Mediterranean-Inspired Craft Brews at Belgian Brew Fest
Archeology student turned craft brewer, Andrew Moore’s travels inspired the brews you’ll experience at BBF and the taproom’s brewery, Intrepid Sojourner.
Intrepid Sojourner Backstory
I came out to Colorado in 2010 to go to graduate school in Classical Archeology, doing home brew with friends as a hobby. Loved the hobby so got involved with a friend who had a home brew store and brewery, 105 West Brewing Company. My business partner and I looked around in Denver for a lease, and signed in 2016. The name, Intrepid Sojourner, is influenced by the travel from work as an archaeologist in the Mediterranean. You’ll notice this with the beers’ ingredients like the Turkish Coffee Stout, or the Basil IPA. The idea with ISBP is that we could open up the craft brew scene with international influence. There are so many breweries out there, we felt like we needed to differentiate ourselves, but more than that we wanted to do interesting things with beer and its spices, herbs and fruits.
So many beer festivals these days to promote craft breweries. Why Belgian Brew Fest?
One of the reasons we decided to attend BBF is the reputation that Bruz Beers is building for itself. We’re looking for opportunities for our brand to be associated with other successful brands, brands that people associate with having really high quality craft beer. Another draw is the size of the festival. There are so many. You could probably go to 4 or 5 a weekend in the summer in Denver. So it’s nice to do one of these smaller festivals where we get some face time with the participants. There are usually at least 50 craft breweries at a festival, and we wonder how useful that is for us, if we just get kind of lost in the mix. With BBF, there are only about 10 breweries, and limited attendees. That means that we get a chance to interact. These attendees enjoy the time they get to connect with the brewer or the business owner. When there are 50 or so breweries that’s just hard to do.
Taster trays, “intelligent” taps and more; how can events like Belgian Brew Fest and tech marketing apps like Spigot Lab’s Taste Tracker, help promote your brand to the growing audience of craft brew enthusiasts?
As a business owner, the way I look at this is that the participants are people that are physically far away from our brewery. They probably haven’t visited our taproom, so we want to know if the people who see us at the festival and like our beer decide to come by our brewery and check out the taproom. If that means being more involved with applications that help people remember who we are during the festival, that could be really helpful.
Lots of work goes into attending these festivals. What’ll make it worth the effort?
We’ve been to so many festivals. We know that exposure to new clients is a good thing. We’re so new, we want to let people know we’re here, especially in a crowded marketplace like this. We want them to like our beer and venture into our taproom.
Brews from Intrepid Sojourner to look forward to at the fest
We brew a lavender 9.5% ABV tripel, with 6-oz dried lavender in a 7-barrel batch. It’s very floral and drinks smooth. The new one we’re working on and releasing around festival time is a big Belgian Quad, a malty, boozy 12% ABV Belgian Quad. I like brewing Belgian beers in general. The kind of spicy, peppery, phenolic notes you get from the Belgian yeasts go really well with herbs and spices. Instead of getting the Belgian yeast character that sometimes people don’t like, you get an augmentation with the herbs and spices we add. So the lavender has been really popular. We add dried lavender we get from Southern France. It goes in after the boil is over, and sits in there while we transfer it to the fermenter which gives it this floral, peppery aroma.
Your personal favorite brew at the moment
I really like the English IPA we have on tap right now. We use acorn squash which gives it an earthy, raw gourd flavor, and then fenugreek as well. The squash gives it this nice rich body and the fenugreek, an herb that grows in the Mediterranean, gives it a maple syrup and anise character. So what you get with this English IPA is a bready malt with this kind of maple biscuit flavor.
Our annual Belgian Brew Fest is coming up April 28th. Get your tickets now before they sell out! 10+ breweries, food trucks, live bands, killer time!