Beer Man

Beer calendar: It's Stout Month at Vine Street, and it's 5:00 at Renegade Brewing

Stout Month is in full effect right now at the Vine Street Pub in Denver, as well as the Mountain Sun and Southern Sun pubs in Boulder. The twentieth annual version of this awesome display of the dark arts features many of the stouts that Mountain Sun has become famous for, along with new brews, like Release the Kraken, a recipe provided by the winner of the brewery's Stout Month homebrew competition. There is also a special focus on barrel-aged stouts this year.

You can find more Stout Month info and dates on the next page, along with all of this week's craft-beer happenings.

Wednesday, February 6

Copper Kettle taps a firkin of Dark Belgian Strong Ale aged with crystalized sugar today as part of its weekly cask program. Hours are 3 to 9 p.m.

Star Bar continues its month-long Drink the Gauntlet contest with thirty Avery Brewing beers on tap over the 28 days of February. If you can drink them all -- and record this feat on a Gauntlet scorecard that you get at the bar -- by the end of February, you get to go on a private tour of the Boulder brewery, with transportation to and from Star Bar; the date is TBD, but it will be on the same day that Avery releases its next Barrel Series beer. Star Bar will have all five of Avery's core beers -- IPA, White Rascal, Joe's Pilsner, Ellie's Brown Ale and Out of Bounds Stout -- on every week, along with at least one beer from the Dictator series, the Demon series and the Holy Trinity series. In addition, at some point during the month you'll be able to find Avery taproom specialties, like Lebenweizen, Lilikoi Kepolo, 3point5 Pale Ale, Bolder Weiss and Tweak, along with some kegs of some Barrel Series brews that Star Bar has stashed away.

Thursday, February 7

Renegade Brewing released two new beers in cans in January: 5:00 Afternoon Ale, in 16-ounce cans, and Elevation Triple IPA, in 12-ounce cans. The brewery will fete both beers with a party from 6 to 10 p.m. tonight in the taproom with deals on cans, drafts "and happiness."

Friday, February 8

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will tap a new beer, Weizenbock, tonight at 7 p.m. "It is the first special release batch by our assistant brewer Jan, and it is delicious," the brewery says. "Come get a pour and high-five him." Wafflegänger will be there too.

As part of its twentieth annual Stout Month, the three Mountain Sun pubs (Vine Street in Denver and the Mountain Sun and Southern Sun in Boulder) will tap Brett Stoudt American/Wild Stout, a 6.5 percent ABV beer that was designed by the company's warehouse manager, Brett Stoudt (yes, that is his real name). "Our Walkabout Stout was racked to a second-use Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrel with the addition of cherry juice and two different strains of Brettanomyces Wild Yeast," the brewery says. "The resulting stout is noticeably tart with an underlying earthy character, but retains the roast malt character of a traditional stout."

Saturday, February 9

Odell Brewing will release its first Cellar Series beer of the year today in its Fort Collins taproom. Amuste is an imperial porter brewed with grape must and aged in red wine barrels; it is the product of a two-year project lead by the brewery's quality-control manager, Eli Kolodny. The must comes from Tempranillo grapes grown on the Western Slope of Colorado. The release party will feature live music and food trucks. Amuste will also be available in 750 ml cork-and-cage bottles in liquor stores.

The Copper Kettle will re-release its Smoked Porter with a party at 6 p.m. today featuring live music from the Conquistadors of Nothing. The beer is described as "a smooth, slightly sweet porter with mildly smoked flavor."

Tuesday, February 12

As part of its twentieth annual Stout Month, the three Mountain Sun pubs (Vine Street in Denver and the Mountain Sun and Southern Sun in Boulder) will tap Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatimus Prime, a 10 percent ABV version of the brewery's Oatimus Prime Imperial Oatmeal Stout that was aged for several months in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels.

For Fat Tuesday, the Yak & Yeti will tap its Yakety Yak: Don't Talk Bock today at 4 p.m.; the beer will blessed by an ordained minister at 5 p.m.

Strange Brewing and Chef Michael Long of Chef & Brew, along with Beer Craving, will host a six-course Mardi Gras beer-pairing dinner, Creole Food and Killer Beer, today at 6 p.m. at the brewery, which will tap a special brew, Krewe Beer, that it made for the occasion. Tickets are $49 per person, including tax and tip, and can be purchased at Strange or at

For more craft beer events later in February, turn the page. Wednesday, February 13

For this week's One-Barrel Wednesday, Strange Brewing will tap a keg of Belgian Chocolate Raspberry Love Stout, a special beer brewed with Colorado Craft Beer Radio's John Turk and his wife, Stacy Turk. Kegs of this Valentine's Day beer will also be available at Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery for their Stout Month.

The Yak & Yeti will break out its 5.2 percent ABV Cherry Porter today at 4 p.m. The beers uses thirteen pounds of Montgomery cherries in just one five-gallon keg.

Lucky Pie LoDo will feature some of Avery Brewing's draft-only beers as part of its Wednesday night showcase, which starts today at 4 p.m. The bers include Uberschwein, Bolder Weisse, Double Dry-Hopped New World Porter and Tweak.

Thursday, February 14

Wit's End Brewing will lure lovers with its 2nd Annual Valentine's Day Beer and Chocolate Pairing tonight from 4 to 9 p.m. (or whenever the chocolate runs out). An "alternative to the institutionalized dinners and...overpriced roses," Wit's End will bring back some of the pairings from last year and add some new ones. There will also be a special sappy music playlist (think Atlantic Starr meets Journey meets The Cure). Singles, couples and others welcome.

The Yak & Yeti gets red hot again this year with its Red Hots Wheat, a 4.8 percent ABV beer -- colored pink -- that uses real candy Red Hots and makes the beer taste like Dentyne gum. It's Valentine's Day, so make reservations early.

In honor of Valentine's Day, Great Divide will be pouring what it calls "an extremely rare, Jim Beam bourbon barrel-aged version of our Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti." The beer will only be available in the tap room for a short time.

The Copper Kettle Brewing Company will host a five-course beer, cheese and chocolate pairing for Valentine's Day from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today. Tickets to the event, taking place in the brewery's private event room next door, are $25 per person (no kids, please). Three artisan cheeses will be provided by Truffle Cheese Shop, while two kinds of chocolate will come from a local chocolatier. The beers will include a few that aren't yet available to the public, as well as some aged and specialty brews. Get tickets by e-mailing [email protected]

Denver Beer Co will host a Valentine's Day Beer Dinner tonight with Mikes2Kitchen from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the brewery's new Barrel Room. Tickets for the three-course, four-beer dinner are $75. Each couple gets a bomber of Denver Beer Co's Cabernet Barrel Aged Belgian Cherry Chocolate Stout to take home.

Friday, February 15

Zak Thomas, the bar manager for Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse in LoDo, go to go to Sierra Nevada Brewing's California Beer Camp recently, and today at 6 p.m., he'll be pouring the beer he helped make there: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp #85, AlteRed. Lucky Pie will also be tapping Sierrandipity and Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb.

Saturday, February 16

River North Brewery will celebrate its one-year anniversary starting at 1 p.m. today by tapping a beer with a higher gravity than any that owner Matt Hess has yet concocted: a 12.5 percent ABV imperial stout. River North will also open its barrel garden to the public today. Since opening on February 18, 2012, River North has released nine "mainline" ales, along with seven barrel-aged versions of those brews. It has also released weekly "Wayward" beers, which are experimental five-gallon batches of existing recipes that have been slightly altered to allow customers "to taste how subtle changes in yeast or hops can add entirely new flavor profiles to a brew," Hess says. River North produced 295 barrels in 2012, a number expected to triple this year.

Saturday, February 23

Denver Beer Co will host its second annual Beer, Bacon & Coffee Fest today from 9 a.m to noon at the brewery and in the new Barrel Room next door. Tickets cost $30 and include a breakfast burrito from Chile Billy, coffee from Coda Coffee, all-you-can-eat bacon from chef Justin Brunson's new Denver Bacon Co., and a souvenir mug to fill with all the "breakfast inspired" brews you can drink from Denver Beer Co.

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