Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Black Project, Fiction Beer and TRVE Bring the Heat

Jacob Johnson moved from Great Divide to Holidaily Brewing.
Jacob Johnson moved from Great Divide to Holidaily Brewing. Kimberly Swanson Photography
There have been big changes recently among the ranks of Denver's brewers. Among them is the temporary departure of Little Machine Beer's co-founder and head brewer Brett Williams, who is taking a leave to live in Mexico with his wife. Although Williams will work remotely on several aspects of Little Machine's operation, he has left the brewhouse in the capable hands of Cory Carvatt, who left Barrels & Bottles in Golden last year to join Little Machine. Carvatt and Williams had previously worked together at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora.

Another change is at Holidaily Brewing in Golden — one of the few certified gluten-free breweries in the U.S., where Great Divide lead brewer Jacob Johnson will take the top job. Johnson, who brings eight years of commercial brewing experience, joins brewer William Martinez. He replaces Wayne Burns, who left late last year to open his own brewery, Burns Family Artisan Ales, in the former Wit's End Brewing space in Denver. Johnson's wife, Bryanne, has celiac disease, so she can't drink barley- or wheat-based beers. “My main attraction to this role is the opportunity to address a void in the brewing industry: making great beer for those who can’t drink mainstream beer,” Johnson says. "It’s exciting to give them another option."

Two other recent changes: Zac Rismiller, the founding brewer at Resolute Brewing in Centennial, has left to join Gabe Moline at Bull & Bush Brewery in Glendale; and Joe Savage, who had been head brewer at Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada for the past two and ahalf years, has taken a job at Dry Dock.

Keep reading for all of the craft-beer events in the area through mid-February.

click to enlarge
Copper Kettle Brewing
Wednesday, January 24
Copper Kettle Brewing will tap a firkin of coffee rauchbier, made with Denver's own Novo coffee, as part of its weekly series of coffee firkin tappings.

Thursday, January 25
The Denver Press Club continues its monthly series, Hot Picks in Cold Beer, at 6:30 p.m., when Gary Valliere, host of American Craft Beer Radio, and yours truly, Jonathan Shikes, will discuss milestones in Denver brewing history and talk about a few beers in particular. The cost is $10 for members, $12 for non-members.

click to enlarge
Black Project
Friday, January 26
Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales will celebrate its fourth anniversary as a brewery today through Sunday. Most details are shrouded in mystery, but there are likely to be lots of sour beers and festivities. Some of the beers on the board include Tagboard, Roswell, Ejector, Paradise, Elsewhere, Supercruise, Mach-Limit and many more.

Fiction Beer Company will debut Madame Psychosis, a New England-style IPA, in cans. Inspired by the book Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, the beer is loaded with Citra, Idaho 7, Mandarina Bavaria and Mosaic hops, as well as flavors of ripe papaya and mango with orange zest and peach skin.

Durango's Ska Brewing will launch its latest canned beer, a grapefruit lager called Rue B. Soho, at 4 p.m. at Tap Fourteen's second location in Uptown, 400 East 19th Avenue. Brewed with Cascade hops and grapefruit, the 5.1 percent ABV lager is the only canned beer Ska will distribute to all of its markets in 2018. "With Rue B. Soho, Ska is building off the success of the brewery’s other popular lagers, including their award-winning Mexican Logger, which shares the same yeast," the brewery says.

click to enlarge
TRVE Brewing
Saturday, January 27
TRVE Brewing will treat fans to a double Crowler release starting at noon. The first beer is Coffee Funeral, a 9 percent ABV imperial stout with lactose and cold-brew coffee from Huckleberry Roasters. The second is Six Three Times, an 8.5 percent double-dry-hopped double IPA with Citra and Ekuanot hops. There are only 250 Crowlers of each, with a limit of three each per person. "Based on the overwhelming response for our Total Funeral release, we’ll be going down the line checking IDs and giving out tickets at 11:30 sharp," TRVE says.

If you like imperial stouts, then you're going to want to stop by River North Brewery, which will have all of its biggest, darkest brews together on tap. They include Mr. Sandman, Toasted Coconut Mr. Sandman, Mayan Chocolate Mr. Sandman, Barrel Aged Mr. Sandman, Single Cask Mr. Sandman Rum, Avarice, Barrel Aged Avarice 2017, Nightmare Fuel, Barrel Aged Nightmare Fuel, Fancy Effing Stout, 2016 Decennial: Shadowman,
2017 Vicennial: Barrel Aged Shadowman, and more. "Oh, and just for the hell of it, we will be filling Crowlers of everything," the brewery says. There will be food by Sabas Ethiopian.

4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield brings back Whimsy, a bright New England-style IPA, on draft and in cans. The beer is "reminiscent of citrus fruits from the massive amounts of Citra, Amarillo and Jarrylo hops. No fruit was harmed in the making of Whimsy," the brewery says.

Monday, January 29
Euclid Hall is hosting a kick-the-keg promotion with Little Machine Beer Company this week. There will be several Little Machine beers on tap, and Euclid chef Jorel Pierce is creating a special pairing menu with a few of his favorites. The person who orders the last pour (to kick the keg) of each beer will get prizes.

click to enlarge
Mountain Sun Pub
Thursday, February 1
The Mountain Sun Pub company, which owns the Vine Street Pub in Denver and four other locations in Boulder and Longmont, will celebrate a quarter-century of stouts with its 25th annual Stout Month celebration. Over the next 28 days, the pubs and breweries will tap at least 31 Mountain Sun stouts and barrel-aged stouts, including 48 Smooth Chai Stout, Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout, Dark Harvest Pumpkin Stout, Chocolate Dip Stout, Space Odyssey Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatimus Prime Imperial Oatmeal Stout, and Chocolate Thunder Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout. In addition, stouts from more than thirty other Colorado breweries will rotate through their tap boards. Mountain Sun, Southern Sun, Under the Sun, Vine Street, and Longs Peak Pubs will also host special events, concerts, tastings, giveaways, and gatherings to pay homage to the great stout. Stay tuned to their Facebook pages for details and specific beer offerings.

Our Mutual Friend Brewing will also kick off stout month by tapping the Deepest Darkest Fear, an Imperial stout brewed with honey and molasses and aged in Deerhammer whiskey barrels for eleven months. Crafted in collaboration with Fort George Brewing, in Astoria, Oregon, the beer will also be tapped at some point during February at all of the Mountain Sun locations in Boulder, Denver and Longmont.

Black Sky Brewery will also celebrate stout month during the entire month of February, bringing out a variety of dark beers. To start with, the brewery will feature Blackberry Stout, Chocolate Fudge Brownie Milk Stout, Mint Pistachio Stout, Fallen Angel Oatmeal Stout, and Scotch Barrel Aged Chocolate Stout.

Resolute Brewing in Centennial is honoring Stout Month as well by tapping a variety of stouts all during February. Today's beer is American Stout. "With an elevated ABV of 7 percent, the American Stout features dark, roasty malts balanced by a late addition of Citra hops, lending some unexpected citrus aroma characteristics and pronounced bitterness," the brewery says.

Join Great Divide Brewing as it launches a new limited-edition series of barrel-aged and sour beers called Wood Werks To kick it off, the brewery will release Wood Werks No.1, a Belgian-style tripel that "was artfully soured for fifteen months in red-wine barrels and aged on plums," Great Divide says. "This rare spiced sour ale has notes of luscious stone fruit with a tart, dry finish and hint of French oak." The beer will be available at both Denver taprooms on tap and in twelve-ounce bottles.

Call to Arms Brewing
hosts a 3 p.m. tapping and bottle release of Majestic Wolf Lamp, an oak-aged blended Belgian-style sour with black currants. "At 8 percent ABV, this complex, jammy blend offers notes of boysenberry and black currant with a pronounced yet balanced sour finish. Majestic Wolf Lamp is a beaming magenta-hued stunner and exudes pure farm-stand blackberry jam," the brewery says. There are only 125 bottles available — with a limit of two per person at $12 each. It will also be on tap.

Ace Eat Serve will help Longmont's Left Hand Brewing launch some of its new beers for 2018. Stop by starting at 5:30 p.m. and try Left Hand IPA and Chai Milk Stout Nitro. Travelin Light Kolsch will also be available.

The Children's Museum of Denver might seem like an unusual place for a beer festival, but the institution will host its inaugural — and adults-only — extravaganza, Ales, Apps & Barrels of Fun, from 7 to 10 p.m., when the over-21 crowd will get the chance to feel like a kid again. Guests can sample local beers (including those from Epic, Prost, Little Machine, Briar Common, Ratio, Wynkoop, Fate, Horse & Dragon, Declaration and more), snack on light bites and play in the museum’s exhibits. They can also make their own pretzel necklaces, enjoy child-inspired snacks like soft pretzels, handheld s’mores and other campfire classics, and spend the evening blowing bubbles, launching rockets and painting a vintage VW Bug. Tickets are $35 at, or $40 at the door. All proceeds support the museum’s educational programming and initiatives.

Friday, February 2
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project releases its latest canned beer, Sour Rosé, a 4.5 percent ABV wild ale fermented in oak barrels on second-use raspberries and blueberries, in its taproom in The Source. Sour Rosé will be available in liquor stores in Colorado starting this month. "Primary fermented with our mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria, Sour Rosé undergoes fermentation in large oak foeders on second-use raspberries and blueberries," the brewery says. "Unfiltered and naturally wild, each can is packaged with a small amount of yeast to maintain maximum freshness."

Saturday, February 3
As part of its Kickass ’80s Ski Party, Black Shirt Brewing will re-release its popular Electric Ladyland Raspberry Saison. Aged for eight months in an oak foeder and then conditioned on more than 500 pounds of raspberries, the beer has distinct raspberry flavors and aromas and subtle notes of classic saison spice character and hints of oak. For the party, dress in your warm and colorful '80s gear. In addition, Black Shirt has teamed up with Level 1, a Denver-based ski production company, to screen its latest release, Habit. "This event will be held in our outdoor beer garden, so dressing warm is the name of the game. Local ski and outdoor merchants SkiSac, Zeal Optics and Meier Skis will have gear demonstrations, and participants will have the opportunity to win free swag with entry into free raffles," Black Shirt says. The party starts at 6 p.m., with the screening at 8. Afterward, DJ Details will spin ’80s throwback music until midnight.

click to enlarge
Ratio Beerworks
Friday, February 9
Ratio Beerworks kicks off three days of parties to celebrate its third anniversary. Tonight, there will be music and comedy. On Saturday, the brewery taps One Great City Belgian Quad at noon. It will also release one hundred bottles of Rum Barrel-Aged One Great City Belgian Quad. Ratio also brings back Continuous Thunder Double IPA, this time featuring the use of Simcoe and Citra hops with a dry hop of Idaho 7 and Mosaic. There will be music all day and night. On Sunday, there will be a Hangover Brunch with the Denver Vintage Reggae Society.

Saturday, February 10
Call to Arms Brewing is "blending tradition with innovation" for its Mardis Gras Rumpus, a festive soiree from noon to 9 p.m. offering special beers, New Orleans-style food from Rolling Smoke Food Truck, Mardi Gras-inspired sweets from Copia Confections and Good Sugar Baking. There will also be  and The World’s Tiniest Mardis Gras Parade down Tennyson Street; led by the Mile High Brass Band, the 4 p.m. parade features mini floats from Avery Brewing, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Call to Arms, Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery, Station 26, Little Machine Beer, Beryl’s Brewing and Goldspot Brewing.

Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette releases three beers in six-packs at the taproom only. The first is Coal Miner's Cuzzin, a 6 percent ABV stout brewed with flaked oats and a variety of English malts. The second is I-P-Aliens, an 8.5 percent double IPA brewed with space-themed hops: Galaxy, Comet and Apollo. The last one is I-P-Alien, the 7 percent regular IPA version, also made with the same spacey hops.

Sunday, February 11
Join the Colorado Haiti Project at Wynkoop Brewing to celebrate Moringa Lager, a collaboration project between the two organizations. Moringa Lager is a 4.7 percent ABV, 10 IBU "tropical-style pale lager brewed with toasted rice, flaked maize and moringa leaves," Wynkoop says. "Crisp, light and refreshing, this lager is an easy sipper. It’s also the world's first beer brewed with moringa leaves, which are native to Haiti and highly nutritious. The leaves can be used as a cooking herb as well as a base for making a flavorful and healthy tea. Rice and corn are two huge crops in Haiti, and the style of beer of this Lager is typical of the region as well." The beer will be on tap at the Wynkoop all month, and the brewery will donate $1 from every beer sold to the Colorado Haiti Project. "This is an organization that Wynkoop is passionate about supporting, especially after the President’s recent commentary about Haiti," the brewery adds.

Monday, February 12
Resolute Brewing in Centennial is honoring Mountain Sun's Stout Month by tapping a variety of its own stouts all during February. Today's beer is Chocolate Orange Stout. "Pale chocolate malt lends a mellow, sweet flavor backed by bright citrus from fresh oranges and hops," the brewery says.

Friday, February 16
Landlocked Ales in Lakewood is celebrating Mardi Gras with beads, beers, music and a crawfish boil. Mile High Cajun will be boiling fresh crawfish straight from New Orleans. There will also be beer specials, king cakes by LeBlossoms and live New Orleans street music from 7 to 10 p.m. For all the details on prices and tickets and food, go to the brewery's Facebook page.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes