When it comes to inventive local beers, it’s no secret that we at DGO love the WildEdge Brewing Collective in Cortez.
Because of the ever-changing tap list, every visit seems to present a variety of new brews waiting to be tried. So, while visiting with some Montezuma County friends and colleagues recently, I decided to see what had changed since DGO visited WildEdge just over a year ago.
Over the course of the visit, I tried five beers: the Saison, the Island Dream, the Safety Meeting, the Tenebrous, and the Snow Dance.
I started with the simply-named Saison because, on a menu full of dark or fruity beers and IPAs, it seemed like it’d have the least overpowering flavor. And that turned out to be a good move. This light Belgian ale was a little bit thin in the body department compared with the platonic ideal of a saison I had in my head, but the Hallertau hops it was dry-hopped with imparted a mildly citric and spicy taste that quickly earned back the ale’s name.
I then tried the Island Dream, a kettle sour brewed with guava and passion fruit that my editor loved when she tried it back in late 2018. I enjoy sour and fruity beers, but there is a limit to how tart a beer can be before it becomes unpleasant on my personal palate (a certain pink Durango beer comes to mind). This tropical brew, however, hit a perfect level of sweetness and tanginess that I can really get behind. It might be one of my new favorites in the region.
The Safety Meeting was my IPA of the night and it hit the IPA spot. Made with Sabro and Citra hops, it had a fruity hop-based flavor that, in retrospect, I maybe shouldn’t have sampled immediately after finishing a beer with a fruity fruit-based flavor. C’est la vie. It was otherwise a pleasant and not too bitter pale ale that was maybe just a bit flat. Then again, I completely drained the previous two tasting flight-sized beers before picking this one up off the table.
Things took a turn for the dark with Tenebrous. This stout with maple syrup, oats, and lactose spent 11 months in a port barrel and you can tell. Slightly sweet with strong malty flavors, this is the brewery’s most alcoholic brew, with an 8.8% ABV. It wasn’t as syrupy as I inferred from its description — which is probably a good thing. This beer is what I’d want for breakfast if I was the Prince of Darkness. But alas, I’m not. As much as I enjoyed this beers complicated flavor profile, I decided to take it down a notch for my final beer.
The Snow Dance, a semi-sweet milk stout, still felt pretty boozy for what it was, but it proved to be the favorite of the table. It had perhaps the simplest flavor profile of the beers I tried, and my companions appreciated that the subtle sweetness of the lactose kept the beer relatively light ... for a stout. The Snow Dance was very quaffable, especially before we all ventured back out into the cold, black Cortez night.
WildEdge Brewing Collective is located at 111 N. Market Street in Cortez. Call (970) 565-9445 or visit wildedgebrewing.com for more information.Nick Gonzales