Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver pushing boundaries

By: ERIC GORSKI
September 27, 2012
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photo - Andy Brown, Wynkoop Brewing Co.'s head brewer, tastes the Chancellor ale, which has been inside a whiskey barrel for 16 months. This beer will be served at the upcoming Harvest Beer Dinner at the Wynkoop. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post) Photo by
Andy Brown, Wynkoop Brewing Co.'s head brewer, tastes the Chancellor ale, which has been inside a whiskey barrel for 16 months. This beer will be served at the upcoming Harvest Beer Dinner at the Wynkoop. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post) Photo by  

Among experienced local beer drinkers, Wynkoop Brewing Co. is known for Hickenlooper, history and middle-of-the-road craft beer.

The brewpub opened in 1988 in a then-barren warehouse district in lower downtown Denver, founded by a group of entrepreneurs that included a recently laid-off geologist named John Hickenlooper.

The Wynkoop's biggest seller, Rail Yard Ale, is an amber ale — a gateway style for newcomers to craft beer.

One of head brewer Andy Brown's latest creations is altogether different — an ale aged 16 months in whiskey barrels packing an alcoholic punch almost three times stronger than Rail Yard.

This is not your governor's Wynkoop Brewing Co., and in fact Hickenlooper hasn't been involved since 2007.

The greater experimentation is part of a movement by long-established craft breweries to win over the growing number of more sophisticated beer drinkers and ward off megabreweries moving in on their turf.

Read more here.

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