Stop Two in the Beer-muda Triangle- Crystal Springs Brewing

Heading south from Twelve Degree Brewing, it is a mere 5 minute walk to Gravity Brewing. Common sense would naturally dictate for that to be the next stop, however I haven’t visited them since December, so that will be Stop Number Three.

Therefore, we head out on a 12 minute bike ride or a quick 8 minute drive to Crystal Springs Brewing, located in the Louisville Tech Center, 657 S. Taylor Ave., Unit E, Louisville, CO

WARNING…it is a little tricky to find this place among all of the similar looking buildings. Don’t give up, intrepid craft beer enthusiasts and you will be well-rewarded.

Some back story…

Just after we moved to Louisville last May I read an article about Crystal Springs and its owner, Tom Horst. I had just deserted a partially completed dissertation, retired from Denver Public Schools, and was becoming more involved with food and beer. I stopped by the place and construction had just begun. I liked Tom. He had a doctorate, was a public school teacher, and had been successfully brewing for years. We had a short chat while we walked around the place and he described the plans he had for the place. I had just passed my Level 1 cicerone certification and I thought I could be very happy serving beers there. I was quite disappointed when I didn’t get a call.

Hence, it has taken me quite awhile to get over the emotional letdown and get over there to taste their beers. Also, truthfully speaking, Twelve Degree Brewing is a mile and a half from our home.

csb

Because the buildings are constructed so they can cater to a wide variety of clientele, they are pretty similar on the outside. Thankfully, there is a blinking “Open” sign in the window. Take care where you park as only a few spots are assigned to the brewery, but there is plenty of on street parking.

 

 

From a nondescript outside, step in and find a warm, relaxed, jovial atmosphere. Simple butcher block bar and tables  with ample room to move around. A huge                               chalkboard details the wide range of available beers.

 

2015

2016

A Happy Couple

 

 

Belly up to the bar and have a friendly chat.

 

 

This couple enjoys a fine set of tasters.

 

 

 

Aging barrels and fermenters in the back room

2019

2020

 

 

 

 

 

My taster tray, nicely labeled, included the following South Ridge Amber, Solano, Doc’s American Porter, Black Saddle #4, and Road Trip Ginger Chocolate Stout

2018

My Tasters

South Ridge Amber, 7.3% ABV, 36.4 IBU’s. Long lasting head, excellent lacing, nice balance on the nose. Long, hoppy finish, but not overpowering. Certainly a great warm weather beer and an excellent pairing for burgers and Mexican food.

Solano, 6.0% ABV, 27 IBU’s. I love the IDEA of chile beers, but have most often been disappointing, one note…a bit of a burn and nothing else. Almost like one just added capsaicin extract to the wort. Not here! This one had a nice roast on the nose and palate, similar to what you would experience if you were standing next to a chile roaster. Moderate carbonation and I was feeling it all the way down my throat. Pair this with chocolate.

Doc’s American Porter, 7.5 ABV, 50 IBU’s.  Fascinating history of porter and its derivative stout. Doc’s is a fine example. Deep brown color, nicely carbonated, a hint of coffee and well-balanced.

Black Saddle #4, 12.6% ABV (Wow!), 70.3 IBU’s. A veritable assault on your sensory apparatus…very good, port-like, great dessert beer. Small glasses only and a great pairing with a dark chocolate flour-less torte. Don’t be fooled by the high IBU’s as it only serves to balance.

Road Trip Ginger Chocolate Stout, 7.2% ABV, 41.1 IBU’s. Very dark, ginger on the nose. Ginger and unsweetened chocolate on the palate, mouth-coating. Not my style, but admirably constructed.

There were several other beers on the menu, but I think my palate gets a bit overloaded after five. They do brew their own root beer and offer a meat and cheese plate as well. Food trucks make a consistent and welcome appearance as it is a bit out of town. Definitely worth a visit. You will taste some fine brews.

tom

Tom Horst

Cheers,

Scott

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