As competition heats up in the craft-beer world, medium-sized and large breweries continue to look for ways to stay relevant and to ring up sales. Sometimes that means producing beers that you might not expect. Such is the case with two new beers that were revealed in the past few days. The first is Great Divide's Roadie Grapefruit Radler. Typically made with a mix of fruit-flavored soda and beer, radlers — or shandies, as they are also known — are associated with summer because they are refreshing and easy to drink. Great Divide's version omits the soda in favor of grapefruit purée. It "pours a hazy sunrise gold and is bursting with citrus aroma," the brewery says. "This beer was named both for the road-biking cyclist, roadie, and the German word for a cyclist, radler."
The second beer comes from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, which decided to expand its "Fat Tire trademark family" by introducing Fat Tire Belgian White this August. "This light-bodied, unfiltered wheat beer, brewed with juicy Seville orange peel and freshly ground coriander, will provide the perfect balance of refreshment and drinkability with just a hint of sweetness," the brewery says.
It's an interesting move for more than one reason. First, Fat Tire has always been the name of a specific beer, an amber ale; now it has also become a brand, which means the brewery could theoretically introduce other styles of beer under the Fat Tire brand. This might be a good idea, since many people already confuse the beer with the brewery. Also, the new witbier takes direct aim at Blue Moon, a Belgian white owned by Coors, and Shock Top, a Belgian white owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
New Belgium is keeping its sourcing local by procuring orange peel and coriander from the Old Town Spice Shop in Fort Collins, "so the spices are freshly ground less than a mile from our brewery," the brewery says, adding, "Seville oranges have a brighter, less cloying sweetness than the Valencia oranges that are typically used in Belgian white beers."
Now, here are all of the best craft-beer events through April 29.
Wednesday, April 5
Lone Tree Brewing will tap its International Women's Day Big Boots Brew, an Ancient Ale brewed with local honey. The brewery will donate $1 from each pint to the Pink Boots Society. Also, on that day and through all of April, a portion of LTBC's proceeds will go to the Casting for Recovery organization, which sponsors fly-fishing breast cancer retreats, through the brewery's monthly charity program.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will tap its very last keg of Batonnage Plum at 5 p.m. Created with Mr. B's Wine & Spirits in 2015, this edition of Batonnage was aged for thirteen months in Tablas Creek Vineyard white-wine barrels and fermented on 100 pounds of Japanese blood plums from Palisade.
Thursday, April 6
Alpine Dog Brewing will tap the second iteration in its kettle sour series, a 4.5 percent ABV dry-hopped table sour, at 5 p.m. "Not overly sour, with a big citrusy dry hop of Simcoe and Mosaic, creating a beer reminiscent of tangerine rind, tropical fruit and some dank earthiness," the brewery says. The Legs and Breasts Fried Chicken Food Truck will be outside the brewery.
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.
Join Ratio Beerworks to celebrate the Colorado Rockies home opener and the re-release of Handwritten Belgian Wit, brewed with tea-cut orange peel and ground coriander. "The abbey yeast strain gives off more floral, fruit-forward notes than a classic wit yeast, but still rounds out with a recognizable, balanced, clean, crushable finish," the brewery says. Handwritten will be tapped when the brewery opens at noon.
Saturday, April 8
Ratio Beerworks will pay homage to Denver's "thriving comedy scene" today by tapping ACH IPA, a beer it brewed with East High grad, avid birder and comedian Adam Cayton-Holland, star of Those Who Can't, the Grawlix and an upcoming Comedy Central special. The easy-drinking Lemon White IPA will go down smoother than some of Cayton-Holland's edgy jokes. "ACH IPA was built using white wheat malts for a clean, pale appearance. It was then accentuated with dried lemon peel in the boil for a refreshing citrus base," the brewery says. "We then finished this hoppy, crushable IPA by dry-hopping with Lemondrop hops and lemon zest for a tangy, bitter finish." Ratio will be selling fifty hand-numbered bomber bottles of the beer when it opens at noon. Later, at 7 p.m., enjoy a free night of comedy with Cayton-Holland, Adam Burke, Timmi Lasley, Matt Cobos, Geoff Tice and Ian Douglas Terry.
Platt Park Brewing will tap its Watermelon Berliner Weisse today at noon. This light, tart, 4.1 percent ABV German wheat beer "captures all of the goodness of an adult lemonade and summer," the brewery says.
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 are encouraged.
At noon on the second Saturday of each month, Bierstadt Lagerhaus fills its wooden fässer with one of its keller lagers directly from the lager tank. The unfiltered lager changes with each tapping, 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 the beer, 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 it has 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 & Confuzed, and barbecue from Turn-In BBQ.
Oysters. Lager. Yes. That's what the Rackhouse Pub and Bierstadt Lagerhaus have to say about this combo, which you can find today. It's $40 for eight oysters (four types, with accoutrements) paired with four Bierstadt lagers. Buy tickets in house, or at nightout.com.
Thursday, April 15
Spangalang Brewery will celebrate its second anniversary by releasing three or four new beers and hosting a pig roast (at 2 p.m.) with live music. The brewery will also re-release several beers. "Roasting the pig will be chef Kyle Foster (opening Julep in the RiNo neighborhood) and Tyler Dubois, co-owner of the Real Dill," Spangalang says. "Zivix will be providing delicious sides and other options as well." The Michael Schwartz Band will go on at 7 p.m.
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.
Friday, April 21
Copper Kettle Brewing kicks off its three-day-long sixth anniversary party tonight with its annual staff beer showdown. "Each of our bar staff will be pairing up to brew with one of our talented brew crew to create special beers for this competition," Copper Kettle says. "We let you decide who's brewing reigns supreme, and the winners beer will be featured on a full-sized batch." Beers include: Rye Schwarzbier Black Lager; Prickly Pear Gose; Passionfruit Berlinerweisse; and Cilantro Lime Kolsch. There will also be live music from the Dollhouse Thieves and food from Pavy's Food Truck and Tony Gaucamole.
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 beer 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 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.
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
Join Mockery Brewing for its second annual Reinheitsgewhat?! Party in celebration of the 501st anniversary of the German Beer Purity Law of the same name. "It's going to be a grand day of mocking and rocking the law, with new and limited beer releases (all of which break the law)," the brewery says, along with live music from the Polkanauts, a German menu from Revelry Events, commemorative steins for the first one hundred people.
Denver Beer Co brings back its Oyster and Stout Festival. The brewery has once again teamed up with Seattle Fish Company and Blue Island Oyster Bar and Seafood to make a beer, Blue Island Oyster Stout, which was brewed with Blue Island No. 9 Oysters from Peconic Bay, New York. From noon to 5 p.m., they'll be pairing the briny brew with oysters from both coasts at the Platte Street taproom. Tickets, $30 for two beers and a dozen oysters, are available at Denver Beer Co's website.
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.
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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 (Rocky Mountain Cheesery, Street Frites Denver, Basic Kneads Pizza, Little India Food Truck) and music from Velvet Compass and the Goonies. Tickets are $48 and available at eventbrite.com.
Powder Keg Brewing in Niwot will release bottles of Twilight Rendezvous, its Imperial Stout aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels, at noon. They are $18 per 22-ounce bomber; limit of two per customer.
Odd13 Brewing hosts its monthly taproom-only release party starting at 1 p.m. This time around, the brewery will release two beers on the same day. The first is Kaptain Ka-Powder, a collaborative IPA brewed with Upslope Brewing. "We each brewed the beer with hop products containing no leaf matter. Our version was brewed with lupulin powder (Mosaic and Simcoe); their version was brewed with hop extracts," the brewery says. The Odd13 version will be available in six-packs on and draft; there will be a limited amount of the Upslope version on tap. The second is Barrel Aged Liftmaster 13,000 (500ml only, no draft). It's a mixed-culture Bier De Garage fermented and "aged in a fresh chardonnay barrel," Odd13 says. "The result is a moderately tart vinous beer with bright flavor, and contributions of white wine, fresh oak, and young brett."