The Craft Brewers Conference begins in earnest today with speakers, seminars and a trade show for the 8,000 or so craft-beer industry professional who are in town for the annual event -- which takes place in Denver this year for the first time. But just because the event is closed to the public doesn't mean that local bars, breweries and restaurants are -- those doors are wide open. In fact, many are hosting special events complete with rare and unusual beers along with out-of-town brewer guests. You can check with your favorite spots to see what they are up to; in the meantime, turn the page for a list of some of the highlights.
Wednesday, April 9
For its weekly Wayward Wednesday tapping, River North Brewery will pour two versions of its Imperial Stout at 3 p.m. -- Barrel Aged Avarice and B-Side Avarice; they are the same base beer, aged in different barrels.
Freshcraft will host beers from the Bruery and Cigar City tonight at 7 p.m. Beers on tap include Cigar City's 5 for 5 American Barleywine, 5 for 5 Imperial Oatmeal Cream Porter, 5 for 5 Tangerine Florida Weisse and Invasion Pale Ale. Beers from the Bruery include Filmishmish, Saison De Lente, Melange #1, Grey Monday. Among others.
As usual during big events, Hops & Pie will have many rare or hard-to-find beers on tap during the Craft Beer Conference. Today's are Jester King's La Vie en Rose, Noble King, RU55, Ambrée, Ol' Oi, Atrial Rubicite & Funk Metal. You can also drink several Crooked Stave beers, including Batch 60, Nightmare on Brett, Surette qne Winter St. Bretta.
Join Denver Beer Co for a good old-fashioned pizza party tonight at 6 p.m., when the brewery welcomes two of the city's best pizza trucks, Basic Kneads and Brava! Pizzeria. There will also be live music from Modern Whiskey Market.
Breckenridge Brewery has teamed up with SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta on a special collaboration beer that will be tapped today at Ale House at Amato's while the Craft Beer Conference is in town. The beer, called O'Tay, is a dry-hopped red wheat wine ale and will available elsewhere in Colorado later this month. Brewed with red wheat malt from the Colorado Malting Company and malted Buckwheat and Mosaic hops, it's a tribute to the friendship between Breckenridge head Todd Usry and Sweetwater chief Freddy Bensch, who "used to pal around Colorado in the early days of craft beer." Amato's will also host a tap takeover by Breckenridge and SweetWater. "The night will also honor the late Curtis McArthur of SweetWater Brewery with a toast at 4:20 p.m. Brewer friends of McArthur, Upslope Brewing Company and Crooked Stave will be in attendance with a few of their beers to pour as well," the brewery says.
Ska Brewing will release a new collaboration with Sweden's Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri today from 5 to 8 p.m. at a party at Star Bar. Wipa Snapa White IPA was brewed in Durango when the Swedish brewery came to Ska's world headquarters for a visit. The beer -- a hybrid of the Belgian witbier and India Pale Ale styles -- is the second that Ska and Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri have worked on together. It features ingredients from both Colorado and Sweden, including Sea Buckthorn berries -- a tart, refreshing berry native to Scandinavia -- and Chinook hops from High Wire Hop Farms in Paonia.
Euclid Hall will tap Boulevard Brewing's unusual Foeder Projekt sour beer at 7 p.m. There will be national brewery reps in attendance.
It will be CanArchy tonight at 9 p.m. when Star Bar serves cans from a variety of breweries, both near and far. Beers include those from Sun King, DC Brau, Oskar Blues, Revolution, Eddyline, Cigar City, and Ska.
Thursday, April 10
Euclid Hall will have representatives of Anchor Brewing and Brewdog in the house today at 6 p.m.. They will be tapping Anchor OBA, Anchor IPA, Anchor Saison & Brewdog cocoa Psycho, Brewdog Dogma, Brewdog Libertine Black IPA.
Hops & Pie will host a festival of bourbon-barrel-aged beers today featuring ten brews from Odell, Sun King, Elevation, Mission, Grand Teton, Stone, Eel River, Oskar Blues.
Breckenridge Brewery and Sweetwater Brewery of Atlanta will embark on a pub crawl to seven Denver bars today that are serving O'Tay, a new collaboration beer that was brewed by the two companies (see above). Follow @BreckBrew and @SweetWaterBrew on Twitter and Instagram to locate the crew and join the crawl. The bars are Scruffy Murphy's, the Lobby, Star Bar, Lucky Pie, Blake St. Vault, Pour House, and the Strata Bar at the Hyatt Regency.
Crooked Stave will bring back its What the Funk festival today from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Exdo Event Center, featuring dozens of rare and unusual sour, wild and barrel-aged beers. See the list at evenbrite.com. Basic Kneads Pizza and Street Frites Denver will be serving food. Tickets are $80 plus fees.
Friday, April 11
Hops & Pie will tap a selection of beers from the Bruery and Cigar City. Be there or be square.
The Denver Bicycle Cafe will celebrate CBC with Funky River, an event in which River North and Funkwerks will each tap three unusual beers There will also be live bluegrass music from Timber.
Ska Brewing and DC Brau will host a CBC Wrap Up Party at Tooey's Off Colfax tonight from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. This event will feature a live performance by the Dendrites and a special tapping of Taster's Choice, a collaboration between Ska and DC Brau. Taster's Choice is Doppelbock style lager brewed with coffee.
Scotland meets Bolivia at 7 p.m. tonight when Former Future Brewing taps a firkin of its Scotch Ale with coffee from Corvus.
Oskar Blues will hit the market with Old Chub Nitro in cans today at a few select locations, before rolling it out for wider distribution. You can find the beer at the Hyatt, Freshcraft, Star Bar, Lucky Pie, Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Applejack Wine & Spirit, Superior Liquor, Hazel's Beverage World, Davidson Liquor, Lucas Liquors and Bubbles.
Dry Dock will tap a couple of unusual beers today, including Heavy Goose, the collaboration beer it did with Durango's Steamworks Brewing. The beer is a blend of Dry Dock Wee Heavy and Steamworks Spruce Goose. That tapping is at noon, followed by a firkin of Raspberry Blonde Porpoise at 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 12
River North Brewery will say goodbye to the CBC today with a party starting at 1 p.m. in conjunction with CR Goodman, which distributes River North and other local craft breweries in Colorado. CR Goodman will set up its draft trailer outside the taproom. The brewery will tap rare and barrel-aged kegs throughout the day, and local food truck El Toro the Tot will serve handmade burgers and tater tots.
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, which will begin canning one of its beers. Little Red Cap, this month, will hold a party today to celebrate the new 12-ounce package. The Loveland brewery is selling the GABF award-winning alt-style beer in six-packs. The can-release party will feature Little Red Cap beer can chicken as well as a canned food drive benefiting House of Neighborly Service.
Sunday, April 13
Denver Beer Co will team up with the Real Dill for round three of Beers & Spears, its beer-and-pickle pairing pickle party (yes, I said "pickle twice"). This time, the pairing will include three beers paired with three pickles, as well as fried pickles from Big Country Bar B Que. Oh, and there will be a spicy-pickle eating contest, too (the winner gets a growler of beer and a jar of pickles.) Tickets are $15.
Saturday, April 26
Parry's Pizzeria & Bar in Highlands Ranch will host its second annual Big Ass Tap Takeover today beginning at 11 a.m. in conjunction with Avery Brewing, which will take over at least thirty taps. "There will be kill-the-keg contests, raffles for Avery and Parry's merchandise and three VIP tours to Avery's own brewery as well as hourly bottle releases. Bottles being released range from Avery's barrel projects including sours, big ales and even some vintage selections straight from their cellar," Parry's says.
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