Over its 23 years in Denver, Great Divide Brewing has seen a lot of beers come and go, with a lineup that has changed with the times. But some of those beers are missed more than others, and now the brewery is giving people a chance to vote on which ones they would like Great Divide to bring back — if only for short periods of time — in its Barrel Bar location in RiNo. There are nearly twenty beers on the list, ranging from those that were discontinued in the mid-1990s to ones that were stopped very recently. They include: Belgian Yeti Imperial Stout, Old Ruffian Barley Wine, Rumble Oak Aged IPA, Wild Raspberry Ale, Hot Shot ESB, Arapahoe Amber Ale, Dunkle Weiss, Smoked Baltic Porter, and Hades Belgian Strong Golden Ale. You can cast your vote for up to five at surveymonkey.com. "We wish we could brew all of our beloved beers all the time," says Great Divide. "But as a small brewery, each time we want to add a new recipe to our portfolio, we have to make the tough call and bench some of our favorite brews. We know you miss them, and we do too."
The first beer to make its return as part of this throwback campaign is Saint Bridget's Porter, which will be tapped on Friday (see the calendar below). Rumble tops my list for the next one, but I wouldn't mind shutting my eyes and pretending it was 2003 with some Wild Raspberry Ale, either.
Here are the best craft-beer events through March 18.
Wednesday, February 22
Join Station 26 for the last Dark Star Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout tapping until November. Today at 4 p.m., the pours will be a sixtel of the base Dark Star along with a sixtel of S'Mores Dark Star.
February is Decadent Chocolate Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will wrap up the series today by tapping a firkin of Chocolate Gose, a sour German beer with a taste of salt and chocolate. The Farm to Truck food truck will be there as well.
Platt Park Brewing will host a Ski Wax Party with Rocky Mountain Ski Tunes today; for $15, you get a ski or snowboard wax and a pint while you wait. The brewery will release its Scottish Strong Ale.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial continues its first-anniversary releases today by tapping White Stout; you can also give the new Oatmeal Stout a try.
Thursday, February 23
Old Liquid Debauchery, Alpine Dog Brewing's infamous barleywine, returns to the taproom today at 6 p.m. The beer is "a richly malty, hop-forward, 10.5 percent ABV ode to decadence in a glass," the brewery says. The Legs and Breasts food truck will be on hand with fried chicken.
Strange Craft Beer Company will host a tapping and bottle release for its Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout. There are only thirty cases, so get yours early.
Friday, February 24
Goldspot Brewing is turning two years old, and the brewery will celebrate from noon to 11 p.m. today and tomorrow with various beers, food and live music. Today, Goldspot releases La Cienega Farmhouse. Aged in oak barrels, this beer was brewed with Syrah grapes from Infinite Monkey Theorem. There will be live music from Roman Samuels Music and food from Baby E's BBQ.
Oskar Blues Brewery will introduce Hotbox Coffee IPA, a new nationwide canned seasonal beer, today with a party at its Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont. The 7.2 percent ABV beer "combines a burst of pine, citrus and mango from Simcoe hops and blends them with a cold-brew extract from Hotbox Roasters' Ethiopian beans, which bring cream, blueberry and cocoa notes to the mix. The beans were sourced from a family farm in the East African nation exclusively for this beer," says Oskar Blues, which owns the coffee company. The beer is a followup to Hotbox Coffee Porter, which the brewery made last fall. Hotbox Coffee IPA replaces Gubna as a seasonal canned beer. A longtime hoppy staple, Gubna will only be available in cans in the taproom and will no longer be distributed.
Over the years, Great Divide Brewing has seen "some great beers come and go" from its lineup. "We wish we could brew all of our beloved beers all the time," the brewery says. "But as a small brewery, each time we want to add a new recipe to our portfolio, we have to make the tough call and bench some of our favorite brews. We know you miss them, and we do, too. So this year we are launching a throwback beer campaign in our taprooms." For its first throwback tapping, Great Divide has brewed a batch of St. Bridget's Porter — for the first time in eight years. The draft beer will only be poured at the Barrel Bar.
Copper Kettle will tap three different IPAs today at noon as part of its IPA Blow Out Release Party. The first is a New England-style IPA called Citrus Paradisi. The second is Citrus Paradisi aged in rum barrels, and the third is another New England-style IPA made with Sorachi Ace hops and New Zealand Southern Cross hops. Tony Guacamole Food Truck & Catering will be there with Mexican street food.
Halfpenny Brewing will celebrate its first anniversary from 2 to 11 p.m. with music by the Skeleton Keys, food, giveaways, commemorative beer steins and the release of a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout.
Saturday, February 25
River North Brewery will celebrate anniversary "five and a quarter" today starting at noon by tapping its commemorative hazy IPA. Loaded with Citra, Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops, the beer is only available in the taproom. There will be food by Spud Nation Denver.
Goldspot Brewing will continue its two-year anniversary celebration today from noon to 11 p.m. by releasing Black Whiskey River Imperial Stout aged in Laws Whiskey House Bourbon barrels. There will be live music from Chris Dismuke Music and food from The Pasty Republic.
Join Cerebral Brewing today for the release of Ambiguous Vibes, a 100 percent Brettanomyces-fermented saison created by blending five-month-old stainless fermented (80 percent) and Chardonnay barrel-fermented (20 percent) saison with kabosu (a Japanese citrus fruit) juice. Bottle-conditioned for three months, Ambiguous Vibes will be available on draft and in 500mL bottles ($10 each, limit six per person). It has "notes of watermelon candy, honeydew melon, and subtle white wine grape," says the brewery. Johno's Food Truck will be outside with street tacos from 2 to 10 p.m.
Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont "will crack the doors open" on its new, 4,275-square-foot event space, the Oak Room, for a free Mardi Gras-themed grand-opening party starting at 3 p.m. The event will serve New Orleans-style food and a king cake at 5 p.m, live music from the Lionel Young Band from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the Guerrilla Fanfare Second Line Parade & Stilt Walkers from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. There will also be a costume contest, a parade, and lots of beads. Oskar Blues will serve a large selection of its beers, along with those of the two breweries it owns, Michigan's Perrin Brewing and Florida's Cigar City. Rare brews on tap will be Cigar City Brewing Trousseau, a barleywine winter warmer; Imperial Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale; and Perrin No Rules. The Oak Room space, located adjacent to the brewery, includes a private bar, a big-screen TV and a view of more than 1,000 oak barrels.
Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley will host its second annual Festival of Dark Beers from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., with more than twenty experimental, small-batch and pilot beers that the respected brewery has made over the past few months. They range from a New England Style Black IPA to a Russian Imperial Stout aged in a Feisty Spirits rye whiskey barrel. There will also be two collaboration beers: S’Mores Stout brewed with Cerebral Brewing in Denver, and Coconut Chocolate Stout brewed with WeldWerks, also in Greeley (several dark beers from these two breweries will be on tap as well). General admission tickets, available at wileyroots.com/fodb, are $45 in advance ($50 at the door) and include unlimited sampling, three palate-cleansing beers and a commemorative tasting glass. VIP tickets, $60, get you in the door an hour early, and also include access to exclusive beers and a meal coupon for $10 that can be redeemed at the on-site food truck. There will be live music from Troubadour Sound System.
Sunday, February 26
"It's the original Man in Black's birthday," says Black Shirt Brewing. "To celebrate Johnny Cash's extraordinary life, we are pleased to announce our New Release March — Baritone Black IPA — a black IPA that is dark and brooding like the man himself. This beer is brewed with oats, wheat, and a malt bill that drives an abundance of milk chocolate and fresh roasted coffee and our generous hopping with Warrior, Chinook, and Simcoe brings resinous pine and bitter citrus to the palate. It is dark and smooth while still having an aggressive edge." Black Shirt will host an all-day celebration by playing music by Cash and screening Walk the Line at 7 p.m. In addition, Rolling Smoke BBQ will be on hand starting at noon. Baritone Black IPA will be available on draft and to go in 32-ounce Crowlers for the month of March. For every draft of Baritone Black IPA sold, Black Shirt will donate $1 to Youth on Record.
Wednesday, March 1
March is Oyster Month every year at the various Jax Fish House & Oyster Bars in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. To kick things off, each Jax location will tap kegs today of Emersum Oyster Stout, which was brewed by Odell Brewing just for Jax in collaboration with the restaurant's staff members. "They added shucked Emersum oysters to the mash and then whole oysters — shell and all — to the boil," Jax says. "This process adds more minerality, more mouthfeel and a subtle brightness to the beer, and makes an excellent companion to a dozen oysters on the half-shell."
