Get To Know AC Golden Brewing Company

AC Golden Brewery copper brewing kettles

AC Golden named “Large Brewing Company of the Year” at GABF

Earlier this month, AC Golden Brewing Company, a tiny off-shoot of MillerCoors won “Large Brewing Company of the Year” at 2014 Great American Beer Festival®. AC Golden has 12 employees brewing beer on a 30-barrel system, so that’s a large award for a small brewing company. The beers they brew are only distributed in AC Golden’s home state of Colorado, so chances are you don’t know much about this tiny incubation brewery nestled inside the Coors Brewery in Golden.

Today we’re giving you the chance to get to know AC Golden, in the words of its co-founder and President, Glenn Knippenberg.

Glen “Knip” Knippenberg of AC Golden Brewing Company

Uncompromising Quality

The AC Golden Brewing Company takes a lot of flack from some of the craft beer community, about who owns AC Golden Brewing Company and where we brew our beers. That’s the “con.” The “pro” is that we are fortunate to be operating in the belly of the Coors brewery in Golden.

Because we are on site, we have access to all of the same quality regimes afforded to the large brands brewed in the big brewery. Our quality assurance measures are light years beyond the majority of the independent craft brewer’s. Each bottle, can or keg of Colorado Native has had, on average, over 500 individual tests run on it.  Every batch of beer is quality checked seven times during the brewing process: brew kettle, fermenter fill, fermentation, aging, filtered beer, final package and warm storage.  Chemistry, microbiology and sensory tests are performed during each phase of the process.  We also run extensive tests on our raw materials: barley, malted barley, water, hops, yeast and all packaging materials.

Colorado Ingredients

Colorado Native Lager by AC Golden Brewing Company

Quality water

High quality water is crucial for quality beer, and we’re fortunate to be able to use the same Rocky Mountain spring fed water the Golden brewery uses. Because the water hasn’t been treated by a municipal plant, we don’t have to filter out any chemicals or impurities. Our brewing water is monitored and tested daily for mineral and other ion concentrations, which allow us to fine tune each brew.

Colorado Grown Hops

The majority of the hops that are used in Colorado Native are grown on the Western Slope of Colorado. This is the same part of the state that is famous for growing peaches, apple, sweet corn and numerous other fruits and vegetables. Just as the wine folks have known for decades, there are a number of variables that create the character of a crop, such as temperature, rainfall, hours of sunlight and composition of the soil. These variables create a distinguishable difference between a Cascade hop grown in Colorado versus the same variety grown in Yakima, Washington.

Colorado Grown Barley

The barley growing team will tell you that the crops vary by state and even by harvest year. Colorado-grown Moravian barley is slightly different from Moravian barley grown in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. We are fortunate that Golden Malting is willing to go to the extra trouble to malt and segregate Colorado-grown barley from barley grown in the other states.

 

Hidden Barrel Collection

Some people like to dismiss our small batch credentials, simply because we are owned by MillerCoors. Something that helps “quieten” that vocal minority is our “world-class” barrel-aged beers. These beers are produced and sold as the Hidden Barrel Collection. They sell for as much as $24.99 for a 750ML bottle.

Hidden Barrel Collection by AC Golden Brewing Company

 

AC Golden Brewing Company has won medals for our barrel aged sours from multiple competitions; from the Colorado State Fair, to the GABF, World Beer Cup and the US Open Beer Championship.

 

 

 

Award winning Hidden Barrel Collection beers by AC Golden Brewing Company

 

 

 

The First Taste of Fall: Welcome Back Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Harvest Pumpkin Ale Returns for Fall

Fall has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved the big cozy sweaters, the crunchy leaves and, you guessed it, everything pumpkin.

There’s nothing quite like kicking off a cool, autumn night with a pumpkin brew in-hand and the sight of bright orange leaves in the distance. And what better way to welcome back Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale than to throw a fall-style party, in a city where the people are just as warm as its temperatures: Atlanta, Georgia.

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Atlanta launch party

On September 18, 2014, Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale brought a glimpse of autumn into one of Mellow Mushroom’s neighborhood pizzerias in Brookhaven, Georgia. The goal: to relaunch our favorite pumpkin beer in Atlanta while creating the ambience of the season that pairs so effortlessly with the brew.

From the assorted pumpkins, to the flickering black lanterns and country-esque hay bales, Blue Moon transformed this bustling Atlanta pizza bar into an artfully crafted fall oasis.

As attendees sipped on pints of Harvest Pumpkin Ale, they also chose from an assortment of pizzas. With influence from Blue Moon’s founder and head brewmaster Keith Villa on the best pizza pairings, Mellow Mushroom came to the table with a plethora of pizza options that kept attendees coming back for more.

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale launch party at Magic Mushroom

Throughout the night, the melodic notes of a local acoustic band provided the perfect mixtape for our Thursday night getaway. Fans gathered, caught up with old friends, sang along to some of their favorite throwback tunes and expressed their gratitude for both the brew and the party.

From the décor, to the Blue Moon-style tap takeover, to the smiling faces that glistened from table to table, Harvest Pumpkin Ale didn’t only bring a memorable party, but it brought the joys of fall to Atlanta early.

All in the Family: An Interview With Jake and Dick Leinenkugel

Jake and Dick Leinenkugel at Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Leinenkugel’s Family History

Earlier this month fifth-generation brewer, Jake Leinenkugel announced he will retire as President of the family-run Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company at the end of the year.

Since 1867, Leinie’s has been brewing America’s friendliest craft beer in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. And under the guidance of Jake the brewery has thrived by keeping true to the history and heritage established by his great-great grandfather.

This history and heritage will be as strong as ever, when Jake’s brother Dick takes over as President of the brewery at the end of the year. Watch this video to hear more about Jake’s retirement from Jake and Dick: