Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Hit Epic, Avery and the Denver Flea For Beery Goodness

Beer should be featured more often under Colorado's Capitol dome, but leaders of the House of Representatives got to hold up the next best thing last week when they were officially presented with the Hop the Vote trophy by the Colorado Brewers Guild. Last fall, a few members of the House and a few members of the Senate headed to separate local breweries, where they each made a beer. The beers — called Representative Saison and Upper Chamber — were then tapped at the Great American Beer Festival in October, where drinkers voted for their favorite. The House won by a narrow margin. 

Wednesday, April 15
Crooked Stave will release Petite Sour Boysenberry at its taproom today. "Another of the ever-growing Petite Sour series, Boysenberry was primary fermented in oak with the brewery’s mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria, and was dosed with the equivalent of over a pound of fruit, leaving a beer with a deep violet color and vibrant boysenberry characteristics," the brewery says.

Copper Kettle is celebrating Hoppy Easter month with a series of Wednesday firkins. Today's is an English Strong Ale version of Sombremesa with a higher ABV and cherry flavors. Gusto's Kitchen will be serving food.

Thursday, April 16
Utah's Wasatch Brewery will celebrate the release of its bottled Polygamy Nitro Porter today with a party from 6 to 8 p.m. at World of Beer in LoDo. Wasatch is only the second U.S. craft brewer to figure out how to bottle a nitro beer; Left Hand became the first three years ago with Milk Stout Nitro. Wasatch's 6 percent ABV brew is a version of its award-winning Polygamy Porter. There will be nitro-pouring demonstrations, free Polygamy Nitro Porter tastings, interaction with award-winning brewmaster Jon Lee, giveaways and prizes.

Friday, April 17
Dry Dock Brewing's original south location will tap a firkin today at 3 p.m. as part of its weekly cask program. The beer is S-Words, Dry Dock's Swordfish Extra Pale Ale with added coriander and lime.

The Denver Flea — a maker-fest featuring more than one hundred vendors — returns for the season today and tomorrow at the Bindery on Blake, and this time the event will feature a special beer that the organizers of the Flea brewed with New Belgium. Fleak Out! Wild Ale is a limited-edition wild ale that will only be available at Denver Flea events. Brewed on New Belgium's small pilot system, the beer was fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, which will evolve over time so that the beer tastes different at each Flea party. New Belgium, which will be the only brewery serving, will also pour Slow Ride Session IPA in cans, along with Skinny Dip in bottles; Skinny Dip is no longer available on a regular basis from New Belgium. Tonight's Denver Flea kickoff party runs from 6 to 10 p.m.; tickets are $25 and include bottomless adult beverages, live music and Room & Board surprise giveaways. Tomorrow's Spring Flea is free and runs from noon to 7 p.m.; there will be food and beer available to buy, as well as plenty of shopping.

Sunday, April 19
Avery Brewing will host a release party and bottle sale of No. 26 in its Barrel-Aged Series today at the new location in Gunbarrel. Tectum et Elix is a 5.5 percent ABV sour beer, but is "one of the only wild/sour beers we've made that does not use Drie, our house Brett strain," Avery says. "Instead, we used multiple Brett & Sacch strains for primary fermentation, which created a much funkier beer that's earthy, rustic, dirty, and delicious! Soured with our house pediococcus and aged for 9 months in fresh Cabernet Sauvignon barrels."

Monday, April 20

Artist Eric Matelski and Epic Brewing will host a special food pairing today from noon to 10 p.m. — and it's no coincidence that the event takes place today, on 4/20.  The Epic Munchies Pairing (tickets are $10) is a little nontraditional in that it focuses on junk food. Examples of pairings include Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with Epic's Brainless Belgian-Style Golden Ale; Chex Mix with Smoked & Oaked, a smoked cherry wood beer; Sour Patch Kids with Escape to Colorado, a pale ale; and Oatmeal Creme Pies with Epic Imperial Stout.

Freshcraft is busting some Firestone Walker goodies out of the cellar today at 7 p.m., including 2014 Double DBA, 2014 Sucaba, Firestone 18 and 2015 Parabola. Brewery reps will be on hand with free giveaways.

Wednesday, April 22
Crooked Stave will release Sin Frontera today at 6 p.m. at its taproom at the Source. The beer was a collaboration between Crooked Stave, Jester King Brewery in Austin, and Brasserie Trois Dames in Switzerland. The idea was to brew an identical recipe at each location and to have each brewery use its own house-mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria, and then to age the beer in the same style of Sherry casks. The end result should showcase the different nuances in yeast cultures and organisms. The two U.S. breweries debuted their beers in Portland in early April during the Craft Brewers Conference. Crooked Stave's will tap tonight. 

Thursday, April 23
Copper Kettle will kick off its four-day-long four-year anniversary today with the tapping of several firkins that customers voted for, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Watermelon Helles and 12 Hops IPA. 5280 Sliders will be selling burgers at 2 p.m., and the Lovely In-Betweens will fill the patio with tunes from 6 to 9 p.m.

Upslope Brewing will take over the taps at Colorado Plus Brewpub today. Beers include Craft Lager, Belgian Style Pale Ale, North English Brown Ale, Strawberry Mint IPA, and Tequila Barrel Aged Belgian Dark Strong Ale.

Ration Beerworks will take over the taps at Local 46 today — the brand new brewery's first tap takeover — bringing its various flagship beers. There will be karaoke and giveaways all night.

Friday, April 24
Copper Kettle will continue its four-day anniversary celebration today with the Staff Recipe Showdown, for which all nine brewery employees have created and brewed their own beers, such as a Chardonnay barrel-aged Key Lime Saison, Blood Orange Gose and Black Berlinerweisse. Customers get to sample and decide on their top pick. Steuben’s Food Service will be on hand from 4 to 10 p.m. and the the Acoustic Mining Company will play in the tasting room from 6 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, April 25
Comrade Brewing will celebrate its first anniversary today, starting at 11 a.m., by pouring twenty different beers, including saved kegs of Eisenhower American Strong Golden, Leroy American Brown, Red Dawn American Red and Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout. The brewery will also tap two new barrel-aged beers: Whiskey Barrel Aged Man Oar-Board Scotch Ale and Bourbon Barrel Aged Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout. Growler fills will be available for all the beers. Basic Kneads Pizza will be on hand.

Denver Beer Co will host an Oyster & Stout Festival today from 1 to 5 p.m. that features a beer brewed in collaboration with Seattle Fish Co. and the Blue Island Oyster Company. The oyster stout (yes, it is a real style), was made with live Naked Cowboy oysters from Blue Island and will be paired with oysters from both coasts. "In attendance will be oyster farmers from the east coast and the west coast as well as the namesake of the oysters we brewed with, the Naked Cowboy himself," Denver Beer Co says. It costs $25 for two beers and a dozen oysters (and $15 for an additional dozen oysters). There will be a shucking competition at 3 p.m. Get info at

Copper Kettle will continue its four-day birthday party today with a special, one-day-only anniversary beer. Macallan 18 Russian Imperial Stout was brewed in 2013 and aged for eighteen months in a Macallan Scotch barrel the company received straight from Scotland. The Cluck Truck and Kitsune: Eat Well will be selling food from noon to 10 p.m. Groundscore plays on the patio from 6 to 9 p.m.

Sunday, April 26
Avery Brewing will host a release party and bottle sale for No. 27 in its Barrel-Aged Series today, starting at 11 a.m. Insula multos Collibus is a 9.7 percent ABV sour beer aged in bourbon barrels. The brewery calls it an ode to the Manhattan cocktail and describes the beer thusly: "We used our house Brett (Drie) for secondary fermentation and our house pediococcus and lactobacillus for souring to produce the cleanest sour beer we could to give the barrels center stage! The result was a dark red, strong sour beer that we aged in fresh Bourbon barrels for 9 months and fermented with cherries. The Bourbon barrels infused tons of vanilla and coconut notes; the mild cherry flavor balances out the hint of astringency from the charred oak barrels; the lactic acid is dominant—there's almost no acetic acid, so it doesn't smell sour, just delightful aromas of vanilla and oak."

Copper Kettle closes out its four-day birthday celebration today by tapping Framboise Sour Ale, which was aged for 22 months in wine barrels with a blend of souring yeast and bacteria along with local raspberries. The Biscuit Bus will be there at noon.

Wednesday, April 29
Crooked Stave will release Petite Sour Tart Cherry and St. Bretta Late Spring today at 6 p.m. in its taproom. Tart Cherry is the fourth varietal in Crooked Stave’s Petite Sour series. "This 5.5 percent ABV beer pours a rich red, with a snap of tartness from the addition of the equivalent of over a pound per gallon of sour cherries, after being primary fermented in oak with Crooked Stave’s mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria," the brewery says. "St. Bretta Late Spring, the newest edition to Crooked Stave’s seasonal line of Brettanomyces Citrus Wildbier, showcases Tango Mandarin citrus, a slightly sweet varietal with vibrant aromas. Crooked Stave tweaked the recipe slightly for this batch of St. Bretta, adding lemongrass and citrus zest, in addition to the Tango Mandarin juice."

Friday, May 1
Every year since 2012, Breckenridge Brewery has made a special beer for Denver Comic Con (May 23-25), a beer that is served at the annual event and at various bars around town. This year's beer is called Hulk’s Mash and was named, as always, via a social media contest; the lucky namer was Jonathan Cooper. The brew, a pale ale made with mango puree and Mosaic hops, will debut on May 1 at the 1up on East Colfax. Leading up to and during Comic Con, Hulk’s Mash can be found at Breckenridge Colorado Craft, Hard Rock Café, Hyatt Regency, Marlowe’s, Paramount Café, Pizza Republica, Tarantula Billiards, The 1up (Colfax and LoDo locations), Tilted Kilt and World of Beer.

Sunday, May 3
Avery Brewing will host a release party and bottle sale today for No. 28 in its Barrel-Aged Series. Fortuna is an 8.1 percent ABV beer aged in Suerte tequila barrels for nine months. Avery then added fresh lime and Maldon salt; it calls the beer "sour, salty and citric awesomeness."

Saturday, May 16
Upslope Brewing will host its second annual Upslope Get Down today from 1 to 11 p.m. at its larger Flatiron Park location. The event is a free music festival with eight bands on two stages, and also features plenty of beer and food in the back parking lot. 

A Berliner Weisse Smackdown will take place today at the newly opened Two Penguins Tap & Grill in Centennial. The showdown takes place between the Elk Mountain and Dry Dock breweries, which will each bring their best Berliner Weisse to the table. Two Penguins will be serving four-ounce blind tasters of each brew, $6 for both, and asking customers to rate them.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes