Beer Man

The Craft Beer Calendar: Anniversary Parties, IPA Day, Sesh Fest and Stellar Sours

Black Project ranked first on Paste magazine's list.
Black Project ranked first on Paste magazine's list. Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales
Paste magazine, which must have ten refrigerators in its office, has released yet another ranked list of craft beers, this time focusing on wild and sour ales — a difficult task that it describes as "venturing into a quagmire of conflicting styles and sub-styles — you’re just hoping to find your way out again, when all is said and done."

But when Paste did find its way out — ranking the top fifty beers out of 143 that it tried — ten Colorado beers came with it, including the one in the top spot: Black Project's Peacemaker, a blend of two spontaneously fermented beers that were aged in bourbon barrels that had also been used to age Colorado cherry wine.

The result is no surprise, as Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales has been building a name for itself nationwide over the past few years. In fact, Paste recounted the reaction of its own staff like this: "It was telling that while looking over all of the beers that were arriving for this tasting, multiple tasters pointed toward the Black Project label and said something to the effect of 'I’ve been hearing a lot about these guys.'" As for Peacemaker, they said it was "unique from pretty much anything else in the entire tasting."

The other beers to make the top fifty were Crooked Stave Petite Raspberry in fifth place; WeldWerks Brewing Peach Climacteric at eleven; Avery Brewing Apricot Sour in fifteenth place; Dry Dock Brewing's Maurea and Astraea at 22nd and 41st, respectively; TRVE Brewing's Ostar at 23; Upslope Wild Christmas Ale at 25; Epic Brewing's Sour Brainless on Peaches at 27; and Crooked Stave's Nightmare on Brett at 29.


Keep reading for the best local craft-beer events and tappings through August 19.

click to enlarge Goed Zuur goes sour. - JONATHAN SHIKES
Goed Zuur goes sour.
Jonathan Shikes
Wednesday, August 2
Great American Beer Festival tickets, $85 each, go on sale at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com to the general public; they will sell out within minutes. The fest takes place October 5-7.

Join Goed Zuur, 2801 Welton Street, at 5 p.m. for some rare beer tappings and food offerings. The first beer is Casey Brewing & Blending's The Cut Danube Cherry. The Cut is Casey's Oak Theory — "their take on classic sour beers from Belgium in the Senne Valley, with raw wheat, aged hops, and aged in oak for nine to twelve months" — with whole Colorado cherries at more than two pounds per gallon; these are of the Danube cherry variety, which offer a sweet-tart flavor, the restaurant says. The second is Firestone Walker Brewing Company SLOambic, which is the California brewery's Sour Opal (an American "Gueuze" aged for two years), with blackberries from near San Luis Obispo.

Copper Kettle Brewing celebrates fruit this month by tapping firkins of fruit beer every Wednesday. Today's is Vanilla Lime Lager, a light, tart lager with hints of vanilla and freshly squeezed Key lime juice.

Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing will host three events to celebrate its fourth anniversary. The first, on Wednesday, August 2, is Barrel Day, where three newly packaged barrel-aged beers will be unveiled. They are: Sheriff Shane the Solera Cyborg, "a very rustic and oaky foeder-aged sour blonde"; a blend of a saison and a red sour that was aged in both bourbon and red-wine barrels with cherries; and Rum Barrel Aged Saint Newcole, a lower-ABV version of Saint Nicole Imperial Stout. On Friday, August 4, Odd13 will release two fresh IPAs in cans and on draft. The first is Alpha Twins Juicy DIPA, brewed with Citra and Azacca hops and lactose. The second is QDH Superfan. And on Saturday, August 4, the brewery will host the Main Event, an in-house beer fest featuring a huge lineup of new releases and re-releases. There are two ticketed sessions, at noon and at 5 p.m., to help control the madness (with only 100 tickets, $50 each, per session). Each ticket includes ten drink coupons (more drink coupons can be purchased there), custom glass, a Lyft discount and a charity donation. Food will be available for purchase. Go to eventbrite for more information.


Bierstadt gets Fasser and furious. - BIERSTADT LAGERHAUS
Bierstadt gets Fasser and furious.
Bierstadt Lagerhaus
Thursday, August 3
It's IPA Day, and Freshcraft is celebrating by tapping numerous hoppy ales in a variety of styles. The tap list will include (but isn't limited to): Russian River Blind Pig; Outer Range The Steep; Green Flash Spanish Trampoline;
Station 26 Juicy Banger; Odell Myrcenary and IPA; Melvin Brewing Legend of Drunken Master; Stone Brewing RuinTen with Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean; Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi; Ratio Beerworks Antidote; Victory Beer Dirt Wolf (Nitro).

Despite saying it wouldn't package any "clean" (non-wild or -sour) beers, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will host a can release this afternoon to celebrate the release of three non-wild beers: Von Pilsner, IPA and Trellis Buster, a fantastic hazy double IPA. The brewery released its first-ever canned beers just last month, all of them fermented with wild Brettanomyces yeast.

Bierstadt Lagerhaus will tap its Vienna Lager, a seasonal beer brewed to coincide with the Velorama Bike Race, which takes place August 11-13. There will be live music starting at 5 p.m. and Rackhouse Pub specials.

Locavore Beer Works, 5950 South Platte Canyon Road in Littleton, celebrates IPA Day by tapping 2 Fingers Tropical IPA along with an all-new collaboration with First Draft Taproom & Kitchen called the Hank Dazy IPA.

Friday, August 4
Factotum Brewhouse will tap its first sour beer, Cassis Sour, at 3 p.m. Made with cassis (black currant) berries, the beer melds sweet and sour flavors. There's only one keg, so get there fast.

Come taste the sunshine when Freshcraft taps a special one-off firkin of Station 26 Brewing's Arnold Palmer at 5:30 p.m. It's the brewery's Lemondrop Wheat infused with tea.

Cerebral Brewing is bringing back a small batch of Cheat Code IPA for sale in Crowlers; the beer recently ranked in Draft magazine's list of the fifty best IPAs. "Heavily hopped with some of our favorite intensely fruity hops — Galaxy, El Dorado, Mosaic, and South African N1/69" — Cheat Code is 7.2 ABV and has "notes of grapefruit, melon, guava and a hint of pineapple," the brewery says. "We feel this batch is head and shoulders above the previous version and can't wait for you to judge for yourselves." Only 200 Crowlers will be sold; they cost $14 each, with a limit of three per person. Basecamp Provisions will be outside from 3 to 10 p.m.

Odd13 in Lafayette, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary all week, will roll out two fresh IPAs available in cans and on draft. The first is Alpha Twins Juicy DIPA, brewed with Citra and Azacca hops as well as lactose. The second is QDH Superfan.


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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes