Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Celebrate the Season with Saison, a Goat Slaughter and Firkins

Oskar Blues never stops. Just when you think the company will rest and take a break, it launches a new concept, location, passion project or major initiative. The latest is the announcement of plans for a new restaurant and beer bar in downtown Colorado Springs. Located in the historic DeGraff Building, the location will take up 15,000 square feet on two floors and offer 43 beers and the southern-inspired menu specialties that Oskar Blues Fooderies makes in its other restaurants. There will also be two underground bocce courts, a stage and an outdoor back patio with a fire pit and games.

The concept is similar to the Oskar Blues Fooderies restaurant, beer bar and music venue that is under construction in Denver, at 1624 Market Street. Also situated in an historic, two-level building, the Denver spot will have more of a music focus. In addition, Oskar Blues is nearing completion of a CHUBurger in RiNo, which will be next door to Hot Box Roasters, an Oskar Blues coffee shop.

Here are this week's craft-beer events.

Wednesday, December 21
Platt Park Brewing will tap a firkin of Phaded Pale Ale today. The 5.1 percent ABV beer "is a bright and crisp American style pale ale that features Nelson Sauvin and El Dorado hops. Our firkin is double dry-hopped with Cascade hops," the brewery says. Oh, and Platt Park recently installed a Crowler machine, a device that cans fresh-poured beer as an aluminum alternative to a glass growler.

Strange Craft Beer Company will tap its winter seasonal Big Malty today. Weighing in at 7.8 percent ABV, it was brewed with English Maris Otter malt and Colorado Beeyond the Hive honey.

Copper Kettle Brewing continues is twelve firkins of Christmas countdown today at 2 p.m. when it taps Vanilla Bean Mexican Chocolate Stout.

Launch Pad Brewery in Aurora is releasing its Imperial Eggnog Porter (with brandy) at 3 p.m.

Thursday, December 22
Copper Kettle continues its countdown with the twelve firkins of Christmas by tapping Pumpkin Mexican Chocolate Stout today at 2 p.m.

Blue Moon Brewing's new RiNo location will release the first beer from its barrel-aged collection, Rye Whiskey Barrel Imperial Smoked Porter, at 3 p.m. The first twenty guests at the brewery "will have the opportunity to have a free sample of the beer in our VIP Room where our brewer Ben will be available to answer any questions you have about brewing and beer," Blue Moon says. Blue Moon will continue to release barrel-aged beers on the third Thursday of each month.

Christmas has come early to the Parry's Pizza location in Highlands Ranch, which will tap New Belgium Brewing's Clutch and Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Elder today.

Friday, December 23
Join Cerebral Brewing today for the tapping of Troll Hunter, a Norwegian Farmhouse Ale conditioned on cranberry. The beer was created in collaboration with the folks behind the Grateful Gnome, who will open their own brewery and sandwich shop on North Tennyson Street next year. Hopped with Mandarina Bavaria in the whirlpool and with dry hop additions, it comes in at 5.5. percent ABV. Burger Chief will also be outside from 3 to 10 p.m.

Black Shirt Brewing will celebrate saisons with Celebrating the Saison today, when the brewery will line up all of its saisons side by side, "sip by sip, tulip by tulip. Aromatic, peppery-spiced and effervescent, each saison has its own unique characteristics," Black Shirt says. Stringbender Saison will be available in six variations: regular, foeder-aged, dry-hopped foeder-aged, and three aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, each for a different amount of time. Flights and pours will be available all day, but you can guarantee access to all of them with a $35 VIP ticket, available for slots at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; that ticket gets you a six-ounce pour of each foeder saison paired with gourmet cheeses; a discussion with brewers about saisons, foeders and the history and future of Black Shirt; a tour of the brewhouse and cellar; and a 500ml bottle of each foeder beer to take home. There are only thirty tickets available for each time slot. There will also be a limited number of the bottled versions for sale in the taproom. And in case you're wondering, a foeder is basically a giant wooden barrel from the Belgian brewing tradition used for fermenting and aging beer.

Only TRVE Brewing would hold a pop-up goat roast called The Slaughter: Eating Kids with Krampus. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will be centered on Owlbear Barbecue serving up barbecued goat, mac and cheese and some side options. "What's more festive than worshipping the goat?," the brewery asks.

Boggy Draw Brewery in Sheridan will host its second annual ugly sweater party today at 6 p.m., with judging at 8 p.m. There will be tacos, too.

Parts & Labor Brewing in Sterling opens its doors for the first time today at noon. It will also be open tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m. There will be live music, beers, and a good time.

Saturday, December 24
Copper Kettle Brewing will wrap up its twelve firkins of Christmas countdown today by tapping Apricot Sour Blond when the brewery opens at 2 p.m.

Sunday, December 25
Merry Christmas! Alpine Dog Brewing will be open today from noon to 8 p.m. for its third annual Holiday Party. The brewery will release its bourbon-barrel-aged Russian imperial stout, The Dyatlov Pass Incident, which was aged for the last year in Breckenridge Distillery barrels. There will be food from the Casablanca Mediterranean Food Truck and service-industry discounts.

Wednesday, December 28
Platt Park Brewing will tap a firkin of its Nature's Sweater. The 10.9 percent ABV beer is a "dark traditional English barleywine with American hops and a hint of dark fruit," the brewery says.

Friday, December 30
Deviant Dale's — formerly a year-round beer — is now a seasonal for Oskar Blues, and the rich imperial IPA makes its return today at the brewery's Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont.

Saturday, December 31
Epic Brewing will ring in the new year four times tonight with a coast-to-coast party filled with food and beer pairings and toasts as each time zone celebrates. "Starting at 9 p.m., Epic will count down the minutes to the New Year from the east to the west," the brewery says. "Each hour will feature a themed small plate buffet of bar fare from major cities, served along with a special beer pairing." The buffet themes are as follows: New York at 9 p.m.; Chicago at 10 p.m.; Denver at 11 p.m. and Portland at midnight. Tickets will be available either for just one hour or for the whole thing at eventbrite.

"No covers, no shenanigans, no packed LoDo bar amateur drinking night situation. Just craft beer, good friends, party hats, and a complimentary pour from our firkin at midnight." That's how Denver Beer Co describes its planned New Year's Eve party, which runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Get the night started right by joining Alpine Dog Brewing at 6 p.m. for the tapping of its Cherry Pie Firkin. The beer was made with the brewery's blonde ale aged with "a huge amount of cherries and a little cinnamon and vanilla, There will be food at the party from the Casablanca Food Truck.

Freshcraft will be tapping special beers between 8 p.m. and midnight, including Avery Tweak, Station 26's third anniversary triple IPA, New Belgium Love Apple Felix, Weldworks Juicy Bits Orange Creamsicle and Casey Brewing The Cut Lapin Cheery (which will be the midnight toast). There will also be some deeply discounted reserve bottles from The Bruery, Cantillon, Casey Brewing, Boulevard and Fremont.

Our Mutual Friend will be "slinging the fancy beer and spinning smooth NYE jams until bidding adieu to 2016," the brewery says. "Countdown drinks are on us. Snacks will be provided. Dress to impress."

Cellar West Artisan Ales, a new brewery in Boulder that makes oak-aged beers served only in bottles, will host its grand opening today from noon to 7 p.m. The brewery will have some of its inaugural oak-fermented beers available by the bottle, Suburban Wiener on site dishing up sausages, records on the turntable (bring in an old favorite), coffee from Just Coffee Cooperative, and tours. For more details on times, beers and other information, go to Cellar West's Facebook page.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes