If Left Hand Brewing's lawsuit against craft-brewing yeast supplier White Labs ever goes to trial, the court room is going to look more like a lab than a legal proceeding, with all the microbiology expert witnesses showing up. Colorado's fourth largest independent brewery has accused White Labs of selling faulty yeast that resulted in Left Hand having to recall or destroy $2 million worth of beer in 2016 and 2017. Several beers were affected, but it was primarily Milk Stout Nitro, Left Hand's flagship brew.
"Despite White Labs’ Certificate of Quality Assurance guarantee, Left Hand found, through a wide-ranging investigation and multiple tests, 'the source of the Diastaticus contamination was the yeast supplied by White Labs,'" writes Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, which first reported the story, quoting the brewery. "The presence of Diastaticus caused the affected Left Hand beers to secondarily ferment, resulting in multiple defects."
White Labs responded to the publication by saying, "There is no specific proof on where the contamination originated from, as each White Labs culture undergoes a rigorous testing process from start to finish, which includes 61 quality checkpoints throughout the propagation cycle."
The case will likely take a long time to play out in court.
Read on for craft-beer events into early December.
Wednesday, November 22
Ratio Beerworks welcomes the return of two heavy-hitting winter seasonals to its taproom at noon. The first beer is the 8 percent ABV Nobody’s Darlin’ Blended Barrel-Aged Whiskey Ale. The beer blends "various barrel-aged versions of Reservoir Old Ale, Stone + Ratio’s Collaboration India Black Ale and Hold Steady," the brewery says. The second beer is Reservoir Old Ale, a 7.7 percent ABV brew that "imparts bold, toffee, nutty, malt-forward flavors from the use of Maris Otter English malts and muscovado sugar."
Black Shirt Brewing has given its Pistachio & Lavender Rye Pale Ale a new look and a new name: Bonzo, which will be available on tap and in four-packs of sixteen-ounce cans to go. This is the first beer that Black Shirt has released in sixteen-ounce cans. This highly anticipated beer will not last long, even though there is a one-case limit per person.
Copper Kettle hosts its annual release of Snowed In at noon. This 12.8 percent ABV oatmeal stout was aged twelve months in Breckenridge Bourbon barrels and has "strong notes of chocolate, coffee and (of course) sweet, sweet local Colorado bourbon," the brewery says. It is available in 22-ounce bombers and on draft.
Cerebral Brewing is hosting a Thanksgiving Crowler and Can Sale, where you can stock up on your favorite Crowlers and four-packs to-go. Cerebral opens two hours early, at 2 p.m., and is offering 10 percent off all Crowlers (not including Peace be the Journey) and four-packs. Chibby Wibbitz Sliderz n Bitez will also be out front starting at 4 p.m.
Something Brewery (at 117 North Main Street in Brighton) saved a few thin mint Girl Scout cookies from earlier this year in order to bring back Mint Condition, a minty chocolate porter made with the cookies. The brewery will start selling 250 Crowlers of the beer at 3 p.m. It will also be on draft.
Resolute Brewing in Centennial will tap its 8.1 percent ABV Baltic Porter when it opens at 11 a.m. "Full-bodied and smooth, this beer drips with rich, malty sweetness. Aromas of dark fruits, like raisins and cherries, complement a bouquet of caramel, molasses and dark chocolate flavors for a big, toasty brew," Resolute says. Ol’ Skool Que will be serving up barbecue starting at noon.
Friday, November 24
For the past few years, Station 26 Brewing has used the joyous-to-some-and-miserable-to-others Black Friday shopping day as an excuse to release its Dark Star Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, along with several variations on the beer. This year, however, Station 26 will take things up a notch with the inaugural Black Friday Invitational, which will include beers — mostly imperial stouts — from other breweries as well. During multiple ticketed sessions throughout the day, Station 26 will tap Dark Star along with beers from 4 Noses Brewing, Call to Arms, Powder Keg Brewing, River North Brewery, TRVE Brewing and more. (P.S.: Station 26 has been pre-selling tickets since November 14 at eventbrite.com, so get yours soon.)
