One of my favorite beers at this year’s Great American Beer Festival was a Kaffir Lime Wheat crafted by the Denver Beer Co.. After the festival concluded, I spoke with home brewer and actual rocket scientist, Patrick Crawford, half of the duo behind Denver Beer. The other half, Charlie Berger, was tending to the brewing process.
At what point did you know you’d work with beer for a living?
Since the very first batch of homebrew that was done in a bathtub, here on Colorado.
Is there anybody who mentored you along the way?
The two places that helped were Wynkoop Brewery in LoDo and the Siebel Institute of Technology.
What was the first beer you ever brewed, and how did it turn out?
A clone of Laughing Lab Scottish ale from Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs. A two-time GABF gold medal winner.
What’s the criteria for a beer that you brew at your brewery? What does a beer have to be?
Seasonality is key. In the fall, more British style IPAs and in the winter get more malt forward.
What’s your top selling beer, and why do you think that’s the case?
They brew 180 different styles of beer with lots of seasonals but if forced to pick one it is the Graham Cracker Porter.
How do you go about naming your beers?
We either ask customers who are regular customers or decide right before the keg is tapped.
What was the most recent beer that you brewed, and what was your inspiration and approach?
A collaboration with Saranac called Continental Collide. All Colorado Malts and New York hops. Our second collaborative beer. The first was with Upslope Brewing from Boulder.
Where do you see the Denver craft beer scene in five years?
Hope to see more Denver Beer Co. taps around town and to see small neighborhood breweries co-existing with the larger, established players.
What were your favorite beers at The Great American Beer Festival this year?
Perennial Peach Berliner Weisse and Dogfish Head’s Hot Soup.