In previous years, the Colorado Brewers Guild has asked the breweries participating in Collaboration Fest to hold off on tapping their beers until after the festival in order to keep the surprise. But in its fourth iteration, the nonprofit, which represents more than 200 Colorado craft breweries, decided to give the breweries the green light as a way to build up some buzz. And it has worked. Numerous collaborations have already been tapped at breweries all over the state, and the excitement to taste them is getting beer drinkers worked up for the big event, which takes place on Saturday, March 25, at the National Western Complex. The pre-game rollout is a nice change, since it's (nearly) impossible to try 112 beers in just a few hours. Last week, we published a list of fifteen beers we're seeking out at Collaboration Fest, but that's just the beginning. Go forth and conquer.
Wednesday, March 22
As part of Colorado Craft Beer Week, numerous breweries in Colorado will participate in Colorado Pint Day as a fundraiser for the Colorado Brewers Guild. Order a pint and keep a commemorative glass; most breweries will donate $1 for each pint glass sold. This year, CBG worked with artist Liam Ashurst to create limited-edition artwork for the Colorado 14er glass. "We used a 16-ounce glass and created a 14-ounce pour line to create the 'perfect pour,'" CBG says. "Yes, this glass is part style, part education and all Colorado. We also used some super-cool metallic gold and blue inks to make this feel a little extra special." See a list of participating breweries on CBG's Colorado Pint Day website.
Freshcraft will tap several beers from Denver's TRVE Brewing, along with some from North Carolina's Burial Beer Co. and the Commons Brewery in Portland, both of which TRVE is distributing in Colorado.
Black Shirt Brewing will host its monthly pie-and-beer-pairing session tonight with the Long I Pie Shop. They offer four mini-pies with four five-ounce beers for $20. No tickets necessary.
March is Girl Scout Cookie Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a new cookie-inspired firkin every Wednesday. Today's is Mint Chocolate Stout, inspired by Thin Mints. California Wrap Runner will be on hand.
Thursday, March 23
Dry Dock Brewing will officially unveil its newest year-round canned beer, Dry Dock IPA, today at 3 p.m. at its South Dock location with a party, where you can meet the owners and brewers, win prizes and get six-packs of the IPA before they hit store shelves. The brewery will also raffle off prizes every hour on the hour, including free beer for a year. "Dry Dock IPA is brewed and dry-hopped with Mosaic, Ekuanot and other exotic varieties," the brewery says. "This IPA imparts hints of juicy mango, peach, pear and citrus aroma, with a silky oat finish."
TRVE Brewing, which now distributes Asheville, North Carolina's Burial Beer in Denver, will pour some of that brewery's beers today. Two are collaborations: Ritual Knife, a black braggot brewed with honey and Colorado malt from Troubador Maltings, then aged in brandy barrels; and a dark mixed-culture ale brewed with North Carolina ingredients and aged in Laws Whiskey barrels.
Strange Craft will host a special three-year vertical tasting of its 2016 World Beer Cup Award Winner, Dr. Strangelove Barleywine, featuring versions from 2014, 2015 and 2016. Bottles also available for purchase at a special price.
Platt Park Brewing will tap Unicorn Nectar Indian Steam Beer, its collaboration with Lone Tree Brewing, today at 3 p.m. This 6.5 percent steam beer was brewed with lager yeast at ale temperatures. "We used a variety of unique grains offering toasted caramel flavor with woody and pine aromas," Platt Park says. "Northern Brewer hops makes this steam beer crisp yet piney." The beer will also be at Collaboration Fest on Saturday.
Friday, March 24
Fiction Beer will release a final allotment of Bourbon Barrel Aged Malice and Darkness today at 6 p.m. There are only a few bottles available. The beer recently placed twelfth of 144 in a blind tasting by Paste magazine , beating out many major breweries. Limit of one per person.
Join Our Mutual Friend Brewing for a "celebration of friendship and collaboration" with Greeley's Wiley Roots Brewing today at 2 p.m. when OMF taps several Wiley beers, including Precious Medals Triple Hazy IPA, which the two breweries collaborated on for Collaboration Fest (tomorrow). Other Wiley beers available include: Gold School "Throwback" West Coast IPA; Super 77 American Wheat; Dearly Departed Dry Irish Stout; and Creamsicle Gose. OMF beers on tap include: Lux Unlimited, Cherry Gose, Weirding Way, Inner Light, Don't Panic, Blame it on Kane, Brown Ale, Novo Coffee Stout, Winter Warmer, and 2016 Thanatoid. THe Sha-WING Food Truck will be parked off the patio.
Falling Rock Tap House will close out Colorado Craft Beer Week tonight, starting at 5:30 p.m., with Barrel-Aged Night. The bar will tap twenty barrel-aged beers, which could include barleywines, porters, imperial stouts and perhaps even some sours.
