After months of research and a few delays, Left Hand Brewing in Longmont is finally releasing Nitro Milk Stout in a can — and calling it "the first ever U.S. production run of a U.S. made nitro widget can." Several breweries in the United Kingdom, like Guinness, have been selling cans with widgets for years; the widgets are used to release nitrogen gas when the beer is poured, giving a smooth, draft-beer effect with cascading bubbles.
The new cans should be available in Colorado this month and in the rest of Left Hand's 41-state distribution area this fall. Left Hand is the fourth-largest craft brewery in Colorado, behind New Belgium, Oskar Blues and Odell.
Left Hand first released Nitro Milk Stout in a bottle in 2011, becoming the first craft brewer in the United States to offer a beer that was infused with nitrogen; the bottles don't use widgets. The brewery recommends that both the bottles and the cans be poured into a glass, but adds that "cans bring greater drinking versatility."
“We started canning some of our core and seasonal brands last year, but engineering our canning line to produce nitro with the highest quality and finding the right widget to produce the perfect draft-like or 'hard pour' bottle experience took some time," Left Hand spokeswoman Sarah Watson said in a statement. "So, we are very pleased to now offer beer drinkers, without a stout glass in reach, the ultimate nitro experience with the versatility of a widget can and our award-winning Milk Stout recipe."
Ball Corporation, which makes the cans, had previously worked with U.S. craft brewers to supply widget cans that were manufactured overseas. But the Left Hand model is the first to be produced since Ball installed a "widget line" in the United States. "The U.S. widget by Ball is different than the widget used by the global brand Diageo, parent company of Guinness, that has a ball-shaped device floating in the liquid which releases nitrogen upon opening," Left Hand explains. "This U.S. widget looks like a small top hat that is adhered to the bottom of the can which provides a consistent nitrogen release from the bottom up."
Keep reading for the best local craft-beer events and tappings through August 19.
Wednesday, July 26
To celebrate the conclusion of Ice Cream Pairing Month, Copper Kettle Brewing, 1338 South Valentia Street, is introducing a special edition of its milk stout. Peanut Butter Milk Stout will be paired with Sweet Action's Crunchy Peanut Butter Ice Cream. As always, the brewery will also have vanilla and chocolate ice cream to mix with its craft sodas for kids.
Strange Craft Beer Company, 1330 Zuni Street, taps two new beers at 3 p.m. Upside Brown is a brown IPA brewed with Denali hops and spiced with vanilla "to recreate a pineapple upside-down cake," the brewery says. Das Fiesta is a German kolsch brewed with lime zest and fresh cilantro.
Brewery Rickoli in Wheat Ridge will toast a five-year partnership with Boston Beer, by far the country’s largest craft brewery, when the maker of Sam Adams starts selling twelve-packs of collaboration beers from five small breweries nationwide, including Rickoli's Oats McGoats Stout. To celebrate, Rickoli will host a party at 6 p.m. with beer, food, music and Boston Beer reps at the taproom at 4335 Wadsworth Boulevard. Brewery owner Rick Abitbol will tap the original Oats McGoats as well as a version with vanilla and one with chile peppers. Tickets to the event are available at eventbrite.com. The Brewing the American Dream Collaboration Pack should hit store shelves in Denver this month.
Thursday, July 27
Upslope Brewing adds another installment to its Lee Hill Series, from 5 to 9 p.m. at its original Lee Hill taproom, 1501 Lee Hill Road in Boulder. 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
Join Fermaentra Brewing, 1715 East Evans Avenue, for a triple tapping starting at noon. The first is Machination, a dry-hopped American strong ale. "This beer is back-boned by a large grain bill and loaded with hop flavors of grapefruit, papayas, and juniper berries. A balanced sweetness begins on the palate followed by citrus bitterness, ending smooth and dry," the brewery says. The second is Chocolate Genie, an oak-aged blueberry milk stout that Fermaentra made in collaboration with First Draft Taproom & Kitchen for its second anniversary. The beer is "an interpretation of the classic milk stout, brewed with Genie barley from local maltster Root Shoot Malting, oats, lactose sugar, local blueberries and whiskey oak staves." The third is Pau Hana POG Belgian Wheat, "a Belgian wheat beer base that we loaded with passion fruit, blood orange, and pink guava for a lush tropical aroma and flavor reminiscent of the classic Hawaiian POG drink." Tacos With Altitude will be outside for dinner.
Factotum Brewhouse, 3845 Lipan Street, taps Habanero Pineapple Small Batch IPA at 3 p.m. "Sweet, refreshing pineapple" is followed by "the warmth of a summer ripened habanero," the brewery says. Only one keg was made, so the beer is likely to disappear quickly.
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 1695 Platte Street location, where treats from Little Man Ice Cream and Rocky Mountain Soda Company will be scooped and poured. 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.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is releasing Surette Reserva Palisade Peach at 2 p.m. at its taproom at the Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard. "This is a provision sour ale aged in oak barrels with Palisade peaches and second-use cherry skins," the brewery says. It's available on draft and in 750-ml corked-and-caged bottles for $28.
Colorado Plus Brewpub, 6995 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, will host a tap takeover by the six beers, including one from Colorado Plus, that were produced for the latest Makin' Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer charitable project. All six beers were made using the same strain of Norwegian farmhouse yeast but all came out very different from one another. Here are the breweries involved this time and some of the additional ingredients they used: Grandma's House, juniper and green cardamom; Goldspot Brewing, dry-hopped with Eldo and Azacca; Black Sky Brewery, Bergamot fruit; Baere Brewing, juniper and Blanc and Saaz hops; Colorado Plus, juniper and honey; Factotum Brewhouse, Mandarina hops and blood-orange purée. Colorado Plus will give an additional $100 to the charity partnered with the brewery whose keg kicks first.
Boulder's West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street, will wrap up its month-long Jul-IPA fest with the Ultimate IPA Party on the rooftop from noon to 3 p.m., with 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 intended to guarantee access to tickets, although there have been problems with this in previous years. The public sale begins Wednesday, August 2, at the same time. The GABF takes place October 5-7.
Comrade Brewing taps Don't Puck It Up, a 4.3 percent Gose, at 3 p.m. This traditional German-style sour wheat beer features "complex aromas and acidic flavors contributed by a lactic fermentation and Hersbrucker hops," Comrade says. "A lemon citrus-like quality is balanced by the mineral-mouthfeel from sea salt harvested from the coast of Sicily, for a pop of tartness for an incredibly refreshing summer beer."
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.
Join Goed Zuur, 2801 Welton Street, at 5 p.m. for some rare beer tappings and food offerings. The first beer is Casey Brewing & Blending's The Cut Danube Cherry. The Cut is Casey's Oak Theory — "their take on classic sour beers from Belgium in the Senne Valley with raw wheat, aged hops, and aged in oak for nine to twelve months" — with whole Colorado cherries at more than two pounds per gallon; these are of the Danube cherry variety, which offer a sweet-tart flavor, the restaurant says. The second is Firestone Walker Brewing Company SLOambic, which is the California brewery's Sour Opal (an American "Gueuze" aged for two years), with blackberries from near San Luis Obispo.
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 it wouldn't package any "clean" (non-wild or -sour) beers, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will host a can release this afternoon to celebrate the release of three non-wild 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 Brettanomyces yeast.
Bierstadt Lagerhaus will tap its Vienna Lager, a seasonal beer, which it brewed to time with the Velorama Bike Race, which takes place August 11-13. There will be live music starting at 5 p.m. and Rackhouse Pub specials.
Locavore Beer Works, 5950 South Platte Canyon Road in Littleton, celebrates IPA Day by tapping 2 Fingers Tropical IPA along with an all new collaboration with First Draft Taproom & Kitchen called the Hank Dazy IPA.
Friday, August 4
Factotum Brewhouse will tap its very first sour beer, Cassis Sour, at 3 p.m. Made with cassis (black current) berries, the beer melds sweet and sour flavors. There is only one keg, so get there fast.
Come taste the sunshine when Freshcraft taps a special one-off firkin of Station 26 Brewing's Arnold Palmer at 5:30 p.m.. It's the brewery's Lemondrop Wheat infused with tea.
Odd13 in Lafayette, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary all week, will roll out two fresh IPAs available in cans and on draft. The first is Alpha Twins Juicy DIPA, brewed 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 Highland Masonic 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.
Comrade Brewing taps An Imperial Christmas at noon. This is the brewery's Pro-Am beer for the Great American Beer Festival, meaning it was brewed with a homebrewer using that person's previously award-winning recipe. Comrade teamed up with Marc Svitak, gold medal winner at the 2017 Big Beer, Belgians and Barleywines Festival in Breckenridge, to make An Imperial Christmas. At 10 percent ABV, it is brewed with honey malt, Patagonian Crystal 70, Victory and a touch of wheat, for a rich malty base. They then added Valencia orange peel, Colorado wildflower honey, grains of paradise, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
De Steeg Brewing taps several small-batch barrel-aged beers at 2 p.m. as part of its Summer Barrel Release Party. Samples are $2 each, and full pours are available at menu price.
River North Brewery will tap Single Cask Quandary: Kentucky Bourbon at noon. This is the brewery's Belgian-style quadrupel aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. There will only be a very small amount on draft and an even smaller amount — about five cases worth — for sale in bottles. One per person; $12.
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 Avery's core beers, food from the restaurant and "family fun." Live music starts with the Hop Pickers from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.; 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 à la carte 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 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.
Monday, August 7
The Post Brewing in Lafayette brings its restaurant friends and family together at 6 p.m. "to cook, eat, drink, and play" at the sixth annual Jack’s Benevolent Bash, a fundraiser that is pricey, but well worth it. For the dinner, guest chefs have collaborated on a six-course menu with hand-picked beers from The Post, Avery Brewing and Bru Handbuilt Ales, all served in The Post’s scenic backyard and to the tunes of Adam Bodine. This year’s featured chefs and brewers include: Brett Smith, Shelley Katz and Jimmy Giesler, of The Post; Hosea Rosenberg, of Blackbelly Market; Ian Clark, of Bru; and Chris Blackwood, from Avery.Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased in person at The Post or over the phone at 303-596-2033. All proceeds benefit The Autism Society of Boulder County and The Jack Ferrigno Send a Kid to Camp Grant. Brett Smith, Chef / Owner of The Post, created the Jack Ferrigno Send a Kid to Camp Grant in 2012 "in honor of his dear friend John Ferrigno's son Jack, who had autism and passed away due to a seizure disorder when he was only eight years old," the Post says. "Over the last five years they have raised over $100,000 to send over 200 developmentally challenged kids to fun, confidence-building summer camps."
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 and a new purpose: proceeds will benefit the CU South Denver Community Education Fund. There will be about twenty breweries there — both craft and mega-brewers — along with a variety of food, from McDonald's as well as local restaurants. In addition, there will be live music and lawn games. Tickets range from $50 to $100. Get them on the Education on Tap website.
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.
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 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 say. This year's partner for Peace & Assist IV is Cellar West Artisan Ales, which opened last December 1001 Lee Hill Drive #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
Bluegrass Brunch returns to Station 26 Brewing at 11 a.m. with beers, barbecue from Turn-In BBQ, doughnuts from Glazed and Confuzed music from Ran Off The Rooster.
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.
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Saturday, August 19
Join Our Mutual Friend Brewing for the bottle release of Saison Trystero at 2 p.m. "Fermented with our house yeast and bottle-conditioned for two months, this Provision Saison has a complex yet dry malt profile, balanced hop bitterness, and wonderful citrusy aroma," OMF says. "We've designed it to be a reliable mainstay at the dinner table, on the porch with friends, or anything you can think of, for that matter." Each 750-ml corked-and-caged bottle is $11, and the first fifty customers get a free OMF corkscrew/bottle opener.
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 music, life-sized games, and 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.
The third annual Wheat Ridge Brewfest and BBQ Bash runs from 2 to 8 p.m. behind the Colorado Plus Brewpub on 38th Avenue. There will be live music, plenty of pork and beer from Strange Craft, Green Mountain Beer Company, Brewery Rickoli, Black Bottle Brewery, Hogshead Brewery, Odyssey Beerwerks, Three Barrel Brewing, Lone Tree Brewing, 14er Brewing, Horse & Dragon, WestFax, Tivoli and more. It costs $2 per token to get a beer. Food is $10.