Thursday, January 07, 2010
Dry Dock Brewing
One of my favorite things to do when on vacation is to try and visit a local brewery, this is no problem whenever I am in Denver since they are everywhere. I've visited many of them during my visits there, but I was pretty excited when my brother-in-law told me about this brewery in Aurora a suburb of Denver. Dry Dock Brewing has been around since 2005. It was started next door to a homebrew shop by the owner of said shop. The brewer came over from a "local brewpub chain" (I think CB Potts). The brewery has gained some recognition lately when it won Small Brewery of the Year at the latest GABF along with a couple of other medals for their brews.
When we drove up we didn't know what to expect as the brewery is in the middle of a shopping center. When we walked in we were somewhat surprised by the nautical theme, but I guess with the name dry dock we shouldn't have been. The set up is pretty small with just a handful of small fermenters. They have limited bottling and are mainly set up as draft only operation. As with most times I go to a brewery I picked up a sampler tray (see pic to the right):
7 Seas Double IPA - 7 hop varieties (each start with the letter C) 8.5% and 90 IBU's. This one was incredibly hoppy, tons of grapefruit peel, marmalade, chewyness, toasty biscuits, very well made DIPA.
Three Heavy - Wee Heavy weighing in at 9.5%. Very rich malty brew, with notes of figs, and raisins, dark fruity, sweet and malty, but not cloyingly so. Another solid brew.
Barnacle Brown - Brown ale, smooth, mellow, some coco notes, but not a lot going on here, was hoping for a little bit more complexity.
HMS Victory ESB - 5.8%, 49 IBU. A little nutty, caramel notes, with some nice earthy hop notes, coppery, malty, a very nice English style ale.
U-Boat Hefeweizen - Silver medal winner at GABF. This one was a great beer, bannana, cloves, bubble gum, full creamy mouthfeel. A really wonderful hefeweizen.
HMS Bounty Old Ale - Another award winner from World Beer Festival, some nice malty caramel notes along with raisins, figs, maltyness, port like, but again felt it was lacking depth.
I also tasted their pale ale that my brother in law had, that we both felt was incredibly lacking in flavor and depth, tasted really one dimensional.
After the sampling platter I did get a snifter of their Naked Vixen which is a 9.5% Belgian Golden Ale. This was a pretty good beer golden colored with a thick pillowy white head, notes of pineapple, white pepper, yeasty notes, fruity, very nice.
Other beers that our party had was a porter that we all found somewhat wanting as well as their Vanilla porter which was not surprisingly a bit sweet. Overall I found Dry Dock to be a very solid brewery, but left somewhat disapointed due to its winning Small Brewery of the Year.