As sales of Crowlers have exploded in brewery taprooms across Colorado in recent years, the breweries themselves have been upping their game when it comes to Crowler artwork, decorating these 32-ounce cans, which can be filled with any beer that a brewery has on tap, with sophisticated artwork. Resolute Brewing in Centennial is introducing new artwork just this week (see below), while Westfax Brewing, located next to Casa Bonita in Lakewood, has teamed up with the brand-new 40 West Arts District for its own creative labels.
The new district launched an ArtLine on June 1, which will include a First Friday program, similar to other First Fridays across the metro area. It will run along the West Colfax Avenue corridor in Denver and Lakewood. As part of the program, Westfax will feature Colorado artist Noelle Phares in the taproom and on its new line of Crowler labels. There will be two new designs that highlight two of Phares's pieces.
Keep reading for craft-beer events into late June.
Wednesday, June 6
Chain Reaction Brewing will tap its Coconut Kafir Lime Curry Saison as part of the continuing Traveling One Barrel Wednesday program shared by Chain Reaction, Strange Craft, Black Sky Brewing and the Brew on Broadway. The brewers at the four businesses travel once a week to one of the other breweries to make a small batch of a one-off beer, then they rotate to another brewery the next week. The beer will also be tapped at the other three breweries. Upcoming tappings include Blood Orange Pale on June 13, Sriracha Red Ale on June 20, and Fudge Pop Tart Porter on June 27.
Last month, TRVE Brewing head brewer Zach Coleman had a "life-changing experience" while dining at chef Magnus Nilsson's restaurant, Fäviken (named as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by the Zagat guide in 2013) in Sweden. "He returned with renewed inspiration to continue to hone our craft and dive deeper into our understanding of ingredients and the possible flavor combinations achievable in beer," the brewery reports. "The offspring of his immersive experience is a new weekly series of beers we are calling A Blaze in the Western Sky." Every Wednesday, TRVE will tap a single keg created from "the ethos of seasonal variation and ingredient elevation motivated by both old traditions and our own research." The first is a pale ale to which TRVE added a washed Ethiopian coffee (Kercha Inshe from Huckleberry Roasters) and salt, "taking inspiration from the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony."
First Draft Taproom + Kitchen is collaborating with a different brewery each month this year. For June, its partner is Declaration Brewing; First Draft brewed a variant of Declaration's King Nalu Koa'e Imperial Tropical IPA with loads of Southern Cross hops along with pineapple and coconut additions. It should be available all month long. At 5 p.m., First Draft will also tap several other Declaration beers, including Straight Outta Golden, Sake Mountain, Raspberry Dec Lager, Electric Silk and Beez Nuts.
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery has tweaked the recipe for its 40 Pound IPA, which it will tap today. The beer, the number-one seller at the brewery, is now "a bit stronger — four pounds stronger, in fact," says Briar Common, which has added 44 pounds of hops this time around.
Thursday, June 7
Call to Arms Brewing will tap Denali Hop Oil-Infused CTA IPA, a 6.5 percent ABV beer that is the first in the brewery's Hop Oil Infusion Project Series. The brewery has dubbed June as McLovin Month because it's added more hops to everything and will be having several hoppy releases.
Friday, June 8
Every week, from 5 to 7 p.m., the brand-new Cerveceria Colorado partners with a nonprofit for a celebratory happy hour, with proceeds benefiting that organization. This week, Cervezas for Causes will benefit Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores, a day-laborer center that "promotes the rights and well-being of day laborers and domestic workers in Colorado through education, job skills, leadership development, united action and advocacy." Cerveceria Colorado, which is owned by Denver Beer Co next door, opened with the goal of promoting the idea that "beer is inclusive, collaborative and celebratory. We seek to honor the traditions, cuisine and culture of Mexico by utilizing traditional Mexican ingredients, flavors and processes to create innovative styles of beer." Some of the beers on tap include Lupulo Cacao, a chocolate pale ale; Senor Piña, a pineapple blonde; Venga, a traditional Mexican lager that you can sip chelada-style with a salted rim and lime wedge; Barrica Reserva, a tequila-barrel-aged saison; Churro Stout, a milk stout aged on vanilla beans and cinnamon; Cocolimon, a kettle sour with zested limes and shredded coconut, created in collaboration with Cerveceria de Colima in Colima, Mexico; Nopalito, a wheat beer with nopal, created in collaboration with La Cirquera from Querétaro, Mexico; and Poblano Pils, a smoked Mexican lager aged on smoked fresh poblano chiles.
Call to Arms Brewing re-releases Great Great Great Gam Gam Triple IPA as part of what it's calling McLovin Month — because they added more hops to it. In addition to being on tap, this 11.5 percent ABV beer will also be available in a limited amount of twelve-ounce cans (only 250 available).
Join Cerebral Brewing for the triple can release of Bird of Paradise Smoothie Style Sour, DDH Remote Island and Muscle Memory. Bird of Paradise, at 5.2 percent ABV, was soured with Lactobacillus and fermented with a clean American yeast strain and then conditioned on lactose, passion fruit and raspberry. DDH Remote Island is an 8 percent double-dry-hopped IPA brewed with oats and aggressively hopped with Galaxy, Motueka and Hallertau Blanc. There are "notes of guava, ripe melon, white grape and a hint of pine," the brewery says. And finally, Muscle Memory, at 5.2 percent, is Cerebral's flagship pale ale. It's "bursting with notes of grapefruit rind, orange marmalade and papaya." All three are available on draft an in four-packs of sixteen-ounce cans to go. The Adobo Food Truck will be out front starting at 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 9
Banded Oak Brewing is hosting a two-year-anniversary bash on June 9 from noon to 11 p.m, complete with two live music acts, a food truck and thirteen beers on tap, including everything from flagships to specialties. The beer lineup includes Pinky Promise, aged in a syrah barrel; ATOMGA Imperial Stout, aged in a Fireside Bourbon barrel; Belgian Blonde, aged in a cabernet barrel; Sofia’s Sour Gose, aged in a cabernet barrel; Belgian Dark Strong, aged in a cabernet barrel; French Lager, aged in a pinot barrel; Olde Ale, aged in a pinot barrel; Double IPA; Crenshaw Melon IPA; Vienna Lager; Table Saison; Kölsch; and Blood Orange Gose. Modern folk band Deborah Solo Trio will play from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., followed by funk band Sleazy Grease and Friends from 6 to 8 p.m. The Areyto Puerto Rican Food Truck will be serving fare all day. For those interested in a behind-the-scenes look into the brewery, Banded Oak will open the entire brew house for seating.
Denver Beer Co. hosts its second Sun Drenched Music Festival outside at its Canworks production facility in the Sunnyside neighborhood from 2 to 9 p.m. The summer beach party comes complete with sand volleyball and other beach games, plus food from El Jefe, the Mighty Burger and Hops & Pie. In addition, festival-goers will enjoy craft beer, a bouncy house and an outdoor beer garden. The music lineup features a mix of indie pop rock, funk and rock and roll from musical guests All Poets and Heroes, the Runnikine, the Guestlist, the Brevet and Con Brio. Tickets, $30, are available at sundrenchedmusicfest.com.
The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project will tap Chardonnay-Barrel Aged Peach Brett Belgian Session IPA. A collaboration with 105 West Brewing, this 5. percent ABV beer isn't bitter, "thanks to the tropical-citrus hops, bardyard funk from the brett and chardonnay-barrel aging," the brewery says. Rumichaka Eats will be on site.
Call to Arms Brewing taps McLovin, a 7.3 percent ABV single-hop IPA with all Colorado ingredients. It is the third of three hoppy tappings this week from CTA.
Resolute Brewing in Centennial hosts a release party for its newest beer, Transparently Trendy Hazy IPA, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The brewery will also unveil its new Crowler labels.
New Image Brewing in Arvada brings back Paul, a Vermont-style pale ale that was dry hopped with Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus. Find Paul on draft or take him home in four-packs of sixteen-ounce cans. There will be music on the patio, Crowler giveaways and other fun.
Something Brewery in Brighton is hosting a beach-themed party and Crowler release starting at noon. The brewery will release three beers in Crowlers: Peaches and Cream, Blackberry Sour and Blueberry Milkshake IPA. There will be no glassware, as people will drink from Crowlers only, the brewery says. Wear your swim/beach gear. Special limited-edition tall-boy twenty-ounce "Crowler" pint glasses will be given out to the first 130 people that purchase three or more Crowlers. Seasoned Swine will be there with food.
As it has done since 2012, Breckenridge Brewery will kick off Denver's Comic Con by tapping a special beer at a celebration at Punch Bowl Social. This year's beer is called Razznarok, and the brewery will give away free commemorative pint glasses while supplies last. The party starts at 9 p.m. and includes music from Blink 90210, a ’90s cover band. Breckenridge will also tap previous Comic Con beers: The Fantastic Pour from 2012; The Caped Brewsader from 2013; Brews Wayne, from 2014; Hulk's Smash from 2015 and I Am Brewt, from 2017.
Avery Brewing is throwing a massive blowout from noon to 5 p.m. that includes a whopping 200 beers from sixty different breweries. There will also be beer education sessions with Avery stalwarts Andy Parker and Travis Rupp. "We came up with the brewery invite list by polling our entire team — 200 employees — to ask what beer they want to see. There are no restrictions; the only qualifier is that it must be delicious," Adam Avery says. The Invitational is a brand-new event that replaces two other long-running and immensely popular Avery events: Sour Fest and Strong Ale Fest. Tickets are $40 at twoparts.com; proceeds benefit the Colorado Water Trust.
Primitive Beer, the brand-new brewery in Longmont that only makes spontaneously fermented, non-carbonated sour ales, will be back for its monthly release at noon. "We have a new release on cask and available to go in 1.5L boxes called Mild Wizardry," the brewery says. "It's a funky plum blend aged on fourth-use Palisade plums from Colorado. There are nice notes of dark stone fruit and a zippy tart finish all tied together with some healthy brett funk." The Scrooge Maki Japanese food truck will be on hand from 2 to 8 p.m.
The eighth annual Lake Dillon Brew Festival runs from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre and the Marina Park in Dillon. More than 25 members of the Colorado Brewers Guild will be serving beer. There will also be live music. Tickets are $35, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Guild.
Tuesday, June 12
There's only one time all year when Bierstadt Lagerhaus lets you break its only rule: that its lagers, in particular its Slow Pour Pils, be served and imbibed from the brewery's specialized glassware. And that's today, on the second anniversary of its first brew, in the Bierstadt brewhouse, when you can buy a full liter of pilsner for just $11. And since second anniversaries traditionally involve gifts of cotton, Bierstadt is calling this the Cotton Brewniversary. "Cotton seems perfect when you think about that beautiful pillowy head that sits so perfectly atop our Slow Pour Pils," the brewery says. "If you’ve ever asked for your Pils in a bigger glass, you may have been disappointed when we for sure told you, 'No way!' But June 12 is your day. Come drink a Pils the size of your head." There will be happy-hour snacks from 3 to 6 p.m. as well.
Thursday, June 14
Call to Arms Brewing will release Old Old Wooden Ship, a port barrel-aged sour saison with notes of ripe nectarine, grapefruit, guava and tart cherry. “You may remember a scene in Anchorman where Ron Burgundy thinks the term 'diversity' means an Old Old Wooden Ship,” says Jon Cross of Call to Arms. “Well, we could be wrong here, but we feel this name is very fitting for a beer aged in old old wooden barrels. And, it’s funny.” Call to Arms reserved a portion of Beautiful Impression, from its collaboration with the Brewtography Project, blended it with Pediococcus and Brettanomyces, and then let the saison age for seven months. "At 6.1 percent ABV, Old Old Wooden Ship is a dry and crisp fruity beer with a tart sour finish and lingering notes of soft oak," the brewery says. It will be available in a limited release of 375-ml bottles and draft starting at 3 p.m.
The second annual Vail Craft Beer Classic, running today through Sunday, is taking things up a notch by offering paired dinners, educational seminars and brewer-led activities like mountain biking and hiking. The four-day celebration kicks off Thursday with a Brewers' Dinner at the Vail Ale House ($65) featuring Crooked Stave Artisans and Fate Brewing. Friday's big event, meanwhile, is Sip at the Summit ($65), which takes place from 6 to 9 p.m.; for this, guests ride the gondola to the top of Vail Mountain for the highest-altitude beer tasting in the state (and possibly the country), with beers from thirty local breweries and paired bites. The centerpiece of the weekend, of course, is the Toast of Vail, which goes down Saturday, June 16, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the heart of Vail, adjacent to Solaris Plaza. There will be beer from more than fifty breweries nationwide, along with live bluegrass music. Other fest events include a fly-fishing class and boozy lunch; a mountain biking tour and guided tasting with Odell and Boulder Beer; and a hike and paired lunch with Horse & Dragon Brewing. Tickets to the various events range from $35 to $195 and can be purchased at vailcraftbeerclassic.com.
Saturday, June 16
Lowry Beer Garden will honor its sixth anniversary from 5 to 8 p.m. with a killer evening of house-smoked BBQ, Colorado craft beer and live music by the Royal Aces. Tickets are $30 at the door and include a plate of BBQ (vegetarian meal available upon request) and unlimited sample pours of more than 25 beers from Avery Brewing, Odell Brewing, Dry Dock, Horse & Dragon, Station 26, Ratio Beerworks, Cerebral Brewing and Epic Brewing. And as with everything else at the mostly outdoors venue, this will happen rain or shine.
River North Brewery will release bottles of Chai Mr. Sandman for the first time at noon. "Chai Mr. Sandman is a great example of when experiments just plain work," the brewery says. "Previously released as a one-off keg, this beer was such a hit, we had to brew a full batch." The El Taco Veloz food truck will be on hand.
Fiction Beer Company releases two beers on draft and in cans. The first is Hal, a New England-style IPA and a play of the Robot Librarian release from a couple weeks ago. It was brewed with five pounds per barrel of Galaxy, Medusa, and Lemondrop hops. The second beer is Do Not Touch the Flamingos Apricot Saison, which is made with a custom blend of six saison yeast strains and one pound per gallon of apricot.
The A-Town Funk Fest returns to Dry Dock Brewing's original South Dock taproom for the third year. This time around, Dry Dock invited some Aurora friends: Ursula Brewery, Peak to Peak Tap & Brew, and Launch Pad Brewery. More info is TBA.
The West Side Brewery Bus Loop returns from 2 to 10 p.m., continuously rolling between Joyride Brewing, Call To Arms, Zuni Street Brewing, and Little Machine. Start at whichever brewery you choose, then ride the loop all day for only $5 (there are two buses). Complete the loop at all four breweries and get a coupon for a free beer at the brewery of your choice on your next visit. Tickets can be purchased at your starting brewery.
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Friday, June 22
TRVE Brewing will celebrate its sixth anniversary, as always, with a two-day Bacchanal at the hi-dive featuring tasty beer and brutal music. Friday's lineup includes the bands Krallice, Wayfarer, FÓRN and Many Blessings. On Saturday, it will be Fister, Nothing Positive Only Negative, Worry and Voideater. Shows start at 8 p.m. Find tickets at ticketfly.com.
Saturday, June 23
In conjunction with Hogshead Brewing's sixth anniversary, the brewery will host a cask ale festival and crawfish boil. For $45, you get all the crawfish you can eat and cask ale from some of Hogshead's favorite breweries, including Westbound and Down, Comrade and Bierstadt Lagerhaus. "This is your only chance to drink the best of the best, all on cask and hand-pulled direct from the engines," Hogshead says.
Launch Pad Brewing in Aurora will release its limited French Toast Russian Imperial Stout at noon. There are only one hundred bottles and one keg available. The Wing Wagon Food Truck will be at the brewery.
The Rocky Mountain Beer Festival is back for its fourth year at the Louisville Community Park, a few blocks from historic downtown Louisville. Starting at 1 p.m., there will be beer from more than thirty Colorado breweries, like 14er Brewing, Asher Brewing, Beer By Design, Cerberus Brewing, Declaration Brewing, Elevation, Endo, Fate Brewing, Front Range Brewing and many more. There will also be ciders, mead, gluten-free beers and ice tea hybrids. In addition, guests will find lawn games and live music (The Sweet Lillies, FolkStrange Americans, and the Michael Hornbuckle Band. Tickets range from $20 to $45 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. Some proceeds will go to benefit the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center.