Thursday, March 2
Call to Arms Brewing will release a new bottled beer in its Carriage House Series today at 3 p.m. The beer, called Really Really Ridiculously Good Tasting, is a petite farmhouse saison that was "handsomely aged in Chardonnay barrels," the brewery says. "Our latest barrel project started with a delicate blend of Pilsner, White Wheat and Acidulated malts. We then added Bravo hops for a spicy and floral balance. Primary fermentation began with a traditional French Saison yeast, but we later barrel-conditioned for months on end with Brett Claussenii to add farmhouse characteristics to this well-rounded beer. Expect notes of cantaloupe, lemon zest and light barnyard funk with soft layers of vanilla and coconut in the finish." There are only be 120 375ml bottles available, with a limit of two bottles per customer.
Saturday, March 4
Avery Brewing will host its fifteenth annual Strong Ale Fest from noon to 5 p.m., bringing in beers from around the country that are 8 percent ABV or higher. This year, there will also be several special barrel tappings and a massive list of Avery beers brewed just for the event. Tickets (which went on sale February 3) are $55 each, and all proceeds benefit Get Outside and Learn Something (GOALS); each includes sixteen three-ounce pours and a commemorative glass. Food will be available for purchase.
Wynkoop Brewing will host a beer fest today called Day of Dorks. "Teaming up with over thirty breweries, we'll be pouring up some of the geekiest and white-whaley craft brew in all the land," Wynkoop says. "Nerd attire suggested but not required. And to truly encourage The Next Generation of dorks, we'll be collecting school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks and more. Donations will benefit local area schools." Tickets are $25, or $40 for a pair, at eventbrite.com and include a commemorative Day of Dorks glass and snacks. "To miss out would be highly illogical."
The Real Ale Real Love Firkin Festival returns to Loveland today at 3:30 p.m. thanks to co-hosts Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and Verboten Brewing; the event takes place behind Grimm Brothers, in the Garden Room, at 687 North Denver Avenue. The intimate fest showcases one-of-a-kind cask beers from Northern Colorado breweries and "allows the brewers to push the envelope and try new experimental flavor combinations that wouldn't be cost-effective on a larger scale," Grimm Brothers says. There are only 250 tickets, available at brownpapertickets.com; the $30 price allows attendees "to chat with the brewers about the beers they made and the flavor profiles they were hoping would come out in the firkins." Get more information about Real Ale Real Love at realalereallove.com.
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Monday, March 6
New Image Brewing in Arvada will kick off its week-long one-year anniversary celebration today, with events all week leading up to the official party on Saturday, March 11. Today is Merch Monday, meaning new shwag goes on sale. Tomorrow is industry night, in that brewery, bar, restaurant and liquor store employees get their first beer free. On Wednesday, New Image will tap the last remaining keg of Kline's Barrel, a collaboration stout aged in WL Weller barrels, and on Thursday, the brewery will tap the Wood, which has aged for seven months. On Friday, New Image will launch its Crowler program with a buy one, get one free promotion. And finally, on Saturday, the brewery will release its official anniversary beer, a double dry hopped New England-style IPA, host a can release and patio party.
Saturday, March 11
The Crafty Fox Taphouse & Pizzeria will celebrate its first anniversary today with special tappings, games and giveaways downstairs starting at 11 a.m., and a ticketed event upstairs at 3 p.m. with rare beers and live music. The upstairs tickets are $35 (there are only 100 available), and there will be live music from Blow the Vault, exclusive tappings of Ursula Brewery’s Jefferson’s Reserve Barrel Aged Imperial Crustless (Peanut Butter and Jelly Porter), and an Ursula/Wiley Roots/Crafty Fox collaboration Vanilla Wafer Coffee Blonde Ale. There will also be an unlimited special menu for “grown-up kids.”
Friday, March 17
Westfax Brewing in Lakewood will celebrate its first anniversary today and tomorrow by tapping Barrel Aged Tears of Our Enemies, Green Colfax Cream Ale and Nitro Dry Irish Stout. The brewery, which opens at 2 p.m., will also give away beer glasses to the first forty people to buy a beer and will hold raffles and giveaways. And finally, the ShaWING food truck will also be celebrating its one-year anniversary by hosting a chicken-wing-eating contest at 7 p.m.
Saturday March 18
Westfax continues its one-year anniversary celebration at noon by pourring two of its newly released beers alongside a buffet from Mile High Cajun. The beers are Concussion Protocol Belgian Quad and Peach Saison. The brewery will also be giving away glassware and other merchandise.