Thursday, September 28, 2006
GABF: Having a Beer with a Living Legend
After the Rockies vs. Dodgers game we headed to the Falling Rock Tap House about a block away from Coors Field. Canadian beer writer Stephen Beaumont had tipped us off earlier in the day that some special beers were going to poured at Falling Rock starting around 9 p.m. We didn't realize we'd also have the chance to see a performance of the Rolling Boil Blues Band, plus get a chance to share a beer with a living beer legend.
Rolling Boil is the creation of Celebrator Beer News Editor and Publisher Tom Dalldorf that is made up of musicians from various breweries. I had heard about the group before, but had never seen them perform. There set was great fun and our group came away impressed. A line from one tune was "I might drink a porter, I might drink a stout. If I don't get some service here I might shout."
We ended up near the stage and at a table with the legendary Pierre Celis. At 81, Pierre is in Denver promoting his Signature Selection and told me that he plans to be brewing beer in Texas again starting next year. The Celis Brewery in Austin was a great addition to the craft beer scene until it was purchased by Miller Brewing. They did not keep the brewery operation and sold the brand to a Michigan company. I asked Celis if he would do the deal all over again if he had the chance and he shock his head no and made a slashing motion across his throat, "Big brewers, never again. They are only in it for the money. They come in smiling at the meetings, but they are only in it for the money."
During our time at the Falling Rock I sampled three brews:
Pierre Celis Signature Selection Grotten Flemish Ale: golden ale weighs in at 7.7 percent and has hints of herbs and spice in its flavor profile. The brewers suggest this ale will age well and I imagine different complexities would develop over time. We did not allow this bottle to age and shared a glass with Pierre Celis.
Trippel Warlock, at 19.4 percent it is said to be the strongest beer made in Colorado, was tasty and clearly powerful. I offered a sip to Celis who put it on the mark saying: "Now that's something special." The brew has rich raisin and date characteristics, perfect for a cold evening.
Meantime London Porter from Greenwich, England, was a great brew. It uses seven different malts to construct a rich dark character.