Things are little quiet on the beer scene this week. That's because hundreds of Colorado brewery owners and representatives are in Washington, D.C., for the annual Craft Brewers Conference, which takes place in a different city each year. Because of its location this time around, the trade show and conference, hosted by the Boulder-based Brewers Association, is happening in conjunction with the annual Hill Climb, in which craft-beer industry people from around the country converge on the Capitol to talk to legislators.
"The day began with a briefing so Hill Climbers knew what to expect as they entered Congressional meetings," the Brewers Association reported on Facebook. "Armed with their schedules and talking points, the group set out to meet with staff from offices of nearly every U.S. state. At the top of the list of topics was the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Introduced at the beginning of the 115th Congress, this legislation would lower the federal excise tax paid by craft brewers. Brewers explained that a recalibration of the tax rate would allow them to reinvest in their companies, creating the opportunity for more local manufacturing jobs. If their member of Congress was not yet a co-sponsor, they encouraged them to come on board."
Now, here's our calendar of the best craft-beer events through April 29.
Wednesday, April 12
Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales will tap Tomcat, a Laws Whiskey-barrel-aged, 12-percent ABV imperial stout at 4 p.m. The beer was brewed with "a strain of yeast foraged from our neighbor's apple tree," Black Project says. "Bold, roasty, dry with a smooth vanilla, bourbon and oak finish. This is an experimental stout using wild yeast to create a complex and robust beer that is not sour."
Thursday, April 13
Comrade Brewing will tap Single Hop Simcoe IPA, the eighth in Comrade's single-hop series, today at noon. The 5.7 percent ABV beer was brewed "with American Pilsner malt and Simcoe. Double dry-hopped. Bright straw-yellow color with dank pine, grapefruit and a light earthy note," Comrade says.
Friday, April 14
At 2 p.m., Mockery Brewing will tap Funken Stupor, a collaboration beer with Novel Strand, which is a Denver brewery-in-planning. The pale ale was fermented entirely with two strains of Brettanomyces: "Brettanomyces bruxellensis Drie (Drie) and Brettanomyces clausenii (C)," Novel Strand says. "Drie fermentation brings awesome flavors of tropical fruit, and this pairs well with a lightly spicy and delicate, earthy funk delivered by Brett C. To finish it off, we dry-hopped this beer with a hefty amount of Citra and Mandarina Bavaria hops. The finished product is dry, refreshing, fruity, funky, spicy, and mighty drinkable at only 6.3 percent ABV.
Beryl's Beer Company in River North will tap its Strawberry wit, called Strawberry, Gaarden — a very limited beer — at 1 p.m.
Alpine Dog Brewing will bring back its beloved Belgian dubbel at 5 p.m. The beer, called the Notorious MONK, is "dark with rich fruit and pepper notes."
Strange Craft Beer Company will tap a firkin of its experimental Kumquat Pale Ale at 2 p.m. "This fruity pale has a story of its own to tell beer enthusiasts," the brewery says.
Crooked Stave will release Surette Reserva Blueberry at 5 p.m. "This is a provision sour ale aged in oak barrels with Washington blueberries," the brewery says. It is available on draft and in 750ml bottles for $30.
Saturday, April 15
Spangalang Brewery will celebrate its second anniversary by releasing three or four new beers and hosting a pig roast (at 2 p.m.) with live music. The brewery will also re-release several beers. "Roasting the pig will be chef Kyle Foster (opening Julep in the RiNo neighborhood) and Tyler Dubois, co-owner of the Real Dill," Spangalang says. "Zivix will be providing delicious sides and other options as well." The Michael Schwartz Band will go on at 7 p.m.
Renegade Brewing is adding a new beer, Runaway IPA, to its year-round lineup and will celebrate tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. And if you buy a pint between those hours, you get a free Runaway pint glass and a six-pack of the beer, while supplies last. Humble Monster Screen Printed Goods will be doing live screen-printing of Runaway shirts.
Ursula Brewing will release its original Crustless PB&J porter at noon. The beer, which will also hit distribution after the taproom release, is $10 per 22-ounce z bottle or $6 for a ten-ounce pour. The brewery will also have a very limited amount of Imperial Barrel Aged Crustless. This will not be hitting distribution, and it's likely to be gone by the end of the day. A small amount of Crustless glassware will also be available.
Alpine Dog Brewery will tap a new beer, Hazy DIPA, part of its pilot-batch program, at 6 p.m. The New England-style IPA was brewed with Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe hops.
Tuesday, April 18
Big Choice Brewing will celebrate Tax Day (and death and taxes) by tapping Hemlock Imperial IPA, aged for eighteen months in Port barrels. "This baby has a balanced sweet flavor with hints of chocolate and roasted malts keeping the onslaught of warrior, centennial, Columbus and cascade hops in check," the brewery says. "Owe the man some money? Bring in your tax return that shows you have to pay Uncle Sam and we'll give you a free regular pint on the house. (Hemlock is excluded from the free pour)."
Thursday, April 20
Join Station 26 Brewing for Smoke Em If You Got Em, when the brewery will tap three small-batch creations: Lapsang Souchong Copper (American Copper with a smoked black tea); Smoked Salted Chocolate Porter (smoked cacao nibs and sea salt); King Danquet (the last keg of King Creamson, the brewery's imperial cream ale, with a massive dose of dry hops).
TRVE Brewing will bring back its 10 percent ABV double IPA, Nazareth, today at 4:20 p.m. The beer was initially created in 2013 as an ode to the song "Dopesmoker," by the band Sleep.
Friday, April 21
Copper Kettle Brewing kicks off its three-day-long sixth-anniversary party tonight with its annual staff beer showdown. "Each of our bar staff will be pairing up to brew with one of our talented brew crew to create special beers for this competition," Copper Kettle says. "We let you decide whose brewing reigns supreme, and the winner's beer will be featured on a full-sized batch." Beers include Rye Schwarzbier Black Lager; Prickly Pear Gose; Passionfruit Berlinerweisse; and Cilantro Lime Kolsch. There will also be live music from the Dollhouse Thieves and food from Pavy's Food Truck and Tony Gaucamole.
Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield will kick off a five-week-long Beer Name Gose Here Contest by tapping Pineapple Gose. "For five weeks we will release a limited Gose beer with different flavors. Beer drinkers can grab a punch card, try all five beers, and get a sixth pint free," the brewery says. "The best part about this is we want you to name the best of the Gose beers. Customers can submit the name for each week’s style; at the end of the five weeks, the Goses will be ranked via social media, and a customer name for the top ranking style will be picked. We’ll brew up a special batch of this beer, can it for an exclusive taproom release, and the individual whose name we choose for the Gose will have their name printed on the label and will get two free six packs of the newly minted Gose. This will all lead up to the Mid-May release of our traditional Lime Gose." The contest takes place every Friday. The following week’s styles are as follows: April 28, Prickly Pear Gose; May 5, Basil Mandarin Gose; May 12. Tart Apple Gose, and May 19, Pomegranate Gose.
Saturday, April 22
To help support the construction of affordable homes, 21 Denver-area craft breweries, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, will participate in Hops for Homes, a beer fest and fundraiser taking place today at Great Divide's RiNo location. There will be two sessions, with 400 tickets available for each — and the potential to raise $20,000 for Habitat for Humanity. This summer, brewery employees will volunteer to help build a home (The House That Beer Built) in the Sheridan Square Development, which will then be sold to a local low-income family. "The need for affordable housing has never been greater in Denver. In fact, metro Denver has the highest home prices of any U.S. city not located on a coast," Habitat says. Participating breweries include Boggy Draw, Call to Arms, Cerebral, Crazy Mountain, Dead Hippie, Declaration, Diebolt, Dry Dock, Epic, Fiction, Great Divide, Grist, Living the Dream, Mockery, Ratio Beerworks, Renegade, Resolute, Seedstock, Station 26, 4 Noses and 38 State. Additionally, each brewery will be hosting individual fundraising events and promotions to raise more funds for Habitat. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to HabitatBeerBuild.org.
Comrade Brewing will celebrate its third anniversary today with a blowout from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. There will be twenty different beers on tap, including Wheated Bourbon Whiskey BA Quit Stalin; Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey BA Quit Stalin; Grapefruit Superpower; 2016 Quit Stalin; 2016 Kentucky Barrel Aged Quit Stalin; and BA Vanilla Coffee Quit Stalin (at 5 p.m.) "Our limited-edition glassware for the anniversary party is a Rastal Craft Master Two, which has spiral nucleation — giving your beer constant bubbling," the brewery adds. "These will be available in the taproom in limited quantities."
Make some noise with the breweries who are part of Makin Noise V2, an Earth Day Tapping. Five breweries made five distinct rye beers, each of which will be used to raise money for an earth-related nonprofit; $1 from each pint goes to charity. Goldspot Brewing will donate to Protect Our Winters; 3 Freaks will give to Sierra Club Rocky Mountain; Renegade is raising money for Denver Urban Gardens; Spangalang Brewery to the San Rafael Community Garden; and Caution Brewing to Groundwork Denver. The organizers began their effort in January with Makin Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer as a way to raise money and awareness for nonprofits fighting inequality. The project has since expanded and there will be a new tapping with new breweries in each quarter of the year.
