Beer Man

Beer Calendar: American Craft Beer Week Brings a Raft of Special Tappings, Events

To celebrate American Craft Beer Week, which runs May 16 through may 22, the Boulder-based Brewers Association led a project called the the Biggest Small Beer Ever Made, in which brewers from all fifty states each made the same beer, using the same ingredients. At least two local breweries, Declaration Brewing in Denver and Kokopelli Beer in Westminster, will tap this beer at 6 p.m. Thursday as part of the yearly nationwide toast to the craft industry; the beer comes complete with a video that takes a dig at Budweiser, which has been bashing craft brewers in its own ad campaign for the past couple of years.

But the beer, an imperial brown porter, also has a special tie to Colorado: It is a homebrew recipe designed by Declaration Brewing co-founder Paul Ogg, a Colorado School of Mines professor and longtime craft-industry supporter who was diagnosed with lymphoma last year and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. This week Ogg is in Houston for surgery, but before he left Declaration gave him several bottles of the beer to give to his oncologists, says Andy Sparhawk of the Brewers Association.

For many other American Craft Beer Week events, look below.

Wednesday, May 18
In celebration of its six-year anniversary, Strange Craft Beer is hosting a luau in its beer garden with Roaming Bull Brasserie. "Start off with Tuna Poke appetizer and a half pint of brew. Follow it up with a traditional Hawaiian-style pig roast and side fixin's of kimchi and potato salad, along with a specialty small batch of Tropical Golden brewed just for the luau," the brewery says. "Don't forget to wear your festive shirts...we've got the leis. Music by Wylie 'Crazy Horse' Jones, for a little island flair." Seatings are between 4 and 8 p.m., no set times. Tickets are available at

Wit’s End Brewing has made its first, very limited foray into bottling, and today at 4 p.m. the brewery will begin selling 22-ounce bombers of Wilford, its Belgian Oatmeal IPA, in the taproom. (It will also be available at Little’s Wines & Liquors near the University of Denver).

In honor of American Craft Beer Week, Comrade Brewing is tapping two beers: Moneypenny English Summer Ale, which was brewed with wheat, flaked rye and Marris Otter; hopped with East Kent Goldings, Hallertau Mittlefruh and Citra; and Yank Tank Session IPA, hopped with Azacca, Citra and Simcoe.

Last week, Black Shirt Brewing celebrated the reissue of Weezer's "Pinkerton" with two Weezer-themed beers: Pinkerton, a red kolsch with beets, and Cio-Cio San, a Japanese porter made with chiles, Szechuan peppercorns and five other spices. Today, Black Shirt will again feature Cio-Cio San.  "The malt/spice/hop balance is spot-on, making you want to sip, gulp, and order another," the brewery says.

Thursday, May 19
Joyride Brewing in Edgewater will tap a small amount of its Tour Time Honey Barleywine today at 5 p.m. in honor of American Craft Beer Week. The rest of this beer is being aged and put into bourbon barrels. Joyride used sixty pounds of a local raspberry/blueberry honey to add slight sweetness and complexity.

Strange Craft marks its sixth anniversary today by tapping Super Kriek, which it calls "Cherry Kriek on steroids." The beer was a favorite at the Big Beers festival earlier in the year. There will also be extended hours, 2 to 11 p.m., hourly merchandise raffles (get a ticket with the purchase of a pint), live bluegrass from Groundcover at 6 p.m. and a Dr. Strangelove Barleywine bomber release party at 2 p.m. Also, if you wish Strange a happy birthday, you get a free five-ounce pour of your choice (not including Dr. Strangelove).

Alpine Dog Brewing will tap "some vintage Notorious MONK, Belgian-style Dubbel that has spent the last year aging in red wine barrels" at 6 p.m. today. It will also be selling Colfax+Ogden/Alpine Dog branded glasses. Get a glass and your first pour for $10; supplies are limited.

Call to Arms Brewing Company is hosting Hops and Pie, the Real Dill and the Colorado Brewers Guild at the brewery for an old-world selection of food and beers. The event will support the Kickstarter campaign for Dustin Hall of the Brewtography Project, who plans to publish a coffee-table photo book, Discovering Colorado Breweries, featuring more than 100 photos. For $25 in advance or $30 at the door, guests will get to try the Maibock, Kuit and Vienna Lager; "an old-world sandwich with scratch-made kielbasa, green apple/bacon slaw, and whole grain mustard on a house roll; a side of German tater salad; and a classic pickle from the Real Dill," the Brewery says. "Each guest will also receive an eight-by-ten-inch print signed by Hall.' For more information, go to the Facebook page

Friday, May 20
Today Wit's End Brewing will tap a version of its Ambition Black Coffee Stout aged in Deerhammer single malt whiskey barrels. "What came out was pure magic," the brewery says. "The complex flavors of their whiskey blend so well with our beer you have to try it." Wit's End will offer a limited amount of growler and forty-ounce fills to go out the door for the first ten patrons. 

Joyride Brewing will tap its first New England-style double IPA today. The beer, called the Director, is the first is a series of hoppy, hazy beers of this style. The Director was brewed with Citra, Mosaic, Huell Melon and Equinox hops. "You'll find mango, guava, nectarine and passion fruit flavors exploding out of the glass," the brewery says.

Every year, Breckenridge Brewery makes a beer to celebrate Denver Comic Con, and hosts a naming and artwork contest. This year's winner is Snape-ricot, an American lager with sweet notes of apricot. It will debut at a free show today at Stoney's Bar and Grill featuring the Gin Doctors, a '90s cover band, and the Red 5 Band. Artist Frankie Serna will be attending the release party to sign commemorative 2016 Denver Comic Con pint glasses, which will be given away to the first 200 people through the door. 

Comrade Brewing will tap a new beer today: Honeyman X is a 5.5 percent ABV American pale ale hopped with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Citra.

Ratio Beerworks taps a new firkin every Friday at 5 p.m. Today's beer is a blueberry saison called Purple (Mountain Majesty) Drank, a spinoff of Ratio's Dear You, citra hopped French Saison. "The Purple Mountain Majesty celebrates the young but storied history of American craft brewing, and the Purple Drank element is a nod to Ratio’s tradition of infusing music into all aspect of the brewing process," the brewery says.

Saturday, May 21
In honor of American Craft Beer Week, head to Fermaentra Brewing at noon for its very first bottle release: Erinyes, a sour ale with brett, aged on cranberries and American oak. It will be available on draft and in a limited amount of 500 hand-numbered bottles. It's $7 per bottle; limit of four per person. 

Diebolt Brewing will tap the Wiggy Wiggy, its hibiscus-and-honey saison, today and will host a party in its honor. Details are still TBA, but there will be music, food and the saison — which Diebolt says is its most popular brew. Oh, and Diebolt will also begin canning the Wiggy Wiggy this year.

Platt Park Brewing will host a bottle-release party for its Watermelon Berliner Weisse today at noon. The brewery will only be selling about 100 bottles so there is a limit of two per person. Platt Park will also tap a single keg of the beer, and when it's gone, it's gone.

For its monthly Littlest Big Beer Fest, starting at noon, Hops & Pie will feature the beers of newly-opened Westbound & Down Brewing in Idaho Springs. Beers on tap include Colorado Pale Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, General Macarthur’s Scotch Ale, Westbound Double IPA, Poperinge Pale Ale and Denver Pils.

The Vine Street Pub throws its eighth anniversary party today starting at 4:20 p.m. There will be burgers and brats on the grill and "three unique brews from our fellow neighborhood breweries," the brewery says, as well as music from Atomic Pablo (Blues) and La Pompe Jazz (Gypsy Jazz).

Copper Kettle will debut two new cans today, IPA and Milk Stout, which are joining the brewery's Helles, which has been in cans for a while now. The cans will be sold out of the tap room today, but should be available in liquor stores soon. There will be live music from Roots & Rhythm Band from 2 to 5 p.m., and the Cluck Truck will be out front.

Two22 Brew in Centennial hosts its annual Patio Peach Fest in the form of a luau this year; the brewery will also release its seasonal Patio Peach beer. The Boulder bluegrass group Timber performs at 5 p.m.

Upslope Brewing in Boulder hosts its third annual Upslope Get Down music festival today from 1 to 10 p.m. at its Flatiron Park location and in the parking lot. In addition to the thirteen bands on stage all day long, there will be plenty of beer, food, live art, games and more.

The Rialto Cafe will host its fourth annual Brewers Alley event from 4 to 8 p.m., featuring beer tastings from ten local brewers, including Boulder Beer, Ska Brewing and Denver Beer Co, musical entertainment, lawn games and appetizers. The event takes place in the alley between Curtis and Champa streets. A portion of the proceeds are going to Denver's Road to Work Program. Find tickets, $25, at Eventbrite.

Sunday, May 22
Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales releases two beers today at noon at Former Future Brewing in conjunction with a Kickstarter fundraising event for Discovering Colorado Breweries, a coffee-table book from the Brewtography Project's Dustin Hall. The beers are Starfire, a citrus zest table sour with lemon and lime, which will be sold in 750-ml cork-and-cage bottles for $20 each, and Gambit, a grapefruit wild ale, which will be sold in similar bottles for $65. Gambit will be used for the Kickstarter, and the purchase includes two signed, limited edition bottles, a Black Project bottle tote, signed Brewtography Project print of the brewery, and a sticker pack. Go to Facebook for details.

Thursday, May 26
Ernie’s Bar & Pizza and Ft. Collins Brewery are bringing back their second annual FCB Skeeball Tournament today at Ernie's at 8 p.m. The tournament will pit individuals and teams against each other to compete for prizes, including a VIP tour for two of Ft. Collins Brewery. FCB beers on tap for the event include Far Away IPA, Red Banshee, Hefeweizen and the Savor Series American Barleywine. Participants will also receive a souvenir pint glass.

Saturday, May 28
The first ever Libations & Provisions: A Brewery Farmer's Market takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. today at Station 26 Brewing in Denver. Vendors include Mountain Fresh Market, Black Squirrel Deluxe Granola, Chocolate Lab, City Pop, Happy Leaf Kombucha, New World Cheese, OO MOMMIE, Rocky Mountain Barrel Company, Smart Cookie Dog Treats, Stapleton Roasters and Tonix Denver. There will five more Libations & Provisions events through the summer and fall.

In honor of American Craft Beer Week, Freshcraft will serve four different beers from Casey Brewing & Blending in Glenwood Springs starting at 1 p.m. On draft: Cherry Fruit Stand and X Side Project Leaner. In bottles for on-presmise consumption: Dry Hop Oak Theory and Cherry Casey Family Preserve.

Rebel Restaurant is pairing with TRVE Brewing for an unusual summer kickoff dinner that suits both of these artisan establishments: Rebel specializes in whole-animal presentations, while TRVE specializes in being metal. The event, called The Slaughter, features three whole animals — a pig, a goat and a lamb — which will be slow-roasted and smoked. Guests will then devour them in a pop-up biergarten in Rebel's parking lot; the food will be served alongside some old favorites and brand-new summer sours from TRVE. There will also be homemade wine coolers from bartender Jason Randall. Nostalgic punk and metal records will be spun on the patio. The Slaughter runs from 2 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at

Nighthawk Brewery in Broomfield hosts its Inaugural Funk & Farm Fest today from 1 to 4 p.m.; the fest is a celebration of grisette, saison and farmhouse beers, and features more than a dozen Colorado breweries. Tickets, $38-$48, include a commemorative glass and goat cheese from Haystack Mountain. Participating breweries include Nighthawk, Trinity, Black Project, Crooked Stave, Atom Brewing, Dad & Dudes Breweria, Colorado Plus Brewery, Goldspot, Mu Brewery, Odd 13 Brewing, Spangalang, Our Mutual Friend, Wynkoop and Wiley Roots. Find tickets at

Friday, June 3
Ursula Brewery, formerly called Coda Brewing, is throwing a two-day "Re-Brandiversary" party to celebrate everything new. The location is celebrating its second anniversary in this spot, but had to change its name when head brewer Luke Smith left earlier this year and took the name Coda with him. Ursula will have special tappings today and tomorrow, including some sours. There will also be a live DJ and bands.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes