Left Handed Greatness


I was extremely lucky to have lived a couple years in the middle of the “Napa Valley of Beers” Denver, Colorado. While I was there I managed Rock Bottom Brewery, and also managed to make quite a few friends in the Craft Brewing industry. Amongst the many amazing breweries I visited while I lived there, there was one that really stood out to me, Left Hand Brewing Company.

In addition to the fact that I am left handed (and therefore a genius), this amazing “Brewtopia” from Longmont, Colorado produces quite a few beers that I cherish. Established in 1993 the motto of this brewery is “Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone Else is having." Their brewers revel all that is possible with hops and grains, in addition to the over 300 days of sunshine in Colorado and the beautiful scenery that comes with it.
 
Dick Doore teamed up with his college buddy Eric Wallace and together they purchased a former meat packaging plant on the banks of the St. Vrain, also the name of one of their beers, in Longmont, Colorado. The original name was “Indian Peaks Brewing Company” but they soon changed the name to Left Hand to honor Chief Niwot (the Arapahoe word for left hand) whose tribe settled nearby. 

The very first year they started producing beer they won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival, a gold for their Sawtooth Ale, and a bronze for their Black Jack Porter. In 1998 they purchased Tabernash Brewing and doubled in size. Their popularity has continued to grow and now are considered one of the top 50 Craft Breweries in America. As of 2013 the brewery has won 25 medals in different major competitions. I have been lucky enough to attend five Great American Beer Festivals, and you can be assured that the line is always long to taste Left Hand’s brews. They also have garnered enough respect to have one of the few coveted end cap spots at the festival.
 
They produce an amazing array of delicious beers, and I have chosen a few of my favorites that we sell in Central Market Houston to talk about.
  • Left Hand Milk Stout - This beer is dark and malty but the key element in my opinion is the creaminess that comes from the addition of lactic sugars. In my store we often add a scoop of ice cream and create “Beer Floats” to sample. I am not the only one who is a big fan, the beer has also racked up the following awards: 2006 & 2008 World Beer Cup Gold for Sweet Stout and 2008 GABF Silver for Sweet Stout 
  • Left Hand Oktoberfest - Of all of the Ocktoberfest beers that we carry in our department, this one is by far my favorite. It’s a little bit hotter on the ABV side than most, at 6.6%, but still low enough to be somewhat session able. The classic Marzen malty characteristics shine through with a twinge of hop and a smooth dry finish. Oompah! 
  • Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 4 - This is definitely one of the beers I most look forward to during the year and one of the best most coveted seasonal beers out there. This beer is extremely dark in color and pours beautifully. I get some floral and spice on the nose but you can definitely smell the hint of smoke. When you taste it the word balance comes straight to my mind, more smokiness along with a malty hop presence that leaves you wanting more.
Now if you need another reason to stop in and give a few of these great brews a try, I have two words for you, beer sale. Now through the 24th we have 20% of beer purchases of $25 or more, as well as a plethora of brewers and brewery owners in our department for samples and demos! Cheers!
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3 Comment(s):

Jane wrote on 12/10/2013 3:11:59 PM

From what I understand Left Hand did not purchase Tabernash. They merged by sharing packaging equipment at the Left Hand brewery so they could both save money. Tabernash was later phased out. Most of the information in this website clearly came straight from the Left Hand website. Seems like that information was just misinterpreted.

Russ S wrote on 9/25/2013 3:41:26 PM

Sawtooth truly is a great beer, and upon further consideration should have made the cut, my sincerest regrets!

J Todd wrote on 9/18/2013 7:51:26 PM

No love for Sawtooth Ale? By far their best.

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