Beer Man

Beer Calendar: A Black Project Lottery and the Big Beers Fest

Lost Highway Brewing
If the Tweeter-In-Chief's latest musings on North Korea have you thinking that the apocalypse could come sooner rather than later, then Lost Highway Brewing in Centennial has the beer for you. Although the message laid out on the back of the can of Mountain Coast IPA (and the map on the front, showing a greatly reduced land mass for the United States) presents a different kind of end-of-days scenario, it is no less terrifying — not to mention the craft-beer implications! Here's the message (more sci-fi than science) on Lost Highway's new, 6.7 percent ABV beer.

Global warming has caused the poles to reverse. Massive tectonic plate shifts have caused earthquakes and worldwide flooding. The coastline has receded to the Rockies, and Colorado beachfront property is at a premium. With California transformed into an island chain, and the coastline from Maine to Florida underwater, the East Coast vs West Coast IPA battle is over. It's now time for the Mountain Coast.

Continue reading for all of the craft-beer events into mid-January.

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Copper Kettle Brewing
Wednesday, January 3
Copper Kettle Brewing kicks off an entire month of coffee firkins at 2 p.m. with Coffee Citrus Paradisi, a beer made with Denver's own Novo Coffee. The brewery taps a different coffee firkin each Wednesday and serves the beers in twelve-ounce pours, but the firkins generally only last for one night.

In an effort to do away with the long lines and other issues surrounding bottle releases, Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales is experimenting with a new online lottery for its new bottled beers. For its latest beer, Stargate: Peach Rye | Nectarine Bourbon, interested beer buyers must enter the lottery on the brewery's website today. The brewery's Project Stargate highlights "different flavors and aromas of whole fruit fermented and aged in spirits barrels, which are filled with the brewery’s spontaneous solera sour golden Dreamland. Each year the brewery picks different fruits and spirits barrels, depending on the season, to age its sour golden for several months, imparting unique flavors and aromas into the base beer," Black Project says. The latest one "combines Laws Whiskey House Rye barrel-aged Stargate with peaches and Laws Whiskey House Bourbon barrel-aged Stargate with nectarines together, to produce the most complex, most fruit-forward, and most nuanced sour beer we have ever made.” Winners of the lottery can buy the beer for $22 per bottle and pick it up on January 12.

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Sarah Cowell
Thursday, January 4
The three-day Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival kicks off today at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, where hundreds of beer brewers, owners and fans will convene for a host of seminars, pairing dinners, tastings, a large festival and all-out partying. Although some of the events are sold out, there are still tickets left for the commercial tasting on Saturday — one of the best, most important tastings of the year in Colorado — along with seminars and the Calibration Dinner, which is hosted by Adam Avery of Avery Brewing and Bryan Selders of Dogfish Head. There are also various tappings and other beer-related activities around Breckenridge all weekend. Get more information at

Whether you're heading up to the Big Beers fest in Breckenridge, going skiing or just tooling around the foothills, stop by Westbound & Down Brewing in Idaho Springs for its first-ever bottle release, starting at 11 a.m. The Golden Sour was aged for eight months in American-oak wine barrels with Powder Keg Brewing’s house yeast culture. It was then aged an additional two months with massive amounts of Palisade peaches (more than three peaches per bottle). There are only 120 bottles for sale for $25 each, with a limit of two per person.

Wibby Brewing in Longmont is tapping its latest seasonal, and it's an interesting one. The Nine-Toed Nihilist is a Russian Imperial Stout — but it's a lager rather than an ale. The beer "pours an opaque, jet black with beautiful dark brown cascading head. The aroma is of roasted coffee and chocolate making me want to dip my nose in it," Wibby's brewmaster says. "The taste starts off smooth but as the beer flows across my pallet the rich flavors coffee, roasted barley, chocolate, and toffee begin to build with synergy as each flavor enhances every other flavor. I let the beer warm a bit in my hand to release more dark malt aroma and flavors become more intense. I can feel a slight alcohol burn with every swallow as the distinct Nine-Toed Nihilist flavor lingers on my pallet."

Friday, January 5
Beryl's Beer Company brings back Riga Baltic Porter. "This beauty is full bodied, robust, nutty and clocks in at 7.2 percent ABV," the brewery says. There will be live music from the the Notecrackers.

It's PB&J time at 3 p.m. at Dry Dock Brewing's original South Dock location, when the brewery taps its latest one-of-a-kind firkin, Peanut Butter & Jelly Porter.

Something Brewery in Brighton is bringing back a crowd favorite by tapping Calvin & Hops Double IPA, which is a double IPA made with real kumquats.

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Black Shirt Brewing
Saturday, January 6
Black Shirt Brewing will release Fourtrack Porter — a longtime taproom staple — in canned six-packs for the first time, starting at 11 a.m. "With an American nod to English tradition, Fourtrack is silky and rounded with notes of milk chocolate, caramel and toffee that give a semi-sweet and yummy finish," the brewery says. Later in the day, at 7 p.m., the Ham Bone Thieves will honor musicians who died in 2017 — including Tom Petty, Chuck Berry and Gregg Allman — by playing their songs.

Wynkoop Brewing has begun a single-malt, single-hop (known as S.M.a.S.H. beers) series, and it will tap the first one, Calypso IPA, for the first time at 10 a.m. at a free early-morning event. The beer was brewed with ESB malt and Calypso hops and has "a great biscuity malt backbone, while the 44 pounds of Calypso hops delivers a sweet cherry, lime and tropical fruit finish," the brewery says. The beer will be paired with house made-bites, and although the event is free, you need to RSVP for a seat at

Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette hosts its latest taproom-only can release starting at noon. This release features two hoppy beers, QDH Codename Superfan and a new collaboration double IPA called Hopbominable. The second beer was done in conjunction with Outer Range Brewing in Frisco.

The Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Commercial tasting takes place today at 2:30 p.m. at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge. The fest offers hundreds of high-alcohol beers from some of the best breweries in Colorado, the U.S. and the world. "This international slice of beer is extremely diverse; Belgians, lambics and sours highlight the lighter end of the spectrum, while the barleywines and strong ales dominate the other, with specialty beers from some of the most creative commercial brewers in the world," the fest says. Tickets are $75. Get more information at

Tuesday, January 9
Join Dry Dock Brewing at its original South Dock location in Aurora at noon for National Apricot Day and the release of the brewery's first Signature Series beer of 2018, Double Apricot Blonde. Aged for twelve months in Colorado whiskey barrels, Double Apricot Blonde "seamlessly melds fruit and bourbon flavors, creating notes of caramel and burnt sugar," the brewery says. "This beer is surprisingly delicate in body, slightly tannic, and rounded out by dry oak and sweet sherry nuances."

Wednesday, January 10
Copper Kettle Brewing continues its month of coffee firkins at 2 p.m. with Coffee Mexican Chocolate Stout, a beer made with Denver's own Novo Coffee. The brewery taps a different coffee firkin each Wednesday and serves the beers in twelve-ounce pours, but the firkins generally only last for one night.

Thursday, January 11
Joyride Brewing and Good Sugar Baking are teaming up for a beer and cookie pairing from 6 to 8 p.m. at the brewery. Four cookies and four beer samples cost $12; no tickets necessary. Good Sugar Baking is donating a portion of the proceeds to the National Park Foundation.

Friday, January 12
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery tasked its taproom staff with creating six unique stouts, all of which will be tapped today for a mini-competition called Stout Wars. You can vote for your favorite and help the brewery crown a winner at the end of the night. A flight of four, along with one pint and a custom glass, is $15.

Last October, Greeley's Wiley Roots Brewing took home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Funk Yo Couch, a mixed-culture Brettanomyces saison. Now the brewery is releasing Galaxy Dry Hopped Funk Yo Couch — but in a very unusual way. Rather than letting the yeast continue to activate in bottles, which is what most breweries do, Wiley Roots is experimenting with can conditioning. This is Colorado, after all. "As is the case with all of our mixed-culture beers, we add additional sugar and yeast to the packaging tank and allow the beer to re-ferment in the package — whether that be a bottle, keg or can," the brewery explains. "This helps to ensure the beer is as stable as can be for as long as possible, but also shows reverence to the old-world styles from which these beers have drawn influence." Four-packs of twelve-ounce cans cost $15 and will be available in the Greeley taproom and, later, in just six liquor stores: Mile High Wine and Spirits in Lakewood, Mr. B's Wine & Spirits (both downtown and in the Stanley Markeplace); Mondo Vino, Wyatt's Wet Goods in Longmont; and Basecamp Wine and Spirits in Frisco.

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Oskar Blues hosts its grand opening on January 13.
Danielle Lirette
Saturday, January 13
Longmont-based beer and restaurant juggernaut Oskar Blues will host a grand opening starting at 11 a.m. for its huge new Denver spot, Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, at 1624 Market Street. The company recently opened locations in Boulder and Colorado Springs, too. Upstairs, patrons will find 48 taps, including rare beers and Oskar Blues specialties, as well as selections from other breweries; the food menu will feature Southern-style fare. Downstairs, they'll be able to check out the the Black Buzzard, a music venue. Tonight's show is from People’s Blues of Richmond, with special guests Interstate Stash Express. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9. Get information and tickets at

Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen hosts its fourth annual Barrel Aged Beer Festival today and tomorrow, with eight different barrel-aged beers from Lowdown plus some rare or barrel-aged stuff from Little Machine, Black Project, River North Brewery, Declaration, Spangalang, Banded Oak, Funkwerks, Platt Park, Station 26, Left Hand, Lagunitas, Elevation, Dry Dock, Odell and Ratio Beerworks. The party runs from 2 to 5 p.m.; see the Lowdown website for more details.

On the second Saturday of each month, Bierstadt Lagerhaus fills its fifty-liter fässer (a wooden barrel) with one of its keller (that's German for cellar) lagers directly from the lager tank. The unfiltered lager changes depending on what owners/brewers Bill and Ashleigh think is tasting particularly good. This time around, they'll have the Rauchbock going.

Join Boulder's Cellar West Artisan Ales starting at 1 p.m. for special beers, merriment and food in celebration of its first anniversary. The brewery will roll out two new beers (Dry Hopped Meager and Ice Cream Kid) and bring back some old favorites (like Farmer's Breakfast French Toast), as well as some bottles from its cellar stash (Zep, Westfield, Sea No Evil, Make Hay). Cellar West will also pour beer from all of the breweries it collaborated with in 2017, including Cerebral Brewing, Call to Arms, Cannonball Creek and Wild Woods Brewery. Pepperbelly Barbecue will be on hand with Texas-style barbecue.

Powder Keg Brewing in Niwot releases its Bourbon Barrel Aged Supervoid Imperial Stout in bomber bottles at noon. "Thick and viscous, this beer has huge notes of bittersweet chocolate with a balance of roasty undertones. The mouthfeel is absolutely outrageous due to the huge portion of the grist made up of oat malt," the brewery says. Bottles are $24 each.

Sunday, January 14
Station 26 Brewing has a couple of new amenities to boast about for the first Bluegrass Brunch of 2018 — its monthly series of kickbacks. For starters, the brewery got a heated patio tent a while back, something that changes the entire feel of the place during bad weather. Secondly, Station 26 is debuting its own food truck, Order 26, will have a special brunch menu. There will also be live bluegrass from Cosmic Mesa.

Wednesday, January 17
Irish Blessing, which Boulder Beer Company released on draft back in February, will be canned for the first time this month, and both the original brewery and the new Boulder Beer outpost on Walnut Street will host roll-out parties starting at 5:30 p.m. For the first half-hour, Boulder Beer will give away free pints of the beer, an oak-aged coffee stout brewed with OZO Coffee and aged on Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey-soaked oak chips. There will also be live music starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Pub on Wilderness and at 7 p.m. at Boulder Beer on Walnut.

Friday, January 19
Mockery Brewing is excited to announce the return of its very first bottle release — and one of its favorite beers: Schizophrenic Narcoleptic. It's "a bigger, badder version of our Export Coffee Stout, aged twice as long in artisanal vanilla extract barrels that resulted in a harmonic melding of roasted grains, smooth cold-brewed coffee and a semi-sweet dessert-like finish," the brewery says. Bottles will go on sale at 2 p.m.

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Colorado Brewtography Project
Saturday, January 20
If you've been to a beer festival or a brewery at some point in the past four years, there's a good chance you've seen Dustin Hall quietly, kindly taking photos of everyone and everything. Over that time, he has ceaselessly traveled the state, recording the craft-beer industry and garnering goodwill under the Brewtography Project moniker. Although photographing breweries and the people who work there began as a hobby for Hall, it's become an all-consuming passion, and after a couple years of work, he and his wife, Marcia, are finally releasing Discovering Colorado Breweries, a 232-page coffee-table book filled with photographs of more than seventy Colorado breweries. The official book release takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. at Falling Rock Tap House, where the Halls will celebrate and sign copies of the book, which retails for $49.99. This will also be the time for people who supported the Brewtography Project's successful Kickstarter campaign to pick up their rewards; anyone who buys a copy of the book will also receive a free beer. For more information on the project, where to buy the book and other events surrounding its release, go to
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes