In May of this year I married the most wonderful person. It was a ceremony that people will remember (it was 32 degrees out in the orchard) and a reception people may not (we went through over 2,000 bottles of beer). 3 months later we went on our honeymoon to Colorado and stayed at a house near Edwards in the Vail Valley. It was there that we stumbled upon, literally, Crazy Mountain Brewing Company.

In Denver, where they began, rent is not cheap and space is hard to come by. In Edwards, the “downtown” is the opposite. Crazy mountain expanded into the community a few years back and their remote brewing facility began and the taproom we found opened. Touring the area we always found our way back to this one – it was small, yet developed, engaging and tasteful – something you will find in this Wit.

Drinking this beer takes me to a barbecue, and in winter that is not an easy task, mentally. On the nose there is a hint of molasses, mixed in with marmalade and a light green fruitwood smoke. Drinking it does not give the same flavors – its botanical like my father’s garden, full of floral and herbs. So the whole package here is late summer with the cookout made with the fruits of the labor in the garden. Its like my favorite event – smökathon – that we put on every summer, full of flavors and experiences you may not expect.

While Wit may not be my favorite style by far, this beer does well in my book for what it does in my head, remind me that I am fortunate to have all of you with me. So from the pit to the garden I raise this glass to you – thanks, and happy trails.

Taking the chance to add your homebrew to an event that rates and compares a diverse array of top brews from professional breweries across the planet is a bold move.  You are putting your craft out there for comparison with a variety of tested and often perfected recipes produced by brewers who have made the switch to brewing as a profession. In addition The decision of where to place the brew in a twenty four day event had to be a difficult decision. Put it too early in the list and risk that some have not had the opportunity to expand their palate to the variety of adjuncts and new flavors that many breweries are playing around with lately, too late and people may be more locked down on the flavors and styles that they have liked thus far. Being the third in a series of twenty four I need to disclose first that this entry came after two brews that I found highly palatable and will may end up purchasing at a future rate having enjoyed both.

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I chose to pour into a glass to best matching the style (Belgian Dubbel). It poured well with a decent head with a dark reddish amber color. The aroma had rich malty sweetness with slight notes of cranberry and very slight clove spiciness that can come from Belgian yeast. The flavor was very tart which partially distracted from the malty sweetness. The back end was somewhat bitter and the tartness from the cranberry flavor definitely remained.

Out of the gate I approached this expecting a traditional dubbel but was overwelmed by the tart cranberry. I found that given some time to come closer to room temp the tartness mellowed and I found it to be a more drinkable brew for the last few sips. I would place this brew in the category of specialty holiday brews to try once but couldn’t see going through more than one.

What better way to celebrate National Lager Day and our first single beer review than to drink a hometown classic, Summit’s Pilsener. The beer is a family brew and we like that – the Summit’s founder has family in ND who grows all the grain for this brew.

It pours a crystal clear pale-gold in color with a frothy head. The beer is drinkable, and to quote the macro brew’s favorite word, the drinkability of this beer is immense. I brought this beer to a gathering recently and those present threw those back quicker than any other collection that was available in the coolers (which at this point in December, was the outdoors). The beer has a light aroma to it, like driving past a grain field right before the harvest and there has been no rain. After setting down the glass there was a light buttered caramel and spice from the hops that lingered in the mouth.

Overall, Summit’s Bohemian Style Pilsener is a 4/5. Light in body, and and a beer that is safe to order anywhere its offered.