Crazy Mountain Brewery, normally associated with its high country location in Edwards, has been on a..ahem…crazy trajectory in recent months. In the fall the brewery took control of Breckenridge Brewery’s old facility when that company moved into its palatial new digs in Littleton prior to selling out to AB InBev for big money. Depending upon which article you read, the new to them facility allowed Crazy Mountain to increase production by upwards of 800 percent. With that kind of expansion in capacity comes distribution.
On my not-so-recent trip to Colorado for some skiing I returned with a sampler pack of cans from Crazy Mountain eager to try out some beers that have been getting a lot of attention as cans trickle out of Colorado. First up is Mountain Living Pale Ale:
Ugh. This beer poured flat and fell flat. The head you see in the picture was about all the carbonation present in the beer. Subsequent cans—two more out a twelve pack sampler—poured the same.
With trepidation I soldiered on and sipped. I was rewarded with a beer that reminds me of the bastard creation brewed by your neighbor in his garage on an all grain system comprised of old kegs and Yugo parts. It was a beer that had all the hallmarks of mid-1990s brewpub beers that were made from liquid malt extract kits and foisted on an unsuspecting public looking for something other than Bud Light.
Why do I bring up liquid malt extract? Mountain Living Pale Ale had that soapy aftertaste that is a hallmark of homebrews made with liquid malt extract and some hop varieties. I cannot speak to El Dorado hop variety as I cannot recall another beer I have made that featured that variety. Normally, beers bittered with Citra hops have a citrus and floral aroma that is unmistakable. All I am getting with this beer is a smoldering pile of dirty socks.
When you are coming out of Colorado with a pale ale your game should be extra strong because that state is producing some off the chart excellent pale ales. Mountain Living Pale Ale is just not up to the game:
See what others are saying about Crazy Mountain Brewery Mountain Living Pale Alle @ Beeradvocate.