When Denver Beer Co opened its Canworks production brewery and packaging facility last August, it also cranked up a contest in which participants could buy the newly canned beers, grab printed GPS coordinates off of the cans, figure out the 24 different secret locations and then visit them and take a picture. One person who visited all of them first would win free beer for a year at Denver Beer Co. And the winner of the DBC Explorer Challenge: Cory Palm, whose name was drawn for a hat with the eleven people who successfully completed the challenge. Some of the spots included: Confluence Park, Deer Creek Canyon, Lookout Mountain, the summits of Mount Elbert, Evans, and Bierstadt, Clear Creek Canyon, St. Mary's Glacier, Shelf Road, and a secret hot spring in the Colorado River. Denver Beer Co will bring the challenge back with new place in 2015.
Turn the page to see this week's craft beer events.
Wednesday, December 3
Crooked Stave is releasing bottles of Flor d'Lees, a golden sour aged in oak barrels, at 6 p.m. tonight in the taproom at the Source. Bottles are $12 each; limit of six.
Thursday, December 4
Our Mutual Friend will tap a collaboration that it did with Baere Brewing tonight at 6 p.m. Th beer, Belgian Golden Strong Ale, comes in at 8.1 percent ABV.
Friday, December 5
Zephyr Brewing will open its doors for the first time today at 4 p.m., becoming the newest brewery in the burgeoning River North brewery district.
Wit's End Brewing will bring back its winter ale, Ugly Sweater, today with an ugly sweater party in the taproom. Bring a can of food and get a raffle ticket (one ticket per can) for prizes throughout the evening, including a pass to the Denver Beer Festivus. Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks will be on hand, and taproom hours will be extended slightly from 2 to 9 p.m.
Comrade Brewing will release Bernstein, a European-Style Amber dry-hopped with Hallertau Mittelfruh today. The brewery describes the 6 percent ABV beer as having a "bright copper color with a richly layered bready malt body with a mild yet spicy noble hop aroma with floral and citrus tones. Finishes dry with a balanced bitterness."
The Terminal Bar at Union Station will debut a new German-style beer at 5 p.m.; Union Kolsch was made specifically for the Terminal Bar by Denver Beer Co, located across the tracks, to honor the city's pre-Prohibition, German beer-making heritage. The DBC's Charlie Berger and Joe Vostrejs of Larimer Associates (one of the Union Station partners) collaborated on the beer all summer; they tried out about six different variations before picking the one they liked best. At the party, there will be some limited-edition commemorative glassware available and beer specials.
Freshcraft honors Repeal Day at 7 p.m. by tapping Firestone Walker Mocha Merlin and Velvet Merkin; there will also be a Velvet Merlin Beer Cocktail.
Lost Highway Brewing will release a new winter ale, Liquid Pajamas, from 8 to 10 p.m. and celebrate by inviting everyone to wear their PJs for a Pajama Party. There will be "midnight snacks," games and beer. Liquid Pajamas, at 12.5 percent ABV, is brewed with wheat, rye, barley and eight pounds of powdered cocoa.
Barrels & Bottles Brewery in Golden will release a new beer today called Obsess Much? Stout. Brewed with dark Belgian candy syrup, powdered peanut butter, and cocoa nibs added post fermentation, the 6.3 percent ABV sweet stout was inspired by brewery co-owner Abby George's relentless obsession with stouts, peanut butter, marshmallows and chocolate, according to Barrels & Bottles.
The first Boulder Beer Festivus, which was designed to celebrate the thirty craft breweries in Boulder, will take place today from 7 to 10 p.m. at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder. Hosted by Imbibe Events, Boulder Festivus is modeled after Denver Festivus, which was founded three years ago. So far, twelve Boulder breweries have signed on, but Imbibe says more will be joining the list. Tickets, $40, and the list of breweries are both available at boulderfestivus.com. A portion of proceeds benefits New Era Colorado Foundation.
As the number of breweries proliferated along the C-470 corridor in the southern Denver suburbs over the past year or two, eight of them decided to get together to create a recipe for a Weizenbock. Each brewery will now make their own version of the beer at their respective place of business and tap them on December 5. In addition, they designed a "beer passport," which can be picked up today (or later) as well. Patrons can get the passport stamped at each location when they order a Weizenbock. The first 180 people to be stamped at all eight will get a C-470 Collaboration beer mug. The eight participating breweries are Blue Spruce, 3 Freaks, Lone Tree, 38 State, Grist, Living the Dream, CB Potts-Broadway and Rock Bottom-Lone Tree.
Saturday, December 6
The Wynkoop Brewing Company is bringing back its annual Parade of Darks beer fest today, but this year the brewery is blowing it out by holding it off-site, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., at the Bindery on Blake. The fifth annual holiday tradition will showcase more than sixty beers "in the amber to opaque categories," from more than 25 breweries. Tickets are $35 and include a commemorative glass for unlimited sampling. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event and an accompanying silent auction will benefit Metro CareRing, a hunger-relief organization. Participating breweries include Avery, Crazy Mountain, Elevation, Epic, Great Divide, Grimm Borthers, Odell, Odyssey, River North, Squatters & Wasatch, Strange, Tivoli, Twisted Pine, Verboten and Wynkoop.
Lone Tree Brewing will celebrate its third anniversary today from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a variety of festivities, including live music, food and the tapping of a small-batch beer every two hours. This year's lineup features a Jalapeno Cheddar IPA, Twix Bar Stout and Massive Black IPA. The celebration will also include a "State of the Brewery" address in which owners John Winter and Jason Wiedmaier will reveal some expansion news.
Casey Brewing & Blending in Glenwood Springs will open for its monthly release today at 11 p.m., selling bottles of three new beers. Grape Fruit Stand ($20 each, two bottle limit) is made with fresh, whole Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Palisade. East Bank Farmhouse Ale ($16, no limit), brewed with fresh Glenwood Springs honey, has notes of sweet honeycomb along with Casey's house farmhouse yeast flavors. And Brett Loves Citra ($15, six bottle limit) is Casey's version of a collaboration brew with Roaring Fork Beer Company; it was made with 100 percent Brettanomyces that was fermented in oak with Citra hops. The brewery will also be selling new blends of Montmorency Cherry Fruit Stand ($18, three bottle limit) and Blackberry Fruit Stand ($20, three bottle limit).
Sunday, December 7
Want a flight of four Former Future beers? Then donate an item from the Wishlist worth $10 or more and come to Beer, Gears, and Holiday Cheers from 4 to 7 p.m. at the brewery. The Steampunk-themed event benefits Safehouse Denver. (P.S. You can only get one flight and you must show your receipt.)
Tuesday, December 9
Bull & Bush Brewery will make merry at its annual Christmas Beer Tasting tonight from 6 to 10 p.m. It's featuring over 150 special holiday beers, winter seasonals and vintage beers in what is probably the largest holiday beer-tasting around. Tickets available online at bullandbush.com.
Turn the page to see more events later in December.> Wednesday, December 10
Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen will tap its 2014 Barelywine today at 7 p.m. Weighing in at 10.4 percent ABV, the beer has "complex malt and ester flavors reminiscent of plums and raisins" that make it perfect for winter, the brewery says.
Barley's Angels, a craft beer club for Colorado women, collaborated with four different professional brewers over the past few weeks to create some beers that will be served in brewery taprooms over the holidays. The second release party is today at 7 p.m. at Kokopelli Brewing in Westminster, which will pour a Chocolate Cranberry Stout. There will also be chocolate pairings on hand from the Chocolate Therapist.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will host a double bottle release today at 6 p.m. at its taproom at the Source. The beers they are selling are Surette Reserva Cassis and Vieille Cranberry & Spice.
Thursday, December 11
Asbury Provisions has teamed up with four local breweries, Platt Park Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Renegade and Station 26 on a fundraiser to support SAME Café, the nonprofit, pay-what-you-can restaurant on Colfax Avenue. Asbury, a DU-area gastropub that took the place of the Renegade Publik House earlier this year, will host the Blue Plate Special Auction starting at 5 p.m. It features old-school dishes, like meatloaf, chicken a la king and tuna noodle casserole, and craft beer. To increase their donation, diners can opt to bid more than the cost of the plate. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to ensure a blue plate special, as servings are limited; straight donations are accepted as well. All proceeds will benefit SAME Cafe.
Lucky Pie in Lodo is kicking off its twelve days of Christmas series of winter beer tappings today with Bristol's Winter Warlock. Below is a poem they wrote, followed by the beers. Cheers. Twas the month before Christmas and all throughout town, Folks were tired and cranky and frankly, melting down. Sick of the cold and the hum-drum of work, All they wanted was fun and the freedom to twerk (holla!) At Lucky Pie, we watched, with grins on our lips For in our back pockets, we had a great fix! In the 12 days before Christmas, one at a time We'd be releasing 12 beers that are simply divine! So on the eleventh of the twelfth month of this year Drag your grumpy asses in here for some holiday cheer (and beer!) Tappings: December 11 - Winter Warlock by Bristol Brewing Company December 12 - Radiator by Renegade Brewing Company December 13 - Old Jubilation by Avery Brewing Co December 14 - Nutcracker by Boulevard Brewing Company December 15 - Isolation by Odell Brewing Company December 16 - Pursuit of Hoppyness by Grand Teton Brewing Company December 17 - Anchor Brewing Company's Christmas Ale December 18 - 7 Swans-A-Swimming by The Bruery December 19 - Upslope Brewing Company's Christmas Ale December 20 - Mocha Merlin by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. December 21 - Adoration by Brewery Ommegang December 22 - Double Vanilla Porter by Dry Dock Brewing Co.
Friday, December 12
Station 26 will host its First Birthday Blowout all weekend, beginning today at 1 p.m. with the release of Colorado Cottonwood Smoked Imperial Porter, which was brewed with 100 percent Colorado ingredients. On Saturday at 1 p.m., Station 26 will sell a limited number of bottles of the brew, First Birthday Beer; it's Station 26's first-ever bottle release. There will also be live music on Friday and Saturday nights, along with a Bluegrass Brunch on Sunday. There will be food trucks all weekend long. (Note: this is a 21-plus weekend.)
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will celebrate its second anniversary today from 2 p.m. to midnight with food from Texorado, live music and DJs, and beer, of course. The brewery will do a bottle release of its American Wild Ale collaboration with the nearby Populist restaurant. About 200 corked and caged bottles will be for sale. OMF will also serve the beer on tap in addition to Chocolate Oak Aged Brown ale, a collaboration with Ritual Chocolate; Belgian Strong Golden Ale, a collaboration with Baere Brewing; Barreled & Bretted Chinook Red Ale; Barleywine; All Colorado Malt & Hop Pale Ale; All Colorado Malt & Hop Chinook Red Ale; Farmhouse Ale; Brown Ale; Novo Coffee Stout; Proletariat and IPA. There will be shirt and beer giveaways and other cool stuff.
Parry's Pizza in Highlands Ranch is throwing its second-annual Ugly Sweaters & Barrel Aged Beer party today beginning at 6 p.m. But there are rules: In order to drink the beers, you need to be wearing you ugliest sweater. "No ugly sweater. No barrel aged beer. No excuses," Parry's says. The beer list includes Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Coffee Stout; Port Brewing Barrel Aged Santa's Little Helper; Odell's Barrel Thief Oak Aged DIPA; Avery Tweak 2013; Breckenridge Holidale Ale; Russian River Supplication; Stone Double Bastard; and more.
POSTPONED; DETAILS TBA: The first Fort Collins Beer Festivus, which was designed to celebrate the twenty-plus craft breweries in Fort Collins, will take place today from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at YendraBuilt, 1304 Duff Drive, in Fort Collins. Hosted by Imbibe Events, Fort Collins Festivus is modeled after Denver Festivus, which was founded three years ago. So far, eight Fort Collins breweries have signed on, but Imbibe says more will be joining the list. Tickets, $40, and the list of breweries are both available at focofestivus.com. A portion of proceeds benefits New Era Colorado Foundation.
Saturday, December 13
River North Brewery is bringing back its whiskey barrel-aged stout, Barrel Aged Avarice, today with a party in the taproom. The Belgian-style Imperial Stout was aged one year in rye and bourbon whiskey barrels. River North will sell bottles at the party for $15 each, with a six-bottle limit. They'll also be pouring a three-year vertical of Barrel Aged Avarice starting at 1 p.m. "Rich with notes of bitter chocolate, toffee and vanilla, this year's Barrel Aged Avarice finished at 11.5 percent ABV," the brewery says.
Copper Kettle Brewing is forgoing its cask Wednesdays this month in order to host a series, the 12 Firkins of Christmas, beginning today. Each firking will feature ingredients themed around the "12 Days of Christmas." Today's beer, 12 Drummers Drumming, is a double IPA with twelve different kinds of hops (and boasting a whopping 120 IBUs). Get there early (Copper Kettle opens a noon); Homefield Cheesesteaks will be out at 2 p.m.
SOLD OUT: The third annual Denver-only Beer Festivus, put on by Imbibe and Denver Off The Wagon, runs from 3 to 6:30 p.m. today at the McNichols Building. Founded three years ago as a way to feature as many of Denver's breweries as possible under one roof, there will more than forty on hand today. Tickets are $40 (but currently sold out). A portion of proceeds from Festivus benefits New Era Colorado Foundation.
Sunday, December 14
Barley's Angels, a craft beer club for Colorado women, collaborated with four different professional brewers over the past few weeks to create some beers that will be served in brewery taprooms over the holidays. The third release party is today at 2 p.m. at Former Future Brewing in Denver, which will pour a Belgian Christmas ale with pink peppercorns, grains of paradise, nutmeg and spruce tips. There will be empanadas from Maria Empanda.
Monday, December 15
Barley's Angels, a craft beer club for Colorado women, collaborated with four different professional brewers over the past few weeks to create some beers that will be served in brewery taprooms over the holidays. The fourth and final release party is today at 5:30 p.m. at J. Wells Brewery in Boulder, which will pour two beers, an imperial porter and an imperial cherry porter. The food pairings are still TBD.
Sunday, December 20
Hops & Pie presents Holiday Beer and Cheers, starting today at noon, when you'll be able to partake in: Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada, Prairie Christmas Bomb!, 2013 Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing, Merry Maker from Sam Adams, 2014 Anchor Christmas Ale, 7 Swans-A-Swimming from The Bruery, Yule Fuel from Bull & Bush, Noel de Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin, Christmas Eve at a New York City Hotel Room from Evil Twin, and Chanukah Pass the Beer from Schmaltz Brewing.
Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.