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Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPA
Downhill Brewing

Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPA

After nearly ten months of waiting for approvals, Downhill Brewing in Parker (formerly known as Elk Mountain Brewing) served its first pizzas this week — and then promptly ran out as customers lined up for something new in the neighborhood. Owners Jake Minturn and Doug Hyndman renamed the brewery after purchasing it in February 2017, adding a pizza kitchen so that they could create a better experience for guests without having to rely on food trucks.

Beers and pizzas can be ordered at the bar (Downhill is starting with a build-your-own concept while they dial in specialty pies) and eaten inside or taken to go. Food trucks at the brewery are now a thing of a past.

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Keep reading for all of this week's craft-beer events.

Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPAEXPAND
Copper Kettle

Wednesday, December 19
The Traveling One Barrel Wednesday series "is looking to warm you up" with Hot Chocolate Milk Stout. Created by Black Sky Brewery and brewed with dark cacao, lactose, cinnamon and chili powder, it will be available at Black Sky, Strange Craft Beer, Chain Reaction Brewing and the Brew on Broadway.

Copper Kettle Brewing continues to count down its 12 Firkins of Christmas by serving a different unique beer from a cask each day at 2 p.m. Today's beer is Cookies 4 Santa Milk Stout, followed by Leche de Santa Milk Stout With Coffee on Thursday, Flamingo-ho-ho-ho Piña Colada Milkshake IPA on Friday, Not Yer Grandma's Fruitcake Strong Ale on Saturday, 3 Shots in the Dark Espresso Imperial Oatmeal Stout on nitro on Sunday, and Sour Day on Monday.

Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPA
Comrade Brewing

Thursday December 20
Comrade Brewing hosts An Imperial Christmas from 4 to 10 p.m. There will be six different variants of Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout on tap. They include Double Vanilla, Marshmallow Vanilla, Coconut, Maple Coffee, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry, and Chocolate Blueberry. There will also be Christmas cookies.

Burns Family Artisan Ales hosts a release party for Resilience IPA, the beer brewed simultaneously with more than 1,200 other breweries across the country to benefit Sierra Nevada's Camp Fire Relief Fund; 100 percent of all Resilience IPA sales goes directly to support those who were affected by this devastating California fire. Burns is hoping to sell out all fifteen gallons of Resilience IPA tonight and will be open for special hours, from 12:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. There will also be live music from The One and Only Jon Ham at 5:30 p.m., Chuck Jones from 8 to 10 p.m., and At the Watertower from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Renegade Brewing hosts its monthly Beers + Banned Books event starting at 5:30 p.m. This time, it's highlighting Roald Dahl's Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. The brewery paired the book with Chocolate Hammer – its Hammer Imperial Stout loaded with chocolate bars aged on whiskey staves in a Squarrel barrel. Anyone who buys the beer gets a copy of the book as well.

Great Divide Brewing releases the third iteration of its Hop Disciples Rotating Hop Project featuring Callista hops. "Every year, we take a bright, clean IPA and put a different hop variety at the forefront of the sensory experience," the brewery explains. "Callista is a newer hop variety originating in Germany from the creators of Mandarina Bavaria, Hull Melon and Hallertau Blanc hops. There should be notes of passion fruit, peach, apricot and blackberry, plus a little pine.”

1623 Brewing is a gypsy brewing project that splits time between Maryland and Colorado. Co-founded by Zac Rissmiller, a former brewer at Elk Mountain, Rockyard and Resolute, the project began by canning beers in Maryland, but Rissmiller has also done a few collaborations here in Colorado. You can try the first two at 2 Penguins Tap & Grill from 5 to 7 p.m. The first is Red American Hefeweizen, done in collaboration with Goldspot Brewing, while the second is English Barleywine, brewed with Cerberus Brewing in Colorado Springs.

Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPA
Ursula Brewing

Friday, December 21
Ursula Brewery is releasing the Sacred Fire, its 12 percent ABV Scottish-style Wee Heavy, in honor of the winter solstice. "In Scottish Celtic tradition the year was divided into two halves: the dark and the light. The winter solstice, also referred to as 'Yule,' is the celebration of the return of sunlight," the brewery says. "December 21 marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year. To the ancient Celts, fire was sacred and domestic fires were never extinguished...but one time a year when they were re-kindled by the Sacred Fire." As for the beer, it has "rich maltiness full of toffee and caramel character," Ursula says. "We ferment slow and cool with a traditional Scottish Ale yeast that brings in beautiful soft fruity esters and emphasizes the malty fullness." Starting around 5:30 p.m., the brewery will light a fire outside and stick a hot poker into some of the beer to caramelize it. There will be regular and Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Aged variants on draft and to go.

Seedstock Brewery and Goldspot Brewing will each tap a collaboration beer today that came about as the result of a brewhouse mistake. "One of Goldspot's interns was tasked with adding ninety pounds of cranberries to another beer, but accidentally put them in the Winter Warmer Lager," Seedstock explains. "This blessing in disguise is a striking ruby color with a very slight tart aroma. Winter Warmer Lager is an incredibly clean-tasting beer that has subtle notes of dark fruit and cranberry. This beer weighs in at 9.5 percent ABV."

Several breweries and taprooms will tap Resilience IPA, made in conjunction with Sierra Nevada and 1,500 breweries nationwide to raise money for the people devastated by the California Camp Fire. One hundred percent of the proceeds from all tappings will go to the relief efforts. Today's tappings include those at Woods Boss Brewing, Chain Reaction Brewing, Great Divide, Bruz Beers, El Rancho, Jaks Brewery and Broken Compass. There will be more tomorrow at Goldspot and others.

Burns Family Artisan Ales releases Caerbannog, a 5.3 percent ABV Scottish Ale. "In the style of an 80-shilling, it has a malty roast sweetness perfect for winter evenings," the brewery says. "Hints of nuts and soft hop fruit in the aroma, with flavors of toast, caramel and a suggestion of earthy roast and toffee."

First Draft Taproom & Kitchen believes that the darkest day of 2018 calls for dark beer. As such, the beer bar will tap three specialty kegs for this year's winter solstice: Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star Coffee Edition, Cerebral Brewing Boss Fight, and Lagunitas Brewing Willettized Coffee Stout.

Dos Luces Brewing, which makes corn- and maguey-based beers inspired by Pre-Columbian traditions, is hosting a...Summer Solstice party, since it's summer in the Southern Hemisphere, where most of the brewery's beers originated. As part of Fiesta del Sol, Dos Luces will tap Guanabana Chica, made from malted blue corn, clove, cinnamon and guanábana fruit; and Mexican Chocolate Pulque, made with maguey sap, malted blue corn, cinnamon, clove, Mexican Cacao nibs (courtesy of Cultura Craft Chocolates) and cayenne pepper.

Oskar Blues celebrates the winter solstice with its Darkest Day event, "a bone-warming ceremonial shindig of barrel-aged indulgence" featuring five 12 percent ABV limited-release beers. They are Jefe’s Horchata Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Santa’s Beer Breath Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Cocoa and Peppermint, Chocolate Hazelnut Praline Ten FIDY Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Salted Caramel Ten FIDY Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, and Hot Buttered Rum Ten FIDY Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. The beers will be available all day long on draft and in 19.2-ounce stovepipe cans at the brewery's taprooms in Boulder and Longmont.

The winter solstice is the shortest, darkest day of the year, which Freshcraft will note by tapping "some of the darkest and most delicious beers that Bell's Brewery has to offer." Beers on draft include Trumpeter’s Stout, Arabicadabra, Kalamazoo Stout, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Third Coast Ale. The Bell's crew will be on hand at 7 p.m. with some cool glassware and other swag, too.

Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPA
New Image

Saturday, December 22
For Hops & Pie's No-Nonsense Holiday Beer Fest, you can leave your ugly sweater at home (it probably needs to be washed by now anyway). That's because this tapping is just about the liquid. Some of the festive beers that go on tap at noon include Prairie's Artisan Ales' Christmas Bomb, Oakshire Brewing's Ill-Tempered Gnome,
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales' Noel de Calabaza, and the Lost Abbey's Gnoel de Abbey.

Fiction Beer Company's fifth annual collaboration with Glazed & Confuzed — called Donut Panic — brings you the brewery's most unique offering yet: Sweet Potato Pie Specialty Ale. "The base beer was designed as an homage to our favorite breakfast pastry, with toasty, bready Maris Otter malt and oats," Fiction says. "Topping our doughnut base are 180 pounds of Okinawa purple sweet potatoes, 25 pounds of marshmallows, brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg." The brewery opens at 1 p.m., and there will be beer and doughnuts to pair. The Hop & Hoe food truck will be on hand as well.

Diebolt Brewing has squirreled away a keg of each one of its monthly Barreled Lightning Series beers and will put all twelve on tap at once. The brewery will also raffle off a bottle every hour all day; each purchase of a ten-ounce pour or taster flight enters you into the raffle. A food truck will be on site.