Head to New Image Brewing in Arvada at 3 p.m. today for the release of a new pilot beer, Single by Choice, a New England-style pale ale brewed with Centennial hops. It's a first draft for the recipe of a beer that will go into cans this summer; New Image plans to try to the beer with at least one other hop varietal. The beer will be part of a new series at the brewery, called the Nebulous Series, consisting of hazy IPAs.
Freshcraft will welcome Ratio Beerworks today at 5 p.m. for a tapping of a special firkin of Dear You, a French-style saison, with blueberries.
"If you know [Call To Arms Brewing co-founder] Chris Bell, you know he is one of the most athletic men in all of the land. So strong and mighty, in fact, that we decided his physique deserved its own beer," the brewery says. As a result, they will release bottles of Belgian Quadriceps, a sour Belgian quad with pineapples aged in red and white port barrels. "This is a passion project for Chris; brewed and fermented as a traditional Belgian quad, we then aged this beer in port barrels with a blend of Brett, Pedio, and freshly sliced pineapples for a slight sourness and notes of guava, plum, brown sugar and pineapple." There will be 225 375-ml bottles available, with a three-bottle-per-customer limit, and Pick & Howl will play from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 3 p.m.
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.
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 will pour 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.
Canceled: This even has been rescheduled for April 8. Fermaentra Brewing will release two barrel-aged bottle offerings today in honor of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The first is Brandy-Barrel-Aged Meristem Russian Imperial Stout, which has "expressive flavors of caramel, nougat, chocolate and subtle vanilla all wrapped up inside a silky, velvety-smooth texture," the brewery says. The second Colorado Whiskey Barrel-Aged Quixotic Belgian Quadrupel, which has "intense flavors of caramelized sugar, apples, and smooth oaky vanillas that intertwine against cherry and marshmallow undertones." Both are appropriate for aging or for drinking now. Each 375ml bottle is $10. Quiero Arepas will be serving from noon to 4 p.m.; Little India will be on hand from 5 to 9 p.m.
Comrade Brewing will tap both of its collaborative beers today at the taproom. The first is 8.3 percent ABV Red Menace Double Red IPA, brewed with Liquid Mechanics in Lafayette. "Brewed with flaked rye and English crystal malts. Hopped with Centennial, Cascade and Vic Secret give this ruby ale a welcome bite, plus a few more in the dry hop for a toasty-sweet aroma," the brewery says. The second is Überpower Triple IPA, made with Uberbrew in Billings, Montana. "We yielded just over seven barrels. Hopped with just under twelve pounds per barrel of Mandarina Bavaria, Chinook, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. It weighs in at 10 percent ABV."
"Designed to showcase the essence of a sole brewer-selected barrel, Single Cask beers are our most limited barrel-aged releases, typically yielding thirty cases or less," says River North Brewery, which will release bottles of Single Cask J. Marie today at noon, only in the taproom. "All River Norther Society members are guaranteed one reserved bottle with their membership, leaving just twenty cases available to the public. On release day, you can take home up to six bottles at $12 each. We will also have Single Cask J. Marie on tap for a limited time. The Hoof, Wing and Fin, offering a charcuterie and sandwich menu, will also be on hand.
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." Big Choice will be giving away a free Chinook rhizome to people who buy a six-pack of the Hop Bob-omb (limited supplies), courtesy of Quirky Homebrew.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette will host a taproom-only release of Empress Anzu, an IPA brewed with Amarillo, lactose and apricots. today. This will be Odd13's first fruited IPA. The brewery will also have Bartleby, a barrel-aged Dark Sour. There will be a cuvee version plus two variants (apricot and plum), the brewery says.
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 serve 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.
Wednesday, March 29
Did you miss Collaboration Fest, or did you miss some of the beers you really wanted to try? Head to First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, which will be pouring more than two dozen of the collaborations starting at 5 p.m. and running for a couple days, until they kick. Most will get tapped today, although there some reserves to carry the taproom through the weekend. Check out Tap Hunter to see if a specific beer is on tap. The list includes: Lonetree/Platt Park Unicorn Nectar ISB; Locavore/Goldspot Bandwagon IPA; Alpine Dog/Mountain Toad Lemon Zest Grisette; Station 26/Exile Space Goose Super Saison; Little Machine/Bierstadt Lagerhaus A Team Steam; Joyride/Little Machine West Side is the Blessed Side; Horse & Dragon/Funkwerks 3 Blossom; Ratio/Weldwerks Chocolate Orange Belgian Tripel; OMF/Wiley Roots Precious Medals; Odyssey/River North Nightcap; Tivoli/Butcherknife Highway 40; Jagged Mountain/Uberbrew Uberslayer; Cerebral/Great Notion Blurpleberry; and many more.
Friday, March 31
Alpine Dog Brewing will tap a new New-England-style IPA today at 5 p.m. called Thunder Puppy. "Our usual West Coast IPA is sitting one out while we rotate in an East Coast-inspired version," the brewery says. "Brewed for a fuller/creamier body with fruity and dank hops, this beer will be hazier and feature the newer hop varieties Mosaic and Citra while keeping ’merican IPA roots with some Cascade in there as well."
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will release L'Brett d'Cherry - Harvest 2016 today at 5 p.m. L'Brett d'Cherry is a golden sour ale aged in oak barrels with Colorado cherries that will be sold in 750 ml bottles. Crooked Stave will also release a limited amount of Petite Sour Reserva Cassis. This is the brewery's reserve sour ale aged in oak with blackcurrants (available in 375ml bottles). Both will also be on tap.
Saturday, April 1
One part April Fool's Day prank, one part real beer, Khores Ballroom Beer will return to Call to Arms Brewing at noon today, and it will be available to go in three-packs of 32-ounce crowler cans (there are 200 three-packs available). Designed to taste like Coors Banquet Beer, Khores is indeed an "all-grain American classic...brewed with 100 percent ice-cold Rocky Mountain water for pure lager refreshment," CTA says. Last year on April 1, the brewery claimed it had been bought out by "Peat Coors" for $1 billion and one penny. "They've agreed to give us complete autonomy under their umbrella, and we plan to use the money to buy the Lakeview Lounge, open a deli/pizzeria, and of course give back to the community," CTA said then. This time around, Call to Arms claims it has finally cashed the check and decided to use the money to throw a party. "We'll have live music from the Khores Sexy Band from 2 to 3 p.m., and people will be able to take pictures with the Khores Sexy Man throughout the afternoon. We'll also be raffling off two Khores Sexy Man banners at 3 p.m.," says the brewery.
Two Penguins Tap and Grill in Centennial will bring back its Hop Wars today, this time featuring five hazy, New England-style IPAs, which will go toe-to-toe for your love. The Haze Awakens takes place from 3 to 6 p.m and features beer from Cerebral Brewing, Weldworks, Wiley Roots, Odd13 Brewing and Fiction Beer Company.
Lost Highway Brewing will say goodbye to its home on Colfax Avenue today with a party starting at noon. The brewery is moving to Centennial, where it hopes to expand production and packaging; this will be its last day in Capitol Hill. There will be live music with Jim Dalton & Amigos from 2 to 5 p.m., followed by games and giveaways throughout the night. Share your favorite story with Lost Highway on its Facebook page.
Friday, April 7
Avery Brewing will debut its newest (and long-awaited) beer, Coconut Porter, in its revamped Botanicals & Barrels series of 22-ounce barrel-aged beers. "Copious amounts of coconut coupled with time spent aging in bourbon barrels make this Coconut Porter a rich and silky treat that will transport you to the tropics," the brewery says; Coconut Porter will be a year-round offering. Avery will sell bottles of the beer starting at 11 a.m., and the restaurant will have a Coconut Porter-inspired menu to pair with it.
Saturday, April 8
Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch returns to Denver Beer Co today at 11 a.m. The taproom will be decked out in pink in order to welcome back this "summertime pink and sparkly beer," the brewery says. Princess costumes and tiaras encouraged.
At noon on the second Saturday of each month, Bierstadt Lagerhaus fills its wooden Fässer with one of their Keller lagers directly from the lager tank. The unfiltered lager changes each time depending on what brewers Bill and Ashleigh think is tasting particularly good. It's on until it's gone, which was just under 3.5 hours last month. This time around, it looks like there will be some Keller Maibock on the table.
Hops & Pie will host its own Sour Fest today starting at noon. There will be beers from Crooked Stave, Wicked Weed, Almanac, Tilquin, Casey Brewing, Ale Apothecary, Russian River, Westbrook, Cascade, Ecliptic, The Bruery, Lost Abbey, Off Color, Drie Fonteinen, Jester King, Cantillon, Green Flash and American Solera.
After more than two years of patiently waiting, Weldwerks Brewing in Greeley is finally ready to release the first bottle from its barrel-aged sour program, Peach Climacteric. To make it, the brewery started with a blend of pale golden sours, fermented with multiple strains of Brettanomyces and bacteria and aged in oak barrels for four to sixteen months. It was then blended with over 1,600 pounds of fresh peaches from Palisade. Peach Climacteric will be Weldwerks' first 750 ml bottle release and is also the first beer they have bottle-conditioned. The brewery opens at 11 a.m., and each bottle is $28, with a strict limit of two per person.
Sunday, April 9
Station 26 Brewing hosts its monthly Bluegrass Brunch today, starting at 11 a.m. There will be plenty of beer, along with live music from McCloskey & Miller, doughnuts from Glazed and Confuzed, and barbecue from Turn-In BBQ.
Thursday, April 15
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.
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 beers 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 then 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.
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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."
Saturday, April 29
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, and "brewery representatives will be present at several locations for some good conversations 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 and music from Velvet Compass and the Goonies. Tickets are $48 and available at eventbrite.com.