Every year, millions of beer lovers around the world take to the Internet — on sites like BeerAdvocate and RateBeer — to rate, read up on or learn about the beers they're drinking or want to drink. Earlier this week, RateBeer compiled a state-by-state list of the beer and breweries that the public loved the most based on their ratings. In Colorado, three fantastic breweries landed on the top of the heap.
Those that made the list are Trinity Brewpub in Colorado Springs for best brewpub; Choice City Butcher & Deli in Fort Collins for best restaurant; Boulder's Avery Brewing for best brewery taproom; Wilbur's Total Beverage in Fort Collins for best liquor store; and Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver for best bar. In addition, the public rated the best brewery, the best beer and the best new brewer in Colorado, awards that went to Avery Brewing; Coffee Maple Achromatic from Greeley's Weldwerks; and Denver standout Cerebral Brewing.
Wednesday, February 1
The 24th annual Stout Month kicks off again today at Vine Street Pub, Mountain Sun and all of the other breweries and restaurants in Boulder and Longmont owned by the Mountain Sun group. A dark and stormy love letter to this style of beer, Stout Month is a showcase, not only only for the creativity and prowess of Mountain Sun's brewing staff, but for breweries around Colorado. This year's lineup includes around thirty different in-house stouts, including many returning favorites, like Thunderhead, Trickster, Nihilist, Stoked Oak, Chocolate Dip, Oatimus Prime, Megatron and Girl Scout Cookie, as well as some new creations. But there will also be two dozen guest stouts on at different times. Vine Street and Mountain Sun typically don't release times or locations for various tappings, so you might have to visit more than once. Go to Mountain Sun's website to see the full list of beers you should be enjoying.
Black Shirt Brewing will tap a new beer today called Frontmaniac as part of its monthly special release program. The beer is a version of Frontman IPA that was double dry-hopped with more than five pounds per barrel of Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops. It "is bursting with tropical fruit notes, bright citrus characters and dank field grass," Black Shirt says, adding that "the palate is rich with these same hop characters and a rounded but firm bitterness. Brewed with oats, wheat and a blend of yeasts for a fuller and softer texture on the palate. Extraordinary and limited." Frontmaniac should be available throughout the month.
Sour Month kicks off today at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, where eight of its taps will have a rotating selection of sours for the entire month. The tap list includes: Crooked Stave Dry Hopped L'Brett d'Or; Firestone Walker Agrestic; AC Golden Hidden Barrel Peche; New Belgium Clutch; Russian River Consecration; Almanac Mariposa; Wicked Weed Silencio, Genesis and Persistence; and many more.
Join Station 26 Brewing for one last run of Dark Star Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout releases until next November. Each Wednesday in February at 4 p.m., the brewery will pour two sixtels of Dark Star: a sixtel of the base Dark Star and a sixtel of one of a favorite flavor variant. Today's is Coffee Dark Star. That will be followed by Mexican Chocolate Dark Star on February 8, Strawberry Balsamic Dark Star on February 15, and S'mores Dark Star on February 22.
Bell's Brewery from Kalamazoo, Michigan, has finally begun limited distribution in Colorado after a trial run during the Great American Beer Festival last fall. Two of the famed brewery's biggest beers, Hopslam and Two Hearted Ale, are going on tap at numerous beer bars around Denver. Today at 11:30 a.m., you can find them at Hops & Pie, along with Russian River's Pliny the Elder.
Seedstock Brewing will tap its new Vanilla Espresso Stout today at 2 p.m. The brewery used a milk stout as a base before adding organic vanilla and coarse-ground espresso beans.
February is Decadent Chocolate Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a new firkin of chocolate beer each Wednesday. Kicking things off today is Cherry Chocolate Milk Stout, "a rich, dark and delicious stout with real lactose sugar for a creamy body," the brewery says. The Wing Wagon Grill will be there all evening as well, serving wings, burgers and more.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and the Loveland Chamber of Commerce & Visitors' Center will continue an annual tradition today with the release of Bleeding Heart 2017, a special beer made in the Sweetheart City just before Valentine's Day and served only in town. And the new year has brought some changes — "most notably, Laura Pilato being promoted to head brewer," Grimm Brothers says. "It’s with this in mind that we decided to change the base beer of the Bleeding Heart for the first time. The first beer that Laura designed and brewed for Grimm was a brown lager; we liked the lager idea since we could get all the complexity one looks for in a brown, but also to give it a crisp clean finish. To keep with our own history while embracing the future we are changing the porter base, but going back to the first adjunct, with cherry and chocolate." The beer will only be available in Loveland liquor stores, select bars and restaurants, and in the Grimm Brothers taproom today at 1 p.m.
Friday, February 3
Factotum Brewhouse will tap Rope-A-Dope today at 6 p.m. The beer is an unusual white stout that was aged in a wheat whiskey barrel from Bear Creek Distillery. The brewers from Factotum and the distillers from Bear Creek will be on hand to talk about creating the beer. The barrel that was used will now be returned to Bear Creek, "where they will put more whiskey into it to see what beer qualities it may pick up," Factotum says. Mile High Cajun Food Truck will be on hand for the tapping.
