The stave makes for great creations by the simple task of layering – piece after piece, fitted together until the larger product emerges. Denver’s Crooked Stave works much like its namesake: dedication of time and toil, revealing great works of flavour and sophistication. The Crooked Stave has two tap rooms in Denver and Fort Collins, offering up a dozen commonly available beers along with a handful of limited releases. Chad Yakobson, their brewmaster, focuses on using Brettanomyces yeast species to create stable, high ABV, unique tasting beers. The common baltic porter owes its style to a lineage of brewing hundreds of years old. As brewing became an industry, beer makers relied on the dark colour, smokey flavour and high alcohol to create stable beer that could travel. This beer achieves much of the same aims through careful application of the newest brewing techniques. Serves at 12°C and can cellar for around a year.
Pours black as the midnight sea with a frothy head of graphite tinged white foam that quickly recedes to a thin layer.
The roasted black coffee is the signature scent on top of this beer with toasted malt and barley along the edges. Impressions of cocoa, dried stone fruit, burnt timber and a hint of vanilla play in the background.
The Baltic’s signature of coffee beans makes itself apparent from beginning to end with this beer. Like a great cup of joe, the selection of choice beans and the aging process brings a bitter, dark chocolate coupled with dried plums, toasted barley, rich caramel and hints of vanilla. The coffee starts off strong on the tongue, but drifts away allowing the other tastes to play together, evolving into sweet and bitter sensations ebbing and flowing across your palate.
Crooked Stave themselves make a delicious recommendation of hickory smoked pork shoulder with roasted rosemary potatoes – how can you go wrong with that?