Beer calendar: The Boulder Craft Beer Fest, New Holland, and a Top-Secret Wild Ale

Oskar Blues said last week that it has lowered the alcohol content of its newest and most unusual craft beer, Old Chub Scotch Ale Nitro, at the request of bars across the OB's 35-state distribution network, where the beer will be rolled out in coming weeks. Old Chub will now weigh in at 6.9 percent ABV, rather than 8 percent.

The change means that these bars can offer traditional full-pint pours rather than eight- or ten-ounce pours, the Longmont brewery says. OB debuted the beer -- the first American-made nitro beer in a can -- in Denver in April at the Craft Brewers Conference. Regular, non-nitro Old Chub will remain at 8 percent ABV.

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

Wednesday, August 20

Michigan's New Holland Brewing -- which said last week that it will begin distribution in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa -- will host a launch party at Star Bar today from 6 to 8 p.m. (and another tomorrow at Freshcraft from 8 to 10 p.m.). The brewery plans to release its year-round series as well as several seasonal beers here.

Copper Kettle Brewing will tap a series of firkins based on childhood cereals at 2 p.m. Wednesdays this month. Today's is Count Chocula Stout. Ckrepes will be serving its Asian/Hawaiian-style cuisine at 3 p.m. The brewery is now tapping two firkins of each beer.

Thursday, August 21

Denver Bicycle Cafe will host a beer-and-cheese pairing tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. with Boulder's Fate Brewing. Tickets are $20 and include four craft-beer pours with four different cheeses selected by A Cheese Peddler.

New York's Shmaltz Brewing Company is hosting a series of "Reunion" fundraising events this summer to help raise money for the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research; tonight's takes place at the Falling Rock Taphouse. A portion of the proceeds from these events and from the sale of Reunion Ale '14 will be donated to the Institute. This year's beer, a collaboration with Terrapin Beer Company and Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports, is an imperial brown ale brewed with toasted coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, roasted coffee and cocoa nibs. Shmaltz founder Jeremy Cowan will be on hand to tap the beer, along with Reunion Ale, Death of a Contract Brewer Black IPA and Jewbelation Reborn. There will also be raffles.

Friday, August 22

Boulder Beer Company has released Stage 7 Barrel-Aged Rye Pale Ale in celebration of the Stage 7 professional cycling event, which is in Boulder this weekend. The beer, which will be available at the taproom and in a few other locations nearby, is an extremely small-batch brew aged in first-use bourbon barrels. "It was brewed with caramel malt and toasted rye in the mash tun for a nutty flavor and deep golden color, delicately hopped, then racked into bourbon barrels to age for over two months," the brewery says. It will also be poured at tomorrow's Boulder Craft Beer Fest.

Saturday, August 23

River North Brewery will release its second annual Rum Barrel Quandary, the brewery's 10.2 percent ABV quadruple aged in fresh rum barrels, today at 1 p.m. in the taproom. Draft pours and bombers-to-go will be available; there will also be a limited amount of last year's vintage on tap. River North bottled 135 cases, some of which will make it to liquor stores.

The inaugural Boulder Craft Beer Festival takes place today in West Central Park, where twenty Boulder County breweries will be pouring their beers. The festival, produced by Downtown Boulder, Inc., runs from noon to 5 p.m. and includes live music, food and lawn games. Participants include 12 Degree Brewing, Fate Brewing, Oskar Blues, Upslope, Avery, Gravity, The Post Brewing, Vindication, Bootstrap, J. Wells Brewery, Sanitas, Walnut Brewery, Boulder Beer, Left Hand, Shine Brewing, West Flanders, BRU, Odd 13, Twisted Pine and Wild Woods Brewery. Attendees will enjoy unlimited two-ounce pours. Tickets, $30 in advance ($35 the day of), can be found at BoulderCraftBeerFest.com.

Monday, August 25

Since long before they opened Former Future Brewing, James and Sarah Howat wanted to brew a beer that was spontaneously fermented by yeasts floating in the air -- as they do at some noted breweries in Belgium. Today, the Howats will tap the first of what they hope is a series of these beers. Black Project Spontaneous Ales is the name of this Former Future side project (which comes with some spy-like press materials). The first beer is called Flyby, a golden/amber ale with at least four wild strains of Brettanomyces (based on lab assessment). "Spontaneous fermentation is typically accomplished by allowing all or part of a batch of beer to be cooled overnight in a shallow vessel known as a 'coolship,' the brewery says. "As the beer cools, it is exposed to microbes (wild yeast and bacteria) that create a complex beer with flavors ranging from funky to bracingly tart. This process is the traditional way that Belgian sours are created." The Howats had tried to raise money to buy a coolship via Kickstarter last year, but the attempt failed, so they have created a smaller, less expensive one of their own. The release party runs from 6 to 9 p.m., but it's a ticketed event and costs $40; the price includes a glass of Flyby, a glass of any other Former Future Beer that is on tap, as well as a limited edition T-shirt (available only through this event) that is hand-screened in the brewery by the brewers of Black Project.

The Old Chicago restaurants in Colorado will tap a new beer from Odell Brewing today as part of its new OC Beer Explorer Series, which are designed to move the chain further into craft-beer territory than its existing Mini Tours. Old Chicago beer operations manager Daniel Imdieke went to Odell to help brew the beer, which is called Comes and Gose. Goses are an unusual style that originated in sixteenth-century Germany. They are known for being salty, tart, lower in alcohol and made with malted wheat rather than barley. Imdieke says this one is "a fantastic version of the style with notes of tart apricot and stonefruit, layers of spice from Saaz hops, a mouthwatering slightly salty finish." It will be on tap for two weeks (or until it's gone) along with Odell's Perle White IPA, Loose Leaf Session Ale and Oktoberfest.

For more events in August, turn the page. Wednesday, August 27

Copper Kettle Brewing will tap a series of firkins on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. this month based on childhood cereals. Today's is Apple Jacks, an American blonde with apples and cinnamon. Ckrepes will be serving its Asian/Hawaiian-style cuisine at 3 p.m. The brewery is now tapping two firkins of each one.

Saturday, September 6

Casey Brewing and Blending in Glenwood Springs will release Cherry Fruit Stand Farmhouse Ale today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Fruit Stand series consists of Casey's saison aged on different Colorado fruits. There are two versions of Cherry Fruit Stand, one made with sweet cherries and one with sour Balaton cherries. Both will be available on tap ($6 a pour) and in bottles ($16 each with a six-bottle limit). Casey will also be pouring Saison Blend Two, Saison Blend Three ($5 a pour) or by the bottle ($15), and selling Saison Blend Three ($15 per bottle). There are forty cases of Saison Blend Three and twenty cases each of the Cherry Fruit Stands.



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

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