The first three flagship beers at Barrels & Bottles in downtown Golden, CO have officially been tapped. Piney the First, Lil’ IPA, and Hot Lips should be on your “must drink this summer” list.
Piney the First is a pale ale made with all Chinook hops. It’s a “crisp ale for year-round enjoyment” and has a pine tree and citrus aroma. This beer is called “The First” as it was head brewer Kim Collins’ first recipe and first brew for Barrels & Bottles.
Next up, the Lil’ IPA is a sessionable, summertime brew at just 5.2% ABV. Lil’ IPA is a perfect beer to drink on the patio and soak up all summer has to offer. With a low ABV, having two can still be considered responsible drinking.
Hot Lips is a sour mashed blonde ale that uses a pure Lactobacillus strain in the mash kettle, and produces a sharp tart note that doesn’t linger. Hot Lips is a pretty fantastic name for a beer and is a nod to owners Zach and Abby George’s military backgrounds. Think back to M*A*S*H and Major Margaret J “Hot Lips” Houlihan, the blonde military nurse.
Barrels & Bottles gets its hops from Voss Farms in Arvada. Zach and Abby handpicked these hops in the fall of 2013.
The brewery has four new beers on the way: “Cin-Ful” Porter (porter brewed with cinnamon), “Pixie’s Stout” (stout brewed with NZ hops and aged in French Oak), a well-balanced IPA (to be named), and “Juniperus” , a double IPA (dry hopped with Glacier hops and Blue Juniper Berries).
I met Kim Collins earlier this year and was ecstatic to learn she was hired as the head brewer for Barrels & Bottles. When you go check out the brewery, I hope you have the opportunity to meet her. I appreciate that she takes time to talk to people about her beer and answer questions.
Female head brewers are a small population of the brewing community. It’s refreshing to see women in positions that traditionally have belonged only to men. Collins said, “Since I began, I have seen more women become interested in the brewing process, not just drinking beer. It’s exciting to meet all the new ladies at both the Pink Boots Society meetings and the Colorado All-Female Brews.”
Collins’ interest in beer began in her rugby playing days at Indiana University. She disliked the boring beer served at parties. “I saw the other ‘old girls’ (senior players) bringing over craft beer, tried it, and was hooked on its actual presence of flavor!”
After home-brewing for about five years, Collins jumped into professional brewing. In 2012, she attending the MBAA (Master Brewer’s Association of the Americas” Malting and Brewing course, moved to Colorado and began a three month apprenticeship at Tommyknocker Brewery. She worked at Tommyknocker for a couple of months and then moved to Boulder Beer as a full-time brewer. Collins then became a full-time brewer for Epic Brewing in Denver (that’s where I met her) and left recently for her new gig at Barrels & Bottles. She’s been the head brewer for about three months.
Barrels & Bottles is located at 600 12th St., Golden, CO. Hours: Mon., Wed., and Thurs., 12-9 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 12-10 p.m.; Sun., 12-8 p.m.