The Boulder-based Brewers Association, the national trade group representing craft brewers nationwide, has released its annual list of the fifty largest craft breweries, and once again, Colorado has five on the list. At the top, New Belgium remains in the fourth spot, followed by Canarchy in the ninth. If you can't recall having seen the Canarchy brand on liquor-store shelves, it's the new name for the holding company that owns Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Perrin Brewing and Utah Brewers Cooperative (which consists of the Wasatch and Squatter's breweries). Odell Brewing, in Fort Collins, moved from the 27th to the 25th spot on the list, while Longmont's Left Hand Brewing stayed at 44.
The final spot, at 50, is held by Boulder's Avery Brewing, which was 48th last year — the first time the brewery made the list. However, Avery will drop off the list in 2018 since it sold a 30 percent stake last November to Spanish brewing conglomerate Mahou San Miguel. To remain as a craft brewer, the BA doesn't allow breweries to sell more than 25 percent of their business to another non-craft beer marker.
Keep reading for all the craft-beer events into late March.
Wednesday, March 14
Join Copper Kettle Brewing from 2 to 9 p.m. as it celebrates Pi Day, "the only thing out of math class we all (well, most of us...) remember," the brewery says. Copper Kettle will tap four pie-inspired beers that will be available in twelve-ounce pours or as a flight. They are: Strawberry Rhubarb Blond; Pecan Pie Dopplebock; Cherry Pie Cream Ale; and Banana Cream Hefe. And "anyone who can recite the mathematical constant to at least the twentieth digit gets their first" beer free. There will also be pizza pies from Dough Boys out front.
Have you heard about the beer that Little Machine made last month with Joyride Brewing and Mason Ale Works? It was brewed with snow and wet hops, and it got a bunch of press. "You’ve seen the stories, now it’s time to try the beer," says Little Machine. Fresh p0w, a "zero IBU IPA" is now on tap. "Come grab a glass of the most Colorado beer you’ll drink all year." It will also be served at Collaboration Fest on March 31.
Thursday, March 15
Call to Arms Brewing taps More Like Bore-o-phyll, a wet-hopped IPA with an addition of one hundred pounds of whole-cone Cascade hops and a boatload of Moscaic, Amarillo, and Galaxy hops. "This beer is packed with huge notes of orange zest, ripe peach, and spruce tips," the brewery says.
Friday, March 16
Comrade Brewing taps Legal Wheat, a 5.4 percent ABV unfiltered American wheat ale. It features a citrusy flavor from Lemondrop and Citra hops and has a distinct cloudy golden color.
BookBar on North Tennyson Street will host two authors from 7 to 8 p.m. The first is Ian Neligh, who wrote Gold! Madness, Murder, and Mayhem in the Colorado Rockies. The second is longtime local brewer and beer historian Dave Thomas, author of Of Mines and Beer!: 150 Years of Brewing History in Gilpin County, Colorado, and Beyond. Expect some fun conversation, a Q&A, knowledge-sharing and beer.
The Gubna returns to Oskar Blues Brewery's Tasty Weasel Taproom in Longmont at 5:30 p.m. This 10 percent ABV imperial IPA was brewed with: spicy, herbal Crystal hops; juicy, fruity Eldorado; and tropical, tangerine-esque Azacca. The hops were hand-picked by over sixty Oskar Blues Brewery employees at this year’s hop selection. "The state of the state of the Gubna is four times hopped — in the mash addition, wort addition, and twice kettle dry-hopped with an unheard of and grandiose 6.7 pounds per barrel hop load (that means it’s 50 percent more hoptuous than the most hopmonious previous incarnation of Gubna)," the brewery says. "That noble hop lineup is set against a spicy, viscous and downright regal 15 percent rye malt backbone." This beer is now available only in the taproom in cans.
Saturday, March 17
Woods Boss Brewing taps three pilot brews in honor of St. Paddy's Day: Descendant of the Dark One Dry Irish stout; Hisolda (Irish for "fair lady") Irish Coffee Creme Stout; and Chubby Bunny, a brown porter brewed with toasted marshmallows. There will also be progressive Celtic rock from Indigent Row.
Cerebral Brewing hosts the draft and bottle release of Work From Home Breakfast Porter ($14) starting at 11 a.m. The beer was brewed with Vermont maple syrup and Colombian coffee roasted by MiddleState Coffee. In addition, Cerebral will release bottles of Barrel-Aged Work From Home ($18), which was aged in Breckenridge Bourbon barrels for more than a year. And finally, the brewery will sell a very limited number of bottles of Work From Home aged in a single barrel of Laws Whiskey House Four Grain Strait Bourbon (Mayfair Liquors and Joy Wine and Spirits will each get a limited allocation), and Work From Home aged in a single rum barrel. There will be a small amount of all three barrel-aged versions on draft. There will be a line for these beers, so Cerebral will start handing out tickets at 8 a.m. Find more rules and details on Cerebral's Facebook page.
No, St. Patrick's Day has nothing to do with German-style lagers. But that doesn't matter, because as Bierstadt Lagerhaus says, this is "a marriage of convenience." Head down to the brewery, at the Rackhouse Pub, at 7 a.m. to watch the St. Paddy's Day floats getting built outside and enjoy an Irish breakfast and a liter of lager. You can also enjoy corned-beef sandwiches for lunch, Irish coffee, play yard games and listen to Irish drinking songs. The Michael Collins Pipes and Drums band will stop by at noon. (P.S.: No green beer.)
Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project taps a traditional Dry Irish Stout at 11 a.m. The beer will also be available on nitro. The Ohana Grille Hawaiian Fusion Eatery will be serving food.
Alpine Dog Brewing will serve up Hot Chocolate Stout for St. Patrick's Day. It's the brewery's Blind Sherpa Stout made with hot cocoa and lactose.
Fiction Beer Company plans a "super-chill" Saint Patrick’s Day, complete with live music from CaraTrom Irish Bluegrass at 3 p.m., an Irish-inspired menu from Beef King, and the tapping of Fiction's Malice & Darkness Russian Imperial Stout aged in Jameson oak barrels.
Baere Brewing releases bottles of Four Grains in the Brain at noon. It's the followup to last's year's beer, Four Grains in the Membrane. "This four-grain barleywine-inspired beer was brewed with barley, rye, wheat, and corn in collaboration with our friends at Laws Whiskey House," Baere says. "It was then aged for nine months in their Four Grain Bourbon barrels with Brettanomyces. After the slumber, it was blended and bottled by hand in a strip mall with love." Bottles are $12; it's also on draft. In addition, Copia Confectionery will be in the taproom with fabulous truffles and macaroons, including one made with this very beer.
Resolute Brewing in Centennial celebrates St. Patrick's Day by tapping a brand-new beer, Rye Irish Red with Clover Honey. Rock N Lobster Roll will serve its traditional food-truck menu with some special Irish additions, and the Dollhouse Thieves will keep the party moving from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 18
For Odd13 Brewing's first release in March, the Lafayette brewery is bringing back some hoppy favorites along with a new barrel-aged sour. They are only available in the taproom and won't hit distribution. The first beer is Codename: SuperDuperFan, an 8 percent ABV double IPA version of its flagship hazy IPA. The second is Hop Hackin' Henry, an IPA designed to showcase piney notes from Simcoe, Chinook and Eureka hops. The last beer is Currant Mood, an open-fermented Bier De Garde aged in fresh Chardonnay barrels and re-fermented on black currants. It was inspired by the French cocktail Kir Royale.
Wednesday, March 21
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen hosts a tap takeover at 5:30 p.m. by Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing. Beer available includes Codename SuperDuperFan, Hop Hackin' Henry, Vincent Van Couch, n00b, Intergalactic Juice Hunter and the Economist with Apricots & Mangoes, a collaboration between First Draft and Odd13.
The gang's all beer at Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, which is hosting Colorado Brewing History Night. The event, which starts at 6 p.m., includes a Colorado-inspired dinner, a flight of Left Hand beer, and "Brewed at Altitude: The History of Colorado Brewing," a lecture by Left Hand brewer Carl Rose, who'll pour out beery knowledge that starts with the pioneer brewers of the 1860s and concludes with the rise of of the craft-brewing movement. Tickets are $25, and all proceeds benefit an upcoming beer exhibit at History Colorado.
Thursday, March 22
Call to Arms Brewing brings back Shirtless Putin Nuzzling With Dolphins in bottles and on draft at 3 p.m. This 11.7 percent bourbon barrel-aged imperial Baltic porter was brewed with Sweet Bloom Coffee and "offers flavors of vanilla, oak, and chocolate covered cherries," the brewery says. “You can’t un-see the imagery of a scantily clad Vladimir cuddling up to these friendly mammals of the sea,” adds the brewery's Chris Bell. “It’s a bold image fit for a bold beer.” Shirtless Putin Nuzzling With Dolphins was brewed with Czech Pils yeast and started as the brewery’s Shirtless Putin on a Horse. Seven different malts were blended and used in the original brew, along with the addition of Bravo hops. The beer was then aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels for months. Coffee was added as the finishing touch. There are only 400 bottles available.
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Join Ratio Beerworks in celebrating the return of Stay Gold Spring Märzen Lager. The beer is Ratio's take on the classic Bavarian beer, which has "biscuit-y malt-forward notes and an extremely refreshing quenchable finish," the brewery says. "This Spring Märzen is brewed with a blend of Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts adding a rich toasty backbone. Fermented with a German lager strain for a crisp and clean finish, while showcasing German Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops to add a balanced hint of bitterness."
Friday, March 23
Ratio Beerworks brings back its surprising and excellent King of Carrot Flowers, a carrot juice and elderflower saison at 5:30 p.m. First brewed in celebration of EatDenver's 2017 Harvest Week, the beer "defies convention and was crafted with culinary balance in mind. It has a "cantaloupe orange hue, while exhibiting subtle fruit-forward citrus notes and nuances of pear, honey, coriander, and vanilla."
Based on its popularity near and far, it's hard to believe that Weldwerks Brewing is only three years old, but the Greeley brewery will celebrate that birthday with a three-day party starting today, Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. There will be food trucks, a photo booth and daily tours. As for beers, there will be fifteen different rare or exclusive brews tapped over the course of the weekend, including five Medianoche variants. Details are TBA.
Saturday, March 24
Fiction Beer Company hosts its first taproom-only can release at 1 p.m. by releasing two different beers — about 100 cases of each beer in sixteen-ounce four-packs. The first beer is Beta Capsule Double Dry Hopped New England Style Imperial IPA. Inspired by Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One," this beer was brewed with Vic Secret, Mosaic and Citra hops. "Notes of fresh peach, refreshing citrus, and tropical passion fruit complemented by a smooth mouthfeel and deceiving ABV," the brewery says. The second beer is The Falconer Dry Hopped Saison. Inspired by Helen Macdonald's "H is for Hawk," the Falconer is a traditional saison brewed with "a blend of yeasts to accentuate the fruit esters over the spicy phenolics. Complementing the natural fruit character from the yeast, we added serious doses of Motueka dry hops. Notes of fresh lemon zest, squeezed lime and tropical fruit combine with a crisp dry finish for a very refreshing start to the spring."