Pour a little liqua' out for Goose Island: The famed Chicago brewery was purchased this week by Anheuser-Busch for $22.5 million. And although the mega-brewer will probably try to keep things the same, gigantic corporations aren't usually very good at that.
Goose Island beers are lightly distributed in Colorado, and although I put the company on my (much vilified) list of overrated breweries last year, I still like their stuff. So, join me in wishing the place well by grabbing a bottle of pre-buyout Matilda, Sofie or Père Jacques at The Hole, 3877 Tennyson Street, or at Park & Co., 439 East 17th Avenue, which has Père Jacques in bottles and has been known to pour Sofie on draft.
Wednesday, March 30
The Cheeky Monk, 534 East Colfax, will host a taste-off between Stone Brewing's classic Old Guardian barley wine and its upstart cousin, Old Gaurdian BELGO barley wine, which is brewed with Belgian yeasts (and is only made in odd years). Compare tasters of each and keep the Stone glass, $10.
Thursday, March 31
Breckenridge Brewing's latest venture is scheduled to become Denver's newest beer bar today when Ale House at Amato's holds a soft opening in its LoHi location, high on the hill, in the former Amato's garden store, 2501 16th Street. The Ale House, which has forty craft brews on tap, will spend the next three weeks working out the kinks before holding a grand opening on April 22.
Westword's 28th Best of Denver edition hits newsstands (yes, we have a print edition, too!). Who will win Best Brewpub, Best Tap House, Best Bottle List and Best Draft List? Find out and then go online and tell Westword's Beer Man if we got it right or wrong.
Friday, April 1
Opening Day at Coors Field means the return of The Blue Moon Brewing Company @ The Sandlot, which is open only on game days during baseball season and only available to ticket holders. This month, the Sandlot has two new brews on tap, a dark German wheat beer called Wild Pitch Dunkelweiss, and a double-chocolate stout made with Belgian chocolate powder and then dry-aged with cocoa nibs. Play ball!
It's Firkin First Friday at Hops & Pie, and this time, the pizza joint will hammer a keg of Ska Brewing's Steel Toe Stout. And it's described like this: "It's as though a cow stared into the face of God, and as God told it the meaning of life, we grabbed its udders and squeezed out a bucket. With the addition of orange peels and cocoa nibs, this traditional English cream stout is brewed with actual milk sugar to create a creamy and sweet brew." The holy enlightenment begins at 6 p.m.
Dry Dock Brewing, 15120 East Hampden Avenue in Aurora, taps a cask of ES-Boadicea for its weekly Firkin Friday event. The beer is the brewery's HMS Victory ESB dry-hopped with Bodicea hops, an English hop with a slightly floral, citrusy aroma. The tap room is open from 3 to 11 p.m.
Oh, and keep your eyes out for brewer pranks. In past years, there have been some good ones, like when Boulder Beer announced that it would start making light lagers and package them in twelve- and thirty-packs. Saturday, April 2
Breckenridge Brewery will sell limited-edition 750ml bottles (packaged with corks and baling wire) of its 20th Anniversary beer, called Twenty, at the 471 Kalamath Street location today beginning at 10 a.m. Twenty, now on draft as well, is a strong Scottish ale aged five months in Stranahan's whiskey barrels. It was made in honor of Breck's twentieth anniversary, and the brewery is selling only 180 bottles at $20 each -- first come, first served, limit of two per person. Donuts and coffee will be served at 9 a.m.; the first twenty people in line will get a free t-shirt and pint glass.
The Pub at the Boulder Beer Company ends years of heartache by opening on Saturdays. Celebrate the first one today from noon to 8 p.m. with $3 pints, happy hour specials all day, live music and a cool patio.
The Denver Beer Co, which hopes to open sometime this summer at 1695 Platte Street, will host a homebrew day at its under-construction taproom and brewhouse. "Bring your setup, some friends and a cold one," say Denver Beer Co guys Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford. Questions? Contact them on their Facebook page.
Monday, April 4
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Beginning today, the Rackhouse Pub, 208 South Kalamath Street, will be pouring seven different double IPAs as part of Double I.P.April: Dry Dock Seven Seas, Great Divide Hercules, Avery Maharaja, Breckenridge 471, Ska Decadent, Odell Myrcenary and Oskar Blues Guba. They range in price from $5-$7 per pour, or you can get smaller pours of all seven for $25. Line 'em up and decide who's got the biggest, baddest IBU count in the land.