The Rocky Mountain Brewing Symposium, a one-day event that brings together some of the most interesting topics and people in the local beer scene, returns to Colorado Springs on Friday, February 21. Open to brewers, industry pros, home brewers, would-be brewery owners and beer nerds alike, the symposium costs $99 and includes nearly ten hours of technical seminars, sensory training classes, networking, breakfast and lunch.
Seminar topics this year include everything from "How Tap Rooms are Changing the Brewing Landscape," with the owners of WeldWerks, Horse & Dragon Brewing, Epic Brewing and Pikes Peak Brewing, to "Dissolved Oxygen in Packaging," with Alexis Foreman of Wild Goose Canning. There are also seminars on hops, malt and collaborations with big breweries, along with "Demystifying Recent Advances in Hop Processing," with Odd13 head brewer Nichole Rieman, and "Developing the Niche Market for Big, Cellarable Beers," with the owners of Burns Family Artisan Ales.
There's even a seminar on "Lagers and Pre-Prohibition Brewing," moderated by yours truly and including panelists from Pagosa Spring Brewing, Lone Tree Brewing and Seedstock Brewing.
The day-long symposium takes place on the University of Colorado's Colorado Springs campus, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway. Register online on the Rocky Mountain Brewery Symposium website.
Keep reading to see craft-beer events into late February.
Wednesday, February 12
Wednesday firkins are back at Copper Kettle Brewing, which is rolling a cherry theme in February. At 2 p.m., the brewery will crack a firkin of Double Cherry Baltic Porter with extra cherry.
Elevated Seltzer in Arvada will be pouring a limited-edition Valentine's Day Chocolate-Strawberry hard seltzer, which it will sell in a 22-ounce bottle today through February 16.
Thursday, February 13
Ratio Beerworks celebrates its fifth anniversary this weekend with a wide variety of music, beer and beer, but it kicks things off today with the canned release of King of Carrot Flowers, a carrot and elderflower saison that has a big following. Although Ratio doesn't regularly can its beer (yet), it borrowed a canning machine from Codi Manufacturing for this limited run of twelve-ounce six-packs. "First introduced in celebration of EatDenver's 2017 Harvest Week at the GrowHaus, King of Carrot Flowers bursts forth in an illuminate, ripe cantaloupe orange hue, while exhibiting subtle fruit-forward citrus notes and nuances of pear, honey, coriander, and vanilla brought on by the elderflower," the brewery says. Ratio opens at noon, and there are limits on the beer.
Strange Craft gets you in the mood for Valentine's Day a little early with a chocolate-and-beer pairing with Colorado Cocoa Pod. Come anytime between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. to sample three truffles and four beer tasters for $12. They include Blood Orange Caramel Fig paired with Ugly Sweater, Earl Grey Lavender Delight paired with Fallout Pale Ale, and the Raspberry Rose with our special Belgian Chocolate Raspberry Love Stout.
Denver Beer Co. will tap White Chocolate Graham Cracker Blondie at both of its locations in Denver and Arvada and host a chocolate-and-beer pairing with Chocolate Lab. This blonde ale was brewed with white chocolate and graham crackers "to bring a delicate balance of flavors," the brewery says. Slightly sweet and easy drinking with a smooth creaminess and cookie-like bliss. There will also be a limited number of Crowlers.
TRVE Brewing releases a brand-new beer in canned four-packs. Waking Realm is a mixed-culture golden sour ale "with almost every citrus we could find thrown at it; lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit," the brewery says. "High acid, with tons of citrus. Available at the taproom and around Colorado."
Walter's303 Uptown Pizzeria & Publik House will tap Left Hand Brewing's newest beer, Peanut Butter Milk Stout, at 6 p.m., and serve ice cream floats with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
Friday, February 14
Call to Arms Brewing taps “a scant sixtel of How ’Bout a Can of Wine?, a red wine puncheon-aged wine hybrid brewed with 50 percent Sangiovese grapes. This is a sneak peek for when the beer is officially released at the end of March. Aged for ten months in red wine puncheons, it is “a complex sour ale sparkling with a brilliant peach-rosy hue,” the brewery says. “Delicately floral and fruity with light oak character and a pleasant Brett funk. Expect notes of green melon, grape skin, soft cranberry, and unripe tart raspberries. Let it warm up a touch, and this dynamic beer just keeps getting better and better.” It goes on at 3 p.m.
"Got yourself a Baby Cakes? Need a Baby Cakes?" Either way, Spangalang Brewing has you covered for Valentine's Day with the return of its Baby Cakes, its strawberry, hibiscus, vanilla table beer. According to head brewer Taylor Reese, “It’s basically my dream beer.” Spangalang opens at noon.
The 2020 vintage of Stolen Kiss from Burns Family Artisan Ales will steal your heart — and your brain, at 14.5 percent ABV. Enjoy this dark rum barrel-aged imperial brown ale on tap and in 750ml bottles.
Woods Boss Brewing taps Barrel Aged Trail God. "This huge chewy imperial IPA, brewed at Factotum Brewhouse, has a beautiful orange caramel color, dry yet subtlety sweet," the brewery says. "A generous helping of Chinook, Centennial, Mosiac, and Eldorado hops gives it a tropical finish on top of a piney back end."
Strange Craft Beer Company turns ten this year, and to celebrate, it's bringing back many of the crowd favorites from years past. Today's beer is Belgian Chocolate Raspberry Love Stout, a 10.5 percent ABV imperial stout. "Our annual Valentine's Day seasonal was first brewed in 2012 with John and Stacy Turk. Colorado Craft Beer Radio was a huge supporter of Strange in our early days, and it was John's and Gary's [Valliere] tireless work telling the story of craft beer in Colorado that helped many craft beer enthusiasts find Strange...," the brewery says. "The credit for the recipe, though, has to go to Stacy. She created this chocolate lover's dream, finding the right combo of chocolate and raspberries to satisfy any Belgian truffles fan."
In addition, Strange will host craft-beer adventurers Ken and April Pishna, of Living a Stout Life, who roam the country in an RV, "building community through beer and conversation, according to their website. They will be selling and signing copies of their book, The Craft Beer Adventure Journal, designed for people to "record the beer you drink, the breweries you visit, the food you eat, the people you meet, and adventures you have."
Bring that special someone into Dos Luces Brewing for a chocolate and beer pairing with Cultura Craft Chocolate from 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $30 per couple online, and the pairing includes four four-ounce pours of chicha or pulque and a chocolate. They include: Muluc Agua Fresca Dura, a light refreshing and sweet beer made from Peruvian purple corn and lime, paired with a single origin dark chocolate bar from Guatemala or Belize; and Don Chicha Cherry Lime Chicha, a Bolivian-style chicha made with malted blue corn, sweet and tart cherries, and lime, paired with a chicha-infused cherry bonbon.
Join Cerebral Brewing for a triple can release starting at noon, along with a beer-and-chocolate pairing ($25; no ticketes required). The cans are: Bird of War, a 6.8 percent fruited smoothie-style sour with mango, tangerine, bird of paradise and vanilla; Prognosis Hypnosis, a 6.5 percent ABV dry-hopped saison; and DDH Rare Trait, a double dry-hopped version of Cerebral's flagship hazy IPA.
When Odell Brewing opened its second brewery in RiNo, it quickly befriended its neighbors at the Block Distilling and then planned a collaboration. Odell has filled freshly emptied barrels of the Block's four-grain whiskey with its legendary Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout and aged them. "The fruits of our labor provide you with a whiskey barrel aged stout with aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolate, and a smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel with flavors of toasted marshmallow and vanilla," the brewery says.
Seedstock Brewing hosts a beer-and-cheese pairing at 6 p.m. Get four beer tasters, four cheeses, homemade crackers, mustard, pickled veggies and candied walnuts for $20. Advanced ticket purchase highly recommended. Tickets can be purchased in the Seedstock taproom or online at eventbrite.
Westfax Brewing isn't in the mood for love, which is why it's tapping Tears of our Enemies Scotties Ale with chile peppers and Red Velvet Tears of Enemies, which is a version of the brewery's Scottish ale with chocolate and vanilla — and served on nitro. It's also Keep the Glass night.
Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley releases five new canned breakfast-inspired beers "that are perfect for enjoying breakfast anytime," the brewery says. They are: Breakfast at Wiley’s French Toast, an oatmeal stout with cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup; Muffinberry Monstah, an imperial stout with blueberry, cinnamon and graham cracker; Flapjack Monstah, an imperial stout with maple syrup and graham cracker; Pastels Capella Aspirations, a milkshake IPA with puréed raspberry and passion fruit; and Tyrannos Morissette, a sour IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe and Citra.
Saturday, February 15
Black Shirt Brewing continues its Situation of Measures bottle-conditioned beer series by releasing Even Shadows Have Shadows Russian Imperial Stout. Named in memory of prolific hip-hop artist Micheal 'Eyedea' Larson, with label art by Black Shirt's resident artist, Pat Lavey, the 13.2 percent ABV beer was conditioned on "a carefully curated selection of vanilla from Africa and Asia, sustainably sourced West African cacao, pure Vermont maple syrup, in-house toasted cacao nibs from Cultura Chocolate, and small dose of Cupuaçu, a Brazilian chocolate varietal that’s common throughout the Amazon basin," the brewery says. The aroma is "a heady mix of maple-dipped plantain, rich ganache, bananas flambe, and Reisen chocolate candy."
Factotum Brewhouse is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and since the traditional five-year anniversary gift for marriages is wood, the brewery is partying like lumberjacks and lumberjills. Wear your best plaid or blue oxen suit and join [the brewery]; you might just win a prize," Factotum says. There will be new beer releases, food from Cirque Kitchen, live music, contests, games and glassware.
Ratio Beerworks is celebrating its fifth anniversary all weekend long with a wide variety of music, special concerts and food. And there will also be beer. In addition to the canned version of King of Carrot Flowers, which was released on Thursday, the brewery will tap a limited amount of Barrel-Fermented Wild Dear You, a wild barrel-aged version of its flagship Citra Dry-Hopped French Saison.
River North Brewery will tap Social Vortex, a 5.9 percent ABV hoppy pale ale that was a collaboration with Cannonball Creek Brewing Company, at its Blake Street taproom. Surf to Slopes will have food.
Comrade Brewing taps the latest in Honeyman experimental IPA series at noon. Honeyman 31, at 6.5 percent ABV, was hopped with Lotus, Azacca and Amarillo hops.
It’s that time of year again, time for one of the original cult beers, Russian River's Pliny the Younger triple IPA. The beer, which only comes out once a year and only makes it to a few spots around the country, will tap first at Falling Rock Tap House before being tapped at other spots around town. Doors open at 11 a.m., which is when Falling Rock will start selling tickets; a ticket means a guaranteed pour. The tapping is at 1 p.m. Falling Rock will host three other tappings as well, on February 16, 22 and 23.
Cellar West Brewing in Lafayette debuts bottles of Curse of the Farmhand: Barrel Select. "This rich English Old Ale was brewed with malted spelt and aged in a Kentucky bourbon barrel," the brewery says. The barrel gave the beer "mellow notes of candied almond, charred vanilla, caramel and sweet cherry, which meld wonderfully with the oaky, malt-forward base beer." Bottles will be available this Saturday at 1 p.m., for $22 each.
Sunday, February 16
It’s that time of year again, time for one of the original cult beers, Russian River's Pliny the Younger triple IPA. The beer, which only comes out once a year and only makes it to a few spots around the country, will tap at Falling Rock Tap House. Doors open at 11 a.m., which is when Falling Rock will start selling tickets; a ticket means a guaranteed pour. The tapping is at 1 p.m. Falling Rock will host two other tappings as well, on February 22 and February 23.
Tuesday, February 18
Freshcraft will start handing out tickets for pours of Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger at 5 p.m. and will tap the beer at 6 p.m. To add to the fun, it will also tap Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig IPA and Shadow of Doubt.
Wednesday, February 19
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery is one of the lucky few to receive a keg of Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger Triple IPA, which it will tap at 6 p.m. Tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. First come, first served.
Hops & Pie will tap its own keg of Pliny the Younger at 1 p.m. No tickets necessary; first come, first served until it's gone.
