It's harvest season, and pumpkins and peaches aren't the only things making their way into beers. Breweries are putting together and releasing their annual fresh hop -- or wet hop -- beers using hops from both Colorado and Washington. The point of these beers is to capture the flavor of the hops within 24 hours of being picked from the bines. Some tap-only breweries breweries have already started pouring them, while a few of the bottled versions should be hitting shelves in the next few days or weeks. One example is Ska Brewing's Hoperation Ivy, which uses hops picked from High Wire Hop Farms in Paonia and grain from Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa. In this case, the hops were picked at 6 a.m. one August morning and in the brew kettle by 3 p.m.
Turn the page for more of this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, September 11
Copper Kettle Brewing is turning out a new cask of beer aged with fresh hops each Wednesday this month for its weekly Firkin Wednesdays program. Today's beer, Cascade Fresh Hop, will go on tap at 3 p.m., when the brewery opens. East Coast Joe's food truck will be serving starting at 4:30 p.m.
River North Brewery will tap Milk Stout Avarice, a version of its Avarice Russian Imperial Stout, today for the brewery's weekly Wayward Wednesday program.
Thursday, September 12
Postponed due to rain: Upslope Brewing's highly-anticipated Pumpkin Ale will return today with a party at the brewery's new FlatIron Park taproom. The GABF award-winning fall seasonal is made with 3,000 pounds of baby bear pumpkins grown at Boulder's Munson Farms. The beer will be flowing all day, but the party officially starts at 6 p.m. with live music from Felonious Smith and food from Orange Crunch. Cans hit shelves on October 1.
Falling Rock will help 12 percent Imports kick off distribution in Colorado at 5:30 p.m. today by serving beers from two highly-acclaimed "gypsy brewers," Stillwater and Evil Twin.
The Boulder History Museum will delve into how a few of Boulder County's oldest craft breweries got their start at 6 p.m. at the Brewery Founders Speaker Panel and Happy Hour "Today, breweries have an association and a large network of other breweries as resources, but how did the first breweries get started?" the museum asks. On hand to provide answers: Dave Hummer of Boulder Beer, Eric Wallace of Left Hand Brewing, and Bob Baile of Twisted Pine. The panel is part of the museum's current exhibit, BEER! Boulder's History on Tap, and will be hosted at 2205 Broadway, the future home of the Boulder History Museum. Admission is $10 and $7 for museum members. Admission includes the first beer and the program.
Friday, September 13
Lowry Beer Garden is hosting its second annual Oktoberfest this month, bringing the lederhosen, the beer liters and the party back for three weekends in a row -- each of which will highlight a different Colorado brewery. (And anyone who wears a German dirndl or lederhosen gets their first beer free). This weekend's party runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow with live music (oom-pah bands: Austrian Connection, the Rhinelanders and Polkanauts) and a mini tap takeover by Prost Brewing, which will be pouring Altfränkisches Dunkel Bier, Prost Pils, WeiBbier and Marzen. (American Craft Beer Radio will be in the house today, broadcasting live from noon to 1 p.m.) Next weekend's featured brewery is Odell, followed by Left Hand on September 27-28.
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will tap its new seasonal Fresh Hop IPA today at 7 p.m.
Dry Dock Brewing will tap Green Chili Double IPA at 3 p.m. today featuring Mirasol roasted chiles (grown in Pueblo) from Nick's Garden Center. The tapping is park of Dry Dock's weekly Firkin Friday program.
Saturday, September 14
"Since the 19th century, oysters and stouts have been quite the dynamic duo," says Denver Beer Co, and today from noon to 4 p.m., the brewery and Seattle Fish Co. will team up to host an inaugural Oyster & Stout Fest in the main taproom. Tickets are $25 and include two pints and twelve oysters. It's $15 for each additional dozen, and there will be three oyster stations: East Coast, West Coast and, yes, Rocky Mountain oysters. Also, from 11 a.m. to noon, there will be a VIP oyster-shucking class and tasting held in Denver Beer Co's Barrel Room. Tickets to that are an additional $25 and include six oysters and three tasters. For reservations, call 303-433-2739.
Tha Hoppa returns to the Copper Kettle today at noon. The beer, brewed with hops that were hand-picked by Copper Kettle staff at Voss Farms in Arvada, is the brewery's signature fresh hop ale. The Dogtown Concessions truck will be serving at 4 p.m.
Odell Brewing will release a new beer this week in bottles that you can only get if you buy the brewery's fall/winter Montage Variety twelve-pack in stores. But Odell will give people a taste by tapping the beer, Well Spring Dry-Hopped Saison, today in its Fort Collins taproom. "Slightly hoppier than the classic Saison, this debut is crisp with notes of lemon pepper, banana and stone fruit," the brewery says. The 6.6 percent ABV beer, and other brews, will be paired with cheeses from Mouco Cheese.
Monday, September 16
POSTPONED until September 30 to allow flood-affected Oskar Blues to participate: A group of women brewers and brewery workers will tap the third all-female collaboration beer today at 6 p.m. at Wynkoop Brewing. The beer, called Whakalicious, is an extra pale ale featuring Motueka hops. It was brewed a couple of weeks ago at Longmont's Oskar Blues. Previous lady beers were tapped earlier this year. Proceeds from the beer are being donated to the Pink Boots Society.
St. Arnold Brewing, of Houston, Texas, has just begun selling beer in Colorado, and it will hold a kickoff event at 5:30 p.m. today at Falling Rock Taphouse. It's featuring the three core beer brands with which the brewery is entering the Colorado market -- Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer, Saint Arnold Elissa IPA and Santo -- as well as some special offerings, such as cask-conditioned Saint Arnold Endeavour (Double IPA), bottles of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 12 (Old Ale aging since May 2012), Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 13 (Belgian Quadrupel originally released in February 2013) and Saint Arnold Bishop's Barrel No. 4 (Weizenbock aged in bourbon barrels with cocoa nibs).
Tuesday, September 17
CANCELLED: Black Shirt Brewing is throwing an East Coast Lobster Bake in its intimate back yard today with East Coast Joe's. The meal will include a 1.5 pound lobster, steamers, corn on the cob, and roasted red potatoes. You'll also your choice of one personal 32-ounce growler of any of the brewery's selection of pre-filled growlers. "There will be great music, great company, and this will be the perfect way to say farewell to summer and hello to a Colorado fall," the brewery says. Tickets, $60, are limited to forty spots.
Turn the page for more beer events later in the month. Wednesday, September 18
Copper Kettle Brewing is turning out a new cask of beer aged with fresh hops each Wednesday this month for its weekly Firkin Wednesdays program. Today's beer, Chinook Fresh Hop will go on tap at 3 p.m., when the brewery opens. East Coast Joe's food truck will be serving starting at 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 19
Boulder Beer Company will release a new small batch, limited-edition seasonal beer this month in bomber bottles and kegs. It's called Dragonhosen Imperial Oktoberfest, and the brewery will host a release party for the beer today along with live polka music and sausage specials. The brewery describes Dragonhosen thusly: "Brewed with generous amounts of Vienna and Munich malts for a rich, full-bodied malty flavor, Dragonhosen begins as a traditional Oktoberfest lager, then stealthily breathes fire with 9 percent alcohol by volume. Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops add balance with a mild earthy aroma and flavor with moderate bitterness."
Freshcraft and Ska Brewing will welcome Autumn back at 7 p.m. by tapping Ska's second incarnation of Autumnal Mole Stout, a chile beer that Ska first brewed and canned last year as the first of four seasonal stouts. Freshcraft will also tap the other three stouts, Hibernal Vinifera Stout, Vernal Minthe Stout and Estival Orange Cream Stout (which didn't end up in cans afterall). There will also be food specials and Vernal Minthe Ice Cream Floats. The first 24 people to order a seasonal stout will leave with a Ska glass.
Friday, September 20
Copper Kettle took its Imperial Pumpkin Porter recipe and added lactose (which is what milk stouts are made with) to give "a creamy, silky smooth finish" and then cask conditioned it to create Milk Imperial Pumpkin Porter, which will be served cask-style today at 4 p.m. The delicious-sounding brew was made with fresh local pumpkins, nutmeg and allspice. But there are only ten gallons, so get there early. The Crazy Good food truck will be there are 5 p.m.
Lowry Beer Garden will host its second annual Oktoberfest this month, bringing the lederhosen, the beer liters and the party back this weekend and next. (And anyone who wears a German dirndl or ledershosen gets their first beer free). This weekend's party runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow with live music (Oom-Pah bands: Austrian Connection, the Rhinelanders and Polkanauts) and a mini tap takeover by Odell Brewing, which will be pouring an Oktoberfest beer brewed special for this event as well as Odell 90 Shilling, IPA, Isolation Ale, Well Spring, and Myrcenary. Next weekend's featured brewery is Left Hand.
Longmont's Left Hand Brewing will bring back its Oktoberfest celebration today from 4 to 10 p.m. and tomorrow from noon to 10 p.m. in Roosevelt Park. The celebration, which is free and open to all ages, features live music, German-themed activities and beers from Left Hand, Oskar Blues and the Pumphouse. There will also be best-dressed, stein-holding and bratwurst-eating contests (and on Saturday, the organizers will attempt to fill and cook the world's longest bratwurst at 55 feet in length and commemorate Left Hand's 20th anniversary with a special late night toast).
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland, which brews traditional German-style beers, has expanded its own annual Oktoberfest celebration into a two-day community festival and moved it to the Foote Lagoon Amphitheater and Park. It runs today from 3 to 9 p.m. and tomorrow from noon to 9 p.m. and includes activities for all ages. Bands will play every hour and there will be dancing, beer games and children's activities, along with Austrian and German food vendors and artisans. In addition to Grimm, there will be beers from Loveland Aleworks, Verboten Brewing, Big Beaver Brewing and Rock Bottom; Loveland-based distributor American Eagle is providing additional craft brews from Great Divide, Breckenridge, Odell Brewing and Epic. A portion of the proceeds benefit Colorado Youth Outdoors and Team Stabos (Save Them All BIG or Small).
Saturday, September 21
Wit's End Brewing will celebrate its second anniversary today with thirteen beers on tap -- which is a lot for this tiny brewery. There will also be schwag, GABF tickets to raffle and food from from Pride of Philly.
Vine Street Pub and Brewery will host its third annual Uptown Block Party and Brewer's Olympics today from 1 to 9 p.m. today, featuring a free live music from an all-star band made up of Keith Moseley of String Cheese Incident, Dave Johnston of Yonder Mountain String Band, Dave Watts of the Motet, Scott Law and Greg Schochet. There will also be plenty of beer (the event is free, but pints are $5) from Vine Street (the flagship brewery for Mountain Sun Pubs and Breweries), Breckenridge, Upslope, Wynkoop, Boulder Beer, Twisted Pine, Avery, Great Divide, Odell, Oskar Blues, Cannonball Creek, and Renegade. Vine, between 17th and 18th avenues, will be closed off for the party. The Brewers' Olympics, in which staff from different breweries will compete in various games (past sporting events have included tricycle races, blind-folded grain stacking relay, moving keg obstacle course) begins at 1 p.m.; the awards ceremony is at 4 p.m. All proceeds from the block party benefit New Era Colorado.
The Copper Kettle brings back its Imperial Pumpkin Porter today at 4 p.m., a rich, smooth imperial porter with mild hints of pumpkin spice. And you can even get it served in a baby pumpkin if you'd like. The El Toro the Tot food truck will be there are 4 p.m.
Odell Brewing will celebrate the return of Mountain Standard Double Black IPA today with a party in its taproom in Fort Collins. The seasonal release, which will hit shelves soon as well in four-packs, features hops picked on Colorado's western slope. The 9.5 percent ABV beer is available September through December.
TRVE Brewing will kick off its first-ever bottle release with party starting at 1:30 p.m. (for members or would-be members of the brewery's Growler CVLT) and 2 p.m. for everyone else. The beer, called Vexovoid, was fermented with brettanomyces and also has some lactobaccilus, giving it "the perfect level of tart acidity and a champagne-like carbonation," the brewery says. CVLT member pricing will be $15 per bottle, with a six-bottle limit; standard pricing is $17, with a 4 bottle per person limit.
Sunday, September 22
Avery Brewing will delight pumpkin beer fans today with the release of Rumpkin, its massive, 18.53 percent ABV rum-barrel-aged monster. This year's version was brewed with 600 pounds of hand roasted organic pumpkins from Boulder's Munson Farms and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and then aged for six months in dark rum barrels. Bottle sales will begin at 5 p.m. at Avery's Boulder taproom, although the line party will start at 11 p.m. (and there will be several rare beers on tap). Each twelve-ounce bottle is $12, and fans are limited to one case each.
Wednesday, September 25
Copper Kettle Brewing is turning out a new cask of beer aged with fresh hops each Wednesday this month for its weekly Firkin Wednesdays program. Today's beer, Nine Digit #45 Fresh Hop will go on tap at 3 p.m., when the brewery opens. East Coast Joe's food truck will be serving starting at 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 26
Freshcraft, Odell Brewing and Leopold Bros will come together tonight at 7 p.m. for a release party/beer dinner celebrating Odell's Fernet Aged Porter at the beer-centric restaurant. The idea for beer came about last year when Freshcraft picked up a Fernet barrel from Leopold Bros and took it to Odell, where the brewery aged some Cutthroat Porter in it. This year, Odell brewed a special imperial porter and then aged it in several Leopold Bros Fernet barrels; it is being released in bottles and in kegs. But Freshcraft still has a keg of the original brew and it will tap one of each tonight alongside some special dishes and some cocktailes using Leopold Bros spirits. Tickets are $60 ticket and include food from the buffet, a pour of each beer, a cocktail and another Odell beer.
Friday, September 27
Lowry Beer Garden wraps up its second annual Oktoberfest this month with live music (Oom-Pah bands: Austrian Connection, the Rhinelanders and Polkanauts) and a party today and tomorrow from 6:30 to 10 p.m. (And anyone who wears a German dirndl or ledershosen gets their first beer free). There will also be a mini tap takeover by Left Hand Brewing, which will be pouring Oktoberfest, Sawtooth Ale, Milk Stout Nitro, Polestar Pilsner, 400 Pound Monkey and Short Spear.
Saturday, September 28
River North Brewery is set to debut several new barrel-aged beer over the next few weeks in bottles and on draft. The first is Rum Barrel Quandary, which is a blend of two-thirds River North quadrupel aged in rum barrels with one-third fresh. "The result melds the maltiness of a Belgian dark ale with the sweet sharpness of rum and oak, striking a refined balance between the beer and the barrel," the brewery says. There will tapping party in the taproom today at 1 p.m., where bottles will be sold as well. But since 72 cases were bottled, the beer should be available in liquor stores as well.
Monday, September 30
A group of women brewers and brewery workers will tap the third all-female collaboration beer today at 6 p.m. at Wynkoop Brewing. The beer, called Whakalicious, is an extra pale ale featuring Motueka hops. It was brewed a couple of weeks ago at Longmont's Oskar Blues. Previous lady beers were tapped earlier this year. Proceeds from the beer are being donated to the Pink Boots Society.
Hops & Pie, the craft beer-and-pizza-centered restaurant that helped usher in a new wave of beer-themed eateries to Denver, will celebrate its third birthday with a party starting at noon and a fantastic selection of beers from Avery Brewing. Selections on tap include Momi Hiwa, Uncle Jacob's Stout, Lilikoi Kepolo, Bad Apples, Wee Turtles, Trogdor the Burninator, Tweak, DuganA, White Rascal, Cacade Hop-Backed IPA, the Beast, Chai Brown, Samael's, Odio Equum, Black Pearl, Thensaurum, and some secret taps. There will be raffles and prizes, and the Colorado Craft Beer Show will broadcast live from the party.
Epic Brewing will hold a grand opening party today for its new taproom in Denver, which is attached to the multimillion-dollar new brewery that the Salt Lake City-based company opened here in July. The tap room features 25 taps and two beer engines. Public tours of the brewery will also be available at that time.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan