Beer. Heavy Metal. Denver. - TRVE Brewing wants you to be part of their counter-culture, without taking it too seriously. Pretense is overrated - TRVE (pronounced "true") asks whether you really need anything more from a brewery than a “rad place to chill out and drink killer beer.” It's a refreshing take. With their unique branding and heavy metal inspired persona, this brewery is just having a good time with their craft, and we were stoked to sample their eclectic brews.
A simple Google search will lead you to the Colorado-based brewery, where their loyal followers describe them as “a place where your grandma could learn to love heavy metal, beer, and blood-drenched dagger tattoos”, and an "awesome metal brewery with a theme of satanism", which we think sounds like a pretty unique experience. We tried three of TRVE’s intense brews to see if they live up to their hardcore hype.
In line with their death metal vibes, the Cursed label is styled after a Boss guitar effects pedal, which lead us to believe this beer would be pretty boss (we're so sorry, we love puns). Cursed is TRVE’s first foyer into the world of house-made cultures – for this brew, rather than pre-buying yeast, they created their own blend of saccharomyces, brettanomyces, lactobacilli, and wild yeasts. Cursed was incredibly pale, like hazy champagne with a rocky white head. The smell stomped on the overdrive, packing a punch with a vibrantly tart lemon aroma, with notes of grassy fragrances. Based on the smell, we were surprised to taste only a faint sour on the tip of the tongue. Otherwise, this brew was lightly tart, bready, and yeasty. It is one of the more drinkable sour beers we've had, despite its hardcore appearance.
This yellow-clad brew is a classic farmhouse ale fermented in baby wine barrels, also known as puncheons (if you want to sound more astute, or at the very least, old-timey). Life’s Trade is considered to be one of the brewery’s less experimental beers, and more of a 'TRVE classic'. This one poured a pastel yellow – almost a buttercream hue, with a thin, fuzzy head. Aroma-wise - and this might sound a little funny - we had no choice but to describe it as "funky barnyard," due to the slightly tart, slightly musty, and delicately yeasty scent. For a more "classic" beer, we still found some TRVE quirks lingering in this brew. The taste was clean and rounded, but had a slightly grassy flavor with a dichotomous sweet/salty vibe. We can dig a beer that is rooted in tradition, but still keeps it original.
With its modern Art Deco label art and heavy metal typography, we were pretty excited to give this brew a taste. A farmhouse ale with dandelion greens, lemon, and lemongrass sounded pretty dang refreshing, so we dove right in. This brew poured a color of cheap gold (in the best way possible - like a mysteriously affordable Rolex), with a very thin head. For a farmhouse ale, the scent was surprisingly on-brand: Ostara smelled a bit like an actual farmhouse, albeit one surrounded by wildflowers and lemongrass. The taste was a pleasant, not-too-sour delight. The dandelion provided great body and a rounded earthiness. Out of the bunch, Ostara was the most balanced sour, and we would recommend it as a gateway beer for anyone new to the sour style. It's gonna be the next big craft beer trend, so get acquainted!