When Your Favorite Beer Loves You Back

By Danielle Powell | Illustrated by Katie Danaher


Danielle Powell
Illustrated by Katie Danaher

A beer nerd’s love is mostly unrequited. Amid the swirl of Denver’s booming brewery scene, and with a little help from technology, suds enthusiast Charlie Crockett found a beer and brewery that loved him back.

It all started with Taylor Rees’ barrel-aged Belgian quadrupel at Spangalang Brewery. Rees transferred the base to a French wine barrel (Spangalang’s “barrel broker” says it was probably a Burgundy) in January 2016, and the beer sat on wood through late summer. The final brew had aromas of figs, plantains, and roasted cherry; a full-bodied mouthfeel; and an unexpected acidity and dry finish.

Enter Crockett, a retired sommelier, who fell in love with the quad upon first taste: “I found that wine barrel-aging the beer added a final layer of complexity that truly balanced the nearly 12 percent alcohol (a typical abv for wine!),” says Crockett. “Amazingly, to the detriment of your liver, all the alcohol is integrated into a rich, creamy mouthfeel that somehow doesn’t fatigue the palate as one might expect from such high-octane brew.”

Soon, Crockett found himself spending hundreds of dollars on the beer, drinking it at Spangalang, buying cases at $25 a bottle, and visiting another bar in town that carried the quad (the bar reported that Crockett drank half the keg himself).

Spangalang tracks customer loyalty with Upserve, restaurant management software that Rees uses to analyze inventory, revenue, payment methods, etc. Rees had observed Crockett’s obsessive quad consumption, and Upserve confirmed it. Week after week, Crockett was Spangalang’s number one fanboy and spender.

Instead of hosting an intervention, Rees decided to validate Crockett’s love and give the beer a new name: Crockett Launcher. Now, thanks to Upserve and Rees’ customer appreciation initiatives, Spangalang has a lifetime supporter in the one and only Charlie Crockett. 


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