Denver's rolling explosion of craft-beer taps is celebrating its first anniversary, since several restaurants that fueled the movement opened a year ago this month.
And while one of these new beer bars, Uptown Brothers, didn't make it, others -- like Euclid Hall, Freshcraft, Stoney's and Hops & Pie -- are still serving superior suds and gearing up for the Great American Beer Festival, September 29 to October 1.
Together with Cheeky Monk, Star Bar, the Hole, Cheba Hut, Yard House, Mellow Mushroom and Highland Tap & Burger, these places added hundreds of new craft beer taps (or can and bottle lists) to the city's beer scene late last summer and fall.
And in the past few months, the Breckenridge/Wynkoop companies have added many more handles by overhauling the lineup at Wazee Supper Club and opening two new craft-centric eateries, Ale House at Amato's and Ghost Plate and Tap.
"There could be some shakeout, but for the most part, everyone seems to be doing pretty well," says Jason Forgy, one the brothers behind Freshcraft, which has twenty craft beers on tap and dozens more in bottles and cans. "And while LoDo is pretty well served, I think Denver in general is ready to support even more craft beer bars."
There are plenty of neighborhoods -- from Wash Park to Centennial and from Highlands Ranch to Lowry -- that are "underserved," he adds. "I really think there are opportunities throughout the town for somebody to get in and do it."
Freshcraft will celebrate its own one-year anniversary on Saturday, August 27, with a day-long barbecue and party that will include the tapping of a special imperial red ale brewed by Boulder's Upslope Brewing to mark the day. There will also be other tappings and releases from the restaurant's cellar, along with GABF ticket giveaways.
Here's the tentative schedule, but you can check Freshcraft's Facebook page for updates.
11 a.m.: Tapping Oskar Blues Nitro Old Chub; Bottles of Odell India Barleywine go on sale for on-premise consumption (one case only)
1 p.m.: Tapping Avery Dry Hopped IPA
2 p.m.: Bottles of Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad go on sale (one case only)
5 p.m.: Drawing for three prizes, including a pair of tickets to GABF
7 p.m.: Tapping Upslope-Freshcraft Imperial Red Ale
11:30 p.m.: Drawing for three prizes, including a pair of tickets to GABF