“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.” Bruce Lee
Yes, we just quoted Bruce Lee…our intention is to make beer that is enjoyable first and adhering to particular style guidelines last. We like to look at our “style” as “New American Brewing”, and much like our culinary counterparts that we stole part of the term from, we draw on the rich brewing history of other countries, sometimes reformulating styles, or just putting a new spin on things…call it the great “Melting Mug” of beer if you will.
CORE BEERS - ALWAYS AVAILABLE
We are always experimenting with new recipes (after all, isn’t that half the fun of owning a brewery?), so tap offerings may change. The following are the core beers that will typically be available in our tasting room and periodically at the locations in and around Denver that carry Wit’s End:
Jean-Claude Van Blond
Jean-Claude Van Blond is inspired by the action hero in all of us. It features a Belgian yeast strain and is built on a lighter malt profile with just a touch of oats for a silky body and some additional depth. You will find this beer intriguing and hard to define—which is just the way we like it.
The yeast provides some fresh dough, banana, pineapple and clove aromas to dazzle the senses. The lighter malts give this beer its color and soft grainy flavors. It is mashed longer and at lower temperatures to produce a dry yet complex beer. Although easy drinking, there is soft and surprising intensity just like the ancient Dim Mak technique!
Introducing the Belgian Oatmeal IPA! Flaked oats play a major role in this Belgian-American porridge. Pungent spicy noble hops, citrusy American hops, and a Belgian yeast all wrapped up in a silky blanket of oats--yes please! We will not make any claims as to the health benefits of using oatmeal in beer, but if there are any, then…it’s the right beer to drink, and the tasty way to do it!
This beer gets its clove aromas and spicy flavors from the Belgian yeast. The combination of tettnang and cascade hops create a lemon-orange pith tartness which finds balance with the caramel malt sweetness. The large amount of flaked oats used in this beer helps tame all of these robust flavors creating a very unique flavor profile. Its frothy head will make a beer mustache that Mr. Brimley himself would be proud to wear!
Super FL i.p.a.
Super FL i.p.a. is a no nonsense Black IPA—can you dig it? This bad-ass beer features nine different malts, as well as a combination of Columbus and Cascade hops. After the fermentation, it is then dry-hopped and rests on just a touch of real cedar wood chips. The game it plays it plays for keeps!
A small amount of dark grains provides color and just a hint of roasted flavor. This blends in perfectly with some of the deeper caramel notes found in the other grains. The citrusy bitterness of the hops joins the party and balances things out while the cedar chips just lay back and provide a subtle earthiness to keep it real...
Green Man Ale
Inspired by the malty and hoppy beers of the Great Northwest, Green Man Ale is a rich and layered beer that lies somewhere between an IPA and a Red Ale—not exactly radical, but not quite the conformist, Green Man Ale just is.
An Eclectic blend of malts and plenty of northwest hops have come together, not worrying about fitting in, and simply being content in walking their own path of malty hoppiness (always need a good hop pun). Green Man is excellent when paired with wild salmon or as an inspirational elixir during your favorite pagan ceremony.
Kitchen Sink Porter
What started out as a basic porter recipe evolved by adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, using a wide variety of malts not typically seen in a porter. This includes various types of rye and a dash of smoked malt. The result—a roasty, spicy, chocolaty glass of goodness. We just threw in the Kitchen Sink moniker for good measure.
The darker roasted malts lend some coffee aromas and chocolate flavors. The rye adds some unique spicy and fruity notes throughout the tasting experience. The smoked malt adds just enough of its character to bridge everything together—not dominate the structure as in a “smoked” beer. This beer is also deceivingly dry and pairs with Middle Eastern food particularly well.
EXPERIMENTS - LIMITED AVAILABILITY
After 1000s of hours of research, study, deep thought, and...OK, maybe these are all more of a whim, perhaps just a passing fancy. Much like a double rainbow, you have to enjoy these while they last. And although they may appear again, you just never know when and where...
This beer was inspired by the camaraderie of craft beer, friendship, and Whoppers® candy. Long ago, in a beer bar, not very far away, the owners of Renegade Brewing Company (Brian O’Connell) and Wit’s End (Scott Witsoe) talked about the idea of incorporating Whoppers® into a beer. They determined an Imperial Brown Ale would be the best base beer, and then the inclusion of malted milk powder seemed obvious. The recipe grew from there and Judge Whoppner is now in session!
Thanks to the heaping amount of various malts and malted milk powder in this recipe, chocolate and vanilla tones dominate the aroma. The rich, malty body comes from both mashing at a higher temperature and the specialty malts present. There is big chewiness to the beer, but the alcohol warmth cuts through and provides balance to the force, er, beer. In a craft beer world that is seeing litigation rear its ugly head all too often, Renegade and Wit’s End would like to celebrate the spirit of what craft beer is really all about—CHEERS!
The smell isn't teen spirit...it's hops! Nirvana takes on the beloved
IPA and puts forth a novel concept—keep the flavor, but lower the
alcohol (OK, so plenty of breweries have already done this, how do you
think we got the idea?). Nirvana keeps an intense hop flavor and aroma,
but avoids the overly bitter finish sometimes found in bigger IPAs. Have
a pint and be enlightened friend…
A simple, yet thoughtful malt bill creates a delicate backbone. The hop
profile dominates, but in a restrained way. Thanks to heavy late
hopping, Nirvana finishes smooth, despite the expectation of a bitter
punch. You don't have to live a 1000 lifetimes to reach bliss...just
grab a pint of Nirvana and you’ll transcend to a higher plain.
Bitter Late Than Never
It all started when the owner Scott offered up a “Brewer for a Day” for
his daughter’s school auction fundraiser. The lucky winner Ryan Benine
had an amazing story that inspired this recipe. Ryan’s last homebrew
batch never made it out of the carboy as his first child came a bit
early and he never got around to bottling it (note that this beer has
been in said carboy since 1997!). This seemed like the perfect
opportunity for the beer that might have never finished. It is based on
the classic English session beer called a Premium Bitter. This
incredibly balanced ale has just the right amount of malt and hops
creating a beer definitely worth the 16 year wait!
A lighter malt bill created a low gravity beer, with just the right
amount of specialty malts to give it character without being brash.
Generous bittering hops and East Kent Golding hops for aroma and flavor
contribute to this beer’s “bitter” disposition. Not only will you enjoy a
full flavoured ale (couldn’t resist the King’s English), but you can
feel good knowing that 20% of the sales of this beer will go directly to
the elementary school that Scott and Ryan’s children attend.
Come On Ryeleen
Come On Ryeleen is a smoked rye ale featuring the background comfort and
stability of smoke flavors with that of surly rye characteristics. You
might call it a gateway rauch or roggen beer, but we swear at this
moment, Come On Ryeleen will mean everything to you!
The combination of rye and smoked malt create aromas of leather (not in
an S&M way), smoked honey, tobacco, and is balanced by a light tart
fruitiness. Come On Ryeleen is a dynamic beer with distinct transitions
through the smoky notes, rye flavors, and malt sweetness. It also goes
well with BBQ, Reuben sandwiches, and go to karaoke songs.
We promise this beer was not intentionally timed because of a GRRReat
new album that just came out, but hey, we were just lucky. Mick Jaggery
is based on an English-Style ESB with a slight twist—the addition of an
Indian cooking sugar called jaggery (this inspired the name before we
had a recipe). Familiar and foreign at the same time, this beer will
definitely give you…wait for it…satisfaction!
Deep crystal malts give this beer its amber color and malt-forward
sweetness. The early hop additions add just enough bitterness to prevent
the sweetness from taking over. The jaggery is an earthy and floral
unrefined sugar that impacts the structure in such a way where it
connects the later East Kent Golding hop additions to the malt
sweetness. Cheers to a beer that will always create a great session.
Seems “1” is a pattern number with us? First year anniversary just
passed, we brew beer one barrel at a time…and now our newest beer—One.
This beer is what is affectionately known as a “SMaSH” beer in the
brewing community. That is to say, a Single Malt and Single Hopped beer.
That’s right, coming out of a brewery that is obsessed with complex
malt bills, the brewer decided to embark on the extremely complex
exercise of simplicity. We consider this beer to be loosely in the style
of an Extra Pale Ale, and just because it’s named One, doesn’t mean you
can’t try two.
We took two-row barley and Columbus hops—that’s it—to make this beer. A
multi-step mash at different temperatures squeezed every characteristic
we could out of the malt. We aggressively late hopped the beer in the
boil to create massive Columbus hop characteristics, but without an
overwhelming bitterness. It is a very perfumey, floral and citrusy beer
that celebrates the Columbus hop with gusto. In fact, it should have a
holiday named after it instead of that other guy.
We are hoppy to announce the One Series of “SMaSH” beers (a Single Malt and Single Hopped beer for you non beer geeks). If you need a label, we consider the beers in this series to be loosely
based on the Extra Pale Ale style. Just like the other one, we hope to explore the world of hops, ahem, one beer at a time. Maybe we should call this the Pun Series instead?
We use two-row barley and Tettnang hops—that’s it—to make this beer. A multi-step mash at different temperatures squeezed every characteristic we could out of the malt. Aggressive late hopping in the boil creates Tettnang hop characteristics without an overwhelming bitterness. The malt shines a little bit more in this version, balanced by incredibly refreshing spicy and floral Tettnang hop notes. The Tettnang hop is of the noble hop variety which
means it is a delicate and spicy hop typically used sparingly, not the big-hairy-American-winning-machine you find in the new world hops such as Columbus and Cascade...shake and bake!
We are hoppy to announce the One Series of “SMaSH” beers (a Single Malt and Single Hopped beer for you non beer geeks). The latest in the series features the beloved Cascade hop. If you need a
label, we consider the beers in this series to be loosely based on the Extra Pale Ale style. Just like the other one, we hope to explore the world of hops, ahem, one beer at a time. Maybe we should call this the Pun Series instead?
We use two-row barley and Cascade hops—that’s it—to make this beer. A multi-step mash at different temperatures squeezed every characteristic we could out of the malt. Aggressive late hopping in the boil creates Cascade hop characteristics without an overwhelming bitterness. The Cascade hop is one of the most popular
hops used in American craft beer. It has wonderfully delicate floral notes, a resiny citrus bite, and notes of grass--our kind of
lawnmower beer! Perhaps one of the more balanced versions in the series, the Cascade hop surfs the line between malt and hops better than 100% pure adrenaline junky Patrick Swayze (RIP).
To celebrate the one year anniversary of our friends at the Denver
Bicycle Cafe, we wanted to show our appreciation for their local craft
beer ambassadorship by brewing an exclusive beer in their favorite
style—we call it Messenger Porter. Rich enough to fuel a
quicksilver-paced city peddler, this beer is a smooth and chocolaty
porter that Kevin Bacon actually wishes he was six degrees from!
Lots of chocolate malt gives this beer its deep color and soft cocoa
powder flavor. This is backed up by dark crystal malts (Skeksis not
included), a touch of wheat, and flaked oats giving it subtle layered
sweetness and body. Our house yeast imparts a light fruitiness that
brightens it up. Bike safe, drink craft beer…get the message? Cheers to
Denver Bicycle Cafe!
One might think we are obsessed with Belgian action stars--not
so--unless that action star happens to be a Belgian monk brewer. Dubbel
Impact is based on the traditional dark ale made in Belgian Abbeys since
time immemorial (ok, maybe for the last 150 years, but that is still a
long time). The result is a rich complex beer that packs a punch even
JCVD would be jealous of!
Deep raisin and cocoa powder flavors give way to plum and fig notes,
with just a touch of cumquat rind. We also caramelized some sugar in the
boil kettle to add a pleasing horehound candy note (ask your
grandparents if you don’t know what that is). The beer finishes dry and
complex, but will not likely inspire a vow of silence, rather one of
We always liked the notion of a beer, ahem, transforming into a cider.
After procuring some juice from our good friends and neighbors over at
Colorado Cider Company—we went to work. The result is a delicious
“rustic apple ale” possessing characteristics of both a cider and a
beer. Here’s to great neighbors and Saturday morning cartoons!
The Belgian yeast brings some light spicy aromas, then we roll out
Biscuit and Special B malt to create a light sweet toast backbone with
raisin notes. After fermentation we added a little lactose to soften the
body of the beer and add some sweetness. The Gala apple juice adds
tartness and an ever so delicate hint of fresh apple zest. You don’t
have to pick a side, it adapts to the taster—robeers in disguise…we had
to say it.
Ah, summer is here, and so is the Banana Hammock. Possessing those
familiar European characteristics one might find, say, on a beach, we
added just a hint of American style and certainly more taste. This beer
started out as an amber hefeweizen, but it sorta stopped there. Healthy
doses of rye and a longer cold conditioning process produced a
brilliantly burnished gold colored beer—and though it might be a close
race, we prefer to gaze at this beer instead of the infamous thong that
inspired the name (not that there would be anything wrong with that).
Yes, we have no bananas…but we added lots of wheat, rye, crystal malt,
biscuit and a big banana ester producing German yeast, blended it (uh
fermented it), and we came up with a beer version of bananas foster.
Huge banana aroma, rich malty toasty notes, and spicy rye finish.
Although bulging with flavors, this beer is dry, and extremely
refreshing. Go ahead, you can do it…rock the Banana Hammock this summer!
Ever stumble to the kitchen and pour yourself a cup of ambition but wish
there was beer in it? Us too…so our cup of Ambition is a coffee stout
that gives equal attention to coffee as it does beer. This results in a
wonderful blend that is truly good to the last cup…er…pint. Although
this beer is perfect anytime, for some reason, it seems to taste best
Rather than adding cold steeped coffee to the beer, we wanted to do what
was best for coffee and integrate that into the brewing process.
Fortunately after the boil there is a window of temperature just right
for brewing coffee, so we took advantage of this and love the results.
The coffee is prominent, but not bitter, and backed up by rich
chocolatey and roasty malts. Is it a great cup of coffee with beer, or a
great beer with coffee? You decide, just don’t forget the doughnuts!
Inspired by many of Belgium’s devilish golden ales, we decided to add a
touch (some might say death touch) of using Chinese rock candy sugar to
help boost the gravity. Just like the ancient technique, Dim Mak is
shrouded in mystery and legend. Golden and opaque, one has to rely on
all their senses when navigating through this beer.
The Belgian yeast gives off aromas of lemon rind and licorice that
pierce through its meringue-like head. Although excitingly dry from the
use of the Chinese rock candy, the silky body and sweet lemon-pepper
notes prevail. Like an iron palm breaking the bottom brick, the alcohol
warmth is delayed and hits you in the chest, which of course by then it
is too late…welcome to the Dim Mak!
Put together various wheat malts, a classic German yeast, mostly adhere
to the Rheinheitsgebot and you got yourself a Slam Dunkelweizen! A
Slightly more seductive and deeper version of its more popular
counterpart the Hefeweizen, Slam Dunkelweizen is like a piece of banana
bread with honey and chocolate chips!
We use three different types of wheat malt to create a layered
complexity of malted wheat flavors and a delicate clean sweetness. To
balance these soft wheat flavors, we ferment at higher temperatures as
well as intentionally stress out the yeast (ask a beer geek) to create a
beautiful bouquet of banana and clove aromas. Strap on your lederhosen
and enjoy this treat—prost!
Ugly Sweater is a random mixture of things that appear to be working
together in some kind of plan. But instead of a catastrophic garment one
pokes fun at, it is a unique holiday ale that can bring a bunch of
people together to poke fun at said garment. Loosely based on an English
brown ale recipe, we throw in some knick knacks like roasted pumpkin
seeds, palm sugar, and peace on earth.
This beer is not filtered (much like that relative we all see during the
holidays) and has a slight ethereal haze. The appearance paired with
its rich caramel maltiness is like drinking a Sugar Daddy®. The roasted
pumpkin seeds create a creamy nutty texture, and thanks to a Belgian
yeast strain, the huge cinnamon and clove notes come through and balance
the sweetness. So bundle yourself up in an Ugly Sweater and have a
happy holiday season!
The Mad King
Enigmatic, genius, insane? The Mad King is all of these and more. Based
on a weizenbock, this dark wheat beer goes the extra mile,
fermentationally speaking. Inspired by the misunderstood king’s passion
to build fairytale castles, obsessions about swans, and other whims, we
too have been called mad for following our passions. Sit back and enjoy
this regal beer, just be careful, you may want to chase down a dream or
two after a glass.
The German yeast and malt profile create a beer full of unique flavors
like kola nut, chocolate, and dark fruits. Thanks to the decoction
mashing process, there is a soft yet present malty backbone that
balances these flavors out. Throughout all this mania, The Mad King
still possesses an understated intensity. This beer is not as crazy as
we are, but if you feel compelled to take a leisurely stroll around the
lake with your therapist after drinking one, we recommend against
it--Hail to the King, Baby!