You can find the American flag on just about anything these days, from sugar packets to underwear to ads from real estate agents. So its appearance on a Colorado beer can might not make anyone's head spin around. But its patriotic placement on Dry Dock Brewing's Colorado Freedom Memorial Blonde is actually quite complicated. In 2014, Dry Dock became the first brewery in the nation to be granted an exemption by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates beer labels, allowing it to print the flag on a bottle of beer; the agency doesn't allow it and had rejected several previous attempts. But Dry Dock's request was endorsed by a high-ranking military officer, and since some of the profits are donated to the group that keeps up the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora (it's dedicated to the 6,000 Coloradans killed in action since 1876), the TTB gave the label the green light. This time around, Dry Dock is canning the beer for the first time, which gave the brewery another first: It's the first can to display the flag. (Budweiser's American cans don't actually show the flag, in case you are wondering; they just depict stars and stripes.) The cans make Dry Dock owner Kevin DeLange proud of what the brewery is doing and what it was able to accomplish. Find Colorado Freedom Memorial Blonde in stores this month.
Keep reading for craft-beer tappings in the metro area.
Wednesday, May 2
Bierstadt Lagerhaus and the Rackhouse Pub are celebrating the release of Maibock, a traditional spring lager, all week. Today you can get $9 liters all day and appreciate the Maypole, which was erected on May 1. On May 3, get a purple Bierstadt Crowler coozie for $1 with the purchase of a Maibock Crowler while listening to the lyrical stylings of A.J. Fullerton. And on Friday, May 4, it will be Maibock Mayhem when the Rackhouse unveils its new Beer Hall garage doors, with pop-up German grub, music by the Rhinelanders and authentic lederhosen and dirndls from Uta Moden.
Thursday, May 3
Joyride Brewing is streaming the World Beer Cup ceremony live from Nashville from 6 to 9 p.m. today. The feed comes courtesy of the Brewing Network. "There will also be a webcam in our taproom that will stream back to the ceremony, so we'll have a chance to raise a cheers to everyone in attendance," Joyride says. "Come cheer on Joyride and other Colorado breweries as we compete for gold against the entire world."
Friday, May 4
Platt Park Brewing will release polar-opposite IPAs. The first is Space Sloth Milkshake IPA. This tropical creamy beer was brewed with Mosaic and Huell Melon hops, fresh papaya, passion fruit, Madagascar vanilla and lactose. The second beer is Dune Brut IPA. A gluten-reduced and aggressively hopped IPA, this one is "pale in color, bone dry and gives the impression of effervescence," the brewery says. "Rakau and Hallertau Blanc were added post-boil to give the aroma of white grapes, figs and apricot."
Okay, yes, San Francisco-style Brut IPAs are suddenly a thing. Fiction Beer Company will tap one called "I will not drink any f***ing Merlot" that is based on the novel Sideways, by Rex Picket. "I will not drink any f***ing Merlot" is a play on a Champagne-like beer and is "extremely dry with a punch of hop flavor and aroma from excessive dry hopping with low-perceived bitterness," Fiction says. "Hallertau Blanc, Rakua, and Motueka hops shine through in this with flavors of white grapes, apricot, and citrus."
Wit's End Brewing, which is now located inside Strange Craft, taps Mai the Fourth, brewed specially for (the universally recognized) Star Wars Day on Friday, May 4. "It is a period of lagered brews. Wit’s End Brewing Company, brewing from a hidden base within Strange Craft Beer Co., have made their fourth annual beer in support of Star Wars Day, May 4. During the Brew, Wit’s End managed to use their secret mashing techniques and extended lagering to produce MAI THE FOURTH, a Maibock lager with enough flavor to fill an entire taproom. Pursued by summer months, this classic spring style races to glasses aboard draft taps and in Crowlers that can serve the people and restore lager to the galaxy," the brewery says. "Mai The Fourth, a traditional German-style lager, is brewed to highlight malt characters without too much sweetness, uses German hops to help balance it out, and was fermented with Bavarian lager yeast to produce clean, malty flavors with a touch of fruity grape notes." The beer taps at noon, and there will also be food from My Angel's Fine Cuisine.
Odell Brewing is releasing a new year-round beer called Colorado Lager. "This crisp, clean lager is brewed in Colorado and only available in Colorado," Odell says. The Odell crew will be at Rhein Haus in Denver from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., giving away swag.
Saturday, May 5
Cerveceria Colorado, a brewery project from Denver Beer Co, will open its doors at 11 a.m. with nine beers on tap, all of them honoring the traditions, cuisine and culture of Mexico. Located next to the brewery's original spot on Platte Street, Cerveceria Colorado is both a beer bar and a statement: "Cerveceria Colorado believes beer is inclusive, collaborative and celebratory. Cerveceria Colorado is here to build bridges, not walls, in our communities," owners Patrick Crawford and Charlie Berger say. In addition to the beers, there will also be Mexican games, Mexican food trucks, a Tres Leches cake tasting, piñata smashing and a photo booth.The opening lineup of beers includes Lupulo Cacao, a chocolate pale ale; Senor Pina, a pineapple blonde; Venga, a traditional Mexican lager that you can try Chelada style with rimmed salt and a lime wedge; Barrica Reserva, Tequilla barrel-aged saison; Churro Stout, a milk stout aged on vanilla beans and cinnamon; Cocolimon, a kettle sour with zested limes and shredded coconut that was created in collaboration with Cerveceria de Colima in Colima, Mexico; Nopalito, a wheat beer with nopal created in collaboration with La Cirquera from Querétaro, Mexico; and Poblano Pils, a smoked Mexican lager aged on smoked fresh poblano peppers.
Fermaentra Brewing is introducing a new beer called Brut Li, its version of a Brut IPA. Coming in at 7.1 percent ABV, this is "the most refreshing, effervescent and perfect platform to showcase hop aroma and flavor," the brewery says. "The use of 'Brut' in the name of the style refers to the fact that we have left no sugar behind in the fermentation process. But make no mistake, this beer is not bitter like a run-of-the-mill West Coast IPA. While we have designed the beer to contain no residual sugar, all of the hop additions are done in a manner to reduce bitterness, accentuate flavor, and the hop additions themselves add some perceived sweetness on their own. Bright, bursting with aroma and flavor, effervescent, and yes… it’s dry." For this variation, Fermaentra split the hop additions equally between Citra and Idaho 7 for "a pungent grapefruit-meets-passionfruit dankness." The brewery plans to introduce multiple variations of the beer over the course of the year.
Join Cerebral Brewing for the bottle release of its two newest Barrel-Aged Breakfast Porters, Personal Day and Double Maple Work From Home. Coming in at 13.7 percent ABV, Personal Day is the brewery's Work From Home aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for twelve months with cassia bark and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans; it was then conditioned on Colombian coffee beans roasted by MiddleState Coffee. The other beer, Double Maple Work From Home, is a 13.6 percent version of Work From Home aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels for twelve months with Peruvian coffee. Go to the Facebook page for more information.
TRVE Brewing will release two collaboration beers brewed during GABF last fall. Aqua Dementia, brewed with North Carolina's Burial Beer, is a lagered saison fermented in oak puncheons. "We knocked this beer out into oak and then wheeled the barrels into our cold room to ferment at cold temperatures. A crispy, bubbly saison from two breweries that fucking love saison," TRVE says. Only forty cases are available. The second beer, the Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull, made with help from Perennial Beer, is a mixed-culture saison using both Colorado alfalfa and Missouri wildflower honeys. "The honeys were added both in the boil and for a secondary fermentation, which occurred in oak." There are about a hundred cases available.
Call to Arms Brewing is paying homage to an American classic with its Ballroom Lite Lime, which will be tapped in honor of Cinco de Mayo. The brewery says it is "dressing up its beloved Ballroom Beer with fresh organic limes and Rocky Mountain water." The 5 percent ABV beer will be available in bottles and buckets. A bucket of five bottles will be $20 and a single bottle will be $5. After May 5, the beer will be on tap after bottles run out.
Alpine Dog Brewing's Chile Pepper Beer Fest returns at 1 p.m. to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The brewery will tap four new beers: Grapefruit + Mango + Habanero Session IPA; Mocha + Chipotle Red Ale; Jalapeño + Anaheim Blonde Ale; and Blueberry + Habanero + Tequila Barrel Aged Wit. There will be a food truck as well.
Comrade Brewing will tap its very first Mexican Lager in honor of Cinco de Mayo. This crisp beer was brewed with flaked corn and German noble hops and comes in at just 4.9 percent ABV.
Alternation Brewing will throw a Cinco de Mayo fiesta starting at noon, with food from the Vegan Van, along with a day filled with beer releases and live music. The biggest release is For the Animals, an almond-milk stout made with lactose-free milk, almond meal and organic almond extract from Savory Spice Shop. "This revolutionary beer mimics the intense creamy finish of traditional lactose additions through high mash temperatures, an extended boil, and a low attenuating yeast strain," the brewery says. "The result is a beautiful stout with a nutty aroma and creamy finish suitable for all beer lovers." One dollar from each taproom sale will be donated to the Humane League, and there will be live music from Genghis Stoetzer and Ben Hammond.
Lone Tree Brewing unveils the Hoppy Little Trees Project, a fresh year-round rotating IPA series. These IPAs will be available exclusively in Lone Tree’s tasting room beginning with the first release today. "The Hoppy Little Trees Project beers will succeed Lone Tree’s recently retired Simcoe IPA and share the former IPA’s grain bill, which includes 2 Row, Heritage, Crystal, White Wheat, and Dextrin malt, while playing with select combinations of different hop varieties. The first IPA in the new series features Cascade, Amarillo, Centennial, Willamette, an experimental YCH hop variety; and is dry-hopped with Vic Secret, Jarrylo, and the same experimental hop," the brewery says.
It's "Simcoe" de Mayo at 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield, which will celebrate all things Simcoe hops with the release of its Mexican-style lager, Playa Nevada. "This crushable, crisp lager features a healthy helping of Simcoe hops for a refreshingly smooth finish," the brewery says. 4 Noses will also tap Serrano Pale Ale, which has a subtle heat and a citrus-forward finish — and also boasts 100 percent Simcoe.
Tuesday, May 8
At 4 p.m., Our Mutual Friend releases The Fizz, a Keller Pils brewed with 100 percent pilsner malt, hallertau blanc, and Colorado crystal hops. To celebrate, the brewery will also be selling pilsner goblet as part of its monthly Keep the Glass night program.
Wednesday, May 9
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen is doing one collaboration beer per month for all of 2018. For May, the beer bar has teamed up with Frisco's Outer Range Brewing to create Garden Variety, a hazy IPA with loads of Citra, Warrior, and Apollo hops; it should be available all month long. In addition, First Draft will tap several other beers from Outer Range, including In the Trees, In the Steep, Outlines and Outer Range Table Biere.
Call to Arms Brewing plans to tap two beers by today. The first is If You Can Dodge a Wrench, a 5.7 percent ABV "session" IPA dry-hopped with Grungeist, Rakau and Amarillo "for a balanced and bright hop profile of citrus & fruit with subtle pine notes," the brewery says. The second is Do You Even Juice, Bro?, a 6.7 percent ABV experimental IPA brewed with Mosaic, Waimea, Amarillo, and Experimental Hop 09326. The beer, which features notes of orange, lemon zest, and a hint of melon, was previously a collaboration with Cannonball Creek Brewing. "We liked it so much, we brewed it again," Call to Arms says.
Thursday, May 10
The Juice Is Loose, a hazy pale ale, returns to Renegade Brewing at 1 p.m. The brewery is beginning a series of monthly limited sixteen-ounce canned releases, and it will start with this one. The Juice Is Loose is double-dry-hopped with Citra and Huell Melon hops. It's $5 per can.
Saturday, May 12
Join Platt Park Brewing for its second annual Fruit Frenzy, which encompasses a wide variety of beer styles. There will be nine fruit beers on tap starting at noon — for one day only. The beers are: Watermelon Berliner Weisse, Papaya Milkshake IPA, White Pear Berliner Weisse, Coconut Coffee Porter, Tangerine Tropical Snow Dance IPA, Future Blind Chocolate Cherry Stout, Pineapple Hop Religion, and Passion Fruit Phaded Pale Ale.
"Here in Colorado, we know to expect those early May snows. So to celebrate the real end of winter, we are raiding the cellar and filling our lines with barrel-aged brews," says River North Brewery, which is throwing a Barrel Aged Extravaganza. Beers on tap include 2017 Vicennial: Barrel-Aged God Complex; 2017 Vicennial: Barrel-Aged Shadowman; 2017 Vicennial: Barrel-Aged Father Time; 2016 Barrel Aged Avarice; 2016 Whiskey Barrel Quandary; 2017 Whiskey Barrel Quandary; 2017 Fancy Effing Stout; 2017 Big City Quad; 2017 Barrel Aged Mr. Sandman; 2017 Whiskey Barrel J. Marie; Single Cask J. Marie - Port-Finished Whiskey; and Saison Conspiracy Noir. All beers will all be available to take home in Crowlers, too.
Join Habitat Denver and more than thirty breweries at Great Divide Brewing's event space, 3403 Brighton Boulevard, for the 2018 edition of Hops for Homes, a craft-beer festival that "brings the collaborative spirit of the craft-brewery community together to craft a home and build hope for a local family in need." Tickets — $40 for GA and $50 for VIP — include unlimited pours, a specialty tasting glass, games, a live DJ and raffles. Food trucks include Basic Kneads Pizza, Farmer Joe's Food Truck and Catering, Mile High Cajun Food Truck, and Trubucha. For tickets and a full list of participating breweries, go to habitatmetrodenver.org. The fest runs from 1 to 4 p.m. (VIPs get in at noon).
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Colorado Plus Brewpub will celebrate its fifth anniversary in Wheat Ridge. The brewpub will have more than 25 of its own beers on tap along with various other selections from Colorado craft breweries. They will be grilling out on the front patio, and there will be music and cornhole.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette will release two new canned beers at noon that will only be available in the taproom. The first is Codename: Ice Cream Man, a 6.5 percent ABV milkshake IPA "inspired by the ice cream truck favorite, The Creamsicle," the brewery says. It is the most "extreme variant" of Codename in terms of recipe modification; it was brewed with Centennial, Citra and El Dorado hops, along with lactose, vanilla and orange. The second beer is Hop Shaman, a collaboration with Further Brewing. "African Queen and Southern Passion dominate an insanely large dry hop aimed at a fruit-dominant profile," Odd13 says.
The third annual Bacon and Beer Classic is taking over Sports Authority Stadium from noon to 9 p.m. "Prepare yourself for a no-holds-barred blowout on the field with 100 plus beers from regional breweries, 30 plus bacon dishes from local chefs, a blind beer taste test, the Hormel bacon eating contest, lawn games, music, and more," organizers say. Get tickets are information at universe.com.
Frisco's Outer Range Brewing continues to attract people from all over the state with its world-class New England-style IPAs. At noon, the brewery will be releasing fifty cases of Pillow Stacks DIPA, an 8 percent ABV IPA made with all Mosaic hops. It will also re-release its house beer, ORB IPA, made with Cascade, Amarillo, Nugget, Citra and citra hops. There will be 100 cases will be available.