounds of Beltaine. The Carvers crew
is hoping for the return of the regular who likes to slap
stickers on passersby that read, “I don’t
have to drink green beer to prove I don’t know anything
about my ancestry.”
Next stop was Steamworks. The seasonal beer offered here
this St. Patrick’s Day is, ironically, an Octoberfest
beer (technically a “Marzen/Octoberfest”),
which was not yet ready for consumption at time of writing.
So we helped ourselves to Mug Club mugs of a couple of
favorites, Backside Stout and Third I.P.A.
The I.P.A. has hops on the nose and rings in at 7.9 percent
alcohol. This is a great beer for transplants from the
Pacific Northwest, who are accustomed to heavy hops. The
Backside Stout, a nitro with 5.4 percent alcohol, has
a great malt flavor while still being well hopped and
The bartender said Steamworks doesn’t brew many
seasonals, and there is still plenty of the chili beer
left over that was brewed during the fires in 2002. They’d
love help finishing the batch!
We swayed back to the Telegraph office to crack into
a bomber of Durango Brewing’s new Derail Ale, an
apt end to a boozy evening as it has the highest alcohol
content, weighing in at 8.5 percent.
“Take it easy with this one,” brewer Davy
had warned. He added that it’s not available on
tap because “it’s too strong to have at a
As we poured the elixir into our glasses, Bryan remarked,
“Smell that caramelly sweetness.” It tastes
sweet too – very malty.
Suffice to say, the rest of the evening was a jolly good
time – St. Patrick’s Day came a little early
to the couple whose friends refer to them as “the
Frickin’ Reeders.” So cheers, and if you choose
to partake in these libations this St. Patrick’s
Day, just remember that if you see little green men, it’s
time to go home – and take a cab!