Oak Aging and Brettanomyces Help This Brewery Stand Out From the Crowd
Even in a saturated craft beer market, there are still niches to be filled. Cellar West Artisan Ales found one for themselves in creating oak barrel fermented ales using a particular blend of wild yeast—Brettanomyces. This particular yeast can be intimidating to work with, as it can be aggressive and overpowering, but Cellar West has made an art of the challenge.
Each beer is forged in a small batch and released in 500 ml bottles. That’s right, no six packs from this experimental little brewery. That doesn’t mean you’ll be left wanting, though because these brews pack smooth, fulfilling flavors. Their Bière de Mars, Sapience, for example is fresh and golden, just like the spring that inspired it. The God’s Eye wild porter, too, is smooth, though more rich and sweet. It seems that Cellar West has let their consistent oak aging and house yeast blend inspire a variety of unique tastes rather than letting it limit them to a comfortable few.
Located in North Boulder, this small establishment doesn’t have the extended hours that some of the bigger breweries do. The brewery is open 4-8PM on Thursday and Friday and 1-8PM on Saturday and Sunday. Don’t let this get you down if you work nights and weekends though. A variety of Cellar West’s 500 ml bottles are available for purchase at a number of liquor stores around Boulder and Denver (a handy list of these locations can be found on the Cellar West website).
This Saturday, they are releasing their Grey Muse, a Belgian inspired Grisette. Other recent releases include the experimental Zep pale ale and dry hopped Aquarius saison. While the Aquarius is available in stores, the Zep, along with two other experimental beers in the “Steelie” Series, can be purchased exclusively in the Cellar West tasting room. I, personally, have my eye on the New Life blonde ale from that series!