Friday, April 28
Lone Tree Brewing and Boulder's Wild Woods Brewery have collaborated on a Kölsch-style beer made with Birch tree bark in honor of National Arbor Day, which is today. The two "tree-themed breweries teamed up to brew a beer with bark from Birch trees, a native Colorado tree, in the boil. This addition should impart subtle earthy flavors and fresh herb aromatics," the breweries say. Both breweries will tap Arbor Day Kölsch and "pass out seedlings to customers and encourage them to post tree-planting photos on social media using the hashtag #ArborDayBrew."
River North Brewery will present Brass & Beer tonight, "the second in an ongoing series of concert-level musical performances in an intimate yet casual setting," the brewery says. "Featuring Apollo Chamber Brass, this show goes beyond a typical taproom band appearance. Drawing talent from orchestras along the Front Range, Brass & Beer marks the first brewery performance by the quintet. Showcasing pieces from classical to jazz to big band, this show is guaranteed to keep you on your toes with a spectrum of sounds." In keeping with its previous show, Bach & Beer, River North will offer a “name-your-own” ticket price model at the door, with a suggested donation of $20. "All ticket sales will go directly to the artists. The brewery requests attendees bring cash for entry, with beers sold by the glass via cash or credit card." The taproom will open at 4 p.m. for pre-show beers, with dinner available from the Rocky Mountain Slices tuck. The brewery requests all attendees arrive by 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start.
Saturday, April 29
Join Mockery Brewing for its second annual Reinheitsgewhat?! Party in celebration of the 501st anniversary of the German Beer Purity Law of the same name. "It's going to be a grand day of mocking and rocking the law, with new and limited beer releases (all of which break the law)," the brewery says, along with live music from the Polkanauts, a German menu from Revelry Events, and commemorative steins for the first one hundred people.
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Denver Beer Co brings back its Oyster and Stout Festival. The brewery has once again teamed up with Seattle Fish Company and Blue Island Oyster Bar and Seafood to make a beer, Blue Island Oyster Stout, which was brewed with Blue Island No. 9 Oysters from Peconic Bay, New York. From noon to 5 p.m., DBC will be pairing the briny brew with oysters from both coasts at the Platte Street taproom. Tickets, $30 for two beers and a dozen oysters, are available at Denver Beer Co's website.
Parry's Pizzeria & Bar and Avery Brewing return today with their sixth annual Big Ass Tap Takeover at five Parry's locations, in Northglenn, Longmont, Highlands Ranch, Greenwood Village and Castle Rock. As always, there will be an astounding fifteen to forty different Avery beers on tap at each location starting at 11 a.m., including "highly sought-after bottles at select locations," Parry's says. In addition, "brewery representatives will be present at several locations for some good conversation and perhaps a toast or two." The Longmont location will have live music, as well as hourly drawings for cool craft-beer goodies including Avery VIP brewery tours.
Join Bruz Beers for its first annual Belgian Brew Fest today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring ten Colorado breweries pouring their best Belgian-style beer. There will also be plenty of great food trucks (Rocky Mountain Cheesery, Street Frites Denver, Basic Kneads Pizza, Little India Food Truck) and music from Velvet Compass and the Goonies. Tickets are $48 and available at eventbrite.com.
Powder Keg Brewing in Niwot will release bottles of Twilight Rendezvous, its Imperial Stout aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels, at noon. They are $18 per 22-ounce bomber, with a limit of two per customer.
Odd13 Brewing hosts its monthly taproom-only release party starting at 1 p.m. This time around, the brewery will release two beers on the same day. The first is Kaptain Ka-Powder, a collaborative IPA brewed with Upslope Brewing. "We each brewed the beer with hop products containing no leaf matter. Our version was brewed with lupulin powder (Mosaic and Simcoe); their version was brewed with hop extracts," the brewery says. The Odd13 version will be available in six-packs and on draft; there will be a limited amount of the Upslope version on tap. The second is Barrel Aged Liftmaster 13,000 (500ml only, no draft). It's a mixed-culture Bier De Garage fermented and "aged in a fresh chardonnay barrel," Odd13 says. "The result is a moderately tart vinous beer with bright flavor, and contributions of white wine, fresh oak, and young brett."