Tag Archives: Left Hand Brewing

Monday Suds: Hops and Handrails 2014

Hops and Handrails 2014 was definitely a different experience than 2013.  This year, I was in short sleeves and I ended up with a sunburn!  The beers were great, the competition was good, and the weather was perfect.  Take a look at the pictures!

 

 

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More than a brewery

When you go to your local brewery or bar, the first thing you look at is the beer menu.  What do they have on tap that is going to taste good?  Once you have settled in, you usually take a look at the upcoming events.  Who’s playing and how much will it cost to get in?  Is there anything else coming up?  A Potlucl? Some Beer Geek Trivia?  What you generally don’t see too much of is a a fundraiser.

Photo courtesy of http://farm2.static.flickr.com

Left Hand Brewing has been in Longmont since 1993 and they have been part of the community in a big way.  This last summer alone, they gave back to several local organizations including the Longmont Humane Society, Bicycle Longmont, and the Longmont Symphony.  They hosted a benefit for the High Park Fire, benefited many national organizations like Bike MS, and helped their neighbors in need through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  They raised over $275,000 in 2012 alone!  Even though these events are a great way to show off their beer, they are also a great way to connect with the community.  From the president of Left Hand, Eric Wallace :

“We started giving back to the community from our earliest days. It’s our belief that it is the right thing to do, so we do it and we did it back then. We also believe that what goes around comes around and contributing to building a better and stronger community makes us better in the end.”

What we do know about Left Hand is that they are much more than a brewery, they are a community beacon.  Being part of the community is part of the core values of the Longmont based Left Hand Brewing Company.  When I asked Josh Goldberg, Left Hand Employee, how they choose causes, the answer was pretty simple.  He said it was about choosing events that hit close to home and carried a lot of passion and belief behind them.  For Josh, it is definitely about helping those who need it most.  Josh has always been quick to see and need and try to help whether it is for the earthquake is Haiti or for a local Fire Department needing support during a dry Colorado summer.  When I asked Josh what his favorite event was, he let me know that it wasn’t one that was dollar driven.  His favorite event was the toy drive for OUR Center in Longmont.  Helping Santa hand out toys to kids who wouldn’t have seen anything else was enough to put a smile on his face.

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In 2013, Left  Hand has a lot of great events planned.  They will once again be at the helm of Leftapalooza, a music festival to benefit charity, and Longmont Oktoberfest, a community event to celebrate all things Longmont (including the beer).  The staff will also be introducing a Summer Concert Series as well as the Hops and Handrails event, to benefit A Woman’s Work, SOS Outreach, and Colorado Brewers Guild, coming up in March which will include almost 20 craft breweries, including all three from Longmont!

What you can take from Left Hand is that being a brewery is more than just being about the beer, it is about being part of something bigger.  From Eric Wallace “ Giving back and doing the right is as fundamental to our business operations as brewing great beer!” With great influence and outstanding beer comes great responsibility to be part of your community.  As Left Hand grows, so will their outreach and events to support the local community.

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If you know of a cause in need, how do you get noticed? How do I get in touch with Left Hand to let them know? Many events are still in the planning stage. If you know of a charity of cause that is need of a little help, you can contact Josh Goldberg at goldberg@lefthandbrewing.com.  While they can’t support everyone, they are happy to consider the application!

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Ales4Females: A glance back

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I just realized that I still haven’t published the post  about my incredible experience at Left Hand in October.  Many breweries have hopped on the wagon when it comes to courting their female patrons.  The best part is that targeting us has become a lot more than ladies night and cheap beers.  In Colorado, you can always find a group at a brewery aimed at the education of the female beer consumer.  I have seen a couple new ones crop up in the last few months but I have not had the opportunity to attend.  Left Hand has its own club and it is the Ales4Females group.  I have attended this group off and on since I discovered beer.  You are able to meet with local aficionados, brewers, and enthusiasts.  It is also a great way to meet the other bar stool occupants that you may see on a regular visit.  Nothing better than walking into a tap room and feeling like you walked on to the set of Cheers where everyone knows your name!

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This last meeting included some tasty Flemish Beer, chocolate cake, lady fingers, and pancetta!  To say that this was an eye-opening experience would be an understatement.  While most months, we have the opportunity to try out three beers, the Bourgogne de Flandres was such a big beer it needed all three food pairings for itself!  If you have never had a Flemish beer, it is surprisingly brewed like a Lambic, completely uncovered and open to wild strains!  I usually don’t like the taste of these beers as there are usually sour and sweet notes.  However, this beer blew me away and the pairings took me out of this world!  It was so well-balanced that I ended up not even finishing the beer I had ordered and opted to finish the tasting beer.

 

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This was definitely an experience.  If you are in an area with a local brewer (and sometimes distiller) it is definitely worth asking about any education they put on, female or otherwise!  Get to know your brewer and definitely get to know your beer.

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Monday Suds: Happy Oktoberfest!

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I can’t believe it’s already October!  It’s my favorite month of the year.  It’s birthday month for me and the Husband as well as time to break out the fall sweaters, decorations, and hot apple cider.  Oktoberfest has also been in full swing since September 22.  Longmont got on the bandwagon this weekend and all three breweries; Lefthand, Oskar Blues, and Pumphouse got involved.  Lefthand was the official host of the event and they did an amazing job!  Such a community event!

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We had an amazing time listening to some great music and watching some fun competition.  This was the Beer Stein holding contest and Mayor Coombs (the man on the left) was representing the city.  He did a pretty good job but he didn’t take it home.  Maybe next year, Mayor Coombs!

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Thankfully, all of these gigantic steins were filled with water and beer.  It would have been sad to see all of that beer hit the grass.  We took home some smaller version of the steins for this years souvenirs.

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The volunteering was great.  I was able to greet up at the front gate.  It was definitely busy and I was so glad to see the festival going off successfully.  It was nice to see so many great people and enjoy some great beer, brats, and pretzels.

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I wish I had pictures of the end of the night.  The crowds were huge, the costume contest was amazing, and the last band, Squid, was incredible!  We were worn out and enjoyed every minute!

Oktoberfest still goes for a few more days, officially until October 7th, so what are you doing to celebrate?

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Monday Suds: Left Hand Brewing or A love letter to a brewery.

So earlier today I posted some info on one of our favorite breweries.  I just wanted a chance to talk about some of the current beers on tap.

One of our favorites is the Oktoberfest which was released yesterday. It should be out in stores in the next few weeks for the rest of the world to enjoy. This was also the beer that was making it’s way through the bottling line today. It is traditional and warm, almost too much for a mid summer drink, but worth the pint in the AC.

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One thing you can say about Left Hand is that there isn’t a bad beer on tap. This seems like an exaggeration but I promise you, it isn’t. When we describe Left Hand to others, we let them know that while every beer on tap may not be your favorite, there isn’t a beer on tap that I wouldn’t drink. Every beer on tap falls in our favorite three for the category.

The man that coordinates the magic in the tap room is Josh. He seems to be a jack of all trades and always a smiley face. It is obvious that he loves what he does and wants everyone who spends time in the Left Hand tap room to feel like family!

There are some beers on tap (or that used to be) that definitely fall in the favorite category. For me, there will always be a place in my heart for my first hoppy beer, Jackmans. While I can’t find it anymore, the Haystack and Good Juju will definitely keep me content.

When I twisted one of our favorite guy’s arm, James said that he had a handful of favorites.

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He listed off some classics and some newer beers. James would put Fade to Black V2, 2012 Oktoberfest, Blackjack, Widdershins, Beer Week Sauce, and Jackmans near the top of his list. As you can see, there are too many great beers to pick your favorite. I couldn’t get him to just name one!

This brewery boasts a hop garden out back. While I am sure many breweries have some kind of hop garden, this one seems to blend in with it’s surroundings. I hope that during the expansion, this is not something that goes by the wayside. It blends in so well with the surroundings and sometimes, if you catch it at the right time, there is a great aroma on the greenway!

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Speaking of the expansion, Left Hand is definitely experiencing some growing pains. They bought the building across the street, they’ve installed some new tanks in the parking lot and some great things are on the horizon. Hopefully, these expansions mean that it will be much easier to acquire Left Hand beer across the country. We fill our trunk with beer when we head back to Iowa to fill the needs of those who can’t get enough!

Here are some tasting notes on my current beer. The Haystack is an unfiltered wheat beer, otherwise known as a Hefeweizen. What makes this beer different is the lovely notes of banana bread. If I were to host a brunch at my house, it would be perfectly acceptable to substitute this beer for mimosas. It is light and refreshing but the slightly spicy notes keep you coming back. This is a great summer beer as you still get the feeling that you are drinking beer without feeling completely weighed down with a heavy, malty beer. Three cheers for Haystack!!!

As I close up my review of Left Hand, I realize that this has been more of a love letter than anything else. The staff at Left Hand has made learning about beer amazing. Between the classes and slow days behind the bar, I have learned more than I ever imagines. I can explain the difference beer styles and pouring mechanisms to someone who has never had a proper cask beer before. Thanks to the knowledge and attention to detail by the Left Hand staff, my entire beer experience began!

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Monday Suds: Left Hand Brewing or The brewery that taught me everything I know about beer

Saturday morning, I took a quick ride over to our “home” brewery.  This is the place that taught me how to appreciate hops, how the brewing process works, and taught me that beer deserves to be paired with food and cheese just like wine.

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As I strolled into Left Hand, Josh and the rest of his staff were finishing up their weekly staff meeting/beer class.  In the 15 minutes that I got to “audit” I learned about the history of Oktoberfest and the many varieties of the ESB.  This kind of gathering is one of the reasons the Husband and I keep coming back.  Everyone behind the bar, even the bar backs, can help you select a great beer and be able to tell you what you should be looking for but not why you should be enjoying it.  They leave that up to you!

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A little history on Left Hand. 

Left Hand Brewing was established in 1993 by two guys in a home brewers club. This brewery is now arguably one of the most successful breweries in Colorado and one of the most recognizable craft beers in the country. Their tap room is right along the St. Vrain Greenway and less than 30 minutes by bike from our house. We love that when you walk in you feel like family and there is always something great on tap.

The first trip we made to Left Hand was actually a pre party for the Husband’s bachelor party about 2.5 years ago. The Husband and his brother had planned a brewery tour and as Left Hand was so close to home, it made the cut. I joined them after work and we were all pleasantly surprised. We did a taster of everything that was available and there wasn’t anything that we didn’t love. We hadn’t been drinking beer that much and we were hesitant to try anything new. After 12 tastes, I was in love and I was ready to open my palate to beer. 2.5 years later, I am willing to embark on a beer tour around the state and try anything! Left Hand taught me that everything is worth at least a taster, and in most cases, at least a pint.

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I’ll be back with some of our favorite beers this afternoon!

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We had one nice day…

Sorry for the delay on the weekday updates but this week has seemed to fly by.  Tuesday was my day off and the thermometer hit 71 degrees at my house.  The Husband went to work early so that he could be home early.  We had some Georgia Boys for a late lunch and then off to the greenway for a bike ride.  All great bike rides begin and end at LeftHand!

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We were able to have beers on the patio and chat it up with our favorite regulars!  The Husband attempted to shoot a video of the methodic pilsner bubbles to display here.  He thought they were soothing!  We couldn’t get 30 seconds without cars going by!

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I enjoyed the sun and sat out in my bike shorts!  What a lovely way to remind yourself that Spring is around the corner!

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Has Spring started to show it’s face at your house?

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