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Tune In With City Star

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Tune In With City Star

We live in a world that our ways of connecting with each other is ever evolving, City Star Brewing has created a new way to connect with their audience. Since August of 2022 they have asked their patrons to “tune in” to their Hazy IPA radio series. With every Hazy IPA beer they release comes a new Spotify playlist. The brewery playlists are built off of what the brewers were listening to while brewing that particular Hazy IPA recipe. The song playlists have different themes with matching vibes for the can art. The music varies from 2000’s pop, grunge rock, Indie, country and more. This month City Star will be releasing their 6th beer in the radio line up, Hazy IPA 80’s New Wave Radio. The funky 80’s neon cans will release in the taproom 11/27. This music station includes songs from Ah-ha, Talking Heads, Soft Cell and more. To listen to the music beer drinkers can simply scan the QR code on the City Star can of beer to be connected with it’s matching playlist.

City Star Brewing isn’t just about the beer but also the experience. The small town Berthoud, Colorado taproom prides themselves on their hometown feel and community. The Hazy IPA radio music series is a way to “tune-in” to the taproom and feel a part of their community even when you’re enjoying their craft beer to-go. Their goal is to create a little more connection, and a lot more great craft beer! Come in Friday, November 27th for the release of the newest Hazy IPA with food truck and live music.

Berthoud Flips Over Flapjack Day

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Flapjack Day, a Labor Day tradition that began in Berthoud in the 1940s and was renewed by Star City Brewing in 2015, returned to Berthoud Monday.

The celebration, originally the domain of the local Chamber of Commerce, was eventually discontinued in 1958 because it became too large to maintain. That changed in 2015 when Star City Brewing bartender Ian Phillips noticed an old photograph on the wall of the brewery depicting the event, and he became determined to bring it back.

Since then the event has ballooned, even overcoming an unexpected two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, to establish itself as a community tradition once again.

Berthoud Flapjack Day, a tradition from the mid-20th century that was revived by City Star Brewing in 2015, offers free pancakes to visitors. (Will Costello / Loveland Reporter Herald).

“I think that it has,” said Diane Levy, director of the Berthoud Historical Society and one of the main organizers and flapjack flippers during the festivities. “For an example, several people have said ‘I missed it last year, I couldn’t make it. So I changed my travel plans to be here this time.’”

Donations at Flapjack Day benefit the Historical Society, especially important, said Levy, now that they are no longer running annual galas, one of the society’s main fundraisers.

For the first time, donations could also be made online or with credit cards, as opposed to past years when they were limited to cash stuffed into jars by grateful attendees.

“As the person handing out the pancakes most of the morning, I just kept saying ‘The Historical Society thanks you!’” Levy said.

Pancakes are not the only attraction to Flapjack Day though.

Taking place at a brewery in the late morning and early afternoon, flights of breakfast beers are on sale at City Star Brewing, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Historical Society. A classic car show allows collectors and others to peek under the hood of old Model T’s, Corvette’s, and other classics stretched down First Street in Berthoud, and live music, this year provided by the Vern Neeley Vibe, was presented in the late afternoon.

The Flapjack Queen Contest, a women-only eating competition where contestants race to house five flapjacks faster than the rest, had a few changes this year.

The most notable was an absence. Reigning Flapjack Queen Lynsey Morgan, who has emerged victorious by considerable margins in the last five Flapjack Queen contests, chose to retire this year, although she did bring her family to the event in order to crown the winner and to eat pancakes at a more modest pace.

Her successor, Lexy Seeley, licked her plate clean at the 2:10 mark.

“I got some pointers from the queen herself,” she said, gesturing at Morgan who was standing nearby. “It definitely helps to have somebody who has battle experience.”

Phillips, the bartender who renewed the tradition in 2015, has shifted careers from “slinging beers to slinging houses,” but still hosts the event and the eating competition.

“The generosity of everyone who shows up and donates, as well as the sponsors, is what keeps this alive,” Phillips said. “And we’re hoping to keep doing it. Because it is just a real community event where everybody gets together to do something cool.”

City Star Brews For Ursa Major

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While City Star slings craft beer in downtown Berthoud, Ursa Major slings innovative propulsion systems for space launch, hypersonics, and national security. Ursa asked City Star to come together to craft an employee appreciation beer. The two wanted to create a palatable and approachable beer to all, choosing to brew a pale ale. The hops for this brew were chosen based on their “space” names. This brew features Comet, Strata and Galaxy hops. The beer was dry hopped twice early during fermentation to achieve bio transformation of the hop compounds. City Star chose to use local Root Shoot Malting’s award winning English Pale Ale Malt. Ursa visited City Star on the day of brewing to learn about the brewing process and tour the local Berthoud brewery.

1000 cans of Full Duration Juicy Pale Ale will be sent over to Ursa for their employees to enjoy while a few kegs will be available on tap at City Star. The public can come enjoy this juicy pale ale starting Friday, May 19th at the downtown Berthoud City Star taproom.

16 Of The Best Northern Colorado Breweries

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July 26, 2022
5280 Magazine
By Sarah Kuta
Originally published in 5280 Magazine 

City Star Beer Garden

From Greeley to Fort Collins to Loveland, venture up north to sip some of Colorado’s best craft beers. Home to some of the Centennial State’s longest-standing—and most innovative—craft breweries, northern Colorado is worth exploring, whether you’re a self-described beer lover or someone who just loves a good taproom ambiance. From funky spontaneous ferments to trusty lagers and dank IPAs, here are some of our favorite places to grab a beer north of Denver in Boulder, Longmont, Boulder, and beyond.

Margarita-inspired Colorado beers for kicking off patio season

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May 5, 2022
Thirst Magazine
By Kristen Kuchar

Warmer temperatures and sunny days mean it’s the ever-so cherished patio season for Colorado. If this time of year has you craving a margarita but you don’t want to stray from beloved local beer, you’re in luck. These beers have a classic margarita flair or are inspired by the popular cocktail.

Lowrider Lime | Berthoud Brewing
Lowrider Lime is inspired by south-of-the-border imports and designed to be a “crushable thirst quencher.” Limes are hand-zested to add to the brew, along with Celtic Sea salt. Coming in at 4.8 percent ABV, Berthoud Brewing’s lager is light, citrusy and balanced.

Uber La Luna Margarita Gose | Cheluna
This Cheluna beer is brewed in collaboration with their friends at Uberbrew in Billings, Montana. The Gose gets an extra kick from lime and orange essence. Uber La Luna Gose also comes in a tequila barrel-aged variant, and the team suggests trying them side by side.

Tres Amigos | Elevation Beer Co.
The idea for Tres Amigos was sparked during regular bike rides between three friends who wanted a refreshing beer with electrolytes. Elevation’s canned brew is a lager that gets a balanced sourness from lime puree and sea salt. This beer, coming in at 5% ABV, is also brewed with Tettnanger and Magnum hops.

Salted Lime Kölsch | City Star Brewing
A taproom favorite, Squeeze is a Kolsch brewed with sea salt and finished with lime juice before conditioning. It was originally brewed for barrel aging, but when City Star released what didn’t fit in the tequila barrels, the beer was a hit. There will also be three variants of this brew – Strawberry Squeeze, Peach Squeeze and Mango Squeeze, available to sample side-by-side in a flight in the taproom.

El Pop Saison | Cerveceria Colorado
For tequila lovers, El Pop Saison ages in tequila barrels for five months, lending a flavor of agave and tequila, as well as oakiness. The beer is a collaboration between Cerveceria Colorado, the Escollo brewery and Warped Wing Brewing Co. For lime lovers, the brewery’s Cocolimon Sour is brewed with fresh zested lime and shredded coconut.

Los Locos | Epic Brewing
Los Locos is said to be a perfect summer afternoon in a glass. The Mexican-style golden lager is brewed with lime juice and sea salt, in addition to Amarillo hops. Described as refreshing with a hint of malt sweetness, Los Locos won a bronze medal for Epic Brewing at the North American Brewers Association.

Margarita Gose | Great Divide Brewing Company
Great Divide’s Margarita Gose combines a traditional sour German Ale with all the tart, zestiness of a margarita. The beer is partially aged in tequila barrels and enhanced with lime puree, Himalayan pink salt and market lime leaf. Ideal for enjoying during warmer temperatures, it’s only available from April through June.

City Star Brewing Trades Beer for Trash this Earth Day

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City Star Brewing is hosting an Adopt YOUR Town campaign this Earth Day. The Berthoud, Colorado brewery is sponsoring this littler clean-up by offering free beer in exchange for a bag of trash. Participants can earn a beer by showing their City Star beer slinger a photo with their bag of trash. Alternatively community members can drop off at City Star’s roll-off dumpster rented just for the campaign. A red City Star tent will be setup with the dumpster, located in the parking lot on the SE corner of 3rd and Mountain Ave. Litter will be traded for free beer coupons at the tent Sunday 4/24 (note: date changed to windy Friday forecast). Families are encouraged to participate with their kids. There will also be root beer on hand at the City Star tent to trade for trash!

Bin There Dump That is an event sponsor. The Northern Colorado company helped make the roll-off dumpster a possibility. City Star asks community members to help make the event a success by not dumping any prohibited items: electronics, appliances, hazardous waste or tires. This isn’t a Town clean-up day accepting any and all trash. The Town of Berthoud will actually be sponsoring a Town Clean-Up Week in May so residents should hold out for that event to schlep old mattresses away. The intention of City Star’s Adopt YOUR Town campaign event is to clean-up litter around the area, not from personal property. Unfortunately after a spring of W-I-N-D there is a lot of roadside litter.

City Star strives, not only on Earth Day but every day, to be earth conscious with their business decisions. They practice this by recapturing brewing water, sending their spent grain to Long Shadow Farm, offering recycling in their taproom, using biodegradable plastic cups when needed, re-using 4-pack holders and sourcing local ingredients. Earth Day is a day to celebrate our planet and recognize what changes we can make to better it. When it comes to environmental stewardship there is always space to improve, but the small town brewery is proud to do its part, recognize what can be improved upon, and work to do more. City Star holds great value in bettering their Berthoud community in all ways and can’t wait to come together to clean up this weekend!

City Star Ladies Brew Together on International Women’s Day

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City Star Ladies Brew Together on International Women’s Day
Calamity Jane, Experimental Sour Pale Ale 

On International Womens Day, Tuesday March 8th, City Star staff came together to brew an annual ladies collaboration, Calamity Jane. The tradition of brewing a unique female led beer each year began back in 2015. Past year’s brews include collaborations with Root Shoot Malting, Spirit Hound Distillers (2016 and 2017), and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (2018). City Star’s 2022 Women Day brew was an in-house collaboration. The female brew day is an opportunity to have fun and highlight empowered women at City Star, within our community, and in the beer industry.

The beer brewed this year is an Experimental Sour Pale Ale: a blend of sour barrel aged golden ale with a citrus pale ale. City Star ladies brewed the pale ale together on IWD with fresh lime and sumo tangerine zest. The brew was then dry hopped with the Pink Boots 2021 Hop Blend (HBC 630, Idaho Gem®, Loral®, Talus® and Triumph). Yakima Hopsdonates $3 per pound sold of the blend to the Pink Boots Society scholarship fund. Calamity Jane is scheduled for release Friday, April 1st along with Calamity Jane “Be a Legend” T-Shirts. The release event will also feature female owned Italian food truck Ting’s Things and local musician Andrea Deepe of 10 Year Echo.

The annual event of Calamity Jane is valued by City Star because it highlights the celebration of women in craft beer. In 2021 male brewery owners outnumbered women brewery owners 3-to-1. City Star staff brew this beer in solidarity with their female co-workers and in support of 50% female ownership. It important to offer a welcoming environment for all and honor the work that women contribute to the beer industry. This beer is admiringly named after Calamity Jane herself, a woman of the Wild West known for her sharp shooting, whisky-swilling and kindness towards others. And as she so famously quotes, “I figure if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.”

City Star Brewing Releases Biggest Beer of the Year

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City Star Brewing Releases Biggest Beer of the Year
Outlaw Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

The Berthoud, Colorado brewery’s biggest annual beer release of the year, Outlaw, will be unleashed this weekend.  The 2022 vintage of this imperial stout was aged 1 year in Deerhammer Whiskey oak barrels and weighs in at a whopping 12.7% ABV. Flavors of rich chocolate, dark dried fruit, oak, vanilla and of course American whiskey. A rich and creamy mouthfeel leaves you lingering for another pour.

Outlaw will be available on tap for sampling starting at noon on Saturday, February 5th. 400 wax dipped 22oz bottles will be for sale in the taproom ($20/each with a 12 bottle limit per person).

City Star’s Barrel Aging Program
City Star’s Zoller Barrel House is home to 48 oak barrels from wineries and distilleries near and fear. Each barrel is branded with a number for tracking barrel and beer history along with tasting notes. Stainless nails are pulled every 3-6 months to sample the barrel’s contents. The room separates clean and sour barrels. Most barrels age one or two clean beers and then are re-purposed as sour barrels.  Occasionally barrels are retired from City Star, but the original barrels #1 and #2, first filled in 2014, are still in-use as some of the preferred City Star sour barrels.

The Zoller Barrel House building was constructed in the early 1900’s. Its current name pays homage to a piece of its history: immigrant Jake Zoller operated the Zoller Shoe Shop in the space from the 1930’s to 1980’s. In 2014 John and Whitney Way purchased the property and remodeled the building to accommodate stacked barrels along each of the long walls. Radiant floor heat was installed to facilitate beer aging and complex sour development year round.

Beer Behind Local Street Artist in Snow Sculpting Competition

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Gamma Gallery Paints at City Star BrewingBerthoud, Colorado’s City Star Brewing is bringing artist Gamma Acosta (Gamma Gallery) back to town for this week’s Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition. Four years ago City Star commissioned Gamma to paint “All In at City Star” in the taproom’s beer garden. The mural was created completely free-hand, using only spray cans (no stencils, etching or projector) on the 700 square foot concrete canvas. Gamma’s work is a main feature at the decade old craft brewery, admired by regulars and newcomers alike.

In the Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition Gamma Acosta leads team Frio Trio along with Colorado based tattoo artist Thyris Rodney. Together they will carve one of 9 giant snow cylinders in Fickel Park. Gamma’s experience in carving snow most notably includes a snow sculpture he carved (and spray painted!) for his 95 year old grandmother to view outside her window. However, this competition will be his first of its nature. With less than 48 hours until teams begin carving Gamma hasn’t settled on a final concept for the team’s sculpture. He promises something intricate and thoughtful.

“Sponsoring Gamma’s participation in Berthoud Snowfest is a small token of gratitude from City Star for the piece of himself he has given to us. We are truly honored to feature his art. His creative contribution has left a lasting impression on our family, City Star, and our community. Gamma’s work comes from more than a creative space. His creativity is intertwined with passion, love, and a commitment to make our world a better place.” – City Star Co-Owner Whitney Way

The Colorado Snow Sculpting Championship is the main focus of Berthoud Snowfest, with team carving throughout the week. The event culminates with “tools down” and final judging at 10am this Saturday, January 15th. Winners will go on to compete in the US National Snow Sculpting Championship in Wisconsin. Competition organizer Steve Mercia has been making snow and packing snow cylinders in anticipation of the event. Carving begins this Wednesday, and spectators can follow Gamma and all the artists’ progress through the week at Fickel Park and online at facebook.com/CoSnowSculptingChampionship. Follow Team Frio Trio at @gammagallery and @thyristattoos on Instagram.

Gamma Acosta is a local street artist with a passion for public art. He creates works of art that are incredibly moving, meaningful and usually provocative. He gives color and illustration to community emotion. His large-scale projects are often completed without compensation. His decade of work features powerful pieces that evoke a range of emotion from all passerby: Skin Condition,  Sandy Hook Elementary Tribute, Mural on 37th and DowningPeyton Manning, and the largest mural in Denver dedicated to graffiti artists. Gamma’s work can be found in his hometown of Longmont, Colorado (Four Generations, throughout Denver, across the country and as far away as Belgium, as a North West Walls project artist.

Gamma Acosta with City Star Owners John and Whitney Way

City Star Releases 50th Specialty Beer of the Year

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City Star Cans by Emily SierraCity Star Brewing, a small town craft brewery, had a big year of beer! Their New Years Eve beer release marks their 50th specialty beer of the year. Aegir (pronounced eye-ear) is a hazy IPA brewed with Norwegian Kveik yeast and double dry hopped with Citra and Galaxy hops. The Berthoud, Colorado brewery released 50 specialty beers in the year 2021 in addition to their mainstay beers available year round. City Star packaged 570 barrels (17,670 gallons) of beers throughout the year, brewed 100 gallons at a time on a humble 3.5 barrel brew system.

Inspiration for recipes comes from past experiences, staff ideas, culinary influence, industry trends, unique flavors, and available local ingredients.  The majority of City Star’s grain is grown and malted right up the road at Root Shoot Malting. Specialties released were made with a variety of yeasts: German lager and American, Norwegian and Belgian ale yeasts. The 2021 beer line-up featured classic hops as well as new varieties, including Sabro, Cashmere, Talus, Strata, El Dorado.  The most noteworthy hops though are the Centennial hops grown right in the City Star beer garden. They’re handpicked and added fresh to City Star’s Homegrown IPA each fall. City Star’s 2021 specialty beers incorporated many fruit adjuncts: pineapple, cherry, passionfruit, orange, strawberry, tangerine, peach, blackberry, soursop, raspberry, blueberry, watermelon, lime and mango. Vegetables made an appearance too: cucumber, carrot, pumpkin, sandia hot chili peppers, and even locally grown rhubarb.

These fifty specialty beers brewed at City Star Brewing throughout the year included a handful with philanthropic backgrounds. Honey Graham, brewed in memory of Jason Buehler, raised $1,200 for his family. Black is Beautiful blackberry stout was brewed to support equality and justice for people of color and raised $1,000 donated to NAACP. Harley’s Honey Wheat is brewed in honor of Harley’s Dream, a non profit who’s mission is to educate and spread awareness about puppy mills.

The greater Berthoud community has reinforced City Star’s expression, “You keep drinking it, we’ll keep brewing it”. Community support has enabled City Star to keep the fermenters full, and encouraged creativity in brewing. In 2022 City Star Brewing will continue creating craft beers you can hang your hat on.