On the heels of the Boulder-based Brewers Association report that craft beer sales are up 14 percent so far this year, Longmont's Oskar Blues has posted even more outstanding numbers. The brewer said revenue was up 53 percent in the first six months of 2012. Oskar Blues credited the growth to a recent $3.5 million expansion and projected an output of 90,000 barrels in 2012, up from 59,000 barrels last year. In 2013, with the addition of a second brewery now under construction in Brevard, North Carolina, Oskar Blues predicts it will make 140,000 barrels of beer.
Keep reading for more beer news and events:
Wednesday, August 8
River North Brewery is tweaking its weekly Wednesday special release. Formerly known as Barrel-Aged Wednesday, it's now called Wayward Wednesday so that the six-month-old brewery can offer experimental variations of its existing beers. The first example: Modified Theory, a version of River North's Unified Theory recipe that has been fermented with Bavarian Weizen yeast and will dry-hopped in the keg with Apollo hops.
Steve Kurowski, the marketing and communications director for the Colorado Brewers Guild, will be guest bartending at Denver Beer Co today from 4 to 7 p.m. to promote SOCIAL (Supporter Of Colorado Indigenous Ale and Lager), a Guild program; for $25, members of SOCIAL get a T-shirt, discounts at participating Guild breweries, discounts at SOCIAL events, invitations to SOCIAL-only events and an e-mail newsletter.
Thursday, August 9
Wynkoop Brewing will carry out its second-annual hop picking party this morning at 9 a.m. when it takes a delivery of Chinook hops bines from Arvada's Voss Farms. "We'll string them on our patio (facing Wynkoop Street) and pick hops from the vines," the brewery says. "It's unique beer agritainment." By noon, the whole hops cones will be added to the first of three batches of Belgorado, a Belgian-style pale ale that won a Great American Beer Festival medal. Each batch of Belgorado will be made with hops from a different Colorado hop farm. You can help the Wynkoop's brewers pick the hops or just watch them get sticky and take in the fabulous aroma. Kegs of Belgorado (made with all Colorado malts and hops) will debut in early September.
Friday, August 10
Great Divide will tap a special oak-aged version of its new dopplebock, Wolfgang, today at 2 p.m. The beer, called The Wooded Wolf, will be served in ten-ounce pours.
Saturday, August 11
Breckenridge Brewery releases Summer Cab Ride today at 11 a.m. The barrel-aged golden ale will only be available at the brewery's tasting room at 471 Kalamath Street for $14.99 a 750ml bottle. Only 200 bottles are available, so it will sell out quickly. Summer Cab Ride is made by aging Breck's SummerBright in cabernet barrels for fourteen weeks.
Denver Beer Co will celebrate its first year in business with a block party -- yes, they're closing down the street -- that includes live music from Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels and Chain Station Mountain Music; food trucks like Basic Kneads pizza, Chile Billy and the Uber Sausage; and more than a dozen beers on tap. One of them will be Imperial Graham Cracker Porter, a bigger, badder version of the beer that won an award last year at the Great American Beer Festival. The party runs from 2 to 9 p.m. Admission is free, but beer and food cost money. Parking will be limited, though, so ride your bike.
Sunday, August 12
Dry Dock Brewing hosts its first annual Pie-A-Palooza today from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Bring a pie (although you should e-mail the brewery first at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your pie category and what beer you think it pairs with), serving utensils and toppings, and hope for the best. Categories include Berry, Fruit, Creamy and Savory/Nut; judging begins at 12:30 p.m. in the barrel room. Winners will be announced at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, August 15
Ale House at Amato's -- one of the restaurants owned by the Breckenridge-Wynkoop group -- and the Yak & Yeti Brewpub are going old-school with Tom Selleck's Amazing Double Pilsner, a collaboratively-brewed, heavily-mustachioed beer. The 6.6 percent ABV pils uses yeast from the Czech Republic and "gas been aged on hint of toasted oak for that special touch," according to the Yak. It is also "the only beer name that rivals the length of our Bockbier." The Yak will tap the beer at 4 p.m. today, and everyone who buys a glass gets a free (self-adhesive) faux-moustache. The party moves to the Ale House at Amato's tomorrow; rake mustaches will abound there as well.
Friday, August 17
Ernie's Bar & Pizza will celebrate the release of three new beers from New Belgium Brewing today from 6 to 9 p.m. New Belgium reps will be on hand to talk about Super IPA, a collaboration between New Belgium and San Diego County's Alpine Brewing; Peach Porch Lounger, co-brewed with musician G Love and named after one of his songs; and Red Hoptober, the brewery's fall seasonal. All beers from New Belgium will be on special from August 13-17.
See events later in August on the next page. Saturday, August 18
The Stapleton Beer Festival returns today from 4 to 8 p.m. for its third consecutive year, pouring beers from more than twenty breweries from Colorado and beyond (including some of the newer, smaller guys like Wits' End, Renegade and River North). There will also be live music from Tommy & the Tangerines at 4 p.m. and Chris Daniels & the Kings at 6 p.m., along with more then ten food trucks. It all takes place on The Green at Stapleton. Tickets are $35 in advance ($40 on the day of) and are available at www.stapletoncommunity.com (they include food tickets).
Monday, August 20
River North Brewery will now be open seven days a week, beginning today. The new hours are Monday-Thursday, 3 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 7 p.m. With the new hours, the six-month-old brewery will also expand happy hour, offering $4 pints Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Ernie's Bar & Pizza, along with several other bars, will welcome Prost Brewing, which opens today, to the Denver scene with a group toast. Ernie's will eventually carry three of Prost's beers on tap including its pilsner, hefeweizen and Altfrankisches Dunkel Beer.
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