Slow Beer, Exceptional Taste

How did a Denver brewer acquire 55 pounds of syrup from an ancient Mexican plant? Who knew the simple question “How much do you need?” could lead to a suitcase of surprise in Denver Beer Co.’s Jason Buehler’s hotel room.

Back in May, head brewer of Denver Beer Co., Jason Buehler, was asked to be a judge at a slow beer competition hosted by Slow Food Mexico. The participants were local brewers who focused on locally produced, high quality ingredients, many from the Ark of Taste, Slow Food’s catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction.

“I learned so much,” Jason says. “It was awesome to see the use of native ingredients and taste amazing craft beers that were made from those ingredients. It was really an incredible, unique experience. The beers were interesting and great, and we got to tour around a little.”

And that’s when he discovered maguey.

“I’d never heard of maguey before, but it’s kind of like agave,” he says. “I fell in love. It’s a succulent, very large plant. They make lots of different products from it. One is pulque, a slightly sour, milky white alcohol. They take the sap and cook it down into a syrup and then ferment it.”

Jason decided to bring the rich smoky syrup back to make a special brew in his Denver plant in collaboration with La Brü. When he got back to his hotel room, there was already a suitcase full of syrup to take home, a gift from Slow Food Mexico.

“Man, it’s hard for me to describe the flavor, Jason says. “It’s very rich with an intense, smoky/roasty flavor. It’s unique and fun, and will stand out in the brown ale, bringing out coffee and chocolate notes.”

This special brown ale will debut at the session, “Will the Real Mexico Please Stand Up? A Cultural Celebration and Regional Tastings of Mexico. Come join us to celebrate international collaboration, local ingredients, and small scale farmers and producers.

Want more beer events? Check out the unique and delicious opportunities to learn about local brews (and local food!) at Slow Food Nations 2017 below!

Slow Beer Sessions

Will the Real Mexico Please Stand Up? A Cultural Celebration and Regional Tastings of Mexico

You eat guacamole and tacos, sure, but do you know the real food of Mexico? Have you tasted the flavors of different regions? You’re in for a real treat at Comal, with a social evening of culinary exploration from chefs with Slow Food Mexico, local chef entrepreneurs, and winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Chef Rick Bayless.

Enjoy sipping mezcal while listening to music, watching interactive food demonstrations, and tasting endangered foods from Mexican Slow Food presidia producers. Buy tickets ($55).

American Charcuterie and Salumi Tasting

Since 2000, the growth of American craft beer and artisan cheese created a foundation for the emergence of a variety of new fermented foods. From local to regional and national markets, a strong demand continues to grow for quality dry-cured meats.

Join Jeff Roberts, author of Salted and Cured: Savoring the Culture, Heritage and Flavors of America’s Preserved Meats, for a tasting that brings together a diverse collection of cured meats, artisan cheeses and local craft beers. Since we eat with our eyes, the tasting will be conducted blind! Participants will also learn about the current community of producers. Buy tickets ($52).

The Mile-High Marriage of Beer and Cheese

There’s nothing finer than pairing two of humankind’s greatest creations – beer and cheese. Experience how craft brewers and cheese experts Zach Nichols and Tony Firestine pair the two together, Colorado-style. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to identify flavor profiles and tasting notes for creating the perfect union, every time. Buy tickets ($52).

The Ultimate Smackdown Between Wine and Beer

The long debate continues! You have a beautiful cheese plate in front of you. What is the ideal pair — wine or beer? Join Joe Meilen and Tony Firestine as they navigate the ultimate smackdown with certified cheese professional Devin Lamma. Taste your way to a decision. Buy tickets ($52).

Ciabatta and Cerveza: Local Pairings in a Four Course Meal

Wrap up your Slow Food Nations weekend with a delicious four course meal by Blueprint Bar and Wits End Brewery. Each course will be paired with a specialty beer.

Course 1: Spinach salad | mango, jicama, lime vinaigrette
Course 2: Mussels, local chorizo + locally baked toasted ciabatta
Course 3: Puerto Rican fried rice + local pulled pork
Course 4: Mexican chocolate rice pudding with chile whipped cream Buy tickets ($65).

Burgers, Brews, and Bluegrass Block Party

Nothing says summer more than a rockin’ block party with burgers and beer. But of course, this is Slow Food, so you know it’s going to be extra delicious and thoughtful.

Our rockstar chefs will serve up three types of burgers: grass-fed beef burgers, blended burgers mixed with flavorful mushrooms, and veggie burgers with the best produce around. Learn why we are evangelists for “better meat, less meat.” Then wash it down with Colorado-brewed beers from The Post Brewing Company as you kick up your heels to some bluegrass tunes. Buy tickets ($69).

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