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Fruit Gets Personal: Brewing with Heirloom Varietals

For Troy Casey, owner of Casey Brewing & Blending, brewing with fruit is much more than just selecting the fruit—it’s a relationship with local fruit growers and an exploration of the distinct flavors that specific fruit varietals contribute to beer.

Emily Hutto Jul 15, 2017 - 10 min read

Fruit Gets Personal: Brewing with Heirloom Varietals Primary Image

“It’s getting warmer in our valley right now, the flowers are budding, and the apricot trees are in bloom,” says Troy Casey, the owner at Casey Blending and Brewing in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. There’s a certain romance to his tone as he waxes about the local fruit that he’s using to ferment his cult-followed oak barrel–aged, blended beers.

“Every day I’m looking at the weather in Palisade,” Casey says. It’s springtime in the Roaring Fork Valley, and a late frost could wipe out the apricots he sources from The Grand Valley, known for its orchards and vineyards. “We can freeze cherries, blackberries, or raspberries but such delicate stone fruits as apricots need to be used right when they’re available.”

Spring is when Casey and crew make a lot of the company’s base beers. “We make a very small amount of different base beers, and then we go one hundred different directions with the fruit in even smaller batches,” he says.

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