Strange Craft Beer Company owner Tim Myers was worried that the COVID-19 lockdown would negatively affect sales of Kendrick's Ale, a beer that he brewed in honor of Kendrick Castillo, who was killed last year while trying to save fellow students from a gunman at the STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Myers needn't have been worried. Strange Craft, along with partners Max Taps, Tongue Tied Design and Barrett & Pratt Provisions, raised more than $4,000 for the St. Mary's School Scholarship Fund in honor of Kendrick. Myers brewed the beer with the student's father, John; the two were in a homebrewing club together.
"We were overwhelmed with the incredible outpouring of support," Myers says. "Kendrick Castillo touched so many people's lives. And the turnout this year shows how much people care about the Castillo family and remembering an amazing young man. Hopefully this public show of support and generosity helps John and Maria [Kendrick's parents] heal just a little bit. And Kendrick’s memory will continue to live on."
Keep reading to see craft-beer events this week.
Wednesday, July 1
"We were really happy with how the first Nectar of the Forest turned out, so we decided to rebrew it totally different," says Woods Boss Brewing, which will release cans of the hazy IPA today. It has the "same grain bill but a whole new menagerie of hops to tease out even more complexity. This time with Moutere, Rakau, Wai-iti, Azacca, Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, Centennial and a wee bit of Eldorado."
Copper Kettle Brewing will tap a new version of Snowed In, its barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout. This one was made with blackberry and vanilla, and will only be available on draft.
Cerebral Brewing taps the next iteration in its Birds of War Smoothie Sour series, this one with passion fruit and raspberry. The 6 percent ABV beer is also available in cans.
Crooked Stave has a brand-new New Zealand pilsner available in cans in both of its taprooms in Denver and Fort Collins. "A twist on a classic German style, New Zealand Pilsner is brewed and lightly dry-hopped with the more fruity/tropical hops from New Zealand. Clean and crisp, yet expressive and unique," the brewery says.
Odell Brewing's RiNo location has brewed a beer in support of Hope for the Day, which is committed to starting conversations around mental health "to break the stigma of silence and raise visibility for resources in our communities," the brewery says. Open Conversations Golden Ale is the name of the beer. "The more we talk about mental health, the more we realize we aren’t crazy or messed up. We are human beings going through life, and some days, we need to talk about it. "
Thursday, July 2
West Coast IPAs, which are more bitter than their East Coast counterparts (and devoid of haze), have been making a comeback in 2020 in Colorado, led by a handful of breweries that have pushed back against the hazy trend, as well as some that like to make both. Liquid Mechanics Brewing in Lafayette is one of those, and it is bringing back West Coast Cartel, an IPA it first brewed earlier this year with Golden's Cannonball Creek, another clear-beer cheerer. "Featuring Simcoe on the hot side, with loads of Strata, Citra and Mosaic in the dry hop, we fell in love with the beer, and it ran out too quickly," Liquid Mechanics says. "We wanted to do another batch as soon as we could, but COVID kinda got in the way. It's here now." The 6.7 percent ABV beer is available in six-packs of twelve-ounce cans. Oh, and it will be retired after this batch.
Friday, July 3
With one of the more unusual themes to hit the brewing scene, Luki Brewing, at 14715 West 64th Avenue, Unit A, in Arvada, will host its grand opening from noon to 8 p.m. The brewery boasts an old-school circus decor and beers with bigtop names. The reason: Some of co-founder Jeff Smith's family were part of the touring Ringling Brothers Circus during its golden age, starting with his great-grandmother Freida, known as Mademoiselle Chloe, who was an elephant rider and snake charmer. Smith, his wife, Cammy, and his father, Roger, want to bring back the aura of those times. There will be indoor and outdoor seating, as well as beer to go.
Start your Fourth of July weekend with a fresh six-pack of Hop-A-Tronic Lupulositor, a New England-style double IPA from River North Brewery. This version of the 8.2 percent ABV beer features Lotus, Sabro and Idaho 7 hops for fruity, tropical and melon flavors. It is available on tap or to go in both of the brewery's taprooms.
2020 is halfway over, thankfully, and Burns Family Artisan Ales wants to help you meet it there with its newest — and strongest-ever — beer, Heavenly LawHammer Solar Eclipse. This 20.20 percent ABV (get it?) Russian Imperial Stout was aged in three different barrels. Burns calls it "smoothly warming, chocolate-roast sippable, shareable, cellarable deliciousness. It is available in 500ml bottles and on tap.
Odyssey Beerwerks will release Blueberry C.R.E.A.M. Ale, a collaboration with Blue Tile Brewing, on draft and in four-packs to go. The 5.4 percent ABV beer is light-bodied, with a smooth mouthfeel.
New Image Brewing will have an interesting new beer available for sale in cans. Anno MMXX is a 4.8 percent ABV Italian-style pilsner, a style that typically has more hops than German-style pilsners. But in this case, the brewery dry-hopped the beer with Nelson hop terpenes, a concentrated hop oil that is just coming into vogue. New Image has been experimenting with terpenes in some of its other beers as well.
Empourium Brewing on Tennyson Street will kick off First Friday by releasing Atomic Pageantry New England IPA. "This brew is full of flavor and aroma from Mosaic and Galaxy hops, without all the bitterness," the brewery says. "It's packed with tropic fruit and citrus notes." It is available on draft and in four-packs to go.
New Wave, a summer seasonal, returns to Ratio Beerworks at noon. "Brewed with patio sessions in mind, New Wave is a kettle-soured strawberry Berliner Weisse," Ratio says. "Fermented with over three hundred pounds of real strawberries, this light, tart, sour is perfect for a cool down." Six-packs are available to go.
Purpose Brewing & Cellars in Fort Collins makes a rare appearance in the Denver area when Cedar Creek Pub — across the street from Ursula Brewery in Aurora — taps Smoeltrekker #76. This Smoeltrekker version is a sour beer aged two years in an Old Elk Gin barrel with notes of crème brûlée and floral aromas.
Broomfield's Big Choice Brewing releases a new beer for the Fourth of July. Brewed with Colorado barley and hops, ’Merican Light American Lager was designed to be dry, light and thirst-quenching.
Saturday, July 4
"Celebrate the return of summer with watermelon in a glass," says Strange Craft Beer Company, which brings back Watermelon Hefe for the hot months. More than 660 pounds of organic watermelon go into this refreshing German-style wheat beer. Hang out in the beer garden for burgers, brats and fireworks.
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Wednesday, July 8
Goldspot Brewing taps its version of Black is Beautiful, an imperial stout that is being brewed by nearly 1,000 breweries across the country in an effort "to bring awareness to the injustices that many people of color face daily," according to Texas's Weathered Souls Brewing, which initiated the project. For its beer, Goldspot teamed up with Inland Island Yeast and Troubadour Malting to brew a blackberry stout with 100 percent of profits being donated to ACLU Colorado and Southern Poverty Law Center. "This beer has notes of apricot from the Troubadour Munich and notes of honey, chocolate and a lightly tart, juicy and crisp finish," Goldspot says.
Saturday, July 11
Beer slushies have become a summer staple at a few breweries in Colorado over the past few years, as people go in for the frozen, fruity treats. Now Dry Dock Brewing will join in by hosting Slushies Saturdays, with a new flavor every week at its North Dock location in Aurora. This time around, it's Cherry Limeade. Enjoy the brewery's beautiful patio and play some disco golf on its course, as well.
Wednesday, July 15
Denver Beer Co. brings its Virtual Pairing Series back, this time, with a take-and-bake pizza-and-beer pairing co-hosted by Lucky Pie Pizza master Sam Reed. To participate, simply pre-order your pairing pack for pickup at either taproom. Then, at 5 p.m., Reed and DBC head brewer Jason Buehler will lead the pairing (including a dough tossing lesson on Facebook Live; it will be followed by a Q&A. Each two-person pairing is $60 and includes dough, sauce and tappings for three kinds of pizzas and six-packs of Pretzel Assassin Amber Lager, Juicy Freak Juicy IPA and Incredible Pedal IPA.
Thursday, July 16
Like most breweries these days, Call to Arms Brewing won't be able to celebrate its birthday with a big bash, but the since the brewery is noting five years, it does have a special beer release in store for the occasion. How 'Bout a Can of Wine? is "a red wine puncheon-aged sour wine hybrid that boasts "a brilliant rosé color and was brewed with 50 percent Sangiovese grapes," the brewery says. "This stunning mixed-culture sour offers aromas of cranberry and strawberry and notes of tart raspberry, grape skin, and soft vanilla. Delicately floral and fruity with light oak character, a pleasant Brett funk, and a dry finish." It is available on draft and in cans.