In late November, Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, California, announced that it would brew a beer called Resilience IPA and donate all of its sales to the victims of the devastating Camp Fire, which was near the brewery's headquarters. Sierra Nevada also asked its fellow breweries around the country to do the same by brewing the same beer (Sierra Nevada provided the recipe) or with other fundraising beers. Within a few days, more than 400 beer makers had answered the call, and more are joining every day.
In Colorado, a couple dozen breweries have announced that they will pitch in. A partial list of participants so far includes New Belgium, Great Divide, Ska, Locavore, Our Mutual Friend, Woods Boss, Lady Justice, Burns Family Artisan Ales, Black Project, Novel Strand, Comrade, Westbound & Down and Alternation. And Westfax Brewing is hosting an event with seven other breweries on December 11 (see below) as part of the effort.
Keep reading for craft-beer events into early December.
Platt Park Brewing is releasing Spiced Pear Imperial Red as part of its 11th Tap Project. "We modified our hop-forward Imperial Red with pears and spices. It will be fruit-forward, with a subtle heat from the spices. The perfect warmer for a cold day," the brewery says.
The Aurora History Museum just opened a new exhibit called “Drink Local: Aurora’s Craft Beer Scene," which displays "the local entrepreneurial spirit that has created Aurora’s craft brew landscape,” according to Aurora History Museum director Scott Williams. “We also want to bring together scientific explication and artifacts to capture the curiosity of visitors.” The exhibit, which runs through April 7, includes special programs such as brown-bag lunch lectures on beer archaeology by Avery Brewing brewer (and CU professor) Travis Rupp. The exhibit ends with an April 6 tasting event, where participants will get unlimited beverage tasting, exclusive drink releases and a commemorative tasting glass. While the number of breweries in Aurora is limited, the show is a nice preview for a much larger exhibit planned by History Colorado for late 2019.
Thursday, November 29
Finn's Manor is going old-school at 5 p.m. when it taps a variety of sour beers from a pair of the best-known brewers in the game. The first is New Belgium, which will release Paonia Peach — an experimental version of its famed La Folie. "This beer was fermented atop a load of fresh Paonia peaches from the Western Slope in one of [New Belgium brewer Lauren Salazar's] beautiful oak foeders using the oldest, continuously living commercial sour beer culture in the USA," Finn's says. The bar will also tap Single Foeder Felix, Sour Saison, 1554 and Transatlantique Kriek, which is a collaboration with Oud Beersel. And speaking of Oud Beersel, Finn's will tap a few of the Belgian company's beers, including Oude Vieux Lambiek and Anno 1882. There will be DJs starting at 5 p.m., and Finn's will "dim the lights" later for its usual industry dance party.
Don your finest ugly sweater and join Boulder's Upslope Brewing (at the Lee Hill location) at 5 p.m. for the release of Wild Christmas Ale with Balaton Cherries, part of the brewery's Lee Hill Series. Upslope makes a new wild version of its Christmas ale every year, each time with a different fruit. This year, the 9.1 percent ABV beer was aged in oak barrels for twelve months with the brewery's house sour culture before being racked onto 1,000 pounds of Balaton cherries and allowed to re-ferment for eight weeks. "Aromas of pie cherries, leather, clover honey and almond are followed by mulling spices and a touch of orange peel," Upslope says. The beer will be available on draft and in 19.2-ounce cans to go.
Good River Beer and Woods Boss Brewing "share the same passion for protecting Colorado’s natural resources," the breweries say, which is why they both donate some of their proceeds to organizations that work with those resources. Now the two breweries have collaborated on a reddish spiced ale called Over the River and Through the Woods Holiday Amber to "both celebrate handcrafted local beer and donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations that are making an effort to protect and conserve Colorado’s rivers and forests."
Join Cerebral Brewing for a dual can release at noon. The first beer is Wheels Up IPA; the first in its new In Flight series, the beer represents a new approach for Cerebral. "Brewed with even more oats and a touch of raw wheat, then hopped with staggering amounts of Sabro, Citra and Citra Lupulin Pellets, this IPA is loaded with notes of pineapple and coconut," the brewery says. The second beer is DDH Strange Claw, a 6.2 percent ABV double dry-hopped IPA brewed with Columbus and Citra hops and Citra Lupulin Pellets.
Two-month-old Blue Tile Brewing is releasing its sixth beer, Het Steen, at 3 p.m. This Biere de Garde is named after a medieval fortress in Antwerp, Belgium.
