Two collaborations between Denver’s Cerebral Brewing and Austin Street Brewery, and a tribute to Vacationland Distributers from Belleflower. Photo by Ben Lisle

It’s been a decade since Austin Street Brewery opened its doors at Industrial Way – an anniversary celebrated earlier this month at its tasting room on Fox Street. On the same afternoon, Vacationland Distributors was also toasting 10 years in business, just up the interstate at Mast Landing’s Freeport location.

It was a good day for beer drinkers, marked by the release of one-off collaborations to honor these milestones. As I sipped on a limey Mexican lager, a strawberry cream ale, an Italian pils and a couple of drippy IPAs on Mast Landing’s patio, I thought about Yann Bandaña. A collaboration between Austin Street and Hoof Hearted Brewing (out of Marengo, Ohio), this hazy IPA would pop up now and again from 2016 to 2020. Those were the days when idiots like me stood in line for can releases, and I would breathlessly wait for the next new and mysterious NEIPA to drop.

Yann has gone the way of the Dodo, it seems, but he remains lodged in my memory as a symbol of a particular time in craft beer history when the New England IPA emerged on the scene, playing a central role in the transformation of the beer landscape. On either side of the famed One Industrial Way warehouse, Austin Street and Bissell Brothers were developing hazy standards like Substance, Patina Pale Ale and Florens IPA. Increasingly hooked on the juicy stuff, I was ravenous for more – imports from exotic locales like Marengo, facilitated by Vacationland Distributors.

So this week, I toast Austin Street and Vacationland – two pillars of our local scene. (Gone, but not forgotten, Yann Bandaña.)


STYLE: Double New England IPA
ABV: 8%
NOTES: Denver’s Cerebral Brewing collaborated with Austin Street for this anniversary beer. They brewed this with Cosmic Punch thiolized yeast, ramping up the tropical juiciness. It pours a hazy, opaque orange. Ripe pineapple and bubblegum aromas abound. That rich, pleasant pineapple carries through in the flavors, blended with a touch of grapefruit. Creamy in body, with moderate carbonation, it finishes with a nice balance of sweet juiciness cut with a little bitterness.



STYLE: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.7%
NOTES: Another collaboration between Cerebral and Austin Street, Fissure is the Coloradans’ interpretation of our local classic, Patina Pale Ale. It combines American Centennial and Simcoe hops with Southern Cross and Motueka from New Zealand. Together, they generate aromas of white wine, citrus and pine resin. Flavors of orange gummy, grapefruit, apricot, lemon-lime zest and pine follow. Cerebral brewed this one with a West Coast yeast, producing a relatively dry finish, reminiscent of classic California IPAs and Cold IPAs.


STYLE: New England IPA
ABV: 6.8%
NOTES: Brewed as a tribute to Vacationland Distributors’ 10th anniversary, this hazy is double-dry-hopped with Strata and HBC 1019. It’s opaque orange in color, verging on amber. This extremely aromatic beer drips with bubble gum, carmelized bananas and coconut. Grapefruit, lime and peach flavors are accented with a bit of spicy, bitter hoppiness. The body is ample, with medium carbonation.

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