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Brass Brewing has a strong showing

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Brass Brewing’s beers present largely on point. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Brass Brewing’s beers present largely on point.
Does the Springs really have space for another brewery?

Of course it does — we’re putting up rookie numbers next to the biggest beer cities in America. But even if that were in question, Kellee and Wayne “Woody” Briggs’ Brass Brewing Company replaces a brewery that closed in the same location — Triple S Brewing. And those who expect Triple S with a mere logo replacement will be surprised. 
Extensive renovations have given the space a new life. Gone is the “is this place open” vibe — the hallway feels wider, and the bar’s fully visible from the front door. There’s no kitchen anymore, but between occasional food trucks and closeness to El Rey Del Taco, food options exist. Signposts point distances to sites of major military operation — this is, after all, an Army-themed brewhouse, complete with a “keep calm and beat Navy” sign.

Over two visits, we sample nine of their beers — mostly flagships that will stay on tap. And we’re pretty uniformly happy, too. New York transplant and head brewer Stacy Lynn’s doing a hell of a job keeping things brewed to style.

For us, the two most distinctive beers on tap are the Overwatch Blonde Stout and the Task Force NY IPA. The former’s something of a bait-and-switch, a ruddy-golden beer with a coffee nose and a rounded mouthfeel that reads like a stout. We’ve seen the style a few times since Erie, Colorado’s Industrial Revolution Brewing Project and Escondido, California’s Stone Brewing Company produced the first that we know of, in winter 2014. But it’s always fun to share that sensory confusion “wow” factor with friends.
Location Details Brass Brewing Co.
318 E. Colorado Ave.
Downtown
Colorado Springs, CO
3 to 9 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; noon to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday; to 10 p.m., Sunday
Breweries/Wineries/Distilleries
Fans of citrus-centric juicy/hazy IPAs (as designated by the Brewers Association — many would say New England-style IPA) should enjoy Task Force, the latter beer. For my tastes, juicy IPAs tend to be overwhelmingly “sticky” in their terpene-rich citrus punch or lacking in the grounding bitterness I enjoy in IPAs. Conversations about the absence of bitterness in the American culinary palate aside, Task Force’s heavy citrus notes are more restrained than in other beers I’ve had of the style. It’s bittered with El Dorado hops, and tropical-fruity Citra and fruity-floral Mosaic hops contribute aroma and flavor before it’s dry hopped with piney Simcoe hops and finished with Mosaic lupulin powder, a concentrated form of the hop. It’s a tasty beer with a nice flavor profile.

The rest of what we sample’s not lacking either. For dark beers, we enjoy the little caramel notes in the hop-bittered roastiness of the Staff Duty Porter. For more of a chocolate-coffee profile, the Oh-Dark-30 Stout’s a fine choice.

Their lighter beers stand strong, too. PoPo Pale Ale bears a defining fruity hop aroma, on the hoppier side for the style, but not too bitter. Rounds Complete Saison bears a nice yeast profile, rich with fruitiness and back-ended by a subtle funk that a wine aficionado might describe as “horse blanket.” Try also the Lost Lieutenant Blonde, a drier-finishing ale the color of honey, or the 5-Jump Chump Hoppy blonde, all clean hop bitterness over a neutral malt back.

We stumble only over a small-batch beer, a pale wheat beer. Added honey and rose hips pop, but it’s a little flat and doesn’t taste ready to pour. Still, that many strong flagship beers in two months is a worthy accomplishment, and we’re happy to have Brass as another strong option in the Springs’ craft beer scene.

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