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City Star Brewing

City Star Brewing to Release “Buccaneer” Rum Barrel Aged American Strong Ale

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buccaneer-3December 3rd, 2015
Berthoud, CO   

Ahoy:  Buccaneer has crashed ashore in land locked Berthoud, Colorado.  Buccaneer is the third release in City Star Brewing’s barrel aged series and will be available at the City Star taproom in Berthoud, Colorado on Saturday, December 12th at noon.Buccaneer is an American Strong Ale brewed with wildflower honey and aged 9 months in oak rum barrels.  The alcohol by volume for Buccaneer finished at 12.6% with a flavor profile that is malt forward with notes of caramel, toffee, raisin, vanilla, and of course honey.  This strong ale goes down pleasantly smooth in contrast to its abrasive name and will steal away your worries and make your stress walk the plank at the end of a hard day.  (Is that too many pirate references? We don’t think so!)

The rum barrels used in the aging process for Buccaneer are from two different worlds: two rum barrels were acquired from local friends Spirit Hound Distillery in Lyons, CO and two barrels traveled over 3,000 miles from the Flor De Caña Distillery in Nicaragua bringing an exotic twist to this American Strong Ale. The aged beer from all four barrels was blended together to reach the desired flavor.

City Star Brewing co-owner and head brewer John Way says, “We’re happy to release our newest specialty beer for the holiday season.  Buccaneer truly embodies so many qualities that I feel capture what this season is about.  Friendship new and old, coming together, sharing and cheer.  With this beer, we worked with Spirit Hound Distillers who we have had a strong relationship with for years, and we were able to use barrels from the world renown Flor De Caña bringing in some tools from people we’ve never even had the pleasure of meeting in person.   We combined all of our work together and what came out is a beer I think is perfect to share with friends.  We named the beer Buccaneer specifically because of the rum barrels used and dipped the bottles in gold wax so every bottle feels like you’re holding your own special treasure.  Maybe that’s a little cheesy, but I know looking down at a case of these beauties certainly makes me feel like we hit the jackpot.”

Buccaneer will only be for sale in City Star Brewing’s taproom and will retail for $18 per 22oz bottle. With just around 1,000 bottles available make sure you catch your bounty of this rich golden capped treasure before someone else steals it all up.

City Star Brewing Wins Medal at the Great American Beer Festival®

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September 28th, 2015
Berthoud, Colorado

City Star Brewing’s Night Watchman takes a bronze medal home at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival competition. A GABF medal is among the most coveted in the brewing world.

City Star Brewing claimed a bronze medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest national beer competition that recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States. The top three winners in the competition’s 92 beer categories were announced September 26 at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.

City Star Brewing was recognized in the robust porter beer-style category for its Night Watchman. The approachable dark porter features dark chocolate and coffee flavors with a sweet finish. Its name is derived from the brewery building’s 100 year history: in the 1920’s a night watchman provided building security. Today the taproom features reclaimed wood from the “night watchman’s quarters” and City Star works closely with the Berthoud Historical Society to preserve the building’s rich history and the Town of Berthoud’s history as well.

“As the field of craft breweries continues to grow, the Great American Beer Festival is increasingly competitive. This prestigious award is truly an honor. Winning two GABF medals in 2013 helped put City Star Brewing on the craft beer map. Winning GABF bronze for Night Watchman further validates the high caliber of our beers.” said John Way, co-owner and head brewer at City Star Brewing.

The 2015 GABF competition winners were selected by an international panel of 242 expert judges from the record number of 6,647 entries, plus 91 Pro-Am entries, received from 1,552 U.S. breweries.
“American brewers continue to create innovative, flavorful high quality beers. That was on full display at this year’s Great American Beer Festival,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival. “The Great American Beer Festival continues to showcase the best this country’s brewers have to offer, with the competition growing and becoming ever more competitive. Congratulations to all participants and especially this year’s winners.”

For more GABF competition information, including the 2015 winners list and photos, visit View the Brewers Association Press Release at


Berthoud Flap Jack Day a Success… Best in 50 Years

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Flap-Jack-DaySeptember 8th 2015
Berthoud, Colorado

This Labor Day City Star Brewing brought Flap Jack Day back to life from the dusty pages of Berthoud’s history books: 1,000 Flap Jacks flipped, $1,000 raised for the Berthoud Historical Society and the first Flap Jack Queen crowned in over 50 years.

Community members devoured 1,000 free flap jacks at City Star Brewing on Labor Day. Flap jacks were prepared by Diane Levy and flipped by local volunteers (Diane’s secret buttermilk pancake recipe will be auctioned off at the Berthoud Historical Society’s Pioneer Heritage Gala on 9/19). Hays market provided complimentary breakfast sausage and Da Bean served free coffee. Inside the taproom patrons enjoyed a flap jack theme flight of beers: Coffee Stout, Peach Belgian Pale Ale, Hazelnut Brown Ale, Strawberry Golden Ale, and Cask Conditioned Maple Brown Ale. Flap Jack Day raised $1,000 for the Berthoud Historical Society.

Caitlin Ascher was crowned 2015 Flap Jack Queen in a contest with 10 other ladies. The contest to devour 5 flap jacks the fastest was complete in under 1 minute. Caitlin’s win was sweetened with prizes from Berthoud Inn, Brookside Gardens Spa, Renaze Salon, Colorado Aromatics, and Rosalee’s Pizza.

City Star Brewing co-owner Whitney Way comments on Flap Jack Day, “It was a privilege to return Flap Jack Day to the Berthoud community. We are honored to have this opportunity, and we really enjoyed building upon what was once a great event in our little town. 1955 Flap Jack Queen Lewann Jensen even made an appearance this year. Lewann was one of dozens to thanks us at City Star for bringing back Flap Jack Day. Thank you for allowing us to Berthoud!”

Save the date for the next Flap Jack Day: Monday, September 5th.

A bit of flap jack history courtesty the Berthoud Historical Society… from 1948 to 1958 the local Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce hosted a Flapjack Day in Berthoud Town Park that drew hordes of people to “The Garden Spot.” On the first Flapjack Day (1948) an estimated 1,000 persons descended on Berthoud to devour 5,000 free pancakes. By 1949, The Berthoud Bulletin announced that 3,700 visitors from 21 states downed a whopping 7,400 apjacks. Over its eleven-year span, Flapjack Day grew to include the crowning of a Flapjack Queen. spike-driving, swimming and diving contests, a baton twirling competition, pet-and-doll parades, a pig catching scramble, a tractor driving challenge. The last Flapjack Day was held in 1959 when the Chamber of Commerce decided to cancel; the event due to the high cost of hosting such a spectacle.

City Star Brewing Releases Fresh Hop IPA Brewed with Local Hydroponic Hops

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Fresh HopsAugust 11, 2015
Berthoud, Colorado

City Star Brewing’s Hydro-Pony Express HYPA will be one of the first fresh hop beers to be released this season and one of the first commercial brews in the country to employ the use of hydroponic hops. 

On July 29th Colin Clark and his team at Hydro Hop Farms began harvesting fresh hydroponically grown Colorado hops at 5:30am.  After the hops were picked they traveled down the road to City Star Brewing in Berthoud, Colorado where the “wet” fresh hops were added to the brew kettle by 10:30am. While most fresh hop beers won’t be available until mid-September, City Star Brewing will release Hydro-Pony Express HYPA in their tasting room on Saturday, August 22nd. How’s that possible? Hydro Hop Farms owner Colin Clark explains,

“Our early hops are made possible by two factors; climate control and advanced growing techniques.  Being in a greenhouse we can control our ambient temps above and beyond what Mother Nature gives us.  This means that when most hop growers are waiting for that last frost to pass prior to planting we are already weeks into growing.  On top of that we can “spoon-feed” our hops the exact amount of water and nutrients that they require to thrive.  So when putting both of these things together we are able to have a large jump start on our growing season.”

Hydro Hop Farms’ state of the art 5,000 square foot hydroponic greenhouse emphasizes quality hops. They can fine tune specific nutrients to maximize oil content, resulting in a high quality hop cone in terms of total oils. More hop oils means more flavor and more flavor means tastier beer.  The benefits of utilizing these high quality hops is exponential in the practice of fresh hopping a beer. Hydroponic hops require fewer precious resources, are grown without the use of pesticides, and the yield per acre is much higher than hops grown with traditional farming methods.

Fresh hopping is a method of brewing with hops that are harvested fresh and added to the brew kettle in under 24 hours.  “Wet” fresh hops are harvested at the peak of ripeness and are neither kiln dried nor processed.  Fresh hops are unique in the fact that the flavor they impart can be described as grassy, delicate, and multi-dimensional. Brewing with fresh hops is labor intensive but adds a unique flavor profile to the finished beer. Since it’s only possible to brew a beer like this during the fall harvest in the Northern Hemisphere it is well worth the extra effort for a chance to introduce a flavorful, one-of-a-kind seasonal beer.

Over 30 pounds of freshly harvested Columbus and Centennial fresh hops were used in the whirlpool and hop back additions of the 7 barrel brew of Hydro-Pony Express HYPA. An additional 12 pounds of Centennial fresh hops will be added directly to the finished beer to amplify that fresh hop flavor before being poured into your glass. Hydro-Pony Express HYPA will be released in City Star Brewing’s taproom at noon on Saturday, August 22.

City Star Brewing Plans First Bottle Release with Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

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outlawFebruary 24th, 2015

Berthoud, CO

Warning: Outlaw on the Loose! Keep a look out for Outlaw, the first in City Star Brewing’s barrel aged series and the first City Star brew available in bottles. Outlaw will be released at the City Star taproom in Berthoud, Colorado on Saturday, March 7th.

Outlaw weighs in at 13.25% alcohol by volume and has spent 1 year “doing time” in Breckenridge Whiskey barrels waiting for the chance to bust out. While incarcerated Outlaw mellowed nicely and includes flavors of dark chocolate, toffee, dark fruit, oak, vanilla, and of course American whiskey.

Outlaw is a rare limited release (only 970 bottles) specialty beer and the first City Star brew available in bottles.   Each 22oz bottle has been sealed in red wax and individually numbered.  Outlaw will be available for purchase exclusively in City Star Brewing’s taproom starting Saturday, March 7th at 12pm. Bottles will be sold for $18 each (plus tax) with a one case (12 bottles) limit per person.

Catch this Outlaw before it escapes again and put it where it belongs… in your belly.

City Star Brewing co-owner and head brewer John Way says, “We’ve been barrel aging beers since year one and we are excited to have Outlaw be our first bottled beer. The imperial stout base beer used for Outlaw is amazing on its own, and then we introduced this big, delicious brew to age in whiskey oak barrels for one year. The barrels impart a very complex dark chocolate and charred oak body with a very bold whiskey aroma that turned this phenomenal beer into something very special that can be aged for years to come.”

Colorado Distillery & Brewery Team Up to Create a Beer for Colorado Flood Victims

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August 18th, 2014
Lyons, CO

As the one year mark of Colorado’s devastating 100 Year Flood draws near, City Star Brewing and Spirit Hound Distillers are teaming up to release a very special collaboration brew: Flood Hound Ale.Last September the St. Vrain River flooded, devastating the small town of Lyons, Colorado, which included Spirit Hound Distillers. Once flood waters receded and the craft distillery was restored their surviving rum barrel was bottled and Mountain Bum Rum was released. Affectionately dubbed “Flood Rum” by locals, Mountain Bum Rum quickly sold out and the empty barrel made its way to Berthoud, Colorado where City Star Brewing filled it with Red Necktar, an American style red ale.

Though Berthoud escaped the majority of the wrath of Colorado’s 100 Year Flood, the City Star crew felt the effects of the natural disaster. One employee was displaced permanently and five others, including brewery owners John and Whitney Way, were displaced from Lyons for six weeks in the flood’s aftermath. The connection between the two small towns of Berthoud and Lyons is strong, and the choice for Spirit Hound to send their “Flood Rum” barrel to City Star was easy to make.

Flood Hound Ale, the collaboration rum barrel aged ale, was named by Lyons residents on a community Facebook page and will be released in Lyons on September 13th during the Cyclists 4 Lyons and Viva Lyons benefit. City Star Brewing will pour four beers at the event, including Flood Hound Ale, alongside Spirit Hound Distillers and their selection of high quality craft spirits.

City Star Brewing co-owner Whitney Way says, “We are honored to collaborate on Flood Hound Ale with our friends at Spirit Hound Distillers, and even more so to give this beer back to the community of Lyons. This surviving rum barrel is a reminder of the devastating flooding, but also symbolic of Lyons’ amazing sense of community and perseverance. We look forward to pouring this beer in Lyons on September 13th in reflection of the past year and also keeping in mind that there is still a lot of hard work to be done in recovery from this disaster.”

Produced by the Town of Lyons, Oskar Blues’ Cand’aid Foundation, Cyclists 4 Lyons and the Office of Governor Hickenlooper the 9/13 event will be held at Bohn Park in Lyons and benefit the flood relief efforts of Lyons Community Foundation and CAN’d Aid Foundation. The event will include bike rides, kids area, breweries, food trucks, a special appearance by Governor John Hickenlooper and live music, including a featured performance by The Infamous Stringdusters.

Small Colorado Brewery Wins GOLD & BRONZE Medals at the Great American Beer Festival

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banditbrownmedalOctober 14, 2013
Berthoud, CO

City Star Brewing, located in the small town of Berthoud, Colorado, claimed gold and bronze medals at the prestigious 2013 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition.

City Star Brewing claimed gold and bronze medals at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival ® (GABF) competition. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest national beer competition that recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States. The top three winners in the competition’s 84 beer-style categories were announced October 12 at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.

City Star Brewing of Berthoud, Colorado was awarded a gold medal in the English Brown Ale beer-style category for its Bandit Brown, smooth brown ale with a subtle roasted aroma and flavor, also awarded 2013 gold medals at the US Open Beer Championship, Colorado State Fair and Denver International Beer Championship. Additionally, City Star Brewing was awarded a bronze medal in the Old Ale or Strong Ale beer-style category for its Mule Kick, strong ale brewed with Wildflower honey.

John Way, City Star owner and brew master had this to say about the wins: “We are so excited to bring home both gold and bronze medals. We know we brew delicious beer, but to receive this recognition among such fierce competition is an unbelievable feeling. There are a lot of great veteran and new breweries across the nation, and we are stoked to be among them. This is a very exciting time for City Star Brewing!”

The 2013 GABF competition winners were selected by an international panel of 201 expert judges from the record number of 4,809 entries received from 745 U.S. breweries.

“The Great American Beer Festival brings together the most stellar brewers from around the country,” said Chris Swersey, competition director. “Taking home a medal at this premier beer competition is truly a symbol of brewing excellence.”

For more GABF competition information, including the 2013 winners list and photos, visit