Every time I think that there can't possibly be enough room in the market for another brewery in Denver, I step into a packed tap room and I change my mind. In fact, it's so difficult to get a seat sometimes at places like Great Divide and Dry Dock, that both places could probably double in size (something Dry Dock just did and Great Divide is considering).
But smaller breweries are growing, too. Witness Strange Brewing -- just over a year old -- which is upgrading its one-barrel brewing system to seven barrels to handle the demand, and Copper Kettle, which plans to triple its production capabilities just two months after opening.
Yes. the Denver market can probably handle more breweries. A lot more.
Wednesday, July 6
Elk Mountain Brewing, 18921 East Plaza Drive in Parker, will tap a firkin of Peach Pale Ale tonight at 4 p.m. as part of its Firkin Wednesday series.
Freshcraft, 1530 Blake Street, will celebrate the change of seasons -- and the changing of the seasonals -- by tapping three beers from Great Divide Brewing, Rumble Oak Aged IPA, Smoked Baltic Porter and Belgian Style Yeti Stout. Appetizer pairings will be available for all three brews; the party starts at 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 7
Freshcraft continues its seasonal festivities tonight -- at 7 p.m. on the seventh day of the seventh month -- with Greeley's Crabtree Brewing by tapping its new Cezanne Saison made with orange-blossom honey (one of my favorite ingredients!). Cezanne is also made with rye, wheat and pilsner malts and clocks in at 7.54 ABV. Freshcraft will also have Crabtree's "5" anniversary ale in bottles along with Ginger Bee Ale.
West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street in Boulder, presents the Satellite Tap Room, offering drafts from a different brewery every month, with brewers and reps on hand to discuss the beers and breweries; this month, Grand Teton Brewing of Wyoming is the brewery to watch. Call 303-444-3535 or visit www.thewestendtavern.com.
Friday, July 8
Catch the world premier of Beer Culture the Movie tonight at 6 p.m. at Upslope Brewing in Boulder. The feature-length documentary explores "the growth of the American craft beer movement" by "telling the inspirational stories of unwavering motivation by some of Colorado's top brewers." There will be live music at 6 p.m. along with a firkin tapping; the movie will be shown at 8 p.m. You can also meet the director, producers, and production staff behind the film.
Saturday, July 9
Breckenridge Brewing, 471 Kalamath Street, celebrates its 21st birthday today by tapping some rare beers (now that it's finally old enough to drink), firkins and other experimental releases. But that's only the beginning of this anniversary party, which takes place in the parking lot: There will also be an old-fashioned pig roast, live music from the Colorado Goat Ropers Guild and Marty Jones and the Great Unknowns, and "crazy entertainment." Tickets are $21 (all inclusive) and the fest runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. And if that's not enough, Colorado Craft Beer Radio, on AM760, will air its first live remote radio show at the brewery from noon to 1 p.m. And lastly, both Renegade Brewing, which just opened in late June, and Infinite Monkey Theorem winery will be pouring samples of their finest stuff.
Beer Culture the Movie moves on to Left Hand Brewing in Longmont for another free screening. Catch live music at 6 followed by the movie at 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 10
The Boulder Brew Bus leaves from the West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street in Boulder, and visits Upslope, Avery and Twisted Pine Breweries every Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The tour costs $30; call 303-444-3535 or visit www.thewestendtavern.com.
Thursday, July 14
Beer Culture the Movie is back for its Denver premiere at the Wynkoop Brewing Company. Tickets are $6, but space is limited to 100 people. The brewery will tap a firkin of its small-batch triple and raffle off a growler and some movie shwag. The movied starts at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 16
Copper Kettle Brewing, 1338 South Valencia Street, fires up its Black Summer Night party by tapping two new black beers, Malty Black Lager and Black IPA. There will also be live music from (continuing the theme) the Black Dots and Lizzie Huffman from 7 to 9 p.m. A food truck will be stationed outside as well. The party runs from 5 to 10 p.m.
Avery Brewing will release the latest beer in its barrel-aged series at 5 p.m. today at its tap room and barrel-aging cellar (and it is a brewery-only release). Meretrix, aged for two years in cabernet sauvignon barrels and with sour cherries, will only be available at the brewery. Since Avery's release parties get kind of crazy, the brewery has some new policies: staffers will serve beer to people waiting in line; tickets will be distributed to people waiting in line, with a maximum of four per person, so that late arrivals will know whether they will be able to get a bottle; bottles will be sold for cash only, and there will only be 1,320 bottles for sale.
Twisted Pine Brewing in Boulder celebrates its sixteenth birthday today with a party from 2 to 7 p.m. in its tasting room at 3201 Walnut Street. More than twenty beers will be available, including seasonal and aged varieties "and the exclusive release of Bough Breaker Barleywine; a strong and rich brew hopped to 120 IBUs with Amarillo hops," the brewery says. The grill will be going, and there will be live music all afternoon. Tickets, $25, are available at www.twistedpinebrewing.com or in the tap room.
Sunday, July 17
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Star Bar, 2137 Larimer Street, hosts a beer cocktail party today similar to the one that went down earlier this summer at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. Avery Brewing will be in the house as several of Colorado's top bartenders mix their beers with Colorado spirits to create beverages as colorful as they state they call home. The party starts at 6 p.m.
Friday, July 22
The Summer Brew Fest at Mile High Station, 2027 West Lower Colfax Avenue, will pour more than one hundred beers from at least forty breweries. In addition to live music from Bop Skizzum and the Flobots' Andy Guerrero, there will be food, a live auction and other vendors. General admission tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of; VIP tix, which allow you an extra hour of drinking before the masses arrive, cost $40 and $45. The fest, which benefits Swallow Hill Music Association, starts at 7 p.m. (or 6 for VIPers), and lasts until 10 p.m.