Beer Calendar: Comic Con's Hulk's Mash, Plus Tappings at River North, Freshcraft, Old Chicago, Lowry Beer Garden

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River North Brewery is growing fast — and is currently looking for a new location to expand its production — but it continues to keep a focus on experimentation. For the past three years, the brewery has channeled that experimentation into its series of Wayward Wednesday tappings, which typically put a spin on River North's Belgian-style specialties. But timing can be tough, so the brewery has decided to hold those tappings on the fly rather than just on Wednesdays and to hold two or three of them per week, rather than just one. (They'll be announced on social media on the day of the tapping.) Many of these beers will feature citrus and berries, but there will be other styles as well. Today, River North will tap a traditional English-style ESB. Upcoming tappings will include Raspberry J. Marie, ESB-Style River North IPA, Pilot Belgian Black IPA and Pilot American Black IPA.

Wednesday, May 20
Old Chicago's eight metro Denver locations have partnered with Dad & Dude's Breweria in Aurora to make and serve Hawaiian Honey, a pineapple honey wheat brewed with 100 percent Colorado malt and honey. Old Chicago employees went to Dad & Dude's to fashion the exclusive beer, which will be poured at the following locations: Colorado Boulevard, Littleton, Lakewood, Aurora, Arapahoe Crossing, Union, Southlands and Grant. Old Chicago will also be pouring  Dank IPA, Leaves of Lemongrass and Something Light.

The Old Chicago tappings above are part of the chain's Explorer Series tap takeovers across the state, during which local breweries have teamed with assorted Old Chicago locations for special beers and events. For example, the Broomfield Old Chicago has teamed up with Odell Brewing to pour two pilot beers — Twisted Tusk, a Fernet barrel-aged IPA, and Simmer Down Brown — along with French Hop Connection Saison, Perle White IPA, St. Lupulin and Odell IPA. Meanqhile, the Thornton location has teamed up with Epic Brewing and will be featuring Escape to Colorado IPA, Blueski Lager, Brainless on Cherries and Midnight Mischief.

This month, Copper Kettle Brewing aged its Naja Imperial Red IPA on a variety of woods to create different flavors for its weekly cask program. Today's is Naja with cherrywood chips.

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will release two beers today at 6 p.m. The first is Colorado WildSage, which will be sold in bottles for the first time; the 7.2 percent ABV beer was brewed with fresh white sage and lemongrass grown in Colorado. Crooked Stave will also tap Nightmare on Brett aged in Red Wine Barrels (draft only). For this batch of the 9.666 percent ABV beer, Crooked Stave aged its dark base beer in a large oak foeder and later in red wine casks for more than twelve months.

Dry Dock Brewing will tap the 2015 edition of the Colorado Freedom Memorial Blonde Ale at its South Dock location today at 3 p.m. The beer was made to commemorate and support the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora’s Springhill Community Park; the twelve-foot high, 95-foot-long glass monument is dedicated "to the sacrifice of nearly 6,000 Colorado veterans killed in action since 1876," the brewery says. "This year’s edition of Colorado Freedom Memorial Blonde has a patriotic twist — it was brewed with Victory malt and Liberty hops. Slightly roasted Victory malt gives this beer a subtle biscuit flavor and Oregon-grown Liberty hops impart floral, spicy notes."

Thursday, May 21
World of Beer LoDo will host a takeover by Breckenridge Brewery today at 6 p.m., featuring Hulk's Mash, a pale ale brewed with pulverized mango and Mosaic that Breckenridge made specifically in honor of this year's Denver Comic Con. You can meet the brewer, participate in a glassware giveaway and enter a drawing for Comic Con passes.

Friday, May 22
Four Noses Brewing in Broomfield is celebrating its one-year anniversary over the next four days with a variety of beer tappings, food trucks, music, events and extended hours. Today at 6 p.m. you'll find Comfort Food and live music from Randy Maez. Tomorrow is a lobster boil with East Coast Joe's and live music at 3 p.m. Go to the brewery's Facebook page for the rest of the schedule.

The Monkey Barrel will host a takeover by Breckenridge Brewery today at 8 p.m., featuring Hulk's Mash. You can meet the brewer, participate in a glassware giveaway and enter a drawing for Comic Con passes. 

Avery Brewing will commemorate the tenth anniversary of Samael's Oak Aged Ale — known as the prince of demons, the angel of death — today at 5 p.m. "Adam Avery loves wine and wanted to create a beer that captures the intensity of flavor, the wood aromatics, and the vanilla notes of Madeira, one of his favorites," the brewery explains. "So in 2005, Avery brewed this big English-style strong ale and aged it for four months with toasted and raw oak to get those desired aromas and flavors. Ten years later, we celebrate this second installation of our Demons of Ale series by offering Samael's vintages from Adam Avery's cellar. Bottles will be available to take home starting at 11 a.m., and draft will be available at 5 p.m."

Saturday, May 23
Lowry Beer Garden will host its third annual Craft BrewFest today from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring unlimited samples from the following six breweries: Epic, Mockery, City Star, Avery, Odell and Denver Beer Co. Each one will pour three different beers. Tickets are $20.

Spangalang Brewing will be serving up two brand-new beers today. The first is Apricot Cardamom Kettle Sour, a 4.2 percent ABV beer with a nose "dominated by apricot, spicy cardamom, and an earthy tartness," according to Spangalang. "It tastes fruity and finishes with a dry, moderate acidity. Super refreshing and brewed to compliment the weather that we normally would be experiencing in Denver right now." The second is Belgian Pale Ale, a 6.4 percent ABV ale that "combines the wonderful Belgian yeast aromas with citrusy American hops...It finishes with a stone fruit character, but still manages to maintain a dry mouthfeel."

Mountain Toad Brewing in Golden will mark two years today and tomorrow with various tappings, music and fun. There will be live music today from Thunder Train and the Lookout Mountain Boys from 2 to 9 p.m. There will also be food trucks.

Wednesday, May 27
This month, Copper Kettle Brewing aged its Naja Imperial Red IPA on a variety of woods to create different flavors for its weekly cask program. Today's is Naja with sassafras chips.

Crooked Stave will release two beers, HopSavant Citra and St. Bretta Gold Nugget. today at 6 p.m. HopSavant Citra is the brewery’s second recent release of their Brettanomyces IPA – Crooked Stave released HopSavant Amarillo at the beginning of the month, the first batch of HopSavant in almost two years. The 7 percent ABV beer "was primary fermented with a few of Crooked Stave’s mixed Brettanomyces cultures and then received over three pounds per barrel of Citra hops, a varietal known for its tropical aromatics and pungent citrus notes," the brewery says. St. Bretta Gold Nugget, the other beer, features citrus zest from Gold Nugget Mandarin citrus as well as lemongrass. St. Bretta Gold Nugget is the first St. Bretta that Crooked Stave has not named after a season.

Thursday, May 28
California's The Bruery will take over the taps at Freshcraft at 7 p.m today for the launch of Bruery Terreux. It will be focusing solely on farmhouse-style ales fermented with wild yeasts as well as oak-aged sour ales. The lineup includes Bruery Terreux Bottleworks XII, Bruery Terreux Hottenroth with peaches, Bruery Terreux Sour in the Rye, Bruery Terreux Oude Tart with cherries, Bruery Terreux Melange #1, OrXata, Grey Monday, and Barrel Aged 6 Geese-A-Laying.

Friday, May 29
Odell Brewing will kick off a three-day party in its taproom today to celebrate a new beer called Barrel Thief. The 9.4 percent ABV Imperial IPA "was stolen from the brew house and stashed away in medium-toast, new American oak barrels. The brew features a notorious tropical fruit hop character that tangles with hints of vanilla, dried fruit, and toasted nut from its time served in the barrel," the brewery says. Odell will have it on tap and will be selling it in 750 ml bottles in liquor stores.

Saturday, May 30
Coda Brewing in Aurora will celebrate its first anniversary today starting at noon with three bands. The brewery will also tap "multiple surprises," including sours and brett beers. And Coda will be selling some of its beers in bottles for the first time.

River North Brewery will release Cabernet Barrel Aged J. Marie, its signature imperial saison, today at 1 p.m. in the taproom. The brewery has aged this beer in a variety of barrels over the years; this time, it used freshly emptied Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from California. "Notes of black currant, fresh apricot and orange marmalade complement a dry, lingering oak finish, with just the right amount of malt character for balance," the brewery says. The beer will be available on draft and in bomber bottles to go ($15). 

Oskar Blues brings back Burning Can for the fourth consecutive summer in Bohn Park in Lyons, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., featuring canned beers from more than fifty breweries around the country, along with a host of outdoor activities and the chance to watch world-class athletes compete in professional kayaking, dirt jumping and slacklining. There will also be a kid's climbing wall, live music from The Revivalists, dancing and food. New this year is the Beer Relay, a trail-running and beer-drinking event in which you can take turns with your friends to run a 5K. "You get two minutes taken off each lap time if you drink a 12-ounce Oskar Blues beer before you start," the brewery says. Tickets range from $45 to $100. Find them at eventbrite.com.

Saturday, June 6
Platt Park Brewing will celebrate its first anniversary today beginning at noon. The brewhouse "is turning into a 7 tap bar area that will feature our barrel aged beers and sour beers," Platt Park says. "We will also have our main 10 taps flowing with some amazing brews."

The Brew Hut will celebrate its 20th anniversary today with a party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. "Guests are encouraged to bring their homemade beer, wine, cider, mead, cheese, and more to share with fellow homebrewers. They can also taste The Brew Hut’s employee homebrew showcase, purchase commemorative Brew Hut t-shirts and posters, and enjoy 20 percent off discounts on select merchandise. The Brew Hut’s anniversary party will also feature carnival games and raffle prizes, as well as homebrew demonstrations from The Fermentologists homebrew club and Aurora City Brew Club." In addition, Dry Dock Brewing, which is next door, will tap Mandarina Pale Ale, which it brewed in honor of the anniversary; the beer was made with "a new, experimental hop variety from the Hallertau and Tettnang growing regions of Germany called Mandarina Bavaria. These hops create a sweet, fruity aroma with strong notes of tangerine." The shop — now the largest one homebrew store in Colorado — was founded by homebrewer Scott Newcomb in 1995. He sold it in 2002 to Kevin DeLange and Michelle Reding, who went on to create Dry Dock in 2005. Newcomb, who moved to Florida, where he is opening his own brewery, will be on hand for the party.

Imbibe, Denver Active 20-30 and Applejack Wine & Spirits are teaming up to host an event called the Applejack BrewDown from 1 to 4 p.m. today at the well-known Wheat Ridge liquor store. Local food trucks and breweries will be on hand with food and beverages; there will also be live music and lawn games — all to raise money for Denver Active 20-30 Children's Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children. Tickets are $30 and include unlimited beer tastings from thirty breweries, a tasting glass, and a $10 gift card to Applejack.

Left Hand Brewing will bring back its Culture Jam music festival today from CCC at the brewery. The event, which celebrates Longmont's cultural diversity, will feature music from La Santa Cecilia, Afro-Fusion with Paa Kow, Quemando, and more; it benefits Himalaya Health Care, Intercambio Uniting Communities and Left Hand Brewing Foundation. There will be food, beer and a kid's zone.

Saturday, June 13
Great Divide Brewing is turning 21 — and to celebrate its legal drinking age, the brewery is throwing its biggest anniversary bash yet from 2 to 6 p.m. Head down to the site of Great Divide's under-construction future location, 3395 Brighton Boulevard, for an afternoon filled with music (Gin Doctors, A. Tom Collins, Oakhurst, Brent Cowles of You Me & Apollo), food trucks, special release beers (throwbacks, firkins, barrel-aged and pilots) and Yeti sightings. Tickets are $40.

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

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