Sorry to startle you, but summer is over. Yes, it's only the first week in August, but the first pumpkin beer has been released: Thank you(?), Upslope Brewing. And hops farms are getting ready to pick their sticky-fresh cones for wet-hop season. One of the first to do this is Arvada's own Voss Farms, which is looking for a couple of volunteers this Saturday, August 6, who want to spend four hours in the sun harvesting hops. "Easy work — pick in the shade inside, not out in the sun," the farm's Facebook page reads. "Volunteers get to take some pre-packaged hops home with them." RVSP to VossFarmsColorado@yahoo.com.
Oh, and as for that Upslope Ale: Yes, it is the return of the Boulder brewery's 2011 GABF gold-medal winner — this time in twelve-ounce four-packs. Brewed with Baby Bear pumpkins from Boulder County's Munson Farms, the 7.7 percent ABV brew also includes a custom blend of six spices. Happy fall.
Now, here are this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, August 3
Tickets for the 35th annual Great American Beer Festival, which takes place October 6-8 in Denver, go on sale to the general public today at 10 a.m. (Tickets went on sale for members of the Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association yesterday.) They will sell out in seconds.
Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora will debut its first seasonal beer in a can today: Docktoberfest, a Märzen lager featuring "elegantly rich, toasty German malt flavors, a modest hop bitterness, and a creamy mouth feel." Six-packs will be available at noon at Dry Dock's original South Dock location, and at the North Dock at 2 p.m. They will also be in liquor stores after that. And, advance notice: Liters of Docktoberfest will be available in Oktoberfest steins during South Dock’s annual Docktoberfest celebration on September 24.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project plans to host a series of bottle releases over the next few months, beginning with L’Brett d’Blueberry today at 5 p.m. at the tap room in the Source. "L’Brett d’Blueberry, which is being released for the first time by the brewery, builds upon the Petite Sour Blueberry beers with upwards of three times more fruit," Crooked Stave says. "L’Brett d’Blueberry is a blend of Golden Sour beer from various barrels, which was additionally aged with 3,500 pounds of fruit in the brewery's large oak foeders. L’Brett d’Blueberry (6.0% ABV) pours with a bluish-red hue and rose-colored head from the mass amount of blueberries added in secondary fermentation."
It's Chili Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a different firkin of chili beer each Wednesday in August. Today's is Anaheim Chili Lager, a 4.8 percent ABV German-style pale lager infused with Anaheim chiles. Pavy's Food Truck will be out front.
Thursday, August 4
Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton welcomes California's Firestone Walker Brewing into the house today at 5 p.m., when they'll be "tapping a few gems, some variants and old favorites, and some new twists on some traditional styles." The list includes: 2016 Stickee Monkee, STiVo (a collaboration with Russian River), Nitro DBA, Unfiltered DBA and more.
It's IPA Day nationwide, and a few local breweries will be celebrating the number-one craft-beer style, including Avery Brewing in Boulder, which will have at least eight different IPAs on draft.
Black Shirt Brewing will also toast IPA Day starting at 11 a.m. They will be pouring Blood Orange Double IPA, Frontman IPA VI & VII, Passionfruit Double IPA, Colorado Red IPA and Barrel-Aged Double Black IPA.
Friday, August 5
Former Future Brewing will turn over the taps to the sour and wild ales made by its side project, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, today at 2 p.m. Beers will include at least one year-old keg from the cellar; a fresh batch of Hypersonic, an "Octuple Dry-Hopped Wild-Yeast IPA" featuring Citra; Bantam and Stiletto; the last keg of Elsewhere Wild Amber; Voodoo, a new dry-hopped version of Elsewhere; Reheat, a sour ale aged in tempranillo must-soaked barrels; Lunex, a 100 percent spontaneous sour with Corvus Coffee added; and others.
The 4th Annual Women of Colorado Craft Breweries Pinup Calendar, featuring the ladies of craft beer, takes place at Left Hand Brewing in Longmont today from 5 to 8 p.m. And in addition to the calendar, there will be a vintage car show in the parking lot, a pinup contest, swing lessons and a performance by Jim Jamm Jimmy. Calendars will be sold in the tap room, and the pinup ladies will be signing their months. The 2017 calendar features thirteen Colorado craft breweries and a coupon page.
Saturday, August 6
The Bull & Bush Brewery kicks off a four-concert series today in honor of its 45th anniversary (as a restaurant and bar). Each Saturday this month, the brewery will feature a different band in concert. In addition to the concerts, the Bull & Bush will release tribute beers for each band. Each limited-edition bottle will include a special music sampler download. Today's concert is from the Samples. The tribute beer is Nature Saison, a saison brewed with all Colorado ingredients.
Sesh Fest returns to Denver — at the Highlands Masonic Events Center — today from 2 to 6 p.m., featuring "dozens of breweries paying homage to session-style beers." There will also be food, lawn games and music. Session beers are typically below 5 percent ABV and are usually lighter. Get tix at nightout.com.
Denver Beer Co celebrates its fifth anniversary today with a big party at its Platte Street taproom from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. They brewery will be closing down the street as usual and will have food trucks, live music, a water slide, games, a photo booth and more fun all day. Admission is free. DBC will also release Anniversary V, a Chocolate Coconut Graham Cracker Porter, in 22-ounce bombers. Here are a few stats on DBC over the years: it has brewed 707 batches of beer, filled 2.4 million cans, won two GABF medals, made 34 collaboration beers, poured 873,475 beers, seen 84 foods trucks and now employs 37 people.
Avery Brewing will celebrate its 23rd anniversary with a party from 3 to 8 p.m. today that celebrates where they have come from and the people who have helped them to get where they are. To do that, brewery founder "Adam Avery is digging deep into his cellar for vintage beers to pour, including multi-year verticals of favorites like Uncle Jacob’s Stout, Rumpkin, Tweak, The Reverend, The Beast, Samael’s, and Mephistopheles’ Stout," Avery says. They are also "unearthing bottles of one-and- done beers from their Barrel-Aged Series, including experimental brews like Fortuna, a margarita-inspired sour ale with lime zest and salt aged in tequila barrels; Black Eye, an 18.82 percent ABV stout aged in rum barrels; and Spontanea, a spontaneously fermented wild ale brewed with grape must and aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels." There will also be live music from the North Mississippi Allstars and a children's area with a bouncy area (no drunken adults allowed). Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Growe Foundation, which educates children about the benefits of healthy eating and environmental stewardship. General admission tickets are $20, which includes a custom glass and access to the selection of rare and vintage beers. After that, $5 drink tokens get you a twelve-ounce pour of beers under 8 percent ABV or an eight-ounce pour of beers 8 to 12 percent ABV or a four-ounce pour of barrel-aged beers and beers over 12 percent. VIP tix are $60 and get you all of the above plus nine beers and food. Find tickets at eventbrite.
Odd 13 Brewing in Lafayette will celebrate its third anniversary today starting at noon with a party that includes numerous tappings, music and food. For starters, they will debut Anniversary IPA, a New England-style IPA made with hibiscus and passion fruit. But there will also be more than two dozen other beers on tap (see the list on Odd 13's Facebook page), from IPAs to sours and everything in between. Food trucks on hand include Butcher & the Blonde, Smoke Wagon, Burgerchief, and WongWayVeg. And finally, DJ Way Way will be spinning some beachy tunes, followed by some live reggae music from Irie Still.
Ursula Brewery has made a beer just for the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, and it will tap the brew, Offbeat Saison, today at 5:30 p.m. Stop by the Aurora brewery for a sneak peek at the 2016-17 season with music director Lawrence Golan, and be there for the tapping of the beer. A general-admission ticket includes a 22-ounce bottle of Offbeat Saison.
Elk Mountain Brewing in Parker will celebrate its sixth anniversary today with raffles, patio games (Bag Toss, Washer Toss, Beer Pong and Tic Tac Toe) and a barbecue sauce-and-beer pairing with Stephen Snyman from S&K Banh Mi. Snyman created six different sauces with Elk Mountain beer, and they will be paired with smoked and grilled meats and a selection of sides. There will also be several special release beers, including Six Hop IPA, Kodiak Irish Red, Drunken Buck Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Vanilla Caramel Porter, Uncle Willy's Tropical Saison and Imperial Cherry Stout.
Wednesday, August 10
It's Chili Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a different firkin of chili beer each Wednesday in August. Today's is Spiced Sobremesa with Hatch Chilies, a 7.6 percent ABV, spiced-up twist on Copper Kettle's tequila barrel favorite, Sobremesa. Pavy's Food Truck will be out front.
Thursday, August 11
Peachopotamus is back at 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield. Every year, the brewery uses 1,000 pounds of Palisade Peaches to make this refreshing peach wheat. 4 Noses will open at 2 p.m. today and will have live bluegrass music from 6 to 9 p.m. and pizza from Basic Kneads.
Friday, August 12
The new Tivoli Brewing will celebrate its one-year anniversary of being located inside the original Tivoli building on the Auraria campus. Join them today, starting at 5 p.m.
Saturday, August 13
Years in the making, the lagers of Bierstadt Lagerhaus are finally ready to pour. The brewery opens today at 11 a.m. in the Bindery on Blake building, which also houses Rackhouse Pub and C Squared Ciders. The brewery is centered around an 84-year-old brew house that Bierstadt co-owners Bill Eye and Ashleigh Carter brought back from a trip to Germany. There will be live music, food, bar games, door prizes and brewery tours. Prizes include full kegs, custom glassware, gift cards, growlers and swag. There will likely be at pilsner, dunkel and helles on tap. Buy tickets online at nightout.com or at the Rackhouse for $5, which includes a beer and entry into a drawing for lots of awesome prizes.
It's back, and this time, it's in bottles. Fermaentra Brewing will release Machination today at noon. This 10 percent ABV dry-hopped American strong ale "was designed to show off the beauty and complexity of American hop varietals. At over 1.25 pounds of hops per barrel — just in the dry hop — this bi-annual specialty strong ale employs a wide variety of fragrant hops to augment its robust grain bill, giving it a bold aroma as well as a heavy, yet not overwhelming body," the brewery says. "The nose brings grapefruits, papayas, juniper berries, maple sugar, and a hint of spice. The taste that follows is delicately sweet, followed by a mild citrus zest, completed by a smooth, dry finish that lingers pleasantly long after the glass is empty."
The Bull & Bush Brewery continues a four-concert series today in honor of its 45th anniversary (as a restaurant and bar). Each Saturday this month, the brewery will feature a different band in concert. In addition to the concerts, the Bull & Bush will release tribute beers for each band. Each limited-edition bottle will include a special music sampler download. Today's concert is from the A. Tom Collins. The tribute beer is A. Botanical Kolsch, a German-style kolsch.
Wednesday, August 17
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will release Batch #200 today at 5 p.m. at the taproom in The Source. "This beer builds upon the breweries past Batch Series releases by blending two of the breweries favorite ingredients, fruit and hops," Crooked Stave says. "Batch #200 aged for months on whole raspberries and was then dry hopped with aromatic hops to match and contrast the raspberry forward nose. The result is a deep red sour beer with a pink-ish, red head and deep raspberry aromas, which instantly lift the heavy citrus and resinous, hop aromatics.
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Thursday, August 18
Under the Sun Pizzeria, the Mountain Sun-owned restaurant in Boulder, will turn over eights of its taps to Denver's Renegade Brewing today at 4 p.m. There will be a live band, and some of the proceeds from the evening will benfit Renegade’s Tap4Tap program where each gallon of Renegade beer purchased provides one gallon of fresh drinking water to someone in need.
Friday, August 19
Resolute Brewery, a new brewery in Centennial, at 7286 South Yosemite Street, plans to host its grand opening today, beginning at 11 a.m. There will be food trucks, beer releases, and shenanigans throughout the day, the brewery says. Resolute will serve a variety of styles made by Zac Rissmiller, formerly of Elk Mountain Brewing in Aurora. I GotZ BratZ will be there today, while Donatellas Pizzatruck rolls in on Saturday and Ol' Skool Que on Sunday.
Saturday, August 20
Head to Call to Arms Brewing from noon to 9 p.m. today for Peace & Assist No. 3, the third in a series of beers meant to honor collaboration and good will between breweries rather than bickering and legal battles. This version is a collaboration between Call to Arms, Cannonball Creek in Golden and Amalgam Brewing, which is getting started in Niwot. In addition to the beer on draft a very small of number of bottles will be for sale. There will also be other special tappings throughout the day; live music from The Whiskey Treats from 5 to 8 p.m.; and food from from: Butcher's Bistro, MAS KAOS Pizzeria and Taqueria, and ChurnandBurn BBQ and Ice Cream. A portion of the proceeds will benefit local charities.
The Bull & Bush Brewery continues a four-concert series today in honor of its 45th anniversary (as a restaurant and bar). Each Saturday this month, the brewery will feature a different band in concert. In addition to the concerts, the Bull & Bush will release tribute beers for each band. Each limited-edition bottle will include a special music sampler download. Today's concert is from The Sadies, a band from Toronto. The tribute beer is Another Year Again, a Canadian-style maple stout.