Woods Boss Brewing taps Form and Function, a 12.8 percent ABV Belgian-style quadruple. "Brewed with forty pounds of fig puree and aged for over two months on 25 pounds of organic Dominican cacao nibs and forty pounds of dried cherries," the beer has "deep notes of figs, raisins, chocolate and cherry," the brewery says.
Comrade Brewing taps its much-anticipated Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout. The brewery will also go the other direction by tapping as well as Powder Session, a Session IPA.
Cerebral Brewing taps Shadow in the Dark, an 8.5 percent ABV spiced version of its Nightglow Porter. This one was conditioned it on cinnamon and a blend of dark sweet and tart cherries. "Brewed with UK chocolate and crystal malts, this decadent porter is loaded with notes of rich baker’s chocolate, coffee and dark candied fruit," the brewery says. Shadow in the Dark will be available on draft and in Crowlers to go. Other dark beers available on tap and in Crowlers to-go: Dark Galaxie, Dark Energie, Peace be the Journey.
Looking for a cider instead of a beer? C Squared Ciders, which is located alongside the Rackhouse Pub and Bierstadt Lagerhaus, releases Cousteau, the first cider from its barrel-aged Sailor Series, at 4 p.m. Cousteau is a French-American hybrid cider made with Newtown Pippin and French Bittersweet apples," C Squared says. "A mixed-culture fermentation, including wild yeast strains, was slowly fermented and aged in American and French Oak for more than seven months. Dress as sailors and sirens for deep Black Friday discounts. Plus, you can meet the cider's makers. There will be raffles, prizes, live music and abundant revelry.
Launchpad Brewery in Aurora taps Barrel-Aged Pecan Pie Stout. This sweet, nutty beer weighs in at 11.1 percent ABV, and is very limited both in bombers and on tap.
WestFax Brewing is dedicating the day to dark beers. "Before, during, after, or instead of dealing with crowds at the mall, come join us for a celebration of dark beer. We will be tapping six small-batch dark beers and two full-sized limited-release beers at noon, with the possibility of additional tappings throughout the day," the brewery says. Beers include: Bretter From the Barrel, a dark ale re-fermented with Brettanomyces; Nitro Dry Irish Stout; Hazelnut Brown Ale; Double Black IPA; Mango Chili Stout; Dirty Chai Stout; Tears of the English (Half and Half, Tears and Dry Irish Stout); and Venti Coffee Stout. Seasoned Swine will be on site with barbecue.
New Image Brewing in Arvada will debut the first in its series of canned imperial coffee stouts, the 12.5 percent ABV Vanilla Maple Melanoidin, at 11 a.m. "Melanoidin is a massive American imperial stout, boiled for nine hours, packed with dark roasted malts, and blended with coffee and spices," the brewery says. "It is a celebration of all things roasted and truly a labor of love, and labor, and more labor. For this release, the brewery added Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla beans, locally sourced coffee from Hotbox Roasters, and maple syrup. The resulting flavors "start with heavy roast, tobacco and leather, followed by dense caramel and silky vanilla, and finishing with a classic after-brunch pancake mouth." Four packs of sixteen-ounce cans are $20.
Chill Out Peppermint Stout returns to Big Choice Brewing at noon — this time at the brewery's new location in Brighton. The beer will be served with a crushed candy cane rim and a Peppermint Patty. There will be a limited number of four-packs available in cans to go, and the brewery will also be filling growlers. The Barbed Wire Reef food truck will be out front, and there will be live music from Dave Connelly from 7 to 9 p.m.
Resolute Brewing in Centennial taps its 5 percent ABV Vanilla Chai Brown at noon. "With a dark, malty body, the Vanilla Chai Brown offers an array of rich hazelnut, dark chocolate and toffee notes. An infusion of subtle hop varieties rounds out the beer, which is finished with a touch of raw Chai spice and fresh Madagascar vanilla beans for a sweet and spicy combination," the brewery says.
Lafayette's Liquid Mechanics Brewing releases bottles of Double Nut, a dark and decadent peanut butter porter with twice the peanut. The brewery will donate $2 from every bottle sale to the Movember Foundation, a non-profit working to fund men's health projects. Bottles are $13.99 each; limits are TBD.
Also in Lafayette, Odd13 Brewing will release four — yep, four — new taproom-only beers in cans. They are: Saint Newcole Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with subtle vanilla; Vanilla Coconut Saint Newcole Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout; Intergalactic Juice Hunter Double IPA; and Master of Buckets IPA with Sach Trois. Go to the brewery's Facebook page for prices and limits. Odd13 will also host a canned-food drive benefiting Sister Carmen Food Bank in Lafayette. Each canned good you bring gets you $1 off a six- or four-pack of cans.
Saturday, November 25
Wit's End Brewing will close the door to its taproom today after six years, and move its operations into Strange Craft Beer Company. Stay tuned for a few schedule tweaks for its last week, as well for the holiday.
"This is it. The culmination of our most ambitious project to date," says River North Brewery about its Vicennial Series. "Join us on Small Business Saturday for the release of three barrel-aged behemoths intended to age up to twenty years (a vicennium)." The beers are: Vicennial I Barrel Aged God Complex, "an infallible abbey-style quadrupel fit for the daftest of monks"; Vicennial II Barrel Aged Shadowman, "a smoothly sinister block-out-the-sun-style stout"; and Vicennial III Barrel Aged Father Time, "a dapper old ale, the quintessential style intended for cellaring." River North will have all three on tap and in bottles to go ($15 each, limit six per style). They will also have a limited supply of the 2016 Decennial Series — the same beers before they were barrel aged — on tap and in bottles to go ($12 each, limit six per style). All three beers will clock in at 16 to 18 percent ABV. Just like the Decennials, the Vicennials will only be available in the taproom. RagBag Mobile Bistro will be there.
Thursday, November 30
Jester King Brewery of Austin, Texas, will take over the taps at Fire on the Mountain in Highland Square. The wings joint will offer eight Jester King beers — a rare treat for Denver: Wytchmaker, RU-55, Demi-Tone, Ol' Oi, Omniscience & Proselytism, Beachtimez Sportzketball, Hibernal Dichotomous and Autumnal Dichotomous.
Join 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield for the release of Kilroy New England Style Double IPA in four-packs of cans. "This brew has massive aroma of tropical fruits, orange peel and ripe peaches," the brewery says, adding that the beer has "a velvety mouth feel and huge dry hop addition of Motueka, Citra, and Mosaic hops."
Friday, December 1
"When one door closes, another one opens. To celebrate the new co-taproom, Strange Craft Beer Company and Wit’s End Brewing bring to you Moving Day," an Imperial Session Belgian Pale brewed with oats, wheat, honey, married with Hallertauer Herbrucker and Denali hops, and fermented with Wit’s End and Strange Craft's Belgian yeast strains, the breweries say. "This big move includes quality handcrafted ale you’ve come to expect from two of Denver’s oldest small breweries.... Ringing in at 5.5 percent... this beer will most certainly ease the exertion of moving." The bittersweet celebration honors Wit's End, which closed the doors to its taproom late last month, but which will live on inside Strange. "For every Wit’s End, there is a Strange new beginning."
Spangalang Brewery is tapping three special beers. The first is El-Mo, which the brewery describes as "our new super juicy IPA that was dry hopped with a hefty dose of El Dorado and Mosaic hops." The others are: Beatrice, a citrusy-dry hopped saison; and Grapefruit D-Train IPA, of which there is only a small amount. Crowlers of all three of these beers will be the same price as a pint thru the weekend.
"He's not St. Nicholas. He's not Krampus. And he definitely isn't Santa Claus! He's Belsnickel! Why Belsnickel? Stop asking so many questions and come get a bottle." That's the word from Aurora's Ursula Brewery, which will tap this Belgian-style dubbel with plums at noon and sell bottles as well.
Saturday, December 2
TRVE Brewing will release its first spontaneously fermented beer, Wavering Radiant, at noon — and this one is a big deal for the brewery, says head brewery Zach Coleman. The beer was 100 percent fermented (and then re-fermented in the bottle) with microflora caught in TRVE's coolship, an open fermentation vessel. “This beer was made with processes slightly different from our more traditional batches of spontaneous beer, which are still aging/fermenting in wood, and is meant to be a window in to what we have coming down the line," he says. TRVE will have about 1,000 500-ml bottles for sale. There is a limit of four per person.
Loveland's Verboten Brewing will release this year's version of Mountain Man during a breakfast event from 9 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $36 each — there are only sixty available — and include a buffet breakfast, a commemorative Mountain Man mug, an eight-ounce pour of Mountain Man and a beer mimosa or beer bloody Mary, as well as the first chance to buy twelve-ounce bottles of regular Bourbon Barrel Mountain Man and Coconut Rum Barrel Mountain Man (the first time the brewery has made this version).
Avery Brewing in Boulder will shake you out of bed with the annual release of Tweak, its 16 percent ABV barrel-aged coffee stout. There will also be a Tweak-inspired menu at the restaurant, including smoked duck leg, jalapeño corn waffles, cherry mojo, tweak red eye gravy.
Sunday, December 3
Six brewers will descend on Bierstadt Lagerhaus and the Rackhouse Pub at 1 p.m. to compete for "one of
the most prestigious and ugliest trophys in all of brewing," the brewery says" at the Second Annual Ho Ho Ho Slapdown. The competitors — Greg Moore of Barrels & Bottles, Jake Gardner of Hogshead, Jon Cross of Call To Arms, Marks Lanham of Comrade, Brett Williams of Little Machine, and Ashleigh Carter of Bierstadt — will square off by tapping one winter brew each. "Shenanigans and smack talk are not only encouraged, but mandated," and each brewer will give a stump speech to garner fans. A popular vote will decide the winner. Tickets, $25, are available on nightout.com or at the brewery and includes five-ounce pours of all six beers. The smack talk takes place at 4 p.m. and the final votes will be tallied at 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday, December 5
SOLD OUT: The annual Bull & Bush Brewery Christmas Beer Tasting runs from 5 to 10 p.m. and will include the usual insanity. This year, there will be two ticketed sessions, one from 5 to 7 p.m. and one from 8 to 10 p.m. The brewpub will reach into its cellar and pull out more than 150 beers, which will be dispensed from bottles and kegs. Many are very rare and are in very small quantities. When they're gone, they're gone. The brewery will also have some of its cold-weather specialties and rarities available.
Friday, December 8
Bruz Beers brings back one of its best offerings at 3 p.m.: Brut La Grande (Champagne beer) "resembles a fine Champagne, although many critics consider Biere Brut to be far more interesting," the brewery says. "Brut La Grande is a pale straw color with a dense moussey white head that leaves layers of Belgian lac” on the glass. Its perfumy aroma yields notes of apricots, allspice, black pepper and a touch of lemon. Its complex flavor profile hints at apples, peaches, vanilla, ginger and exotic spices. Brut La Grande is light and airy with a silky mouth feel, creamy pinpoint carbonation and a complex, spicy, bone-dry finish. Every sip is a celebration! Each glass of this 10.6 percent ABV beer will be served today with a Belgian chocolate. It will be available on tap and in bottles (limit of two per person).
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Saturday, December 9
River North Brewery has aged its Mr. Sandman Imperial Stout for a year in a combination of whiskey barrels to give you Barrel Aged Mr. Sandman, the first cask-aged version of Sandman outside of the brewery's Single Cask Series. Both the standard and barrel-aged versions will be on tap and in bottles to go.
Beyond the Mountain Brewery, a brand-new beer-maker in Boulder, opens for the first time at noon at 6035 Longbow Drive. "Stop by anytime Saturday to experience our first offerings of 'improvisational ales,'" the brewery says. Timber will be playing from 4 to 7 p.m. The Burger Bus will be parked outside.
Saturday, December 15
Mockery Brewing is excited to announce the return of its very first bottle release, Schizophrenic Narcoleptic, which it describes as "a bigger, badder version of our Export Coffee Stout aged twice as long in Artisanal Vanilla Extract barrels that resulted in a harmonic melding of roasted grains, smooth cold brewed coffee and a semi sweet dessert-like finish." It goes on sale at 2 p.m.
Bruz Beers will tap its Gingerbread Dubbel at 3 p.m. The seasonal release is brewed with Belgian yeasts, and it won't last long.