Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Zwickelfest, Death by Coconut and an IPA Showdown

Tickets for the fifth annual Festivus — a festival for Denver-only breweries — went on sale last week; this year, more than 65 breweries  have been invited to participate. Organized by Two Parts, the festival takes place December 17 at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Lowry. "In the spirit of the holiday season, the Denver [only] Beer Festivus brings beer, a jolly crowd, music, airing of grievances, and a shiny Festivus pole together to create one heck of a celebration. This festival highlights Denver’s growing craft beer scene. The city is now home to more than 65 craft breweries, with new ones opening each week," Two Parts says. Tickets, $40 to $65, are available at two

Here are this week's craft-beer events.

Wednesday, October 12
Did you miss the big IPA showdown in Denver last week? Well, Backcountry Pizza & Taphouse will host its own East vs. West event today, starting at 5 p.m. There will be a crazy list of the some of the best IPAs from both coasts (and a few in between), including many that aren't usually available in Colorado. They include: Melvin Brewing 2x4, IPA and Carlton; Lawson's Finest Liquids Super Session #2, Sip of Sunshine and Double Dose IPA; 3Floyds Brewery Zombie Dust; Maine Beer Company Another One; Station 26 Fresh Hop Juciy Banger; Fathead Head Hunter; Comrade Brewing Fresh Hop Black IPA; Half Acre Gone Away IPA; Fremont Brewing Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop IPA; Cannonball Creek Techno Viking; Russian River Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder; Bootstrap Brewing Insane Rush; Beachwood BBQ and Brewing Amalgamator; Boneyard Beer RPM; Crux Fermentation Project Off the Fence Fresh Hop; Societe The Pupil; Two Roads Too Juicy; Fort George Brewery Ophilia and Vortex.

Black Shirt Brewing will tap a saison brewed with pear water and Saigon cinnamon today at 11 a.m. "This beer is refreshingly alive with the flavors of fall," Black Shirt says. 

Friday, October 14
It's a pumpkin-beer bonanza today at Launch Pad Brewing in Aurora. The brewery will be tapping four pumpkin beers: Pumpkin IPA, Pumpkin Brown, Imperial Pumpkin Ale, and Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale. There will also be a food truck on hand.

Saturday, October 15
Denver Beer Co. will host its first Zwickelfest today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in order to introduce its newest canned beer, Pretzel Assassin. A classic Vienna Lager, the 5 percent ABV Pretzel Assassin was brewed with Munich and caramel malts "to create a malty flavor with a touch of breadiness and a light sweetness," the brewery says. "German noble hops round out the flavor profile of this clean, authentic amber lager." The fest will highlight beer poured right of the Zwickel, a photo booth, a pretzel-necklace station and live music from Chain Station from noon to 2 p.m., Klaw from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., and the Royal Surf Band from 5 to 8 p.m. There will also be a giant pretzel-eating contest at 5 p.m. in which teams of five people will try to down a five-pound pretzel from City Bakery. And finally, the brewery will roast "a spanferkel whole hog the German way, slathered with a spice-scented seasoning paste, spit roasted over wood, and glazed with three ingredients near and dear to any German's heart: dark, malty German beer, honey, and ginger — the flavorings of Nuremberg's beloved lebkuchen (gingerbread)." There are various ticket packages. Go to Denver Beer Co's Facebook page for more information.

Chain Reaction Brewing will host a late Oktoberfest party today from noon to 5 p.m. featuring German-style beers (though not the traditional Marzen), like an altbier, German rye pale and a wheat-beer firkin, with a stein deal for $25. There will be music from The One and Only Jon Ham, free burgers and brats, and a dunk tank. 

Copper Kettle Brewing will celebrate the return of Well Bred today at 2 p.m. This 10.3 percent ABV "regal English strong ale is aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels for four months, which adds some faint hints of vanilla and sugary, caramel notes from the bourbon and some malty notes of fruit, slightly nutty, with a touch of molasses," the brewery says. There will be bottles for sale, and it will be available on tap.

Oskar Blues brings back its acclaimed Death by Coconut seasonal beer today with a party in the Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont, starting at 1 p.m. There will be a pig roast, four-packs for sale, music from Mitchell Evans and the Mangrove at 2:30 and chocolate from Cholaca, the chocolate used in the beer.

Sunday, October 16
The Colorado Let's Talk Craft Beer Facebook group will hold a meetup today from noon to 4 p.m. at Little Machine Beer, where there are fifteen beers on tap, including a new Sweet Potato Stout. The Broncos don't play that day, but there will be TVs airing other NFL games. A food truck will be on hand as well.

Wednesday, October 19
October is Pumpkin Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a new firkin of pumpkin beer each Wednesday. Today's Pumpkin Chocolate Milk Stout "is dark and delicious, brewed with real lactose for a creamy body," the brewery says. Pavy's Food Truck will be on hand.

Thursday, October 20
Call to Arms Brewing is pleased to announce the tapping and limited bottle release of Shirtless Putin Nuzzling with Dolphins, a bourbon barrel-aged imperial Baltic porter with coffee and the fifth installment of its CTA Carriage House Series. "A true Baltic Porter, this beer was brewed with Czech Pils yeast and started as our 'Shirtless Putin on a Horse,'" the brewery says. "Seven different malts were blended and used in the original brew, along with Bravo hops. We then placed the beer in Four Roses Bourbon Barrels, generously sourced from our good friends at Small Batch Liquors. Lastly, we added Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters Hometown Blend to round out the beer." There are only 150 375mL bottles available, with a limit of two bottles per customer; they go on sale at 3 p.m. There will also be a limited amount of Shirtless available on tap. In adddition to the release in the taproom, Small Batch Liquors will have a very small number of bottles availble for sale down Tennyson Street.

Saturday, October 22
The Brewability Lab, a new brewery dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment in the brewing industry, will celebrate its grand opening today at 2 p.m. in the former Caution Brewing space in east Denver. There will be food from Johno's Food Truck and Spooked Rabbit Waffles, music from The One and Only Jon Ham and Rick Newell's band, and a silent disco. More details TBA.

"Peanut butter and jelly made just the way mom did: crustless... and just the way she didn't: alcoholic." That's how Ursula Brewery in Aurora describes its Imperial Crustless Peanut Butter and Jelly Porter, which it will release today. Each full pour will come paired with a classic, crustless PB&J sandwich. Bottles will be available to take home, along with limited-edition logo tin lunchboxes and glassware.

Dry Dock Brewing tuns eleven years old this month and plans to celebrate from noon to 5 p.m. at its North Dock production facility in Aurora with a party featuring unlimited pours of 28 of the brewery's rare, vintage, and specialty beers, as well as samples of our Signature Series Raspberry Imperial Stout that will debut that day. There will be live music by Chris Dismuke Music and food from the Mile High Cajun Food Truck. Tickets are $35.

Friday, October 28
River North Brewery will host Bach & Beers today at 7:30 p.m. when internationally recognized cellist Steuart Pincombe plays there. "Denver audience members will discover the connections between the art of brewing and the art of playing the music of Bach. Just as many brewers follow a recipe that was used hundreds of years ago, Steuart's approach to playing Bach also looks back on old 'recipes' and methods of playing," organizers say. "The program of Bach’s Cello Suites will be interlaced with short explanations of Steuart’s historical, interpretive approach along with comments from the brewery on the historical brewing method of each beer. Each of the three suites will be paired with one of River North’s own brews."

Saturday, October 29
Just in time for Halloween, River North Brewery will host a four-course chocolate and beer pairing with the Chocolate Lab. "Each chocolate bite will be perfectly paired with one of our beers, including a barrel-aged pairing," River North says. Tickets are $20 or two for $35 at eventbrite.

Saturday, November 5
"A block party in November, why the hell not?" asks Mockery Brewing, which will celebrate its second anniversary today with limited barrel-aged beer releases, twenty-plus beers, free screen printed koozies and commemorative glassware. There will also be live music, food trucks and giveaways.

Fermaentra Brewing will toast its second anniversary today with a huge taplist (details are TBA), including ERinyes and Kicker Twister, firkins, barrel-aged strong ales, and the release of its MMXVI Anniversary Blend in bottles (only 100 are available). The first 100 people will also get a commemorative glass to keep with their first pour. Quiero Arepas will be there for lunch and Roll It Up Sushi for dinner.

Oskar Blues will release the highly-anticipated Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY and Barrel-Aged Java Ten FIDY today when they opened. The beer will be sold in 19.2-ounce stovepipe cans ($12.50 each) and in crowlers ($25 each); it will also be available on tap. No limits.

Upslope Brewing will celebrate its eighth anniversary in Boulder today from 2 to 8 p.m. with a party at its Flatiron Park location. They will take over the parking lot to make room for lives music (Coambient, Reckon, Guerrilla Fanfare, The Pamlico Sound), food trucks (Rollin' Bones BBQ, Sancho's Authentic Mexican Restaurant, Rocky Mountain Slices, & Schnibs Pretzels), and more than fifty different beers on tap, including vintage favorites, collaboration brews, specialty styles, and core classics. There will also be photos, games and other fun. 
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes