Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Maibocks, Macaroon Yeti and a Whopper From Woods Boss

Thomas Larsen takes the top brewing job at Highside Brewing in Frisco.
Westword file photo
Thomas Larsen takes the top brewing job at Highside Brewing in Frisco.
Last Friday, Boulder's Twisted Pine Brewing announced that it had hired Jeff Griffith as its new head brewer now that the brewpub has fully reopened; Griffith is well known locally for his long career in the top jobs at Odyssey Beerwerks, Fate Brewing and Golden City Brewery. The hiring move is the latest in a particularly active game of brewery musical chairs that has taken place over the past six months — in part a result of the pandemic, which created havoc when it came to brewery employment and beer production.

Here's a rundown of some other notable recent moves:

Jake Littleton has left Odyssey to take the top job at Something Brewery in Brighton, while Joe Braun has taken his place at the Arvada spot. Brittany Portman, who was head brewer at Fiction Beer Company for four years, has moved on to a new role as the Lab Manager at Propagate Yeast Labs in Denver, and Ursula Brewery has hired Rob Bessett, formerly the lead brewer at Verboten in Loveland, as its top ale architect.

Phil Joyce, who owns tiny Amalgam Brewing and was a top brewer and blender at Westbound & Down Brewing, will take over the lead role at Ratio Beerworks, where he will help oversee an expansion into a second location in south Denver; Joyce also co-founded Niwot's Powder Keg Brewing, which closed in 2018. In Boulder, longtime Upslope head brewer Sam Scruby left the company in March to start his own place with Eric Kean in Lyons called Mainstage Brewing. Assistant brewer Alex Meyer took over at Upslope.

Longtime Avery Brewing barrel herder Andy Parker now leads the three taproom breweries for Denver Beer Co., while former Lone Tree Brewing standout Chris Gilmore has joined Los Dos Potrillos to run the brewing program there, and Marni Wahlquist, who has been with Odell Brewing for the last seven years, has moved to Denver to take the top job at the brewery's brand-new spot in Sloan's Lake. In addition, Wiley Roots Brewing has hired Brandon Banbury as the production manager; Banbury is the co-founder of Hailstorm Brewing in Illinois.

In the mountains, Highside Brewing in Frisco has brought on Thomas Larsen, a Colorado mainstay who has spent two decades creating well-known beers for Ska Brewing, Wynkoop Brewing and others. And over in Winter Park, Hideaway Park Brewing welcomed Brian Ivers, who previously served in an influential role at highly regarded St. Louis brewery Side Project; before that, he worked at Goose Island Brewing in Chicago.

And four notable departures: Ethan Tsai, the director of brewery operations at Tivoli Brewing, has taken a job as general manager of brewery operations for Cigar City Brewing in Florida; John Simms, who has been Wynkoop Brewing's fermenter-in-chief since 2017, moved to North Carolina for a spot at Bhavana Brewery; and Tony Rau, the innovation brewer at Great Divide Brewing, is leaving for a brewing job out of state. In addition, Bess Dougherty, who helped found the Grateful Gnome has left (hoping to report on a landing spot for her soon).

Keep reading to see craft-beer tappings and events through May 7.

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Spice Trade Brewing
Wednesday, April 28
Cerebral Brewing releases cans of a new collaboration with California's Bottle Logic Brewing. Urban Sorcery is an 8 percent ABV double IPA made with Mosaic, Sultana, El Dorado hops. In addition, Cerebral will tap
its Concurrent Processing Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, along with a version with honey and cinnamon.

Recently tapped: Spice Trade Brewing continues its Single Origin Series of spiced beers with Wine Cellar Golden Strong; the series highlights a different single origin spice in each beer. "This white wine-forward beer" showcases Nile coriander grown in Fayoum, Egypt, along with Sauvignon Blanc grapes, white oak and Nelson Sauvin hops, the brewery says. It pairs well with the brewpub's new Mediterranean food menu.

Recently tapped: Fiction Beer Company recently released Liquid Porches Pale Ale. "A blend of Citra, Amarillo and Centennial dry hops lend a traditional character with a punch of West Coast juice," the brewery says about the brilliantly named beer. It is available on draft and in four-packs of sixteen-ounce cans to go.

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Great Divide Brewing
Thursday, April 29
Great Divide Brewing debuts the latest in its series of Yeti Imperial Stout variations, and this time the brewery is doing something it said it probably wouldn't: adding lactose to make it a pastry stout. In addition to this milk sugar, Macaroon Yeti was brewed with almonds and coconut. The lactose "enhances the sweetness of this indulgent treat, while the traditional Yeti roastiness remains in the background," the brewery says. Macaroon Yeti — and a Montanya Distillers Rum Barrel Aged version — will be on tap at both taprooms, while the Macaroon Yeti will also be available in 19.2-ounce cans that will eventually be distributed.

Diebolt Brewing releases Aramis Single-Hopped French Blonde in cans and on draft. Named for Aramis the brewery cat, this blonde ale was brewed with French pilsner and wheat malt, single-hopped with French Aramis hops and fermented with Diebolt's French ale yeast strain. "A floral, slightly citrusy nose greets you up front, followed by a crisp, full-bodied breadiness and a refreshingly bitter finish," the brewery says.

River North Brewery taps a new beer called Sunburn, "a sessionable red wheat ale that's bursting with flavor and pairs perfectly with Yuan Wonton, who will also be joining us," the brewery says. "Make sure you follow Yuan Wonton so you can order your food, as they do sell out."

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Woods Boss Brewing
Friday, April 30
Woods Boss Brewing will squeeze its enormous double IPA, Don't Mess With the Trail God, into cans for the first time for a release today at noon. This "big, chewy beer is surprisingly dry and generously hopped with Citra, Centennial, Columbus, Eldorado and Southern Cross hops," the brewery says.

Bierstadt Lagerhaus brings back Oaxaca Heirloom Corn Lager, which it first made a year ago in collaboration with Finn's Manor. Made with heirloom Mexican corn, it will be available on draft and in cans to go.

After a year hiatus, Seedstock Brewery brings back its favorite Czech holiday: Walpurgis Night. "This holiday celebrates Saint Walpurga, who was hailed for battling pests, rabies, whooping cough and even witches," the brewery says. "It also symbolizes the arrival of spring." There will be free smoked sausages, a possible surprise bottle release, the collecting of donations for the Mental Health Center of Denver, and the ousting of bad spirits. In other words, write down what you want to leave behind, and throw it into the fire pit, Seedstock says.

Joyride Brewing taps three news beers in honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday next week. They are Dos Elefantes Mexican Lager, Elefante Amber Lager and General Zara Margarita Gose. All three beers will be available on draft and in cans, and La Baja Fish Tacos will be outside.

Mockery Brewing brings back Juice the Mutha, a golden kettle sour made with raspberry, blueberry, cherry and blackberry. The 6.4 percent ABV beer was brewed in honor of Greg White, Mockery's 2017 home-brew competition winner; proceeds will go to the International Myeloma Foundation.

New Image Brewing releases Double Double Double Double, a 9.5 percent ABV quadruple-dry-hopped double IPA brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic and Satus.

Luki Brewery taps Mountain Sunrise, a classic wheat beer brewed with all-Colorado ingredients, including malt from Root Shoot Malting, noble hops from Colorado Hop Company and yeast from Propagate Labs.

Barrels & Bottles Brewery in Golden kicks off a three-day celebration for the one-year anniversary of its second location at Camp George West. The location opened during the beginning of the pandemic, so this will also serve as a grand-opening event. There will be food, music and specials all weekend. There will also be special beer releases, including Anniversary Rye Strong Ale aged in Laws bourbon barrels, and collaborations with
Cannonball Creek Brewing and Joyride Brewing.

4 Noses Brewing releases two new beers. Tropical Hop Haze is a New England-style IPA brewed with Motueka, Citra and Galaxy hops and was "inspired by the dewy haze that looms around tropical fruits and plants in the rainforest after a heavy rainstorm," the brewery says. Pink Lemonade Stand, meanwhile, is a sour ale brewed with Meyer lemon, strawberry, raspberry and agave nectar for "bursts of tart sweetness."

Feeling adventurous? WeldWerks Brewing brings back its polarizing Hot Sauce Barrel-Aged Taco Gose, made with more than 600 pounds of fire roasted tomatoes, sea salt and spices like oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and cumin. This version, which was also aged in BLiS Hot Sauce barrels "to provide a savory sour that will curiously challenge your tastebuds," will only be available in the taproom, the brewery says.

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River North Brewery
Saturday, May 1
Comrade Brewing taps May Day Maibock at noon. Hopped with nothing but Mount Hood hops, this 8.2 percent ABV German-style spring seasonal was lagered for fourteen weeks and "delivers a slightly sweet malt flavor with hints of toasted grains, fresh baked bread and delicate floral hops," the brewery says.

River North Brewing also debuts its new imperial Maibock, calls Whose Bock?, in bottles and on tap at both taprooms. "This amber-bodied, malt-forward ale is bursting with springtime flavors. Roasty, caramel notes come through on this lighter style that we still, in true RNB fashion, made imperial at 9.2 percent ABV," the brewery says. Radical Sasquatch Dumplings will be at Blake Street, while Go Green Gourmet will be at Washington Street.

Cerveceria Colorado celebrates its three-year anniversary by releasing a new beer called Mango Rico, an IPA brewed with ripe mango. There will also be Mexican games, fare, music and giveaways.

New Image Brewing releases Making Waves Blond Coffee Ale in collaboration with Arvada's Mountain Dweller Coffee as a way to raise money for Waves 4 Water, an organization "that builds and respires fresh water wells in underdeveloped countries. The money will be enough to restore two wells," New Image says.

