Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yak’s RIS (Russian Imperial Stout)

image If you can drink Yak’s RIS, you can drink just about anything!  The Ginger Beer was supposed to last a month and only lasted 7 days….so we are releasing the next beer in the Haunted Beer Series early on Friday Dec 30th: a Russian Imperial Stout.  This style is thought by some to be the biggest, darkest, hoppiest, most alcoholic style of beer out there.  Two famous beers that even have their own celebratory day, Darkness from Surley and Dark Lord from Three Floyds were both based upon this style. 

The short history of the style is that it was produced in London England for an export to Russia (apparently Catherine the Great enjoyed this beer) and had to be bigger for two reasons (1) to handle the traveling the distance and (2) those Russians wanted something that would keep the hair on their chests (it gets cold during the winter).

Stylistically, this beer can be between 8-12% and Yak’s RIS lands around the halfway point at 9.8% ABV.  Black as night, very roasty, bitter chocolate with dark fruit notes from the malt and yeast esters.  This beer can have some harshness if served too young, so I’ve aged it 3 extra months for a smoother finish.

Stop by this weekend for a glass if you think the hair on your chest is thinning…


Monday, December 26, 2011

Cherry Porter

image After the success of the peppermint porter, we are hedging on and releasing the cherry porter this Wednesday at 4PM.  Sweet and tart simultaneously for that great cherry flavor (not a cough syrup or artificial flavor, but real Michigan cherries!)  The chocolate from the porter and the cherries give you the illusion of a chocolate-covered cherry, but I have to stretch my imagination to think it is a close match, but after having about 10 of these, I could tell you anything and you’d probably believe me.

Cherries belong to a special class of fruit called stone fruit and since I have already posted about cherries during my Wheat Wednesday blog this summer, I will just attach a link to the history and trivial facts about cherries here.

One quick note about cherries and Michigan: 75% of the nations production of tart cherries come from Traverse City, MI and it is known as the Cherry Capital of the World! 

Lastly, cherries are quite good for you as they are high in potassium, vitamin B and C, antioxidants, melatonin, and flavonoids.   Flavonoids?!  are they like IceBreakers “flavor-crystals”?  I’m not sure, but if they contain flavonoids, then dang, this beer is going to be good!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Haunted Series: Ginger Beer

image The next beer is already released for our Haunted Series: Ginger Beer, no relation to Ginger Fred (ask a regular next time you are at the bar if you want to hear the story).  This beer is designed after a colonial ale, which were usually dark, contained molasses and spices, like ginger, to cover up the poor quality of beer that was actually being produced.  This beer is poor quality or a mistake, I just love ginger and hope some of you will come to appreciate this spice if you don’t already.

This was a take on a homebrew recipe I did years ago and it was a smash hit.  We even managed to use some of this to make Moscow Mules, where Ginger Ale (Beer) is a key ingredient.  Low amounts of English hops, higher alcohol (just over 7%) and nearly a pound of fresh shredded ginger root make this a real treat in the glass.  If you want to learn more about the spicy ginger root, read on:

  • the root is technically a rhizome not related but similar to hops and peppermint
  • part of the genus/family Zingiberaceae which also contains: turmeric, cardamom and ganagal (no wonder it found it’s way into Indian cuisine)
  • white and pink buds bloom into yellow flowers on the plant
  • flavors come from volatile oils including: gingerols, zingerone, shogaols
  • in Nepal it is called “aduwa”
  • India produces more ginger than any other country in the world
  • Cholesterol-free and repels vampires…wait, no that’s garlic.
  • her best friend is Mary-Ann

Uses besides putting in beer:

  • drinks: tea, coffee, soda (ginger ale), wine, and schnapps!
  • pickled ginger with sushi or seafood
  • spice for soup, salad, cheese and icecream
  • candied ginger or other desserts like ginger cake
  • works well in barbeque sauce, marmalade, dressings and dips
  • gingerbread cookies and ginger snaps!
  • medicinally for seasickness, nausea and chemotherapy also diarrhea and blood thinnerimage
  • pumpkin pie spice

I personally really like pickled ginger and usually request extra when eating Japanese or sushi.  I tried to eat a bag of  candied ginger once, but it was a bit TOO spicy and instead used it for baking.   I also remember decorating our annual gingerbread house with mom when growing up. (we always tried to eat it 2 months later, but it was too tough and stale) What else do you use ginger for? 

I hope you enjoy this beer as much as I do.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peppermint Porter, just in time for Christmas

image This Wednesday at 4PM we’ll release the next beer in our Wednesday Porter Series….a Peppermint Porter.  Wow, I snuck a taste and am elated on how great it tastes.  No candy or artificial flavorings in this beer…I took organic peppermint tea (leaf cut) and sanitized it in a little water (making a strong tea) and added to the Porter.   Definitely a beer that Kris Kringle would like!  For those that want to learn some trivial facts about Peppermint…read on.

  • Peppermint is actually a hybrid of the watermint and spearmint plants
  • it is a perennial that is easily propagated with rhizomes, beer lovers should be familiar with rhizomes.
  • the flowers are purple (funny because not many peppermint candies are colored purple…)
  • one word: menth (plant contains: menthol, menthone, menthyl esters (acetate), menthofuran)
  • also contains eucalptol and pinene (which is present in some hop varieties)
  • medicinally was used for indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, cancer treatment, memory loss, IBS and other abdominal pains
  • medicinally is also used to treat halitosis…LOL!
  • Peanut’s character Peppermint Patty’s real name is Patricia Reichardt

Uses for Peppermint besides putting in beer:

  • Candy, cookies, ice cream and other confections
  • GUM! remember Beech-nut or Freedent?
  • toothpaste flavoring
  • candles, air fresheners and other smelly things
  • there are 344 recipes posted on for peppermint recipes
  • schnapps!  Those Germans love their Rumplemintz
  • what other uses do you know of?

Who doesn’t love Peppermint!  come down and get some York Sherpa Porter Patty, or something like that.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Barrel-aging at the Yak and Yeti

Leopold BBL1Yup, first time for the Yak. I have become acquaintances with the Leopold brothers since moving to the Denver area and am impressed by their processes, products and personalities. Here are some photos of my new barrel stand holding Barrel #5 of the Rye Whiskey from Leopold Bros. Todd tells me that I’m the first brewer to put any beer in one of his Rye Whiskey barrels (New Belgian and Avery do not have a shortage of his other flavored barrels).

You typically need something that is strong flavored to hold enough backbone in order to combat the first-time-use flavors from a keg. So the Sherpa Porter is going to be our first candidate. I’m pretty excited because I’ve read a lot about barrel beers and have drank my fair share, but this will be my first attempt to barrel-age something. All my experiences have been toasted oak cubes, chips, spirals and the chips soaked in different types of liquors to simulate being from a liquor barrel.

Since the beer that sits with time develops more flavors, I will probably release a keg every so often and each keg will be slightly different from the last since they all had different exposure times to the wood.

Stay tuned for when we “roll out the barrel”…


Monday, December 12, 2011

Vanilla Porter Release Wed Dec 14th

image The next beer for our Wednesday release is a Vanilla Porter.  Fortunately, since I already did research and blogged about my Vanilla Wheat before, I don’t need to spend much time on this post.  For those that want to know interesting factoids about vanilla, like it is a vine, a flower and a fruit, you can visit my previous post. 

My first vanilla porter was made about 6 years ago and was a response to Empyrean’s Dark Side Vanilla Porter.  Since moving to Colorado, I find it hard not to acknowledge two other famous vanilla porters in the area: Breckenridge Brewery and Dry Dock Brewing Co who got a silver at the 2011 Colorado State Fair for theirs.

For everybody else who doesn’t care and just wants the details so they can drink it: Wed Dec 14th at 4PM at the Olde Town Yak.


Monday, December 5, 2011

11-11-11 Pumpkin Ale release Friday Dec 9

image This was a collaboration beer brewed on 11-11-11 (the mash was vorlauf’d at 11:11AM as well) between Adam at the Yak and Yeti, Dana Johnson and Phil Rohrs, who are both homebrewers from the KROC club.  I gave a heads up that this beer was coming in a previous blog.

The beer release party will be on Friday afternoon starting around 3PM at the brewpub in Arvada.  Happy hour until 6PM assures that the beers will be $1.50 off regular prices.  Both Dana and Phil will be around to take the blame for anything that doesn’t taste right.

Speaking of taste, the beer is fairly big, finishing at 6.6% ABV and isn’t your typical golden to orange pumpkin beer.  This is a darker version that has real pumpkin, pumpkin spices (nutmeg, clove, cinnamon) as well as vanilla added directly to the keg. 

Lastly, I realize this is released later than most pumpkin beers, but December and Christmas is usually when “spiced-beers” are typically released, so we’re right on schedule.  You can always try our Chai Milk Stout and get two spiced beers in the same evening.  Hope to see you Friday for the release!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tamarind Chutney Porter

image “Interesting” you say?  So do I.  I never heard of tamarind until recently, which I’ve learn is a tropical fruit indigenous to tropical Africa.   This beer will be available after 4PM this Wednesday (Dec 7th).  We put the tamarind chutney (which is also spiced with I don’t know what, but I think cayenne pepper is involved) as a mainstay on our salad bar.  The reason I chose to flavor the porter with this was (a) it was accessible, (b) I really was digging the dark fruit flavors which are complimentary in dark ales like porter.   I get flavors of tart cherry and raisin with hints of spiciness when I taste the tamarind chutney alone, and these flavors come through in the porter as well.  For those that want to learn more trivial facts about this fruit:

  • Technically the fruit is an indehiscent legume, but usually referred to as a “pod”
  • The arabic term “tamar hind” means “Indian Date.”
  • used for medicinal treatments including: colds, constipation and chronic diarrhea
  • fruit pulp was used to polish brass in temples
  • tree can be used for ornamental or for cash crops
  • a mature tree can produce upto 350lbs of fruit
  • ring-tailed lemurs consider it a favorite, their diet can consist 50% of the tamarind
  • leaves of the tree can be eaten as a vegetable
  • popular in Mexico to flavor agua frescas
  • used in western culture to flavor Worcestershire sauce and HP sauce
  • there are a set of restaurants in New York that use the name
  • there is an art institute in New Mexico that uses the name

Homebrewers are crazy and have probably already tried this unique combination at some point, but I may be the first brewery to commercially offer a tamarind porter, you might want to stop by and give it a try.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Headline: Yak and Yeti gets new Kettle Lid Gasket!

kettle lid gasketI’m not sure how old this gasket is…at least 10 years, but considering this was a used brew kettle, I’m presuming longer.  The photo shows the old, cracked, discolored gasket sitting on top of the (upside-down) kettle lid and the new light-grey gasket.   Funny how we forget to enjoy the little things…I’ll drink to that!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

GF Apple Ale release this Friday

image For those with Celiac Disease, I don’t need to explain what “GF” stands for…but for everyone else—”Gluten Free.”   People with this disease are not able to properly digest gliadin, which is a type of protein found in many common cereal grains like barley, wheat, and rye.  Pure buckwheat is fine, but is rarely pure so most stay away from this.  Rice, potatoes, flax, corn and sorghum are fine.

This GF Apple Ale is remarkable close to a cider in look and flavor, but I don’t have a license to produce cider so this has to be a beer. What makes it a beer is 49.5% apple cider, 50.5% Sorghum imageand a 1/4 of a hop pellet…there, now I can call it a beer.  For those who like cider, this beer will be for you.  A strong hard cider character with a finish that is an earthly cereal grain.  I can’t pick out what this farm-like grain reminds me of, but if you were to tell me rye or buckwheat, I’d probably believe you.  Guess you’ll have to taste for yourself.

Now just to get that darn Bat-signal working, we’ll get the word out to those on a GF diet!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Arvada Press Page 2

arvada press article

Looks like we were featured in last weeks Arvada Press on Page 2.   It was a glowing review of our beers and of our brewmaster.  Grab a copy before it’s too late.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Robust Porter – early winter seasonal

image Winter doesn’t only bring snow and colder weather…it also brings darker and roastier beers. The color is deep brown with dark amber hues. The aroma is mostly chocolate with hints of sweetness like raisins and molasses (neither has been added). The mouthfeel is creamy at first and dries up in the finish due to the roast and hop bitterness (all English Fuggles). The body comes mostly from generous use of Munich and Crystal malts. The flavor profile is mostly cocoa and roast but as the beer warms you get dark fruits like dried plums and raisins.

34 IBU’s and 4.9% ABV (yes, still in style for a Robust Porter)

This robust porter will also serve as a flavor platform to provide a weekly release of interesting beers including Vanilla Porter, Cherry Porter, Toasted Coconut Porter, Coffee Porter, and Peppermint Porter. Stay tuned to more blogs about these releases.

Sherpa Porter….on tap this Wednesday, Nov 23rd at 4PM.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brewer/handyman - wine rack

Yes, I could have build a wine rack from scratch....I have already build a small one for myself several years ago. I needed to build two small wine racks under the bar. Based on the cost and labor, it was much cheaper to buy used and re-purpose this old wine rack instead. So after cutting and re-supporting here is the before and after photos. I like my job, I get to a be a brewer, engineer, maintenance guy and handyman all at the same time!

Belgian Grand Cru on Tap mid-November

Despite one person claiming my Tripel was infected or something, it was consumed fast. So instead of waiting until December 1st to release the next beer in the Haunted Beer Series, I have decided to release the Grand Cru mid-month on Wednesday Nov. 16th.

For those that already know and love Belgians this blog won’t impress you, but I think there needs to be a clarification so those that aren’t used to drinking Belgian-style beers know what they are getting into (certain flavors are expected). In general Belgian yeast will put out more esters (fruit and floral) and some people describe it as a nice dirty flavor (similar to the desirable characteristics of stinky cheeses) Since most Belgian beers are not filtered many will still have a yeasty aroma or flavor and this is acceptable.

Belgian brewers generally despise beer categories or styles so when you talk to these people they only refer to BRANDS and what characteristics come from each. We Americans need to put every beer in a little box and call it something. In my opinion the Belgian-style beer box is very big and anything that uses a yeast that from Belgian is classified as a Belgian. Simple. The complication lies that beer geeks have sub-classified these into more boxes.

Light Belgians: witbier, Belgian pale ale, saison, biere de garde

Strong or Trappist: blonde ale, dubbel, tripel. quadrupel, golden strong, golden dark (it is technically only a Trappist beer when it has been brewed by one of 7 breweries)

Sours: Flanders Red, Flanders Brown, Lambic, Gueze, and Fruit Lambic, wild fermentations (brett, pedio, lacto, etc

So this isn’t an all-inclusive list, for instance Belgian IPA’s are very becoming popular right now in beer circles. Where does “Grand Cru” fall in terms of style. Well, it is more of a special title than a style, similar to the word “reserve”. What style of beer is “brewers reserve?” You probably don’t care, but your interest has been sparked, because it sounds like something special. Grand Cru is the Belgian equivalent to this concept.

Our Grand Cru is based on a Golden Strong and has been aged with toasted oak spirals to simulate being aged in a barrel. I pick up very strong fruit notes of apricot and pear that come solely from the yeast. The oak flavor is very subtle and is hidden by most of the other flavors including the alcohol which is just under 9% ABV. Served responsibly in 10oz “Belgian-style” glasses. Come check it out at 4PM on Wednesday.


Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Pumpkin Ale

11-11-11 Today Phil Rohrs, Dana Johnson and I brewed a beer.  11-11-11 Pumpkin Ale. At exactly 11:11AM, we started vorlaufing our mash.  I was so proud that I caught my wrist-watch EXACTLY at 11:11AM that it didn’t dawn on me that it would have been even cooler to catch it at on 11-11-11 at 11:11AM and 11 seconds.   I guess I’ll have wait another 1000 years to catch that one.  Bummer.   Anyways, we are tentatively planning on a release party for this beer on Friday, Dec 9th at the Yak and Yeti Brewpub.  Stay tuned for more details to come later.

KooKoo for Cocoa Wheat!

image No, there isn’t any cocoa puffs in this beer, but rather real unsweetened cocoa.  Give it a roll.  On tap today (Friday 11-11-11) at 4PM.  Maybe you’ll be kookoo for our Cocoa Wheat!   And don’t forget that our Jalapeño Lena is also on tap today as well.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Play it again, Sam! Jalapeño Lena revisited

image I was expecting a keg of the spicy Jalapeño lager to last for weeks, maybe a month, so I was shocked when I found out Monday morning that our keg only lasted 4 days!   So back by popular demand, the next keg will be ready this Friday!   And in case you missed it the first time…here is the song again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Drinking Made Easy Blog – Yak and Yeti Feature


  WOW, we were just featured on the Drinking Made Easy blog (you know that drinking TV show with some guy named Zane?).   It was a nice write-up, check it out here:


Thursday, October 27, 2011

November Haunted Beer Series Release

image The next beer released in the Haunted Beer Series will be a Belgian-style Tripel called “Tripel Nipel”.   I am targeting to release these around the first of each month, but since the weekend is upon us and Halloween is around the corner, there is no reason not to bend a few of my own rules a little.  ;)

This Friday starting at 4PM the Tripel Nipel will be on tap.  Belgian-style Tripels are a light colored beer but high in alcohol (9.6%ABV to be exact) you can read more about the style here.  Served responsibly in a 10oz Belgian glass. 

Prost! (or whatever they say in Belgium)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jalapeño Lena

imageSorry for the lack of posts, my laptop is shot and I purchased and setup a new one….that takes a few days.

I’ve loved Cajun and Zydeco music for quite some time now. [Really, who doesn’t love the classic “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”]? So when Dol asked me about putting jalapeños in a beer, the first thought that crossed my mind was the zydeco song “Jalapeño Lena.” What better way to take a pilsner and spike it up with fresh cut peppers and call it “Jalapeño Lena” (it’s enough to make you wanna dance). This beer is dosed with approximately 3 lbs of sliced jalapeños per barrel! For those that didn’t like my Chili Pepper Wheat that was flavored (but not “heat” spiced) with peppers, this is for you beer and food lovers that are familiar with the Scoville unit. I’m not sure what Scoville units it will clock in as but maybe some patrons can help us subjectively figure it out.

Also, it seems only fair…if your name is Lena and you show me some identification proving it--a free pint on me!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Two new beers on tap at the Yak!

Okay, I need to start this blog with a confession: one of the beers has been on tap for about 2 weeks but I realized that there was no blog about its release. 

Take a Brown Ale (Northern English) recipe and tweak it with traditional Indian ingredients like “brown rice” and “honey.”  We could have come up with a creative name for this beer, but I figured there would be more questions about what it is, so I went with a simple name that spells it out—Brown Rice and Honey Ale.   The clover honey has fermented out but the aroma and flavor is still strong.   The brown rice lends a subtle but distinct nutty/spicy earthiness.  The recipe was formulated to be sweeter because after the sugars from the brown rice and honey had fermented out, they were going leave the beer too thin and dry….thus the finished ale is balanced.   This beer clocks in at 6% ABV and 26 IBU’s.   We probably didn’t need to promote this beer as our customers love it and are crossing their fingers that it becomes a year-round flagship.

After taking a serious look at our lineup, it became obvious that we don’t have any good low-alcohol session beers available.  Also, the AbominAle ESB was losing popularity and was in desperate need of a facelift.  Enter AbominAle Mild.  This is a 3.7% English mild and only 16 IBUs (enough to protect and stabilize the beer).  Session beers are the lifeblood of the British pub scene.  This ale may have low alcohol, but is still full-flavored.  Chocolate, nutty, roasty and caramel can all be perceived in the flavor profile.   Not to be confused with a “dark mild” this beer is red in color and will be one of our mainstay beers,…go ahead, it’s okay, have 5 or 6 of them!

Prost & Prost!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Beer Saved the World!

Betcha didn’t know “beer” is a varietal Superman?!  What is better than beer and movies???  Free Appetizers!  Come check out our new big screen projector as we debut a beer video night on Thursday Oct 13th.    We’ll start the movie at 8PM and provide some appetizers for munchies.

“How Beer Saved the World” is fun video with a HUGE slant towards a beer-focused history.  It is informative, humorous and just plain entertaining.  Come check it out.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pink Beer?

No. There is no pink beer, just a metaphor to introduce “Woman’s Craft Beer Night”  every Tuesday from 4PM – close at the Yak and Yeti Brewpub!  Men usually dominate the craft beer scene, but there are some hard-core beer-loving women out there who like them extra-hoppy or extra-malty as well.

1/2 off all craft beers on tap at the Brewpub (excluding growler sales) for women all night long on Tuesdays, every week!

So, to the craft beer-loving woman, raise and your glass and…..Prost!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Barleywine Release on Wednesday 28th

Yaks are hairy.  Bigfoot is hairy.   Introducing the newest release in the Haunted Beer Series: Big Hairy Barleywine. 

This beer is about 8.8% alcohol and is big on the malty, caramel, and roast flavors.  Big Hairy is being released at the same time as our Red Hots Cinnamon Wheat at 4PM this Wednesday.  Served responsibly in 1/2 pint snifters.  If you want to know more about the barleywine style, read on:

The BJCP (beer judge certification program) has a nice description here.  Why call a beer a wine?  The name comes from England when brewers brewed a stronger beer to compete with the higher-proof wines.  Beer and wine has had a long rivalry, so using the name to sell the beer was probably just creative marketing at the time.  Much like a wine that can be aged, most (but not all) barleywines can also improve with age.  Sierra Nevada has a beer called Bigfoot Barleywine that is famous for being used with “vertical tastings” (tasting several of the same beer from different years, err vintages).  

My first barleywine as a homebrewer lasted for about 5 years and was sampled every few months.  The beer peaked in greatness at about 3.5 years old.  Big Hairy Barleywine will not last that long, so stop down for a sample or 1/2 pint and try it for yourselves before it vanishes like the elusive Yeti.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Atomic Firebeers!

Okay, well, it probably won’t be that hot, but it will be flavored like cinnamon hearts.   This week, since the GABF is in town, I wanted to do something that was a little more crazy and daring and release a Red Hot Cinnamon Wheat this Wednesday at 4PM.  I actually have made this beer before as a homebrewer and the results were surprisingly good.  For what to expect, read on:

  • Ferrara Pan, is the company that makes Red Hots as well as Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans and Atomic Fireballs!
  • Red Hots brand candy were developed in the 1930’s
  • “cinnamon imperials" is a generic name used by the candy industry to indicate a piece of cinnamon hard candy (“Cinnamon Imperials Wheat” has a nice ring to it, but beer lovers would be expecting a high proof instead)
  • This candy is made at 245degF in a vacuum, which removes all the moisture and turns into the hard candy we know
  • There is actually an inner candy and an outer candy shell (both made from sugar)
  • Due to the coloring in the candy, the beer turns bright RED!
  • The cinnamon flavor is strongly spicy but not necessarily hot like an atomic fireball. (does this mean we won’t have beer breath?)

Uses for Red Hots, besides putting in beer…I actually only know of two:

  1. eat them like candy…because they are candy
  2. put them on baked goods like sugar cookies or gingerbread houses (aka a decoration like “sprinkles”)

What else have you used these candies for?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Little Jack Horner’s thumb

Subtle? No.  This week’s Wednesday Wheat is Plum.  Tapped at the usual time of 4PM.  I learn more each week as I hope all you do as well.  When I went to pick out fresh plums, I had to choose between red and black.  I wasn’t sure which to use,….so I used both.  This will be a 50/50 red/black Plum Wheat.  If you want to learn more about this stone fruit, read on:

  • technically a stone fruit, just like Peaches, Cherries and apricots
  • craft beer enthusiasts will be pleased to know that it was named by Pliny the Elder
  • a pluot is a cross between a plum and apricot
  • The dusty-white coating on plums is called a epicuticular wax and is known as “Wax Bloom”
  • plums are synonymous with prunes and prunes are synonymous with laxatives
  • as a result of the bad reputation, most companies have started marketing these as “dried plums” instead
  • typically you cannot dry a plum and call it a “prune”, prunes are usually from the Freestone variety since the pit is easier to remove
  • Dr. Pepper contains no prune juice

Uses for Plums, other than adding to beer:

  • dry them into prunes!
  • jams and jellies
  • pies and cakes
  • wine, brandy and other liquors (Sloe Gin is made from a type of plum)
  • baked, roasted, stewed
  • plum sauce and chutney

My personal memories of plums are quite fond as we grew up across the road from a small grove of about 5 plum trees.  Each year we’d sneak over there and each about 4-6 of them.  I don’t remember it affecting my digestive system, but they probably did.   Now that I know there are red and black common varieties, I’m now wondering what type there were….I remember eating purple. I know this is a short list of uses, does anybody have more uses for them?


Thursday, September 15, 2011

You say Beer Mat, I say Coaster,

yak beer coasters No matter what you call this pressed paper product, they are a familiar icon in the brewing world.  Check out the new coasters we have at the Yak & Yeti.  When the staff is looking the other direction you might even consider taking some home to adorn your coffee table or home bar. 

History lesson: Did you know the beer mat was actually invented to sit “ON” the beer glasses and not under them?  They would act as sort of a denkle for the glass to prevent bugs from stealing your favorite beverage.   More history of the beer mat here.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Just Peachy!

By the sound of the post, you must know that we are releasing a Peach Wheat for this Wednesday at 4PM.  Peaches didn’t grow well in the Midwest where I grew up, so I always thought they were only grown in the SE, specifically Georgia.  After moving to Colorado, I found that our state is well-known for peaches too.  It’s peach pickin’ time….

Some known and otherwise unknown facts about our pitted friend:

  • Peaches are stone fruits, just like cherries, plums, and apricots
  • related to the Almond
  • originally from China and later Persia
  • Alexander the Great introduced peaches to Europe
  • a nectarine is a type of peach
  • Peaches are fuzzy, nectarines are smooth (skinned) and they both contain a pit (get it? Pitt!)
  • peaches shouldn’t be refrigerated and they do not ripen after being picked
  • California leads the production of peaches despite the Georgia nickname of “The Peach State”
  • Used in modern literature and music
  • is apparently used for the name of a band, clothing manufacturer, and window maker

Uses for peaches, besides beer…

  • teas
  • pies, cakes, breads, muffins and donuts
  • candies, puddings, and ice cream
  • scents are used in perfumes, air fresheners and cleaning products
  • jams and jellies
  • salad dressing, salad toppings
  • salsa
  • liquor
  • peach cobbler (these pics make me hungry)
  • baked, broiled, pickled, poached, dried, roasted, and even creme brulee’d
  • or as a healthy snack eaten plain

Most of the peaches that I’ve eaten in my day have unfortunately been canned in sugary syrups.  The wheat we’ll be serving is made from fresh Coloradan grown peaches.  I am also familiar with a peach beer from St. Louis: O’Fallon Wheach. I’m not sure if it’s available around here, but it is quite refreshing in the summer time.  So stop by before the summer heat is entirely gone to enjoy a pint this Wednesday.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yak and Yeti wins a medal for its Pilsner

Namaste State Fair medal 2011 I should have posted this before the holiday weekend, but got too busy.  We won 3rd place at the 2011 Colorado State Fair for our Namaste Pilsner!  The lager is quite simple in ingredients (100% Weyermann Pilsner malt, Warrior bittering and Tettnager  aroma hops), the more difficult part is yeast handling and a good fermentation process.

The lager is bright and hoppy (est. 40 IBU) and due to the dry finish is quite drinkable.  The light body makes the 40 IBU’s pronounced, not like an IPA in bitterness, but has a noble hop spiciness that stands out.

Stop by and try an award-winning beer sometime.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Big, fat, juicy Yak-berries…

These things were gargantuan, I think there were 4 berries per lb [editor’s note: slight exaggeration].  This Wednesday Wheat Series release is the Blackberry Wheat, at 4PM as usual, sounds scrumptious doesn’t it?

For those who Googled the smart phone and got this site instead, tough luck, the fruit came before phones were invented.  To learn more useless trivia about the berry, read on:

  • remember the raspberry post?  Blackberries have a solid core when picked, unlike black raspberries.
  • can tolerate poor soil and so is found in unusual places like ditches and vacant lots
  • the root from the bush is very astringent and was used medicinally for treating diarrhea
  • scientists have developed new cultivars that come from prickle-free bushes
  • before they are ripe, they can start nearly white in color, transition to red and finally darken to a shiny black


  • Baking: pies, pastries/donuts, cakes, bread, cookies, cobbler, muffins
  • Flavorings: candy, ice cream, yogurt, frosting, cream cheese, popsicles,
  • toppings: cereal, ice cream, yogurt, cake
  • jams and jellies
  • sauces, glazes (eg. for chicken)
  • smoothies, and other ice drinks
  • alcohols: schnapps, liquors (specifically rums and vodkas), malt beverages
  • perfume and other scented products like shampoo and lotion
  • My favorite use of blackberries is blackberry yogurt.  Something about the rich flavor, tartness and the creaminess from the yogurt that all compliments each other.   I could do without the seeds…. but good news is that since the Raspberry Wheat didn’t expose the seeds, I’m feeling pretty confident that we won’t have seeds in our beer here either.   Stop down to the brewpub this Wednesday, I’m usually hanging out from 4-6PM to answer questions or shoot the bull, err yak.


    This just in….Coloradans love Double IPA’s

    I only made up two kegs of the Double IPA and the first one was empty in less than 3 days.  The 2nd keg is on tap, get it while it’s still available. 


    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Check out the new logo pints and mugs!

    logo pints We got a new batch of logo pints and mugs for sale.  Come to either one of the Yak and Yeti locations.  $5 for a pint and only $8 for our infamous 18oz dimpled mugs.  See your server for details.  Wish the photo showed how cool they look in person.

    Prost! (with new glass in your hand)

    Introducing the Haunted Beer Series

    Some of you already know that our brewpub resides in an 1864 mansion that is actually “haunted.” Our owner, Dol, had hired some ghost hunters (it’s probably more PC to say “paranormal investigators”) to do some surveillance and you can see the news story about it here. The haunting is supposedly from a woman named Cora who fell down the stairs and died. (there is also an Uncle Ned who may be one of the ghosts). The stories that I’ve h

    eard are basically harmless. Neither are ghosts that pull practical jokes or tries to scare the bejeepers out of you. I personally haven’t had any run-in’s myself and since I’m usually at work a few hours before anybody else, I’ve spent a lot of time in the building alone. Any encounters will definitely be blogged about, so stay-tuned (indefinitely!) If you like to know more about the history of the house or Cora, this page has the most information that I’ve run across.

    Beer brewed in a haunted fermentor and served from haunted kegs via a haunted tap handle = The Haunted Beer Series. But seriously, this small batch series I am targeting to release on a monthly basis. These beers will all be bigger beers and will showcase double IPA’s, barleywines, Belgians and maybe I’ll pull out the recipe for my infamous Draegerator dopplebock.

    On Sept 1st we will be releasing “Haunted Hops” an Imperial IPA (IIPA) or Double IPA depending what school of thought you subscribe. Haunted Hops comes in at 9.4% ABV and contains only Cascade and Centennial hops. Experts say that the taste threshold for hoppy beers is around 100 IBUs (international bittering units), so take it with a grain of salt when I say that this beer has a calculated bitterness rating of 181 IBU’s (our Himalayan IPA has about 75-80 IBU’s for comparison) This beer was also dry-hopped for a week as well. Dry-hopping a beer will add aroma and flavor, but cannot increase the IBU’s, which is usually done in the kettle.

    The Haunted Beer Series will be served in 1/2 pint snifter glasses for the same price as a full pint of our regular offerings (happy hour still applies!) or $1.50 for a 4oz sample. In addition, every time a person orders a 1/2 pint of these beers you have a chance to win a hand-made wooden tankard by Don Lewis (click link to see his awesome work). Just fill out a simple tag with your name and way to contact you if your name is drawn (phone, email, address, etc). The drawing will be held during our Anniversary celebration on July 1st. The more glasses you buy, the better your chances to win (limited to serving only 2 glasses per visit due to the high alcoholic content—drink responsibly please!)

    Stop in to see the tankard that is on display above the bar or to celebrate the Haunted. Prost!

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Stories from a long time local

    I never caught the guy’s name, but a person came into the bar the other night and was telling me about Arvada.   He says his family moved here in 1947 and Arvada had a population of only 1700 people (nope, it’s not missing any zeros).  

    Although he moved away from the area, he still comes back to Arvada about once a year.  He has seen every High School and Middle School open, change and close, including the one that apparently used to be where the strip mall is next to Gunther Toodies.  He told me that the library is the location of the first King Soopers and that Carr St. used to be the edge of town.  Also that farmhouses speckled the country-side between Denver, Arvada, Golden, and Westminster. 

