Beer can grease a lot of wheels in this country, but it's not magic. So members of the Colorado Brewers Guild have been hosting a program called Hop the Vote for the past four years to help get to know their elected officials in the Colorado General Assembly. The program invites legislators "to set aside their differences and brew some beer." It works like this: A bipartisan team of state senators brews a beer at one Colorado brewery, while a bipartisan team of state representatives brews another. The two beers will be poured at the Guild's booth during the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place October 5 to 7 at the Colorado Convention Center. GABF attendees can sample the beers and vote for their favorite; the winner gets a trophy and some bragging rights.
“By and large, Colorado craft breweries are small businesses – hiring and purchasing locally, with significant local economic impacts,” says Guild director Andres Gil Zaldana; Colorado's 300-plus breweries account for $1.7 billion in economic impact in the state. “However, because the production, distribution and sale of alcohol is highly regulated by state and federal government, harmful or unintended changes to the rules can have a significant impact on craft breweries, their employees and their local communities," Gil Zaldana adds. "Hop the Vote allows craft breweries to develop personal relationships with local lawmakers and provides a platform to voice concerns and provides hands-on experience to teach lawmakers about the industry.”
The Colorado House of Representatives team, led by captains Alec Garnett (D-Denver) and Hugh McKean (R-Loveland) will brew with 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield this week; The Colorado State Senate team, led by Tim Neville (R-Littleton) and Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder), will be at Renegade Brewing.
Keep reading for the best local craft-beer events and tappings through September 9.
Wednesday, August 23
Prost Brewing will kick off its five-day fifth-anniversary party with music from DJ Sam and specialty sausages from Widermeats & Eats. There will be more music, beer tappings and food through Sunday.
Thursday, August 24
Prost Brewing continues its week-long fifth-anniversary party by tapping its Barrel-Aged Dunkel. There will be food from Seasoned Swine and music from Polka Folka.
Dry Dock Brewing will release a new pumpkin beer at 2 p.m. as part of its Signature Series. Pumpkin Double Porter will be on tap and in bottles at both Dry Dock locations.
Friday, August 25
Cerebral Brewing welcomes back Fantastic Planet, its double IPA made with flaked oats, lactose and more than one pound of blueberry purée per gallon; the creamy 8 percent ABV beer was also heavily hopped with Mosaic and Huell Melon. The brewery will tap the beer and sell just 150 Crowlers on Friday and 100 on Saturday for $16 each, with a limit of three per person. To sweeten the deal, Cerebral will also release just fifty Crowlers of DDH Rare Trait, with a limit of two per person. The doors open at noon on both days.
Crazy Mountain Brewing celebrates the grand opening of its branded taproom in the former World of Beer space in Glendale. There will be music from Miguel Dakota and the Differents from 6 to 8 p.m. Giveaways and raffles will happen every hour on the hour for any guests with tabs open.
Diebolt Brewing will host the first of three releases in a row today when it debuts a new look and some recipes tweaks for its IPA. The beer is now "a healthy 6 percent ABV and 85 IBU," Diebolt says. "We've added two new varieties to its dry hopping diet, Zythos and Apollo, to go along with Cascade, Chinook and Columbus. Both versions will be on tap, so come by and try them side by side." Dos Abuelas will on hand with food.
Prost Brewing continues its week-long fifth-anniversary party at 5 p.m. by tapping a single firkin of its Keller Marzen bier. Music from Steve Linsky Reverbnation.
Dry Dock Brewing will tap a firkin of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Porter at 3 p.m. at its original South Dock location as part of its weekly Firkin Friday program. The beer was made by the Brew Hut next door and will disappear quickly.
Fluffy Pumpkin Toasted Marshmallow Porter returns to Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada at 6 p.m. "Brewed with ample amounts of roasted pumpkins, select seasonal spices, vanilla, and marshmallow, Fluffy Pumpkin hits the spot for those of us longing for both the holiday table and the campfire ring," the brewery says. The 6 percent ABV beer will be available on tap and in cans.
Boulder Beer, the state's oldest craft brewery, has expanded its presence in Boulder by opening a new brewpub in the former space occupied by the venerable Walnut Brewery at 1123 Walnut Street. Boulder Beer will host a grand-opening party so that the downtown crew can tap its newest creations. There will also be smoked barbecue, beer, wine and cocktails throughout the day, along with live music and door prizes.
Saturday, August 26
Head over to the future location of 14er Brewing, at 2801 Walnut Street in River North, to try Sunshine Peak Coffee IPA and to hang with the crew from Huckleberry Roasters, which provided the Phantom Limb cold brew blend that went into the beer. Try the coffee and learn more about roasting.
Great Divide Brewing will release bottles of its newest Local Knowledge series beer, White Stout, at noon at the brewery's two taprooms on Arapahoe Street and in RiNo. "The fifth beer of the Local Knowledge series is a spiritual companion to a black IPA that comes in at 7.1 percent ABV," Great Divide says. "This white stout will have you questioning your own assumptions. While the beer pours a nice golden hue, it has all the flavor and aroma characteristics of a stout. Using coffee and cocoa instead of malt allows for the roasted and chocolate flavors and aromas to come through without adding any color. "Local Knowledge is Great Divide's new "hyper-limited, hyper-local pilot series." The beers are sold in six-packs and don't hit distribution.
Spangalang Brewing taps two hoppy new beers at noon. Grapefruit D-Train IPA was made with fresh grapefruit. Jack the Bear Double IPA was double-dry-hopped with a blend of Cascade, Simcoe and Mosaic hops at a rate of more than four pounds per barrel. The brewery has very limited quantities of both beers.
Diebolt Brewing brings back its Diebolt International Ale — or DIA IPA — at noon. "We stowed three international hop varieties and one extremely simple malt bill into the overhead compartment on this one to create a crisp, smooth flight of hoppy flavor," the brewery says. "This IPA is like nothing you’ve had before, we promise." Cans and draft available in the taproom. Gyros King will be on hand with food.
Resolute Brewing, which was founded by a group of Columbine High School grads, has put together the Reflection Garden on Tap Beerfest and 5K as a way to have a blast in Aurora. But proceeds will be used to construct a memorial in honor of the "victims, survivors, and heroes" of the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. The memorial will become a part of the Reflection Memorial Garden inside the ten-acre Aurora Municipal Water-wise Garden, at the northwest corner of Alameda Parkway and Chambers Road. The 5K course takes runners on a scenic jog through nearby parks and neighborhoods, finishing in the Water-wise Garden, where celebrations kick off with the beer fest. There will be fifteen breweries on hand, along with two food trucks, live music from Brushfire, life-sized games, sidewalk chalk artists and more. For details and registration, go to eventbrite.com.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial celebrates the release of its Oktoberfest beer with a fun fest featuring food, games, prizes and a cornhole tournament at 2 p.m. There will also be a traditional German band and a beer-stein-carrying competition at 6 p.m. Wear your lederhosen or dirndl and get 10 percent off your tab. And if you bring your own stein (one liter or less), Halfpenny will fill it for $10.
The Post Brewing will celebrate its neighbors and its Lafayette brewing brethren at Townie Fest, a festival outside the brewpub running from noon to 5 p.m. and serving food and beer from the Post and beer from Front Range Brewing, Liquid Mechanics Brewing and Odd13 Brewing. There will be carnival games, swag giveaways and live music throughout the day. Tickets range from $15 to $60, depending on what package you buy. Details and tickets are available at eventbrite.com. All proceeds benefit the Lafayette Professional Fire Fighters and their Fill the Boot Campaign.
The Outlets at Castle Rock is hosting its first-ever Barks & Brews from 1 to 3 p.m., where dog owners and beer aficionados can come to the center with their pet to enjoy beers, food trucks and live entertainment. Beers cost a suggested donation price of $5, which will go to the Human Society of the South Platte Valley.
Sunday, August 27
Diebolt Brewing will tap Charlie Blackberry, a 6 percent ABV kettle sour, at noon. "This purple beer is named in honor of one of the Rockies finest, Charlie Blackmon," the brewery says. "With close to two pounds per gallon of blackberries, Calypso hops and a malt bill that's 65 percent wheat and 35 percent pilsner, this beauty is tart and luscious with just a hint of ChuckNasty."
For its "half anniversary," Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial will tap the very last sixtel of its Bourbon-Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout. The brewery celebrates its half anniversary every year.
Join Boulder's Avery Brewing for the brewery-only release of Promiscuus, an 8.6 percent sour ale aged in Madeira and port barrels; the beer is the 46th in Avery's acclaimed Barrel-Aged Series. Avery will begin bottle sales at 1 p.m., although it will go on tap at 11 a.m. There will most likely be a line. In addition, Avery will be selling several cellars beers from the Barrel-Aged Series, including 2014 Pumpkyn, 2015 Samaels, 2014 Mephistopheles, Old Perseverance, 2010 Kaiser, 2013 Kaiser, 2010 Czar, and several others. These will be in very limited supply; see Avery's Facebook page for the full list. Promiscuus, which will sell for $12 a barrel, is "a rich and decadent sour that is slightly sweet and delivers on tartness," Avery says.
Thursday, August 31
The Real Dill will unveil the third pickle in its Briners & Brewers series, this time with the Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. For each release, the Real Dill partners with a local brewery to create a pickle based on one of the brewery’s beers. The two previous collaborations were with Odell and Great Divide. For this one, the Real Dill drew inspiration from Crooked Stave’s Colorado WildSage Brett Saison. "The unfiltered beer pays homage to the state of Colorado by incorporating all local ingredients, and fresh herbs such as lemongrass and sage. The latter ingredients were chosen to enhance the savory flavor profile of the pickle," the pickle maker says. "The process to make the collaboration pickles is not a simple matter of pouring beer into brine. Milled barley can be used to sweeten the brine, hops can be used to add depth and bitterness, and for this particular release, the brine was aged on oak and dry-hopped." A launch party takes place at Crooked Stave's taproom in the Source at 5 p.m. The pickles will also be available in stores starting in September.
Chef and Brew, one of the best and oldest beer-and-food-pairing competitions and festivals in Denver, returns to Exdo from 6 to 10 p.m. with food-and-beer pairings and lots of fun. Each chef creates two small dishes to pair with two beers from a matched brewery, and the event really lets these chefs get creative as they play with everything from sour and wild ales to chocolate stouts to the hoppiest IPAs. Attendees can learn about beer flavors from their own reactions to the combinations. Tickets, $49 to $69 (though they will go up), include a logo glass, unlimited samplings of all the pairings (while they last) and a chance to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Award. For a full list of participants, go to chefandbrew.com.
Casey Brewing and Blending in Glenwood Springs continues to produce some of the most well-balanced and highly sought-after sour ales in the state. And starting today, it's celebrating apricots and cherries with fresh fruit beers from this season. These include Apricot Casey Family Preserves, Dry Hopped Apricot Casey Family Preserves with Galaxy and Nelson, and The Cut: Sour Balaton Cherry. The releases for all of these beers are complicated and orchestrated — and they require tickets. To find out more information and to get tickets, go to brownpapertickets.com, here for August, and here for September and October.
Friday, September 1
Join Ratio Beerworks for an Oktoberfest weekend and the tapping Stay Gold, the brewery's take on a classic Bavarian Oktoberfest märzen lager. Stay Gold exhibits "biscuit-y malt-forward notes and an extremely refreshing quenchable finish," Ratio says. It was brewed with a blend of Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts and fermented with a German lager strain for a crisp and clean finish. Elevation 5280: Street Food Elevated will be on hand Friday night and Wilder Meats and Eats will drop by Saturday serving Beer Brats, schnitzles, spoetzle and other German fare to pair with your half liters of Stay Gold.
Bruz Beers is tapping its newest beer, Three Peaks Tripel, a 9.6 percent ABV Belgian-style beer, at 3 p.m. "Bruz Beers has a cult following with their Belgian tripels, and this one will continue the high mark of the style in the Denver area," the brewery says. "Three Peaks is strong, complex and golden in color with a rewarding nose of spiciness. Pilsner and Vienna malts, brewing sugar and European hops yield a clean, refreshing beer with notes of bready malt and spicy, fruity yeast. Pairs wonderfully with cheeses like Spanish manchego, French epoisses and Roquefort, and English stilton." Several other new beer will also be on tap, including Bruin (a Belgian style brown ale), Gnomeboy (a Belgian specialty ale), and Saison Nelson.
Meet Dirk Diggler, a New England-style IPA that Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette will tap and sell in cans only in its taproom starting at 1 p.m. "Dirk Diggler is the winning entry from our homebrew competition with Lafayette Homebrew Supply," the brewery says. Travis Trembly created the recipe for the beer, which "features tons of Citra and Amarillo with just a touch of Centennial. It costs $11 per six-pack.
Saturday, September 2
One, New Image Brewing's anniversary beer, is back — by popular demand. This double-dry-hopped New England-style IPA is available in limited quantities of sixteen-ounce cans at the Arvada brewery only. There is a limit of one case per person per day and three Crowlers per day per person. Merch is also available.
Thursday, September 7
Pancakes returns to Renegade Brewing for a second helping. Starting at 5 p.m., if you purchase a pint of this maple porter, you will get you a glass to keep and a six-pack to take home. Bring your appetite, as well, because Rocky Mountain Cheesery will be serving up pancakes to pair with Renegade's Pancakes.
Friday, September 8
"Get yer boots on and come stomp the dance floor with us as we celebrate our favorite year-round girl," says Great Divide Brewing, which will throw a barn party from 7 to 10:30 p.m. in honor of Colette Farmhouse Ale. The shindig includes live music, square dancing, specialty and core beers, games and two food trucks, Wong Way Veg and Goin’ South. There will also be a costume contest: "Wear your Colette- or Hoss-inspired outfits to enter our costume contest or rock your best Western attire," Great Divide says. And don't forget that the brewery recently updated its Colette logo to make her outfit a little more modern. Tickets are $15. For more information on dancing and beers, and to buy tickets, go to GreatDivide.com.
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Tivoli Brewing celebrates the second anniversary of its brewpub from 5 to 10 p.m. with a beer festival pouring products from fifteen breweries (all of them distributed by Tivoli's sister distributorship). There will also be live music from the Wildflowers, On Vinyl Tonight and Woodshed Red. Admission is free.
Saturday, September 9
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will once again open the doors of its Barrel Cellar and production facility to the public for the one-day only release of Persica, a golden sour ale aged on peaches. First released in 2011, Persica has become Crooked Stave's signature beer, which is why the brewery hosts a day dedicated to its release. The first 250 guests will receive an exclusive Persica Day 2017 glass and a full pour for $10. Additional pours will be available for $6. There will also be 750-ml cork-and-cage bottles available for $30 — limit of four per person. This year, Crooked Stave will also have an extra-special Persica Sauvignon blanc available in 750ml format at $35 each, with a limit of two. None of the beers will see distribution outside the brewery. Crooked Stave rarely opens this facility up to the public. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The last Arvada Patio Society party takes place at New Image Brewing from 5 to 10 p.m. Round four of the periodic party features a collection of Arvada craft beers served festival-style in the alley behind the expanded New Image patio. In addition to New Image beer, you can find brews from Odyssey Beerwerks, Spice Trade Brewing and SomePlace Else Brewery. Come meet the brewers, try their beers and ask questions.
Friday, September 15
Swing by the Tasty Weasel taproom at Oskar Blues's Longmont brewery at 3 p.m. for this year's release of Ten Fidy, the brewery's massive 10 percent ABV imperial stout. The Weasel will have Fidy-infused food from its restaurants and some bacon samples from Tender Belly Bacon. There will also be some very limited versions of Ten Fidy for retail sale as well.