Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Warm Sweaters, Big Beers and Holiday Bashes

It's brilliant marketing: Engender lots of goodwill from the buying public and plenty of national attention by eschewing profits for one day, Black Friday. Then watch that goodwill pay off later — in the form of big bucks. REI pulled off a nice PR coup earlier this month when it announced that it would be closed on November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, rather than participating in the shopping frenzy that grips most other chain stores. And now Fort Collins Brewery will try to ride those coattails — by offering all REI employees a free growler of beer or root beer on Black Friday.As thanks, the manager of the local REI outlet, as well as REI CEO Jerry Stritzke himself, dropped by the brewery recently to present a plaque to the place. "REI’s Opt Outside campaign struck a chord with us and we wanted to contribute by offering the opportunity for REI staff members to receive some complimentary FCB craft beer or root beer to pair with their outdoor activities for the day,” brewery co-owner Tina Peters said in a written statement.

Wednesday, November 18
Crooked Stave will have a release party for Mama Bear’s Sour Cherry Pie today at 5 p.m. "Mama Bear’s Sour Cherry Pie features over 3,000 pounds of Colorado sour cherries harvested" on the Western Slope, according to the brewery.

Copper Kettle will tap a firkin of Whoopie Pie Chocolate Porter today. It is described as being "a rich chocolate porter with a hint of sweet marshmallow." Farm to Truck will be there with farm fresh cuisine.

Thursday, November 19
The Chef & Brew Festival returns to the EXDO Event Center from 7 to 10 p.m. (VIP entry starts at 6 p.m.) with a new lineup of chefs and brewers who have teamed up to offer an overwhelming pairing experience. Enjoy dishes from more than twenty restaurants with over fifty unique beers. Tickets are $45 for general admission and $65 for VIP (although they will go up on October 26). They include a commemorative glass and unlimited access to beer and food. Gets tickets at

Joyride Brewing isn't messing around. It's pairing four different small slices of pizza with four different half pints of beer "to create some flavor explosions." The pizzas are being made out front by Rolling Dough Food Truck. The pairings were chosen by Joyride's brewmaster, who will be on hand to talk about them; each pairing is $15.

Friday, November 20
Spangalang Brewing will release a whopping four new beers at noon today. Those beers are Spangalang Table Beer (gold medal winner from 2015 GABF), an American Stout, an English Old Ale and Tripel Risotto Milanese, a collaboration beer brewed in conjunction with Italian Brewers Birrificio Argo and Alex Liberati of Liberati Brewing. "The Tripel, which contains 20 percent rice in the grain bill, was fermented with two different types of yeast and then spiced with saffron flown over from Italy," Spangalang says. There will be live music starting at 5:30 p.m., and food provided by Zivix Kitchen.

Wit's End Brewing will tap its annual Christmas beer, Ugly Sweater, today at 2 p.m. "As is tradition, we hold an ugly sweater party/competition to herald the release of this beer. Enjoy a pint and dust off that vintage/ironic garment of yours as we will be selecting the best ugly sweater at 7 p.m.," the brewery says. "Winner gets a growler fill and a ticket to Denver Beer Festivus! We will also be raffling off a few prizes during the evening for attendees in exchange for a can of food (one ticket per can). Lastly, it is with mixed emotions that we welcome the amazing Big O's BBQ food truck out for the very last time. Pitmaster Brent is moving on from the mobile eatery world, so this is your last chance to taste some of the best BBQ in town."

It's Yeti Float Night at Stapleton Tap House starting at 6 p.m. tonight, when Great Divide Brewing and Sweet Action Ice Cream team up to bring you some sweet treats based on Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout.

Comrade Brewing will tap another batch of Honeyman the Fifth today when it opens at noon. Part of the brewery's Honeyman series, this one, at 6 percent ABV, was brewed with Mosaic, Azacca, Lemondrop and Citra hops.

Saturday, November 21
American Craft Beer Radio Presents its third annual Holiday Beer Bash today from 5 to at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. There will be thirty breweries on hand pouring nearly 100 beers, along with several chefs serving holiday treats. There will also be prizes and an Ugly Sweater contest at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 for general admission (6 to 9 p.m.) and $49.00 for VIP (5 to 9 p.m.). Also, please bring non-perishable food items and or an unwrapped toy (ages 1-15) for extra raffle tickets. These are to benefit the Arapahoe County Adopt a Family Program. Members of the program will be on hand with more information.

Alpine Dog turns one this weekend and plans to celebrate with a party starting today at 6 p.m., at which brewers will tap an experimental project, Bourbon Barrel Aged Peach Pale Ale. "Early tastings show notes of peaches, bourbon and wood, and rich earthy and spicy notes with a mellowed hop presence after aging," the brewery says. The Hot Brat Philly Food Truck will be on site.

Wynkoop Brewing brings back its Day of Darks (formerly called Parade of Darks) from noon to 4 p.m. today, featuring dozens of dark beers from more than thirty breweries. One hundred percent of ticket proceeds go to support the Movember Foundation, benefiting men’s health. Your ticket, $40, includes a commemorative glass for unlimited dark beer tastings, chocolates and chocolate desserts.

Fiction Beer Company will tap a new Ales for ALS charity beer today at 1 p.m. "Fiction used an experimental process to enhance and multiply the impact of the hop blend used previously in their ALS India Pale Lager. The ALS Pale Ale is crisp and easy drinking with a solid 6.5 percent ABV. A Huge nose of grapefruit, tangerine, and an underlying piney note are immediately identifiable with many more complex subtle aromas to be discovered. The ALS Pale Ale tastes as good as it smells with a crisp citrus tang and plenty of lingering hop flavor. Our beer is dry and therefore very crushable. $1 from every pint sold goes to The ALS Therapy Development Institute. On Saturday November 21st we tap the new beer benefiting ALS and will match all donations received as well as double the donation for each pint sold. So come out, try a new amazing experiment in Pale Ale, and help raise money for a great cause," the brewery says.

Wednesday, November 25
Black Shirt Brewing has once again teamed up with Shauna of the Long I Pie Shop to pair its beers with her pies. Today's pairing costs $20 per person and includes four beer samples and four pie samples. No advanced tickets available.

Friday, November 27
Station 26 will bring back its Black Friday madness today by tapping eight different versions of its 11 percent ABV Dark Star Imperial Stout, which was aged for twelve months in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. They open a 1 p.m. with the original version, Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star Imperial Stout, then tap a new variation every thirty minutes. They are: 1:30, Mexican Chocolate; 2, Blueberry; 2:30, Maple; 3, Cherry Vanilla; 3:30, German Chocolate; 4, Espresso; 4:30, Salted Caramel; 5, Manhattan (inspired by the cocktail).

Cheeky Monk will host Goose Island's official Bourbon County release party for Colorado today at 2 p.m. The annual Black Friday release will include their regular barrel-aged stout, coffee, barleywine and oatmeal.

Copper Kettle Brewing will tap and release Snowed In today at noon. This Black Friday tradition is an imperial oatmeal stout aged in Colorado bourbon barrels with coffee and chocolate. 5280 Sliders will be on hand as well.

Saturday, November 28
TRVE Brewing will sell bottles of a new beer called 1,000 Eyes today starting at noon. The beer is an oak-fermented, mixed culture amber ale spiced with citrus peel and coriander. It is an extremely limited release with less than 666 bottles available, so get there early. There is a limit of six bottles per person.

Sunday, November 29
Paul Vismara, who is a Falling Rock bartender and co-author of Italy: Beer Country The Story of Italian Craft Beer, is also in a band — and that band, Deer Creek, has done a collaboration beer with Black Sky Brewery, which will be released today at 1 p.m. at Black Sky, followed by live music from Deer Creek at 1:30. The beer, called A Dark, Heartless Porter, is an 11 percent ABV Imperial Dark Chocolate, Bitter Orange Peel Porter

Tuesday, December 1
Call to Arms Brewing was founded by three ex-Avery Brewing employees. But the owners are still friends with their old comrades in Boulder — so much so that they brewed a beer together. Who Let the Hogs Out, an "imperial" barley wine, will be tapped today at 3 p.m. to celebrate that partnership. "We miss our friends at Avery, pretty much every second of every day, and we want to hang out and make more memories together. With those thoughts in mind, 'Who Let the Hogs Out?' was brewed. This Imperial Barley Wine is our 'tip of the hat' to a place we all love and is insirpired by one of their most delectiable beers," Call to Arms says. "Our friends from up north came down and enjoyed a few libations while this beer was brewed, but we want to share that commradery with the masses. Join us, and our pals from Boulder on December 1st when the taproom doors open at 3pm for the release of our Imperial Barley Wine, 'Who Let the Hogs Out?'."

Thursday, December 3
Dry Dock will release the 2015 version of Bligh's Barleywine today at the Canoe Room at 2 p.m. at the brewery's North Dock location. Taste the beer on tap and purchase bombers at this release event. Big Kiwi Eats food truck will be on hand at 3:30 p.m.

Friday, December 4
Station 26 will begin a weekend-long celebration of its two-year anniversary today by releasing bottles of its Second Birthday Beer (a dopplebock) at 1 p.m. and then following up with live music from honky-tonk band The Heresies, tonight.  There will also be a food truck. 

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes