Three Colorado craft breweries would like you to rethink beer. Specifically, warm beer. The Denver Post reports that this past weekend, several breweries threw a party celebrating everyone’s favorite malty beverage—in a hot form. The festival was called Hot Bierfest, and it took place at Primitive Beer in Longmont, Colorado.
First off, how does warm beer sound to you? When I visited Europe years ago, I remember that a lot of beer was served at room temperature, which at first felt strange to this Yankee boy, but then I grew accustomed to it. Though I’m far from a beer expert, I have noticed that some beer tastes best not immediately out of the tap, but when it sits for a few minutes and warms up.
Brandon Bolt co-owns Primitive Beer, with his wife, Lisa Boldt. He said to The Denver Post, “We have a pretty narrow definition of beer, and it’s a little more exciting to try and open that definition up more broadly. When you taste a lot of beer styles, served hot in the right context seasonally, it’s not a jump. Just taste it, I think you’ll like it.”
I’d probably give it a shot, I think. Maybe once. Okay, eight times. I do suppose some more flavors would open up in a warm beverage, like the floral notes in hops, so that’s interesting.
At the festival, the three breweries involved prepared the drink in multiple ways. One of them, which sounds like a no-brainer, was mulled beer, which featured citrus and spices. Another prep method was a little more medieval-sounding: a metal poker was heated on a fire until it was red-hot, then plunged into beer, which of course creates a hot foamy end product. Boldt explains that it scorches sugars in the beer, adding caramelized flavors to the brew.
Keep in mind that the beer itself isn’t specifically brewed to be served hot. It’s just beer that’s heated before being served. But the brewers did need to think long and hard about which beers were appropriate for this style of service. For example, Primitive brewers knew they wanted to make a “Glühbier” using one of their sour blends. The beer was aged with grape pomace (grape skins) and cherries to give it additional flavor, and it made a great candidate for a warm version.
If you’re a beer enthusiast and this sounds interesting to you, read more at The Denver Post to see what the other breweries came up with. Who knows, it might catch on in your neck of the woods.