Dry Dock Brewing is one of the first -- if not the first -- brewery to obtain special permission from the federal government to put the United States flag on a beer label. The beer itself, Colorado Freedom Memorial Blonde, was brewed to honor Aurora's Colorado Freedom Memorial, in Springhill Community Park, which commemorates the 6,000 Colorado soldiers killed in action since 1876. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which approves alcohol labels, doesn't permit the flag to be used, but it made an exception at the request of the memorial's founders, according to the brewery. The 5.5 percent ABV beer, made with Challenger hops, is available on tap at Dry Dock and will be sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles at liquor stores. One dollar from every bomber sold will be donated to the Colorado Freedom Memorial Fund.
Turn the page for all of this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, May 7
River North Brewery will tap one of the few remaining kegs of its Anniversary Ale #2 today at 3 p.m. as part of its weekly Wayard Wednesday series (the only other keg is reserved for next year's anniversary party). There are still some bottles available.
May is fruit beer cask month at the Copper Kettle, which will be featuring firkins of beers aged with fruit every Wednesday. Today's is Copper Hopper IPA with blood oranges. The Ckrepes food truck will be on hand a 3 p.m.
Station 26 will tap a Belgian tripel today.
Thursday, May 8
Denver Bicycle Cafe will tap a collaboration firkin from Epic Brewing that used coffee from Huckleberry Roasters. Meet the brewers and the coffee roasters.
Station 26 Brewing will tap a wheat beer today made with Mosaic hops. It will also tap a firkin of its double IPA spiked with Kaffir lime leaves.
Friday, May 9
Slue Foot Sue's Shindig is a beer fest and art show hosted by Imbibe Denver and Denver Arts & Venues. Created as a way to showcase The New West: Contemporary Perspectives of the Rocky Mountain Region, an exhibit on display inside the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park, the Shindig also features a Rockmount Ranch Wear trunk show. Participating breweries include City Star, Backcountry, Great Divide, Station 26 and Jagged Mountain. There will also be barbecue from Moe's BBQ, live country music from Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels, and the opportunity to buy shirts, accessories and posters from Rockmount. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets, $10, include three tokens each good for a twelve-ounce beer, and are available at imbibedenver.com/sue.
Left Hand Brewing will release Homefront IPA today for the second year in a row. The collaborative beer is a project by nine breweries across the U.S. and was designed to raise money and awareness for Operation Homefront, a nonprofit providing emergency assistance to military families and wounded warriors. Homefront IPA will be sold nationally with all proceeds from beer sales going to local Homefront field offices. It was infused with orange zest and aged on Louisville Slugger maple bats. Left Hand made 56 barrels; the beer will be sold on tap and in 22-ounce bomber bottles. It will be tapped at 5 p.m. at the Left Hand Tasting Room in Longmont.
Saturday, May 10
38 State Brewing will open its doors in Littleton today with a grand opening party featuring five beers and food from El Toro the Tot.
Jagged Mountain will tap a whiskey barrel-aged version of one of its original beers today, First Descent Old Ale. "Intense, rich caramel aromas with whiskey oak character. Caramel flavors carry through on the palate. A hint of cherry and apple fruitiness with a warming finish barely hints at the hops balancing the huge malt character," the brewery says. First Descent weighs in a whopping 15.5 percent ABV.
The New Brew Fest, put on by Colorado Beer Trail, takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. today at Whistle Stop Park, 1st Avenue and Murray Street, in Niwot. There will be live music, food trucks and seventy-plus beers and ciders from 26 new breweries (all less than five years old) in and around Boulder County, including 300 Suns, 4 Noses, Asher, Big Choice, Bootstrap, BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats, City Star, Crystal Springs, Echo, Front Range, Gravity, Industrial Revoultion, J Wells, Kettle & Stone, Kokopelli, Odd13, The Old Mine, The Post, Sanitas, Shine, Twelve Degree, Very Nice, West Flanders, Westminster, Wild Woods and Wonderland. General admission is $35 in advance, $40 at the door. VIP admission (which includes an exclusive sampling hour with brewers from noon to 1 p.m., cheese and chocolate, an event T-shirt, roundtrip shuttle transfers, and voucher for a beer at Bootstrap Brewing at the after-party) are $80, and only available in advance. There will be an after-party at Bootstrap Brewing from 5 to 10 p.m. Get more info at NewBrewFest.com.
Odell Brewing will release the latest beer in its cellar series today with a party in its Fort Collins taproom. Jaunt takes its name from the short trip that Odell's brewers took over the Rocky Mountains to the Western Slope, where they acquired Riesling grapes. A 7.6 percent ABV pale ale, this beer was brewed with those grapes and then aged on oak staves. The taproom will continue the party tomorrow with live music.
Lowry Beer Garden will hold a craft-brew fest today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring rare beers -- some of which are only available in the tasting rooms of the breweries or at this event -- from Epic Brewing, Brewery Rickoli, City Star Brewing, Avery Brewing, Odell Brewing and Fate Brewing. Tickets are $20 and include a taster mug with unlimited samples from the six participating breweries.
Monday, May 12
American Craft Beer Week, which runs through May 18, kicks off today as "beer lovers everywhere will toast the country's craft beer renaissance during the ninth annual celebration," according to the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which organizes the week. "With more than 2,800 small and independent craft breweries and hundreds more popping up across the country every year, the observance of ACBW is more significant than ever before. Across all 50 states, craft beer lovers, breweries, wholesalers and retailers will celebrate the culture and community of craft beer." Events are taking place at breweries, beer bars and restaurants all over Colorado.
Strange Craft (formerly Strange Brewing) will take over the taps at Scratch Burrito and Happy Tap today all day today, tomorrow and Wednesday. Strange will be on all six taps.
Old Chicago's Colorado locations will kick off American Craft Beer Week today by tapping four beers from California's Firestone Walker Brewing (they'll be on tap through June 8 or until they run out), including 805 Honey Blonde Ale, which hasn't been on draft in Colorado before.
Tuesday, May 13
Strange Craft (formerly Strange Brewing) will tap its 2012 Batch of Dr StrangeLove Barleywine today at 3 p.m. The beer is GABF award winner.
Wednesday, May 14
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will tap Brett Farmhouse today at 4 p.m. The limited-batch, 7.3 percent ABV beer was fermented with brettanomyces yeast.
One of many beer-pairing dinners being held in honor national Craft Beer Week, Freshcraft is pulling out the stops for a five-course dinner with seatings every thirty minutes starting at 6 p.m. Brewer representatives will be on hand to talk beer. Menu items include duck confit coin purse with a toasted goat cheese marshmallow and cherry reduction paired with Lost Abbey Red Poppy; charred fennel, lightly pickled ramps and Chioggia beets tossed in a creamy roasted carrot gorgonzola dressing over butter lettuce with crispy shallot rings paired with Ska Mandarino; Calvados seared scallops on riper pear béchamel brown butter and chives paired with River North Chardonnay Barrel Aged J. Marie; Wild Boar St. Louis style ribs, corn bread spaetzle tossed with house made Provel style cheese on celeriac smoked bubbles paired with New Belgium Blackberry Love; and Mexican Chocolate mousse layered with cinnamon cream in a churro cup on nopale cactus jam with toasted coconut paired with Avery Coconut Ellie's Brown Ale. Tickets are $60 and available at brownpapertickets.com.
For more events later in May, turn the page.
Thursday, May 15
Former Future Brewing will host a beer and empanada pairing with its neighbor, Maria Empanada. It's $18 for four small empanadas and four beers.
Friday, May 16
Former Future Brewing will hold its Beer & Coffee Mashup Vol 2 at 7 p.m. featuring Singularity Principle Pale Ale with Corvus Coffee Colombian Granja la Esperanza.
A group of seven firefighters in the Castle Rock area have teamed up with Rockyard Brewing to release the second annual Bumper Time Ale. The firefighters helped brew the altbier, which will be sold to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Bumper Time will be tapped at the brewery today at 5 p.m. and available at some Front Range liquor stores after that.
Strange Craft (formerly Strange Brewing) will tap a beer called Hop Candy today at 3 p.m.; there will be live Celtic Rock music with Indigent Row at 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 17
Colorado Plus will celebrate its first anniversary today with a birthday party that comes complete with live music, a special menu and more than fifteen house brews on tap.
Caution Brewing will celebrate the second anniversary of its original Denver location today with a party from noon to 8 p.m. There will be food trucks (El Toro the Tot and Pride of Philly), a DJ, karaoke, a retro '80s band, a dunk tank, prizes and new beers (including a special anniversary Belgian-style Dubbel).
Odyssey Beerwerks will celebrate its first anniversary -- as well as the addition of two larger, thirty-barrel fermenters -- today with a birthday party starting at noon. In addition to the ten beers already on tap, Odyssey will release five special beers throughout the day; some are old favorites from the past year and some are making their first appearance. There will also be three food trucks (The Orange Crunch, Chuey Fu's, and Bubba Dukes BBQ) and live music (The Social Livers, The Prairie Scholars, and Jim Jamm Jimmy). The brewery will be drawing for prizes. Part of the parking lot will be closed off to give everyone a little more room to spread out.
Head to Boulder for the Upslope Get Down, a free music festival today from 2 p.m. to midnight at Upslope Brewing Company's Flatiron Park location. The brewery will fill its back parking lot with two stages where eight bands will offer continuous music all day, along with food trucks and Upslope beers. Bands include Fox Street, The Movement, Gipsy Moon, Good Gravy, Rocktin Grove, Hot Soup and Rowdy Shadehouse.
Monday, May 19
The relatively new Two22 Brew will host an American Craft Beer Week small-bite beer pairing tonight in conjunction with Joe Gerace of the East Coast Joe's food truck. Gerace will match five gourmet small bites (everything from lamb to diver scallops to dessert) with five beers. Tickets are $40 and limited to thirty people.
Saturday, May 24
BeerAdvocate co-founder Todd Alstrom will host another in his monthly series of BA get-togethers today -- this one from 1 to 5 p.m. at Epic Brewing. No cover. Pay as you consume. All are welcome, but you can RSVP at BeerAdvocate.com.
Wednesday, May 28
Lucky Pie Louisville is hosting a Chef vs. Chef dinner featuring the pizza joint's Louisville Chef, Josh Stone, and his sous chefs in a four-course, head-to-head showdown. Guests will choose their favorite courses as well as who's beer reigns supreme between Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. Tickets are $65 per person including tax and gratuity and can be purchased at LuckyPieTickets.com.
Saturday, May 31
Oskar Blues Brewery and the Town of Lyons will bring back the popular Burning Can Festival and Lyons outdoor games today, despite the September flooding that damaged most of the town's parks and rec areas. Located in the unaffected areas of Bohn Park, Burning Can includes 150 beers from more than fifty can-centric breweries from all over the country. General admission tickets for the fest, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m., are $30 ($35 the day of); VIP tix are $45 and get you in an hour early. Proceeds go to the Oskar Blues CAN'd Aid Foundation (which has already raised more than $600,000) and benefit the Lyons parks and rec department and the Colorado Brewers Guild. The Lyons Outdoor Games, meanwhile, will again include pro kayak events, the high-flying "Outlaws of Dirt" Jump series, along with a junior pump-track event, a rugby tournament, the Ultimate Athlete Competition, the 2014 Lyons Outdoor Games Slackline Jam presented by Gibbon Slacklines, cornhole tournament, live music (Anders Osborne), food booths and a family-friendly area. For a list of the breweries, events and for tickets, go to burningcan.com
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