Bringing women in the community together one craft beer at a time.

Sep 1

Tasting with Merchant du Vin

by Rhonda Patton

With over 200 local Colorado breweries, brewpubs, tasting rooms and  numerous festivals from which to try  premium craft beer, the Crafty Ladies Beer Club kicked off Oktoberfest celebrating Around-the-World with Merchant du Vin, for an old world experience.  Merchant du Vin is a specialty beer importer carrying the world’s finest selection of ales, lagers and ciders that are true classics, family produced or monastery-owned.

The women-only club enjoyed a private beer festival that represented England, Germany and Belgium that included an exquisite spread of foreign and domestic cheeses, meats and pretzels to accompany each specific country or region.  Merchant du Vin’s Rocky Mountain Regional Manager, Tom Jasko, worked closely with a Denver local favorite, The Truffle Cheese Shop, to pair each tasting.

There are only eight breweries in the world that make authentic ‘Trappist’ beers, brewed within the walls of a Cistercian, Crafty Ladies sampled three from Belgium; Rochefort, Est. 1230, Westmalle, Est. 1794 and Orval, Est. 1070. These big and bold flavors were paired with Duck Rillettes, NYC; speck smoked cured pork, Italy and Abbaye du Belloc, France.

It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without a good German beer! The Ayinger Brewery has been owned and operated by the same family since 1878, the Ayinger Brau-weisse, an easy golden hefeweizen and the Ayinger Oktoberfest showcased their excellence in beer. German samples were paired with gruyere cheese and Fuet de Catalona.
Women love beer and women love chocolate, so why not pair the two together? Jasko collaborated with Tony’s Market to supply chocolate delicacies, desserts and other tasty morsels to accompany the spontaneous fermentation of Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale, Organic Chocolate Stout, and Lindemans Framboise Lambic.

Westcombe cheddar (England), Havarti (Denmark), aged goat (Netherlands) and pretzels rounded out the remaining stouts and ciders. Crafty Ladies appreciate learning about the brewers or brewery as well as what glassware to use and how best pair it with food; it’s all in the fine details.  To view all of Merchant du Vin’s world classics and where to purchase their imports visit their website at
It’s not surprising that brewers continue to knock on the door trying to find their way into the Crafty Ladies Beer Club. You won’t find arts and crafts here, no scrapbooking or needlepoint; just women enjoying a beer, one craft at a time.  The club meets twice a month at The Highland Tap and Burger; they’ve been known to pick hops, tour breweries and brew their own craft beer. If you would like more information on upcoming events visit