Liquid Mechanics Brewing cleaned up at the 2017 US Open Beer Championship, held last weekend in Oxford, Ohio. The Lafayette brewery won four medals: a gold for its highly regarded peanut-butter porter (for more on that, see our list of Eight Sticky Colorado Peanut Butter Beers), a silver for its Kolsch, and bronze medals for amber altbier and barleywine. The competition included more than 6,000 commercial and home-brewed beers from all over the world, representing 100 styles. The USOBC is the world's third-largest beer competition, after the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival.
Other Colorado breweries bringing home hardware included Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Blue Moon, Bootstrap, Weldwerks, Grimm Brothers, Locavore, Launch Pad, Denver Beer Co., Rock Bottom, Verboten, Crow Hop and Loveland Ale Works. Sadly, however, none of Colorado's 350-plus breweries cracked the list of the ten best. The complete list of winners can be found on the U.S. Open Beer Championship website.
Now, here are the best local craft-beer events and tappings through the end of July.
Wednesday, July 12
Platt Park Brewing, 1875 South Pearl Street, will tap a cask of its Colorado Common that was dry-hopped with Hull Melon hops. It is 5.5 percent ABV and is "the perfect summer sipper," the brewery says. "It is a lager fermented at ale temperatures, also known as a steam beer."
Thursday, July 13
Fire on the Mountain Buffalo Wings, 3801 West 32nd Avenue, will cede its taps to Cerebral Brewing tonight. The tap list includes Rare Trait IPA, Strange Claw IPA, Tandem Jetpack Double IPA and Local Traffic Saison.
Comrade Brewing, 7667 East Iliff Avenue, will tap Attack of the Drones at noon. The 6.1 percent ABV blonde ale was brewed with American pilsner malt, light caramel malt and wildflower honey from Clark's Honey Farms in Louisville.
Renegade Brewing will re-release its E3 Grapefruit Endpoint — with free beer! Purchase a ten-ounce pour and receive a free four-pack to go. The party starts at 5 p.m. at the main tap room at 925 West Ninth Avenue; naturally, the free beer won’t last long.
Platt Park Brewing will tap two beers that were originally on its opening-day tap list from three years ago. The first is Drop It Like It's HOP, a rye IPA with Simcoe and Rakau hops. "It tastes like fresh orchard fruits with a well-constructed bitterness," the brewery says. The second is Velvet Ninja Black Lager, a schwartzbier with a "light malt aroma and a deep amber color. The flavor sneaks up on you and is crisp with a touch of sweetness."
Jake's Brew Bar, at 2530 West Main Street in Littleton, will help High Water Brewing (from Chico, California) kick off its Colorado distribution at 4 p.m. by tapping five High Water beers: GABF gold-medal winner Campfire Stout; Breakfast Sour; La Petit Diablotin; and a cacao variant of a GABF bronze-medal winner, Aphotic Imperial Porter.
Friday, July 14
"Peel back the layers that comprise Undone Norwegian Pale Ale to reveal a beer that fuses modern-day innovation and deep historical roots," says Ratio Beerworks, which will tap this beer at 5 p.m. at 2920 Larimer Street. "The use of a traditional Norwegian yeast strain imparts a subtle earthy spiciness, rounded out with fragrant citrus esters found in classic Nordic kveiks [yeast]." To make the beer more contemporary, the brewers dry-hopped the beer with Cashmere, Amarillo and Idaho-7 varieties, "which combine to recall tropical fruit notes, such as mango and papaya, finishing with a smooth balanced bitterness. Finally the prominence of oats and white wheat round out Undone with a silky mouthfeel and mercurial hazy appearance."
Odell Brewing in Fort Collins will offer fans the first taste of Green Coyote tomatillo sour in its taproom. The beer "has had a long journey from the pilot system to package," the brewery says.
Saturday, July 15
Intrepid Sojourner Brewing, 925 West Eighth Avenue, will honor French National Day (which is actually July 14) with a party called the Bastille Day Celebration of Saisons. The brewery, which takes its inspiration from ingredients found all around the world, will convert its parking lot into a giant beer garden, or jardin de bière, and welcome in Resolute Brewing, CO-Brew, Cannonball Creek Brewing and Black Sky Brewery, which will all be pouring tasty French- and Belgian-style offerings. Intrepid Sojourner will tap a new Imperial Saison of its own, as well as other special releases every two hours starting at 2 p.m. In addition, there will be live music from Mikey and the Pikeys at 4 p.m. and food from Maine Street Barbecue.
Joyride Brewing will toast three years on Sloan's Lake with a block party on 25th Avenue between Sheridan Boulevard and Benton Street that will include live music from seven bands, three food trucks (Burger Chief, Turn-In BBQ, Johno's Food Truck), outdoor beer tents, a kids' zone and several beer releases. The fest begins at 11 a.m,. when Flying Splash Kicks take the stage in the parking lot across the street from the brewery. They'll be followed by Johnny Tarr at noon, Full of Mirrors at 1:30 p.m., Dirt at 3 p.m., Coambient at 4:30, Wandering Natives at 6 and Funk at 8 p.m. As for beer, Joyride brewed three different collabs to celebrate its three years, with Elk Mountain Brewing, Little Machine Beer and Hogshead Brewery. If you buy a pint of each of the collaboration beers, you'll receive a special-edition commemorative glass. There will also be a rare-beer tent with some aged specialties, including five different versions of Tour Time Barleywine.
Call to Arms Brewing, 4526 Tennyson Street, has enjoyed two years of "Quality. Community. Camaraderie," as its motto says, and plans to host a blowout second-anniversary Fun Fest from noon to 11 p.m. to thank its customers and fans. Activities include carnival games and prizes and live music from the Sparkplugs from 3 to 7 p.m.; there will also be food from the Burger Chief food truck, Mas Kaos and Raleigh Street Bakery. In addition, a variety of vendors will be on hand to break in the brewery's new patio. As for beer, there will be fifteen on tap, plus special releases and a noon bottle sale of Zany Razzy Winey Thing, a Brettanomyces IPA aged in white-wine barrels with raspberries.
Join Alpine Dog Brewing, 1505 Ogden Street, for a day of live music, limited-run beer releases, food and fun. Summer Sessions Volume 2 begins at 1 p.m. with a new Belgian-style Honey Blonde Ale and a limited chocolate-banana version of the same beer. Alpine Dog will then tap Pineapple IPA at 3 p.m.; Blackberry Wild Saison at 5; and the Dyatlov Pass Incident, a Bourbon Barrel Coffee Russian Imperial Stout with Death Wish Coffee, at 7 p.m. There will be live music from Random Temple and a food truck.
Comrade Brewing taps its American Hefeweizen at noon. The 5.3 percent ABV German-style wheat beer is "slightly hazy and hopped with Citra, and dry-hopped with even more Cira for good measure," Comrade says.
Living the Dream Brewing, at 12305 North Dumont Way in Littleton, will celebrate its third anniversary today and tomorrow with a variety of beer releases, VIP events (tickets required), live music and other activities. Some of the beers include BA Russian Imperial Stout; Belgian Quad; German Chocolate Cake and Smoked Wheat with Peaches. For all the beers that will be on tap, as well as much, much more information about the festivities, go to the brewery's Facebook page.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette will host Robot Uprising, an event highlighting the return of Robot Librarian, a New England-style IPA collaboration from Odd13, Cerebral, Fiction and Weldwerks. It will be in cans and on draft, but will not be distributed beyond the brewery. This time around, the brewery will also tap robot-themed beers from the other three breweries. More details are TBA. Doors open at noon.
The Lagers for Lumber festival, a charity fundraiser pouring only lagers from thirty different breweries, takes place from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Wibby Brewing, 209 Emery Street in Longmont. There will also be live music from four bands, a silent disco, 2 DJs, a pool party, a silent auction, a halo photo booth, dog/family interactive games, bobbing for hot dogs, tie-dying, life-sized Jenga, water slides and cornhole. Proceeds benefit local charities through Foothills United Way, Safe Shelter of the St. Vrain, and Left Hand Artist Group. For tickets, $40, and more information about the breweries and activities, go to the Lagers for Lumber website.
The Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar on East Main Street in Buena Vista is celebrating its first anniversary with a mini beer festival and live music from 2 to 6 p.m. Baere Brewing, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Cerebral Brewing, Elevation Beer Company and Melvin Brewing will be pouring during the fest. Live music will start on the outdoor stage at 3 p.m. with Boulder-based rock band Augustus, followed by Denver-based bluegrass band the River Arkansas at 6. The Jailhouse recently extended its liquor license to include the lot next door, which houses an outdoor stage called the Watershed BV – a shared community space – where all the live music will take place. There will be food from the Bearded Lady food truck, and the Jailhouse will be open before, during and after the fest, with service as usual and a special selection of beers filling its ten taps.
Monday, July 17
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will host a Colorado versus San Diego showdown pitting beers from the two areas against one another. The first team to kick three kegs wins. Colorado beers include Renegade Runaway IPA, Fate Morai, Telluride Tempter and Elevation Anniversary IPA. The San Diego tap list is Ballast Point Unfiltered Sculpin, Alpine Nelson, Port Brewing Mongo and Mike Hess Grapefruit Solis.
Breck on Blake, 2220 Blake Street, will also pit a Colorado brewery versus a San Diego one starting at 4 p.m. in order to note the fact that the Padres are in town to take on the Rockies. "Come see the home team, Renegade Brewing Company, face off against San Diego's Mike Hess Brewing Company...for a tap takeover like no other," the bar says. Each brewery will showcase three drafts in hopes of coming out on top.
Wednesday, July 19
The beer-soaked activists behind Makin Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer are back with new beers, new breweries and new causes today. Six breweries — Factotum Brewhouse, Colorado Plus, Grandma's House, Baere Brewing, Black Sky Brewing and Goldspot Brewing — will all tap beers made with Kveik, an ancient Norwegian yeast strain used in farmhouse-style beers. In the past, some of the money from the sale of the beer has been donated to a variety of charities that serve causes that are in particular danger because of the Trump administration's goals. These have included nonprofits benefiting LGBTQ groups, women's heath, the indigent and the environment. Here are details for this round: 11 a.m. at Black Sky Brewing (charity is NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado); 11 a.m. at Colorado Plus in Wheat Ridge (Colorado Water Trust); 2 p.m. at Baere Brewing (the Reciprocity Collective); 3 p.m. at Goldspot (Girls Rock Denver); 3 p.m. at Factotum (the Women's Foundation of Colorado STEM); and 4 p.m. at Grandma's House (Swallow Hill Music).
Thursday, July 20
Who says that barrel-aged beers are only for the winter? First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will put a bunch of then on starting today — "many of which haven't been available since Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow," the taproom says. The list includes: Firestone Walker Anniversary XX, Oskar Blues BA Ten Fidy, Lagunitas High Westified, Deschutes Abyss, Alesmith Nibs and Beans, New Holland Mexican BA Dragon's Milk, Firestone Walker Parabola, Perennial Abraxas and Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee.
Friday, July 21
Launch Pad Brewery, at 884 South Buckley Road in Aurora, kicks off its three-day third-anniversary celebration by tapping four barrel-aged beers, including a 2016 reserve. On Saturday, the brewery will host a Hawaiian-style pig roast (courtesy of Nokealoha) and release its Anniversary Brew-Archer's ALE (an imperial blueberry honey blonde). And on Sunday, Launch Pad will release its Birthday Cake Soyuz Stout and another top-secret beer. There will also be a brunch food truck and free cake.
Saturday, July 22
Hops & Pie, 3920 Tennyson Street, presents Hops Fest, starting at noon. Beers on tap include: Arizona Widerness Big Guy Rye and Estrella Pale Ale; Ecliptic Starburst; Two Roads Two Juicy and Road 2 Ruin; Russian River Blind Pig and Pliney the Elder; Alpine HFS; the Westbound & Down/Hops & Pie collaboration F&cked if You Do, F&cked if You Don't; Green Flash Spanish Trampoline; Comrade Grapefruit Superpower; Melvin Drunken Master and Asterisk; Ratio Undone; Cannonball Creek TBD; Odd 13 Lupulin Amnesiac; Uberbrew Re-Calibrated Wheat IPA; Crux Snake Eyes; and Call to Arms Ain't No Party Like a Mango Party.
The Colorado Let's Talk Craft Beer Facebook group brings back its periodic Beer Mob event, to shower some love on a deserving brewery — but for the first time, they will mob a non-brewery. Craft-beer lovers will descend on Southside Bar Kitchen, at 3014 East Colfax Avenue, at 4 p.m. Owner Dave Cleland is "a huge supporter of the local brewery scene/culture. It's time for CLTCB to turn the tables and show some support to a fantastic local craft beer bar," says the group. But that's not the only thing going on at Southside. Read below...
Southside Bar Kitchen will host a Makin' Noise Tap Takeover and will pour all six of the beers brewed recently as part of the Makin' Noise: A Pussy Riot beer program, which supports local charities. Baere Brewing, Black Sky Brewery, Colorado Plus, Factotum Brewhouse, Goldspot and Grandma's House all brewed Kveik-style farmhouse beers using the same strain of Norwegian yeast, but with their own unique ingredients.
Great Divide Brewing will release the fourth beer in its Local Knowledge series, a Zwickelbier with the addition of some unexpected hops. "This unfiltered German ale is malt-forward with tones of bread and toasted cracker and just enough earthy hop character for a crisp finish," the brewery says. "The addition of Mandarina Bavaria hops brings a surprise hint of tangerine and citrus." This very limited batch will be exclusively available on draft and in six-packs at the Great Divide Tap Room and Barrel Bar starting at noon.
The West Side Brewery Bus Loop returns from 2 to 10 p.m. with three new breweries. Here's how it works: Two shuttle buses run continuous loops between Little Machine, Hogshead, Call to Arms and Diebolt. You can start at whichever brewery you choose and ride the loop for only $5. Buses will leave each brewery about every thirty minutes. Complete the loop at all four breweries and get a coupon for a free beer on your next visit at the brewery of your choice. Tickets can be purchased at your starting brewery on the day of the event.
To the Wind Bistro, 3333 East Colfax Avenue, will host a five-course beer dinner with Ratio Beerworks with dishes from To the Wind chef Royce Oliveira and beers from Ratio's Jason zumBrunnen. Seating starts at 5 p.m., but dinner will be served throughout the night. Tickets, $59, can be reserved by calling the restaurant at 303-316-3333. The first course is Kanpachi crudo, lime chip, lime-cucumber gastrique and micro radish paired with Major Nights Lime Gose. For the rest of the pairings, go to the Facebook page.
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Monday, July 24
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will kick off its two-year anniversary week celebration today. During the course of the week, it will tap various anniversary collaboration beers, including: Fermaentra Sweet Milk Stout with Blueberries; Tivoli Dry-Hopped Pale Ale with Galena, Cascade, and Centennial; Locavore Hazy IPA with Simcoe, CTZ, and Chinook; Verboten Kentucky Common with Cherries; Odd13 DDH Economist with Mosiac, Azzaca, and El Dorado; 4 Noses Wild-Foraged Juniper Pale Ale with Simcoe and Citra; and more.
Friday, July 28
To celebrate seven years of brewing German-inspired beers, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland will turn its parking lot into a biergarten at 4 p.m. and will host live music, games for the kids and face painting. Also included will be Blood Orange Griffin Ice Cream, food by the Loveland Kiwanis Club, and specialty beer tappings: Bourbon Barrel Aged Master Thief and a mystery barrel-aged sour. Live music from Blind Alley Troubadours starts at 7. The festivities begin again on Saturday, July 29, with more live music, burgers and brats, and drinking games like hammerschlagen. And finally, the brewery will tap Snow Drop as well as the "seven dwarfs" — seven fruited versions of Snow Drop.
Saturday, July 29
Denver Beer Co. cools things down with its second annual Ice Cream Shandy Social at its original Platte Street location, where treats from Little Man Ice Cream and Rocky Mountain Soda Company will be scooped. The brewery has concocted five new shandies (half beer, half soda) with five different Rocky Mountain Soda flavors, while Little Man has chosen five unique ice cream flavors for the pairing. Tickets are $20 and include five four-ounce shandies and five mini ice cream scoops.