Grand Lake: Believers pour into brewery in search of the Holy Grail |

Grand Lake: Believers pour into brewery in search of the Holy Grail

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

Some search their whole lives for a little piece of heaven, a personal Holy Grail.

But patrons need look no further as Grand Lake Brewing Co. owners Karen and Richard Wood release a winter brew called “Holy Grail,” a 20-percent alcohol content, all-malt beer.

The new beer was named by former brewery partner, George Rhoades.

“To my knowledge it’s the strongest all-malt beer that I know of ” maybe that’s even out there,” Brewmaster Eric Kohl said.

After aging their creation for three years and another year in a charred oak-cast barrel that once held dark rum, Kohl and Grommon were able to tap the new brew just in time for Christmas.

The first glass was poured on Christmas Eve and it is now available to purchase for a limited time.

The batch filled 90 bottles, a third of which has already been sold.

“Flavor-wise,” Kohl said, the Holy Grail is “a cross between a tawny port and sherry ” like a port wine.”

Served “still” or uncarbonated, the holiday elixir is sweet and full-bodied.

“I’m happy with it,” Kohl said. “I’m a port lover. It’s not very beer-like at all.”

All beers made by the Grand Lake Brewing Co. are made on the premises at 915 Grand Ave. in Grand Lake.

Brews are made with the finest malted barley and hops, and with water from the headwaters of the Colorado River. (The brewery’s slogan is,”Where it’s all downstream from here.”)

Kohl and assistant Kenny Grommon create more than half a dozen homemade beers in the brewery’s east room.

Signature beers on tap at the brewery include a light, German-style Grandlager, a full, American-style White Cap Wheat, a traditional, English-style Rebel Pale Ale, English Wooly Booger nut brown ale, Trail Ridge Red, an American-style Stump Jumper (India pale ale), and a Scotch ale called Plaid Bastard.

There’s also a seasonal American barley wine called Super Chicken, in honor of a mountain enjoyed by local snowmobilers.

Java the Hub, a coffee porter, is Kohl’s response to many requests for a spiced beer. He warmed up to the idea, compromising by adding in a robust, locally roasted coffee during three phases of the brewing process to make the final product.

The “Hub” portion of the name honors the Village Hub shop down the street, where the brewery gets the house-blend coffee. The Hub, in turn, gets its beans from Rocky Mountain Roastery in Fraser and Winter Park.

Kohl said he and Grommon are also looking to offer a bock-style winter lager this season. He said it will be a traditional German lager that’s pretty sweet but slightly higher in alcohol at 6.2 percent.

When asked which was his favorite, he said it’s hard to pick one “when they’re your children.”

Half-liter bottles of the Holy Grail, which are corked and sealed with wax, are

available for $25. The regular brands are available to go in various ways, some in six- or four-packs, others available in 22-ounce “bombers,” and draught selections may be purchased in half-gallon “growlers.”

Or stay a while and enjoy a four-ounce pour sample platter, homemade root beer, and see right through glass walls into the brewing room.

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