Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Two Brewery Openings, Craft-Beer Week Rolls Into Strange, Freshcraft

Beer Calendar: Two Brewery Openings, Craft-Beer Week Rolls Into Strange, Freshcraft
Pikes Peak Brewing
Named in honor of the legendary Manitou Incline, Pikes Peak Brewing's latest limited release is just as big as the 2,700 steps themselves — and might also make your knees buckle. Incline Imperial IPA, at 10.5 percent ABV and 185 IBUs, is "a study in hopping," says Chris Wright, founder and head brewer at the Monument brewery. "Constructed to match the proportions of the steep Manitou Incline hike, it utilizes massive additions of Mosaic, Columbus and Centennial Hops (more than three pounds per barrel) atop a light grain bill of mostly 2-row malt that helps the hops shine." The beer will be available in very limited quantities in cans around the Front Range.

Here are the best beer events, today through June 9:

click to enlarge American Craft Beer Week kicks into high gear at Freshcraft. - FRESHCRAFT
American Craft Beer Week kicks into high gear at Freshcraft.
Wednesday, May 17
To celebrate the annual American Craft Beer Week, which began Monday, Freshcraft will tap some special beers at 5 p.m. from some of its favorite independent local breweries. They include Juicy Banger IPA and Space Goose Super Saison, both from Station 26 Brewing; Alpha Bits 6 from Weldwerks Brewing; Heart Tattoo Blackberry Wit from Ratio Beerworks; and Chocolate Orange Belgian Tripel, which is a collaboration between Ratio and Weldwerks.

It's Saison Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a different saison firkin each Wednesday at 2 p.m. This week, you'll find one infused with peppercorns. The Mama Said Eat food truck will also be there.

Platt Park Brewing taps a firkin of Firewatch IPA at 3 p.m. Brewed with Cascade, Simcoe and Chinook hops, this beer "has a piney, citrus and earthy spin to it," the brewery says. It was double dry-hopped and weighs in at 6.7 percent ABV. Taco El Huequito will be outside.

Thursday, May 18
Comrade Brewing taps The Specter at noon. This 5.8 percent ABV Belgian-style wheat beer was brewed with coriander, lemongrass, curaçao orange peel and flaked rye.

Factotum Brewing
hosts Hope Is Brewing, a fundraiser for Love146, an international human-rights organization that is working to end child sex trafficking. To help, Lady Justice Brewing made Emancipation Red IPA just for this event, which runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For tickets and information, go to the Love 146 web page.

Declaration Brewing plans to brew and release three beers this summer in partnership with charities. For the first one, Declaration collaborated with Brent’s Place, "a home away from home for cancer patients and their families in a safe-clean housing environment" on Hops For Healing, an Irish extra pale ale with 6.8 percent ABV. Declaration will contribute $1 for every Hops For Healing IPA sold until the batch is tapped. It is on tap now.

click to enlarge Avery brings the citrus. - AVERY BREWING
Avery brings the citrus.
Avery Brewing
Friday, May 19
Freshcraft goes back to its beer-and-food-pairing roots at 5 p.m., bringing out an American Craft Beer Week pairing menu with three matches that you can either enjoy à la carte or as a three-course meal. They are Horse & Dragon Brewing's Scottish Tradesmen coconut porter aged in rum barrels paired with Jerked Pork Skewers; Cascade Brewing Barrel House Blueberry paired with Chicken Baklava; and Destihl Brewery Dosvidanya Imperial Stout paired with Smores Cheesecake.

Hanging out in River North? Don't forget that Ratio Beerworks is currently being run by the River North Arts District on a volunteer basis as the brewery fights through some paperwork problems with its liquor license. The nonprofit District can't charge for the beer, but it's asking for a $6 donation per pint. The District is buying the beer from Ratio; the money that's raised will go the organization. Employees are volunteering, but they do accept tips. Ratio could be closed for up to three weeks.

Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette will tap two new draft-only beers. The first is Hop Hop Troll Troll DIPA, a "spin-off series of Hop Troll, but instead of a SMASH IPA, it's a DIPA with two hop varieties, Citra and Montueka, and two malts, Pilsen and Spelt," the brewery says. The second beer is DDH Hallertau Blanc Codename: Superfan, a version of Superfan IPA that was double dry-hopped.

As a trend, it seems like fruited IPAs should almost be over. But they just keep going as every brewery, big and small, gets on board. The latest packaged release comes from Avery Brewing, which is releasing its canned Real Peel Tangerine IPA at the brewery, followed by a nationwide rollout in the coming weeks. Avery has actually been brewing this beer, which it describes as a "bright, refreshing, and crisp IPA that uses real tangerine peel to add a citrusy and zesty kick," for years in its taproom, but just decided to can it recently.

click to enlarge Peak to Peak in Aurora is now a brewery as well as a taproom. - PEAK TO PEAK FACEBOOK PAGE
Peak to Peak in Aurora is now a brewery as well as a taproom.
Peak To Peak Facebook page
Saturday, May 20
Odyssey Beerwerks has gotten bigger and better every year since it opened in 2013 — something the brewery will celebrate at its fourth-anniversary blowout, which starts at noon. Odyssey plans to tap an anniversary maibock, along with four other small-batch releases. The brewery will also be selling some bomber bottles from past releases that were held in reserve just for this event. The party includes food from Taste of Texas BBQ and the Pambasos Food Truck, plus music from Jim Jamm Jimmy from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Angus Mohr from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Renegade Brewing takes over its own taps at 2 p.m., putting on barrel-aged versions of Bedwetter, Hammer & Sickle, Endpoint, Berbere and Contrarian. "We don't do this very often, and they won't last long, so get down to the tap house early," the brewery says.

Join Call to Arms Brewing for Snouts & Stouts, an "afternoon of craft cuisine and libations," with two Russian Imperial Stout bottle releases alongside smoked pork from Il Porcellino Salumi. Both beers are part of the Carriage House Series, and each began as the brewery's Large Farva RIS. The first, It's Dark & Hell Is Hot, was aged in whiskey barrels for more than six months before getting a dose of fresh orange peel and vanilla. The second, The Shadow, was aged in red-wine barrels with pomegranate molasses. There will be ninety 375ml bottles available of each beer, with a two-per-customer limit. Bottles will be available starting at noon and aren't expected to last long.

Andrew Moore and Ben Gettinger are opening Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, a new brewery that will specialize in "internationally inspired twists on traditional beer styles." That means the Belgian-style tripel will be made with lavender, the stout will be brewed with Turkish coffee, and the amber will be made with garlic. You can find those and several other beers during the grand opening. Moore, the head brewer, used to be an archaeologist, which is why the beers are flavored with ingredients from around the world. The brewery, located along the busy Eighth Avenue corridor in west Denver, will also be decorated with maps and travel-related items.

To celebrate its seventh anniversary, Strange Craft Beer Company has invited some brewery buddies over for a birthday beer festival. The Anniversary Backyard BBQ runs from noon to 4 p.m. and includes beers from Wit’s End Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Hogshead Brewery, Caution Brewing, Copper Kettle, Black Sky Brewery, Chain Reaction, The Brew on Broadway and Very Nice Brewing. There will also be music from Blooming Honeywise at 6:30 p.m. and food from Spudz & Frank’s BBQ. Tickets are $30 at or $35 the day of the party. And since Strange Craft’s anniversary coincides with American Craft Beer Week, the brewery will also be hosting daily events; find a complete ACBW event list at

River North Brewery is releasing two limited-edition barrel-aged beers on tap and in bottles at noon. The first beer is Whiskey Barrel Quandary, "the once-a-year barrel-aged version of the brewery’s abbey-style quadrupel," which spent eighteen months in three types of oak casks. "The final beer is rife with notes of caramelized dates and sticky toffee pudding," River North says. Bottles are $10 each. The second beer is Barrel Reserve, "a project from the brewery’s early days that has been on sabbatical since 2014. Each vintage is a blend of barrel-aged ales, with each beer hand-picked for its contribution to a larger flavor canvas. For 2017, River North went dark, blending several quads and stouts aged in different whiskey and Manhattan barrels." Bottles are $10 as well.

Wynkoop Brewing wants to you start celebrating American Craft Beer Week a little early — at 10 a.m., when it hosts a free, one-hour-long event giving away samples of two new beers, Weizenbock and Barrel-Aged Biere de Garde, along with some paired bites. Head brewer John Sims and head chef Eric Hulme will be on hand to talk. This is a free event, but space is limited so RSVP on eventbrite.

Comrade Brewing taps a beer at noon called Apple Pieisenhower.

Vine Street Pub and Brewery will celebrate its ninth anniversary in Denver with a party that kicks off, as always, at 4:20 p.m.There will be plenty of beer, food and music, including sounds from H. Keith White and Spyscraper. All proceeds benefit Project Angel Heart.

Peak to Peak Tap & Brew in Aurora has evolved from a taproom into a taproom and brewery, adding its own brewing system and beers. The brewery is hosting a grand opening and launch party with a solid lineup of its own beers, as well as three firkins, food and music. The firkins are: Summer Saison with Cucumber at noon; Cherry Wheat at 3 p.m.; and Double Cream Ale with Coffee at 6 p.m.

Factotum Brewhouse hand-squeezed thirty pounds of pink grapefruit to create the second beer of its fruity saison series, Grapefruit Saison. "One delicious and delightful keg was made, and much like the Clementine Saison, we expect this tarty brew to disappear quickly," the brewery says. It taps at noon.

Upslope Brewing brings back its annual free music fest, the Upslope Get Down, from 1 to 10 p.m. As it does every year, the Boulder brewery will take over the parking lot at its Flatiron Court location so that it can bring you three stages' worth of live music, food trucks, games, art, a kid zone, lots of beer and the Elemental Enhancers, a Denver performance group that plays with fire. The music lineup includes: Roosevelt Collier's Colorado Get Down and very special guests Freekbass, Caribou Mountain Collective, the Pamlico Sound, Sixty Minute Men, Envy Alo, Guerrilla Fanfare, Voodoo Visionary, Arthur Lee Land Trio, Coambient, and BluePrint Metro. Upslope will donate a portion of the proceeds from the festival to Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit that enlists the help of professional athletes and the outdoor sports community to affect climate change. And although admission is free, you can upgrade to the VIP package and get more information at

Powder Keg Brewing in Niwot will release Twilight Rendezvous Imperial Stout aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. It's $18 per 22-ounce bomber, with a limit of two per customer.

Friday, May 26
Help 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield celebrate its third anniversary with a weekend-long party beginning tonight and ending on Memorial Day. There will be a variety of special tappings, including the release of the brewery's third-anniversary double IPA, brewed with Simcoe, Galaxy and Amarillo hops. In addition, there will be food trucks, cellar beer releases, tap room can releases and more surprises.

Beryl's Beer Company in River North will tap the latest iteration of its O.G. Dunkel Bavarian Lager. "You choose between a half liter or full stein of Dunkel," the brewery says. Tacos with Altitude will be on the patio.

click to enlarge ODD13 BREWING
Odd13 Brewing
Saturday, May 27
Denver Beer Co. is releasing its Maui Express Coconut IPA for the first time in cans this year, and to celebrate, the brewery is throwing a proper Hawaiian luau at its taproom at 1695 Platte Street. "Denver Beer Co. will be transformed into a tropical paradise for the party, and we're hoping to see a lot of dudes sporting coconut bikinis and grass skirts, and ladies in awesome Hawaiian shirts," the brewery says. In addition to beer and music, there will be raffles for lots of DBC swag, including Maui Express growlers and a Maui Express keg. Raffle tickets will be handed out with every Maui Express pint purchased between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales is releasing Peacemaker, a new spontaneous "solera" blend at noon. Part of the brewery's experimental series, the beer is a blend of two base beers: a 100 percent wheat brew and a golden ale made with pilsner malt. "Both beers were brewed on Black Project’s four-barrel system and then cooled in the brewery’s coolship, a custom-built, twelve-barrel copper vessel designed to cool wort overnight while inoculating with wild yeast and other microbes from the air," the brewery says. "Once cooled, the wort was transferred to stainless-steel totes, where it aged and fermented for eight to twelve months." For much, much more information on the beer and recent changes at Black Project, go to the brewery's Facebook page.

Odd13 Brewing hosts a dual beer release beginning at noon. The first beer, Ubern00b, is the Lafayette brewery's taproom-only can release for May. Ubern00b is a bigger, hoppier versinon of n00b, the brewery's year-round pale ale. "An irresponsible dry-hopping regimen with Mosaic and El Dorado creates an incredibly juicy DDH IPA," Odd13 says. The second beer is chardonnay Barrel Aged Liftmaster, a mixed-culture Bier De Garage fermented and aged in a fresh chardonnay barrel. "The result is a moderately tart vinous beer with bright flavor contributions of white wine, fresh oak and young Brett," Odd13 says. These are taproom specials only, so don't wait for them to show up in liquor stores.

Odell Brewing's on-again, off-again Small Batch Festival returns at a new time of year for 2017. This year, the Fort Collins event will be one day only, from 1 to 6 p.m., and will include more than fifty — yep, fifty — different Odell beers on tap. Many of the beers were made on Odell's five-barrel pilot system, and they include sours, barrel-aged brews, seasonals and twists on some Odell favorites. “This festival is the culmination of a year’s worth of brewing,” says Odell's Adam D’Antonio. “For months, we’ve been hoarding a few kegs of our favorites.... I think our brewers look forward to it as much as the fans." There will be food trucks along with live music from Choice City Seven, The Reminders and Euforquestra. Tickets are $35 and include two beer tokens and a stainless-steel cup.

Friday, June 2
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery will tap a beer dedicated to the memory of Mike Sadler, a former punter for the Michigan State Spartans who died in a car accident in 2016. Sadler, who was known for a fake punt/trick play called "Hey Diddle Diddle" and for his humorous Twitter feed, was volunteering as a coach at a kicking camp in Wisconsin and was set to begin law school at Stanford before the accident. For the beer, Jagged Mountain brewmaster Adam Glaser has infused rose petals as a reference to Sadler's role in winning the 100th Rose Bowl in 2014. Some proceeds will benefit the Michael Sadler Foundation, which holds events across the country.

Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial releases a new beer every Friday this month. Today's is SMaSHed – Hallertau Mittelfruh. That will be followed next week by Hefeweizen, then New England IPA, then SMaSHed Sorachi Ace.

Saturday, June 3
Platt Park Brewing will celebrate its third anniversary with a luau all day. The brewery will tap several new beers and various favorites; more details TBA. There will also be a ticketed Brewer Cellar VIP lunch; $30 will get you  lunch (a whole roasted pig with all the fixins) and a pour of an exclusive beer from the cellar.

Sunday, June 4
"To commemorate the longstanding tradition of drinking on, off, and all around the stage," Shakesbeer will return for the summer with a new script at Ratio Beerworks. The free performance of A Midsummer Night's — Dram (a sixty-minute adaptation of the Bard's A Midsummer Night's Dream) begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be performed by The Wit's Shakesbeer group; actors imbibe before and during the show. "Lambic pentameter...Vienna-style verse — frankly, few things fit together like theatre and beer," the group says.

Thursday, June 8
Renegade Brewing brings back its 5:00 Bangkok-style Ale at, of course, 5 p.m. This is the brewery's regular 5:00 Afternoon Ale session ale brewed with lemongrass and ginger. With the purchase of a pint between 5 and 10 p.m., you'll also get a limited-edition glass and a six-pack of beer to go.

Friday, June 9
New Kids on the Block, "the rad-tacular ’80s dance party and new-breweries beer festival" returns for its fifth year from 7 to 10 p.m. Sponsored by The Lobby (2191 Arapahoe Street) and, the festival highlights local breweries that are two years old or younger. This year, that mighty list includes 14er Brewing, Banded Oak, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Brewability Lab, Briar Common Brewery + Eatery, Call to Arms, Cellar West Artisan Ales, Cerebral Brewing, Cheluna Brewing, Holidaily Brewing, Little Machine, Maxline Brewing, New Image, Outer Range Brewing, Resolute Brewing, Seedstock, Something Brewery, Spangalang, The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, and WestFax Brewing. Each will pour two beers, which will help fuel you for the dance party that will rock all night with a live DJ and prizes for the best ’80s outfits. Small-bite munchies will be provided by The Lobby, Briar Common and the Rackhouse Pub. Tickets are $35 at or $40 the day of.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes