Beer Calendar: Wrap Up the Christmas Season at a Brewery

Weird week for Colorado's storied Breckenridge Brewery, which announced an impressive new beer series, oh, and the fact that Anheuser-Busch is buying the entire brewery, all within a few days of each other. If that purchase means you're not doing to drink Breck's beers, then you can skip ahead. If you're on the fence, then here are some details about the new brews.

Breckenridge will become the third major Colorado craft brewery to package a nitrogenated beer early next year when it begins selling year-round four-packs of Nitro Vanilla Porter and Nitro Lucky U IPA in sixteen-ounce cans. The rollout is the direct result of the brewery’s move to a large campus in Littleton last year, where it plans to get a huge new canning line up and running soon. Breckenridge has been selling Vanilla Porter on nitro to bar and restaurant accounts for more than a year. The cans, which come from Ball Packaging, will have a widget attached to the bottom of them that activates the nitrogen when the can is opened and poured. Nitrogenated beers are creamier than regular CO2-carbonated beers and pour with cascading bubbles and a long-lasting head.

Wednesday, December 23
Call to Arms Brewing will host a Festivus party tonight from 6 to 8 p.m., complete with swag, pints and entertainment from the folks at Uncalled Four. Festivus festivities include: Airing of Grievances; Feats of (tiny) strength; Frogger tournament; Best Kramer impression; Bad Elaine dancing competition; Guess the number of Junior Mints; and more. "Entry is free and specials will be available on UncAlt Four, a collaboration beer between the hosts," the brewery says.

Black Shirt Brewing has again teamed up with Shauna of The Long I Pie Shop for a beer and pie paring from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 (no early reservations) and include four pairings of tasters and pie: The Forager (mushroom, thyme, & goat cheese) w/ American Red Porter; The Nutcracker (spiced pear marzipan) w/ American Red Saison; Eggnog Custard w/ Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Red Porter; and Smores Pie w/ Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee Red Quad w/ Huckleberry Roasters Ngandu coffee from Kenya.

Copper Kettle continues its 12 Firkins of Christmas tappings with Eleven Pipers Piping, a French-style saison with cranberry and rosemary. Pavy's Food Truck will be on hand with gourmet sandwiches.

Thursday, December 24
Copper Kettle wraps up its 12 Firkins of Christmas events with Twelve Drummers Drumming, the tapping of a Belgian dark strong ale with cherries. The OMG Food Truck will be on hand.

Grist Brewing in Highlands Ranch will tap a Peppermint Porter in the spirit of candy canes.

Friday, December 25
Alpine Dog Brewing will host a special vintage release of its one-year aged St. Bernard Avalanche Rescue Service Belgian Holiday Ale and vertical tastings of the 2014 and 2015 "Notorious Monk" Belgian Dubbel. "Once you're done unstuffing your stocking come join your neighborhood friends for a beer," the brewery says. It opens at noon.

TRVE Brewing will also be open today because, well, they are TRVE Brewing.

Saturday, December 26
Our Mutual Friend will release its 2016 Winter Warmer and Barrel Aged Winter Warmer today in 500-ml bottles. "Barrel Aged Winter Warmer was brewed at the beginning of 2015 and aged for over a year in Laws bourbon barrels," the brewery says. 

Dry Dock Brewing's North Dock location at the Canoe Room will tap a firkin of its Apricot Blonde aged with black peppercorns at noon.

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; come between noon and 3 p.m. to beat the crowd.

Fiction Beer Company is throwing its second annual New Year’s Eve celebration, with 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.

Kokopelli Beer Company in Westminster will ring the new year with live music from Mitchel Evan & the Mangrove starting a 8 p.m. There will also be giveaways and happy hour prices all day and then party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Reservations are suggested, and are now being accepted.

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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