Guest Columns

The Righteous Brews: Fallujah Vocalist Alex Hofmann on the Best Beers Colorado Has to Offer

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Fallujah_540My name is Alex Hofmann and I sing for the band Fallujah. Bands we’ve toured with and the fans in our circle are by now very familiar with my affinity and appreciation for all things beer.

Touring with Fallujah has given me an amazing opportunity to discover and sample amazing craft beer from all over the world, because for years we’ve been exchanging guest list spots for cases of whatever is good and local. Recently I had the crazy thought that I should report on all the great and not-so-great stuff people bring us, so I’ll be doing weekly posts while out on the road. I can’t wait to drink my way through the USA once again!

For this first edition of “The Righteous Brews,” I will be reporting on some of the suds I sampled while in Colorado. With a great repertoire of breweries and an enthusiasm for the craft, I’ve always drank well whenever we pass through.

Odell Brewing — 90 Shilling Ale

Odell is not a brewery you see very often where we’re from on the West Coast, but the venue staff said it’s a bit of a staple in the region and they make solid can options. Their 90 Shilling Ale is the perfect beer to be consumed in a can; I was absolutely blown away by the smoothness, balance and delicacy delivered in a beer not served on tap. The beer has a solid malt background, blending subtle fruit aromas of what I think is mangos and bananas with a rich bready-ness. The beer has subtle but amazing hop flavor, not simply bitter astringency like many of its contemporaries. As a flagship beer of the brewery, it’s a solid representation of how a canned beer should be. Its drinkable, balanced, and packed with character.
4 out of 5 horns

90 shilling

Bonfire Brewing — Demshitz Brown Ale

The name wasn’t exactly promising, but beer titles these days can get pretty nutty so I thought I’d try it regardless. This beer came in a can as well, which for some is a turn-off. I like cans; some beers actually are better out of the can, like anything from 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco. But when you choose to package your beverage in this way there are some undeniable limitations and flavor considerations that you must address. This beer has rich chocolatey notes and hints of cacao, more so in the aroma. It’s rich and malt-heavy, which makes me wonder why you want to can this beer as opposed to bottling it. When I think about beer that is supposed to be consumed out of a can, I think of refreshing, light, and most importantly SESSION-ABLE. When people try to can really rich beers I feel the same as that time JC from N’Sync tried to have his own solo career in the early 2000s — “Why? What positive outcome did you possibly foresee?” This beer was good, but when your can is flat after 30 minutes it becomes rather unpleasant.
3 out of 5 horns

bonfire

Upslope Brewing Company — Craft Lager

When it comes to pale lagers or pilsners, I almost always say “leave it to the Czechs and Germans.” For whatever reason, American breweries are incapable of making a unique or satisfying lager when compared to their European competitors. Americans brewing lager is kinda like when white guys try to rap — you can count on one hand the number of halfway decent ones, but honestly, stop trying so hard, you’re just embarrassing yourselves. This beer is clean, with subtle notes of apple and citrus, which also comes through in the finish. It’s refreshing, I’ll give it that, but it still tasted like they spruced up a PBR and tried to resell it (at least with PBR there’s some youthful nostalgia). If I have to, I’ll drink a Heater Allen Pilsner or Basecamp’s IPL, but overall I would always prefer a classic Bavarian or Czech Pilsner.
1 out of 5 horns

upslope

Fallujah just released their new album Dreamless (stream here) and are on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder right now (dates here). Tune in next week for another edition of The Righteous Brews!

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