    I had the chance to ask questions that only a transplant like myself could ask, like “Why is it called Church Ranch Rd?” (I learned that Church is a last name and their ranch was located there)  And in exchange for learning some cool history, I even listened intently when he and his friend drummed up fond memories when he played football for the Buffaloes (apparently both offensive, defense, quarterback and running back)

    This guy remembers when the Yak and Yeti Brewpub was still a home that was lived in and tells me of what the neighborhood was like.  Neat stuff.   Here’s to last 60 years in Arvada growing to over 100,000 in population and the next 60.   Prost!

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Some like it hot…

    This Wednesday Wheat will be a Chili Pepper Wheat available at 4PM as usual.  You’ve heard of dry hopped beers?  This is a dry peppered beer!  I used about a dozen dried Guajillo chili peppers (actually a dried Mirasol pepper is called a Guajillo and has a Scoville rating between 2500-5000).  Instead of my usual format for blogging about the wheat beer flavorings, I thought I’d give you more information about using peppers in beer.

    Here’s the trick to a hot or a mild and flavorful beer using peppers: pith and seeds.  I scraped out the pith and seeds leaving just the meat of the pepper thus this beer should have plenty of chili flavor without the heat.  (if you want hot, you’ll have to bring a bottle of your favorite habanero or ghost face pepper sauce to spike it)  Some like it hot….I like them flavorful.  For those who want to make hot homebrews and not have much pepper flavor, just use the pith and seeds and don’t add the skins.  I guess it’s like the 95/5 rule.  95% flavor and 5% heat for my beer and if you just used the hot components, your additions would have 95% heat and 5% flavor.

    Colorado has actually been embracing the chili peppers in beer for quite some time.  The three most noteworthy examples are Wynkoop’s Patty’s Chili Beer, Coopersmith’s Sigda’s Green Chili Lager and Twisted Pine’s Billy’s Chilies (the hottest of the three).   Twisted Vine also has a chili beer that uses the ghost face pepper, (I’m told is currently the hottest pepper in the world). 

    There are many different approaches to using the peppers in beer, I described my approach.  Other recipes and processes can found here, here and here.  Another philosophy, especially if you are a commercial brewery, is to skip the cutting and skinning and just use pure pepper extracts for flavor and heat.  One could have greater consistency and control by using such a method.  I haven’t heard of homebrewers successfully using this approach.  If you have experience with this, please comment in the form at the bottom of this blog.

    My first experience with a pepper beer was Cave Creek Chili Beer.  I’m not sure if it is still available, I’ve heard the company went under, but maybe somebody has saved the label and is contracting it again.  I was at “The Perfect Pint” in Platteville, WI, which is a beer bar that is still in existence.  This was at over 10 years ago when I was trying all the different microbrews I could find.  The bar always had free popcorn so I grabbed a basket of buttered goodness and ordered the chili beer, which came with two little peppers in the bottom of the bottle. (way less offensive than the worm in the tequila).  What I remember most about my first sip was that it was nice and cold, but then the heat hit.  The first reaction when you have hot in your mouth is to wash it down with something cool and cold, so I quick had another drink.  The downward spiral was futile, so I switched to the popcorn to drown out the heat.  Two baskets of popcorn later I had finished the 12oz bottle!  Sweet defeat.  I’ll normally eat the peppers off a Chicago style hotdog or other foods that it is used as a garnish, but as I sat there holding the pepper in my hand agonizing over whether or not I should eat it….I ended up giving up and not finishing the peppers at the bottom, so maybe I didn’t defeat the bottle after all.

    For those who want more, need more, there is even a chili beer website dedicated to the lover of chili beers. (enjoy the cheesy intro)


    Sunday, August 21, 2011


    I always have to mispronounce the word “raspberry” in order to spell it correctly.  (“rasp” and “berry”) Guess what?  It may be in the middle of NFL preseason, but it is also Raspberry season right now as well, so come on down to the Yak at 4PM this Wednesday for some tasty Raspberry Wheat.  Last week’s Cantaloupe Wheat was finished off in record time, so who knows how long this keg will last.  If you wish to learn some history about the berry, read on…

    • There is actually a black raspberry and blue raspberry variety out there
    • Also known as the “hindberry”
    • between Russia and Serbia, they produce about 1/2 the world’s production of raspberries
    • there are approximately 100 drupelets on each berry
    • a raspberry is hollow when picked, but a blackberry is not (thus a black raspberry is hollow when picked)
    • the Boysenberry and Loganberry are both hybrids that came from the Raspberry’s genus—Rubus
    • they are high in antioxidant vitamin C
    • the raspberry aroma comes from a phenolic compound called the creatively named “raspberry ketone”
    • The raspberry grown in Colorado is probably the “Boulder Raspberry” or scientifically, “Rubus deliciosus” (yes indeed!)
    • They can grow in elevations up to 7000 ft

    There are many uses for Raspberries (besides beer, of course), and I won’t be able to capture all of them here, but here is a sampling:

    • Raspberry leaf tea
    • Baking: pies, pastries/donuts, cakes, bread, cookies, cobbler, muffins, Raspberry Tart
    • Flavorings: candy, ice cream, lip balm, yogurt, frosting, cream cheese, popsicles, vinegar
    • toppings: cereal, ice cream, yogurt, cake
    • jams and jellies
    • sauces, salsas, spreads, glazes (eg. for chicken)
    • smoothies, and other ice drinks
    • alcohols: schnapps, liquors (specifically rums and vodkas), malt beverages
    • perfume and other scented products like shampoo and lotion
    • aren’t you hungry yet?

