Think about this: when was the last time you went to a parade and had a good time? You were probably a little kid and all you really wanted was some candy and to see Santa at the end. I still go to parades just so I can feel like a little kid again and quite honestly I still think they’re fun. This past weekend I went to a different kind of parade and I sure did feel like a little kid again because I was surrounded by one of my favorite things: dark craft beer. The Parade of Darks was held at Wynkoop Brewing on Saturday, December 7th.
Here’s a rundown of the beers that I tried:
Green Flash Double Stout Black Ale
Black Bottle Ceriously
Upslope Christmas Ale
Fort Collins Double Chocolate Stout
Wynkoop Gingerbread Stout
Strange Gingerbread Man Stout
Phantom Canyon Imperial Stout
Verboten Mountain Man
Crazy Mountain Snow Cat Coffee Stout
Epic Big Bad Baptist
What’d I think? Honestly I loved that there was a festival dedicated to the dark beers. It gets a bit old when every beer festival has a TON of IPA’s. Not to say IPA’s are terrible, and IPA lovers will argue that dark beers get old too, but it was a great change of pace. I was pretty excited for some gingerbread beers and to discover some stouts that I haven’t tried yet.
Verboten’s Mountain Man was a pleasant new treat. It is an imperial dark cream ale, full of chocolate and rye. High in ABV (10.5%), it was a great beer to have and I really wish I could have had more. I do think it was my favorite, followed closely by Upslope’s Christmas Ale which has been a favorite of mine for the past two years (and I can’t lie, every person that I’ve met at Upslope has been incredibly wonderful to talk to).
Black Bottle’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch wasn’t as great as I had hoped. It was a good beer, but it didn’t have enough cinnamon toast crunch flavor! Gotta love those unique and fun beers though.
As far as gingerbread beers go, I enjoyed Wynkoop’s more than Strange, although I can’t complain about any beer that has my favorite holiday flavor in it.
There was plenty of coffee brews to enjoy as well. A very popular one, and probably my favorite one, was Epic’s Big Bad Baptist. This brewery is new to Denver, originating from Utah, and from what I’ve heard it has not been a disappointment. The imperial stout included cocoa and coffee beans and was a huge hit at Parade of Darks.
The location was pretty awesome. I am a fan of Wynkoop’s set up, although it was really crowded with just having the upstairs area. For a sold out event I was expecting it to be in a larger area. However, even though it was incredibly crowded I never had to wait for more than a minute to get a sample.
All in all, it was a really fun event that I’m sure everyone enjoyed. This is one that I highly suggest in the upcoming years and I plan on attending it for as long as I live in Denver. Cheers to Wynkoop for the great event!