Steamworks’ Spruce Goose Ale earns 93 in brew review
The Beer Enthusiast at Draft magazine lauds Steamworks seasonal beer
Durango, CO. – Yet another of Steamworks Brewing Co.’s handcrafted beers is garnering national notoriety, as the Spruce Goose Ale, a seasonal brew currently coming on line for the holidays, received a 93 rating (or “Exceptional Recommendation”) out of a possible 100 from “The Beer Enthusiast” in the Nov/Dec 2007 Draft magazine.
Draft, “Life on Tap,” is among the leading publications of the craft brewing industry. The Spruce Goose is a winter ale made with fresh growth spruce tips harvested in the San Juan National Forest.
“The Vikings are first credited with developing the spruce beer recipe,” said Brian McEachron, Steamworks director of marketing and sales. “Legend has it that they would prime themselves with spruce beer prior to combat to ‘induce animalistic fury.’ What better a beer to share with your in-laws this holiday season?”
According to The Beer Enthusiast, the Spruce Goose Ale “…is a wonderful introduction to the spice… when you try Spruce Goose, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t seem much like beer. Your nose will be greeted by wafts of malt, followed closely by the unmistakable aroma of new growth spruce tips… an enjoyable toffeelike malt flavor lingers on the tongue, finishing this beer off nicely.”
McEachron credits Steamworks brewdog Ken Martin (Steamworks Durango head brewer) with perfecting the time-honored recipe for contemporary palettes. Martin, along with McEachron and Steamworks CEO Kris Oyler, also harvested (after a botany lesson from the Forest Service) the young spruce tips during excursions to Ophir Pass, Scotch Creek, Middle Mountain and Vallecito Creek.
“So, to some extent, this is a ‘home grown’ beer,” said McEachron, noting that most of The Beer Enthusiast’s rankings generally fall in the 80 range. “So we are extremely honored to receive such a favorable response to a beer that’s certainly not ‘mainstream’ but definitely worth discovering.”
The complete review as published in Draft, follows:
“If you’ve yet to try a beer made with spruce tips, this selection is a wonderful introduction to the spice. Each spring, brewers collect young spruce tips and freeze them until they are ready to use in winter brews. What emerges is a wonderfully distinct taste. In fact, when you try Spruce Goose, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t seem much like beer. Your nose will be greeted by wafts of malt, followed closely by the unmistakable aroma of new growth spruce tips. During the swallow, hop flavors and bitterness are low in order to avoid interference with the spruce flavor. Body and carbonation are right on for a beer of this strength. Plus an enjoyable toffeelike malt flavor lingers on the tongue, finishing this beer off nicely.”
The limited release Spruce Goose Ale is available in 22 oz. bomber bottles throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, as well as on-tap at the Steamworks brewpubs in Durango and Bayfield.
Steamworks Brewing Co. – Durango’s “2005 Business of the Year” – is located at 801 E. Second. Ave., Durango (970.259.9200), and 442 Wolverine Drive in Bayfield Center, Bayfield (970.884.7837). Both brewpubs are open from 11 a.m., serving lunch and dinner.
For further information, visit www.steamworksbrewing.com.