    My memories about raspberries go back to when I was little and we’d visit my grandma, who grew many raspberry plants.  She would take a bowl of freshly picked raspberries (and maybe some blackberries or black raspberries too), then she would sprinkle on some sugar to cut the tartness and just have us eat it straight from the bowl with spoons.  I’ll take that over a candy bar any day of the week!  I also remember our local IGA bakery making a cream cheese pastry with raspberry filling that was unbelievable.   When I worked at the store I would have at least 1 or 2 of those a week.   In recent years, I ran across the peanut butter aisle in the Gateway Market.  They had an amazing peanut butter from “P.B Loco” (who appears to be out of business now) with chunks of white chocolate and raspberry, what a crazy and tasty combo?!  I guess the only negative thing about raspberries are the teeny tiny seeds.  No promising that your beer won’t end up with seed or two in it…but I guess you’ll have to order one to find out.  Do you have any other good uses or stories about raspberries?  Comment on my blog.


    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Confession from a melonhead…

    • I must confess that on Wednesday at 4PM, when we release the Cantaloupe Wheat, there won't be any Cantaloupe in it.   We Americans have come to call our Muskmelons, "cantaloupes", so much that it is official accepted to call them "Cantaloupes" and anything with orange melon flesh, for instance "Rockmelons".  (scroll to bottom of blog for a pic of a real European Cantaloupe)These melons (yes, fruit) come from the species of Cucumis Melo.  If you want other little known facts about this melon, read on:


    • The cantaloupes of Europe were originally non-netted and had deep ridges (like the honeydew melon)
    • First cultivated by the Egyptians
    • name comes from the "Gardens of Cantaloupo" near Tivoli, where they were once cultivated
    • Our netted version came from France around 1881 (who also brought us the honeydew 20 years later)
    • not surprisingly the melon is about 90% water (but who is knocking it, is beer)
    • Part of the same species as the Armenian Cucumber
    • high in potassium, vitamin A and folate
    • so rare in Japan that they can pay between $30-$70 US dollars for them
    • Europeans are known to refer to them as "pepo"
    • first brought to the New World on Columbus' 2nd journey
    • Cantaloupe Island" - Herbie Hancock on Blue Note in 1964
    • smashing

    There are also many uses for muskmelons (aka Cantaloupes):

    • eaten as just fruit
    • eaten as a dried fruit
    • put on skewers with other fruit
    • used in desserts like pie
    • liquors
    • Stews
    • jams
    • salsa
    • soup
    • salads
    • used for it's oil (from the seeds actually)
    • pureed and used in drinks or milkshakes
    • as an antipasta (pieces are wrapped in prosciutto)

    Growing up I always remember having the mixed fruit bowls of sliced fruit including watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and cantaloupe.  I find that it also tastes great on the rind with a little salt to bring out the sweetness.  What other uses for cantaloupe have you and your family used?

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Brewer’s Tools

    Yes, I have come to the realization that certain tools are just necessary and I would have a hard time living without these tools to do my job.  There are some necessary tools and other ones that are just (really, really) nice to have.

    Tools I have found essential around my brewery:  Screwdriver, crescent wrench, pliers, tape measure, flashlight, shovel, zip-ties, measuring cup, funnel, all sorts of buckets, teflon tape, scissors!, pen/paper, and even my laptop with wifi access. (I didn’t mention some of the standard: hop scale, hydrometers, sanitation spray bottle, mash paddle, etc and focused on ones that aren’t dedicated to breweries)flashlight retractable cord

    Tools that are more in the nice to have category: three-hole punch, hose cutter, electrical tape, 7/8” wrench, fans (several of them), and a new tool that I purchased for a whopping $3.95 and I love it! – “retractable cord for belt” of which I keep my flashlight hooked. 

    This was actually an LED flashlight that Chris left behind for me (essential in looking in the kettle, fermentors and bright tanks).  I saw how he was always fishing it out of his pockets and it looked inconvenient.  I too, was inconvenienced by the fact that it kept falling out of my shirt pocket when I bent over to pick stuff of the ground.  All I could think was if I accidentally dropped this in a batch of fermenting beer that I would contaminate thousands of dollars of finished beer (and I’d have to buy a new flashlight)…..   So I solved two problems at once – easy to access flashlight, and tether it so it can’t fall into a fermentor…..brilliant!


    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Love, Glove, Dove,….Clove?

    That’s a weird pronunciation….clove?!  Regardless on how ridiculous it sounds pronounced, this Wheat Wednesday will debut a Clove Wheat beer at 4PM.  Not sure you are familiar with the clove spice?  Learn more from these interesting trivial facts:

    • Cloves are used as an aromatic spice but are technically the flower bud from a very tall evergreen tree.
    • Until modern times, cloves only grew on the Maluku Islands, otherwise known as the “spice islands". 
    • The characteristic aroma comes from Eugenol, approximately 15% of the bud is comprised of this chemical
    • Western medicine has used clove for dental pain, so many people associate the smell of clove with the dentist
    • Chinese medicine has many many uses for cloves including: aroma therapy, impotence, and morning sickness
    • The clove tree can grow upwards of 24-36 feet tall
    • The word “clove” comes from the French word “clou” which means “nail”.  The shape of the whole clove bud is remarkably close in shape to a nail.
    • Used in cooking as both “whole” and “ground”

    And how about additional uses for clove (besides beer):

    • Christmas time potpourri usually mixed with oranges
    • clove cigarettes (technically can’t be called cigarettes in US after 2009)
    • incense
    • used in many Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican dishes
    • breath mint
    • studding pork
    • still used in medicines
    • gingerbread
    • mulled wines
    • sweet pumpkin pie
    • used with pickling fruits and vegetables
    • key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce

    The list is definitely endless.  I always remember seeing the bud in mixes of potpourri and so usually associate the spice with that.  Since  Siebel (studying Bavarian Hefeweizens), I have learned to recognize the Eugenol compound much easier as well in this style of beer.  Do you have any favor recipes that use Clove?