Colorado Craft Beer Week kicked off last Friday at the Governor's Mansion, where our brewer-in-chief, John Hickenlooper, toasted the brewing industry in the state and unveiled three draft handles that will now serve the historic home. But the events at breweries, restaurants and bars around the state will continue through this weekend. One of those restaurants is the beer-centric Euclid Hall, ranked this week by Travel + Leisure as one of America's Best Beer Bars. The magazine listed places based "not only on the number of taps and uniqueness of the kegs (plus extras like beer-focused menus and on-point design), but on "knowledgeable bartenders to help you sort out your saisons from your stouts.
"Locals belly up for 12 taps, beer cocktails, and an extensive menu of bottles and cans quirkily ranked by mathematical difficulty ('Arithmetic' session beers to strong, complex dubbel bad boys under 'Quantum Mechanics')," the magazine wrote. "Bestsellers like Boulevard's Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale and Avery IPA get paired with way-above-average bar bites by James Beard-nominated Top Chef Masters star Jorel Pierce."
Turn the page for all of this week's craft beer events.
Wednesday, March 26
Station 26 will tap a different beer each day this week in honor of Colorado Craft Beer Week. Today is Dreamsicle Kolsch (mad with orange zest and juice plus vanilla beans), followed by two Cherrywood Smoked beer tomorrow, one made with grilled peaches and one with grilled pineapple and ancho chile. Friday is Single hop Mosaic pale ale and Saturday is single hop El Dorado pale ale.
March is "What the firk??" Cask Month at the Copper Kettle, as the brewery taps some "crazy combinations that will make you think twice about the makings of a great beer." Today's beer, tapped at 3 p.m., is Imperial Red Saison, which mixes the grain bill from Naja, Imperial Red IPA, New Zealand hops, and a Belgian farmhouse yeast strain. There will be a food truck on hand at 4:30.
Freshcraft will host a 7 p.m. tapping for a blackberry saison collaboration between Epic Brewing and Elevation Beer Company. Also on draft will be Elevation Apis IV, Kolsch and Epic Big Bad Bad Baptist, Escape to Colorado IPA.
Historian's Ale House is hosting a Battle of the Breweries in honor of Colorado Craft Beer Week. At 5 p.m. every day this week, two different breweries tap a keg of their choice; the first to blow their keg wins. Each customer who buys a pint of either beer will receive a raffle ticket; Historian's will raffle off prizes from both brewers every half hour. Tonight's battle features Grimm Brothers Brewhouse versus Elk Mountain Brewing. Tomorrow is Tivoli versus Echo, followed by Diebolt and Gravity on Friday.
Thursday, March 27
The Colorado Brewers Guild will continue its annual Colorado Craft Beer Week celebration today with the New Kids on the Block festival, an '80s-themed event that celebrates breweries that are less than two years old. New Kids starts at 8 p.m. at the Lobby and is presented by Denver Off the Wagon, Imbibe Denver and PorchDrinking.com. Tickets are $25 and are available at imbibedenver.com. They include unlimited beer tastings, '80s jams, a beer-themed buffet and costume contest. Participating breweries include Black Bottle Brewery, Big Choice Brewing, Brewery Rickoli, CAUTION: Brewing, Elevation Beer Company, FATE Brewing, Former Future Brewing, Front Range Brewing, Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Prost Brewing, Station 26 Brewing, TRVE Brewing, Verboten Brewing, West Flanders Brewing, Westminster Brewing and Wild Woods Brewery.
Renegade Brewing released its first bomber in the Conviction Series last week to liquor stores, and the brewery will celebrate tonight with a release party. Sunday Morning is a coffee-infused American strong ale; it will be available for purchase at a discount at 6 p.m. Novo Coffee will be on hand with samples of the coffee used in the brew.
Ska Brewing will take over the taps at 7 p.m. tonight at the Denver Bicycle Cafe. There will be a variety of beers, plus free schwag and a brewery rep to talk with.
Friday, March 28
Get a sneak peak of Great Divide's new 20th Anniversary beer, a Belgian-style golden strong ale brewed with Viognier grape juice, from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight at Cheba Hut downtown. The beer was brewed to honor Great Divide's second decade (there will be a huge party in June). In addition, enjoy the brewery's spring seasonals, which are just coming out again: Rumble Oak Aged IPA (which used to be a July release) and Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti (which just won a gold medal at GABF).
Saturday, March 29
Join Odyssey Beerwerks and Awd aRT for a Saturday afternoon of craft beer and beer craft. Awd aRT's Amanda Willshire will be showcasing her latest spring-themed bottlecap creations at the brewery starting at 3:45 p.m. There will also be a food truck on hand and live music at 6 p.m. from Ash Ganley.
Copper Kettle Brewing will release Naja Imperial Red IPA on draft today during taproom hours, starting at noon. The American Red IPA is "full of intense hop flavor," the brewery says and loaded with 110 IBUs. While this release is draft only, Copper Kettle plans to make Naja one of its seasonal bomber releases later this year. CKrêpes & CKatering will be at the brewery starting at 2 p.m.
River North Brewery is bringing back one of its original barrel-aged brews, Wine Barrel Aged J. Marie, today at 1 p.m. as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The beer was aged for nine months in Chardonnay barrels, which the brewery says lends dry notes of oak and fresh pear to this farmhouse ale. The beer will be on tap and in bottles throughout the day. Bombers are $15, and there's a two-bottle limit.
Todd and Candice Alstrom will be at Freshcraft today from 1 to 5 p.m. for their montly Beer Advocate Social. Freshcraft plans on tapping a rare keg or two for the crew.
Left Hand Brewing in Longmont will hold its second-annual Hops & Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam today from noon to 6 p.m. -- the closing event of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The family-friendly hybrid winter event features 35 Colorado's craft breweries alongside a snowboard competition featuring a thirty-foot-high high ramp and some of Colorado's best riders showing off their airs, grabs, spins, and flips. There is also a kids zone. Tickets to the beer fest, which runs from 1 to 3 p.m., are $30. Tickets to just the Rail Jam are $10. Proceeds benefiting SOS Outreach and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation. There will be prizes. Participating Breweries: 300 Suns, Avery, Backcountry, Big Choice, Bootstrap, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge, Bristol, Cannonball Creek, Crooked Stave, City Star, Crow Hop, Denver Beer Co, Dry Dock, Echo, Eddyline, Elevation, Fate, Gravity, Great Divide, Grimm Brothers, Kannah Creek, Left Hand, Loveland Aleworks, New Belguim, Odell, Oskar Blues, Pumphouse, Renegade, Revolution, Rockyard, San Luis Valley, Ska, Trinity, Twisted Pine, Upslope, Wynkoop.
Tuesday, April 1
The Wynkoop Brewing Company's Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout will return to cans today for a short time. The extra-small batch is being released in honor of April Fool's Day, when the idea for the beer -- made with bull testicles -- was first hatched two years ago. The brewery has been making it periodically since then, but has decided to limit its release to April 1 each year. Get it in two-packs.
Monday, April 7
Barrels & Bottles in Golden will help kick off the Craft Brewers Conference & World Beer Cup with a tap takeover today from 5 to 10 p.m., featuring twelve rare or unusual beers from four breweries, Dry Dock, Bonfire, Trinity and Eddyline (go to Barrels & Bottles Facebook page for the beer list). Brewery representatives and owners will be on hand with giveaways and to talk about their beers.
For more events later in April, turn the page. Tuesday, April 8
Ernie's Bar & Pizza will host an unprecedented tap takeover today featuring thirty beers that were brewed by women at breweries in Colorado and across the country. The event benefits the nonprofit Pink Books Scholarship Fund, which helps pay for women to go to brewing school. Many of the brewers will be on hand to talk about their beers, which will remain on tap through April 11.
Boulder Beer Company will party like its 1979 today when it taps the first kegs of its 35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA at Marlowe's in Denver during the Craft Beer Conference taking place here this week. "Dark black in color with a big all-around hop presence, Boulder 35 remains a well-balanced big IPA with a smooth roasted malt flavor," the brewery says. There will also be other Boulder Beer libations on tap from 9:30 p.m. until after midnight, along with live music from Gipsy Moon. The event is open to the public, however, all CBC badge holders will receive two free beers from Boulder Beer.
Wednesday, April 9
Join Denver Beer Co for a good old-fashioned pizza party tonight at 6 p.m. when the brewery welcomes in two of the city's best pizza trucks, Basic Kneads Pizza & Brava! Pizzeria. There will also be live music from Modern Whiskey Market.
Breckenridge Brewery has teamed up with SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta, Georgia, on a special collaboration beer that will be tapped today at Ale House at Amato's while the Craft Beer Conference is in town. The beer, called O'Tay, is a dry-hopped red wheat wine ale and will available elsewhere later this month in Colorado. Brewed with red wheat malt from the Colorado Malting Company and malted Buckwheat and Mosaic hops, it's a tribute to the friendship between Breckenridge head Todd Usry and Sweetwater chief Freddy Bensch, who "used to pal around Colorado in the early days of craft beer." Amato's will also host a tap takeover by Breckenridge and SweetWater. "The night will also honor the late Curtis McArthur of SweetWater Brewery with a toast at 4:20 p.m. Brewer friends of McArthur, Upslope Brewing Company and Crooked Stave, will be in attendance with a few of their beers to pour as well," the brewery says.
Thursday, April 10
Breckenridge Brewery and Sweetwater Brewery of Atlanta, Georgia, will embark on a pub crawl to seven Denver bars today that are serving O'Tay, a new collaboration beer that was brewed by the two companies (see above). Follow @BreckBrew and @SweetWaterBrew on Twitter and Instagram to locate the crew and join the crawl. The bars are Scruffy Murphy's, the Lobby, Star Bar, Lucky Pie, Blake St. Vault, Pour House, and the Strata Bar at the Hyatt Regency.
Crooked Stave will bring back its What the Funk festival today from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Exdo Event Center, featuring dozens of rare and unusual sour, wild and barrel-aged beers. See the list at evenbrite.com. Basic Kneads Pizza and Street Frites Denver will be serving food. Tickets are $80 plus fees.
Saturday, April 12
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, which will begin canning one of its beers. Little Red Cap, in April, will hold a party today to celebrate the new 12-ounce package. The Loveland brewery is selling the GABF award-winning alt-style beer in six-packs. The can-release party will feature Little Red Cap beer can chicken as well as a canned food drive benefiting House of Neighborly Service.
Sunday, April 13
Denver Beer Co will team up with the Real Dill for round three of Beers & Spears, its beer-and-pickle paring pickle party (yes, I said "pickle twice"). This time, the pairing will include three beers paired with three pickles, as well as fried pickles from Big Country Bar B Que. Oh, and there will be a spicy-pickle eating contest, too (the winner gets a growler of beer and a jar of pickles.) Tickets are $15.
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