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Beers Made By Walking 2014 - Spikeberry Saison

Mark your calendars, this year's Beers Made By Walking event is Friday, October 3rd from noon-4pm. We'll be pouring Spikeberry Saison!


  • Name of beer: Spikeberry Saison
  • Description – A hearty saison made with a gallon of organic Prickly Pear syrup, added before fermentation, and dry-hopped with a blend of Yarrow, Elderberry and home grown hops harvested from our patio!
  • Special ingredients – Dried Elderberries, dried Yarrow flower, Prickly Pear syrup and home grown hops. We chose these ingredients because these plants were seen on our hike at NCAR and are represented throughout the Colorado terrain.
  • ABV – 8%
  • The Hike - We set out on our hike in mid-July, starting at NCAR- the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The beginning of this trail is also called the Walter Orr Roberts Trail. It goes west on a small mesa, drops to a broad saddle, and then climbs another ridge to a water tank, before dropping into a valley to end at Mesa Trail. This easy, well-maintained loop winds through a woodland, features great views of the high plains, the Flatirons, then finishes with a short section through a riparian zone. We also hiked parts of Bear Canyon, which starts at the Mesa Trail south of the NCAR and Mesa Trails junction.

Click here to see our photos from the hike!


Our beer was inspired by all of the herbs and plant life around us on our hike- especially those that can be used for brewing, teas, tinctures and medicinal purposes. Our overall goal was to achieve a light, refreshing beer with fruity essences and medicinal properties. A beer that celebrates a warm summer day!

Throughout this process, we learned a lot about the healing properties of the plants we chose to use. For example, Elderberry can be used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, and improve heart health. It also aids in preventing and shortening the duration of: coughs, colds, flu, bacterial & viral infections, and tonsillitis. In fact, Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995. Elderberry has also shown to have antinflammatory, antiviral and anticancer properties.

Prickly pear cactus is used for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, alcohol hangover, colitis, and diarrhea. It is also used to fight viral infections. Often tasting similar to watermelon or berries, the fruit, known as cactus fruit or tuna fruits, can be eaten raw and is delicious chilled.

Yarrow is an herb that is believed to be a remedy for a number of ailments and diseases and has shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic properties. In folk medicine, freshly gathered yarrow root mashed in whiskey was used as a primitive anesthetic. Yarrow has also been used to stop internal bleeding, and as a bitter digestive tonic.

We teamed up with Doug Hill, a Volunteer Naturalist with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department and Founder/Head Instructor at Gone Feral. Doug chose NCAR because of how lush, shady, and diverse the trails there are. “Being a riparian area through there, it's naturally wetter, which leads to a healthy, diverse population of plants,” Doug stated. With Doug’s guidance, we were able to identify 100+ plants!

Boulder Beer Company was started in 1979 by two professors at the University of Colorado, establishing Colorado’s First Craft Brewery. There were only 42 other breweries in operation at that time, making us the 43rd. This year, we celebrate our milestone 35th Anniversary!

We have a 50-barrel brew house with top-of-the-line packaging equipment, a full menu Pub and a patio under the Flatirons. Our three top selling brands include Shake Chocolate Porter, Mojo IPA and Hazed Hoppy Session Ale. Spikeberry Saison was brewed on our 55 gallon pilot brew system in one brew.

Sam Green is the brewer responsible for our BMBW beer. Sam has been brewing professionally for about 6 years. “I learned a lot with the creation of this particular beer,” said Sam. “There were multiple variables and many “unknowns” but that’s what makes it fun- constantly learning, adapting, adjusting and manipulating to make the unknown become a little less unknown.”

A huge thanks to the folks at Beers Made By Walking! 

Click here for event information.