Beer Man

Beer Calendar: New Cans Everywhere, and the Makin' Noise Project Returns

Westbound & Down plans to get around.
Westbound & Down plans to get around. Culture Beverage
Westbound & Down Brewing in Idaho Springs has signed a deal with locally owned Culture Beverage, which will distribute Westbound’s beers — kegs, 750ml specialty barrel-aged and sour beers, and brand-new four-packs and sixteen-ounce cans — to liquor stores, bars and restaurants across the Front Range and the I-70 corridor.

The brewery had been self-distributing, "but was ready to take the leap to full-scale distribution as their beers have become more and more popular," Culture Beverage says. Westbound & Down, which is planning a second location in Lafayette, was named Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival last year, winning medals for Westbound Double IPA and Double Barrel Louie, part of its limited-release series.

“We are really excited to have Westbound join our list of partners," said Xandy Bustamante, general manager of Culture, in a statement. "Westbound makes some of the best beers in the state, and their barrel and sour program is taking off. We couldn’t be happier to have them join our family.”

Westbound is the second Colorado brewery that Culture Beverage has begun distributing since opening in April 2019, joining Lafayette-based Cellar West Artisan Ales. Culture also handles the distribution of international beverage producers like Drie Fonteinen, Cantillon, Oliver’s Cider and Perry, and more.

Keep reading to see local craft-beer events into early February.

click to enlarge CROOKED STAVE
Crooked Stave
Wednesday, January 22
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will tap its first pale ale, Amarillo & Simcoe Double Dry-Hopped Pale Ale, at noon. The hoppy, crushable beer will be available on draft and in growlers to go.

Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales
Friday, January 24
Hogshead Brewing hosts the 2020 version of Hogshead Days, its celebration of big and dark beers. You'll find everything from a Russian imperial stout to bourbon-barrel-aged old ales, a Baltic porter, a barleywine and numerous English-style cask ales. Hogshead opens at noon.

"Back when all of the other brewers were recovering from GABF, our brewers teamed up with California's Bagby Beer to make a smooth, malty and delicious dark Czech lager" known as a t/mavy. That's the word from Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which will unveil this rare collaboration beer during a release party starting at 5 p.m. There will be Prague-inspired food, live music by God Jammit and a pop-up clothing shop by Crazy Concepts.

Platt Park Brewing is finally releasing its two most popular beers in sixteen-ounce cans. Madagascar Dream is a nitro cream ale brewed with Madagascar vanilla. "This beer has been the number-one-selling beer in our tasting room since the day it was released," the brewery says. The second beer is Tropical Snow Dance, a 7.1 percent ABV West Coast IPA brewed with 100 percent mosaic hops and pale malt.

Bruz Beers will tap two new beers at its new Bruz Off Fax location at Colfax Avenue and York Street; they are the first two creations from former Ursula Brewery brewer Dave Olson, who is now with Bruz, and collaborations with Jensen Cummings and his Good Bugs Fermentation Project. The two beers both came from the same base, which was brewed with barley, spelt and flaked oats and then heavily hopped with Huell Mellon and Hallertau Blanc. Half of the batch was then fermented with saison yeast; called La Reine, it has notes of "pears, green grape skins and honeydew melons up front with background phenolics of white pepper and hay," the brewery says. The second half, called Le Renne, was fermented with kviek yeast. "This one has an even fruitier nose, with orange marmalade, cantaloupe, pears and green grapes," Bruz says. "With the same hopping schedule as La Reine, this one is more like an American IPA-style beer." Try them both, side by side.

Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales hosts its big January can and bottle release starting at 2 p.m. There will be two sixteen-ounce cans: Magic Lantern, a spontaneously fermented wheat sour made with blood orange, guava and passion fruit; and Jumpseat, a dry-hopped blended sour golden ale that was previously only sold in bottles. There will also be five bottled beers available. Go to the Facebook page for details.

Westfax Brewing brings back Life Hack, its 8.1 percent ABV double-hazy IPA, brewed with Mosaic, Pacifica and Zythos hops, which produce "decadent and juicy notes of pineapple, mango and papaya," the Lakewood brewery says. Life Hack will be available in sixteen-ounce four-packs and on draft.

New Image Brewing in Arvada releases the latest in its Denomination of Origin Series, which comprises imperial stouts brewed with rotating adjuncts that highlight specific places around the globe. This time, the beer features Brazilian coffee beans roasted by Hunter Bay Coffee in Olde Town Arvada; it will be available on draft and in canned four-packs, and you can try it next to previous versions.

click to enlarge Baere Brewing is one of five breweries participating in the Makin' Noise charity fundraiser. - BAERE BREWING
Baere Brewing is one of five breweries participating in the Makin' Noise charity fundraiser.
Baere Brewing
Saturday, January 25
The Makin' Noise collaboration beer project is back after a hiatus for its third-anniversary release, which includes five different beers at five different breweries, all created to raise money for causes and charities that have been particularly at risk over the past few years. One dollar from each pour will benefit the charity of each brewery's choice. Jagged Mountain taps Goji Beery Wheat at noon for Conservation Colorado; Odyssey Beerwerks taps a pale ale at noon for Epic Experience; Mockery Brewing brings out Blueberry Grisette at noon for the Growhaus; Baere Brewing taps a hazy pale ale at noon to benefit the Harm Reduction Action Center; and Goldspot Brewing taps Hopped Mango Blonde at 3 p.m. for Youth on Record.

Diebolt Brewing releases David Frambowie Raspberry Quick-Sour in cans and on draft. "The second installment in our notable people quick-sour series (Charlie Blackberry was the first), David Frambowie was soured over five days with Lactobacillus bacteria, primary-fermented with French saison yeast, and finally dosed with a massive amount of Raspberry purée in secondary," the brewery says. Diebolt will be jamming out to David Bowie tunes all day long. Cyndy's Foodlishus food truck will be outside.

The Denver stop of the Winter Brew Fest takes place at Mile High Station from 1 to 10 p.m., with two ticketed sessions and more than 100 beers, ciders and other beverages from forty breweries. There will be food trucks, live music and an indoor/outdoor section. For tickets, $40 to $60, and more information, go to the event's Facebook page.

Dry Dock Brewing hosts Can Bash starting at its North Dock location at noon in honor of National Can Appreciation Day. There will be a wide variety of games, including a can shooting range with Nerf guns, Can Hockey, Giant Twister and, of course, Can Smash. There will also be live music from DJ Em, a Mexican food truck (cash only) until 5 p.m., and Crock Spot Food Truck until 7 p.m.

Verboten Brewing in Loveland brings back its annual Stout Fest by once again tapping more than twenty different stouts at 11 a.m. These include small-batch releases, barrel-aged beers and fun/crazy taproom-only releases. Purchase tickets and glassware in advance by calling 970-775-7371.

click to enlarge VINE STREET PUB
Vine Street Pub
Wednesday, January 29
Stout Month is just two days away, and this year, Mountain Sun director of brewing operations John Fiorilli and his team are hosting an event from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Vine Street Pub so that you can sample some of the best and most unusual Mountain Stouts you'll see on tap at all five locations throughout February. "Learn the origins of this stout-rageous style of beer and the history of Stout Month at the Mountain Sun," the company says. There will be seven beer samples along with seven passed appetizers from Chef Forrest Bayne. Tickets are $50 and are extremely limited. Get them at Vine Street Pub (and get a free pint with every ticket purchased).

Thursday, January 30
Well, the Kansas City Chiefs are in the Super Bowl on Sunday — and the Broncos aren't — so we suppose its only fair that the Blue Pan Pizza in the Congress Park neighborhood is celebrating Boulevard Brewing on the Missouri beer maker's thirtieth anniversary (not that it makes any sense at a place specializing in Detroit-style pizza). Anyway, there will be swag and giveaways, some Boulevard staples and a tapping of Boulevard's 12.5 percent ABV 30th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Blended Ale, which is a blend of eight different beers.

Saturday, February 1
Vine Street Pub and the Mountain Sun group of restaurants and breweries will kick off their 27th annual Stout Month in Denver, Boulder and Longmont. At least 36 Mountain Sun stouts will be showcased, including 48 Smooth Chai Stout, Coconut Cream Stout, Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout, Chocolate Dip Stout and Space Odyssey Stout. There will also be barrel-aged stouts like Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Chocolate Thunder Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout, and Pinot Noir Barrel-Aged Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout. In addition, stout offerings from other Colorado breweries will rotate through the taps. The pub group operates the Mountain Sun, Southern Sun and Under the Sun locations in Boulder, as well as Denver's Vine Street Pub and Longmont's Longs Peak Pub.

Baere Brewing brings back Bring the Greenback, a special beer its releases once a year in bottles. "This beer was quick soured with our house lactobacillus culture and fermented in stainless with a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria," the brewery says. "It was aged on emergent green Engelmann spruce tips foraged from Southern Colorado. This limited-release table sour celebrates the rebirth of a rare Colorado native, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout. Until recently, the true Greenback could only be found in Bear Creek, but aggressive recovery efforts are underway to put our state fish back into its native waters within the headwaters of the South Platte." Proceeds from each bottle will be put toward Greenback Cutthroat Trout projects by the Colorado-based nonprofit Running Rivers. There will also be a Valentine's Craft Market at the brewery.

If you're a fan of Hops & Pie, then you probably weren't a fan of the parking lot next door, which switched to a complicated and confusing set of validation rules last year. But the restaurant says those dark days are ending and that the parking returns on February 1 "to its original form as a no pay, no validation, no nonsense place for guests to park" To celebrate, Hops & Pie is tapping some special kegs, including Sante Adairius Saison Bernice, WeldWerks Medianoche #18805, Comrade Triple C Double Dry Hopped Superpower, Knotted Root Space & Time, Cerebral Cookie Butter, Jester King Saison Americaine, and Westbound & Down Raspberry Fruit Squad.

The South Side Beer Bus returns from 2 to 10 p.m. There will be two buses running continuously between Comrade Brewing, Copper Kettle Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing and Launch Pad Brewing. Ride all day for $5.

Counter Culture Brewery
Tuesday, February 4
Counter Culture Brewery + Grille hosts its inaugural five-course beer dinner, which takes place at 7 p.m. and includes dishes like short ribs and polenta paired with a doppelbock, and wood-fired chicken satay paired with an English IPA. Tickets, $65 per person, are limited and available by calling 720-638-8786.

Wednesday, February 5
Today is World Nutella Day (as if you didn't already know), and the Brewability Lab in Englewood is serving up Nutella-rimmed porters and complimentary Nutella cookies.

Thursday, February 6
Join Cedar Creek Pub in Aurora for its third annual Stout Day, with rare stouts from across the country. The tap list includes Fremont Brewing B.A. Dark Star; Founders KBS Kentucky Breakfast Stout and CBS Canadian Breakfast Stout; Ursula Brewery 180 Gram Imperial Stout (2018); Ecliptic Brewing Sedna Tiramisu Stout; Hoppin' Frog Brewery Peanut Butter Chocolate Coffee Porter; Boulevard Brewing Whiskey Barrel Stout; Beachwood Brewing Mocha Machine and Tovarish Double Espresso; and Cerebral Nordic Noir Baltic Porter.

Friday, February 7
Burns Family Artisan Ales will release 2088-Hour Jam Stout at 8 p.m. The barrel-aged jam stout (which took 2,088 hours from mash-in to release) is a collaboration with Chuck Jones, the bassist for Dopapod, who has organized several charity concerts and jam sessions, including one last December at Burns. In light of the Australian bushfires, Burns and Jones have decided to donate all proceeds from the sale of this beer to the Australian Red Cross. Music starts at 6 p.m. and continues all evening.

It's First Friday on Tennyson Street, and that means a new beer at Empourium Brewing. This time it's the Nightman Cometh Schwarzbier, a smooth and roasty dark lager. Little Red's Kitchen will have food.

It's time for Snowed In Cherry at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap this annual barrel-aged oatmeal stout when it opens at noon. The beer, made with cherries and chocolate, will also be available in 19.2-ounce cans.

Saturday, February 8
Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales celebrates its sixth anniversary with a party starting at 4 p.m. In addition to special hourly beer tappings, there will be limited giveaways and more.

Bruz Off Fax, which is the new taproom from Bruz Beers, hosts a grand-opening party from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on York Street, just off Colfax Avenue. There will be special beer tappings all day, "local food available, prizes given away, and good people drinking good beer and having a good time," the brewery says.

Cerveceria Colorado is partnering with Denver's Las Conchas Bakery ¡Cervezas and Conchas!, a pairing of beer and conchas, "which are a traditional Mexican pan dulce (pastry) that take their name from their pretty shell-like appearance," says Ceveceria, which is a branch of Denver Beer Co. The pairings will include: Senor Pina Pineapple Blonde Ale y Pineapple Upside-down Concha; Seven Bridges Hibiscus Juicy Pale Ale y Strawberry Concha; Rosita Schwarzbier y Cafe Concha with Dulce de Leche Filling; and Churro Stout y Churro Concha with Nutella Filling. Each pairing will include four mini conchas and four beer tasters. Tickets are $25.

Ursula Brewing will release 180 Gram Barrel Aged Imperial Stout at noon, along with several variants, and pair them all with Girl Scout Cookies. Also, a local troop will be selling cookies from noon to 2 p.m. at the brewery.

Send beery information to [email protected].
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes