Beer Calendar: Ugly Sweaters and New Brews Across Denver and Boulder

Denver's most brewery-centered neighborhood will get even more crowded next year when MicroStar Logistics, which supplies kegs to craft breweries around the country, moves from Greenwood Village to River North. The company will take 13,000 square feet of space in Gauge, at 35th and Wazee streets, a new project from Zeppelin Development, which also built Taxi, the Source and the under-construction Source hotel, according to a December 9 story in the Denver Business Journal . MicroStar also famously handles the complicated keg movement that occurs during the Great American Beer Festival in Denver each Denver, supplying more than 7,000 kegs to participating breweries across the country and getting them organized.

Wednesday, December 9
Crooked Stave will release two new Motif Reserva beers today at 5 p.m. Both beers are taproom-only releases and will be the only Motif Reserva released this year, the brewery says. One batch was aged in Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey barrels, and the other in Laws Whiskey House Secale Rye barrels.

Thursday, December 10
Delaware's Dogfish Head, which has a special in at Avanti Food and Beverage, will join the PorchDrinking blog crew today from 5 to 8 p.m. for "a special night of rare and randall'ed" Dogfish Head beers. "If you aren't familiar with the Randalling process, Dogfish Head Founder Sam Calagione built the Randall to infuse additional dry hops to his beers, but the device has since evolved into 'randalling' pretty much anything you want," PorchDrinking says. Some of tonight's creations include Bitches Brew randalled with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, cinnamon sticks and coffee beans; 60 Minute IPA with whole-leaf citra hops and citrus fruit rinds; and India Brown Ale with toasted coconut and vanilla beans. There will also be several rare or newly-released Dogfish beers on hand, including Fort, a 17 percent raspberry Belgian strong ale; two bottles of 2008 Fort; Higher Math, a 17 percent golden strong ale fermented with sour cherry juice and cocoa nibs; Piercing Pils, brewed with White Pear Tea and Pear juice; 2014 Raison D’Extra; and 2013 American Beauty.

Oskar Blues and the CAN'd Aid Foundation are throwing an ugly sweater party at the brewery's Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont starting at 6 p.m. today. But it won't just be ugly sweaters and bad Christmas music, Oskar Blues says. "Jensen Cummings, Denver's first certified Chef Cicerone (beer sommelier), will be on hand with some stellar food and beer pairings. Cummings, a fifth generation chef and restaurateur, has been at the helm of several top Denver restaurant kitchens, including Kevin Taylor's, TAG & Row 14. His latest project, Brewed Food, is the perfect marriage of his love of food and craft beer, and uses an innovative approach to pairing the two. Chef Cummings first teamed up with Oskar Blues Brewery at the Food and Beer Pavilion at this year's Great American Beer Festival. Party-goers can look forward to sampling Chef Cummings' 'Three Little Piggies', which features Ten Fidy Imperial Stout, Tender Belly Bacon and a trio of sauces, while watching the 2014 Warren Miller film No Turning Back." Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and include either one core Oskar Blues Beer or a four-ounce taster of Ten Fidy, a plate of food and the movie. There will be an ugly sweater contest, a ski raffle, prizes and silent auction. All proceeds for the event will support the CAN'd Aid Foundation.

Friday, December 11
Spangalang Brewery is hosting a "soiree" starting at 5:30 p.m. today to celebrate the release of three new beers. The first is an English Dark Mild Ale with "pleasant raisin and toasty malt characteristics complemented by floral English hops and a dry finish," the brewery says. The second is a version of the mild that was aged in a firkin with a blend of French and American oak spirals and East Kent Golding hops. The third beer is Cranberry Citrus Session, "a holiday-inspired session ale brewed with Vienna and Munich malts, which provide the perfect backdrop to the kick from the cranberry and dried orange peel additions." Arturo Gomez, the music director for Denver's KUVO jazz radio station, will provide a DJ set for the evening, featuring a blend of jazz styles.

Vision Quest Brewery, at 2510 47th Street, will celebrate its grand opening today in Boulder at 4 p.m. Although the brewery actually opened in June, this is the official party, and all twelve taps will be flowing. 

Saturday, December 12
Hops & Pie rings in the season with Beers and Cheers starting today at noon. It will tap He'Brew Chanukah, Upslope Christmas Ale, Horse & Dragon Vanilla Caramel, Bull & Bush Yule Fuel, the Bruery Eight Maids a Milking, Port Brewing Bourbon Santa's Little Helper, Prairie Christmas Bomb, Shipyard Gingerbread House, Stone XocoVeza Mocha Stout, Rogue Santa's Stache, Dry Dock Figgy Pudding Stout and Fruit Cake Brown, Delirium Noel, and Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi.

Ratio Beerworks will bring back Genius Wizard, a Russian Imperial Stout, today at noon. The brewery will also be selling a barrel-aged version of a 2014 batch that has been resting in whiskey barrels for eleven months. The barrel-aged version will be sold in 375ml bottles as part of Ratio's artisan bottle series. A limited supply will also be available on draught. Throughout the day, Ration will have a bottle release party in the taproom where single bottles will be available for purchase for $10; a package deal for $25 will include two bottles and a draught pour of the 2014 Barrel Aged Genius Wizard. Radio will also be offering a flight of three four-ounce pours that will include 2014 Barrel Aged Genius Wizard, 2014 draught Genius Wizard and 2015 draught Genius Wizard for $10. In the evening, two bands, Abrams and Muscle Beach, will play live music in the taproom.

TRVE Brewing will release Cursed today at noon. The beer is "the first output from our mixed-culture stainless program," TRVE says. "At 4.4 percent ABV and dry as bones, it's so sessionable you'll finish it faster than your favorite grindcore EP."

Epic Brewing will host a cookie-and-beer pairing event today from noon to 3 p.m. when local bakers will compete in a cookie contest. You will have a chance to taste cookies paired with beer and vote for your favorite. The pairings are free. Also, Santa will be hanging out in the taproom for photos.

Sunday, December 13
"In the spirit of the holiday season, the Denver Beer Festivus brings beer, a jolly crowd, music, airing of grievances, and a shiny Festivus pole together to create one heck of a celebration," says Imbibe Events, which will throw its fourth annual Denver-only Beer Festivus today from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. "Denver is home to more thansixty breweries. In 2013, Imbibe Events hosted the first Denver Beer Festivus with eighteen breweries to fill a void in the winter beer festival calendar. This year’s Festivus will have more than forty participating breweries. In order to participate in Festivus, breweries must have a Denver address." Tickets range from $40 to $65 and you can find them at denverbeerfestivus.com.

As it does every year, Copper Kettle will celebrate the holidays with the 12 Firkins of Christmas, tapping a new one each day, starting today with Mexican Chocolate Stout with vanilla and bourbon. That will be followed by Coffee Oatmeal Porter tomorrow and Chocolate Caramel Stout on Tuesday. After that, it's 12 Hops IPA, Rum Eggnog Stout, Gingerbread Imperial Brown Ale, Mulled Barleywine, IPA with Juniper, Christmas Ale, Chocolate Mint Fudge Stout, Cranberry Rosemary Saison, and finally, on Christmas Eve, Belgian Strong Dark with Cherries.

Avery Brewing will tap and release Vanilla Bean Stout, the second installment of its Botanicals & Barrels series, starting at 11 a.m. today. "A double dose of vanilla derived from both fresh Bourbon barrels and the trio of Tongan, Ugandan, and Mexican whole vanilla beans is complemented by essences of chocolate, caramel, and molasses to round out this luxuriously silky stout," the brewery says. The 10.8 percent ABV beer will be available year-round in 22-ounce bomber bottles.

Four Noses Brewing in Broomfield will tap five different beers that were aged in bourbon barrels today as "a thanks to all the incredible support, and as a celebration of incredible beer." The brewery will begin tapping at 1 p.m.

Saturday, December 19
Fiction Beer Company will host its second annual collaboration with Glazed and Confuzed Doughnuts today at noon. The beer this year is called DONUT PANIC and was brewed with Confuzed Samoa donuts and has flavors of coconut, chocolate and caramel. The release party will include a special beer and doughnut pairing. And finally, Fiction will be bottling a limited quantity of the beer for sale at liquor stores.

Black Shirt Brewing will release Red Evelyn, its once-a-year Imperial Red Rye IPA, today at 11 a.m. The beer is made to honor and celebrate the brewery founders' Grandma Evie. The beer will be on tap and available in custom bombers to go. In addition, there will be a pop-up record store featuring many of the brewery's favorite musicians from Colorado, playing their music videos and live concerts on the big screen so you can try before you buy.

TRVE gives a shit. Really, it does. That's why the brewery is hosting its second annual TRVE Gives a Shit holiday sweater charity auction at 7 p.m.. There will be beer, debauchery and sweaters that will be auctioned off from INDYINK, Hi-Dive Denver, Laws Whiskey House, Think Tank Tattoo, Illegal Pete's and Sweet Action Ice Cream. Auction proceeds will go to Urban Peak, which helps homeless teens.

Sunday, December 20
Avery Brewing will release bottles of numbers 31 and 32 in its Barrel-Aged series today at 11 a.m. The first is Fiel al Estilo, a 9.9 percent ABV ale brewed with agave syrup and aged in Tequila barrels with chile peppers. There are 485 cases available, limit of one case per person. The second is Double D's, a 10.3 percent ale aged in bourbon barrels with ginger added. There are 633 cases available; limit of one case per person.

Join Strange Craft Brewing and chef Mike Long at 6:30 p.m. for a Strange Craft Christmas Carol Chef Dinner that features four courses and four beers for $49. The menu includes Christmas spice cured “ham” wrapped around roasted pears; roasted holiday goose “mousse” on gingerbread; “Smoking Bishop” oysters with dry ice gin and lemon. Beers include a Gingerbread Man and Farmhouse Ale.

Thursday, December 31
Renegade lights up the new year again with Depravity, its imperial peanut butter cup stout, which it releases every New Year's Eve. Come to the taproom between 3 and 9 p.m. "to get your hands on a pour of this extremely limited, extremely delicious beer," the brewery says. Or purchase an early-bird ticket for $32.50, which includes a 64-ounce growler, plus a fill of depravity, and come between noon and 3 p.m. to beat the crowd.

Fiction Beer Company is throwing its second annual New Year’s Eve celebration tonight. It will include live music, a special tapping to toast 2016 and the second barrel-aged sour beer release. Music starts at 10 p.m. and will continue into the new year. 

Copper Kettle hosts its second annual New Year's Eve black-tie party featuring a four-course beer pairing dinner from El Toro the Tot starting at 9 p.m. There will also be an optional champagne beer toast ringing in the New Year at midnight. This event will sell out. Tickets are $75 and available at eventgrid.com.

Tuesday, January 5

You already know about Stout Month, which takes place in February. Now, Ernie's Bar & Pizza wants to celebrate the stout's cousin, the porter, and tonight Ernie's will devote eight of its thirty tap lines to a variety of local porters, whose "roasty, toasty, caramelly, drinkable goodness" is particularly nice during the cold winter months, the restaurant says. The following beers will start things off, and they'll be replaced with new ones as they kick throughout January: Denver Beer Company Graham Cracker Porter, Dieboldt Post Card Classic Porter, Dry Dock Vanilla Porter, Goldspot Gus Robust Porter, Verboten Caramel Porter, Wliey Roots Chocolate Porter, Wit’s End Kitchen Sink Porter with Smoked Malts and Rye.

Saturday, January 9
The annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival hosts its commercial tasting event today in Vail at the Cascade Hotel from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Tickets are still available for $70 — although they are going fast. The majority of the events for the rest of the three-day festival are sold out. More than 150 breweries will be bringing some of their biggest and best. Drink water first.

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