Two Denver breweries recently announced changes to their beer-making staffs.
Denver Beer Company hired Austin Wiley, who had been with Great Divide since 2007, to take over as the lead brewer, heading up recipe development at the Platte Street taproom, managing the operation and overseeing the barrel-aging program. Nick Bruno, who had been lead brewer at DBC, will move over to the company's new production facility, which should go online this spring. Owners Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford will continue to oversee brewing operations at both facilities.
And Prost Brewing has hired Larry Leinhart, who worked for 26 years for Anheuser-Busch, as its head brewer. Leinhart replaced Prost-co-owner Bill Eye, who resigned in January. The owner of a Fort Collins hops farm, Colorado Gold Hops, Leinhart has also worked for New Planet, Fort Collins Brewery and Pabst.
Turn the page to see all of this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, March 5
March is "What the firk??" Cask Month at the Copper Kettle, as the brewery taps some "crazy combinations that will make you think twice about the makings of a great beer." Today's beer, tapped at 3 p.m., is Oatmeal Wit, a "moderate-strength wheat based ale that uses no coriander or orange peel, like a traditional wit. The added oatmeal provides a creamy texture and silky mouth feel."
River North Brewery will tap a single five-gallon keg of its Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle that has been fermented Trappist-style. The 3 p.m. tapping is part of the brewery's weekly Wayward Wednesday program.
(This post has been corrected to reflect that the beer is being served at Colorado Plus, not the Yak & Yeti; Draeger is the brewmaster at both) Pizza beer? Pizza beer. Instead of pairing a beer with pizza, Colorado Plus brewmaster Adam Draeger decided to take his all-time favorite pizza (Hawaiian) and turn it into a beer using malts like Munich, Melanoiden and Biscuit to emulate the crust; pineapple juice; smoked hickory malt for the bacon; and oregano for sauce flavor and aroma. 421 Hawaiian Pizza comes in at 7.8 percent ABV.
Thursday, March 6
Ernie's Bar & Pizza and Oskar Blues Brewery will team up today on a fundraiser to benefit the brewery's CAN'd Aid Foundation, which was founded to help raise money for victims of last year's floods. Oskar Blues will take over a portion of Ernie's tap lines from 5 to 8 p.m. and feature some of its best beers; a brewer will be on hand to talk about them as well. Fifty cents from every pint purchased will to CAN'd Aid; Ernie's will also donate 20 percent of the day's sales from lunch and dinner to the foundation.
West Flanders Brewing in Boulder will wallow in defeat today at 5 p.m. by tapping Boom! IPA, a beer brewed by Kevin Watson of Seattle's Elysian Brewing and Brian Lutz of West Flanders as part of a Super Bowl bet between the two breweries. Since Denver lost, Watson got to take over the West Flanders equipment for a day. Boom! will have plenty of hoppy aroma and was made using Citra and Mosaic hops.
Friday, March 7
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse will take over the taps tonight at 5 p.m. at Colorado Plus in Wheat Ridge. Beers on tap include: Ungrateful Son, a grapefruit-zested American amber; the Baron, a Berliner weisse; Snowdrop Kotbusser Ale; 7 Ravens, a schwarzbier; and Fearless Youth dunkel.
Saturday, March 8
Hops & Pie needs to empty its cellar, pronto. So the craft beer-centered pizza joint is holding an Everything Must Go party today from noon to close, and its closets are full of amazing stuff. Some of the beers on tap include Bruery Bois; Prairie Bomb; Boulevard Rye on Rye; Oskar Blues barrel-aged Ten Fidy; Perennial Abraxas; Firestone Walker Parabola; New Belgium Biere de Peach Barrel; Ska Two Tone Montanya; Upslope Cabernet Barrel-Aged IPA; and Jackie O's Dark Appartition.
Although Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery opened last November, the spot will hold an official grand opening today. Details are TBA, but the brewery says it will be releasing three or four new beers at different times throughout the day (including two beers with experimental hops). There will also be food-beer pairings, and raffles of swag, brewery tours/tastings and "the opportunity to call your shot with a future pilot system beer (you choose the style and get to pick the name)."
Diebolt Brewing will tap a brand new beer, Diebolt International Ale, today at 6:30 p.m. The beer, nicknamed DIA, is a white IPA that will become part of the regular rotation -- and the brewery's hoppiest beer, at 80 IBUs. It also includes three international hop varieties. Local rockers Calder's Revolvers will kick out the jams starting at 7 p.m., and Corner of Gourmet will be outside the brewery from 5 to 9 p.m., serving everything from pork tacos to fried Reuben rolls.
Wanna know what it's like to be craft beer rep? Tune into American Craft Beer Radio today at noon on 102.3 FM, when host (and former Prost Brewing rep) Gary Valliere will welcome ten or so sales reps from a variety of breweries that could include Stone, Lagunitas, New Belgium, Dry Dock, Avery, Ska, Renegade, Squatters, Mission, Grist, Fort Collins and Elk Mountain.
Sunday, March 9
Lowry Beer Garden will say goodbye to Dark, and hello to Light today -- in honor of the beginning of Daylight Savings time -- by pouring some beers from Lone Tree Brewing, including Toot's Oatmeal Stout, Hoptree Double IPA and Pale Peach Ale. Happy hour on these beers runs from 2 to 7 p.m. and there will be prizes and giveaways, as well as a brewery representative on hand to talk beer.
For more events later in March, turn the page. Wednesday, March 12
March is "What the firk??" Cask Month at the Copper Kettle, as the brewery taps some "crazy combinations that will make you think twice about the makings of a great beer." Today's beer, tapped at 3 p.m., is Smoked California Common, "a different spin on a traditional American style, a lager fermented at ale temperatures. With the addition of smoked malt this toasted and slightly fruity beer gains complexity." There will be a food truck on hand at 4:30.
Thursday, March 13
Check out the Denver Bicycle Cafe tonight and try some Wynkoop Brewing Company beers and meet one of the brewers from 7 to 9 p.m.
Friday, March 14
Copper Kettle Brewing will host a St. Paddy's Day Celebration all day long today, featuring its Help Me Out Stout, a dry Irish stout made with roasted barley and a generous dose of hops. It will also be on Nitro. Dogtown Concessions will be out serving up some Irish inspired grub starting at 7 p.m.
Fort Collins Brewery and the co-located Gravity 1020 Tavern will release the fourth beer in the brewery's Out of the Ashes Series today at a Western-style taproom party from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; anyone who wears Western-style gear will get a pint of the beer and plate of barbecue ribs for $8. The 5.6 percent ABV, German-style beer, Smoked Märzen. "boasts rich caramel and molasses sweetness with a touch of nuttiness," the brewery says. It will also be packaged in 22-ounce bomber bottles and sold at liquor stores. Out of the Ashes is limited-release series that features "varied and unique flavors and aromas delivered from malt smoked over wood-burning fires."
Saturday, March 15
Breckenridge Brewery will introduce a new beer, Barleywine Batch #1, today by selling 22-ounce, wax-topped bottles out of its Kalamath Street taproom. The beer debuted in January at the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival in Vail. Cold-conditioned for three months and barrel-aged in fresh American Oak barrels for another six, this beer comes in at 10.1 percent ABV and is the brewery's first barleywine. "It has an aromatic complexity resembling that of molasses and ripened black cherries, and a robust profile that blends a spectrum of flavors including sweet malts, dark fruits, oak, and esters," Breckenridge says. Todd Usry, Breckenridge Brewery's brewmaster and director of Brewing Operations, will be at the Batch #1 Bottle Release to mingle with patrons and autograph bottles. American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live as well. The brewery plans to release a limited run of its Barleywine every year. "Each batch, however, will incorporate a new imaginative twist on the recipe. It will be unveiled at Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywines year after year, followed by a limited bottle release at the brewery with availability in select markets," says Breckenridge.
Monday, March 17
Big Choice Brewing will release its bourbon-barrel-aged ApreShred Winter Ale in bottles and on tap starting at around 3 p.m. "This awesome spiced winter ale includes hints of cinnamon, vanilla, ginger root, honey and orange peel and aged in a bourbon barrel to give you something nice to enjoy at your leisure," the brewery says. It's $22 for a 22-ounce bomber bottle; limit two per person. First come, first served.
Wednesday, March 19
March is "What the firk??" Cask Month at the Copper Kettle, as the brewery taps some "crazy combinations that will make you think twice about the makings of a great beer." Today's beer, tapped at 3 p.m., is Blackberry IPA, a cross between a fresh blackberry fruit beer and the brewery's Copper Hopper American IPA. There will be a food truck on hand at 4:30.
Thursday, March 20
The Denver Bicycle Cafe will host a Beer and Blue Cheese night from 7 to 9 p.m., featuring four gourmet cheeses that were hand picked by cheese expert Amy Combs to match a selection of four five-ounce Colorado craft beers. Combs will also discuss "what makes a blue, a blue." Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door.
Friday, March 21
Epic Brewing will host Four Firkin Friday today from 4 to 10 p.m. as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week. Get a flight of all four or a full pour of any one of them for $5 (all of which benefits the Colorado Brewers Guild). The firkins are: Sour Apple Saison with fresh ginger; Santa Cruz Brown with Novo Cascara (coffee cherry); Escape to Colorado IPA dry hopped with Amarillo; and 825 State Stout with coconut.
Saturday, March 22
It's half way to Oktoberfest, so Lone Tree Brewing is celebrating Halfte Oktoberfest today from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., featuring its Weisen-style Oktoberfest beer. El Toro the Tot will be on site with food.
Wednesday, March 26
March is "What the firk??" Cask Month at the Copper Kettle, as the brewery taps some "crazy combinations that will make you think twice about the makings of a great beer." Today's beer, tapped at 3 p.m., is Imperial Red Saison,which mixes the grain bill from Naja, Imperial Red IPA, New Zealand hops, and a Belgian farmhouse yeast strain. There will be a food truck on hand at 4:30.
Thursday, March 27
Ska Brewing will take over the taps at 7 p.m. tonight at the Denver Bicycle Cafe. There will be a variety of beers, plus free schwag and a brewery rep to talk with.
Saturday, March 29
Copper Kettle Brewing will release Naja Imperial Red IPA on draft today during taproom hours, starting at noon. The American Red IPA is "full of intense hop flavor," the brewery says and loaded with 110 IBUs. While this release is draft only, Copper Kettle plans to make Naja one of its seasonal bomber releases later this year. CKrêpes & CKatering will be at the brewery starting at 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 12
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, which will begin canning one of its beers. Little Red Cap, in April, will hold a party today to celebrate the new 12-ounce package. The Loveland brewery is selling the GABF award-winning alt-style beer in six-packs. The can-release party will feature Little Red Cap beer can chicken as well as a canned food drive benefiting House of Neighborly Service.
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