Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Shandies, Belgians, Brewery Anniversaries and a Fustercluck

U.S. presidents can only serve two terms, but beers can serve longer. Avery Brewing first created Ale to the Chief in 2008 to celebrate Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009 (which we wrote about way back then, as the Democratic National Convention was in Denver), and brewed a second one four years later. And the Boulder brewery decided last year to make a third version this time around. "Rather than categorizing the beer as Imperial, Avery created a new beer style to honor our country’s democracy, calling the beer a Presidential Pale Ale. A brew worthy of the Oval Office," Avery says.

"All-American pale ales are typically brewed with a bipartisan blend of malt and hops, both of which Avery increased before dry-hopping with a quintessential American hop, Cascade. Though this hop varietal hails from Washington the state, it was nominated to lead this beer due to its floral and citrusy persona. The malts share the power, with Caramel-120 malt adding contributing caramel flavor and color, Honey Malt for honey-like sweetness, and Dark Munich Malt bringing biscuity notes to the table." The 8.1 percent ABV beer went on tap at Avery's tap room earlier this week and will be available later in bomber bottles.

And speaking of 22-ounce bottles, Avery has made another change to both the name and packaging of one of its most well-known beers — which had previously been sold in bombers. Hog Heaven, which was described as a barleywine-style ale, or a dry-hopped barleywine-style ale, for many years, will now be classified as an imperial red IPA. "We are FINALLY changing the name. Just the name not the recipe," brewery founder Adam Avery tells Westword via e-mail. "The whole team has been after me to change it for years, but I've been stubborn! They finally broke me. It is a better description for what's in the bottle."

And it will soon be sold in four-packs of twelve-ounce cans. "Yep, four li'l pigs!" Avery adds.

Here are this week's craft-beer events.

Wednesday, July 20
Copper Kettle is celebrating its own Fresh Fruit Cask Month in July. Today, they'll tap Cherry Lime Belgian Wit, "a refreshing, elegant, moderate-strength wheat-based ale with cherry and lime accents and a dry, tart finish, garnished with fresh fruit." Ol' Skool Que will be out front.

For its weekly One Keg Wednesday, Black Shirt Brewing will tap a Red Kolsch dry-hopped with Apollo hop.s "We've never tried to hide the fact that we love hoppy beers around here, and that we like to experiment with different hop varieties, techniques, etc. Well, it's time to take our crisp, clean, and crushable Kolsch and see how it handles a little sticky, resinous hop addition," the brewery says. 

Thursday, July 21
Help Falling Rock Tap House celebrate Belgian Independence Day with "an abundance of Belgian beers, good friends and plenty of frites," from 4 to 8 p.m. Falling Rock will tap some special kegs, play games and hand out swag with representatives of the breweries and distributors whose beer is pouring.

The Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel tap room in Longmont will host a tap takeover by two of the breweries that Oskar Blues has purchased, Cigar City from Florida and Michigan's Perrin. The Fuster Cluck tap takeover starts at 4:30 p.m. and will feature a surprise tapping every hour, including the only tapping of Cigar City's Jai Alai IPA in Colorado and Perrin's Blackberry IPA and Black Ale. Music by Coop and the Chicken Pluckers at 5, and beer-can chicken for all.

Head to Freshcraft at 7 p.m. tonight to try various versions of Stone Brewing's Ruination. The famed San Diego brewery will be pouring Ruination Double IPA 2.0 with orange peel and vanilla beans; Ruination Double IPA 2.0 with American oak; and RuinTen Triple IPA.

Friday, July 22
Comrade Brewing is tapping its Amarillo Smash IPA today at noon. It is the sixth "single-malt-and-single-hop" IPA that the brewery has made. Brewed with American two-row and Amarillo hops, the 6.5 percent ABV beer has floral, tropical and citrus notes.

Cerebral Brewing will tap Mango Rare Trait today at noon. This is the brewery's first variant on its beloved 6.5 percent ABV IPA. "We upped the whirlpool hop additions and conditioned the resulting beer on 336 pounds of mango purée," the brewery says. "As an added bonus, we will also be tapping our first (of many) open-fermented saisons. Keystone Species is hopped with three of our favorite varietals - Amarillo, Hallertau Blanc and Cascade, then fermented in large, open-top puncheons with our house saison culture. Burgerchief will be out front with burgers, fries and bacon apple fritters at 3 p.m.

Launch Pad Brewery in Aurora will kick off its three-day one-year anniversary party today by releasing some one-off barrel-aged beers (some available to-go in bomber bottles), tapping a specialty firken, and debuting its anniversary beer, Archer's Ale. There will be food each day, including a pig roast on Saturday. There will also be a dunk tank where guests can dunk Launch Pad's head brewer and its owners. 

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland will celebrate its sixth anniversary today and tomorrow with a German-style party in its tapnroom. Tonight there will be a ticketed VIP pig roast. Attendees get a commemorative glass and beer (specialty releases included), and there will be live music. 

Saturday, July 23
Help Station 26 Brewing celebrate its half birthday (it's turning 2.5, and partying in July is more fun than in December) today with a party starting at 1 p.m. There will be live music on stage out back all day by Thunder and Rain, the Delta Sonics and Guerrilla Fanfare, along with food from Basic Kneads Pizza, Rolling Smoke BBQ and AikoPops, and two outside bars in addition to the tap-room bar. Advance VIP tix are $50 in advance and get you access to shaded table seating, a prime view of the stage, a private bar and bathroom, tacos and chips and salsa by Dos Santos, three beer tickets, and access to Station 26's fruited Juicy Banger IPA variations. No dogs or kids will be allowed. GA tix are $10.

Denver Beer Co gets into the summer spirit today with a Shandy and Ice Cream Social from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The brewery teamed up with Little Man Ice Cream and Rocky Mountain Soda Company for this event, which features five delicious shandies with five different Rocky Mountain Soda flavors, along with five unique ice cream flavors paired with the shandies. They include: Orange Cream Soda and Incredible Pedal IPA Shandy paired with Blackberry Honey Goat Cheese Ice Cream (a blackberry-and-goat-cheese ice cream sweetened with honey); Smitten, a Belgian Golden Ale with Black Cherry Soda Shandy paired with Raspberry Love (raspberry ice cream with dark-chocolate chips); Walt Weiss German Hefeweizen with Strawberry Rhubarb Soda Shandy paired with Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream; Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch with Ginger Ale Shandy paired with Toasted Coconut Lime Sorbet; and Graham Cracker Porter and Horchata Soda Shandy paired with Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream. Tickets to the social are $15 and include five four-ounce shandies and five mini ice cream scoops.

River North Brewery will tap five gallons of Pekko Belgian Pale today when it opens at noon. "Fresh off the pilot system, this delightfully bright Belgian Pale Ale explodes with notes of melon and stonefruit from Pekko hops," the brewery says. It will go fast. There will also be food by Baby E's BBQ.

Copper Kettle Brewing will reintroduce Le Chapeau today in bottles. The French-style saison was aged in both cabernet and sauvignon blanc barrels and fermented with Brettanomyces yeast to make it wild. This is a limited bottle release. The Wing Wagon Grill will be there serving up wings, ribs and burgers.

TRVE Brewing will tap one of the most unusual beers it has brewed today at noon. "Dhumavati is our brewer Allison's first foray into recipe creation for TRVE, and we couldn't be happier with the result," the brewery says. "This golden mixed-culture ale balances the light acidity from our house culture with a balanced smoke character from two different smoked malts."

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland continues its German-style sixth-anniversary party today at noon by closing down the parking lot for live music and biergarden games like Hammerschlagen, cornhole, polish horseshoes and washers. They will also have a variety of specialty beers on tap. In addition, the Kiwanis Club will be grilling burgers and brats from Bull and Boar along with homemade sides.