Cerebral Brewing teamed up with the Chicago area's Mikerphone Brewing last month on a collaboration beer that is now called, yes, Alternative Facts. Described as a "Zero-IBU double IPA," the 7.6 percent ABV beer was hopped with 4.5 pounds of Citra and Azacca per barrel and then "fermented with Mikerphone's house blend of two very expressive yeast strains," Cerebral says. It has "notes of juicy overripe mango, papaya and lychee." Crowlers are $14 each. Burgerchief will be outside from 3 to 10 p.m.
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.
Platt Park Brewing will tap a firkin of Tropical Snow Dance today, kicked up with an additional dose of Simcoe hops. This is the brewery's flagship IPA, a West Coast-style ale brewed with Mosaic hops. "It offers a crisp balance of grapefruit notes, with a delicious floral aroma," the brewery says.
Saturday, February 4
Wyoming’s Melvin Brewing is once again celebrating its award-winning 2x4 IPA across the U.S. 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.
Bruz Beers will release its new Brut La Grande today, a 12.1 percent ABV Belgian-style Biere Brut — or "champagne beer." This style of beer is "only made by a handful of breweries in the U.S., and Bruz is the only Colorado brewery making it," the brewery says. As the name implies, the beer resembles a fine Champagne, though many critics consider Biere Brut to be "far more interesting," Bruz points out. "Brut La Grande is a pale straw color with a dense, mousse-like white head that leaves layers of 'Belgian lace' on the glass. Its perfumy aroma yields notes of apricots, allspice, black pepper and a touch of lemon. Its complex flavor profile hints at apples, peaches, vanilla, ginger and exotic spices. Brut La Grande is light and airy, with a silky mouthfeel, creamy pinpoint carbonation and a complex, spicy, bone-dry finish." Enjoy it today in a champagne flute accompanied by a piece of Belgian chocolate; the beer will disappear quickly.
Cellar West Artisan Ales in Boulder will release bottles of its latest beer, Sapience Oak Fermented Bière de Mars With Spices, today at noon. The 5.7 percent ABV beer costs $9.50 per 500ml bottle. "This special bottle-conditioned ale is inspired by the springtime beers made by French countryside brewers. Fermented in oak barrels with our wild yeast culture, Sapience pours deep copper in color and shines with notes of flower blossoms, white pepper, ripe strawberries and Tupelo honey," the brewery says.
Join the good 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 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 goes from 4 to 7 p.m. Food truck info is TBA.
Come celebrate the love of both beer and cars at Big Choice Brewing's Type 3 can-release party. Type 3 IPA is named for brewer and owner Nathaniel Miller's "long history with VWs — rebuilding one as a teenager and then owning a Type 3 later on in life," Broomfield-based Big Choice says. It will be available on tap and in growlers and cans. "To share in the VW enthusiasm, if you drive any classic VW to our brewery during the release party, you get a free pint on the house," the brewery adds.
Eight Colorado breweries will go head to head with their best beers 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
It's Girl Scout Cookie time! And Renegade Brewing is giving you a chance to pair several of the famous cookies with beer. Come in any time between 5 and 10 p.m. today through Friday and all day on Saturday to try four delicious cookies paired with four Renegade beers. Tickets, $12, are required for specific nights and can be purchased at eventbrite.com.
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.
Wednesday, February 8
Sour Month continues at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, where eight of its taps will have a rotating selection of sours for the entire month. The tap list includes: The Bruery Oude Tart; Almanac Sunshine and Opportunity; Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca; Bear Republic BA Tartare Rouge; Wicked Weed Oblivion and Recurrant; Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme; Odd13 Humulus Kalecumber; Odell Dark Theory; New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Fat Funk; Crooked Stave L'Brett d'Or; Jessup Farms Festivus Miracle.
Friday, February 10
Ratio Beerworks will celebrate its second anniversary today through Sunday with several events, including special anniversary beer releases, comedy and music. The weekend kicks off today with a comedy show hosted by in-house comedian Ian Douglas Terry. More details TBA.
Saturday, February 11
Ratio Beerworks will celebrate its second anniversary today and tomorrow with beer releases, food and music. At noon, the brewery will tap its anniversary beer, Continuous Thunder, a double IPA "showcasing Mosaic and Simcoe hops with bright tropical fruit aromas, and ripe mango flavors," the brewery says. Ratio will also tap a single sixtel of Loveless, "a beautiful, complex yet delicate, barrel-fermented Dark Sour Saison, which spent over a year in red wine barrels before being re-fermented with raspberries." Loveless will receive the full treatment on Tuesday, February 14, with a bottle release party, but you can get a preview today. Then, at 8 p.m., Matt Pryor, frontman for the Get Up Kids, will hit the stage, followed by Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio and a live DJ set and dance party in the taproom.
Southside Bar and Kitchen hosts a second-anniversary blowout today and will be trotting out a variety of beer from specific breweries, including the Brewability Lab, which will lend its staff to Southside from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and will be pouring one of the last kegs of its Makin' Noise: Pussy Riot saison (a portion of the proceeds today will go to Brewability's chosen charity, Parillume). After that, the staffs and beers from Resolute, City Star and more breweries will take over.
Odd 13 Brewing's latest taproom-only can release takes place at 1 p.m. today, debuting the Cultural Chameleon 2.0, a variant of a pilot recipe with South African hops. "For this batch, we are incorporating different hops to bring you a rich, juicy, extra-hazy pale ale," the Lafayette brewery says. "Atop a velvety texture sit flavors of blueberry, lemon zest, coconut and bergamot orange." Pick up the beer for $11 per six-pack.
Liquid Mechanics Brewing in Lafayette will release its long-awaited 11.2 percent ABV Chocolate & Peanut Butter Russian Imperial Stout today at noon. "Dark chocolate and our signature peanut decadence melds perfectly with our new RIS base beer. We intend to release this once per year," the brewery says. There will be 250 bombers for sale, with a limit of three per person (at $14.99 each).
Sunday, February 12
Ratio Beerworks winds down its second-anniversary weekend with a Hangover Brunch that includes Bloody Mary Beers from the Real Dill. Later that afternoon, Ratio will be part of the Valentine’s Day RiNo Love Triangle progressive beer and cider dinner with Epic Brewing and the Rackhouse Pub.
Station 26 Brewing's monthly Bluegrass Brunch returns today at 11 a.m. with beer, live music from That Damn Sasquatch, doughnuts from Glazed and Confuzed and barbecue from Turn-In BBQ.
Sold Out: Briar Common Brewery + Eatery will host its first-ever beer-pairing dinner, serving "Our beer. Our food. Our dining room." The kitchen will prepare five courses, though you should expect some surprise pairings and tastings along the way, Briar Common says. In addition, "our brewer and our chef will be available to answer any questions and to discuss our pairing philosophy." Dinner starts at 5 p.m.
Monday, February 13
Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield will kick off a new series of small-batch, experimental and seasonal canned beers today. The first in the Brown Bag series is Cherry Cobbler Sour Brown, which was infused with tart pie cherries, lemon peel and vanilla. "Influenced by owner and brewmaster Nathaniel Miller's mother, Barb Miller, the beer is reminiscent of a cherry cobbler that was a staple in Miller's childhood," Big Choice says. "The Brown Bag Series is a play on the brown paper bag people use to conceal drinking alcohol in public places; the only consistency is seeing the brown bag, none the wiser to what beer is hidden inside. Each seven-barrel batch of the series will produce roughly forty to eighty cases that will be distributed across Colorado and for sale in the tasting room."
Tuesday, February 14
"Our greatest achievements are often those that require the greatest toil. Blend one part passion, one part craftsmanship, a touch of good fortune, and great determination. This is the beauty that exists only through lonely dedication in the creative dark," says Ratio Beerworks about its newest beer, Loveless, a dark sour saison that will be released today for Valentine's Day. The beer was barrel-fermented with saison yeast and Ratio's house sour culture for twelve months, then re-fermented in red-wine barrels with fresh raspberries for another three months. Since each barrel yielded different characteristics, they were blended together to "impart balanced tartness, tied together by a vibrant raspberry finish. As with any labor of love, this endeavor involved both radiant highs and loveless lows, but the end result yielded a most brilliant triumph." Loveless will be released at 5 p.m. in 750ml bottles; they are very limited.
Declaration Brewing will host a combination second-anniversary and Valentine's Day event today from 7 to 10 p.m. at Preamble by Declaration Brewing Taphouse. For $50 a couple, each person gets three flights of four beer tasters, four pieces of cheese from Culture Meat and Cheese, four pieces of charcuterie from Old Major, and two chocolate pieces by Deiter's Chocolates (box of four).
Alpine Dog Brewing brings back its second annual Valentine's Day Oyster and Stout Pairing today in honor of Valentine's Day. Get four oysters paired with four different versions of Blind Sherpa Stout, Mint Chocolate Stout, Peanut Butter Stout, Chocolate Raspberry Stout (from the firkin), and Maple Breakfast Stout. There are no tickets needed in advance. A la carte oysters will be available, as well.
The Post Brewing in Lafayette will tap Lovey Dovey, a 6 percent ABV "Belgian-ish-style" amber ale. it has "complex layers of herbal hop and spicy yeast rest upon a base of European Munich and Vienna malts."
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.
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.
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.
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, by debuting two new IPAs and tapping 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 pickup 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."
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.
Four Noses Brewing in Broomfield 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 is 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
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 anejo Tequila barrels from the heart of Atontonilco 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 will likely 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.
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Wednesday, February 22
Platt Park Brewing will host a Ski Wax Party with Rocky Mountain Ski Tunes today; for $15, you get ski or snowboard wax and a pint while you wait. The brewery will release its Scottish Strong Ale.
Saturday, February 25
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.
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 go 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."