After a false start in 2015, New Belgium Brewing has finally found a replacement for brewery co-founder and CEO Kim Jordan, who is stepping away from day-to-day operations there. Steve Fechheimer, the former head of strategy for the enormous Beam Suntory spirits company, takes over in August; he will oversee New Belgium’s executive team, short-term strategy, industry leadership and day-to-day operations.
Notably, Fechheimer "led acquisitions, divestitures, the creation of global partnerships and the overall strategic planning process" during his eight years at Suntory, New Belgium says.
The change comes at an interesting time for the fourth-largest craft brewery in the nation. The employee-owned company was at the center of a possible buyout last year before backing away. Now available in all fifty states, New Belgium also recently opened a huge second brewery on the East Coast. On Monday, Forbes published a story that dissected Jordan and Fort Collins-based New Belgium with the headline "Once a Craft Beer Darling, New Belgium Brewing Is Struggling to Go From Niche to National."
In October 2015, New Belgium announced that Jordan would step down in order to serve as the executive chair of the brewery’s board of directors and to work on long-term strategy and vision. She was replaced by longtime New Belgium exec Christine Perich. But Perich departed just a year later (she's now peddling WTRMLN WTR), leaving Jordan holding the bag again.
The company hopes Fechheimer will stick around longer. "His expertise at strategy development and execution in the high-end world of spirits, coupled with our 26 years of solid brewing and branding, is a perfect setup for the kind of dynamic future New Belgium is planning," Jordan said in a statement. "Steve is smart and driven while also being approachable, and we’re all excited about the perfect cultural and business fit. We took our time to find a terrific candidate and feel very lucky that we’ve done just that.”
Keep reading for the best local craft-beer events and tappings through August 13.
Wednesday, July 19
The beer-soaked activists behind Makin' Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer are back with new beers, new breweries and new causes today. Six breweries — Factotum Brewhouse, Colorado Plus, Grandma's House, Baere Brewing, Black Sky Brewing and Goldspot Brewing — will all tap beers made with Kveik, an ancient Norwegian yeast strain used in farmhouse-style beers. In the past, some of the money from the sale of the beer has been donated to a variety of charities serving causes that are in particular danger because of the Trump administration's goals. These have included nonprofits benefiting LGBTQ groups, women's heath, the indigent and the environment. Here are details for this round: 11 a.m. at Black Sky Brewing (charity is NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado); 11 a.m. at Colorado Plus in Wheat Ridge (Colorado Water Trust); 2 p.m. at Baere Brewing (the Reciprocity Collective); 3 p.m. at Goldspot (Girls Rock Denver); 3 p.m. at Factotum (the Women's Foundation of Colorado STEM); and 4 p.m. at Grandma's House (Swallow Hill Music).
Zuni Street Brewing has teamed up with Good Sugar Baking for its latest beer-and-cooking pairing session, starting at 6:30 p.m. For $10, you get four tasters and four cookies.
For the third installment of its ice-cream pairing series, Copper Kettle Brewing will match its Sobremesa, a tequila-barrel-aged strong pale ale, with Sweet Action Ice Cream's Colorado Margarita ice cream. There will also be chocolate and vanilla flavors to pair with craft sodas for the kids.
Thursday, July 20
Who says that barrel-aged beers are only for the winter? First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will put a bunch of them on tap starting today — "many of which haven't been available since Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow," the taproom says. The list includes: Firestone Walker Anniversary XX, Oskar Blues BA Ten Fidy, Lagunitas High Westified, Deschutes Abyss, Alesmith Nibs and Beans, New Holland Mexican BA Dragon's Milk, Firestone Walker Parabola, Perennial Abraxas and Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee.
Comrade Brewing will tap its highly sought-after Grapefruit Superpower at noon. This is the brewery's 7.5 percent ABV Superpower IPA with fresh grapefruit added.
Join 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield for the first of its Road to the Great American Beer Fest double IPA tappings. "This experimental Imperial IPA is the beginning of the road, with three more batches to follow," the brewery explains. "The final batch will be submitted for judging in the Imperial IPA category at GABF. With massive hopping, flavor and aroma, these Imperial IPAs should be a real treat for those who love hops." This version was hopped at more than five pounds per barrel of Simcoe and Galaxy, with a little Citra, as well.
Friday, July 21
Fiction Beer Company is tapping a robot-inspired beer at 2 p.m. as part of its collaboration celebration with Odd13 Brewing, Cerebral Brewing and Weldworks. Robopsychologist is a hazy imperial mango IPA and was inspired by I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov. The beer "tastes like a rich tropical smoothie with notes of pineapple, orange, and mango," Fiction says. "A measured bitterness balances the tropical fruit sweetness."
Bruz Beers will release three Belgian-style sours in bottles in honor of Belgian Independence Day. The first is Midtown Brown, a take on the classic Flanders Brown. "Seven malts and an array of traditional and wild yeasts create enormous complexity," Bruz says. "Aged for over two years, it will improve for years to come with additional bottle age." The second is Passion, brewed with eight malts, light hopping and a combination of yeasts and tart microflora; it was also aged two years. The third beer has yet to be announced.
Launch Pad Brewery, at 884 South Buckley Road in Aurora, kicks off its three-day third-anniversary celebration by tapping four barrel-aged beers, including a 2016 reserve. On Saturday, the brewery will host a Hawaiian-style pig roast (courtesy of Nokealoha) and release its Anniversary Brew-Archer's ALE (an imperial blueberry honey blonde). And on Sunday, Launch Pad will release its Birthday Cake Soyuz Stout and another top-secret beer. There will also be a brunch food truck and free cake.
Saturday, July 22
Hops & Pie, 3920 Tennyson Street, presents Hops Fest, starting at noon. Beers on tap include Arizona Widerness Big Guy Rye and Estrella Pale Ale; Ecliptic Starburst; Two Roads Two Juicy and Road 2 Ruin; Russian River Blind Pig and Pliney the Elder; Alpine HFS; the Westbound & Down/Hops & Pie collaboration F&cked if You Do, F&cked if You Don't; Green Flash Spanish Trampoline; Comrade Grapefruit Superpower; Melvin Drunken Master and Asterisk; Ratio Undone; Cannonball Creek TBD; Odd 13 Lupulin Amnesiac; Uberbrew Re-Calibrated Wheat IPA; Crux Snake Eyes; and Call to Arms Ain't No Party Like a Mango Party.
Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales will unveil a project that has long been in the works: Roswell, a "Lambic-inspired, spontaneously fermented ale that is barrel-fermented, barrel-aged, and then re-fermented with high levels of one of six different fruits," the brewery says. The beer was made with an idea that Black Project calls super-fruiting, in which as much fruit as possible is packed into the brews, "while still calling the end result a beer." In the future, Roswell will be made once per year "during the late spring from a lambic-inspired wort" brewed the previous fall. "This gives us a beer that has all of the depth of flavor but with a lower acidity than it would have after spending a summer in the barrel — ideal considering the amount of acidity naturally present in the fruit." Black Project will release five of the variants in bottles today, although people in line (and that line will form in the middle of the night, with customers sleeping on the sidewalks) will only be able to purchase three bottles, in order to encourage sharing (this may be lowered to two per person). The Roswell beers are Apricot, Blackberry, Cranberry, Guava and Raspberry. A sixth version, Blueberry, will only be available for on-site consumption; all six versions will be available for on-site consumption on Sunday, July 23. All will be sold in 500 ml bottles that are available for $20. Brewed Food will be on hand to pair the beers with Tender Belly bratwurst with a pain de mie bun, kimchi and gochujang mayo, with a side of Hop Ash potato chips.
The Colorado Let's Talk Craft Beer Facebook group brings back its periodic Beer Mob event, to shower some love on a deserving brewery — but for the first time, they will mob a non-brewery. Craft-beer lovers will descend on Southside Bar Kitchen, at 3014 East Colfax Avenue, at 4 p.m. Owner Dave Cleland is "a huge supporter of the local brewery scene/culture. It's time for CLTCB to turn the tables and show some support to a fantastic local craft beer bar," says the group. But that's not the only thing going on at Southside. Read below...
Southside Bar Kitchen will host a Makin' Noise Tap Takeover and will pour all six of the beers brewed recently as part of the Makin' Noise: A Pussy Riot beer program, which supports local charities. Baere Brewing, Black Sky Brewery, Colorado Plus, Factotum Brewhouse, Goldspot and Grandma's House all brewed Kveik-style farmhouse beers using the same strain of Norwegian yeast, but with their own unique ingredients.
Wynkoop Brewing will tap three IPAs today and is offering free tastes from 2 to 4 p.m. Triple Threat IPA Day includes LoDo Lower Downtown Style IPA; Lush Vibes Sour Tangerine IPA, a kettle-soured IPA brewed with tangerine purée and dry-hopped with Tangelo peels; and Warning Label Extreme IPA, a whopping 15 percent beer. Space is limited, so guests should RSVP at eventbrite.com.
Great Divide Brewing will release the fourth beer in its Local Knowledge series, a Zwickelbier with the addition of some unexpected hops. "This unfiltered German ale is malt-forward, with tones of bread and toasted cracker, and just enough earthy hop character for a crisp finish," the brewery says. "The addition of Mandarina Bavaria hops brings a surprise hint of tangerine and citrus." This very limited batch will be exclusively available on draft and in six-packs at the Great Divide Tap Room and Barrel Bar starting at noon.
Ursula Brewery in Aurora will release two new golden sours at noon in bottles. The first is Évoluer Blend 2, which was aged in wine barrels. "This bright, dry beer has notes of lactic and stone fruit in the nose with just a hint of Brett funk and a firm but not overwhelming touch of tartness," the brewery says. "A sip brings in a peach Sweet Tart flavor that we think marries well with the oak tannins and grape skin character the barrel imparts." There are only 170 bottles available, with a limit of two per person. The second beer is Modifié, a golden sour dry hopped with citra and galaxy dry-hopped. There are 190, with a limit of two per person.
The West Side Brewery Bus Loop returns from 2 to 10 p.m. with three new breweries. Here's how it works: Two shuttle buses run continuous loops between Little Machine, Hogshead, Call to Arms and Diebolt. You can start at whichever brewery you choose and ride the loop for only $5. Buses will leave each brewery about every thirty minutes. Complete the loop at all four breweries and get a coupon for a free beer on your next visit at the brewery of your choice. Tickets can be purchased at your starting brewery on the day of the event.
To the Wind Bistro, 3333 East Colfax Avenue, will host a five-course beer dinner with Ratio Beerworks with dishes from To the Wind chef Royce Oliveira and beers from Ratio's Jason zumBrunnen. Seating starts at 5 p.m., but dinner will be served throughout the night. Tickets, $59, can be reserved by calling the restaurant at 303-316-3333. The first course is Kanpachi crudo, lime chip, lime-cucumber gastrique and micro radish paired with Major Nights Lime Gose. For the rest of the pairings, go to the Facebook page.
Monday, July 24
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will kick off its two-year-anniversary week celebration today. During the course of the week, it will tap various anniversary collaboration beers, including Fermaentra Sweet Milk Stout with Blueberries; Tivoli Dry-Hopped Pale Ale with Galena, Cascade, and Centennial; Locavore Hazy IPA with Simcoe, CTZ, and Chinook; Verboten Kentucky Common with Cherries; Odd13 DDH Economist with Mosaic, Azzaca, and El Dorado; 4 Noses Wild-Foraged Juniper Pale Ale with Simcoe and Citra; and more.
Thursday, July 27
Upslope Brewing welcomes another installment to its Lee Hill Series, from 5 to 9 p.m. at its original Lee Hill taproom. The thirteenth in the series, Tequila Barrel Aged Quadrupel is an 11.2 percent ABV Belgian-style quad that was aged in Dulce Vida Añejo Tequila barrels for six months. "Layered notes of caramelized banana, mulled clove and floral tequila give way to a spicy oak character and a warming finish to round out this classic," the brewery says. The beer will be on tap and available to go in 19.2-ounce cans.
Friday, July 28
To celebrate seven years of brewing German-inspired beers, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland will turn its parking lot into a biergarten at 4 p.m. and will host live music, plus games and face painting for kids. Also included will be Blood Orange Griffin Ice Cream, food by the Loveland Kiwanis Club, and specialty beer tappings: Bourbon Barrel Aged Master Thief and a mystery barrel-aged sour. Live music from Blind Alley Troubadours starts at 7. The festivities begin again on Saturday, July 29, with more live music, burgers and brats, and drinking games like hammerschlagen. And finally, the brewery will tap Snow Drop as well as the "seven dwarfs" — seven fruited versions of Snow Drop.
Saturday, July 29
Denver Beer Co. cools things down with its second annual Ice Cream Shandy Social at its original Platte Street location, where treats from Little Man Ice Cream and Rocky Mountain Soda Company will be scooped. The brewery has concocted five new shandies (half beer, half soda) with five different Rocky Mountain Soda flavors, while Little Man has chosen five unique ice cream flavors for the pairing. Tickets are $20 and include five four-ounce shandies and five mini ice cream scoops.
Boulder's West End Tavern will wrap up it's month-long Jul-IPA fest with the Ultimate IPA Party on the rooftop, from noon to 3 p.m., featuring eight IPAs from across the state, including the newly minted 1771 IPA from The Post Brewing Company. There will also be samples from Breckenridge Bourbon, live music, barbecue off the grill and a live auction with cool prizes like beer for a year, concert tickets and a snowboard. All proceeds benefit the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence. Admission is $30 per person and includes beer tastings, food and raffle tickets.
Tuesday, August 1
Great American Beer Festival tickets, $85 each, go on sale at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com to members of the Brewers Association and the American Homebrewers Association (join by July 23). The Member pre-sale is supposed to guarantee access to tickets, although there have been problems with this in previous years. The public sale begins tomorrow, August 2, at the same time. The fest takes place October 5-7.
Wednesday, August 2
Great American Beer Festival tickets, $85 each, go on sale at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com to the general public; they will sell out within minutes. The fest takes place October 5-7.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette continues its fourth-anniversary festivities with Barrel Day, featuring three newly packaged barrel-aged beers. This is only one of two days when all three beers will be available; the other is the Main Event, taking place on Saturday, August 5. The first is Sheriff Shane the Solera Cyborg, which Odd13 describes as "a very rustic and oaky foeder-aged sour blonde. This is the first release from our Foeder solera project." The second, yet-to-be-named beer is "a blend of bourbon-barrel aged red sour with red wine barrel-aged blonde sour saison with cherries, inspired by the Manhattan cocktail." The last beer is Rum Barrel Aged Saint Newcole, a lower-ABV version of Saint Nicole Imperial Stout.
Thursday, August 3
Despite saying they weren't going to package their "clean" (non-wild or -sour) beers, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will host a can release this afternoon to celebrate the release of three canned beers: Von Pilsner, IPA and Trellis Buster, a fantastic hazy double IPA. The brewery released its first-ever canned beers just last month, all of them fermented with wild Brettanmyces yeast.
Friday, August 4
It's IPA Day, and several breweries are celebrating. At Odd13 in Lafayette, which is also celebrating its fourth anniversary all week, there will be two fresh IPAs available in cans and on draft. The first is Alpha Twins Juicy DIPA, brewed with with Citra and Azacca hops, as well as lactose. The second is QDH Superfan.
Saturday, August 5
More than fifty breweries will be pouring session beers (5 percent ABV or less) as part of the fourth annual Sesh Fest, which starts at 3 p.m. at the Highlands Masonic Event Center. Tickets are $30, though there are a variety of packages and discounts for groups. There will be live music and yard games. Sesh Fest benefits the Colorado Brewers Guild. For tickets and more information, go to seshfest.com.
The Bull & Bush will host its 46th Anniversary Party with a concert by the Samples at 9 p.m. Other details are TBA. Tickets, $19.71 (the year the Bull & Bush was founded) are available at the brewery's website.
Lost Highway Brewing has made the complete transition from its original spot on East Colfax Avenue to 12741 East Caley Avenue, Unit 140, in Centennial, where it has a larger production space and taproom. Although it opened to the public in June, Lost Highway didn't start brewing in the location — under the direction of former Dad & Dude's Breweria head brewer Brian Connerty — until mid-July. To celebrate, the brewery will host a family-friendly grand-opening party with tours, a cornhole tournament, beer stein painting, live music, face painting and the release of several beers: Peach Berliner Weisse, Saison, Barrel-Aged Grave Robber Fraud Quad and a Barrel-Aged Liquid Pajamas.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette toasts its fourth anniversary with the Main Event, an in-house beer fest featuring a huge lineup of new releases and re-releases. There are two ticketed sessions to help control the madness (there are only 100 tickets, $50 each, per session), one at noon and one at 5 p.m. Each ticket includes ten drink tickets (additional drink tickets can be purchased at the event), Lyft discount, gratuity, custom glass and a charity donation. Food will be available for purchase. Go to eventbrite for more information on the first session, from noon to 4 p.m., and the second session, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Come celebrate 24 years of great beers with Avery Brewing in Boulder, starting at 3 p.m. The anniversary party will include dozens of cellared and classic beer offerings, as well as all of their core beers, food from the restaurant and "family fun." Live music starts at 3:30 p.m. and features the Hop Pickers until 4:30; Head for the Hills from 5 to 6 p.m; and Monophonics at 6:30 p.m. Like many beer festivals this season, there are three tiers of tickets. Food and beer can be purchased a-la-cart throughout the event. The $15 Music Lover ticket includes entry to the festival to enjoy the music. The $30 Base Layer ticket includes live music, a custom glass, a welcome beer, and two drink tickets. The $55 Aficionado ticket is the Base Layer ticket plus with four additional beer tickets, and a food voucher. Proceeds will go to American Rivers, a nonprofit that protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Buy tickets at twoparts.com.
Outer Range Brewing in Frisco, which is building a reputation as a destination for lovers of New England-style IPAs, will release a beer in cans at 11 a.m. in the taproom only. Rustic Ways DIPA will be available in four-packs for a whopping $18; one case per person. There will be live music on the patio from Ken Lee from noon to 2 p.m., and food for sale by Whole Foods.
Thursday, August 10
For the first time ever, 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield has canned its Peachopotamus, an ale brewed with peaches from Palisade. The beer is part of the brewery's Ad Hoc Series. 4 Noses will be celebrating all day, selling draft pours and four-packs to go.
The Save the Ales festival, a fundraiser for Conservation Colorado, returns to Mile High Station from 6 to 10: 30 p.m. with dozens of local breweries on hand. "Raise a glass with friends while helping us raise funds to protect, conserve, and ensure a future with plenty of clean water for all Coloradans. Because no water means no beer," the organization says. "Your Save the Ales ticket purchase will help Conservation Colorado educate citizens on how to be stewards of water, collaborate with lawmakers to protect water at the policy level, and encourage people to stand up for the basic human right to clean, healthy water for all." Tickets range from $30 to $65. To buy them and to find out more info about the festival and the organization, go to conservationco.org.
Friday, August 11
To kick off its three-day-long third-anniversary shindig, Liquid Mechanics Brewing in Lafayette is releasing Batch 3 of its Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter in 22-ounce bombers. There will only be 180 bottles available. This Imperial Porter has been aging in bourbon barrels since 2015, the brewery says. "We chose the best two barrels out of five to blend and put into these bottles. This is a super rare treat."
Education on Tap, a beer festival hosted by CU South Denver (10035 South Peoria Street, in Lone Tree) for its fifteenth year. Formerly known as Art & Ale festival, the fest now has a new look a a new purpose: proceeds will benefit the CU South Denver Community Education Fund. There will be about twenty breweries there — both craft and megabrewers — along with a variety of food, from McDonald's to local restaurants. In addition, there will be live music and lawn games. Tickets range from $50 to $100. Get them on their web site.
Saturday, August 12
Denver Beer Co. raises a glass to its sixth anniversary by hosting a block party off of Platte Street starting at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the day and night. There will be beer, food trucks, live music, games, a photo booth and more. The family-friendly event is free to enter.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Liquid Mechanics Brewing has been turning out great beer for three years in Lafayette. To celebrate its birthday, the brewery hosts an outdoor music fest with five bands that will be playing all day long. Headliners include Judge Roughneck playing ska and reggae, and Last Men on Earth, a ’70s/’80s/’90s tribute band. Inside the brewery, there will be sixteen beers on tap, including the brand-new Imperial Hop Nectar and Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter Batch 3. There will also be food trucks. Entry is free.
Every year, Call to Arms Brewing and Cannonball Creek Brewing join forces to support to a young, up-and-coming Colorado brewery and celebrate the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie. While some breweries "send cease-and-desist letters, we aim to bring peace while assisting our brothers and sisters in arms," the two breweries says. This year's partner for Peace & Assist IV is Cellar West Artisan Ales, which opened last December 1001 Lee Hill Dr #10 in Boulder. Founded by Zach Nichols, formerly of Sanitas Brewing, Cellar West specializes in "distinctive, barrel-fermented beers that celebrate people, place, and purpose." The event runs from 1 to 9 p.m. and includes three versions of Peace & Assist No. 4: the base version, brewed with raw and malted rye, and fermented in oak with the Cellar West wild yeast culture; a variant made with fresh cucumbers and cardamom; and a dry-hopped version (Amarillo and Hallertau Blanc) that will be available in bottles as well. There will also be other beers from Cellar West, along with offerings from Call to Arms and Cannonball Creek. Boulder's Stone Lotus food truck will be on hand, and there will be live music from Chunky Whiskey.
Sunday, August 13
To wrap up its third-anniversary weekend party, Liquid Mechanics Brewing in Lafayette is hosting a release for its Imperial Hop Nectar in cans. It's an amped-up version of the brewery's 5.3 percent ABV hazy Hop Nectar IPA. The brewery will open a little late today, 2 p.m., and will begin selling six-packs for $11.99 each at that time.
Saturday, August 19
Resolute Brewing in Centennial wants to party. So, the brewery is shutting down the parking lot next to its building for a first anniversary bash starting at noon. Resolute will kicks things off an hour earlier, at 11 a.m., though with its first ever (taproom only) bomber release — a Belgian dark strong with peaches. This anniversary ale is limited, but there is no bottle limit; and while you can drink it fresh, Resolute says it was designed to age well, too. For the party, there will be a Big Wheel racing course that allows up to six trikes at a time. There will also be a beer tent overlooking the track — where Resolute will have other special releases on tap — as well as love music, life-sized games a pig roast from Ol' Skool Que. At 5:30 p.m, the party moves indoors with live music from Timber and more beer. Other details are TBA.