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Beer calendar: South Denver Beer Fest and New Brew Fest kick off the summer party season

Mark Manger, the creator of the GrOpener one-handed bottle opener (and a former Westword photographer) is back with a new twist on his invention -- and has already raised enough with his second indiegogo campaign to move things along. The Grab-K is a thinner keychain version of the original. Although Manger has already surpassed his $3,000 goal, you can still donate to the campaign -- and score a Grab-K in the process at indiegogo.com.

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

Wednesday, April 30

12 Degree Brewing in Old Town Louisville will host a Beer & Chocolate Pairing for Women today at 7 p.m. that includes the brewery's Belgian-style artisan ales and Robin Chocolates of Longmont. Robin Autorino of Robin Chocolates and Jon Howland of 12 Degree will both speak about the pairings. Organized by Barley's Angels Colorado, the event costs $20. Register at barleysangelscolorado.com/#!boulderevents/c8k2.

The Copper Kettle is celebrating Blondes this month by featuring a different blonde cask every Wednesday. Today's -- a twist on the cocktail called Sex on the Beach -- has peach schnapps, cranberry and orange peel. It will be tapped at 3 p.m. A new food truck, Barbed Wire Reef, will be on hand as well.

Thursday, May 1

The Source artisan food market in RiNo will host a New Belgium Brewing takeover today through Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., New Belgium will feature a miniature tasting room complete with New Belgium classics, along with the brewery's more esoteric Lips of Faith series, for sampling. In addition, the Source will show the Kentucky Derby races on a giant screen on May 3. All of the proceeds from New Belgium's Take Over at The Source will benefit the nonprofit Alliance for Sustainable Colorado.

Friday, May 2

Twelve Degree Brewing in Louisville will tap a limited amount of its Midnight Fog Quadruple today at 3 p.m. The brewery also has its inaugural batch of Dervish on tap, a brett saison "with an earthy aroma, pronounced tartness, and mild funk," as well as Pearanormal, a pear saison.

Saturday, May 3

The South Denver Beer Fest returns to Littleton's Clement Park from 2 to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow, featuring a mix of more than 140 craft beers, wines and ciders. Many of the participating breweries have only recently opened their doors and some will be debuting at this years festival. But there will also be a variety of local spirits in the VIP Tent. Breweries will also be competing for votes from attendees as to the best overall beer. In addition, there will be a cooking-with-beer demo and food trucks. Tickets -- $40 in advance and $50 at the door, are available at southdenverbeerfest.com.

Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield will celebrate its second anniversary from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today at the Old Man, a roadhouse on 120th Avenue (the taproom will be closed today). There will be a 5K race in the morning and then special tappings and barbecue all day. For the kids, there will be face painting and a jumpy house from noon to 3 p.m. For the adults, cornhole and Jumbo Jenga tournaments start at 3 p.m.

Sunday, May 4

The South Denver Beer Fest continues in Littleton's Clement Park. See above for details.

For more events later in May, turn the page. Friday, May 9

Slue Foot Sue's Shindig is a beer fest and art show hosted by Imbibe Denver and the city's Arts & Venues department. Created as a way to showcase The New West: Contemporary Perspectives of the Rocky Mountain Region, an exhibit on display inside the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park, the Shindig is also a Rockmount Ranchwear trunk show. Participating breweries include City Star, Backcountry, Great Divide, Station 26 and Jagged Mountain. There will also be barbecue from Moe's BBQ, live country music from Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels, and the opportunity to by shirts, accessories and posters from Rockmount. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets, $10, include three tokens each good for a twelve-ounce beer, and are available at imbibedenver.com/sue.

Saturday, May 10

The New Brew Fest, put on by Colorado Beer Trail, takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. today at Whistle Stop Park, 1st Avenue and Murray Street, in Niwot. There will be live music, food trucks and seventy-plus beers and ciders from 26 new breweries (less than five years old) in and around Boulder County, including: 300 Suns, 4 Noses, Asher, Big Choice, Bootstrap, BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats, City Star, Crystal Springs, Echo, Front Range, Gravity, Industrial Revoultion, J Wells, Kettle & Stone, Kokopelli, Odd13, The Old Mine, The Post, Sanitas, Shine, Twelve Degree, Very Nice, West Flanders, Westminster, Wild Woods, and Wonderland. General admission is $35 in advance, $40 at the door. VIP admission (which includes an exclusive sampling hour with brewers from noon to 1 p.m., cheese and chocolate, an event t-shirt, roundtrip shuttle transfers, and voucher for a beer at Bootstrap Brewing at the after party) are $80, and only available in advance. There will be an after-party at Bootstrap Brewing from 5 to 10 p.m. Get more info at NewBrewFest.com.

Odell Brewing will release the latest beer in its cellar series today with a party in its Fort Collins taproom. Jaunt takes its name from the short trip that Odell's brewers took over the Rocky Mountains to the Western Slope, where they acquired Riesling grapes. A 7.6 percent ABV pale ale, this beer was brewed with those grapes and then aged on oak staves. The taproom will continue the party tomorrow with live music.

Monday, May 12

Strange Craft (formerly Strange Brewing) will take over the taps at Scratch Burrito and Happy Tap today all day today, tomorrow and Wednesday. Strange will be on all six taps.

Tuesday, May 13

Strange Craft (formerly Strange Brewing) will tap its 2012 Batch of Dr StrangeLove Barleywine today at 3 p.m. The beer is GABF award winner.

Wednesday, May 14

One of many beer-pairing dinners being held in honor national Craft Beer Week, Freshcraft is pulling out the stops for a five-course dinner with seatings every thirty minutes starting at 6 p.m.' brewer representatives will be on hand to talk beer. Menu items include duck confit coin purse with a toasted goat cheese marshmallow and cherry reduction paired with Lost Abbey Red Poppy; charred fennel, lightly pickled ramps and Chioggia beets tossed in a creamy roasted carrot gorgonzola dressing over butter lettuce with crispy shallot rings paired with Ska Mandarino; Calvados seared scallops on riper pear béchamel brown butter and chives paired with River North Chardonnay Barrel Aged J. Marie; Wild Boar St. Louis style ribs, corn bread spaetzle tossed with house made Provel style cheese on celeriac smoked bubbles paired with New Belgium Blackberry Love; and Mexican Chocolate mousse layered with cinnamon cream in a churro cup on nopale cactus jam with toasted coconut paired with Avery Coconut Ellie's Brown Ale. Tickets are $60 and available at brownpapertickets.com.

Friday, May 16

Strange Craft (formerly Strange Brewing) will tap a beer called Hop Candy today at 3 p.m.; there will be live Celtic Rock music with Indigent Row at 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 17

Colorado Plus will celebrate its first anniversary today with a birthday party that comes complete with live music, a special menu and more than fifteen house brews on tap.

Caution Brewing will celebrate the second anniversary of its original Denver location today with a party from noon to 8 p.m. There will be food trucks (El Toro the Tot and Pride of Philly), a DJ, Karaoke, a retro '80s band, a dunk tank, prizes and new beers (including a special anniversary Belgian-style Dubbel).

Odyssey Beerwerks will celebrate its first anniversary -- as well as the addition of two larger, thirty-barrel fermenters -- today with a birthday party starting at noon. In addition to the ten beers already on tap, Odyssey will release five special beers throughout the day; some are old favorites from the past year and some are making their first appearance. There will also be three food trucks (The Orange Crunch, Chuey Fu's, and Bubba Dukes BBQ) and live music (The Social Livers, The Prairie Scholars, and Jim Jamm Jimmy). The brewery will be drawing for prizes. Part of the parking lot will be closed off to give everyone a little more room to spread out.

Head to Boulder for the Upslope Get Down, a free music festival today from 2 p.m. to midnight at Upslope Brewing Company's Flatiron Park location. The brewery will take over its back parking lot to host eight bands on two stages for continuous music all day, along withe food trucks and Upslope beers. Bands include Fox Street, The Movement, Gipsy Moon, Good Gravy, Rocktin Grove, Hot Soup and Rowdy Shadehouse.

Monday, May 19

The relatively new Two22 Brew will host an American Craft Beer Week small-bite beer pairing tonight in conjunction with Joe Gerace of the East Coast Joe's food truck. Gerace will match five gourmet small bites (everything from lamb to diver scallops to dessert) with five beers. Tickets are $40 and limited to thirty people.

Wednesday, May 28

Lucky Pie Louisville is hosting a Chef vs. Chef dinner featuring the pizza joint's Louisville Chef, Josh Stone, and his sous chefs in a four-course, head-to-head showdown. Guests will choose their favorite courses as well as who's beer reigns supreme between Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. Tickets are $65 per person including tax and gratuity and can be purchased at LuckyPieTickets.com.

Saturday, May 31

Oskar Blues Brewery and the Town of Lyons will bring back the popular Burning Can Festival and Lyons outdoor games today, despite the September flooding that damaged most of the town's parks and rec areas. Located in the the unaffected areas of Bohn Park, Burning Can includes 150 beers from more than fifty can-centric breweries from all over the country. General admission tickets for the fest, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m., are $30 ($35 the day of); VIP tix are $45 and get you in an hour early. Proceeds go to the Oskar Blues CAN'd Aid Foundation (which has already raised more than $600,000) and benefit the Lyons parks and rec department and the Colorado Brewers Guild. The Lyons Outdoor Games, meanwhile, will again include pro kayak events, the high-flying "Outlaws of Dirt" Jump series, along with a junior pump-track event, a rugby tournament, the Ultimate Athlete Competition, the 2014 Lyons Outdoor Games Slackline Jam presented by Gibbon Slacklines, cornhole tournament, live music (Anders Osborne), food booths and a family-friendly area. For a list of the breweries, events and for tickets, go to burningcan.com



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