The annual Craft Malt Conference took place in Fort Collins last month, "featuring workshops and seminars on the latest research, topics and best practices relevant to those throughout the craft malt supply chain," according to the Craft Maltsters Guild, which advocates for small malting companies across the country.
And with it came the second annual Malt Cup, a competition with two categories (up from one last year!): Light Munich and Pale Malt. "Quality analysis was conducted on all samples by the Montana State University Malt Quality Lab to ensure entries met the specs for each category. Samples then underwent a blind hot-steep method wort tasting in numerous locations around the United States by qualified sensory panels that included brewers, distillers, cicerones and malting experts," the Guild explains.
One of the winners: Loveland's own Root Shoot Malting, which took home third place in the Light Munich category. This is the second win in a row for Root Shoot, which took first in 2019 for its Genie Pale Malt. The four-year-old family-run malting company provides a variety of grains to numerous craft breweries in Colorado and will be part of several collaborations at this year's Collaboration Beer Fest in April.
Keep reading to see craft-beer tappings and events into late March.
Copper Kettle Brewing brings back its series of Wednesday firkin tappings at 2 p.m. with Coconut Citrus Paradisi, a version of its Citra- and Mosaic-hopped IPA that has been infused with coconut.
TRVE Brewing releases a limited number of cans of a taproom favorite: Burning Off Impurities, an amber sour with coffee from Huckleberry Roasters. In this case, the coffee is Tilahun Natural, "a beautiful, naturally processed Ethiopian coffee," TRVE says. This is a taproom-only release.
Great Divide Brewing releases Old Fashioned Inspired Belgian-Style Ale at noon at both of its taprooms. The beers, which will be available in sixteen-ounce cans and on tap, is the latest from the brewery's experimental Pilot Program series. "We used a subtle Belgian yeast strain to create a malty, enticing base beer and reimagine a traditional Trappist-style dubbel," the brewery says. "The beer was then aged in brandy barrels for ten months with orange peel and cherry purée."
Tivoli Brewing taps a new firkin at 3 p.m. as part of its weekly firkin program. This one is the brewery's Roadrunner Red dry-hopped with Styrian Wolf hops.
Mirror Image Brewing (formerly Echo Brewing) in Frederick will tap a new beer at 3 p.m. called Bavarian Angel. This clean and crisp Munich-style Helles will be served in specialty glassware that is yours to keep for $12.
FlyteCo Brewing celebrates its one-year anniversary this weekend with a series of beer tappings, live music, karaoke, food trucks, games, and a visit from a new tap trailer. Today's tapping is Pineapple Gose. That will be followed on Saturday by the brewery's rye whiskey barrel-aged amber and porter, and then on Sunday by an IPA that is FlyteCo's first collaboration with Launchpad Brewing in Aurora.
"Have you ever seen Shepard Fairey's Obey Giant street art? It was the inspiration behind Obey Session IPA, a 4.5 percent ABV IPA that’s a harmonious mix of old school and new school." That's the word from Empourium Brewing, which taps this new beer at noon. "A strong malt backbone holds up to copious amounts of late hopping goodness of Centennial and Chinook hops. This IPA is bursting with flavors and aromas of pineapple, grapefruit and a hint of pine." Little Reds Kitchen will be on site serving food.
Factotum Brewhouse brings back its fifth annual Brewer's Madness, a bracketed challenge (in honor of NCAA basketball) that pits sixteen difference local nonprofits against one another for the trophy, a $500 donation. Each nonprofit brewed a beer at Factotum that has been assigned a bracket: hops, water, barley or yeast. They will all be tapped throughout March — beginning with the first one today — giving a people a chance to vote for their favorites. Beers with the most votes will continue on to the next bracket. The championship round will take place in February. Go to Factotum's Facebook page for details.
Left Hand Brewing in Longmont taps Local Assets German-Style Pilsner, a beer made entirely with ingredients from local companies, including Odyssey Pilsner Malt from Root Shoot Malting in Loveland, Tettnang Hops from Colorado Hop Company in Longmont, and Monk Lager Yeast from Inland Island Yeast Laboratories in Denver. "Join us for the tapping of this sustainable, crushable brew and meet up with the people behind your beer," Left Hand says. It takes place from 5 to 7 p.m.
Arvada's New Image Brewing will celebrate its fourth anniversary with four special taproom beer releases, live music out back under a heated tent from 4 to 8 p.m., and a live DJ after that. Some of the beers include One More Time, OG East Coast Transplant, Triple Double One More Time, and Just A Kiss Imperial Stout, a collaboration with Phase Three Brewing that was infused with toasted coconut, raw coconut and cacao nibs.
Fiction Beer Company brings back three of its all-time favorite beers in sixteen-ounce cans for a triple can drop starting at 1 p.m. Off Script Pilsner is a German-style pils made with Saaz and Saphir hops. Fan Fiction Double Dry Hopped NEIPA is a collab with the CO: NEIPA & Hazy Haze Facebook group that includes Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy and Vic Secret hops. Alternate Present Dark Lager is a German-style schwarzbier that is easy to drink and lower in alcohol. All three will also be on tap.
