With the Great American Beer Festival upon us, many fellow beer nerds will flock to Denver in search of delicious suds. If you have time, a side trip to northern Colorado is worth it. Fort Collins and Boulder are the obvious choices — and for good reason — but while you’re north, I recommend swinging by Greeley. Crabtree Brewing, WeldWerks Brewing and Wiley Roots Brewing are all located near each other in Greeley, making it a great spot to enjoy a lot of tasty beer in a short amount of time. Who doesn’t want that?
Recently, I had the chance to try Crabtree’s Au8, a Belgian-style golden ale aged in tequila barrels. Whenever I see barrel-aged on a label, my interest instantly piques, so I was excited to give Au8 a try.
When I poured Au8 into the glasses, it immediately smelled like fresh dough. I love that smell, so I could have sniffed this all day. In fact, it reminded me of making pizza dough.
After Au8 settled in the glass, the beer showed off a pretty honey-colored hue. Au8 was nearly opaque and slightly darker than some Belgian-style golden ales, but that touch of amber makes for one good-looking beer.
Once I got past inhaling pizza dough smells and admiring the color, it was time for the best part: tasting. Au8 was crisp and dry with almost a sparkling, efferescent quality. Orange citrus and coriander were the most prominent spice profiles when I first tasted Au8, but after a few seconds, the clove became more noticeable. The tequila barrels added some herbal, grassy notes and, of course, a nice oak profile as you would expect.
Au8 was a delightful beer that would make a great patio-drinking partner. I’ll always raise a glass to that.
ABV: 9.5 percent