“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

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
What?
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. 

Why?
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!

Wilford
What?
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!

Why?
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.
What?
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!

Why?
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
What?
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.

Why?
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?
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.

Why?
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

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...

Judge Whoppner

What?
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!


Why?
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!

Nirvana

What?
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…

Why?
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

What?
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!

Why?
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

What?
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!

Why?
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.

Mick Jaggery

What?
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!

Why?
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.

One-Columbus

What?
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.

Why?
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.

One-Tettnang

What?
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?

Why?
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!

One-Cascade

What?
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?

Why?
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).

Messenger Porter

What?
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!

Why?
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!

Dubbel Impact

What?
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!

Why?
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 conversation.

Cibeertron

What?
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!

Why?
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.

Banana Hammock

What?
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).

Why?
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!

Ambition

What?
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 from 9-5?

Why?
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!

Dim Mak

What?
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.

Why?
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!

Slam Dunkelweizen

What?
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!

Why?
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

What?
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.

Why?
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

What?
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.

Why?
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!