Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Oktoberfest Season Leaves No Stein Unturned

Julia Herz speaks at a Brewers Association event several years ago.
Julia Herz speaks at a Brewers Association event several years ago. Herz Muses

Marketing whiz Julia Herz, who is best known for her many years evangelizing for craft beer for the Brewers Association, has joined Left Hand Brewing's board of directors. The Longmont brewery has restructured the board in order to "deepen and diversify" fields of experience on its advisory team. Herz now runs her own marketing and consulting firm, HerzMuses, specializing in small business and nonprofits.

Left Hand has also brought on Anton V. Dworak, a business and real estate lawyer with Lyons Gaddis Attorneys & Counselors, and Connect for Health Colorado CEO Kevin Patterson, who has a long history of public service in the state, including a stint with former governor John Hickenlooper's office.

“Julia, Anton, and Kevin are not only bringing to the Board fresh perspectives on our industry, they also are strengthening our depth of experience in the legal field, governance and government, marketing, public service, and in the non-profit sector," Left Hand president and co-founder Eric Wallace says in a statement.

The new board of directors structure speaks to Left Hand’s continued efforts to remain independent and to strengthen its employee ownership program and increase its value — something that is important as a way to continue that, Wallace adds. "We know that staying an employee-owned, independent company means we are willing to do this the hard way. We see our board as a strategic advantage. Without the deep pockets that acquisition has given others in the industry, we need to work smarter. Having a solid, diversified and experienced board is one way to continue to compete with more limited resources.”


Left Hand’s board also includes Jeff Mendel, co-founder of Tabernash Brewing, Mark Burka of Ziegler Capital Management, Left Hand COO Chris Lennert and Wallace.

Keep reading to see craft-beer tappings and events into late September.
click to enlarge COUNTER CULTURE BREWERY + GRILLE
Counter Culture Brewery + Grille
Thursday, September 16
Counter Culture Brewery + Grille celebrates its second anniversary with three days of events, including live music, beer releases, glassware and a Brewers Olympics.

Recently tapped: Goldspot Brewing just tapped Baby's First Fresh Hop, a session IPA brewed with rye and 100 pounds of Chinook hops fresh off the vine from High Wire Hops in Paonia.

Recently released: Station 26 Brewing doesn't do a lot of pumpkin beers, so it's not surprising that its latest, Patch to Porch Pumpkin, is some thing very different — a lager rather than an ale. With notes of allspice, pumpkin pie and vanilla, the beer is available on draft and in four-packs to go.

Epic Brewing is now pouring It’s Got Citra, an IPA brewed with a "behemoth load of Citra into the kettle" and more in the dry-hop. It's also available in four-packs to to go. In addition, Epic has released its annual Imperial Pumpkin Porter, along with Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Porter.

New Terrain Brewing in Golden hosts Wanderfest, a three-day celebration of music and beer, to celebrate its fifth anniversary. There will be multiple food trucks, multiple bars, tons of great music and beer tappings.

Upslope Brewing in Boulder brings out some Bavarian-inspired beers, along with brats from Mighty Burger, for an Oktoberfest party. Grab a custom Upslope half-liter glass stein for $12, with a free first fill. Dress to impress and hoist some steins.

click to enlarge COMRADE BREWING
Comrade Brewing
Friday, September 17
Diebolt Brewing kicks off its three-day eight-year anniversary party with the release of 60 Pellet IPA Step-Brewbrothers, a collaboration with Call to Arms Brewing. "This collab will not have wedding cakes or Ford Pintos in it, but it will rate poorly on Untapped, and we know what that means," Diebolt says.

Join Comrade Brewing from noon to 10 p.m. for its fifth annual Oktoberfest celebration and the tapping of the Hunt for Red Oktoberfest Marzen lager. “Bring in a clean stein and we will fill it for you. Bonus points for traditional Oktoberfest attire,” the brewery says.

The 51st annual Denver Oktoberfest runs for six days over two full weekends, September 17-19 and September 24-26 on Larimer Street. There will be beer from Spaten and Breckenridge Brewery (both owned by Anheuser Busch InBev) along with all of the traditional events, like stein-hoisting, music and keg bowling. Get all the information about times, events and ticket prices at thedenveroktoberfest.com.

Denver Beer Co. releases a limited amount of Hubbabubbalicious, a kettle sour fermented with watermelon "for a rad fruit and sour combo that finishes dry," the brewery says.

Downtown Julie Brown, a 5.6 percent ABV English-style brown ale, returns to Hogshead Brewery. It's described as "maltier and sweet on the palate, with a somewhat full body."

Epic Brewing taps a different firkin each Friday at 5 p.m. this month. Today's is Green Apple Bomb, a version of Tropical Tart N Juicy Sour IPA made with green apples.

MainStage Brewing in Lyons presents OktoberfestFest, a two-day festival of Oktoberfests, Marzens and festbiers from at least twenty Colorado breweries. The event also features polka, lederhosen and pretzels. “Everyone creates their beer to celebrate Oktoberfest a little bit differently. Some people love a dark Marzen lager, and some folks love something that you can knock back by the liter. It just depends on the brewery,” says MainStage co-founder Sam Scruby. The full beer list includes beers from Bierstadt, Bootstrap, Call to Arms, Cellar West, City Star, Comrade, Fritz Family, GrossenBart, Left Hand, MainStage/Mirror Image, Oskar Blues, Ratio, Ska, Station 26, Upslope, WeldWerks, Westbound & Down and Wibby. Attendance is free, and no registration is required. MainStage Brewing opened in May and has been serving a range of beers from other Colorado breweries while it works on installing its own brewhouse. The venue also highlights local music.

Launch Pad Brewery also hosts an Oktoberfest party with the release of its Marzen lager, along with a stein-holding competition, a costume contest, a food truck, pong throwing, prizes and schnitzelwirt.

click to enlarge DRY DOCK BREWING
Dry Dock Brewing
Saturday, September 18
Our Mutual Friend Brewing throws its eighth annual Gratitude party from 2 to 10 p.m. The event is not ticketed, but the brewery will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test received in the previous 24 hours. OMF will release several beers, including Gratitude 2021, a barrel-aged imperial stout that will be on tap and in 16-ounce cans. The beer, beer tickets and a merchandise bundle are available in advance at gratitude.omfbeer.com. "Special vintage kegs and bottles will be getting poured throughout the day so be sure to keep an eye out for what’s available," the brewery says.

Bierstadt Lagerhaus taps its Märzen lager — "right on time without any unnecessary seasonal creep," the brewery says — so "grab your lederhosen or dirndl, throw some axes, listen to live music and eat some food to help keep you from falling off your bench." There are reserved tables available where you can get your own personal 10-liter keg for $120. "If you fail to finish it, we won’t judge you, but you can take it home and we will have a keg tap available for you to purchase at cost," the brewery adds. "The keg is recyclable and single-use and you don't need to return it. If you and yours do finish it, and want another, we will judge you. We will judge you as being fine specimens of adulthood and a shining example to aspire to."

Oktoberfest might be canceled in Munich, but it's not canceled at River North Brewery, which will be tapping its Oktoberfest beer along with limited-edition mugs.

Oktoberfest spills over to Strange Craft Beer as well, where there will be plenty of festbier — the casks will be tapped just after opening at 2 p.m. There will be Bavarian pretzels from Brockmeyer's and plates of authentic Oktoberfest fare for $10. A costume contest starts at 5 p.m., with prizes.

Not far away, Seedstock Brewing brings Munich to Colfax with its own Oktoberfest event, featuring German food from the G Wagon food truck, half off your first pint if you dress in lederhosen or a dirndl, Oktoberfest steins, Hammerschlagen and plenty of beer, including the brewery's Marzen, Special Hell and its first-ever fresh-hopped beer.

Westfax Brewing hosts "Okfauxberfest" by releasing three "lager-inspired" beers, all made with Norwegian kveik yeast: Okfauxberfest Marzen, Dunkel Fountain Beer and Pilsner Fountain Beer. All three will be available on tap and to go. In addition, there will be games like hammerschlagen and cornhole, a stein-holding contest, custom liter steins for sale, and food (Bavarian pretzels, potato dumplings, beer brats, chicken schnitzel sandwiches and Caraway brown butter egg noodles) from Little Red's Kitchen.

Dry Dock Brewing also breaks out the lederhosen and dirndls to celebrate traditional German beers and “the coming of autumn in true Bavarian fashion” with its own Oktoberfest party at its location on Hampden Avenue. There will be German food from Wood Paddle, music by Polka Folka, a stein-holding contest and special releases and tappings of Docktoberfest Marzen, Helles, Franconian Lager, Dunkle and more.

Hops & Pie breaks out ten or so Oktoberfest beers, which will all be on tap. They are Chuckanut Fest Lager, Jack’s Abby Copper Legend, La Cumbre Oktoberfest, Mountains Walking Oktoberfest, Wiseacre Oktoberfest Flowzie, Half Acre Lager Town, Westbound & Down Oktoberfest, Dry Dock Docktoberfest, and Bierstadt Lagerhaus Oktoberfest.

Burns Family Artisan Ales celebrates its third anniversary with an Oktoberfest Marzen tapping. The brewery will hand out free full pours of the beer to everyone who gets in line before the 1 p.m. opening.

Diebolt Brewing continues its eighth-anniversary party by tapping Rayon Solaire Hopped Saison along with Vladislav Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout (two-year version). The Crock Spot and Farmer in the Hive food trucks will be on hand, and there will be live music from Greenhouse.

Join Jade Mountain Brewery & Teahouse for a Mid-Autumn Festival that will include special beer releases, pop-ups, food and giveaways. The beers are Moon Goddess Dark Sour with raspberry and chocolate, Ube Mooncake Wheat Ale with ube, vanilla and lactose, Red Guard Red Lager, and Flower Fruit Mountain Double Sour IPA with peach, hibiscus, vanilla and lactose. There will be food from Dragonfire Dim Sum and a mooncake-and-beer pairing with Tí Cafe.

Suave Fest returns to Raíces Brewing from noon to 6 p.m., featuring more than forty beers from fourteen breweries with Latino, African-American or Caribbean ownership (eleven of them in Colorado), along with Latin American food and live music and artisans. The goal of the fest is to promote diversity and inclusion in the craft-beer industry. This year's participants include Dos Luces Brewing, Donavon Brewing, Ceria Brewing, Novel Strand Brewing, Lady Justice, Coal Mine Avenue Brewing, Cheluna, Atrevida, Jade Mountain, Los Dos Potrillos, Outworld Brewing, Wah Gwaan, Raíces and Las Vegas’s Servehzah.

The Park Hill Beer Fest takes place at Oneida Park. This fest from Gumpop includes unlimited samples from more than thirty breweries, along with food trucks, street-food vendors, a themed dance party and costume contest with a live DJ, lawn games, photo booth, pretzel-necklace station, themed swag and more.

Lone Tree Brewing hosts its annual Oktoberfest party along with an outdoor market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with fourteen vendors. The brewery will tap its seasonal Märzen, and there will be a three-piece polka band from 2 to 6 p.m. H3SH3R BBQ will be in attendance as well.

Cellar West also brings out the steins for Oktoberfest at 1 p.m. There will German food, polka music and the brewery's Oktoberfest beer, available on tap or in cans to go.

click to enlarge LEFT HAND BREWING
Left Hand Brewing
Wednesday, September 22
The annual Longmont Oktoberfest, which had been planned for September 25 at Roosevelt Park in Longmont, will now take place in smaller doses over five days, September 22-26, at Left Hand Brewing’s brand-new outdoor space, The Garden. The Left Hand Brewing Foundation, which is hosting the party, says it changed the dates and the venue “in an abundance of caution due to the uncertainty caused by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant." Attendees can expect great beers (including the brewery’s Oktoberfest), live music and local food vendors every evening, along with special Oktoberfest-themed activities and all-day music lineups on Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the weekend events is $5.

Thursday, September 23
Wynkoop Brewing hosts its first-ever Oktoberfest party, starting at 6 p.m. There will be traditional German food, live entertainment and, of course, German-style beers. These include Fest Friends Forever, a 5.1 percent ABV Munich-style festbier brewed with three different German malts. Wynkoop will also have its Wixa Weiss, Dunkelweizen and Light Rail Kolsch on tap.

Grange Hall, from restauranteur Troy Guard and the TAG Restaurant Group, opens to the public at 4 p.m. at 6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard. The 13,000 square-foot former CB & Potts is now home to multiple restaurant concepts, including Crazy Love Pizza, Rado Burgers, Bubu, Honey Fish by Mizu Izakaya, the Crack Shack, Eiskaffe from the High Point Creamery folks, and Uptown & Humboldt. In addition, Guard is starting his own brewery, Little Dry Creek Brewery, helmed by head brewer Ty Nash.

Friday, September 24
Strange Craft Beer taps its much-loved Pumpkin Porter for the fall. “Gobs of fresh pumpkin combined with Grandma Myers's pumpkin pie spices combine to make a one-of-a-kind celebration of the end of summer,” the brewery says. It is 5.5 percent ABV.

Odell Brewing has a new limited beer available on draft and in four-packs of sixteen-ounce from all three of its taprooms. Fresh Strata Hop IPA is made with Strata hops that were harvested in Oregon and then flown via air cargo for same-day delivery to Fort Collins. "No kilning, bailing, pelletizing. Just the freshest, stickiest Strata hops going straight into the brewhouse to produce a tasty IPA with all the cut grass and fresh hop flavors we love from these short-lived seasonal brews," the brewery says.

The 51st annual Denver Oktoberfest continues September 24-16 on Larimer Street. There will be beer from Spaten and Breckenridge Brewery (both owned by Anheuser Busch InBev) along with all of the traditional events, like stein hoisting, music and keg bowling. Get all the information about times, events and ticket prices at thedenveroktoberfest.com.

Epic Brewing taps a different firkin at 5 p.m. every Friday this month. Today’s is Breakfast Baptist, which is Son of a Baptist Coffee Stout made with waffles and syrup.

4 Noses Brewing throws its own Oktoberfest celebration all weekend, starting with the release of its Foeder Oktoberfest lager (not to be confused with its regular Oktoberfest beer), which will be available on draft and in cans to go. "We will be decorated in Oktoberfest style, offering lagers by the liter, playing polka music and holding beer stein contests," the brewery says. There will also be German food.

click to enlarge FICTION BEER
Fiction Beer
Saturday, September 25
Fiction Beer turns seven years old and is throwing itself a "very whimsical seventh birthday party. We’ll be releasing seven beers, have a balloon drop at 7 p.m.," the brewery says. There will also be stilt walkers, face painting, custom T-shirt printing, live music and food. The beers are Madame Psychosis New England Style IPA, ‘7’ Peach Milkshake IPA Anniversary Beer, Lunas Hatch Green Chili Blonde Stout, 95 Nightmares Before Christmas Dry Hopped Munich Style Lager, Laws Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Alternate Present Dark Lager, Laws Bourbon Barrel Aged Alternate Present Dark Lager, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Twilight Superstition Sour Imperial Pumpkin Brown Ale.

You'll scream for ice cream at Denver Beer Co.'s South Downing Street location when the brewery and its on-site ice cream parlor, Yum Yum's, host a beer-and-ice cream pairing. Attendees get five scoops and five beer tasters, including: Grandma's Nanner Bread Hefeweizen paired with Banana Walnut ice cream; Hey Pumpkin paired with Cinnamon Pepita Brittle ice cream; and Anniversary X Imperial Porter paired with White Chocolate ice cream. Tickets will be sold for two time slots: 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.

Crooked Stave is honored to once again host Zwanze Day — a worldwide bottle release and toast by Belgium’s Cantillon — at its Friends & Family taproom. Tickets are $50.

River North Brewery's annual Chile Beer Day is back. Starting at 1 p.m., you can try Socorro Chile Lager on tap at both taprooms, or take it with you in cans. There will also be other chile beer variants, and a local chile roaster at the Blake Street location. Moya's Tacos will be on site at Blake Street, as well.

Diebolt Brewing celebrates “Boltoberfest” with the annual release of its tongue-in-cheek Boltsteiner Lager on tap and in cans. The brewery will also release DunkelHeist Dunkelweizen. There will be bratwurst by Leevers Locavore. Steins and lederhosen preferred but not required.

Platt Park Brewing kicks off its own Oktoberfest party by tapping its celebratory lager. For $15, you get a one-liter traditional glass and a fill. Gates Deli & Grog will be serving pretzels and sandwiches all day.

Dos Luces Brewing continues its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by releasing Moctezuma III Imperial Pulque, which was infused with hibiscus and aged in Napa Valley Cabernet barrels. The brewery will also be offering a vertical tasting of three years' worth of Moctezuma.

Thursday, September 30
Epic Brewing hosts a massive Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout release and tap takeover, featuring more than twenty variants of new and vintage Big Bad Baptists, including six that are new for this year. In addition, for the third year in a row, the original Big Bad Baptist will be available in twelve-ounce four-packs. This year’s variants are: Double Barrel, a collaboration with Blue Copper Coffee that was made with green Colombian coffee beans aged in whiskey barrels; In the Rye, which was aged in rye barrels instead of bourbon barrels to add peppery notes and earthy tones; Naked Baptist, a version without coffee or cacao; Black Forest Cake, with notes of chocolate, ripe cherries and fresh coconut; Double Jam, made with raspberries, blackberries and coffee; and Chocolate Mint, made with fresh mint and “a copious addition of cacao nibs,” the brewer says. All of these will be distributed to liquor stores in October and November.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes