Beer Calendar: Christmas Tappings, Ugly Sweaters, Birthdays and Cranberries

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Last July, we wrote about former Upslope head brewer Alex Violette, who was planning to leave Colorado and start an American-style craft brewery in Vietnam. And according to an Outside magazine story this week about U.S. craft breweries going global, Pasteur Street Brewing will open in Saigon on Christmas day.

"The goal: to build on the upstart, experimental character of American craft beer with unique, high-quality ingredients, including the local fruits rambutan and mangosteen, coffee, jasmine, ginger, and cacao beans," the article reads, before quoting Violette: "I have been able to source many of the parts for the brewery from vendors in Saigon. It took hundreds of kilometers on the motorbike to find the neighborhoods that sold the specific items. It was great to see the excitement of the shop owners when we were finally able to get past our language barriers and find an oddly specific part that I need."

Turn the page to find all of this week's craft beer events. See also: Zephyr Brewing Opening in River North Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 10

Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen will tap its 2014 Barelywine today at 7 p.m. Weighing in at 10.4 percent ABV, the beer has "complex malt and ester flavors reminiscent of plums and raisins" that make it perfect for winter, the brewery says.

Barley's Angels, a craft beer club for Colorado women, collaborated with four different professional brewers over the past few weeks to create some beers that will be served in brewery taprooms over the holidays. The second release party is today at 7 p.m. at Kokopelli Beer in Westminster, which will pour a Chocolate Cranberry Stout. There will also be chocolate pairings on hand from the Chocolate Therapist.

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will host a double bottle release today at 6 p.m. at its taproom at the Source. The beers they are selling are Surette Reserva Cassis and Vieille Cranberry & Spice.

Barrels & Bottles Brewery in Golden will tap Lil' Gin IPA today. It's a 4.5 percent ABV American pale ale brewed and dry hopped with Chinook hops, aged in a gin barrel from State-38 Distilling in Golden.

Thursday, December 11

Asbury Provisions has teamed up with four local breweries, Platt Park Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Renegade and Station 26 on a fundraiser to support SAME Café, the nonprofit, pay-what-you-can restaurant on Colfax Avenue. Asbury, a DU-area gastropub that took the place of the Renegade Publik House earlier this year, will host the Blue Plate Special Auction starting at 5 p.m. It features old-school dishes, like meatloaf, chicken a la king and tuna noodle casserole, and craft beer. To increase their donation, diners can opt to bid more than the cost of the plate. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to ensure a blue plate special, as servings are limited; straight donations are accepted as well. All proceeds will benefit SAME Cafe.

Lucky Pie in Lodo is kicking off its twelve days of Christmas series of winter beer tappings today with Bristol's Winter Warlock. Below is a poem they wrote, followed by the beers. Cheers. Twas the month before Christmas and all throughout town, Folks were tired and cranky and frankly, melting down. Sick of the cold and the hum-drum of work, All they wanted was fun and the freedom to twerk (holla!) At Lucky Pie, we watched, with grins on our lips For in our back pockets, we had a great fix! In the 12 days before Christmas, one at a time We'd be releasing 12 beers that are simply divine! So on the eleventh of the twelfth month of this year Drag your grumpy asses in here for some holiday cheer (and beer!) Tappings: December 11 - Winter Warlock by Bristol Brewing Company December 12 - Radiator by Renegade Brewing Company December 13 - Old Jubilation by Avery Brewing Co December 14 - Nutcracker by Boulevard Brewing Company December 15 - Isolation by Odell Brewing Company December 16 - Pursuit of Hoppyness by Grand Teton Brewing Company December 17 - Anchor Brewing Company's Christmas Ale December 18 - 7 Swans-A-Swimming by The Bruery December 19 - Upslope Brewing Company's Christmas Ale December 20 - Mocha Merlin by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. December 21 - Adoration by Brewery Ommegang December 22 - Double Vanilla Porter by Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Friday, December 12

Station 26 will host its First Birthday Blowout all weekend, beginning today at 1 p.m. with the release of Colorado Cottonwood Smoked Imperial Porter, which was brewed with 100 percent Colorado ingredients. On Saturday at 1 p.m., Station 26 will sell a limited number of bottles of the brew, First Birthday Beer; it's Station 26's first-ever bottle release. There will also be live music on Friday and Saturday nights, along with a Bluegrass Brunch on Sunday. There will be food trucks all weekend long. (Note: this is a 21-plus weekend.)

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will celebrate its second anniversary today from 2 p.m. to midnight with food from the Texorado food truck, live music and DJs, and beer, of course. The brewery will do a bottle release of its American Wild Ale collaboration with the nearby Populist restaurant. About 200 corked and caged bottles will be for sale. OMF will also serve the beer on tap in addition to Chocolate Oak Aged Brown ale, a collaboration with Ritual Chocolate; Belgian Strong Golden Ale, a collaboration with Baere Brewing; Barreled & Bretted Chinook Red Ale; Barleywine; All Colorado Malt & Hop Pale Ale; All Colorado Malt & Hop Chinook Red Ale; Farmhouse Ale; Brown Ale; Novo Coffee Stout; Proletariat and IPA. There will be shirt and beer giveaways and other cool stuff.

Parry's Pizza in Highlands Ranch is throwing its second-annual Ugly Sweaters & Barrel Aged Beer party today beginning at 6 p.m. But there are rules: In order to drink the beers, you need to be wearing you ugliest sweater. "No ugly sweater. No barrel aged beer. No excuses," Parry's says. The beer list includes Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Coffee Stout; Port Brewing Barrel Aged Santa's Little Helper; Odell's Barrel Thief Oak Aged DIPA; Avery Tweak 2013; Breckenridge Holidale Ale; Russian River Supplication; Stone Double Bastard; and more.

POSTPONED; DETAILS TBA: The first Fort Collins Beer Festivus, which was designed to celebrate the twenty-plus craft breweries in Fort Collins, will take place today from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at YendraBuilt, 1304 Duff Drive, in Fort Collins. Hosted by Imbibe Events, Fort Collins Festivus is modeled after Denver Festivus, which was founded three years ago. So far, eight Fort Collins breweries have signed on, but Imbibe says more will be joining the list. Tickets, $40, and the list of breweries are both available at focofestivus.com. A portion of proceeds benefits New Era Colorado Foundation.

Saturday, December 13

12 Degree Brewing in Louisville has teamed up with Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette on a beer named, yeah, 12-13-14. The collab is a tart Flemish brown ale brewed with Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces. It goes on tap at both breweries at 5 p.m. today, which just so happens to be, yeah, 12-13-14. (12 Degree has also brought back its Midnight Fog, a dark, chocolaty quadrupel.)

River North Brewery is bringing back its whiskey barrel-aged stout, Barrel Aged Avarice, today with a party in the taproom. The Belgian-style Imperial Stout was aged one year in rye and bourbon whiskey barrels. River North will sell bottles at the party for $15 each, with a six-bottle limit. They'll also be pouring a three-year vertical of Barrel Aged Avarice starting at 1 p.m. "Rich with notes of bitter chocolate, toffee and vanilla, this year's Barrel Aged Avarice finished at 11.5 percent ABV," the brewery says.

Copper Kettle Brewing is forgoing its cask Wednesdays this month in order to host a series, the 12 Firkins of Christmas, beginning today. Each firkin will feature ingredients themed around the "12 Days of Christmas." Today's beer, 12 Drummers Drumming, is a double IPA with twelve different kinds of hops (and boasting a whopping 120 IBUs). Get there early (Copper Kettle opens a noon); Homefield Cheesesteaks will be out at 2 p.m.

Epic Brewing will host a Day with Santa beginning at noon. Ho, ho, ho. Pose with the jolly old soul -- and a beer -- in front of Epic's large wooden foeders; photos are $5 and come in a Santa card. Or, get a free photo with Santa when you use the taproom laptop to buy tickets to the brewery's 2nd Annual Holiday Brunch on December 28. And finally, be a judge in Epic's holiday cookie/beer pairing contest. Taste four pairings and vote for your favorite. Tasting and judging are free and highly encouraged. Supplies are limited. AM 760's Colorado Craft Beer Show will be in the house from noon to 1 p.m.

SOLD OUT: The third annual Denver-only Beer Festivus, put on by Imbibe and Denver Off The Wagon, runs from 3 to 6:30 p.m. today at the McNichols Building. Founded three years ago as a way to feature as many of Denver's breweries as possible under one roof, there will more than forty on hand today. Tickets are $40 (but currently sold out). A portion of proceeds from Festivus benefits New Era Colorado Foundation.

