Beer Calendar: Tap Takeovers, Brewery Anniversaries, Oysters and Sour Ales

Last year's CBC took place in Denver; this year's event was in Portland.
Last year's CBC took place in Denver; this year's event was in Portland.
Jonathan Shikes

The 32nd annual Craft Brewers Conference just wrapped up, and if things seemed a little quieter in Denver last weekend, that was because hundreds of local brewery-industry folks were in Portland, Oregon, to participate in the trade show. At the CBC, OvalOptions for Conflict Management, a Denver firm, announced that is now offering what it calls "brewery mediation network services" across the country. "The program will help connect craft breweries with local providers of mediation, facilitation and associated services to assist in resolving costly disputes, most noticeably those involving trademarks," says Oval Options co-owner Jason Gladfelter (who also happens to be a level one Cicerone). Trademark disputes not only inflict economic damage, but they're bad for the industry's image, he adds. And based on the way the craft-brewing industry is growing, Gladfelter may have plenty of work ahead of him.

Wednesday, April 22
Crooked Stave will release Sin Frontera today at 6 p.m. at its taproom at the Source. The beer was a collaboration between Crooked Stave, Jester King Brewery in Austin, and Brasserie Trois Dames in Switzerland. The idea was to brew an identical recipe at each location and to have each brewery use its own house-mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria, and then to age the beer in the same style of Sherry casks. The end result should showcase the different nuances in yeast cultures and organisms. The two U.S. breweries debuted their beers in Portland in early April during the Craft Brewers Conference. Crooked Stave's will tap tonight. 

Thursday, April 23
Copper Kettle will kick off its four-day-long, four-year anniversary celebration today with the tapping of several firkins that customers voted for, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Watermelon Helles and 12 Hops IPA. 5280 Sliders will be selling burgers at 2 p.m., and the Lovely In-Betweens will fill the patio with tunes from 6 to 9 p.m.

Upslope Brewing will take over the taps at Colorado Plus Brewpub today. Beers include Craft Lager, Belgian Style Pale Ale, North English Brown Ale, Strawberry Mint IPA and Tequila Barrel Aged Belgian Dark Strong Ale.

Ratio Beerworks will take over the taps at Local 46 today — the brand new brewery's first tap takeover — bringing its various flagship beers. There will be karaoke and giveaways all night.

Friday, April 24
Copper Kettle will continue its four-day anniversary celebration with the Staff Recipe Showdown, for which all nine brewery employees have created and brewed their own beers, such as a Chardonnay barrel-aged Key Lime Saison, Blood Orange Gose and Black Berlinerweisse. Customers get to sample and decide on their top pick. Steuben’s Food Service will be on hand from 4 to 10 p.m. and the Acoustic Mining Company will play in the tasting room from 6 to 9 p.m.

Dry Dock Brewing will release a new seasonal beer, Cool Lime Lager, in 22-ounce bomber bottles for the first time today. Originally brewed last year for Old Chicago’s 2014 Cinco De Mayo Tour — and as a spoof on Miller Chill and Bud Light Lime — the 5.2 percent ABV beer was made with two kinds of lime leaves. To celebrate, Dry Dock will have a release party from noon to 7 p.m. at the Canoe Room, located inside the brewery's north Aurora production facility. The beer will be available on draft and in bombers to go. Cool Lime Lager will be available on draft and in bombers at South Dock, Dry Dock’s original location, the first week of May.

Comrade Brewing will release two beers today at noon. The first is the return of Moneypenny English Summer Ale, which was brewed with Marris Otter and wheat, and hopped and dry hopped with East Kent Goldings and Cascade. "Clean and crisp with a herbal, lightly spicy floral hop aroma and low bitterness, the brewery says. The second is SMaSH Melon, a single malt (Pilsner) and single hop (Hull Melon hops) beer, described as an "easy-drinking blonde ale with a subtle and distinctive honeydew melon and strawberry aroma and flavor."

Beer Calendar: Tap Takeovers, Brewery Anniversaries, Oysters and Sour Ales
Comrade Brewing Facebook page

Saturday, April 25
Comrade Brewing will celebrate its first anniversary starting at 11 a.m. today by pouring twenty different beers, including saved kegs of Eisenhower American Strong Golden, Leroy American Brown, Red Dawn American Red and Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout. The brewery will also tap two new barrel-aged beers: Whiskey Barrel Aged Man Oar-Board Scotch Ale and Bourbon Barrel Aged Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout. Growler fills will be available for all the beers. Basic Kneads Pizza will be on hand. In addition, Comrade will also be offering the new Rastal Craft Master One glass; only 100 are available. It's $10 for a pour of Superpower and you keep the glass.

Denver Beer Co will host an Oyster & Stout Festival today from 1 to 5 p.m. that features a beer brewed in collaboration with Seattle Fish Co. and the Blue Island Oyster Company. The oyster stout (yes, it is a real style), was made with live Naked Cowboy oysters from Blue Island and will be paired with oysters from both coasts. "In attendance will be oyster farmers from the East Coast and the West Coast as well as the namesake of the oysters we brewed with, the Naked Cowboy himself," Denver Beer Co says. It costs $25 for two beers and a dozen oysters (and $15 for an additional dozen oysters). There will be a shucking competition at 3 p.m. Get info at denverbeerco.com/events.

Copper Kettle will continue its four-day birthday party today with a special, one-day-only anniversary beer. Macallan 18 Russian Imperial Stout was brewed in 2013 and aged for eighteen months in a Macallan Scotch barrel the company received straight from Scotland. The Cluck Truck and Kitsune: Eat Well will be selling food from noon to 10 p.m. Groundscore plays on the patio from 6 to 9 p.m.

Oskar Blues will hold fundraisers today in Longmont and in Brevard, North Carolina, to raise money to help Michelle Wilkins, the pregnant Longmont woman who was attacked by a woman pretending to sell baby and maternity clothes on Craigslist; that story made national and international headlines because of the horrible nature of the crime. Wilkins had recently moved to Longmont from Brevard, Oskar Blues says, giving her and the company similar ties. The Longmont fundraiser will take place at the the brewery's Tasty Weasel Taproom from noon to 8 p.m.; 43 percent of proceeds from all beer, food and merchandise sales will go toward Wilkins's trust fund. Oskar Blues's CAN'd Aid Foundation had previously donated $10,000 to Michelle's Trust Fund.

The second annual BrüFrou beer-and-food pairing event takes place today at Wings Over the Rockies; there will be eighty chefs and breweries teamed up for fifty individual pairings. New this year are two huge elements: an outdoor BrüFaire of all-local artisan food vendors that's free and open to the public from noon to 7 p.m.; and TastyTålks, a separate, pre-tasting forum covering such subjects as whole-animal butchery and pairing philosophies. There are two BrüFrou sessions, from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $65 to $95. Attendance at TastyTålks, which runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., costs an additional $35.

Sunday, April 26
Avery Brewing will host a release party and bottle sale for No. 27 in its Barrel-Aged Series today, starting at 11 a.m. Insula multos Collibus is a 9.7 percent ABV sour beer aged in bourbon barrels. The brewery calls it an ode to the Manhattan cocktail and describes the beer thusly: "We used our house Brett (Drie) for secondary fermentation and our house pediococcus and lactobacillus for souring to produce the cleanest sour beer we could to give the barrels center stage! The result was a dark red, strong sour beer that we aged in fresh Bourbon barrels for 9 months and fermented with cherries. The Bourbon barrels infused tons of vanilla and coconut notes; the mild cherry flavor balances out the hint of astringency from the charred oak barrels; the lactic acid is dominant—there's almost no acetic acid, so it doesn't smell sour, just delightful aromas of vanilla and oak."

Copper Kettle closes out its four-day birthday celebration today by tapping Framboise Sour Ale, which was aged for 22 months in wine barrels with a blend of souring yeast and bacteria along with local raspberries. The Biscuit Bus will be there at noon.

CANCELED: Odyssey Beerwerks and the Yak & Yeti are bringing back their Brewery Bike Crawls this summer, and the first one begins today at 11 a.m. at the Yak & Yeti in Arvada. From there, crawlers will ride to Prost, Diebolt and Goldspot before heading back to Arvada around 6 p.m. Bikers of all ages and skill levels are welcome. 

Beer Calendar: Tap Takeovers, Brewery Anniversaries, Oysters and Sour Ales

Wednesday, April 29
Crooked Stave will release Petite Sour Tart Cherry and St. Bretta Late Spring today at 6 p.m. in its taproom. Tart Cherry is the fourth varietal in Crooked Stave’s Petite Sour series. "This 5.5 percent ABV beer pours a rich red, with a snap of tartness from the addition of the equivalent of over a pound per gallon of sour cherries, after being primary fermented in oak with Crooked Stave’s mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria," the brewery says. "St. Bretta Late Spring, the newest edition to Crooked Stave’s seasonal line of Brettanomyces Citrus Wildbier, showcases Tango Mandarin citrus, a slightly sweet varietal with vibrant aromas. Crooked Stave tweaked the recipe slightly for this batch of St. Bretta, adding lemongrass and citrus zest, in addition to the Tango Mandarin juice."

Friday, May 1
Every year since 2012, Breckenridge Brewery has made a special beer for Denver Comic Con, a beer that is served at the annual event and at various bars around town. This year's beer is called Hulk’s Mash and was named, as always, via a social media contest; the lucky namer was Jonathan Cooper. The brew, a pale ale made with mango puree and Mosaic hops, will debut today at the 1up on East Colfax. Leading up to and through Comic Con, which runs May 23 through May 25, Hulk’s Mash can be found at Breckenridge Colorado Craft, Hard Rock Café, Hyatt Regency, Marlowe’s, Paramount Café, Pizza Republica, Tarantula Billiards, The 1up (Colfax and LoDo locations), Tilted Kilt and World of Beer.

"Luscious ripe red raspberries are elegantly intertwined with a bountiful amount of lactic acidity and delicate barrel nuances to cultivate this stunning sour ale," says Avery Brewing about its new beer, Raspberry Sour, which it will release today at the brewery in 22-ounce bomber bottles as part of a new series called Botanicals & Barrels. Bottles will also be on store shelves in Avery's distribution area. Upcoming releases in this series include Vanilla Bean Stout and Coconut Porter, both aged in bourbon barrels.

Saturday, May 2
The South Denver Beer Fest will return to Littleton's Clement Park today and tomorrow from 2 to 5 p.m. with more than 150 beers (ciders and wines) from eighty breweries; most are local, although there are several from other states and countries. Guests have access to unlimited tastings, a souvenir tasting cup, a beer education area and shuttle service from Downtown Littleton Light Rail; they can also vote on their favorite beers. Tickets are $40 in advance for general admission and $50 at the door. There are also pricier VIP tix available that give guests access to more good stuff. Go to imbibe-events.com for information.

Odyssey Beewerks has added a new beer, Palm Tree Caribbean Lager, to its lineup of canned beers. "An homage to the islands, with a flourish of spicy hops and a deep malt character, this Pilsner is crisp and refreshing," the brewery says. First brewed last summer, the beer was popular enough to bring back in a package. To celebrate its release, the brewery will have a release party today starting at noon. There will also be a special $30 VIP package starting at 11 a.m.

Echo Brewing in Frederick will celebrate its third anniversary today with beers, food trucks. live music and a pro slackline competition from 2 to 6 p.m. with Voodoo Slacklines, Slackers Slackline & Zipline and the Association of Slackline Professionals.

Sunday, May 3
Avery Brewing will host a release party and bottle sale today for No. 28 in its Barrel-Aged Series. Fortuna is an 8.1 percent ABV beer aged in Suerte tequila barrels for nine months. Avery then added fresh lime and Maldon salt; it calls the beer "sour, salty and citric awesomeness."

The South Denver Beer Fest returns to Littleton's Clement Park today from 2 to 5 p.m. with more than 150 beers (ciders and wines) from eighty breweries; most are local, although there are several from other states and countries. Guests have access to unlimited tastings, a souvenir tasting cup, a beer education area and shuttle service from Downtown Littleton Light Rail; they can also vote on their favorite beers. Tickets are $40 in advance for general admission and $50 at the door. There are also pricier VIP tix available that give guests access to more good stuff. Go to imbibe-events.com for information.

Friday, May 8
Inspired by its Collaboration Fest beer with Strange Craft Beer, Copper Kettle Brewing will tap a variation of it today — an American blonde with basil and cherries. Amazeballs will be there at 2 p.m. serving meatball combinations.

Saturday, May 16
Upslope Brewing will host its second annual Upslope Get Down today from 1 to 11 p.m. at its larger Flatiron Park location. The event is a free music festival with eight bands on two stages, and also features plenty of beer and food in the back parking lot. 

A Berliner Weisse Smackdown will take place today at the newly opened Two Penguins Tap & Grill in Centennial. The showdown takes place between the Elk Mountain and Dry Dock breweries, which will each bring their best Berliner Weisse to the table. Two Penguins will be serving four-ounce blind tasters of each brew, $6 for both, and asking customers to rate them.

Grist Brewing will release a limited number of bottles of Virgil's Reserve today at noon at the taproom. "This beer started out as our 3rd Ring Belgian Strong Ale and has been naturally souring in wine barrels for several months," the brewery says.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

3550 Brighton Blvd.
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