Beer calendar: Smoked beers, books and barleywine are on tap

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Governor John Hickenlooper, co-founder of the Wynkoop Brewing Company, signed legislation this week that will continue to fund the Rural Economic Development Initiative, a program that "encourages local governments and businesses to join forces to develop community infrastructure and private facility projects and job training grants," according to the state. One of those projects: Eddyline Brewing in Buena Vista, which will receive a $125,000 grant toward a $1.4 million expansion and the creation of eighteen new jobs.

Turn the page to see all of this week's craft-beer events.

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

Patrick Dawson, a Denver resident, certified beer judge and writer, will celebrate the release of his new book, Vintage Beer, today from 5 to 7 p.m. at Crooked Stave. The book explores the idea of aging beers, which beers are suitable for cellaring, and how flavors change through time. There will be free hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar featuring some special kegs. The book sells for $14.95.

Check out the Denver Bicycle Cafe tonight, when you can try some Wynkoop Brewing Company beers and meet one of the brewers from 7 to 9 p.m.

Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs will release its seasonal English-Style Old Ale with an 'English Invasion' celebration today from 5 to 8 p.m. The bash will feature a ceremonial toast by owner Mike Bristol at 5:30 p.m., live music from Mellow Method at 6 p.m., and "The Great British Canned Goods Giveaway," in which trivia winners will walk away with authentic British canned goods. The beers is "medium-bodied and singularly malty, supplying sweet caramel undertones and age-related character with every sip," the brewery says.

Friday, March 14

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will release its Winter Warmer in 22-ounce bomber bottles today at 2 p.m. The 10.4 percent Old Ale "is incredibly complex with hints of chocolate, coffee, acidic notes, raisin and black currant, all which come from the use of house roasted barley and brown malts. Cascade and summit hops impart a complimentary aroma and bitterness," the brewery says. Version two of this beer debuted at the end of 2013; this event will conclude the availability of the seasonal release. Only 300 bottles were filled and will be available; limit is two per person. The Special food truck will be out front, and Ryan Means will spin jazz and soul.

Great Divide Brewing will go old school today when it taps Saint Bridget's Porter, a one-time GABF-award-winning beer that was discontinued in 2010 to make way for some livelier styles. At 5.9 percent ABV, it was described as an elegant, smooth porter, "brimming with the coffee and chocolate characteristics of dark barley malts." Great Divide only brewed fourteen barrels of the Saint Bridget's on its pilot system as a way to honor its upcoming twentieth anniversary -- and because the beer had a St. Patrick's Day-looking theme; it will only be served on draft in the taproom.

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 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 barbecued ribs for $8. A 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 a 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.

For more events later in March, turn the page. 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

Collaboration Fest, hosted by the Colorado Brewers Guild and Imbibe Denver, takes place today from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Curtis Hotel. The inaugural event, which is part of the annual Colorado Beer Week, features at least forty different collaborative beers, made by breweries around Colorado, across the nation and even overseas. They include everything from an all-female cast of Colorado Springs brewers to a roundup of several current and former brewers for the Mountain Sun and Vine Street Pub breweries, to a pairing between Ska Brewing and some colleagues in Sweden. Tickets are $50 (plus fees) for general admission, and $80 for VIP. For tickets, more information on the event and for a list of many of the collaborations, go to imbibedenver.com.

It's halfway 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

The Colorado Brewers Guild will continue its annual Colorado Craft Beer Week celebration today with the New Kids on the Block festival, an '80s theme event that celebrates breweries that are less than two years old. New Kids starts at 8 p.m. at the Lobby and is presented by Denver Off the Wagon, Imbibe Denver and PorchDrinking.com. Tickets are $25 and are available at imbibedenver.com. They include unlimited beer tastings, '80s jams, a beer-themed buffet and costume contest. Participating breweries include Black Bottle Brewery, Big Choice Brewing, Brewery Rickoli, CAUTION: Brewing, Elevation Beer Company, FATE Brewing, Former Future Brewing, Front Range Brewing, Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Prost Brewing, Station 26 Brewing, TRVE Brewing, Verboten Brewing, West Flanders Brewing, Westminster Brewing and Wild Woods Brewery.

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.

Friday, March 28

Get a sneak peak of Great Divide's new 20th Anniversary beer, a Belgian-style golden strong ale brewed with Viognier grape juice, from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight at Cheba Hut downtown. The beer was brewed to honor Great Divide's second decade (there will be a huge party in June). In addition, enjoy the brewery's spring seasonals, which are just coming out again: Rumble Oak Aged IPA (which used to be a July release) and Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti (which just won a gold medal at GABF).

Saturday, March 29

Join Odyssey Beerwerks and Awd aRT for a Saturday afternoon of craft beer and beer craft. Awd aRT's Amanda Willshire will be showcasing her latest spring-themed bottlecap creations at the brewery starting at 3:45 p.m. There will also be a food truck on hand and live music at 6 p.m. from Ash Ganley.

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.

River North Brewery is bringing back one of its original barrel-aged brews, Wine Barrel Aged J. Marie, today at 1 p.m. as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The beer was aged for nine months in Chardonnay barrels, which the brewery says lends dry notes of oak and fresh pear to this farmhouse ale. The beer will be on tap and in bottles throughout the day. Bombers are $15, and there's a two-bottle limit.

Todd and Candice Alstrom will be at Freshcraft today from 1 to 5 p.m. for their montly Beer Advocate Social. Freshcraft plans on tapping a rare keg or two for the crew.

Left Hand Brewing in Longmont will hold its second-annual Hops & Handrails Beer Fest & Rail Jam today from noon to 6 p.m. -- the closing event of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The family-friendly hybrid winter event features 35 Colorado's craft breweries alongside a snowboard competition featuring a thirty-foot-high high ramp and some of Colorado's best riders showing off their airs, grabs, spins, and flips. There is also a kids zone. Tickets to the beer fest, which runs from 1 to 3 p.m., are $30. Tickets to just the Rail Jam are $10. Proceeds benefiting SOS Outreach and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation. There will be prizes. Participating Breweries: 300 Suns, Avery, Backcountry, Big Choice, Bootstrap, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge, Bristol, Cannonball Creek, Crooked Stave, City Star, Crow Hop, Denver Beer Co, Dry Dock, Echo, Eddyline, Elevation, Fate, Gravity, Great Divide, Grimm Brothers, Kannah Creek, Left Hand, Loveland Aleworks, New Belguim, Odell, Oskar Blues, Pumphouse, Renegade, Revolution, Rockyard, San Luis Valley, Ska, Trinity, Twisted Pine, Upslope, Wynkoop.

Tuesday, April 8

Boulder Beer Company will party like its 1979 today when it taps the first kegs of its 35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA at Marlowe's in Denver during the Craft Beer Conference taking place here this week. "Dark black in color with a big all-around hop presence, Boulder 35 remains a well-balanced big IPA with a smooth roasted malt flavor," the brewery says. There will also be other Boulder Beer libations on tap from 9:30 p.m. until after midnight, along with live music from Gipsy Moon. The event is open to the public, however, all CBC badge holders will receive two free beers from Boulder Beer.

Wednesday, April 9

Join Denver Beer Co for a good old-fashioned pizza party tonight at 6 p.m. when the brewery welcomes in two of the city's best pizza trucks, Basic Kneads Pizza & Brava! Pizzeria. There will also be live music from Modern Whiskey Market.

Breckenridge Brewery has teamed up with SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta, Georgia, on a special collaboration beer that will be tapped today at Ale House at Amato's while the Craft Beer Conference is in town. The beer, called O'Tay, is a dry-hopped red wheat wine ale and will available elsewhere later this month in Colorado. Brewed with red wheat malt from the Colorado Malting Company and malted Buckwheat and Mosaic hops, it's a tribute to the friendship between Breckenridge head Todd Usry and Sweetwater chief Freddy Bensch, who "used to pal around Colorado in the early days of craft beer." Amato's will also host a tap takeover by Breckenridge and SweetWater. "The night will also honor the late Curtis McArthur of SweetWater Brewery with a toast at 4:20 p.m. Brewer friends of McArthur, Upslope Brewing Company and Crooked Stave, will be in attendance with a few of their beers to pour as well," the brewery says.

Thursday, April 10

Breckenridge Brewery and Sweetwater Brewery of Atlanta, Georgia, will embark on a pub crawl to seven Denver bars today that are serving O'Tay, a new collaboration beer that was brewed by the two companies (see above). Follow @BreckBrew and @SweetWaterBrew on Twitter and Instagram to locate the crew and join the crawl. The bars are Scruffy Murphy's, the Lobby, Star Bar, Lucky Pie, Blake St. Vault, Pour House, and the Strata Bar at the Hyatt Regency.

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.

Sunday, April 13

Denver Beer Co will team up with the Real Dill for round three of Beers & Spears, its beer-and-pickle paring pickle party (yes, I said "pickle twice"). This time, the pairing will include three beers paired with three pickles, as well as fried pickles from Big Country Bar B Que. Oh, and there will be a spicy-pickle eating contest, too (the winner gets a growler of beer and a jar of pickles.) Tickets are $15.



's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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