Maui Express Coconut IPA returns to Denver Beer Co., which will transform both of its locations into tropical paradises in order to celebrate. There will be raffles, costume contests and limited-edition tiki glassware.
Zuni Street Brewing celebrates its third anniversary with a party featuring two beer releases, three bands (between 1 and 7 p.m.), two food trucks and other family fun. The beers are Goldberry Ale, which will be tapped at 3 p.m., and Justin's Easy Going Amber, which will be tapped at 6 p.m.
Hops & Pie will host Westword beer writer Jonathan Shikes (that's me) for the release of Denver Beer: A History of Mile High Brewing, which explores the city's suds slingers from 1859 to 2019. Hops & Pie will tap a number of beers made by breweries mentioned in the book, including Bierstadt Lagerhaus, TRVE Brewing, Our Mutual Friend, Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales, Comrade Brewing, Ratio Beerworks, Station 26 Brewing and Cerebral Brewing. Beginning at noon, Shikes will be selling and signing the book.
Wednesday, March 11
Copper Kettle Brewing brings back its series of Wednesday firkin tappings at 2 p.m. with Ley Lime Coconut Manage a Quatre, a version of its classic golden sour.
Friday, March 13
Copper Kettle Brewing kicks off St. Patrick's Day week (is that a week-long thing now? Maybe it's a thing) by tapping a version of its Help Me Out Stout on nitro.
Cerebral Brewing welcomes Jonathan Shikes (that's me) from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the release of Denver Beer: A History of Mile High Brewing, which explores the city's suds slingers from 1859 to 2019. Shikes will be selling and signing copies of the new book, while Cerebral will be releasing two cans and tapping a keg of something special in honor of the occasion.
Join Goldspot Brewing starting at 10:30 a.m. for some classic Irish fare from the Noshery and special beers to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. There will be bangers and mash, Irish beef stew and buttery biscuits, along with the tappings of an Irish stout, and English mild and a coffee stout. Purchase your tickets in person at Goldspot before the event; the last day for ticket sales will be Thursday March 12.
Bierstadt Lagerhaus brings back the German/Irish party that it calls Dublin Down on Lager: A Marriage of Convenience, starting bright and early at 7 a.m. Why so early? Because you can enjoy corned beef, kraut, lager, live music and giant games — all while watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade staging area get set up behind Bierstadt's building in the Coors Field parking lot, wherethe parade starts. The party will continue all day, however, with live music and all of the above. "It is where Kraut meets Corned Beef."
Platt Park Brewing hosts Fake Paddy's Day (because it's three days early) by pouring Dry Irish Stout on nitro and McLovin' Irish Red Ale along with Irish whiskey shots. Gates Deli & Grog next door will be serving Corned Beef Melt Sandwich, which is corned beef, beer-caramelized onions, beer mustard and cheese on rye.
Tuesday, March 17
Join Comrade Brewing for some St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans as the brewery taps a Dry Irish Stout and a Barrel Aged Red Ale. The Coast2Coast food truck will be there with Irish fare.
Bierstadt Lagerhaus will celebrate Starkbierzeit, Germany's strong-beer festival, with a day-long party featuring beer, German food, live music, giant games, ax throwing and a pop-up clothing shop. "Much lesser known than Oktoberfest, Starkbierzeit is a locals' favorite, with smaller crowds, stronger beer, and all of the German flare of Oktoberfest," the brewery explains. But since Starkbier has to have an ABV of 7.5 percent of higher, it is also referred to as "Oktoberfest's smaller, drunker brother." Make sure to wear your Lederhosen or Dirndl.
Platt Park Brewing releases two cans today. Madagascar Dream is the brewery's 6.9 percent ABV flagship nitro cream ale, made with Madagascar vanilla beans. Plattmosphere NEIPA is a hazy IPA with prominent honeydew, melon and mango hop character from Mosaic, Citra and Horizon hops.
Copper Kettle Brewing releases its Moral Support Imperial West Coast Double Dry Hopped IPA in cans for the first time. "An old-school style with a new-school vibe, Moral Support is a refreshingly bitter DIPA with a juicy backbone," the brewery says. "Grab a few and pass one to a buddy in need, because after all, we could all use a little Moral Support. This hazy brew will be available on tap and in nineteen-ounce cans."
Friday, March 27
Copper Kettle Brewing will release Vanilla Snowed In at noon, on draft and in 19.2-ounce cans to go. This is a version of the brewery's bourbon barrel-aged oatmeal stout infused with vanilla.
Sunday, March 29
Ratio Beerworks brings back its Cool Beans Beer & Coffee Festival, once again teaming up with some of Denver's best coffee roasters "to showcase the diversity of flavors that can emerge from differing coffee bean varieties, various levels of roasts, and how all of those flavors can be highlighted or enhanced when infused in an array of beer styles," the brewery says. There will be two sessions: one from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and the other from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each includes coffee beers; coffee from Novo, Huckleberry Roasters and more; bloody Marys from the Real Dill; brunch from various vendors; and a commemorative mug. Attendees will have the first opportunity to purchase bottles of Novo Coffee-infused Loveless, barrel-fermented Dark Sour Saison with Raspberries and Blackberries. Tickets will go on sale next week for $35.
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