Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Cohesion Brewing...dokonalost

I first heard about Cohesion Brewing through an Instagram post, which showed an attempted pronunciation guide for several Czech beer words which I described at the time as "iffy". One of the founders of the brewery, Eric Larkin, reached out to me to see if I could give some pointers, which I was more than happy to do. My conversation with Eric so impressed me that I knew if I ever got to Denver then Cohesion would be an absolute must visit brewery. I absolutely visited last night, though unfortunately Eric was unable to be there, hopefully next time.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am over in Denver for work and yesterday several of my colleagues, including Jerry Fagerberg, arrived in town for our company retreat in the next few days. We bundled into an Uber and made our way to the brewery, which is in an industrial area, past many over workshops and businesses, that actually reminded of getting to Caboose Brewing in Vienna on a previous company night out.

Walking through the door my heart leapt for joy at the site of horizontal lagering tanks, and a chalkboard list of beers where everything included the °P, mostly 10 and 12, as well the Czech style designation, including diacritics! We weren't expecting to see the name of one of Jerry's local breweries from Minnesota though, Utepils have done a collaboration 10° pale lager with Cohesion, of which more later.

I actually wish I had taken a picture of the bar itself, as it was a delightful setup, with a pale green tile bar back, a pair of beer towers which housed the 6 Lukr taps, gleaming brass, an unexpected British beer engine, and all manner of Czech paraphernalia - nice to see you again Private Švejk. We started with the Cohesion 10° pale lager.

Look at that lovely cap of frothy wet foam...and what a gorgeous beer this is, as good a desítka as I have had in many a moon. Had I been served this in a pub in Prague, I would be a very happy camper. Much in the same spirit as Bierstadt, tradition is an honored thing at Cohesion, they decoction mash for example, which is always a good sign to me with lager breweries - yes, you can make good lagers with infusion mashing, but decoction just adds things to the beer that no amount of carapils can. Four mouthfuls and I was ready for a second beer...so I popped things up a degree or 2 and went for the Ovce 12°.

Again a wonderful beer, I was back to not bothering with notes, I was just enjoying really good examples of some of my favourite types of beer. Absolutely dripping with Saaz, this is a beer that would delight any fan of noble hops, I was delighted. Eventually we moved on to the Utepils collaboration, again a 10° beer, a bit paler than Cohesion's own desítka, and noticeably bitter, with a long lingering dry finish, another absolute banger of a beer.

By this point I had noticed a corner of the taproom that was set up in such a way that it reminded me of many a Czech boozer I have frequented, places like u Slovanské lipy or Hostomická nelévárna...maybe it was the wooden paneled wainscoting, sure still a bit clean in its newness, but I insisted our group abandon our table so I could create some hospoda nostalgia for myself.

By this point I had settled on another collaboration beer as my go to, Herald 12° brewed in conjunction with Brewery Novalis in New York and using Saaz hops grown in New York state as well as Premiant hops. Another delightful brew that would more than pass muster in Czechia. With closing time approaching and swag having been bought, new brewery hats for the twins, the barman brought us over taster glasses poured in the mlíko manner, and it was actually the first time I had ever tried beer in this way - yeah I know, boring me for sticking to a regular pour. I don't recall which beer he brought over, but that foam was sweet and malty, and delicious. I am not sure I will ever become a devotee of mlíko but it was fun to try it.

I am sure plenty of others have waxed lyrical about Cohesion, and so I can only add to that chorus, what a fantastic brewery and taproom it is. Every beer we had was on point, the venue itself was a delight, and that little hospoda corner just capped the night to perfection. I also loved the fact that not a single beer was over 4.8%, and in the case of the 10° lagers, Cohesion's own was 3.9% and the Utepils collab 4.1%.

When it comes to Czech beer, it is easy to get snared into 14° and high dark lagers, but the 10° has been the go to beer for generations, it is the beer you drink in the hospoda with your mates, you maybe have 5 or 6 in a night and get up for work the next day none the worse for it, Czech beer culture is ultimately a drinking culture, and Cohesion seem to get that.

What a fantastic place and if you are ever in Denver and only want to visit one brewery, make sure it is Cohesion.

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