Beer calendar: Get hopping with big cans, chefs and holiday brews

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River North Brewery added two new thirty-barrel stainless steel fermentation tanks and one new brite tank last week, which will increase the brewery's capacity by 44 percent -- and allow River North to focus on canning its River North White, a Belgian-style wit beer that was just released, and on River North Ale, which will debut in cans next year.

For more news and all of this week's craft beer events, turn the page.

Hogshead Brewery, which opened in June 2012 in a former auto shop near Sloan's Lake, won a Mayor's Design Award last week -- one of several projects honored for for excellence in architecture, design and place-making. "The Hogshead team juxtaposed nonstandard materials in its playful re-imagination of this building, with a rustic wooden entrance, a transparent storefront and clear garage doors where the bays used to be," the announcement said. "It shapes up to be a social, relaxing atmosphere inside and out, making creative use of iconic brewery nostalgia."

Wednesday, November 13

November is "Be Thankful" cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing, and the brewery will be pouring firkins of beers every Wednesday that were made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Today's cask is Yamalama, a Candied Yam Red Ale. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4:30 p.m.

River North Brewery's weekly Wayward Wednesday series will focus on hops today, as the brewery taps its Belgian Pale Red (BPR) that has been dry-hopped four different ways. There's one keg each of Cascade, CTZ, Williamette and Nugget.

Thursday, November 14

The Chef & Brew food-and-beer-pairing festival returns today -- this time at a larger venue, the EXDO Event Center. It features more than fifteen local chefs and brewers in a competition to create the ultimate food and beer match-up. Attendees have the chance to sample all of them, and vote for their favorites. Last year's winner -- a blue corn pork taco by Jay Leandro of Pub 17 -- ended up on the menu there. This year, Leandro will be teamed with Crooked Stave. To see the rest of the pairings, go to the Chef & Brew website. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m., and tickets are $49 in advance. VIP tickets are $59 and get you in the door at 6 p.m. A portion of sales will benefit Project Angel Heart.

Upslope Brewing doesn't care if you've been naughty or nice: It's tapping Christmas Ale regardless at the Lee Hill tap room (where the staff will be in their tackiest Christmas attire, and are encouraging customers to dress the same). The beer will be on all day, but the real party starts are 5:30 p.m. with the arrival of the Cheese Louise food truck and live music from Brian Parton.

Saturday, November 16

Renegade Publik House presents Cans of Wrath (taken from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath), from 1 to 5 p.m. today; the party celebrates canned craft beer that is 7 percent ABV or higher, including Hammer & Sickle, the new Russian Imperial Stout from Renegade Brewing. Enjoy an unlimited sampling of more than 25 beers from around the country, among them Oskar Blues, Redstone Meadery, Wynkoop, Crabtree, Aspen Brewing, Eddyline, Pikes Peak, Bonfire, Asher, Ska, Fate, Upslope, Santa Fe and Renegade. Tickets are $40 -- or $45 at the door.

River North Brewery is bringing back a second version of its first-ever barrel-aged beer, Whiskey Barrel Aged J. Marie, today at 1 p.m. The brewery first released the beer a year and a half ago; for this rendition, the brewers aged J. Marie farmhouse ale in a combination of rye and bourbon barrels, then blended them. Individually numbered bombers will be available to go. The brewery expects bottles to sell out quickly, but the beer will be on tap all day; the rest will be distributed to liquor stores.

Hops & Pie rolls out its monthly Littlest Big Beer Fest today at noon, featuring brews from Dogfish Head: Bitch's Brew, Sixty-One, Rhizing Bines, American Beauty, Olde School Barleywine, Chateau Jiahu, Palo Santo, Theobroma, Sah'tea, Raison D'etre, 2010 World Wide Stout and 2011 120 IPA. Flights and single pours are available.

Boulder Beer Company will release a limited-edition, barrel-aged barleywine in bottles at 3 p.m. today called The Dude's Bane. (Get there at noon to get an early line number, and wear a robe -- like the Dude himself -- for a chance to win bottle #1.) Aged for one year in first-use bourbon barrels, The Dude's Bane, at 12.3 percent ABV, is Boulder Beer's first barrel-aged beer released in bomber bottles and its most rare packaged offering, with only eight barrels in existence. "It began as a lighter-bodied English-style Barleywine with undertones of candied fruit, then over time evolved into something much more complex with the fusion of bourbon, vanilla and oak flavors from the barrel," the brewery says. There is a limit of twelve bottles per person.

Sunday, November 17

The Colorado Brewers Guild will host a new small festival, the Thanksgiving Rendezvous, today from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Stapleton Tap House. The gathering "is a way for us to showcase a hand-selected collection of diverse beers from across the state," the CBG says. Breweries include Backcountry Brewery, Blue Spruce Brewing, Bristol, Caution, Denver Chop House, Dry Dock, Epic, Grimm Brothers, Hall, Left Hand, Lone Tree, Oskar Blues, Pikes Peak Brewing, Prost, Renegade, River North, Ska, Strange, Tommyknocker. Tickets, $40, are limited and can via Imbibe Denver.

Turn the page to find craft beer events later in November. Tuesday, November 19

The Lobby will debut a new weekly series tonight from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. called "Kick the Keg Comedy Showcase. The event, hosted by Brent Podosek, will include four to five different comics each week and feature a special tapping from a different brewery. Whoever kicks the keg each night will get a prize from the featured brewery and a $20 gift card to The Lobby. Tonight's beer is Avery Bhakti Chai Brown Ale.

Wednesday, November 20

November is "Be Thankful" cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing, in which the brewery will be pouring firkins of beers every Wednesday that were made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Today's cask is Pecan Bourbon Brown Ale, a brown ale made with fresh pecans soaked in bourbon. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 21

Get in the Thanksgiving spirit tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. at Denver Beer Co, which will be pairing a flight of three pies from Maple Street Pie bakers with three different Denver Beer Co beers. Then vote for your favorite combo. The Pies & Pints event costs $12. And if you like the pies enough, you can place a pre-order for a pie and growler that you can pick up on November 27, the day before Thanksgiving, from 3 to 8 p.m.

Friday, November 22

American Craft Beer Radio will host a Holiday Beer Bash today from 6 to 9 p.m. at Mile High Station, featuring 75 beers from thirty breweries along with festival holiday dishes from six local chefs. General admission tickets are $35, and VIP tix are $35 -- and get you in at 5 p.m. Go to the ACBR Facebook page for more information.

Sunday, November 24

TRVE Brewing will begin selling Eastern Candle to the public today at 2 p.m. The bottled beer is a pale wheat beer brewed with brettanomyces yeast and aged in white wine barrels. It is the first brew that TRVE is doing in collaboration with, and in honor of, Absu, a black metal band from Texas. Members of the brewery's Cvlt club get first dibs at 1:30 p.m. There are less than forty cases available.

Wednesday, November 27

November is "Be Thankful" cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing, in which the brewery will be pouring firkins of beers every Wednesday that were made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Today's cask is Cranberry Wit, a light Belgian wit made with fresh cranberries. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4:30 p.m.

Friday, November 29

Brewery Rickoli in Wheat Ridge will celebrate its first anniversary today with a Black Friday relief party that lasts from noon to 8 p.m. There will be beer specials all day, along with a Thanksgiving leftovers potluck and a leftovers sandwich competition at 2 p.m. Also, there will be prizes and the launch of a new Rickoli beer club.

Sunday, December 1

Avery Brewing is hosting a holiday-themed "CrAft and CrAfts: Handmade Beers and Handmade Gifts" event today, at which "attendees can peruse local, handmade gifts while drinking local, handmade craft brews," including 10lb. Strawberry Wit (tapped at 3 p.m.), a Belgian-Style White Ale that was brewed with ten pounds of fresh strawberries just for this occasion. The craft fair, which runs from noon to 7 p.m., was organized by Avery events specialist Jess Steinitz through the Sisterhood of the Hop women's beer group. Proceeds from sales of the Strawberry Wit will be used to benefit the Women's Bean Project, a nonprofit that provides economic help to women.

Saturday, December 7

The Wynkoop Brewing Company brings back its annual holiday fest, Parade of Darks, today starting at 1 p.m. The event is a showcase of more than eighty beers in the amber to opaque categories coming from 35-plus breweries. It is also a fundraiser for Metro CareRing, and raised $14,000 last year. Tickets, $35, get you a commemorative glass and unlimited sampling.

The Copper Kettle will release the first 22-ounce bomber bottle in its four-part barrel-aged seasonal series today. Snowed In (previously known as High Country Breakfast Stout) is an Imperial Oatmeal Stout made with locally-roasted Pablo's Coffee and chocolate, and aged in Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels for months. There is a limited quantity, so get there early. Copper Kettle opens at noon.

Saturday, December 14

The Copper Kettle will release the second 22-ounce bomber bottle in its four-part barrel-aged seasonal series today. Well Bred (previously known as 2013 Bourbon Barrel Barleywine) is an English-style barleywine packed with malt, caramel undertones and hints of vanilla, and aged for months in Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels. There is a limited quantity (480 available), so get there early. Copper Kettle opens at noon. Next year, Copper Kettle plans to make this beer a fall seasonal.



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

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