This year is going to be a head-scratcher for the craft-brewing industry. Not only is 2018 on pace to have the highest number of small brewery openings to date, but it will also see the highest number of closings. That info comes from the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which released a smattering of numbers this week.
As of June 30, 2018, there were 6,655 active breweries in the United States, up from 5,562 at the end of the first half of 2017. An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 breweries are in planning. “New players looking to enter the space should be aware of the constructs of the current landscape, work to differentiate themselves and will need to make quality beer to succeed," BA chief economist Bart Watson says in a statement.
Colorado appears to be mirroring that trend. At least a dozen breweries here have closed or sold already in 2018, but the state is on pace to see more than sixty openings.
Keep reading to see this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, August 1
In honor of Colorado Day, Centennial's Resolute Brewing will tap Spruce Willis, a Märzen featuring hand-picked Colorado spruce tips. "This clean tasting lager, coming in at 5 percent ABV, offers a fruity evergreen character and a little bump in bitterness that’ll keep the palate on its toes," the brewery says.
Thursday, August 2
It's National IPA Day, and several venues are celebrating, including Comrade Brewing, which specializes in the style. As such, the brewery has four limited editions of its flagship Superpower IPA on tap; regular Superpower, dry-hopped Superpower, Passion Fruit Superpower and Grapefruit Superpower. In addition, Comrade is pouring Powder Session IPA, Honeyman IPA, Lupulin Manifesto IPA and Thunder Donkey IIPA.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will re-release cans of Trellis Buster Double IPA as its third limited-edition beer for 2018. The hazy, 8 percent ABV resinous hop bomb was "brewed with more hops than we have ever used in a single beer," Crooked Stave says. "We've tailored the malt profile to deliver a ridiculously smooth and drinkable double IPA, dry-hopped with Azacca, Citra, Motueka and Simcoe." The name was inspired by "the fresh hop fields we visit each year during harvest." In celebration of National IPA Day, Trellis Buster will be available in six-pack cans and on draft in the brewery's tasting room at the Source.
Cheluna Brewing, inside the Stanley Marketplace, will tap the first of five different varieties of its popular Pálida IPA. It will tap a different one each day through August 8 — just one sixtel per day, or a little over fifty pints.
For IPA Day, Resolute Brewing in Centennial is tapping a 2.0 version of Transparently Trendy Hazy IPA. This version features an added hop variety — Citra — and a new ABV of 6 percent.
Locavore Beer Works in Littleton will have all the IPAs on tap today for $3 for IPA Day, including Lilly Hammer West Coast IPA, Oncorhynchus T IPA, Lightnin' Hopkiss Double IPA, Space Corps Hazy Double IPA, 2 Fingers Tropical IPA, and its newest addition, Segment 23 New England IPA.
Upslope Brewing in Boulder will tap a special double-dry-hopped version of its 2018 Experimental IPA (with twice the hops) at both locations. The brewery will also hand out 150 free National IPA Day glasses starting at 4 p.m., so buy a beer and keep the limited-edition glass.
Friday, August 3
Comrade Brewing taps Something Witty, a 6 percent ABV unfiltered Belgian-style witbier. Brewed with Israeli orange peel, freshly ground coriander and a touch of lemongrass, the beer gets a creamy dry finish from flaked rye. It goes on tap at noon.
Broomfield's 4 Noses Brewing continues its Velvet milkshake IPA series with Pineapple Velvet. Creamy and full of tropical hops flavors, it is available on tap and in four-packs of cans.
Saturday, August 4
August is National IPA month, and Factotum Brewhouse is celebrating with an IPA tap takeover — "an IPA Parade if you will — that features the brewery's ten "most popular and varied IPAs from years past, all freshly re-brewed and on tap for one day only. Tickets, $23, are available at eventbrite.com and include a five-ounce pour of all ten beers along with a commemorative glass. Be Food Truck will be on site, while Zero Day Exploits will be playing live music in the afternoon, "And yes," Factotum says, "there is an IPA for every palate. We promise."
New Belgium Brewing is taking its show on the road with the Sour Saison Blending Tour: A Pop-Up Experience, and it stops at Falling Rock Tap House at 7 p.m. "Come check out the traveling bar and blend your own Sour Saison," Falling Rock says. "New Belgium will provide samples of both a saison beer base and a sour beer base (Felix) for you to play with. Once you've blended your beer you may purchase New Belgium's final Sour Saison beer to see how yours compares."
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette is celebrating its five-year anniversary with multiple beer releases. They include: Quadruple Dry Hopped Codename Superfan (in six-packs); Enigma DDH Intergalactic Juice Hunter (in six-packs); Blackberry Sheriff Shane Sherman Solera; and several draft-only new releases.
For its 25th anniversary party, Avery Brewing is "paying tribute to the hundreds of beers that make Avery, Avery," the brewery says. For $40, guests get unlimited two-ounce pours of rare beers, vintage verticals, and high ABV and specialty beers, along with eight-ounce pours of select core beers and a commemorative glass. There will also be live music all day, a kids' zone and food for purchase.
Wednesday, August 8
Peak Tap & Brew will host the grand opening of its second location at 3 p.m. in the former Mu Brewery space, 9735 East Colfax Avenue, in the Aurora arts district. The first Aurora location of this brewpub started life without a brewery, running for more than two years as a taproom before adding brewing equipment. Demand was so high that the owners decided to open a second spot with a larger brewing capacity just to keep up. The Mu space, with its seven-barrel brewhouse, provides that. There will be ten beers on tap for the opening along with a small wine, cider and soda selection. A limited food menu includes Rocky Mountain Pizza and Baker Street pretzels, though there may be a food truck, too.
Thursday, August 9
Renegade Brewing's newest sixteen-ounce can release is Chardonnay Barrel Aged Sister Cities Saison, which was originally a collaboration with Brasserie du Baril that was designed to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Sister Cities relationship between Denver and the city of Brest, France. Since the beer was "insanely popular the last time we had it on tap, we have decided to do a short run of cans," Renegade says. There will only be forty cans available for $8 each.
"Save water – drink beer!" That's the rallying cry for Save the Ales, a beer festival hosted by the nonprofit Conservation Colorado with the goal of raising money to "protect, conserve, and ensure a future with plenty of clean water for all Coloradans." Running from 6 to 10 p.m. at Mile High Station, Save the Ales features beers from a variety of local breweries, in addition to a food truck and a photo booth. Tickets, $35, and more information are available at eventbrite.com.
Friday, August 10
Cerebral Brewing hosts a triple can release of three beers starting at noon. The first is its flagship Rare Trait IPA, a 6.4 percent ABV New England-style IPA with "powerful notes of tangerine, mango, and candied peach with restrained bitterness." The second is Bird of Paradise Smoothie-Style Sour, which was :soured with Lactobacillus and fermented with a clean American strain, then conditioned on lactose, guava, pineapple and strawberry." The third is beer is Action Potential, a 6.2 percent ABV IPA brewed with "a plethora of oats and hopped exclusively with a blend of Citra and Galaxy." All three will be on tap as well.
Saturday, August 11
Woods Boss Brewing hosts Community, Craft Beer, Music, a block party that promotes and supports local businesses, celebrates the community and commemorates the brewery's one-year anniversary. The party takes place on California Street, between 22nd and Park avenues, which will be closed to traffic and transformed into a beer garden. There will be various special beer tappings throughout the day, including "some from the year-long archives, a variety of small batches from the Sapling Series and some barrel aged releases," Woods Boss says. In addition, there will be food and live music.
Join Bierstadt Lagerhaus for its second anniversary from 2 to 10 p.m. as the owners "celebrate the centuries-long tradition of drinking large quantities of pale lager." There will be a fasser of Kellerbier, $9 liters of Helles and possibly some other tappings. In addition, there will be giant yard games, live music and drinking in the parking lot. The first 24 people in line will get an hourlong cellar tasting with brewers Bill Eye and Ashleigh Carter from 1 to 2 p.m. And speaking of Bill, it's also his birthday, so raise a glass while you're there.
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Denver Beer Co. marks its seventh anniversary with a birthday party at its original location on Platte Street starting at 11 a.m. The street next to the brewery will be closed to make way for beer, food trucks, live music, games, a photo booth and more. Event entrance is free.
Starting at noon, River North Brewery will release bottles of its Mr. Sandman Imperial Stout aged in Caribbean dark rum casks. "Rum Barrel Mr. Sandman is dry and robust, yet finishes with a hint of sweet molasses and lingering oak notes," the brewery says. The beer will also be on tap.
Hops in the Hangar returns to the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum from 5 to 9 p.m. for a beer festival featuring dozens of Colorado breweries. The fest also includes food, games, activities, music and access to aircraft cockpits. For tickets, $45, go to the event's Facebook page.
Since "fall is just around the corner," Loveland's Grimm Brothers Brewhouse is releasing The Farmer’s Daughter, an Oktoberfest marzen, in its taproom and in cans. "Using various European specialty malts, we created an elegant, complex, rich, malt-forward beer, lightly hopped for balance and lagered for a clean finish," the brewery says. "The nose is full of malty complexity with notes of toasted bread, caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate. The aromatics transition to the taste buds as the same complexity intermingles on the tongue with a light-medium body, creamy mouthfeel, and a crisp, dry finish."