Colorado beer calendar: Oktoberfest; craft beer Oktoberfest and Vine Street's block party

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Denver. And by Christmas, what I mean is: the Great American Beer Festival. Although that three-day holiday runs from September 29 through October 1, there will be plenty of beery festivities leading up to the occasion. Parties are planned. Beer is waiting.

Stay tuned to this blog of all the info you'll need to make the season bright!

Colorado beer calendar: Oktoberfest; craft beer Oktoberfest and Vine Street's block party

Wednesday, September 14

Take advantage of the beautiful Colorado weather while you still can: Tonight, WaterCourse Foods will host the latest in its Porch Pounder Series, this one featuring IPAs from Great Divide, Renegade, Asher Brewing, and Ska, along with vegetarian and vegan food. The event, which is tied to the kickoff next week of Denver Beer Fest and the Great American Beer Festival, runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and costs $20; for more details, call 303-832-7313 or go to www.watercoursefoods.com.

Thursday, September 15

The Wynkoop Brewing Company taps its fresh-hopped Belgorado today, a Belgian-style IPA made with hops and malt grown in Colorado. This year, the Wynkoop made two batches, one with hops from Misty Mountain Hops near Montrose, and the other with hops from Leroux Creek Farms near Hotchkiss.

Friday, September 16

Grab your leiderhosen and a stein. Denver's 42-year tradition of Oktoberfest kicks off today and runs through tomorrow before picking back up again next weekend for round two of this Bavarian cultural celebration. Today's festivities, which run from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., include live music, food and drink, stein-hoisting competitions and fireworks at 9 p.m. Oktoberfest takes place on Larimer between 20th and 22nd streets.

Star Bar, which is located 2137 Larimer Street, will play off Oktoberfest by offering its own "crafty" Oktoberfest during both weekends. It will include Avery's Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest Lager, Left Hand Brewing's Oktoberfest and TNT Weizen Dopplebock, Bristol Brewing's Oktoberfest, Boulevard's Bob's 47, and New Belgium Dunkleweiss. There will also be live music, beer steins, chicken hats, and the like.

Saturday, September 17

Vine Street Pub hosts a massive block party today, shutting down the 1700 block of Vine Street so neighbors can boogie to bluegrass music, enjoy great food and beer and watch the Brewer's Olympics; it's all part of the pub's Belgian Beer Month. Beginning at 1 p.m., the Olympics will feature two-person teams from ten Colorado breweries competing in challenging tasks like a tricycle relay race, blindfolded grain-bag stacking and a wet-yeast ball toss. At 5 p.m., there will be a set of live music from Yonder Mountain String Band's Dave Johnston and Leftover Salmon's Drew Emmitt, followed by a debate featuring ten local comedians at 6 p.m. and then more music. The party runs from 1 to 9 p.m.

Monday, September 19

As part of Belgian Beer Month at Vine Street Pub, the restaurant will tap one of its beers from the Mountain Sun Barrel-Aged Series.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan
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