Saturday March 26th was the first annual Maverick Classic Beer Festival, which brought together 12 Western Slope breweries and cideries for a glorious afternoon of beer sampling, games, music, and bike racing. Let’s take a look at some of the standout offerings that were tasted!
There’s nothing like a good schwarzbier on a spring day, and Copper Club Brewing Company certainly delivered with theirs! A good roast followed by a mild bitterness made this one of the favorites of the day, as it was easy to drink but full of flavor!
A new offering from Ramblebine Brewing Company, Demberries, was an absolute fruit bomb! Packed with lord knows how many pounds of blueberries, this sour was deliciously tart. The touch of lactose, however, kept the tartness to a very approachable level and made this beer a crowd favorite!
It was great to see Stoik Beer Company from Delta make the trek up for the day, and their Red IPA was also a crowd pleaser. With just the right amount of caramel maltiness to offset the hop bitterness, this was an easy drinker.
Another beer generating a lot of buzz (pun intended…) was the Mandarina Double IPA from Foam & Folly Brewing. While Mandarina can sometimes be bitter, this double version had enough of a malt backbone to make it extremely well balanced and easy to drink. Coming in at 8.3% ABV, this drank like something more in the 6% - 7% range; very well done!
The final standout wasn’t from one specific brewery, but a blend of Ramblebine’s previously mentioned Demberries and the Barrel-Aged Erebus Stout from Gemini Beer Company. I may be in the minority, but part of the appeal of festivals is the opportunity to try new things and get a little experimental. This mash-up of fruit and chocolate just seemed like a match made in heaven, and it sure was! With tart fruit up front followed by a decadent chocolate finish, this was dessert in a glass. A friend who tried it equated it to a chocolate-covered acai berry, which was a very accurate description.
For its first year in existence, I would say the Maverick Classic was a success and that the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission did a wonderful job in putting it together. There was enough space where it didn’t feel jam-packed, there were enough brewery offerings to keep everyone happy, the vendors and organizations on display were all very informative, the games spread out amongst the grounds were entertaining, and the bike races were a blast to watch zoom by. I look forward to next year’s edition. Cheers!