A pair of small breweries had some big news this week.
Caution Brewing in Lakewood began canning and selling a beer called The Earl for the first time. An English mild, this taproom favorite is brewed with lots of Earl Grey tea and a small amount of vanilla. It joins Lao Wang Lager, Card Your Mom Saison and Hippity Hops Chrysanthemum IPA in Caution's canned lineup. The Earl will be available in six-pack cans at the taproom and in a few liquor stores.
On the opposite side of the metro area, Ursula Brewery in Aurora has signed on with a distributor, Western Distributing Company, for the first time. That means the brewery's beers should show up on more liquor-store shelves and in more bars and restaurants. With that change, Ursula says, it hopes to "lay the groundwork to expand their packaged offerings beyond large format bottles and into cans."
Now, here are the best craft-beer events for the week and through March 11.
Wednesday, February 15
Platt Park will celebrate the second release in its new 11th Tap Project, a series of small-batch, one-off beers. This time, it's White Chocolate Raspberry Stout, made with fresh raspberries and white chocolate.
Pavy's food truck will be out front.
Epic Brewing "goes dark and mysterious" at 7 p.m. when it pairs the beers in its Oak & Orchard dark-sour series with readings from Colorado author Manuel Ramos’s "Mile High Noir” series. The unusual event is limited to twenty people who will get to try samples of the beer and hear about their complexity and why Epic's brewers chose to pair each particular beer — all aged in oak barrels with fruit — with the reading. While you sip the beer, Ramos will read excerpts from his “Desperado" and “My Bad; he'll also be signing and selling copies of his books. In addition to the readings, Epic is hosting a display of artwork from Leslie A. Aguillard; all of the art was inspired by 1950s and ’60s noir television series and movies. Go to Epic's Facebook page for details on how to sign up.
Join Station 26 Brewing for one last run of Dark Star Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout releases until November. Today, beertenders will pour a sixtel of the base Dark Star along with a sixtel of Strawberry Balsamic Dark Star at 4 p.m. That will be followed up in a week with S'Mores Dark Star on February 22.
Yak & Yeti in Arvada will debut the new name, beers and look behind its stand-alone brewery concept, Spice Trade Brewing, today with a party starting at 5 p.m. Spice Trade will do a tap takeover at the restaurant "with a variety of new beers that embody our culinary and cultural focus of brewing. The first two beers we're announcing for the release are: Mayan Chocolate RIS: A seriously complex Russian Imperial Stout clocking in at 10 percent ABV. This beer has layers of chocolaty complexity and is inspired by the traditional Mayan Chocolate recipe, a drink for the gods. It's infused with cacao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla beans and roasted chili peppers. Sichuan Saison: A crisp and refreshing French-style saison with a twist. Inspired by Chinese flavors, this saison is infused with a house blend of Chinese 5-spice, Sichuan peppercorns and orange peel. The peppercorns add a tingling, mouth-numbing sensation that pairs well with our spicier food at the restaurant."
Thursday, February 16
Help Renegade Brewing welcome its newest canned beer, 1916 Colorado Lager, today with a party and free beer. Yes, free beer. Everyone who comes to the taproom from 2 to 10 p.m. gets a free six-pack of 1916 Lager and a free twenty-ounce 1916 mug — both with the purchase of a full pour of 1916 Lager.
Comrade Brewing is tapping a single keg of Mocha Porter, a Chocolate Porter infused with Ink! Coffee's Vienna roast.
Freshcraft will tap Russian River's Pliny the Younger at 6 p.m. The restaurant will distribute tickets guaranteeing a pour to people starting at 5:30 p.m,; only 95 tickets will be available. A six-ounce pour is $8, and Freshcraft will donate $2 of each pour to Sense of Security.
Friday, February 17
Factotum Brewhouse says cheers to two years with a two-day anniversary party filled with small-batch releases, food trucks and music. Today the brewery will tap Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Kentucky Common at 3 p.m. There will be music from Carnie Bums and food from Arepas House.
Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales will tap a fresh version of Hypersonic, which has been "the most popular and juicy version of our wild-yeast NE IPA series," the brewery says. "That is why we decided to make a year-round beer... Hypersonic is not sour. It is made with wild yeast foraged from our neighbor's apple tree in the Baker neighborhood." The tapping will begin at 2 p.m.
Park & Co, at 439 East 17th Avenue, will tap Russian River's Pliny the Younger, a triple IPA, at 4 p.m. There is a limit of one per person. Details TBA.
Join Boulder Beer at its brewpub today for the release of Irish Blessing, an oak-aged coffee stout brewed with "an abundance of black and chocolate malts for a bittersweet chocolate finish." Boulder Beer teamed up with the local roasters at Ozo Coffee Company in Boulder to select a blend for the beer, which was then aged on Jameson-soaked oak.
Saturday, February 18
Five years and a few miles away from its present location, River North Brewery opened for business. The brewery has gone through big changes since then, but has reached this milestone in grand style — and it plans to throw a fitting two-day birthday party starting at noon with the debut of two new IPAs and tapping of various rarities. In addition, there will be a crawfish boil today from Roaming Bull Brasserie (in addition to the regular menu) and live music from the Dollhouse Thieves from 4 to 6 p.m. The first IPA is Anniversary Ale 5, double IPA with Amarillo, El Dorado and Mosaic hops (bottles are $6, with a limit of one case per person). The second is Anniversary Ale 5 ¼, an "irresponsibly over-hopped" New England-style hazy IPA, brewed with late additions of Mosaic, Citra and Idaho 7. It's only on draft, but Crowlers will be available. Rotating rare tappings throughout the day include Single Cask Mr. Sandman, Rum Barrel Quandary, Anniversary 4 ¼, Barrel Aged Nightmare Fuel and Whiskey Barrel Quandary. Then, on Sunday, River North will host a Lock Up the Cellar Sale to release other rare bottles, including God Complex, Shadowman and Father Time, Single Cask Mr. Sandman and regular Mr. Sandman. There will also be a bottle raffle benefiting Be the Change Volunteers, which builds, refurbishes, equips and trains schools and education centers worldwide. The Roadrunner New Mexican street-food truck will be on hand. Oh, and if you're not sure when you can make it down, buy a ticket for $25 and reserve "two bottles of Anny 5, one Crowler of Anny 5 ¼, plus one pour of any beer on tap. Beer for ticket-holders will be reserved separately for pick-up anytime Saturday or Sunday, even if we are sold out. Basically, if you buy a ticket, we will fill your Crowlers before the weekend and stash your bottles until you can get down here."
Falling Rock taps Pliny the Younger at 1 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m., though, which is when Falling Rock will start issuing tickets to people for a glass of the beer. For full details, see our post on where to get the rare triple IPA from Russian River Brewing in Denver in 2017.
Black Project will host a release for three different wine-beer hybrids today starting at noon. Each beer starts with locally sourced wine grapes that have been de-stemmed, crushed and allowed to rest for a few days before being transferred to oak barrels along with Black Project's base Golden Sour. The beers are Supercruise Cabernet Franc, Supercruise Cabernet, and Mach-Limit Cabernet. There is a limit of one bottle per person on each beer. They range in price from $30 to $32. Find more details on Black Project's Facebook page.
Casey Brewing & Blending will hold a tapping at Falling Rock Tap House today at 6 p.m. with some special kegs. They include The Cut: Blackberry (2016 Blend); The Cut: Elephant Heart Plum; Leaner (2016 Blend)
Supreme Clientele - Farmhouse Ale aged in oak with Cherries, Blackberries and Raspberries. There will also be bottles of The Cut: Blackberry (2016 Blend); The Cut: Elephant Heart Plum; Fruit Stand: Cab Franc Grape; East Bank; Santa Rosa Plum Casey Family Preserve. They are bringing out the special kegs to celebrate their brother-in-law's Denver concert that night; Russell Scott Music is having a show across the street from Falling Rock at The Moon Room.
Factotum Brewhouse says cheers to two years with a two-day anniversary party filled with small-batch releases, food trucks and music. Today, the brewery opens at noon and will give away a limited number of glasses. Some of the featured small-batch releases include: Red Velvet Stout; Weizenbock; Honey Wheat; Black IPA; Australian Sparkling Ale; Ginger Snap Ale and Clementine Saison. There will be music from Party Shark from 2 to 6 p.m. and from The One and Only Jon Ham from 7 to 10 p.m. The Denver 808 Fusion Grindz food truck will be on hand as well.
Alpine Dog will tap its latest pilot brew, a Belgian-style quadruple brewed with cacao and vanilla, today at 6 p.m. It will be gone quickly. Rocky Mountain Slices will be outside with pizza.
Mu Brewery in Aurora announced earlier this month that it will close its doors for good, but not before hosting one last “Drink Mu Dry” party today for a final "cheers."
Finkel & Garf Brewing in Boulder brings back Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout today at 3 p.m. This year, the beer was aged with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla, the brewery says. There is a limit of two four-packs per person.
Powder Keg Brewing in Niwot will release a small number of bottles of its Palisade Reunion Batch 2, a golden sour beer aged on Palisade peaches. Batch 1 was a highly acclaimed and sought-after sour last year. Each 750ml bottle is $20. There is a limit of four per person, and there are only 548 bottles available — first come, first served, starting at noon. Here's how the beer differs from last year's batch, according to Powder Keg: "This year we took 200 gallons of our favorite golden sour wort and aged it on 1,000 pounds of Colorado-grown peaches for three months (a fruiting ratio of five pounds per gallon!). There was so much fruit that we rented a special wine fermentation tank from California for the occasion and had to punch down the fruit to keep it in contact with the beer." For more information on the beer and release, go to Powder Keg's Facebook page.
Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs presents the 13th Annual Firkin Rendezvous today from 2 to 5 p.m. at the brewery, 1604 South Cascade. The fest is a celebration of cask-conditioned ale from more than forty Colorado breweries, with a goal of benefiting the nonprofit Colorado Brewers Guild. "The cask conditioning of ales is a traditional British style of brewing that originated centuries ago, when publicans lived above their pubs and made a life’s work out of tending their beers," Bristol says. "Cask ales are fermented, dry-hopped, conditioned and served in a single cask, the firkin being the British cask size most commonly used." General admission tickets are $45 and include a souvenir glass and lunch. VIP tickets, $65, get you in an hour early and include everything above as well as a T-shirt. Get your tickets at ticketfly.com.
Sunday, February 19
Falling Rock taps Pliny the Younger at 1 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m., though, which is when Falling Rock will start issuing tickets for a glass of the beer. For full details, see our post on where to get the rare triple IPA from Russian River Brewing in Denver in 2017.
Avery Brewing in Boulder will host a brewery-only release of No. 42 in its Barrel-Aged Series, Nox Reposado. "With whispers of smoke and Sweet Tarts, this dark Tequila Sour has been aged in Suerte reposado and añejo tequila barrels from the heart of Atotonilco el Alto," Avery says. The beer will go on sale at 1 p.m., with a limit of two cases per customer (bottles are $12 each). But the line is likely to begin forming at 11 a.m., which is when Avery opens. The brewery will also have a few other cellar Barrel-Aged Series favorites from the past on sale.
Monday, February 20
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen will tap Russian River's Pliny the Younger at 11:30 a.m. The beer-centered restaurant will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to Sense of Security. Go to Euclid Hall's Facebook page for more information on the tapping of this rare triple IPA.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial will kick off its five-day-long series of first-anniversary tappings and events today by releasing its English Strong Ale.
Tuesday, February 21
Hops & Pie will open its doors at 11:30 a.m. for tickets and then tap Russian River's Pliny the Younger, a triple IPA, at 1:30 p.m.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial continues its first-anniversary events by tapping a new Imperial IPA at 7 p.m. There will also be trivia.
Wednesday, February 22
Join Station 26 for the last Dark Star Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout tapping until November. Today at 4 p.m., the pour will be a sixtel of the base Dark Star along with a sixtel of S'Mores Dark Star.
Platt Park Brewing will host a Ski Wax Party with Rocky Mountain Ski Tunes today; for $15, you get a ski or snowboard wax and a pint while you wait. The brewery will release its Scottish Strong Ale.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial continues its first-anniversary releases today by tapping White Stout; you can also give the newly named Oatmeal Stout a try.
Friday, February 24
Oskar Blues Brewery will introduce Hotbox Coffee IPA, a new nationwide canned seasonal beer, today with a party at its Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont. The 7.2 percent ABV beer "combines a burst of pine, citrus and mango from Simcoe hops and blends them with a cold brew extract from Hotbox Roasters' Ethiopian beans, which bring cream, blueberry and cocoa notes to the mix. The beans were sourced from a family farm in the East African nation exclusively for this beer," the brewery says. The beer is a followup to Hotbox Coffee Porter, which the brewery made last fall. The brewery owns the roasting company. Hotbox Coffee IPA replaces Gubna as a seasonal canned beer. A longtime hoppy staple, Gubna will only be available in cans in the taproom and will no longer be distributed.
Over the years, Great Divide Brewing has seen "some great beers come and go" from its lineup. "We wish we could brew all of our beloved beers all the time," the brewery says. "But as a small brewery, each time we want to add a new recipe to our portfolio, we have to make the tough call and bench some of our favorite brews. We know you miss them, and we do, too. So this year we are launching a throwback beer campaign in our taprooms." For its first throwback tapping, Great Divide has brewed a batch of St. Bridget's Porter — for the first time in eight years. The draft-only beer will be at the Barrel Bar only.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial will celebrate its first anniversary from 2 to 11 p.m. today with music by the Skeleton Keys, food, giveaways, commemorative beer steins and the release of a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout.
Saturday, February 25
Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont "will crack the doors open" on its new, 4,275-square-foot event space, the Oak Room, for a free Mardi Gras-themed grand-opening party starting at 3 p.m. The event will serve New Orleans-style food and a king cake at 5 p.m, live music from the Lionel Young Band from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the Guerrilla Fanfare Second Line Parade & Stilt Walkers from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. There will also be a costume contest, a parade and lots of beads. Oskar Blues will be serving a large selection of its beers, along with those of the two breweries it owns, Michigan's Perrin Brewing and Florida's Cigar City; a couple of rare brews on tap will be Cigar City Brewing Trousseau, a barleywine winter warmer; Imperial Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale; and Perrin No Rules. The Oak Room space, located adjacent to the brewery, affords a view of more than 1,000 oak barrels for aging beer, a private bar and a big-screen TV.
Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley will host its second annual Festival of Dark Beers from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., with more than twenty experimental, small-batch and pilot beers that the well-respected brewery has made over the past few months. They range from a New England Style Black IPA to a Russian Imperial Stout aged in a Feisty Spirits rye whiskey barrel. There will also be two collaboration beers: S’Mores Stout brewed with Cerebral Brewing in Denver, and Coconut Chocolate Stout brewed with WeldWerks, also in Greeley (several dark beers from these two breweries will be on tap as well). General admission tickets, available at wileyroots.com/fodb, are $45 in advance ($50 at the door) and include unlimited sampling, three palate-cleansing beers and a commemorative tasting glass. VIP tickets, $60, get you in the door an hour early, and also include access to exclusive beers and a meal coupon for $10 that can be redeemed at the on-site food truck. There will be live music from Troubadour Sound System.
Sunday, February 26
"It's the original Man in Black's birthday," says Black Shirt Brewing. "To celebrate Johnny Cash's extraordinary life, we are pleased to announce our New Release March — 'Baritone' Black IPA — a black IPA that is dark and brooding like the man himself. This beer is brewed with oats, wheat, and a malt bill that drives an abundance of milk chocolate and fresh roasted coffee and our generous hopping with Warrior, Chinook, and Simcoe brings resinous pine and bitter citrus to the palate. It is dark and smooth while still having an aggressive edge." Black Shirt will host an all-day celebration by playing music by Cash and screening Walk the Line at 7 p.m.
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Saturday, March 4
Avery Brewing will host its fifteenth annual Strong Ale Fest from noon to 5 p.m., bringing in beers from around the country that are 8 percent ABV or higher. This year, there will also be several special barrel tappings and a massive list of Avery beers brewed just for the event. Tickets (which went on sale February 3) are $55 each, and all proceeds benefit Get Outside and Learn Something (GOALS); each includes sixteen three-ounce pours and a commemorative glass. Food will be available for purchase.
Wynkoop Brewing will host a beer fest today called Day of Dorks. "Teaming up with over thirty breweries, we'll be pouring up some of the geekiest and white-whaley craft brew in all the land," Wynkoop says. "Nerd attire suggested but not required. And to truly encourage The Next Generation of dorks, we'll be collecting school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks and more. Donations will benefit local area schools." Tickets are $40 at eventbrite.com and include a commemorative Day of Dorks glass and snacks. "To miss out would be highly illogical."
The Real Ale Real Love Firkin Festival returns to Loveland today at 3:30 p.m. thanks to co-hosts Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and Verboten Brewing; the event takes place behind Grimm Brothers, in the Garden Room, at 687 North Denver Avenue. The intimate fest showcases one-of-a-kind cask beers from Northern Colorado breweries and "allows the brewers to push the envelope and try new experimental flavor combinations that wouldn't be cost-effective on a larger scale," Grimm Brothers says. There are only 250 tickets, available at brownpapertickets.com for $30 each, to RARL, which allows attendees "to chat with the brewers about the beers they made and the flavor profiles they were hoping would come out in the firkins." Get more information about Real Ale Real Love at realalereallove.com.
Saturday, March 11
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., featuring 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.”