Launch Pad Brewery in Aurora taps Pecan Pie Imperial Stout as part of its monthly flavored stout release. There will be be 100 bottles available to go.
4 Noses Brewing is releasing two limited-edition variants of El Jefe Imperial Stout at noon. The first is El Jefe Con Leche, made with with coffee, lactose, cinnamon and vanilla beans. The second is El Jefe Caliente, made with coffee, cinnamon, lactose and chili peppers. Both will be available in ten-ounce pours and in four-packs.
"Everybody's working for the Tweakend," says Boulder's Avery Brewing, which celebrates the 2018 version of Tweak, its bourbon-barrel-aged imperial coffee stout. While the beer actually hit shelves in October, the brewery hadn't had a party for it until today. There will be a vertical tasting of Tweak from the cellar and Tweak-inspired food specials all weekend.
Burns Family Artisan Ales releases its first holiday beer, Buche De Noel, at 6 p.m. This 15.7 percent ABV imperial stout was aged in Breckenridge Bourbon barrels. "A traditional imperial stout, brewed to a rich warmth, enhancing chocolate flavors in the grain, taking you in with rounded treacle and milky cocoa, teasing with faint notes of dark fruit," the brewery says. "This winter wonder presents its truly nostalgic nature with vanilla and coconut notes from the barrel. Complex and layered, as indulgent as the cake for which it is named: Buche de Noel." It will be on tap and available in 750ml bottles.
"In honor of Santa Day in Belgium," Bruz Beers will release Figgy Puddin’ at 1 p.m. The beer is a collaboration with Goldspot Brewing (which already released its own version last month). "This fig Belgian brown has notes of cherry, plum, fig, chocolate and spice," Bruz says.
Arvada's New Image Brewing is bringing back two canned favorites on the same day: Blackberries & Cream Dyad and TuHop Shakur West Coast IPA. New Image opens at 11 a.m.
Tuesday, December 4
San Francisco-based 21st Amendment Brewery begins full keg and package distribution in Colorado this week with a kickoff event at Falling Rock Tap House at 5:30 p.m. There will also be a handful of other launch events at locations around the Front Range, including those at Green Russell at 5 p.m. on December 5, and at Freshcraft on December 6. 1st Amendment makes Hell or High Watermelon; Brew Free! or Die IPA; El Sully Mexican-style Lager; and Fireside Chat Winter Ale, among others. The brewery is in a financial and sales partnership with Brooklyn Brewery, which launched in Colorado last month, and Funkwerks in Fort Collins.
Friday, December 7
Seedstock Brewing taps Working Class Rye, a 4.2 percent ABV beer reminiscent of pumpernickel bread. "Rye is a good cold-weather crop and rye beer was especially popular with the working class of Northern Germany," Seedstock says. The brewery makes this beer using more than 50 percent rye in the grain bill. "It has a spicy rye aroma with notes of cloves and a moderately creamy mouthfeel finishing dry and spicy."
Something Brewery in Brighton is going all out for its third anniversary, with a three-day party featuring 22 different beers, food and prizes. To kick things off, Something will open at 2 p.m. — an hour earlier than usual — just for can sales. The brewery will have every Cookie Monsta beer from the year — Mint Monsta, Peanut Monsta, Two Headed Monsta, Mega Monsta and Coconut Monsta — along with Fruity Sparkles, Fruity Pebbles Sour, Strawberry Limeade Sour, Cherry Limeade Slushie; Cherry Limeade; Pink Starburst Milkshake IPA; Caramel Apple Sour; and Booberry Cereal Blackberry Sour. The Dumpling Deli Food Truck will be there all night. On Saturday at noon, Something will release two new barrel-aged beers: Luxardo Cocktail Cherry Russian Imperial Stout, aged for over a year in a bourbon barrel; and Mexican Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout, aged for over a year in a bourbon barrel. Buy both and get a Level 3 Anniversary glass free. Jimbeaux’s Cajun Cuisine food truck will be on hand. And on Sunday, the brewery will serve whatever it has left from noon to 7 p.m. Dough Boy Pizza will be there.
Ratio Beerworks, which hosts some of the best parties in the city, celebrates the return of its Genius Wizard Imperial Stout and Genius Wizard Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with a Variant Release Party from 5 to 8 p.m. "Attendees will be transported to a mystical new dimension, as Ratio's back brewhouse will be transformed into an ethereal immersive art experience," Ratio says. "This year’s installation will also give attendees a sneak peek into the soon to be unveiled world of Zabiti: An Immersive Circus Adventure, designed by local Denver artists from Rainbow Militia and Unbuilt Library." Genius Wizard will be available on draft, along with several variants, including Chocolate Orange, Coconut Vanilla, Espresso, Chai, and 24-month barrel-aged Genius Wizard Grand Cru. There will also be food from BBQ Supply Co., Cirque Kitchen and Bamboo Sushi. Tickets are $45 and include a full pour of 2018 Genius Wizard or any non-barrel-aged Ratio beer, a commemorative tasting glass, and a bottle of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Genius Wizard; get them at nightout.com.
Lone Tree Brewing hosts its seventh-anniversary party starting at 11 a.m., along with a charity casino night that begins at 4 p.m. There will several anniversary beers on tap, including Rosé Brut IPA, followed by limited firkins at 1, 3 and 7 p.m., and an anniversary Dopplebock at 5 p.m. (120 commemorative stemmed glasses will be available as well). Mama Said Eat will have food. For the charity casino night, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m., guests will be able to donate $5 or $10 in exchange for chips that are good at the roulette and blackjack tables; they'll also be entered into raffles. Proceeds benefit Freedom Service Dogs of America.
Renegade Brewing's newest barrel-aged release is Hammer Imperial Stout aged in Laws Whiskey House barrels. "With its dark fruit aromas of fig, dates and vanilla," this 12 percent ABV Russian Imperial Stout "is smooth and silky on the palate while the whiskey barrels add a little bite on the finish," Renegade says. The beer will be available on draft and in cans to take home throughout the day.
River North Brewery debuts Barrel Aged Double Avarice with a tapping event starting at noon. This double-strength version — 19.46 percent ABV — of its Belgian-style imperial stout was aged in Colorado bourbon barrels and will be cellarable for years, the brewery says. The beer will be on draft and in bottles to go.
Station 26 Brewing marks its fifth anniversary by releasing a hazy IPA in cans. Double Dry Hopped Hazy Double IPA, which will be available in four-packs of sixteen-ounce cans to go, is "a natural capstone to all of this year's experimentation with the hazy style," Station 26 says. Chris Dismuke Music will be plugging in for some live tunes from 4 to 7 p.m. inside the brewery's heated patio tent, and the Order 26 Food Truck will have food.
Wit's End Brewing, which closed its taproom and moved in with Strange Craft Beer Company in 2017, will celebrate the "first anniversary of our seventh anniversary" with an ugly sweater party and a variety of beer tappings. "Be prepared to be haunted by the ghosts of beers past, present and future," the brewery says.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing officially opened on December 8, 2012, (though the brewery had a few pop-ups earlier that year) so it will note its six-year anniversary with beers, a party and fun.
Alternation Brewing joins the cavalcade of anniversary parties today by marking its first birthday with parties today and tomorrow — and by debuting its first-ever can (today) and bottle (tomorrow) releases. Starting at 2 p.m., the brewery will tap a different version of For the Animals every hour. The vegan almond milk stout (not made with milk) has been a popular seller, so Alternation teamed up with other vegan businesses and nonprofits on a few other versions. They include Vegan Van, WongWayVeg, Beet Box Bakery & Cafe, Sweet Action Ice Cream, Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary, and Meta Burger. Alternation will also be selling cans of its flagship beers; going forward, the brewery says, it will have most of its beers available in sixteen-ounce cans to go. On Sunday, Alternation will release bottles of Lady of the Lake, an imperial stout aged in Law’s Whiskey and Bear Creek Rum barrels. There will also be a food truck and live music.
Tuesday, December 11
WestFax Brewing in Lakewood will host a California Camp Fire Brewery Benefit along with seven other Colorado breweries from 4 to 8 p.m. A limited-edition Crowler can will be released for purchase with beers from each brewery involved. "The can artwork was painted as an homage to the tragic California Camp Fire by local Colorado artist David Heath and was donated for this event’s cause," Westfax says. The participating breweries — WestFax, Great Divide Brewing, Copper Kettle Brewing, Joyride Brewing, Westbound & Down Brewing, Hogshead Brewing, 4 Noses Brewing and Woods Boss Brewing — are each donating thirty Crowlers' worth of beer to be sold in order to raise funds at the WestFax taproom during the event.