It's American Craft Beer Week - seven days that Congress designated for an official celebration of microbrews, and only microbrews - and in Colorado, which has more than 115 breweries, this week is almost a state holiday.
Here are ten ways to toast the occasion:
2. Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora will tap a new keg each night, including a Wasabi Rice Ale on Friday. Wasabi? Wow.
3. Strange Brewing plans to open its doors to the public for the first time on Wednesday; its located at 1330 Zuni Street in an office park in one of the last industrial parts of the city. I stopped by for a sneak peek last week, and the space is very cool inside. It's hard to think of a better way to cheer than by checking out a new brewery in Denver.
4. Take a growler to go. These 64-ounce jars of joy need to be imbibed within a day or so, or they go flat. Most of the Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins breweries sell them; Glendale's Bull & Bush offers a club card. Buy nine and get the tenth growler free.
5. Grab something new off the shelf, maybe even from Westword's list of 50 Colorado Beers to Try Before you die. Some of my favorite liquor stores for finding good stuff include Argonaut, Applejack, Mayfair Liquors, Liquor Mart, Bonnie Brae, Total Beverage and Grapevine Wine and Liquors.
6. Hit the road and sample beer in a new city. Have you been to Trinity in Colorado Springs or Dillon Dam in Dillon? How about Coopersmith's in Fort Collins or Kannah Creek in Grand Junction?
7. Speaking of Fort Collins, the college town may be overshadowed in Colorado by Boulder and Denver, but it would be regarded as one of the nation's finest beer cities if it were located in almost any other state. Now, New Belgium, Odell Brewing and Coopersmith's have teamed up to make Collaboration Kriek, which combines Odell Saboteur, New Belgium La Folie and Coopersmith Kriek. The cherry beer was put together in honor of American Craft Beer Week. Find it today in New Belgium's taproom.
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8. Did we mention that there are 115 breweries in Colorado, at least a dozen of which are in the Denver/Aurora area (Wynkoop, Great Divide, Breckenridge, Dry Dock, Del Norte, Strange, Rock Bottom, Bull & Bush, Sandlot, Pints Pub, Chop House, Vine Street Pub). Stop into one on your way home from work.
9. Sample a flight. The Rackhouse Pub offers samplers of any four beers they have on tap for $8. The Great Northern Tavern in the Denver Tech Center sells four four-ounce samplers for $5. Other great taprooms featuring Colorado brews include the Falling Rock Taphouse, Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids in Longmont and the Yard House in Lakewood.