Some of the most requested beers at West Vail Liquor Mart are the delicious farmhouse offerings of Casey Brewing and Blending based out Glenwood Springs, CO. Casey was established in 2013 by the likes of owner Troy Casey. The idea behind the brewery was to create “old world” beers, one barrel at a time. Although many of Casey’s beer are not listed as “sour beer”, all of their creations feature a funky blend of micro-organisms that make for a unique and satisfying experience.
Today I would like to talk specifically about the fruited beers from Casey Brewing + Blending. Currently we have at least one example from the three main categories of fruit beer from Casey.
The 1st is the Fruit Stand series. This series uses the classic Casey Saison as a base. Then a modest amount (which is actually a ton by most brewery’s standards) of fruit is added. The Fruit Stands are a great example of what Casey does. They are not dominated by fruit taste, but rather show a balance of the signature yeast blend with some cool contributions from which ever fruit is being featured. Right now we are carrying two different blends of the Fruit stand. The 1st is Nectarine and more recently we received an awesome blend showcasing peach.
I will have to quickly digress to explain how to read a bottle of Casey beer. All of their beers available for retail sale are packaged in 750ml bottles topped with a cork and cage. The front will tell you which beer – and which fruit in this case is in the beer. Then there is a small sticker that will provide you with the bottling date and the specific variety of fruit (or hops) that is added to the beer. For instance, the most recent Peach Fruit Stand was made with O’Henry Peaches – plenty of information to later nerd out on. Also on a side note, Casey beers are great beers to age. Often a blend will not be ready for sale until months after bottling. I have found the sweet spot for the pinnacle of funky goodness to be around 1-1.5 years from bottling. However, these beers could easily last a decade or more or could be enjoyed fresh.
The next series to watch out for is the Casey Family Preserve Series, which features quite a bit more fruit than the Fruit Stands. These beers are for the true fruit lovers out there. The current blend we carry is a Cherry example is bursting with fruit flavor; almost jammy (no pun intended).
Finally, and perhaps the rarest, is the Cut series which is made with a completely different base beer – the Oak Theory. Oak Theory is closer to a Lambic in style and is much more complex and funky. Add fruit to the equation and what you have is a beer that is layered and nuanced. If you are a fan of Belgian sours, give a Cut a try. Right now you will find the Cut: Plum @ West Vail Liquor Mart. Plum is a very complimentary fruit for this beer. Casey’s beers are very hard to describe and are a great sensory experience for the beer lover that is truly interested in trying something unique and delicious.
– Dean LoRusso, Beer Buyer, West Vail Liquor Mart