Cellar West Artisan Beer in Lafayette is one of just a few breweries in Colorado that is aging pilsners in wooden foeders. It's latest is Meadow Keeper Country Pils, a 5.3 percent ABV lager that the brewery will have available at 1 p.m. on draft and in sixteen-ounce cans to go. To amp up the beer-nerd quotient, however, Cellar West brewed the beer with 100 percent Bohemian floor-malted pilsner malt, which it calls "akin to the bucolic, rough-hewn brewing grain commonplace many, many years ago, and still to this day in several historic European lager breweries. We added whole-leaf Perle hops to the kettle, a first for us, to replicate the fresh-from-the-field hopping methods routine in the hop growing region of Hallertau. Our lager yeast and a whopping ten weeks of lagering round out this rustic Pilsner bier."

Five years "felt like it came and went without a sound because of the pandemic," says Westbound & Down Brewing, so the team there decided to "create a beer that showcases where our first five years have brought us." The result is 5 Years Strong Barrel-Aged Strong Ale, a blend of 16 percent Double Absence aged in Weller barrels, 16 percent Louie aged in Weller barrels, 34 percent Abundance aged in Blanton’s barrels and 34 percent Louie aged in Dickel Rye mash barrels. That's a mouthful, both literally and figuratively. "In the tradition of 'majority ale' or 'stock ale blends' created from threads to celebrate a birth or anniversary, this beer brings a variety of years and age statement barleywines and multiple styles of imperial stouts, to celebrate the entire range of our clean fermented, barrel-aged beers in a harmonious nutty, toffee, chocolate-soaked oak delicacy," Westbound explains. At 13.2 percent ABV, the bottles can be drunk now or aged for up to five years.

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Baere Brewing
Tuesday, May 4
It's Star Wars Day — and May the Fourth be with you — which means it's time for Baere Brewing to celebrate with the release of its C3(I)PA West Coast IPA, hopped with the three C hops, Cascade, Centennial and Chinook as an ode to C-3PO. The beer will be available in cans alongside some matching glassware. The brewery will also have three other cans available: Proceed to Memory West Coast IPA with Strata, Mosaic and Centennial hops; Spring Cadence Maibock; and the Things We Don't Say, a "no coast" IPA with Cashmere, Azacca and El Dorado hops. A dollar from each four-pack of the last one benefits the Trevor Project. To round things out, DJ Lidas will be spinning Star Wars remixes and Snacktacular will have Taun Taun Tacos.

Novel Strand Brewing releases This Is The Way, which it calls "an unfiltered hoppy ale fit for the real bounty hunting hero inside of you. Loaded with Galaxy, Nectaron and Riwaka hops, "this beer blasts out of hyperspace with big grape candy and pineapple aromas and flavors, and is so smooth at 7 percent ABV you'd swear we were using the force." It is available on draft and in cans to go.

Luki Brewery taps the Dark Side of the Malt in honor of May the Fourth. "This dark lager packs in the flavor at first sip with a lure of chocolate, toffee and caramel, but the Bavarian yeast quickly mind-tricks you and leaves you with a refreshing lager finish," the brewery says. "This is the lager that you’ve been looking for." Dark Side of the Malt, at 6.1 percent ABV, will be available today only.

Odyssey Beerwerks releases Lando CalRYEssisan India Brown Ale in six-packs to-go. "Taking a cue from the charming scoundrel turned respectable general, this beer is a mash-up of an IPA and an American Brown Ale. Well-hopped with a flowery, citrus aroma, yet malty with toast and caramel notes, plus a dash of tangy, spicy character from malted rye grains," the brewery says.

Wednesday, May 5
Luki Brewery in Arvada brings back Rocinante Mexican Lager, its 5.5 percent ABV crispy boi that was brewed with corn, honey malt and hint of lime.

Ten Denver-areal breweries will release a gluten-free beer today and tomorrow that was brewed in honor of Celiac Awareness Month, which is centered around advocacy of celiac disease. Brut Together Brut IPA features local certified gluten-free millet and buckwheat malts rather than traditional wheat and barley malts, which have gluten. "This crisp and light beer is characterized by a dry Brut flavor bursting with hops and fruity notes from fresh mango purée, pineapple, and oranges," says Holidaily Brewing, which produced the beer at its Golden facility and is leading the effort. The other participating breweries are: Timnath Beerwerks, Broken Compass Brewing, Welcome Home Brewery, Joyride Brewing, Over Yonder Brewing, Peak View Brewing, Sparge Brewing, Elizabeth Brewing and Two22 Brew. Check each one for individual release dates.

Friday, May 7
Goldspot Brewing kicks off a three-day-long celebration of its sixth anniversary by tapping Sultry Pilsner, a collaboration with New Belgium. There will also be a food truck on hand. On Saturday, it's a Key Lime IPA collab with Diebolt Brewing, and on Sunday, Goldspot taps Pinot Noir Strawberry Saison.

Hoghead Brewery taps six firkins (cask ale) of a session IPA called Denver Pride. The experimental beer is only 4.5 percent ABV and was double-dry-hopped with Simcoe. Hogshead opens at noon.