In the old days — back when a phone call cost 25 cents and we had to walk ten miles through the snow just to get a replacement ribbon for our typewriters — the new year meant heading to the office-supply store to buy a new planner for the upcoming months. These days, most people keep their calendars online so that their phones can automatically remind them of what's going on that day. But no matter how you keep your schedule, one of the first events to log for 2017 is the fourth annual Collaboration Fest, which takes place March 25 at the National Western Stock Show Complex.
Although still young, this fest has quickly become one of the top beer events in the state, both for the breweries that participate and the beer drinkers who attend. Hosted as usual by the Colorado Brewers Guild and the Two Parts party-planning firm, Collab Fest will feature more than 75 one-off beers made specifically for this event. Each one will be brewed by a CBG member that has teamed up with one or more other breweries — from both inside and outside of Colorado — on a collaborative beer.
The results are a fascinating array of styles and ingredients — not to mention some beers that go on to become regular staples at some breweries (hello, Death by Coconut). Tickets to Collaboration Fest are $60 ($85 for VIP) and are available now at collaborationfest.com.
Now, here are this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, December 28
Platt Park Brewing will tap a firkin of its Nature's Sweater. The 10.9 percent ABV beer is a "dark traditional English barleywine with American hops and a hint of dark fruit," the brewery says.
Call to Arms will ring in the last week of 2016 with several one-off lagers, including the premiere of its new Swedish lager, Nine-Toed Woman, which was named "in honor of the female nihilist character from The Big Lebowski who wasn't able to get a million dollars for her toe, but was lucky enough to land some Swedish lingonberries on her pancakes," the brewery says. This "lost" style of beer has a copper-blond color "with a soft malt sweetness that's balanced with light hop notes." In addition, Call to Arms will tap
Amigos Especiales Con Beneficios, a barrel-aged imperial Vienna lager with tart cherries, today at 3 p.m.
Friday, December 30
Comrade Brewing will tap Single Hop Citra IPA, its last new beer for 2016. The eighth in the brewery's single-hop series, it was brewed with American pilsner and wheat malt, Citra hops and and Citra hop kief. The 6.2 percent ABV beer has a "bright straw-yellow color with intense tropical fruit notes of passion fruit, papaya, mango and a distinct citrus," the brewery says.
Cerebral Brewing will tap its newest IPA, Secret Chat Room, today when it opens at noon. "Brewed with both flaked and malted wheat, but you don't care about that. You want to know what we hopped it with don't you? A/S/L?," the brewery says, making a chat-room joke. Burgerchief will be outside from 3 to 10 p.m. serving flat-top burgers, fries, onion rings and more.
Deviant Dale's — formerly a year-round beer — is now a seasonal for Oskar Blues, and the rich imperial IPA makes its return today at the brewery's Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont.
Saturday, December 31
Depravity Imperial Peanut Butter Cup Stout returns to Renegade Brewing today, where it is tapped every New Year's Eve. This time around, you can find the very limited beer both on draft and in canned four-packs to go. There is a limit of two four-packs per customer.
Epic Brewing will ring in 2017 four times tonight with a coast-to-coast party filled with food-and-beer pairings and toasts as each time zone celebrates. "Starting at 9 p.m., Epic will count down the minutes to the New Year from the east to the west," the brewery says. "Each hour will feature a themed small plate buffet of bar fare from major cities, served along with a special beer pairing." The buffet themes are as follows: New York at 9 p.m.; Chicago at 10 p.m.; Denver at 11 p.m. and Portland at midnight. Tickets will be available either for just one hour or for the whole thing at eventbrite.
Copper Kettle Brewing will host its third annual New Year’s Eve Black Tie Dinner celebration starting at 9 p.m. It features a gourmet three-course beer dinner pairing with El Toro the Tot and a midnight toast. To do it up right, Copper Kettle transforms its normally laid-back taproom into "an intimate, candlelit fine-dining experience," the brewery says. "Guests are encouraged to wear black-tie attire to fit the evening’s motif; however, the dress code is not strictly enforced." Tickets, $60, and more details about the dishes and beers can be found at eventgrid.
"No covers, no shenanigans, no packed LoDo bar amateur-drinking-night situation. Just craft beer, good friends, party hats, and a complimentary pour from our firkin at midnight." That's how Denver Beer Co describes its planned New Year's Eve party, which runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Get the night started right by joining Alpine Dog Brewing at 6 p.m. for the tapping of its Cherry Pie Firkin. The beer was made with the brewery's blonde ale aged with "a huge amount of cherries and a little cinnamon and vanilla." There will be food at the party from the Casablanca Food Truck.
The Brewability Lab will host a NYE event tonight. It's $31 for unlimited beer and appetizers. "You can dress up or down, just come with a positive outlook for 2017," the brewery says. "We will have games, giveaways, karaoke and more! Avoid the mob downtown and join us for a purposeful evening of fun with new friends! Please RSVP so I know how much food to provide."
Freshcraft will be tapping special beers between 8 p.m. and midnight, including Avery Tweak, Station 26's third-anniversary triple IPA, New Belgium Love Apple Felix, Weldworks Juicy Bits Orange Creamsicle and Casey Brewing's The Cut: Lapin Cherry (which will be the midnight toast). There will also be some deeply discounted reserve bottles from the Bruery, Cantillon, Casey Brewing, Boulevard and Fremont.
Our Mutual Friend will be "slinging the fancy beer and spinning smooth NYE jams until bidding adieu to 2016," the brewery says. "Countdown drinks are on us. Snacks will be provided. Dress to impress."
Cellar West Artisan Ales, a new brewery in Boulder that makes oak-aged beers served only in bottles, will host its grand opening today from noon to 7 p.m. The brewery will have some of its inaugural oak-fermented beers available by the bottle, Suburban Wiener on site dishing up sausages, records on the turntable (bring in an old favorite), coffee from Just Coffee Cooperative, and tours. For more details on times, beers and other information, go to Cellar West's Facebook page.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
"We know our crowd isn't a bunch of amateurs and will be ready to get out on the first day of 2017 to get the New Year started properly," writes Factotum Brewhouse. Which is why the brewery will host its well-known neighbors, Tamales by La Casita. "Write your resolutions, throw on your favorite football jersey, grab your friends/family and come over to the taproom for some traditional New Year's Day tamales." Factotum will also have Sunday Ticket football on two TVs.