Beer Man

Beer Calendar: IPA Day, Food Pairings, Brewery Birthdays and...Pumpkin Beer?

Denver's new-brewery scene continues at a quick boil, and there are several breweries-in-planning ramping up construction for 2015 openings. One of those is Cerebral Brewing, which took possession of its beer-making equipment last week and is building out the taproom now. To get the word out, Cerebral has kicked off an Instagram photo contest throughout August to find out what kinds of events people would like to see at the brewery once it begins pouring (hopefully this fall sometime). "Cards Against Humanity tournaments? Mystery Science Theater on the projector? You tell us," the brewery says. "All you need to do is snap a photo relating to your idea (or of just about anything – as long as it’s awesome), tag us (@CerebralBrewing) and include the #MyBrightIdea hashtag. Then give a brief description of your idea in the caption. Easy peasy. We’re even throwing in some rad prizes to make it worth your while." Prizes include hats, t-shirts, stickers and the like. Get all the rest of the details at

Wednesday, August 5
It's exotic cask month at the Copper Kettle, and the beers have been inspired by "the tropical fruits and beverages we all wish we were enjoying on a beach," the brewery says. Today's is Mojito Blonde, a traditional American blonde ale with mint and lime. The Pavys food truck will be on hand serving gourmet sandwiches.

Crooked Stave will release bottles of Nightmare on Brett aged in Leopold Bros. Whiskey barrels today at 6 p.m. Nightmare on Brett (9.666 percent ABV) is a Dark Sour Ale. This is the sixth version of this beer. Bottles are $12 each.

Thursday, August 6

No, it's not pumpkin season. It's not even close. Still, Dry Dock Brewing will will debut the 2015 version of Imperial Pumpkin Ale at noon today in the Canoe Room at North Dock in Aurora. The beer will be available in bombers and on draft.

Comrade Brewing will tap Honeyman the Sixth at noon today for #IPADay — the national "holiday' celebrating IPAs. This is the sixth in Comrade's Honeyman series, a research-and-development beer with an evolving hop bill, where they "test out new and experimental hop varieties," the brewery says. "Beautiful bright golden straw color with a crisp and dry finish. Hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, Lemondrop and Hallertau Blanc. 5.9 percent ABV."

Spangalang Brewery will tap two new beers today. Sonny is a dry-hopped petite Saison that was aged on Brettanomyces. At 4.5 percent ABV, it is "very refreshing and dry with a moderate Brett character," the brewery says. Spangalang will also tap an amber lager, brewed in the tradition of a German Marzen. "This beer is full bodied and bursting with malt character, and comes in at 5.8 percent ABV."

Black Shirt Brewing will tap a reserved keg of its Blood Orange Double IRA today in honor of IPA Day. Made with heaps of in-season blood oranges, fermented for five months, and dry hopped with Mosaic, the red-colored beer packs a clean, citrus-y, hoppy punch.

Friday, August 7
Bull & Bush will celebrate its 44th anniversary, as it always does, with music from the Samples at 9 p.m. and lots and lots of beer. Tickets are $19.71 (the year the Bull & Bush was founded) and are available at

Jensen Cummings (formerly of TAG, Row 14 and Slotted Spoon) was one of the first chefs in Denver to become both a sommelier and a Cicerone (the beer world's equivalent). Now he's started a new project along with a collective of chefs and brewers called Brewed Food and will hold a series of beer and food pairings at brewery taprooms over August and September, typically pairing one dish with two styles of beers. The first takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. tonight at Crooked Stave. It includes Char Siu Hampshire Pork Belly / Saison yeast won bok, barrel aged hoisin BBQ with Vieille Artisanal Saison and HopSavant Amarillo. It costs $8.

Copper Kettle will tap its Bourbon Barrel Aged Berlinerweisse today at noon. "This tart, refreshing German wheat has been aged in bourbon barrels for a couple months, and has notes vanilla, coconut, and lemon," the brewery says. Tony Guacamole Food Truck will be on hand.

Colorado is famous for a lot of things, but startup companies and craft beer are at the top of the list. Bootstrapped Brews, which takes place today from 5 to 9 p.m. at the McNichols Civic Center Building, combines the two Twenty-one startups will brew 36 beers for this event and donate all the proceeds to charity. "Bootstrapped Brews was created by a group of Denver startups to provide a communal event celebrating ingenuity, great brews and to support charitable causes," the organization says. "This year, Bootstrapped Brews is proud to support Promise Ranch and the amazing work they do to empower Colorado children with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities." To register, go to

Odell Brewing will release its Oktoberfest Marzen Style Lager today in its Fort Collins taproom. "Brewed with biscuity sweet Munich malts and spicy, herbal noble hops," the beer is 6.1 percent ABV and will be available in six-packs and on draft after the weekend.

Saturday, August 8
Denver Beer Co will mark four freakin' years today with a birthday party from 2 to 10 p.m. The Freakin' Four Years event is a block party with a full lineup of music, food trucks and beer. The music includes Omattik, Matt Djsynergy Palmer, Highland Ramblers, Josh Moorehead & The GuestList and Oakhurst. Food from Basic Kneads Pizza, Patti Kims & Little Man Ice Cream.

Avery Brewing will celebrate its 22nd anniversary today with a giant bash from 4 to 8 p.m. Since it's the first anniversary party in the brewery's new digs, Avery founder Adam Avery "is digging deep into his cellar and is pulling out rare and vintage beers to share," the brewery says. Tickets are $40 and include six brews, a commemorative glass and live tunes. Each drink ticket is good for a twelve-ounce pour of beers that are less than 8 percent ABV or an eight-ounce pours of beers 8-12 percent ABV, or a four-ounce pour of beer that are 12 percent or higher or aged in barrels. There will be barbecue available.

Sunday, August 9
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen celebrates its fifth anniversary today with a special five-course meal paired with beer and whiskey from to rising stars in Denver's booze world: TRVE Brewing and A.D. Laws Whiskey House. Euclid Chef Jake Grant prepared the menu with includes 
beef, chicken and duck liver preparations with pickled, grilled and fried onions paired with Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon; grilled peaches paired with TRVE Black Cascade; and Buffalo Tongue French Dip, herbed aioli, shaved tongue, pâte choux paired with TRVE Grey Watcher. The dinner starts at 4 p.m. and costs $75 per person. For reservations and details, go to

Station 26 brings back its monthly Bluegrass Brunch today with beer, live music from Rapidgrass Quintet (winners of the 2015 RockyGrass band contest), donuts from Glazed and Confuzed Doughnuts, and barbecue from Rolling Smoke BBQ. Free admission.

Wednesday, August 12
It's exotic cask month at the Copper Kettle, and the beers have been inspired by "the tropical fruits and beverages we all wish we were enjoying on a beach," the brewery says. Today's is Guava Berlinerweisse, a tart German wheat with guava added. The Pavys food truck will be on hand serving gourmet sandwiches.

Thursday, August 13
Ratio Beerworks, which just opened for business in February, will host its first bottle release today at 6 p.m. The beer, Wild in the Streets, is a farmhouse wheat ale that was fermented with different strains of wild yeast. Brettanomyces Claussenii, Brettanomyces Bruxellensis var. Drie, and French saison house yeast were each added to different California oak red wine barrels. "After five months of aging, the barrels were sampled and blended," the brewery says. "The flavor profile includes a dry farmhouse earthiness with notes of tropical fruit including pineapple and a crisp effervescent finish." This will be the first in Ratio’s artisan bottle series. Wild in the Streets will be available in 750ml bottles at the brewery and in a few liquor stores around Denver. All bottles were hand labeled. The first 75 people who show up to today's release, though, can get a bottle, a limited-edition Wild in the Streets glass, and a pour of the wild ale for $20. Or they can get two bottles, a glass, and a pour of the wild ale for $30. Packages are limited to one per customer. Bottles will be available for purchase for $16 once the packages have sold out. The beer will go on tap to everyone else tomorrow.

Upslope will release the fifth installment of our Lee Hill Series, a Belgian Style Quadrupel Ale, today at 5 p.m. at the Boulder brewery's original Lee Hill taproom. Inspired by traditional monastic brewing traditions, Upslope made the beer with a select strain of Belgian yeast and Belgian candi syrup and then let it age for six months to "mellow and soften its character. With layered notes of flambéd bananas foster, black currants and hints of clove, this fine ale will continue to develop and transform over time." Heirloom will be serving up food truck eats. 19.2 ounce cans will be available for $13 (limit four per person).

Dry Dock Brewing will release its 2015 Signature Series Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout in 22-ounce bombers today at 2 p.m. in the Canoe Room at the brewery's North Dock facility. It will also be on tap and available the following week in liquor stores. The beer "is a robust ale with pronounced roasted bitterness that is balanced by chocolate undertones and a dark fruit backbone," the brewery says. "This velvety textured beer ages in whiskey barrels for eight months, adding vanilla and coconut nuances to its flavor and aroma. This beer was first brewed by Dry Dock Brewing’s Director of Brewery Operations Doug Hyndman for the annual brewers’ Ho Ho Ho Slapdown brewing contest in 2012. It took second place in the contest, and the beer was so popular that it gained a place in Dry Dock’s seasonal tap lineup."

Friday, August 14
Wit’s End Brewing will tap its first-ever barrel-aged beer today at 2 p.m. The Manhattan Project, a Belgian-style Quad aged in Laws Whiskey House barrels was brewed as an auction-item fundraiser for the elementary school where Wit's End owner Scott Witsoe's kids go. The winning bidder, Scott Landers, was able to collaborate with  Witsoe to create the beer. In describing the beer, Wit's End says: "With a nod to the four-grain bourbon recipe that made Laws famous, we used malted barley, wheat, rye, and a touch of flaked maize. After barrel aging, we briefly rested the beer on Luxardo cherries to add just a hint of deep, rich pitted fruit flavor and round out the beer. The Manhattan project rings in at 10.5 percent ABV, with a complex fruity and spicy base, finishing with some soft oak and whiskey notes from the barrels. If a Manhattan cocktail wished it was a beer (and why wouldn’t it?), then this would be the one!"

Saturday, August 15
Cannonball Creek Brewing in Golden and Call to Arms Brewing, which just opened last week, have brewed the second beer in their Peace & Assist collaborative project, this time in conjunction with Beryl's Beer Company in Denver, which will host a tapping party beginning at noon today. The series is a cheeky play on the cease-and-desist letters that have become commonplace in the past few years in the craft-brewing industry concerning beer names and trademarks. In addition to Peace & Assist Collaboration Brew No. 2, Beryl's will tap several other special beers throughout the day. There will also be food trucks, live music and outdoor games.

River North Brewery will release Grand Unified Theory, a new barrel-aged beer, today at 1 p.m. on tap and in bomber bottles to go ($15 each, half-case limit). The beer is River North's oak-aged imperial witbeir, Unified Theory, which was then matured in Boulevardier cocktail barrels – formerly holding whiskey, vermouth, and bitter liqueur.

Thursday, August 20
Freshcraft will celebrate its fifth anniversary tonight with a family-style beer pairing dinner at 7 p.m. Courses are: Rocky Ford cantaloupe gazpacho garnished with crispy prosciutto and fresh dill, paired with Trinity Elektrick Cukumbahh; oysters served with a vanilla mignonette garnished with bourbon black pepper and coffee dusted chicharrones, and paired with Station 26 First Birthday Cottonwood Smoked Imperial Porter aged in A. D. Laws 4 Grain Bourbon Barrels; slow braised bison short ribs smothered in a rich mole and a golden beet pico served with Olathe corn on the cob covered in a lime crema, chili powder, and cotija cheese, and paired with Casey Brewing & Blending Casey Family Preserve Balaton Sour Cherry Palisade Peach Tart; and macaroon crust, cream cheese filled and topped with sweet Palisade peaches and a maple brown butter glaze, and paired with Odell Brombeere Blackberry Gose. Tickets are $65 (tax and gratuity included) and available here.

Friday, August 21
Oskar Blues will hold an official release party at 2 p.m. today in the Tasty Weasel taproom for its brand new beer, IPA, which is made with four kinds of Australian hops. The beer will be a year-round offering, available in cans. There will be live music from Interstate Stash Express, food from Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids "and some good ol' ColoRADo outdoor activities like a rock wall and zipline," the brewery says. 

The Cook Street School of Culinary Arts will host its $99 Bites N' Brews class at Alpine Dog Brewing today from 6 to 9:30 p.m. "The Cook Street chefs believe beer is just as delicious as wine in cooking and they guide students through a menu catered directly to a selection of craft beers. A complete meal with beer is included with each class," the class description reads. Sign up in advance.

POSTPONED: The Post Brewing is releasing two of its flagship beers in canned six-packs this summer — Howdy Ale and Townie Ale — and celebrating with the series of parties this weekend. The first is tonight from 4 to 6 p.m. at Centro Latin Kitchen in Boulder; the second is tomorrow from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Post Brewing in Lafayette; and the third is from 4 to 6 p.m. at Lola Mexican Fish House in Denver on Sunday, August 23. All three parties will feature $1 cans in addition to each restaurant's respective happy hour menu. There will be live music, swag giveaways, free beer samples, and The Post can merchandise for sale. Can release week will also kick off a social media contest in which the winner will receive free six-packs of The Post canned beer every month for a year. Howdy Beer, a 4.5 percent ABV pilsner, and Townie Ale, a 6.2 percent ABV pale.

Saturday, August 22
Snowbank Brewing in Fort Collins will celebrate its first birthday today from noon until 9 p.m. and again tomorrow, from 10 a.m. til 6 p.m. by closing down the parking lot for a day of partying. There will be special beer releases as well as Austin Taco and Mac'N, along with games like cornhole, slow bike races, raffles and giveaways, and live music from One Way Ride. 

Thursday, August 27
The fifth annual Save the Ales beer tasting and fundraising event returns today to the EXDO Event Center. There will be beers from forty Colorado breweries, including the Fir Needle Ale, which was brewed exclusively for Save the Ales by Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards. "Colorado’s water: it’s some of the best in the nation, and it makes some of the best beers in the world. And it’s limited," says the organization Conservation Colorado, which hosts the fundraiser. General admission tickets are $35 (or $30 for Conservation Colorado members), while VIP tickets are $60 (or $50 for members). The event starts at 7 p.m. (although VIPs can get in at 6 p.m.).  All attendees will enjoy unlimited beer tastings, drawings for beer swag, live music, and access to food trucks. All proceeds benefit Conservation Colorado. See more details and buy tickets at

Saturday, September 12
Gravity Brewing in Louisville will celebrate its three-year anniversary today, starting at 1 p.m. There will be live performances by Jazz Ram and Full Belly as well as hourly tappings of barrel-aged and small-batch beers.

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