Sunday, December 14

Avery Brewing will release No. 24 and No. 25 in its highly-acclaimed Barrel-Aged Series today at the brewery. The two beers, Spontanea and Einzigartig, are unusual grape-beer hybrids and were made with both malted barley and grape must; it is the second time that Avery has made beers this way. For Spontanea, Avery shoveled Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Bookcliff Winery in Boulder into its tanks alongside the malted barley, fermented it with the naturally-occurring yeast on the grape skins and then aged it in neutral oak barrels for a year. Einzigartig, meanwhile was made with Riesling grape juice from Bookcliff and fermented with Brettanomyces yeast provided by Crooked Stave. It was also aged in oak barrels for a year. Bottle sales will begin a 11 a.m. with a twelve-bottle limit of each beer per person. In addition, several exclusive beers will be tapped at the brewery that day, including Eremita VII, Brett Karma, Antonius' Carmen, caffeinA, Khodynka, 2012 Beast, Bourbkin, and Tweak. Avery said it expects this will be the last Barrel-Aged Series release party in its current location; the brewery will move to their its new campus in Gunbarrel early next year.

Barley's Angels, a craft beer club for Colorado women, collaborated with four different professional brewers over the past few weeks to create some beers that will be served in brewery taprooms over the holidays. The third release party is today at 2 p.m. at Former Future Brewing in Denver, which will pour a Belgian Christmas quadrupel with pink peppercorns, grains of paradise, nutmeg, spruce tips and other spices. There will be empanadas from Maria Empanda.

Then at 5 p.m., Former Future will hold a party for its newest fermenter, a fifteen-barrel tank named Behemoth. The tank will allow Former Future to double its capacity. There will be cake and balloons.

Monday, December 15

Barley's Angels, a craft beer club for Colorado women, collaborated with four different professional brewers over the past few weeks to create some beers that will be served in brewery taprooms over the holidays. The fourth and final release party is today at 5:30 p.m. at J. Wells Brewery in Boulder, which will pour two beers, an imperial porter and an imperial cherry porter. The food pairings are still TBD.

Oregon's Ninkasi Brewing, which just began distribution in Colorado this week, will host a beer dinner tonight from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with Odell Brewing at Highland Tap & Burger in LoHi. Tickets, $60, are limited.

Turn the page to see more events later in December.>

Wednesday, December 17

Former Future Brewing host a Christmas Cookie Pairing all day today, along with an Ugly Sweater Contest tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. It's $12 for four four-ounce tasters and cookies, and $20 for four short-pours and cookies. Supplies are limited.

Thursday, December 18

Dry Dock Brewing will release Chocolate Raspberry Porter in 22-ounce bomber bottles today at 2 p.m. at the Canoe Room, the brewery's small taproom in its North Dock production facility. This beer will be available exclusively at Canoe Room on December 18, 19, and 20. Brewed with dehydrated, seedless raspberry powder, from nearby Ticklebelly Desserts, and cacao nibs, the "dark brown porter has rich flavors of chocolate malt, coffee bitterness, and subtle ruby notes," according to the brewery.

Saturday, December 20

Fiction Beer Company and Glazed and Confuzed had teamed up to create a crazy-sounding holiday treat. The 6.2 percent ABV beer, called 42, is a Donut Bourbon Porter Fermented with maple syrup; it was inspired by Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. To brew it, Fiction started with a malty porter and then added 57 pounds of donuts (including the vanilla brown butter glaze) "late in the boiling process to help release and lock in the flavor and aroma of fresh donuts," the brewery says. "The glaze was specially made...so that it contained little to no fat that would normally be expected in a Vanilla Brown Butter Glaze. Instead the brown milk solids were separated from the liquefied butter fat and only the solids were used to make the glaze." After fermentation, the brewers added 33 pounds of Grade B Maple Syrup and then infused the beer with bourbon soaked oak during the aging process. Doors open today at 11 a.m., and there will be donut and beer pairings starting at noon.

Sunday, December 21

Hops & Pie presents Holiday Beer and Cheers, starting today at noon, when you'll be able to partake in: Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada, Prairie Christmas Bomb!, 2013 Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing, Merry Maker from Sam Adams, 2014 Anchor Christmas Ale, 7 Swans-A-Swimming from The Bruery, Yule Fuel from Bull & Bush, Noel de Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin, Christmas Eve at a New York City Hotel Room from Evil Twin, and Chanukah Pass the Beer from Schmaltz Brewing.



's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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