New Image Brewing in Arvada says it is "pretty sure the left side of your brain is for science and math and stuff, so when we got together with our friends at Night Shift Brewing, we put our left brains together to come up with this delicious collaboration, Left Brain, a sour New England-style IPA with Huell Melon and Nelson Sauvin hops, and honeydew and apricots added." New Image opens at 11 a.m.

Outer Range Brewing in Frisco turns two years old today with an epic party starting at noon. The brewery will release cans of Pow Bender Blueberry Vanilla Milkshake IPA, made with Citra and Mosaic hops, blueberries, and $3,000 worth of vanilla. It will also release Cold Places, Warm Faces Imperial Stout, made with black velvet cake and coffee; In the Deep Steep Double IPA, brewed with Citra, DDH Wai-iti and Nelson Sauvin hops; and Less than Zero, a mixed fermentation Brut IPA made in collaboration with Casita Cerveceria.

Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPA
The Post Brewing

Monday, December 24
The Post Brewing will host a Stouts & Steins event at all of its locations (Denver, Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette), featuring the tapping of Big Jim Stout. For $15 you can get a take-home holiday stein (plus happy-hour-priced refills for the rest of the night), and if you wear flannel (Big Jim’s favorite), you get a free Post Whoopie Pie, "which just so happens to pair perfectly with the stout," the brewery says.

Tuesday, December 25
Alpine Dog Brewing hosts its fifth annual Christmas Day party starting bright and early at 10 a.m. The brewery will release two new beers: French Toast Imperial Stout made with cinnamon, vanilla and maple; and Belgian Holiday Amber, brewed with currants. There will be snacks and treats, too.

Saturday, December 29
Renegade Brewing is clearing out the cellar to celebrate the end of 2018. The brewery will pour six different barrel-aged beers all day, from noon to 11 p.m. The beers are Barrel-Aged Hammer Imperial Stout, Barrel-Aged Berbere-Spiced Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Cherry Farmhouse on Brett (aged in a red-wine barrel), Barrel-Aged Bedwetter Barleywine, Barrel-Aged Renegado Rye Mexican Lager, and Rum Barrel-Aged Pancakes Maple Porter. The One and Only Jon Ham will perform from 6 to 9 p.m., and there will be a food truck parked outside.

Join River North Brewery for a dual release of brand-new beers starting at noon. The first beer is Single Cask Avarice: Tequila Barrel, a Belgian-style imperial stout aged in a tequila cask. The second beer is Decennial IV: the Last Guardian, which is the newest addition to the brewery's Decennial series, its line of high-gravity brews intended to age up to ten years; this bière de garde weighs in at 15.2 percent ABV.

Beer Calendar: Chocolate Beer, Christmas Beer and Resilience IPAEXPAND
Copper Kettle

Monday, December 31
Copper Kettle Brewing hosts a special Crowler release from noon to 5 p.m. of its Brut Saison. This 8 percent ABV champagne-like beer is perfect "to take home to your NYE celebrations," the brewery says. You can also grab a pint on tap. Copper Kettle will close at 5 p.m.

Every December, Renegade Brewing makes one of the most luscious beers in Colorado: Depravity Peanut Butter Cup Porter, which it releases on New Year's Eve. This time around, the brewery is hosting a Saints & Sinners party to go along with it. From 3 to 7 p.m., Renegade will have Depravity flowing on tap, live music from
Something Vinyl Club and food from Cilantro & Perejil starting at 4 p.m. Come dressed as either a saint or a sinner (or just wear wings or devil horns if you're lazy); the group with the most dressed-up people gets free pints. Four-packs of Depravity will be available for purchase until the brewery runs out (there is a limit of three per person).The party will wind down by 8 p.m. so "you can be back on the couch in sweats to watch the ball drop (or you can still make that other NYE party you have scheduled)," the brewery says.

Burns Family Artisan Ales releases its newest big beer, Auld Lang Syne, at 6 p.m. Aged in brandy barrels for almost five months, "this beer promises high-gravity goodness with [the brewery's] hallmark balanced and smooth warmth," Burns says. The 16.5 percent ABV beer features "rich stone fruit and caramel notes from the barrel." Liam O'Beirne, Jennifer Lee, Jesse Mitchell, Joe Nicholson of Indigent Row will rock the house starting at 9 p.m. with their energetic Celtic prog-rock music, promising at least two versions of Auld Lang Syne.

Saturday, January 5
The Cultural Center, which is the new joint taproom and barrel-aging cellar from Westbound & Down Brewing and Amalgam Brewing, will host its January hours from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. There will be eight beers on draft and food from El Taco Veloz food truck. Draft list and on-site/to-go bottle offerings are TBA. The Cultural Center is located at 6381 Beach Street, Unit A, in Denver.

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