Some of Colorado's oldest breweries — including New Belgium, Great Divide, Avery and Left Hand, have revamped their beer lineups in recent months, and now one of the younger ones will make a big change as well. Boulder's Upslope Brewing will stop canning Upslope Pale Ale — the first beer off the line when the brewery got off the ground eight years ago — and replace it with Citra Pale Ale in the year-round lineup.
"For several years, Upslope brewers have worked on perfecting the Citra Pale Ale recipe; the beer has become an installment in the Upslope Tap Room Series as well as a tried-and-true favorite in its two Boulder tap rooms. The proven popularity of the beer and the distinct juicy hop character delivered by the Citra hops led to this evolution and the beer ultimately finding its way into a can," the brewery says. "The Citra Pale Ale is an American-style pale ale which prominently features Citra hops, delivering pungent grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas with a semi-dry finish. Juicy, floral notes imparted by the hops pair with the light malt character to balance it out. Like its predecessor, the Citra Pale Ale comes in at 5.8 percent ABV."
Here are this week's craft-beer events.
Platt Park Brewing
Wednesday, January 18
Platt Park Brewing will kick off a new series today called the 11th Tap Project, which it calls "an ambitious endeavor to push the limits of brewing." Each month, the brewery will tap a new beer made with "unusual, unique and bold" ingredients and will be very limited, since the beers are brewed on Platt Park's pilot home system. The first tapping will be at 3 p.m.; the beer will be Lobsterdamus, an American stout brewed with local Deiter's chocolate, savory spices and fresh Maine lobsters. "Yes, actual lobsters were used in the brewing of this beer," the brewery says.
Good River Beer Company will take over the taps at Ale House at Amato's today starting at 5 p.m., pouring at least four different beers, including Fu Fighter (Belgian golden ale), Gunny (German black lager), Class V (Colorado-style IPA) and American (authentic pilsner). The staff from Good River will be on site to tap the kegs and to talk about the beer and their pledge to Colorado's rivers. Good River, which has been in business for about a year, doesn't have a taproom, but contracts its beer elsewhere.
January is Coffee Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a different cask of coffee beer each Wednesday. This week's cask features a medium-bodied Brown Ale made with Honduras Marcala Honey Process from Pablo's Coffee, a smooth, robust roast with caramelized walnut and tart apricot flavors.
Thursday, January 19
Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada will tap Northern Exposure Maple Coffee Stout today at 3 p.m. The 8 percent ABV beer was brewed with grade-A maple syrup and coffee from local roasters Hunter Bay Coffee.
Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton has been cellaring some Elevation Beer Company Oil Man bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout for two years. After a two-year vertical tasting last year, Jake's is rolling out a three-year vertical this year. Come try Oil Man 2014, 2015 and 2016 at 4 p.m.
Upslope Brewing in Boulder will welcome the latest installment in its Lee Hill Series today from 5 to 9 p.m. at its original Lee Hill taproom. Volume II in the series, which is sold in 19.2-ounce cans, is Tequila Barrel Aged Barleywine, a 14.6 percent ABV colossus that was brewed to honor the 500th batch from Upslope's main production facility. The beer was aged eleven months in Dulce Vida Añejo tequila barrels; the brewery says: "Sweet, caramel-rich malts tangle with floral, rose-like tequila notes to tame the burnt-sugar oak character and generous alcohol warming." Cans are $10, with a limit of six per person.
Join Avery Brewing, New Belgium and Oud Beersel from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder for the World of Sours, a drinking and chatting event. Avery's Andy Parker, New Belgium's Lauren Salazar and Oud Beersel's Gert Christiaens will be on hand to geek out and answer questions about sour beers. Brews on tap include: Oud Beersel Unblended Lambic, New Belgium/Oud Beersel Transatlantique Kriek; New Belgium/Oud Beersel Cherry Kissed Oscar (Oud Beersel Kriek blended with Love Oscar and aged in original 1997 La Folie wine barrels); New Belgium Love Apple Felix (Felix aged in Leopold Apple Whiskey barrels); New Belgium La Folie, Le Terroir and Tartastic; and Avery Liliko'i Kepolo, Raspberry Sour, Fortuna, Bad Buddha and Certatio Equestrius.
The brewers of Makin' Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer will tap their creations on Friday.
Friday, January 20
The five breweries that were involved in brewing Makin' Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer will all tap their creations today, Donald Trump's inauguration day. The beer, which was brewed entirely by women, is an imperial saison, but each brewery made it with a different ingredient. "This beer works to combat the hate and oppression while also lending support and solidarity to the fight for equality," say the organizers of the protest brew, Bess Dougherty and Kelissa Hieber. "We believe in this beautiful community, and we feel it is necessary to work together to protect it. We believe in an America that celebrates its diversity, an America that protects and supports anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, identity, race, religious views or immigration status." A portion of the proceeds will be donated to five different charities.
Goldspot Brewing will tap its version of the beer, which was made with strawberries. For every pint sold, $1 will be donated to One Colorado, a GLBTQ advocacy organization; there will also be a food truck and live music at 7 p.m. Brewability Lab will tap Makin' Noise, made with acai, at 3 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will go to Parillume’s SHINE Soirées: "free monthly events open to the community that celebrate the triumph of the human spirit in the aftermath of sexual violation," Brewability says. Black Sky Brewery will tap its beer, made with peppercorns, and donate $2 from every pint sold to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Three Freaks Brewing in Highlands Ranch will tap its version, made with lavender; $1 of each pint will be donated to Conservation Colorado. The fifth brewery, Lady Justice, doesn't have its own taproom, so it will tap its beer at Syntax Physic Opera at 4 p.m.; proceeds go to the ACLU. Visit all five locations between today and Sunday and get a punch card to receive a sticker pack and a BOGO card.
"What the world needs now is love, sweet love!" That's the word from Black Shirt Brewing, which will tap Love at All Cost Passion Fruit Double IPA today at 11 a.m. to mark inauguration day. Draft pours are $2, while Crowlers are $5. The beer, "hopped to the gills with Galaxy hops," was a collaborative effort of Black Shirt and resident artist and brewery friend TiredPirate.
Platt Park Brewing saved this 6.5 percent ABV beer just for today, inauguration day: Colorstorm, a copper-colored IPA, was brewed with Rikau and Simcoe hops to "provide a subtle apricot, passion fruit and pine resin taste," the brewery says, adding "without being too political...just to drink a tasty, high ABV beer for what appears to be an interesting day for our country."
Southside Bar & Kitchen will host a tap takeover for Jessup Farm Barrel House today at 4 p.m. Jessup is a small startup brewery in Fort Collins that operates out of a farm building and specializes in wood-aged, lower-alcohol beers. Southside will tap three of those beers: Wheelhouse, a 6.8 percent ABV bourbon barrel-aged brown ale; UB Forty, a 5.3 percent red-wine-barrel-aged red ale; and Wood Knot, a 7 percent black ale aged in Stranahan's barrels.
Colorado Plus Brewery holds its third Big Barrel Aged Beer Festival today through Sunday featuring a wide variety of rare or one-off imperial stouts, imperial porters, barleywines and other barrel-aged beers. Breweries include: Avery, Dry Dock, Epic, Verboten, Breckenridge, Great Divide, Rock Bottom and Wynkoop.
Come party with Uncle Olaf, Ursula Brewing's Norwegian Farmhouse Ale. The beer, which will be released in bottles, has "subtle hints of orange peel and citrus and its perfectly subdued flavor from steeped Juniper branches," the brewery says. "This very traditional style ale is served just slightly carbonated, to be reminiscent of how it was originally enjoyed."
Drop by Copper Kettle Brewing for a Czech Pilsner, which returns today starting at noon. Donatella's Pizza Food Truck will be on hand.
Caution Brewing will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a two-day party starting today at 3 p.m., when the Lakewood brewery will tap Comacho 2020 American Strong Ale and other beers. There will be music from the One And Only Jon Ham from 7 to 10 p.m., along with swag giveaways and other shenanigans.
Cannonball Creek Brewing
Saturday, January 21
Sloan's Tap & Burger will host an after-party for the Women's March on Denver today at 3:30 p.m., featuring the tapping of two beers made by women: Makin' Noise, A Pussy Riot Beer; and Kaffeina. Organized by Sloan's Tap owner Juan Padro and bottle-cap artist Amanda Wilshire, the event will also include conversations with several women in the community who fight for human equality. They include: Amanda Moore-McBride (dean of the graduate school of social work at the University of Denver), Bess Dougherty (co-creator of the Pussy Riot beer project), Laura Bond (principal of Laura Bond, Ink. and former music editor at Westword), Bridgette Brown (Crafty Ladies Beer Club), and Wanda James (CEO of Simply Pure dispensary and president of the Cannabis Global Initiative). Proceeds from the sale of the beers will go toward Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen will hold its third annual barrel-aged-beer festival, pouring fourteen rare barrel-aged beers from nine different breweries. There will be two sessions: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Tapping begins at 11 a.m., with a full food menu, including brunch, until 3 p.m.
Fermaentra Brewing will release the latest two bottles in its barrel-aged series today: Red Wine Barrel Aged Canticle, a Belgian dubbel; and Chardonnay Barrel Aged Saleos, a Belgian golden strong ale. Both are suitable for aging, the brewery says, and both "present a unique twist upon the base beer, as aspects of the wine barrel have intertwined with the fruity esters of the Belgian brew." Each 375ml bottle costs $10, with a limit of four per person. The beers will also be on draft.
Caution Brewing will celebrate its fifth anniversary today starting at noon, when it taps its first Belgian Citric Sour Ale and other beers. The Lakewood brewery will also feature live music from the Amazing T Strickland from 7 to 10 p.m., plus swag giveaways.
Nighthawk Brewing in Broomfield will celebrate its two-year anniversary all weekend long with a variety of special beer releases and other fun and games.
Cannonball Creek Brewing in Golden will celebrate its fourth anniversary today and tomorrow with a variety of tappings, food and music. Today the brewery will tap its anniversary beer, Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Almond Chocolate Stout, along with other special beers. Roaming Bull Brasserie will prepare Belgian-style mussels and frites from noon to 5 p.m., and Rolling Dough will be on hand from 5 to 11 p.m. Gold Mine Cupcakes will also serve dessert. There will be live music by Ol' Hickory from 7 to 10 p.m. Proceeds from this event benefit Clothes to Kids of Denver.
Sunday, January 22
Cannonball Creek Brewing in Golden will continue its fourth-anniversary celebration today by tapping its anniversary beer, Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Almond Chocolate Stout, and other beers. There will also be a brunch-inspired menu from Rolling Dough and live music from Midnight Shakedown from 1 to 4 p.m. Proceeds from this event benefit Environmental Learning for Kids.
Wednesday, January 25
Boulder's Upslope Brewing will unveil its new year-round canned beer, Citra Pale Ale, today at 5 p.m. at Hops & Pie. The 5.8 percent beer replaces Upslope's flagship Pale Ale in the lineup. "The Citra Pale Ale is an American style pale ale which prominently features Citra hops, delivering pungent grapefruit and tropical-fruit aromas with a semi-dry finish. Juicy, floral notes imparted by the hops pair with the light malt character to balance it out," the brewery says.
Platt Park Brewing will follow up on its Colorstorm IPA from last week with the 4 percent ABV Session Storm IPA today. Brewed with Rikau and Simcoe hops, "it yields a beautiful blend of tangerine and citrus flavors," the brewery says.
Every fourth Wednesday, from 6 to 9 p.m., Black Shirt Brewing teams up with Shauna from The Long I Pie Shop for a pairing of four beers and four pies. The price is $20 per person. No advance tickets necessary; go to Black Shirt's Facebook page for TBA info on the pairings.
Thursday, January 26
Ratio Beerworks celebrates the return of One Great City Belgian Quadruple at 5 p.m. "Built upon the wings of innovation and artistic creativity, this is a city that provides fuel and is fueled by its people. This beer in many ways, is our anthem for a new tomorrow, singing the praises of the City of Denver," Ratio says, grandly. "One Great City is a big, yet balanced beer, imparting bold raisin and dark fruit esters. It pays homage to the old world, while also channeling the new age of brewing through the use of classic Belgian abbey ale yeast, Chinook hops and Caramunich 2, Special W malts... The result is a beautiful elegant quad, that imparts both smooth toffee notes but also packs a punch."
Seedstock Brewing will tap its first-ever Imperial IPA today at 5 p.m. There will be food from Rocky Mountain Cheesery.
Boulder's Upslope Brewing will unveil its new year-round canned beer, Citra Pale Ale, today at 5 p.m. at its Flatiron Park tap room. The 5.8 percent beer replaces Upslope's flagship Pale Ale in the lineup. "The Citra Pale Ale is an American style pale ale which prominently features Citra hops, delivering pungent grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas with a semi-dry finish. Juicy, floral notes imparted by the hops pair with the light malt character to balance it out," the brewery says.
Friday, January 27
The owners of Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales will celebrate their third year of owning a brewery today and tomorrow with a series of new beer releases, paired food tastings, and an on-site public cellar release that begins at 2 p.m., when the brewery will pop bottles of previous releases. The pairings will begin at 6 p.m., when Brewed Food will be in the house with a special menu ($25 per person; thirty tickets available). The first pairing is Oxcart with a kimchi pancake, pickled cucumber and blueberry barbecue sauce. To see the rest, go to Black Project's Facebook page.
"In a world of ever changing stylistic interpretations and those who follow sanctimonious guidelines, its always nice when you can just drink a beer that was made because it just sounded too good not to." That's how Mockery Brewing describes Brett The Hopman Tart, an 11.9 percent ABV bourbon-barrel-aged sour IPA, which it will release today in bottles at 2 p.m. "We started off with a kettle sour base, then added a unique combination of Mandarina Bavaria, Simcoe and Citra hops in the boil," Mockery says. "After primary fermentation, the beer was thrown into Breckenridge Bourbon barrels where two wild yeast strains were waiting to get their licks in. And what would a barrel aged, wild fermented, sour IPA be without a healthy dose of dry hopping? Yep, that was our finishing move."
The owners of Freshcraft need to empty out their cellar to make room for beer, so starting at 5 p.m. today and running through the weekend, they'll host their first-ever Cellar Drain. Over the three days, Freshcraft will tap at least twenty rare beers, including barrel-aged stouts, sours and wild ales. Today's beers include Denver Beer Co Drama Queen, Ratio Beerworks Genius Wizard, The Bruery Mash & Vanilla, Almanac Beer Co Dynamo Barrel Noir and Green Flash Cellar 3 Blanc Tarte Barrique. For more details on times and how the tappings will work, go to Freshcraft's Facebook page.
New Image Brewing in Arvada will tap the first beer to come from its seven-barrel pilot brewing system, Vermont Pale Ale, today at 5 p.m. "This beer is a first draft for one that we plan to add to our lineup of cans this summer," New Image says. "Brewed with five pounds per barrel of American hops, this will be one of the most hop forward beers that we've brewed to date, and at 5 percent ABV, it will go down easy. "
Copper Kettle Brewing will host a limited release of Sobremesa, its English strong ale aged in tequila barrels with lime and agave, on tap today. The beer will make you feel like you're kicking back on the beach, with your toes in the water, basking in the sun. The Tony Guacamole Food Truck will be on hand.
Sanitas Brewing in Boulder is doing a Winter Warmer Weekend starting today and running through Sunday. The tap room is featuring some bigger beers "that have been aged and amped up with fun additions of spice and fruit," Sanitas says. They include: Devil's Sword, Rye Grand Cru, Rye Abbey with Cherries, Cinnilla Stout, Coffee BIPA and more. There will also be a taco-tasting flight from McDevitt Taco.
The Winter Brew Fest takes place today and tomorrow at Mile High Station. This indoor/outdoor event includes more than one hundred beers, food vendors and live music. Get tickets at denverbrewfest.com.
River North Brewery
Saturday, January 28
Colorado Plus Brewpub in Wheat Ridge will host a tap takeover of the five collaborative beers made by the five breweries involved in Makin Noise: A Pussy Riot Brew. Brewed by Gold Spot, 3 Freaks, Lady Justice, Brewability Lab and Black Sky, along with more than two dozen other interest brewers and women from around Colorodo, the beer is an imperial saison. Each one was made with a different fruit. Sales from the various beers went to support a variety of charities that help people who have felt threatened with the Trump inauguration. Colorado Plus will donate $1 of each beer sold to ProgressNow Colorado. They will also be featuring a specialized flight with all five of the Makin Noise beers.
River North Brewery will re-release its Barrel Blonde today at noon. The beer is a Belgian-style blonde ale that was aged in whiskey and cocktail barrels. It will be available only in the taproom in bottles and on draft. There will also be New Mexican street food by Roadrunner.
The owners of Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales will celebrate their third year of owning a brewery today with a series of six new new beer releases every hour on the hour starting at 3 p.m. There will be food by Waffle Up and Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese.
Spangalang Brewing will try to cure your cabin fever today with its Wintertide Social, a daylong series of tappings, live music and food. At noon, Spangalang will tap two brand-new beers: Dr. Silly Pilz, a pilsner "with a huge dose of hop character and a crisp malt backbone"; and Hop Zwickle, an unfiltered pale lager that is "heavily hopped with the fruity and tropical hops more typically found in New England-style IPAs," the brewery says. Zivix Kitchen will provide a limited number of cheese and charcuterie plates meant to be paired with the beers. Then at 4 p.m., Spangalang will release about sixty 750-ml bottles of Big Fluffy Snowcat, which was fermented with Brettanomyces and aged in red-wine barrels for six months before being dry-hopped. The Mike Schwartz Band will go on at 6:30 p.m.
Join Ratio Beerworks and Novo Coffee for the Cool Beans Beer & Coffee Festival today, a celebration of beer, coffee and coffee beers that showcases "the diversity of flavors that can emerge from differing coffee bean varieties, various levels of roasts, and how all of those flavors can be highlighted or enhanced when infused in an array of beer styles," Ratio says. For $25, attendees get tasters of every coffee beer on tap, a full pour of one Ratio beer, a special treat from the Real Dill, pour-over coffee from Novo, doughnuts from Glazed and Confuzed, a breakfast burrito from Illegal Pete's, and a commemorative Cool Beans Beer & Coffee Fest tasting glass. The beers are Cascara Dear You; Cascara Rented World; Novo Espresso Hold Steady; Novo Espresso Genius Wizard; Oakland Coffee Roast Domestica; and Dirty Chai Hold Steady.
The owners of Freshcraft need to empty out their cellar to make room for more beer, so at 11 a.m. today, they'll continue their first-ever Cellar Drain, tapping plenty of rare beers, including barrel-aged stouts, sours and wild ales. Some of today's offerings include Avery Brewing Company Quivering Lip; Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales Dreamland; Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Nightmare on Brett Cherry; Destihl Brewery Dosvidanya Rye; Dry Dock Brewing Cassidae; Epic Brewing Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist; Left Hand Oak Aged Wake Up Dead; Funkwerks Red Wine Saison; Oskar Blues Barrel Aged Death By Coconut; Odell Brewing Zard Alu Sour; River North Brewery Whiskey Quandary; Station 26 Brewing 4 Roses Bourbon Barrel BarleyWayne; Sun King Brewing Batch 666: Sympathy for the Devil; Upslope Brewing Ferus Fluxus 2014; Wicked Weed Brewing Dark Age.
10 Barrel Brewing, which is one of nine formerly independent craft breweries that were purchased recently by Anheuser Busch InBev, will host a block party today from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Walnut Street, which will be closed to cars between 26th and 27th streets. The Oregon-based brewery will tap its Pray for Snow Winter Ale. There will also be live music, food, giveaways and a rail jam. Admission is free.
Sunday, January 29
Station 26 Brewing will host a bottle release for its Barrel-Aged BarleyWayne — in three varieties — today starting at 1 p.m. Pours and bottles of the following will be available: Calvados Barrel Aged BarleyWayne (11 percent ABV); Cognac Barrel Aged BarleyWayne (11.9 percent ABV); and Scotch + Port Double Barrel BarleyWayne (12.4 percent ABV). There will also be draft-only pours of Bourbon Barrel Aged BarleyWayne.
Friday, February 3
Verboten Brewing in Loveland celebrates its fourth anniversary today by releasing bottles of an anniversary blend of its 2015-2016 barrel-aged beers. The brewery will also release bottles of Clown's Prayer, an imperial strong ale aged in bourbon barrels and conditioned on tart and sweet cherries.
Saturday, February 4
Wyoming’s Melvin Brewing is once again celebrating its award-winning 2x4 IPA across the U.S. today with 2x4 Day. "The swag, the hip-hop, the ninjas, and – of course – Melvin’s 2x4 will all be out to party," the brewery says. Oh, and the brewery will also have WWE hall-of-famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan — whose trademark is carrying around, yes, a two-by-four length of wood — helping out as spokesman. In Denver, there will be events at the Crafty Fox, Falling Rock, Finn's Manor and Hops & Pie. There will also be tappings at Backcountry Tap House in Boulder, Tap & Handle in Fort Collins, Brewer’s Republic in Colorado Springs, and the Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar in Buena Vista.
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Join the folks from the Colorado Let's Talk Craft Beer Facebook group as they throw their support behind the Brewability Lab as part of the Beer Mob, a continuing effort to show some love to breweries that don't get that much attention. Brewability Lab hires adults with developmental disabilities and was founded by special education teacher Tiffany Fixter. The brewery is open from 2 to 9 p.m., and the Mob is from 4 to 7 p.m. Food truck info is TBA.
Eight Colorado breweries will go head to head with their best beer at the first Beer Fight Club, which takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Larimer Beer Hall. You can taste small batch and exclusive beers and also help pick the winner. There will be free sliders provided by Larimer Beer Hall and unlimited tasters of the competing beers until they are gone. Go to nightout.com for more info.
Monday, February 6
Join 38 State Brewing Company in Littleton and the Chocolate Therapist from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a beer-and-chocolate pairing and tasting. For $30 you get five five-ounce beer tasters and ten different chocolate bites. "Each beer is carefully paired with two chocolates," the brewery says. "It was quite a process...but hey, someone's gotta do it." Pre-puchase is highly recommended. Get information about the brewery and the various pairings on 38 State's Facebook page.