Sunday, July 24
Odd 13 Brewing in Lafayette showcases its latest tap-room-only can release today with Fairy Hopmother, an IPA featuring hops from three different continents. "New Zealand's Nelson Sauvin adds flavors reminiscent of white wine grapes and gooseberries. Notes of honeydew and strawberry come from German Huell Melon. Amerian Mosaic rounds out the hop bill, kicking in notes of blueberry. A full body with slight caramel sweetness balances the rich fruity flavors from the hops," the brewery says. Cans will only be available in the tap room, and there will be no growler fills.

Wednesday, July 27
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will celebrate its first anniversary today through Sunday with a variety of specialty tappings, including the release of a new "house beer" collaboration with Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing, called the Economist. A hazy, hoppy American wheat beer, the Economist was brewed "with a unique sacch strain of yeast that kicks off huge pineapple and tropical fruit characteristics," First Draft says. "A rich mouthfeel complements the orange and grapefruit peels added, as well as a small Mosaic dry hop. The result is a beer reminiscent of juice from passion fruit, orange and guava." Other beers you will find at some point over the next five days include: The Bruery Tart of Darkness and Beret; Russian River Consecration and Supplication; Bell's Brewery Oberon and Cherry Stout; Crooked Stave Raspberry Origins and Sourless IPA; Port Brewing/Lost Abbey 10 Commandments; Amager Bryghus Chad: King of the Wild Yeasts; Hair of the Dog Binkie Claws; Boneyard Beer Notorious and Hop Venom; Against the Grain Brewery Bo & Luke; Avery Brewing Mephistopholes 2014 and Uncle Jacob's Stout 2015.

Saturday, July 30
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will continue its first anniversary today and tomorrow with a variety of specialty tappings, including the release of a new "house beer" collaboration with Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing, called the Economist, a hazy, hoppy American wheat beer. Also for today and tomorrow, they will be boiling crawfish on the patio from noon to 5 p.m., with corn, andouille sausage and red potatoes. There will also be live zydeco music.

Sunday, July 31
Ratio Beerworks and Church of Cupcakes will host a cupcake pairing today from 2 to 5 p.m. Enjoy pairings of lavender honey-lemon with a Dear You French Saison, or fleur-de-sel caramel-chocolate cupcake paired with the robust chocolate flavors of a Hold Steady Scotch Ale. Fifteen bucks gets you a flight of three cupcakes and three tasters of Ratio beers.

Wednesday, August 3
Tickets for the 35th annual Great American Beer Festival, which takes place October 6-8 in Denver, go on sale to the general public today at 10 a.m. (Tickets went on sale for members of the Brewers Association (BA) and American Homebrewers Association (AHA) yesterday). They will sell out in seconds.

Friday, August 5
The 4th Annual Women of Colorado Craft Breweries Pinup Calendar, featuring the ladies of craft beer, takes place at Left Hand Brewing in Longmont today from 5 to 8 p.m. And in addition to the calendar, there will be a vintage car show in the parking lot, a pinup contest, swing lessons and a performance by Jim Jamm Jimmy. Calendars will be sold in the tap room, and the pinups will be signing their months. The 2017 calendar features thirteen Colorado craft breweries and a coupon page.

Saturday, August 6
Sesh Fest returns to Denver — at the Highlands Masonic Events Center — today from 2 to 6 p.m., featuring "dozens of breweries paying homage to session-style beers." There will also be food, lawn games and music. Session beers are typically below 5 percent ABV and are usually lighter. Get tix at

Ursula Brewery has made a beer just for the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, and it will tap the brew, Offbeat Saison, today at 5:30 p.m. Stop by the Aurora brewery for a sneak peek at the 2016-17 season with music director Lawrence Golan, and be there for the tapping of the beer. General-admission ticket includes a 22-ounce bottle of Offbeat Saison.

Saturday, August 13
Years in the making, it's finally time to try some lagers from Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which is opening in the Bindery on Blake building that also houses Rackhouse Pub and C Squared Ciders. Buy tickets online or at the Rackhouse for $5; they include a beer and entry into a drawing for lots of awesome prizes.