Thursday, February 20
Join Woods Boss Brewing from 6 to 8 p.m. for a guided tasting through several of the brewery's one-off rare and unique barrel-aged beers. "Taste samples from wine, rum, tequila, Scotch or whiskey barrels and let your taste buds open up to a world of new flavors," Woods Boss says. "Throughout this experience, head brewer Jordan Fink will provide insight on the process and flavors." Tickets are $75 at Eventbrite and include eight four-ounce pours straight from the barrels, one 500ml bottle of Dreams the Stuff Are Made Of, and paired cheese bites from Goed Zuur chef Anthony Lopiccolo and cheesemonger Rachel.
Goed Zuur, which usually just pours sour and wild ales, will tap a keg of Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger at 3 p.m. No tickets are required.
The Children's Museum of Denver will host its third annual adults-only extravaganza and fundraiser, Ales, Apps & Barrels of Fun, from 7 to 9 p.m. Guests can taste craft beers from local breweries, snack on light bites from top caterers and enjoy an evening of returning to their childhoods by playing on the museum's exhibits — without any kids around. "Guests can make their own pretzel necklaces and spend the evening blowing bubbles, launching rockets, painting on a VW bug and creating stop motion animation videos," the museum explains. Breweries in attendance include Comrade Brewing, Epic Brewing, Little Machine Beer, Oasis Brewing and Strange Craft Beer. Tickets are $40 at mychildsmuseum.org, and the event will sell out. It all takes place at the museum's Marisco campus at 2121 Children’s Museum Drive.
Warm up with Upslope Brewing's latest Lee Hill Series release, Volume 23: Barrel Aged Barleywine. This 14.2-ABV monster will be available on draft and in 19.2-ounce cans at 5 p.m. as part of a release party at Upslope's original Lee Hill taproom in Boulder. An English-style Barleywine, the beer was brewed with Chevallier and Maris Otter malt, East Kent Golding hops, and English yeast before aging in Leopold Bros Maryland-Style Rye Whiskey barrels for over a year. "Aromas of vanilla, amaretto, and pie spice are accented by chewy caramel, dried figs, lilac, and ripe peach flavors," the brewery says. The Maine Event will have food.
Friday, February 21
Strange Craft Beer Company turns ten this year, and to celebrate, it's bringing back many of the crowd favorites from years past. Today's is Strangely Epic. "A blend of Epic Brewing’s monster imperial stout Big Bad Baptist and Strange’s tart fruit explosion, Cherry Kriek, the result is a complex journey thru coffee, chocolate, and cherries," Strange says. "Created by Kevin Crompton and Tim Myers for the Inaugural Collaboration Fest back in 2014, this beer has been requested more than any other of Tim's creations in the last 10 years."
Goldspot Brewing will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a two-day party that begins today with the tapping of two beers: Italian Pilsner and Lotus Dry-Hopped Cream Ale. The brewery will also release two beers in bottles: Laws Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Chocolate Stout and Batch 250 Merlot Barrel Aged Plum Saison. Yuan Wonton will be in the house from 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 22
Call to Arms Brewing hosts its fifth annual Mardi Gras Rumpus starting at noon and featuring the World's Tiniest Mardi Gras Parade at 4 p.m. There will be special tappings, a crawfish boil at 2 p.m. by Rolling Smoke BBQ, a live brass band, and, of course, the tiny parade, with special-guest tiny floats from Little Machine Beer, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Under the Sun Eatery and Pizzeria, the Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe & Brewery, Empourium Brewing Company, Valhalla Cakes, FlyteCo Brewing, Avery Brewing Company and more.
It has been eight years since River North Brewery first opened its doors. To mark that milestone, the brewery plans to party at both taprooms. There will be special beer releases, including an eight-hour boil imperial stout. There will also be food at both locations and other fun.
Goldspot Brewing continues its fifth anniversary celebration by tapping Vienna Lager and Cabernet Aged Bourbon Barrel Aged Dopplebock. It will also release bottles of Laws Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Dopplebock and Batch 250 Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Plum Saison. Toby's Po'boys will be in the house from 2 to 8 p.m.
Denver Beer Co.'s Ninth Annual Beer, Bacon & Coffee Fest returns to its Platte Street Taproom at the beer-loving time slot of 8:30 to 11 a.m. "All that is required of you is to wake up, roll down to Denver Beer Co. and enjoy some of Denver’s best beer, bacon and coffee. Then go home and take a nap," the brewery says. Tickets are $45 and entitle you to a big breakfast burrito, coffee and as much bacon as you can fit in your belly. You will also receive a souvenir Denver Beer Co. coffee mug to fill with breakfast-inspired brews.
It’s that time of year again, time for one of the original cult beers, Russian River's Pliny the Younger triple IPA. The beer, which only comes out once a year and only makes it to a few spots around the country, taps at Falling Rock Tap House. Doors open at 11 a.m., which is when Falling Rock will start selling tickets; a ticket means a guaranteed pour. The tapping is at 1 p.m. Falling Rock will host one more tapping on Sunday, February 23.
Tivoli Brewing will also tap Russian River's Pliny the Younger. As with the other tappings of this beer around town, a portion of the proceeds will go back to Sense of Security, a breast cancer support center.
Sunday, February 23
It’s that time of year again, time for one of the original cult beers, Russian River's Pliny the Younger triple IPA. The beer, which only comes out once a year and only makes it to a few spots around the country, will tap at Falling Rock Tap House. Doors open at 11 a.m., which is when Falling Rock will start selling tickets; a ticket means a guaranteed pour. The tapping is at 1 p.m.
Barrels & Bottles Brewery in Golden will also tap Russian River's Pliny the Younger. Tickets will be handed out at 11 a.m., and the tapping will take place at 1 p.m.
Friday, February 28
You knew someone would do it eventually, and here it is. In defiance of the trend toward low-calorie, low-carb, low-ABV beers, Epic Brewing releases Super IPA Me, a "high-calorie" beer that weighs in at 12 percent ABV and features pictures of desserts on the label. The beer is brewed with apricots and Grungeist, Styrian Dragon and Citra hops. This one is super-sized.
Strange Craft Beer Company turns ten this year, and to celebrate, the brewery is bringing back many crowd favorites from years past. Tapped the first night Strange opened back in 2010, Paint It Black Honey Coffee Stout was served on nitro until 2013, "when it lost an arm wrestling contest with Cherry Bomb to be the featured stout on the Strange Beer Board," the brewery explains. "The beer starts sweet but immediately goes bone dry with roast, coffee acridity, and big hop bitterness all at the same time. Medium bodied, the honey really dries this one out (it’s so fermentable), but leaves its wildflower honey notes behind."
Saturday, February 29
It's Leap Day! If you're not doing something special on a day that only comes around once every four years, you just aren't paying enough attention to your calendar. Platt Park Brewing paid attention, which is why the brewery is throwing a Leap Day party, complete with the tapping of a new New England-style IPA brewed with tangerine, vanilla and milk sugar. Oh, and for you planners, the brewery is selling limited-edition Leap Year glasses, which you can bring back in four years for a free refill (assuming the planet is still here).
There will be an extra day of darkness this year, and as such, Baere Brewing is tapping eight or more different dark beers for your enjoyment, including, but not limited to: Love Is Blind English Porter, Baere Stout (brewed with cacao shells from Cultura Craft Chocolate), No Line Imperial Stout with coconut and cacao nibs, Squarrel No Line, Blueberry Chocolate Stout, Mixed Berry Duplicitous Dark Sour, and Foraged From the Frost, a dark sour made with foraged sage and juniper (brewed in collaboration with Old 121 Brewhouse).
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DeSteeg Brewing celebrates its seventh anniversary in the alley with seven newly tapped beers, hourly swag giveaways, live music and a toast for all seven beers at separate times throughout the day.
Burns Family Artisan Ales notes today's quirk of the calendar by tapping Thoughts of Winter Imperial White Stout. There will also be live music from Sunrise Drive at 7:30 p.m.
Westbound & Down and Amalgam Brewing are at it again, opening up their barrel-aging facility, the Cultural Center, 6381 Beach Street, Unit A, for a pop-up tapping from noon to 5 p.m. There will be eight beers on tap, along with assorted bottles and cans for sale, to go or to drink on site. El Taco Veloz Food Truck will be on hand.
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