Happy Colorado Craft Beer Week!
I know we are a day or two late, but we can’t be drinking beer all the time! To start off the week, we have the Special Sauce #6 coming from a fairly new addition to the thriving Denver beer scene, 10 Barrel Brewing. I had the pleasure of connecting with the pub manager, Mark Stewart, recently and 10 Barrel has quite the story.
Started by two brothers and a friend in 2006, 10 Barrels started with Bend, Oregon pub the goal of simply creating great beer. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy, just plain good beer. This didn’t take them long, and they quickly began to gain a serious following in their hometown. Although their origin was in beer, they ventured into the restaurant business shortly thereafter, and that’s when they realized they were going to outgrow their small strip-mall brewery pretty quickly. So they moved into their own pub, and by 2008, they had grown so much, they purchased an old automotive factory as their second location, in Boise, Idaho. As time went by, they expanded to Portland in 2013, then Denver and San Diego in 2016.
Right around 2014 they were acquired by Anheuser Busch (AB), but it was really great to hear how AB approached them as a company. The short version is that AB liked what 10 Barrel was doing, wanted to be a part of it, and basically said they wanted to provide them what they needed to continue to grow. 10 Barrel didn’t lose a single member of their team, and they had the opportunity to finance some awesome brewing adventures!
I went to visit the Denver pub, and it was an amazing experience. The taproom is 11,000 sq. ft and I think I received a hello from every staff member that walked by. Mark told me that the food was good, and he wasn’t kidding. I decided to stick to my diet and get the “Animal Fries”, a small mountain of french fries covered in cheese, bacon, and some crazy delicious sauce, and I may have set some form of an eating record. I will 100% be back to give the rest of the menu a try!
Last, but not least, 10 Barrel hosts a block party down in the RiNo district in June, so you should keep your eyes peeled for any updates!
Now that we are familiar with 10 Barrel, let’s dig into a beer review!
The Special Sauce #6
Oh, buddy. I like this one.
The cool thing about the Secret Sauce is that it is an ever-evolving beer that 10 Barrel serves. This batch is described as having “hop notes of strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, and lemon.” I definitely got the grapefruit and lemon, and the strawberry sneaks in when you hear the description, but it didn’t stand out right away. From there, it followed up with a crisp hoppy bite but was smooth enough to pass the Nicole test (the Nicole test is when my wife doesn’t frown after trying a beer). The flavor profile really comes to life after a few seconds, the citrus really coming alive, and it leaves a delightful little tingle on the back of the tongue.
Pouring a translucent gold, it has a really pleasant, almost sweet aroma. Having now tried Secret Sauce #6, I would love to know what 1-5 tasted like, because this one is excellent.
I think 10 Barrel has some great beers, and they are always coming up with new ideas, so if you haven’t already, I would definitely recommend giving them a try!
That wraps up this review, so until next time, get out there and Unleash Your Adventure!