Beer Calendar: Bacon, Barrel-Aged Beers, Nitro Fest and Three New Breweries

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Ski resorts haven't always made craft beer a priority, but that has changed a lot over the past two years. The latest pairing between local brews and winter sports is at the Base 9 bar inside Breckenridge's Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center, which is introducing a new craft-beer program this season. Bar managers hired craft consultant Laura Lodge, who also created the annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival in Vail, to help them design a beer menu that works with the food menu. Different Colorado breweries will be served at the bar, and one will be featured each week with a tasting in Beaver Run's lobby and other specials. Currently on tap: Ska True Blonde, Breckenridge Agave Wheat, Great Divide Collette, New Belgium Fat Tire, Avery IPA, Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's IPA, Odell Cutthroat Porter and Left Hand Milk Stout.

Turn the page to see all of this week's craft-beer events.

Wednesday, November 12

Chicago's 5 Rabbit Cervezaria, a Latin American-themed craft brewery, will kick off distribution in Colorado this week with a tap and bottle takeover at the Source market from 6 to 10 p.m. Both Comida and Acorn will serve 5 Rabbits beers, as will the RiNo Yacht Club bar; the Proper Pour bottle shop will sell the beers as well.

November is "Happy Thanksgiving" cask month at the Copper Kettle. Today's beer is Apple and Pear Tart Amber, a traditional amber lager with a sweet and tart finish.

Thursday, November 13

Station 26 Brewing will tap a firkin of its Double IPA that was infused with currant and sage. The Farm to Truck food truck will be on hand.

CANCELLED Denver Bicycle Cafe will host a beer and cheese pairing featuring gourmet Colorado cheeses hand-picked to match a selection of four five-ounce beers from Colorado's brewers. Cheese expert Amy Combs will be on hand to talk about the pairings. Tickets are $25.

Friday, November 14

Dry Dock Brewing will debut the latest barrel-aged beer in its Signature Series, Double Vanilla Porter, today in the Canoe Room, located inside the brewery's north Aurora production facility. The beer will be available on tap and for sale in bomber bottles; it will be distributed to liquor stores later in the month. The 9.3 percent ABV is based on the brewery's Vanilla Porter, but was aged in whiskey barrels.

Diebolt Brewing will release a barrel-aged version of its Biere de Triomphe when it opens at 4 p.m. today. The beer was aged for five months in Cabernet barrels, giving it flavors of black currant and spicy oak mingled with grape-like esters and slight citrus notes, the brewery says.

Saturday, November 15

Fermaentra Brewing, in the University of Denver neighborhood, will open its doors today for the first time at noon. "After one year of planning, demolition, permits, construction, delays, more construction, and finally power and gas hookups," owners/brewers Spencer O'Bryan and Brennan Mann will be tapping eight beers: Hefeweizen, West Coast Pale Ale, Belgian Style Blonde, Belgian Style Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Blonde Ale/ Lager Hybrid, English Amber, Imperial India Pale Ale. The seven-barrel brewing system sits directly behind the bar -- without walls or windows -- so that patrons can watch the process. The Texorado BBQ food truck will be on hand.

Alpine Dog Brewing will soft-open today in Capitol Hill with a fifteen-barrel brewhouse, a 35-foot-long bar, room for nearly 100 people and four beers on tap: a rye blonde, an amber, an IPA and a Belgian pale ale with American hops. Owner/head brewer Gardiner Hammond, who will brew all the beers himself, spent some time as a brewer at the Old Mill Brewery & Grill in Littleton. Alpine Dog will hold a grand opening on November 22.

Locavore Beer Works will open for business today at 5950 South Platte Canyon Road in Littleton. Starting at noon, the new brewery will have eleven beers on tap, along with food from Rocky Mountain Catering.

In honor of its 21st birthday, Left Hand Brewing will introduce an unusual new event today called Nitro Fest, the first event dedicated exclusively to nitrogenated beer. Taking place from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Longmont brewery, the fest will feature beers from 21 breweries across the country. Some are rare beers that are being nitrogenated for the first time for the fest. Tickets are $50 for four hours of all-you-can-drink nitro craft beers. Event proceeds will benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation; Left Hand helped popularize the nitro style over the past few years by introducing three nitrogenated beers in bottles. Breweries at the fest include Founders, Cigar City, Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker, Victory, Green Flash, Oskar Blues, Breckenridge, New Belgium and Odell. In addition, there will be performance art featuring fire dancers, stilt walkers and aerial artists.

River North Brewery will bring back its first barrel-aged beer, Whiskey Barrel J. Marie, today with a release party starting at 1 p.m. "Shortly after we opened in 2012, we got our hands on some freshly emptied whiskey barrels, and loaded them with our farmhouse ale," head brewer Matt Hess says in a statement. "The result not only tasted amazing, but ignited my passion for barrel-aging, and now I look forward to this beer every year." The 10.2 percent ABV beer's "esters of apricot and peach are complimented by toasted coconut and vanilla notes from the barrels." Draft pours and bomber bottles ($15 each; limit of three) to-go will be available.

In advance of the November 16 Denver Bacon and Beer Festival, organizers Denver Off the Wagon and EatBoston are hosting the second annual Bacon and Beer Chef and Brewer Dinner at The Lobby. The event, from 6 to 9 p.m., will feature five courses prepared by five local chefs, paired with beer from five Denver-area breweries (plus a welcome beer, Breckenridge Brewery's 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout). Pairings include squash and bacon-spiced surette from Harman's John Little paired with Crooked Stave Autumn Surette; celery root purée with pork belly, fig and frisee from Drew Watson of Hops & Pie, paired with Copper Kettle's French Saison; and bacon-wrapped pork belly meatloaf served over parsnip puree with caramelized wort catsup and crispy sprout leaves from The Lobby's Brandon Muncy, paired with TRVE Brewing's Dunwich Robust Porter. Tickets, $65, and full details are available at wheretoeat.in/2014-denver-bacon-and-beer-festival/. A portion of proceeds from tickets sales benefit Project Angel Heart and Metro CareRing.

Sunday, November 16

The third annual Denver Bacon and Beer Festival runs from 2:30 to 5 p.m. today at the Curtis Hotel. This year's event will feature eighteen breweries and more than 25 restaurants; one beer-bacon team will be crowned Best in Show and win $750 to donate to the local charity of its choice. Presented by EatBoston and Denver Off The Wagon, the fest has raised almost $40,000 for Project Angel Heart and Metro CareRing in the past. For tickets, $46.50, more info and a list of participants, go to the Denver Bacon and Beer Festival's website.

Avery Brewing will debut a brand-new beer in its Annual Barrel Series today at 11 a.m. when it starts selling bottles of Tweak, a stout aged for four months with Orzo coffee in bourbon barrels. The beer, formerly known as Meph Addict, was a version of Avery's Mephistopheles Stout, and has only been on tap in the past. Weighing in at 17.81 percent AVB, Tweak will join Uncle Jacob's and Rumpkin as part of the annual series. Avery will also have several special beers on tap, including Eremita VII, Sour 10 lb. Strawberry, Karmarita, Drew's Fuzzy Peach, Antonius' Carmen, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Trogdor, Hanging with the Boysen, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Czar, Ratman 10,000, and The Preacher.

Chain Reaction Brewing will tap its first-ever barrel-aged beer today, its smoked Hatch chile amber lager (made with more chiles smoked over pecan wood) aged in a tequila barrel. The brewery is also hosting its first annual Chili Cook Off, with three categories: red, green and veggie. Judging will be done by attendees and prizes will be handed out. Get the details on Chain Reaction's Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 18

The Table Top restaurant in Park Hill will host Fiction Beer Company owner/brewer Ryan Kilpatrick for a four-course beer dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Some of the combinations include seared scallops with fennel, melon and grapefruit, paired with Somewhere Around Barstow, an experimental IPA; and beer-braised short ribs with Brussel sprouts, root vegetables and Hatch chile Polenta, paired with A Belgian Strong Ale with roasted Hatch chiles. Each course will feature a different Fiction beer. Tickets are $45 per person and available at Table Top or Fiction Beer Company.

Turn the page to see more events later in October and in November.>

Thursday, November 20

The annual Chef & Brew Festival, which brings some of Denver's best chefs together with top breweries, returns today to the EXDO Event Center from 7 to 10 p.m. Attendees get access to unlimited appetizers and craft-beer samples from at least eighteen restaurants and eighteen breweries. The apps and beers are paired, and the best combo -- as voted on by guests -- will win the competition. Tickets are $49 (or $80 for VIP, which gets you in an hour earlier, at 6 p.m.). Some of the chefs include Jensen Cummings of the BSide, John Chad Little of Harman's, Argyll's John Broening and Panzano's Elise Wiggins. Breweries include Crooked Stave, Funkwerks, TRVE, Epic and Great Divide. Find the full list, info and tickets at chefnbrewfestival.com.

Denver Beer Co will host its annual Pie & Beer pairing from 6 to 9 p.m. today with Sugar Bakeshop and Coffee House; tickets are $15 Try four beers paired with four pies, then pre-order your Thanksgiving pie and beer to be picked up Wednesday, November 26.

Friday, November 21

Dry Dock Brewing will debut the latest barrel-aged beer in its Signature Series, Double Coffee Porter, today in the Canoe Room, located inside the brewery's north Aurora production facility. The beer will be available on tap and for sale in bomber bottles; it will be distributed to liquor stores later in the month. The 9.3 percent ABV beer was made with cold-brewed coffee from Denver roaster Coda Coffee and aged in whiskey barrels for ten months.

American Craft Beer Radio will host its second-annual Holiday Beer Bash from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Lowry. It features 35 breweries with unlimited sampling, cuisine from local chefs, and prizes -- all in a setting filled with out-of-commission aircraft. General admission tickets are $35, and VIP tickets, which get you in an hour early, are $45.

Saturday, November 22

Oskar Blues Brewery will celebrate twelve years of canning beers at its original location in Lyons today at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew. Although more than 425 craft breweries are canning their beers today, OB was the first to do it in 2002. The twelfth CANiversary party will kick off with a buffet dinner from 6 to 9 p.m., along with the GABF-famous Silent Disco from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the new expansion space on the north side of the building. Special beers available in cans include Chaka, Velvet Elvis, Station 3, Home Skillet, Pollen Buzz and Pinner Throwback IPA. Live music starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available at eventbrite.com/e/12th-annual-oskar-blues-caniversary-tickets-13878475895.

Friday, November 28

Let go of the Walmart coupons and shine a little light on Black Friday by trying one, some, or all eleven variations of Station 26 Brewing's 11 percent ABV Dark Star Imperial Stout. The brewery opens at 1 p.m., when it will tap: Dark Star, Firkin Dark Star and Whiskey Coffee Dark Star. From there you'll find Belgian Chocolate Dark Star, German Chocolate Dark Star and Mexican Chocolate Dark Star at 2 p.m.; Thanksgiving Dark Star (cranberry, rosemary, thyme) and Raspberry Dark Star at 3 p.m.; Kopi Luwak Coffee Dark Star at 4 p.m.; and Gingerbread Dark Star and Rum Raisin Dark Star at 5 p.m.

Friday, December 5

As the number of breweries proliferated along the C-470 corridor in the southern Denver suburbs over the past year or two, eight of them decided to get together to create a recipe for a Weizenbock. Each brewery will now make their own version of the beer at their respective place of business and tap them on December 5. In addition, they designed a "beer passport," which can be picked up today (or later) as well. Patrons can get the passport stamped at each location when they order a Weizenbock. The first 180 people to be stamped at all eight will get a C-470 Collaboration beer mug. The eight participating breweries are Blue Spruce, 3 Freaks, Lone Tree, 38 State, Grist, Living the Dream, CB Potts-Broadway and Rock Bottom-Lone Tree.

Saturday, December 6

The Wynkoop Brewing Company is bringing back its annual Parade of Darks beer fest today, but this year the brewery is blowing it out by holding it off-site, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., at the Bindery on Blake. The fifth annual holiday tradition will showcase more than sixty beers "in the amber to opaque categories," from more than 25 breweries. Tickets are $35 and include a commemorative glass for unlimited sampling. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event and an accompanying silent auction will benefit Metro CareRing, a hunger-relief organization. Participating breweries include Avery, Crazy Mountain, Elevation, Epic, Great Divide, Grimm Borthers, Odell, Odyssey, River North, Squatters & Wasatch, Strange, Tivoli, Twisted Pine, Verboten and Wynkoop.



's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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