Wow, what a great apricot harvest we had this year! We received about 12,000 pounds of Colorado apricots this season. This has been our 4th year of using Colorado apricots. In 2014, the first year we opened, we unfortunately never got to use the apricots we got for reasons you will soon learn!
Worth The Stress
Apricots are one of the first fruits to bloom in Colorado, and as such are the most susceptible to late season frost. In our western slope, come late March or early April, the apricots start to bloom. The highs in the day are in the 70’s and most nights, the lows are in the 30’s. If the temperature drops past 29 degrees Fahrenheit, the apricot buds will start to freeze and the grower could lose just a little bit of their crop or, like what happened in 2014, 99.9% of the apricots could be wiped out. When we do get a good crop, the results can be amazing.
Eric, John and I were walking around a grower’s farm this summer in Hotchkiss, CO and as we came to their apricot trees, the farmer introduced them as his shade trees. He said they hadn’t gotten a crop in 5 years so they were pretty much only good for shade. Many growers have ripped their trees out over the years due to the unpredictability of getting a good crop.
Our Apricot Beers
The first apricot beers we are releasing this year are Funky Blender – Apricot and Casey Family Preserves – Apricot. Funky Blender – Apricot is made with about 2 pounds of apricots per gallon of Funky Blender. Funky Blender has a unique grapefruit aroma and the apricots really play off this nicely. This blend of our Casey Family Preserves – Apricot is made with over 4 pounds of apricots per gallon of our Saison base beer. The room is overwhelmed with the smell of apricots as soon as the cork is popped. Both of these beers are 2 barrel blends and will be available in our tasting room starting August 30th. Tickets are available here.
Coming down the pipeline we have a Fruit Stand – Apricot and a couple different double fruited apricot beers. These are blends where we aged one of our base beers on apricots at around 4 pounds per gallon, and than transferred the beer off the apricots and onto peaches or nectarines at an additional 4 pounds of fresh fruit per gallon. Its a stupid amount of fruit, but the result is fantastic.
Apricots + Side Project
Cory, from Side Project, and I wanted to add something new this year and thought of releasing an apricot beer, in addition to our Leaner and Jammy collaborations. While he couldn’t find as many local apricots as he wanted, I knew (or hoped, really) I could for him. I was worried the whole time that I might not get enough apricots to make all the Casey beers I wanted to this year, but knew this beer would be amazing so I sent him some of the finest ‘cots I’d ever seen. We took 3 barrels of our collaboration and put them on the largest amount of apricots we have ever used at one time. Look for more details next week as we announce the title of the beer and additional information.
Thanks for reading,