Four years ago, when I was researching a story profiling ten women brewers in Colorado, it was hard to find at least ten. While there were plenty of women in other facets of the industry — from marketing and management to finance and front-of-the-house — there just weren't that many on the brewhouse floor. How times have changed. Four years later, there are dozens of female brewers in Colorado, many in lead roles. That happy change will be evident today, International Women's Day and International Women's Brew Day, when women throughout the industry come together to get their malt and hops on.
At Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, brewer Aly Hartwig will host more than forty women who will make Unite, a collaborative beer celebrating the occasion. It is Hartwig's fourth year hosting a collaboration; others will take place at dozens of locations around the world. The Dry Dock beer is a mixed-culture saison that will be brewed with malt from Loveland's Root Shoot Malting. It will be tapped at Dry Dock's original South Dock location on Friday, March 24, during Colorado Craft Beer Week.
At Lone Tree Brewing, five women will brew Big Boots, an "ancient ale made with local honey," the brewery says. It will be tapped on April 5, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Pink Boots Society.
Oskar Blues in Longmont is a little off on the dates. It will tap its International Women's Day beer, She'Boogie Bop, on March 13, at all of its Colorado restaurants and taproom. To make this lavender vanilla cream ale, "the lady brew crew used a grain bill including corn, wheat and pilsner malt; then they got weird with it – adding real vanilla beans and lavender after fermentation. The music of Prince played while they worked, for added inspiration and style points," Oskar Blues says. “It’s pretty obvious that the production side of brewing is male-dominated," Oskar Blues brewer Diana Locatelli said in a statement. "I think ladies-only day was a rad way to celebrate being brew chicks."
Along with Locatelli, the team included cellar workers Kristin Hubbard and Sara Laurienti and brewers’ assistant Lauren Laquerre. All four women started out as homebrewers who have now translated their passion for great craft beer into jobs in the industry," the brewery says.
Wednesday, March 8
Zuni Street Brewing will open its doors at 2 p.m. today with a grand-opening party featuring four beers: a hoppy wheat ale, an IPA, a Belgian wit and a golden ale. Founded by TJ Slattery and Willy Truettner, the brewery aims to be an oasis in the city: full of trees and nourishing liquid. And to that end, it has been decorated with a gorgeous 53-foot-long wooden bar and beer rails, along with huge abstract tree sculptures. There are also two large patios, garage doors and an indoor-outdoor bar sure to help guests enjoy the outdoors in any season.
Alpine Dog Brewing taps another installment of its pilot-batch series today. This time, it's a Belgian IPA. Brewed with peppery Belgian yeast, the beer has a light body and massive tropical/citrus and white-grape hop character, the brewery says. It was hopped with Nelson and Citra.
The Brewability Lab will tap a new beer, a tart Raspberry Kettle Sour, today at 4 p.m.
Platt Park Brewing will continue its 11th Tap Project today with a salted caramel cream ale called Heaven in Hogsmeade. "This micro batch was brewed with caramel malt and Himalayan pink salt. We used a family recipe for the caramel sauce to give its unique flavor," the brewery says.
Thursday, March 9
"Technically it's still winter, but with seventy-degree days, it's starting to feel a lot like summer," says Renegade Brewing, which will release a new seasonal beer today called Summer Tan. The tangerine-infused double IPA comes in six-packs, and you can get a free one with the purchase of a pint.
Get a sneak peak of Dry Dock Brewing's new IPA today at a 6:30 p.m. party co-hosted by the Aurora brewery's original South Dock location and Thirst Colorado, a magazine. Dry Dock IPA is brewed and dry-hopped with Mosaic, Ekuanot and other hops varieties, imparting "hints of juicy mango, peach, pear and citrus aroma, with a silky oat finish." There will be swag, music and more.
Platt Park Brewing will tap a new beer today, the 4.2 percent ABV Irish Dry Stout. The brewery used EK Golding English hops. It has hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate.
Friday, March 10
TRVE Brewing will release bottles of Restarter, a beer made with peaches, cherries and apricots from last year's harvest, today in the taproom. "In late summer and early fall, our brewing team kill themselves to prepare for the fruit harvest," the brewery explains. "Driving hours to the Western Slope to get thousands of pounds of fruit at its absolute peak, and then working long, tiring days to process this fruit and get it into beer as quickly as possible. These beers always seem to be ready when the days start getting longer and the flora come out of hiding."
Fiction Beer Company will tap its newest beer, Deep Roots Bière de Garde, today at 5 p.m. Inspired by the novel The Life of Elves, by French author Muriel Barberry, the beer has "a light, earthy nose followed by flavors of almonds and roses. Initial taste gives way to a malty caramel sweetness that complements the nutty and floral character. Subtle earthy hop character and finish. A thick and rich mouthfeel that finishes dry and crisp," Fiction says. The brewery will also tap Doppleganger, a "New England-inspired juicy IPA with over four pounds of hops per barrel, including El Dorado, Idaho 7, Meridian and Citra."
Saturday, March 11
Platt Park Brewing will host a bottle-release party today at noon for two very small-batch beers. The first is Future Blind Tart Cherry Chocolate Stout. The second is Phunky # 2 Barrel Aged Belgian Amber Ale. The bottles are $18 each, and there is a limit of two each per person.
Fiction Beer will tap Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout and Irish Whiskey Imperial Stout today in honor of St. Patrick's Day next Friday. There will be live Celtic bluegrass at 8 p.m.
The Crafty Fox Taphouse & Pizzeria will celebrate its first anniversary today with special tappings, games and giveaways downstairs starting at 11 a.m. and a ticketed event upstairs at 3 p.m. with rare beers and live music. The upstairs tickets are $35 (there are only 100 available), and there will be live music from Blow the Vault, exclusive tappings of Ursula Brewery’s Jefferson’s Reserve Barrel Aged Imperial Crustless (Peanut Butter and Jelly Porter), and an Ursula/Wiley Roots/Crafty Fox collaboration, Vanilla Wafer Coffee Blonde Ale. There will also be an unlimited special menu for “grown-up kids.”
"We love it when the snow falls, but come March, we just want to roll up the garage doors, put on some Bob Marley, enjoy a tasty beverage and pretend winter's over." That's how Locavore Beer Works in Littleton describes the reasoning behind its Beach Party, which runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Locavore will tap Big Kahuna, a coconut porter on nitro, and a couple of other tropical surprises. The first forty customers will get a free Locavore Beer Works insulated tote bag. The Mango Bros, an "eclectic and entertaining" tropical-island duo, will be playing from 4 to 6 p.m. Roberts Italian Restaurant will have a pig roast complete with sides.
Left Hand Brewing will throw its fifth annual Hops+Handrails festival today featuring 150 mostly Colorado beers from more than 65 craft breweries, live music, a four-story (forty-foot high) ski-and-snowboard ramp, and a trick rail-jam competition. Gates open at 11 a.m. at Roosevelt Park, with riders starting their runs by noon. The music kicks off at 1 p.m. with Grant Farm; headliner Chris Robinson Brotherhood starts at 4:30 p.m. Local fare will be available from Abo’s Pizza, Georgia Boys BBQ, Hefe’s Tacos and Sisters Dumplings. Tickets, $40, include unlimited tastings and are available online at lefthandbrewing.com or at the event entrance. Proceeds benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation, SOS Outreach and Chill Foundation. To date, Hops + Handrails has raised more than $100,000.
Monday, March 13
Avery Brewing will release number 43 in its Barrel-Aged Series today: Tequilana, a sour ale that was aged in reposado and añejo tequila barrels for seven months. It will be available on draft at the Boulder brewery and will start to hit shelves across the nation throughout March. "Tequila barrels can be difficult to source, but Avery established a great relationship in 2013 with Suerte Tequila, whose headquarters are also in Boulder," the brewery says. "What began as an experiment has grown over the years, and Avery now has around 200 Suerte Tequila barrels on site. To ensure that the barrels do not dry out during their long journey from Atotonilco El Alto, Mexico, Suerte adds some tequila back into the barrels before shipping to Avery.
Molly’s Spirits in Lakeside and Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield will release the first beer in their Tarts & Crafts series: Cranberry Orange Sour Brown Ale. This collaboration will be the first of several beers released every other month for a year under the Tarts & Crafts series label. This beer will be sold in cans only at Big Choice and at Molly's (Big Choice will also have it on tap). There will only be 75 cases available.
Thursday, March 16
New Kids on the Block, the brewery-centered ’80s dance party and mini-beer fest, returns for its fifth year today at the Lobby. Hosted by the PorchDrinking website and blog, New Kids fetes breweries that are under two years old. "Festivities kick off at 7 p.m. with unlimited pours from approximately twenty of the best up-and-coming Colorado breweries, each showcasing two of their best beers," PorchDrinking says. "Additionally, the ’80s dance party will be rocking all night long with a live DJ. Be sure to dress the part, as we'll have brewery prizes for best-dressed outfits." Tickets are $30 through March 5, $35 through March 15, $40 the day of the event. Buy them at nightout.com.
Friday, March 17
Westfax Brewing in Lakewood will celebrate its first anniversary today and tomorrow by tapping Barrel Aged Tears of Our Enemies, Green Colfax Cream Ale and Nitro Dry Irish Stout. The brewery, which opens at 2 p.m., will also give away beer glasses to the first forty people to buy a beer and will hold raffles and giveaways. And finally, the ShaWING food truck will also be celebrating its one-year anniversary by hosting a chicken-wing-eating contest at 7 p.m.
Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield will host a sham punk-rock St. Paddy’s Day party starting at 2 p.m. The brewery will tap a traditional Red Irish Ale and play Irish punk music all night. "Forget your green beer, four-leaf clovers and green bowler hats, instead join us to celebrate the Pogues, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers, Flatfoot 56, the Real McKenzies, the Young Dubliners, the Blaggards and more," the brewery says.
Saturday, March 18
The best event during the annual Colorado Craft Beer Week, which runs today through March 25, is whatever one you are able to get to, either at your neighborhood brewery or restaurant, or at one that you go out of your way to enjoy. There are dozens of tappings and events going on across the state — many are TBA at the Colorado Craft Brewers Guild website — but each day during Colorado Craft Beer Week is broken down into themes this year. March 18 and 19 will focus on brewery tours and events that will allow you to meet the brewers; on Monday, March 20, breweries will host a variety of educational events, while Tuesday, March 21, will showcase brewers and chefs who team up to host beer dinners and special menus. Things kick into high gear on Wednesday, March 22, with Colorado Pint Day, when certain breweries will be giving away special 14er glasses when you buy a pint of beer. Thursday, March 23, is all about special tastings or rare or unusual beers, and Friday, March 24, will highlight beers made for Saturday's marquis event, Collaboration Fest. Friday is when breweries will host special tappings of their Collaboration Fest beers throughout the state, giving craft-beer lovers a chance to experience the vibe of Collaboration Fest. For more on the big March 25 festival itself, see the description below.
Ratio Beerworks will host its Stay Gold Spring Marzen Release Party today. Stay Gold is Ratio's take on the classic malt-forward Bavarian Märzen beer. Crewed with Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, the lager was fermented with a German lager yeast strain "for a crisp and clean finish, while showcasing German Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops to add a balanced hint of bitterness," the brewery says. Matt's Snack Shack will be on hand with brats and pretzels.
The Work From Home Beer Breakfast, complete with waffles and bacon, returns to Cerebral Brewing this morning from 10 a.m. to noon, and this time there's a barrel-aged version of Work From Home, a "breakfast" porter brewed with Vermont maple syrup and cold-brewed Colombian coffee roasted by Middle State and prepared by Cerebral's neighbors at the Lula Rose General Store. The barrel-aged version has been slumbering in Woodford Reserve barrels for twelve months. Tickets are $40 and include a screen-printed glass mug, a ten-ounce pour of Work From Home, a four-ounce taster of Barrel Aged Work From Home, and a waffle and side of bacon from Waffle Brothers. Additional pours of Work From Home are $5. There will also be cartoons on the big screen, and the brewery highly encourages you to wear your favorite pajamas. There might possibly be a best-dressed prize. Cerebral will also sell Barrel Aged Work From Home in bottles. Space is limited, and tickets are expected to sell out quickly.
Oskar Blues isn't going to can Gubna, its imperial rye IPA, for nationwide distribution anymore (though it will still send it out on draft), but the Longmont brewery will have cans for sale at the Tasty Weasel in Longmont. So get your Colorado feels on for this release party starting at noon. Truckstop Honeymoon, a "two-piece band with banjo, guitar, upright bass and a truckful of songs" will be playing, and Chuburger will be serving food. Each year for the past three, Gubna has been getting a new hop bill. This year it was brewed with whole-leaf Galena, as well as Columbus and Sorachi Ace. Gubna is then dry-hopped with prodigious amounts of El Dorado, Comet and Chinook hops, "creating a dank, dense, pineapple and lemon zest nose and unique blend of grapefruit, apricot, and herbs, while finishing clean and bitter. "
"Three years ago, a drunken group of brewers had a wild idea to start a rye festival," say the organizers of said event. "It turned out to be so much fun, we're doing it again — celebrating the Third Annual Rye Fest 2017." Eleven Denver breweries (mostly from the west side) will bring their versions of rye beers to the Brew of Broadway, where the garage doors will open onto the patio if the weather is nice. The breweries are: Barnett & Son, Black Sky Brewing, The Brew on Broadway, Caution Brewing, Chain Reaction Brewing, Fermaentra, Brewery Rickoli, Boggy Draw Brewing, Strange Craft Beer Company, Dead Hippie Brewing , and Halfpenny Brewing. There will be food from El Toro the Tot Food Truck and music from the Denver Celtics and The Rye Pushers. This is a fundraiser for the Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation.
Denver Beer Co. will host a popcorn-and-beer pairing with City Pop. DBC selected five of City Pop's seventy flavors and paired them with five beers. The event runs all day long at the Platte Street taproom. Tickets are $20 and include five half-cup servings of popcorn and five four-pours.
Westfax continues its one-year anniversary celebration at noon by pouring two of its newly released beers alongside a buffet from Mile High Cajun. The beers are Concussion Protocol Belgian Quad and Peach Saison. The brewery will also be giving away glassware and other merchandise.
Sunday, March 19
Fiction Beer Company will tap a new beer called Lupulin 'Ohana. It is a New England-inspired pineapple IPA with tropical, juicy flavors.
Friday, March 24
Boulder Beer Company is celebrating the end of Colorado Craft Beer Week by releasing its new spring beer, Hola Maria Mexican-style Ale. "Brewed with malted wheat for a soft mouthfeel and left slightly unfiltered for full flavor in a light crisp ale," the beer will be tapped at 1 p.m. Boulder Beer will also have a limited amount of each of its Collaboration Fest beers on tap: Coconut Curry Hefeweizen (brewed with Ska Brewing) and Ladyfingers, a Tiramisu Brown Ale (brewed with New Holland Brewing).
Open Door Brewing in Longmont will host a grand opening of its taproom today at 3 p.m. in the Prospect New Town neighborhood. There will be plenty of beer and food trucks.
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Saturday, March 25
Now in its fourth year, Collaboration Fest, hosted by the Colorado Brewers Guild, has grown into one of the state's largest, most creative festivals. But its aim is unique: The fest features more than 110 beers made collaboratively by more than 150 breweries around the state and the country (and even a few overseas), and showcases the distinctly collaborative nature of the craft-beer industry. "Every beer tapped at Collaboration Fest has a unique story, as two or more breweries come together to brew something special," event organizers say. Some will only be brewed once, while others will find so much success that they will take on a life of their own. Tickets, $60 for general admission and $85 for VIP, are available at collaborationfest.com. There will also be food vendors and live music. The festival runs from 4 to 7 p.m. (VIPs get in an hour earlier) at the National Western Complex.
Sunday, March 26
It's not summer yet, but that's not stopping Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield from hosting a Summer in Winter (spring, actually) party in order to tap its seasonal 10,000 Summers Saison. The brewery will be serving beer mimosas and beer ice cream floats in addition to the new beer. "Feeling brave? Show up in your swimsuit to receive a free pint," the brewery says. There will also be a summer-themed paint-and-sip party thrown by Pinot’s Pallets upstairs.
Saturday, April 1
Big Choice will tap the second beer in its Brown Bag Series: Chinook Bob-Omb IPA, today at 2 p.m. "This style is what we are calling a Colorado IPA," the brewery explains. "Colorado is known for its C-hops: Centennial, Cascade, Chinook and Columbus hops. We wanted to make a delicious, more flavorful IPA, less bitter than juicy NE IPAs, but with the standard hops, as opposed to the 'sexy' hops like Mosaic, Galaxy, and Citra. With the Chinook hop, we are proving you don’t have to use sexy hops to create a juicy IPA by varying the timing of the addition of the hops in the brewing process."