When Joyride Brewing opened four years ago at the edge of Sloan's Lake Park, the owners promised a rooftop patio. It would be a perfect spot for beer drinking, considering the views of Sloan's Lake and the downtown skyline from the corner of West 25th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. Last week, the brewery left a tantalizing hint, a picture of construction on the roof, on Facebook as a reminder that the brewery's promise may be turning into a reality — possible just in time for the Joyride fourth-anniversary party in mid-July.
If the patio does materialize, Joyride will join Denver's Briar Common as being among the only brewery rooftop patios in the state. Others include Ouray Brewing in Ouray and Open Door Brewing in Longmont. Odell Brewing's new River North location has a second-story patio that essentially functions as a rooftop oasis as well.
Here are our picks for the best craft beer events and tappings through Saturday, July 7.
Wednesday, June 27
For its monthly 11th Tap creation, Platt Park Brewing aged its Island Lager on fresh green chiles from New Mexico and then aged it on tequila staves. The chiles are meant to provide a bit of heat, but not to overpower, the brewery says. This beer is only available today.
There was nothing better on Saturday mornings than cartoons and Pop Tarts, says Strange Craft Beer Company. So, the brewery decided to make Fudge Pop Tart Porter as part of its traveling One-Barrel-Wednesday program. The beer will also be on tap at Chain Reaction Brewing, Black Sky Brewing and the BOB.
Thursday, June 28
Once a year for the past two years, Great Divide Brewing has commissioned a new piece of artwork for the labels of its revamped Denver Pale Ale. The brewery will unveil this year's label at 6 p.m. at Helikon Gallery & Studios, 3675 Wynkoop Street, during the Denver Pale Ale Artist Series No. 3 Launch Party. There will be a food truck, free Denver Pale Ale, games and a chance to meet artist Rachel Jablonski, who did this year's artwork. Alongside Jablonski's current work, the gallery will also showcase the past two Denver Pale Ale artists, Josh Holland and John Vogl. You must RSVP at eventbrite.com to reserve a spot.
Celebrate Tau Day (6/28, based on pi's more obscure mathematical sibling) with the release of Crooked Stave's Key Lime Tau Wild Ale, a beer aged in oak with fresh lime peel, lemongrass and lactose. The brewery, located inside The Source, will also release Surette Reserva Palisade Peach Provision Sour Ale, which was aged in oak barrels with Colorado peaches.
Renegade Brewing holds its second monthly Beers + Banned Books event from 6 to 10 p.m., this time featuring the novel Catcher in the Rye. The series pairs books from past banned-book lists with a new beer created in a Squarrel Barrel; this time around, it's Redacted Rye IPA aged with Scotch-soaked American oak staves and flavored with bitters and cherries.
Join Finn's Manor for the tapping of Fremont's 2017 and 2018 vintages of Rusty Nail from Seattle's Fremont Brewing. Finn's will also tap Head Full of Dynamite, Lush and Summer Ale.
Friday, June 29
It's last call at Caution Brewing, which is closing its doors after a six-year run in both Denver and Lakewood. For this blowout, which starts at noon and lasts through today and tomorrow, drink up all your favorite beers and see all your favorite faces. A very limited commemorative Caution: Last Call glass will be available during these two days. The brewery will be doing kill-the-keg challenges, giveaways and lots of other fun stuff.
Wit's End Brewing may have closed the doors to its taproom, but it's still making many of its delicious beers at Strange Craft, including the stellar summer seasonal Banana Hammock. The amber rye hefeweizen, which oozes banana, goes on tap at noon.
Fiction Beer Company's newest canned release is A Wizard's Power, a New England-style IPA dry-hopped with El Dorado, Lemondrop and Mosaic. The beer, which has notes of "bright citrus, juicy tropical and sweet watermelon," is available on draft and in four-packs to go.
Cerebral Brewing ups its game with a quadruple can release starting at noon. The first beer is Bird of Paradise Smoothie Style Sour, a 5.2 percent ABV beer that was soured with Lactobacillus and fermented with a clean American strain, then conditioned on lactose, mango, coconut and lime. The second is Double Dry Hopped Strange Claw IPA, at 6.2 percent ABV, which was brewed with a blend of pale, pilsner and wheat malt with a touch of crystal malt and hopped with an immense amount of Citra and Columbus. Then there's Tangerine Stuff, also at 6.2 percent, an IPA brewed with oats and a touch of lactose and then hopped exclusively in the whirlpool with Mosaic; it was also dry-hopped with Mosaic, Wakatu and Citra, then conditioned on tangerine.
And finally, Controlled Chaos is a 6.8 percent IPA brewed in celebration of the owner's daughter's second birthday, hopped at a near-destructive rate with Citra, African Queen and Ella. Radical Sasquatch will be out front starting at 4 p.m. with dumplings and more.
DeSteeg Brewing will tap a collaboration at 4 p.m. that it put together with Tom's Brew Shop, a Lakewood home-brew store that is adding its own brewhouse. The beer is a barrel-aged whiskey ginger beer "that we've had barreling since the beginning of the year," DeSteeg says.
Ursula Brewing gets ready for July 4 with the limited draft-only release of Bomb Pop Blonde, a blonde ale with cherry, blue raspberry and lime zest added to the brew.
The three-day Rapids & Grass Beer Festival, co-hosted by the Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar in Buena Vista, is quickly becoming one of the more talked-about beer fests in the state. Spend your weekend along the Arkansas River sampling beers from some of the best breweries in the country, jamming to an incredible lineup of bluegrass music and taking in the sweeping mountain views. With the purchase of a festival ticket, you will enjoy unlimited tastings from 48 breweries and access to all music at the Beach stage. Food from local food trucks will be available for purchase throughout the beer tasting. Upgrade your experience by adding the Freedom Float on Sunday, a seven-mile raft trip through a section of Class 3 whitewater.
Saturday, June 30
Join Renegade Brewing for its first Hop Head Festival, where hopheads will unite at the brewery's production facility in the Yard on Santa Fe, 918 West First Avenue, for a celebration of "everything great about the little flower that could." There will be live music, food trucks, games, an "interactive hops buffet," merchandise and lots of beer, including some special-release beers and a new canned offering. There are three ticket types available, ranging from $5 to $35. Get tickets and more information about the festival at eventbrite.com.
It's hot, and you need a piña colada. So says Station 26 Brewing, which will tap Piña Colada Milkshake IPA at 1 p.m. and release 300 Crowlers of the beer. This hazy IPA is loaded with pineapple, coconut, lactose and vanilla. "Umbrella straw not included," Station 26 adds.
The West Side Brewery Bike Loop returns at noon, and this month it has a red, white and blue theme. The ride, which has grown in popularity each month, begins at Westfax Brewing in Lakewood before rolling onward to Joyride, Hogshead and Seedstock. Join the official guided loop with a group of friendly cyclists at WestFax, or start the loop on your own at your nearest participating taproom using the mapped route. There will also be beer and swag giveaways for participants along the way at the different taprooms. The 6.7 mile loop developed by cartographer Ginny Mason "is a safely laid-out route for cyclists to casually bike around the area and enjoy discounted pints while stopping at all four breweries along the way. Attendees will receive a punch card day-of from any participating brewery’s taproom. This punch card offers $1 off a pint once 'punched' at each brewery. After the punch card is completed...it is also valid for one free pint at any of the four breweries any date after the ride," Westfax says.
Locavore Beer Works in Littleton hosts its fourth annual Freedom Fest from noon to 10 p.m. to celebrate great beers, awesome food, amazing music and extraordinary friendships. There will be live music from Strings and the Box, Rock Doctors and the Eric Dorn Trio. And, yes, Jolly Farmer Watermelon Wheat will make its return on draft and in bottles. Ticket packages are available.
The Hop Wars saga continues at 2 Penguins Tap & Grill in Centennial. Once again, the beer bar will have five of Colorado’s best hazy NEIPAs on tap, each battling for supremacy on your tastebuds. Cast your vote once you’ve tried a flight of all five. If you’re extra-adventurous, try to guess all five breweries of your flight correctly for a special bonus prize. Juicy Bits by Weldwerks Brewing is the returning champion; Weldwerks will be up against Outer Range Brewing, New Image Brewing, Cerebral Brewing and Odd13 Brewing. Flights begin pouring at 3 p.m.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette will release Codename: Freedomfan Triple IPA. The beer is the alter ego to Codename: Holidayfan, Odd13's December special, and shares the exact same recipe with one minor change. "We used Blue Serenade malt, in addition to the red and white wheat already in Holidayfan. We sourced the Blue Serenade from Troubadour Maltings in Fort Collins," the brewery says. "It is hopped with Citra, Simcoe and Ekuanot. Sixteen-ounce specialty glassware will also be available with new art.
Sunday, July 1
The West End Tavern in Boulder hosts its tenth annual Jul-IPA Festival beginning today and running throughout the month with a variety of tappings and events, including IPA-inspired chef’s specials, rooftop parties, games and giveaways. To get the festival started, there will be a Rooftop Kickoff Party from 2 to 5 p.m. with twelve IPAs from local breweries, live music, specials from the kitchen. As in the past, all proceeds from Jul-IPA will benefit the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, a local human-rights organization committed to ending violence against adults, youth and children through support, advocacy, education and community organizing.
Tuesday, July 3
Join Ratio Beerworks for the grand return of Major Nights Lime Gose, "a summer seasonal gem [that] blends tart, savory, acidic flavors into one beautiful, easy-drinking summer classic," the brewery says. Major Nights Lime Gose, which originally debuted two years ago as the Knew Schmew, was a collaboration with Denver band the Knew. This mildly tart, mildly salty German-style wheat beer was spiced up with 400 hand-zested limes. There will also be comedy at 4 p.m. and food from El Gallo Blanco.
Wednesday, July 4
Strange Craft Beer Company will tap its fifth annual batch of Watermelon Hefe at noon during the brewery's July 4 celebration (BYO barbecue to grill and have a picnic). Watermelon Hefe will be served in pints at the bar and in Crowlers to go while supplies last, but won't be sold in bomber bottles this year. "This bright and crisp German-style wheat beer is one of the brewery’s most sought-after creations, a refreshing summer delicacy adored for its 5.5 percent ABV drinkability and healthy but not overpowering dose of real watermelon — more than 660 pounds of organic, hand-cut fruit per ten-barrel batch," the brewery says. Strange only made enough to get through July. The beer garden will be open late that evening for fireworks viewing.
Okay, so now beer slushies are a thing. Several breweries in Colorado have introduced some new summer treats in the form of beer, frozen and mixed with other flavors. Now Fiction Beer is joining the club. "We’re ready to fire up the machine that magically transforms beer into a beer slushy," the brewery says. Starting at 1 p.m., Fiction will serve them all day. "The base beer for our ‘Hush-Hush Slush’ is a Sour Blonde Ale. To make a great slushie, you need lots of sugar. For our slushie, we are using fresh fruit purées of various varieties: pineapple, mango, papaya, passion fruit, soursop, lulu and guava." They'll be pouring in 8.5-ounce limited-edition stemless champagne flutes complete with umbrellas and straws. Muzo on Fire will have food.
Platt Park Brewing will tap two nitro versions of its fantastic Madagascar Dream Vanilla Cream Ale. The first is Madagascar Dream on fresh organic strawberries. "A sneaky 7 percent, this summer seasonal will smash your expectations of nitro beers," the brewery says. The second is Madagascar Dream with Blood Orange.
Little Machine Beer hosts its third annual Fourth of July Parking Lot Party starting at noon. "Kick back and enjoy the holiday with beer, yard games, an excellent view of the stadium's fireworks display, and food from True West Tacos and Burgerchief," the brewery says. Little Machine will tap a new beer called Tangerine Creamsicle.
Declaration Brewing will debut a new permanent food truck, Kings County Kitchen, during its Fourth of July party starting at 11 a.m. Helmed by Chef Brendon Doyle and Bob Reiter of American Elm, a new restaurant on 38th Avenue, the truck will be permanently situated inside Declaration’s terrific beer garden. For the party, Doyle will host a Kalua-style whole pig roast featuring pork, japanese rice, massaged kale salad and coconut syrup glazed coal roasted sweet potatoes. It costs $15 a plate, or $20 with a pint. There will also be a pie eating contest at 4 p.m. followed by live music from 5 to 7p.m. from The Royal Aces Surf Rock Band. The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls will be adding to the ambiance with leis.
Friday, July 6
Join Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery for the second installment of IPA Wars, a friendly competition among its employees. "Using our Rocky Mountain Chowda Hazy Session IPA and our Sawatch American IPA as a base, employees blend and infuse all sorts of cool ingredients in to make these one-off concoctions," Jagged Mountain says. The beers tap promptly at 5 p.m. and there are only five gallons of each one. You'll find Carrot Cake Milkshake Session IPA, Guava Coconut Hazy Session IPA, Orange Creamsicle American IPA, and at least three others. The first 100 people get a limited-edition glass. First keg to kick wins.
Saturday, July 7
Join Our Mutual Friend Brewing for the bottle release of Future Imperfect, a mixed-culture sour collaboration with Inland Island Yeast Labs and Good Bugs. "Future Imperfect is a blend of finished beer from our foeders, wine casks, and stainless steel tanks (a portion is spontaneously fermented wort). It has balanced acidity, minerality, and tropical character," the brewery says. It will also be on draft.
Baere Brewing celebrates its fourth anniversary in style, starting at noon, with a new bottle release and by tapping some fun new beers. There will also be free Sweet Action Ice Cream made with the brewery's beer, sour beer slushies (hottest trend of the summer), food from the Vegan Van, and Jorts of July. The first fifty people in the door will get free glassware.
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The Rackhouse Pub and Bierstadt Lagerhaus will open the beer hall today for a special Smoke Session featuring all things smoked. Among them are the GypsyQ BBQ Food Truck, which will be slinging Texas barbecue with an Asian flair, and $8 liters of Rauchbock (smoked lager). The Jessica Jones Project will be playing smokin' tunes, and the game room will be open.
WestFax Brewing in Lakewood hosts its first-ever limited Crowler release — and for a brand new beer. Just Brut It is a Brut IPA, a new trending beer style originating out of California. "This beer is crisp, light, dry and has tropical fruit notes including ripe apple and white grape," WestFax says. Crowlers are $14 each or $20 for two and feature label artwork by Noelle Phares Art.
12 Degree Brewing is throwing a party starting at noon to celebrate its fifth anniversary. The Louisville brewery will have special beer releases and giveaways (t-shirts, hats, growlers) every hour throughout the day. Some of the beers include a Cabernet Franc-barrel-aged Farmhouse Ale, a Malbec-barrel-aged Brett/Lacto Golden Ale, a cactus flower Sour, a pink peppercorn raspberry Farmhouse Ale, and a Golden Sour on tart cherries. At 7:30 p.m., By the Lee, featuring members of The Railsplitters, will take the stage.
In honor of National Chocolate Day, Oskar Blues Brewery will release a very limited amount of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Mocha Ten FIDY Imperial Stout at its locations in Longmont and Boulder. "Doused" with unsweetened pure liquid cacao from Cholaca, then "dosed" with Hotbox Roasters’ cold brew from Mexican coffee beans, the beer will be sold in 19.2-ounce cans. As with other Oskar Blues releases, numbered wristbands will be handed out at 9:30 a.m., but a line may begin to form much earlier. Each person may purchase up to five cases of BA Mocha Ten FIDY. For details and instructions, go to the Oskar Blues Facebook page.