The lineup for the Wynkoop's annual Parade of Darks this Saturday reads like a Colorado beer geek's wet dream -- notwithstanding the stout made with bull testicles. In fact, the beer list is so electric that attendees may not know where to begin.
Billed as a fest dedicated to "beers in the amber-to-opaque color spectrum," there are barleywines, browns, porters, stouts, Scotch ales, dunkels, sours and a few brews that don't fit into any single category (like Punk Up the Yams from Bull & Bush).
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"It is a nice snapshot of the sense of adventure in craft brewing these days," says the Wynkoop's Marty Jones, who put the list together (see it below). "Most of these breweries understand the goal of the event as well, so they are bringing some of their cool and unusual stuff that is seasonal or is hard to get and blurs the lines a little bit."
But where to begin? Jones suggests the lighter end of the spectrum -- like with AC Golden's blueberry and plum sours, or with the Wynkoop's own ColoRojo. From there, it's open season, but the Bull & Bush, which is bringing six beers, is a good place to start.
But he also wants to highlight some of the newer Colorado breweries that don't have many -- or any -- outside accounts and haven't been served at the Wynkoop before.
"There are probably fifteen to twenty beers that have never been served in the downtown area before," he says about offerings from Bootstrap, Arvada Beer, Lone Tree and others. "I did go to some effort to bring these guys in."
And don't forget the Wynkoop's own Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout -- made with real bull balls -- which earned the brewery a lot of notoriety in October.
All told, there will be 82 beers from 34 breweries; the vast majority are from Colorado, although there are a few out-of-state treats from the likes of Lost Abbey, Sierra Nevada, Boulevard, Green Flash, Jolly Pumpkin, Port, Ommegang and Maui Brewing.
The Parade of Darks takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Wynkoop. And since the breweries all donate their beer and the Wynkoop donates the time and space, a whopping 100 percent of the proceeds (along with the money spent at a silent auction that will feature some beer-related items) go to benefit Metro CareRing.
Tickets are $35 in advance at www.wynkoop.com or $42 at the door (if it doesn't sell out.) A selection of cheeses and chocolate will be available.
2012 Parade of Darks brewery and beer list: Arvada Beer Co - Jolly Holiday Ale, Foreign to Me Stout Avery Brewing - The Czar, Old Jubilation, Out of Bounds Stout AC Golden - Blueberry Sour, Plum Sour, Bootstrap Brewing- Worthog Stout, Boomer Brown Boulevard Brewing - Bully! Porter, Dark Truth Stout Breckenridge Brewery - Oatmeal Stout, Vanilla Porter, Extra ESB, Christmas Ale Bull & Bush - Big Ben Brown Ale, Stonehenge Stout, Punk Up The Yams, The Legend Of The Liquid Brain, Captain Funk, Captain Midnight Caution Brewing - Toaster Bat Black Smoked Porter, Dunkel(er)weiss. Copper Kettle - Mexican Chocolate Stout, Pumpkin Porter Denver Beer Co- Graham Cracker Porter, Chill Out Chocolate Chili Stout Elevation Brewing - Apis, Lil Mo Porter Drydock Brewing - Wee Heavy Strong Scotch Ale, Raspberry Porter Firestone Walker - Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout, Walker's Reserve Porter, DBA Fort Collins Brewery - Double Chocolate Stout Great Divide - Yeti Imperial Stout, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Claymore Scotch Ale, Hibernation Green Flash - Double Stout Grimm Brothers Brewhouse - Master Thief German Porter, Fearless Youth Dunkel Lager, Wee Heavy Barrel-Aged Scottish Strong Ale Jolly Pumpkin - Bam Noir Left Hand - Fade to Black, Milk Stout Nitro Lone Tree Brewing - Acres O Green Irish Red, Toots's Full-Bodied Oatmeal Stout, Chili Beer Collaboration #2, Old # 99 Rauchbier Lost Abbey - Lost & Found Maui Brewing - Coconut Porter Mountain Sun Brewery & Pub -- Megatron Imperial Stout, Oatimus Prime Imperial Stout Odell Brewing - Mountain Standard, Isolation Ale Ommegang - Three Philosophers Port Brewing -- Old Viscosity Prost Brewing - Doppelbock, Dunkel Pug Ryan's -- Brain-teaser Barlywine, Barell-Aged Leap Year Trifecta Sierra Nevada - Narwhal Imperial Stout,Wine Barrel Aged Dubbel Ska - Steel Toe Stout, Nefarious, On The Sly Again Strange Brewing - Pumpkin Porter, Cherry Bomb Stout, Gingerbread Man, Vanilla Rum Porter Twisted Pine - Espresso Stout, Honey Brown Upslope Brewing- Christmas Ale, Brown Ale Wynkoop Brewing - Gingerbread Stout, 2012 Barleywine, Cowtown Milk Stout, B3K Black Lager, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, Colorado
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