There will be no Great American Beer Festival this year (aside from the awards competition), but there are some things you can do to fill the void in your heart — and they start with a sprawling online version of the fest. For $20, you can buy a passport that gives you access to various deals at breweries around the country (buy-one-get-ones, discounts, flights, etc.). There will also be online programming on October 16 and 17, as well as glassware to buy and other related content. Get all the details and purchase tickets on the Great American Beer Festival website.
And then there's the online version of the annual Denver Rare Beer Tasting, which typically takes place during GABF week. Although there is no in-person fest this year, the organizers of the event — which is designed to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer — will host an online auction and "experience" (with eight hours of panels, virtual meet-and-greets and videos) on September 25 to 27. In addition, there will be remote brewery beer releases from more than seventy of America’s leading craft breweries. Find out more information, see the list of breweries and buy tickets, $60, at the Denver Rare Beer Tasting website.
Keep reading to find beer tappings and events into early September.
Wednesday, August 26
For its final August firkin, Copper Kettle Brewing will tap a version of its Help Me Out Stout with cinnamon and vanilla at 2 p.m., along with a version on nitro. As always, a doughnut hole will come with this beer.
Cerebral Brewing has three fresh cans available. The first is Eclectic Potion, an 11 percent ABV triple IPA made with Gewürztraminer grape juice. The second is Forbidden Idol Mai Tai, a "tiki-style" sour IPA with tangerine, lime, almond and vanilla. The third is Inhabited Form, a foeder-aged lager dry-hopped with Galaxy and Citra.
Great Divide Brewing continues Zoo Week at both of its taprooms in an effort to support the Denver Zoo, which is going through a particularly tough time as a result of the coronavirus lockdowns and social distancing requirements. As such, the brewery is re-releasing Zooski Lager in redesigned sixteen-ounce cans. Zoo Week runs through August 29 and features Zooski on tap, limited-edition Zoo glassware and four-packs of Zooski to go. Some proceeds will go to the zoo, which is also serving the beer.
Thursday, August 27
Blue Tile Brewing and Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery teamed up on an unusual beer that they will both release today in their taprooms. Blue Mountain Blast is a kettle sour made with Blue Curacao (the non-alcoholic kind), lemon, lime and cantaloupe. "Inspired by Taco Bell’s blue thirst quencher, Baja Blast," the limited 4.6 percent ABV is designed to be crushable, the breweries say.
What? One blue beer isn't enough for you? Okay, then. Upslope Brewing in Boulder releases its brand-new Blue Hawaiian Sour Ale at both of its taprooms. This cocktail-inspired creation — volume 25 in the brewery's Lee Hill Series — "is a nod to the classic azure-hued tiki drink known as the Blue Hawaiian," the brewery explains. "Mature sour ale from our oak foeder was re-fermented on mounds of dried coconut and pineapple with rum-soaked oak cubes and orange zest for added complexity before transforming into a deep cerulean tone with the addition of blue spirulina." Get a fourteen-ounce pour for $6 if, and only if, you are wearing a Hawaiian shirt (otherwise it's $8). There will be 19.2-ounce cans to go for $12.
Novel Strand Brewing has three fresh cans to go. Down Is On the Come-Up Volume 2 is "an unfiltered hoppy beer showcasing the unique flavor profile of southern hemisphere hops," the brewery says, with notes of juicy berries, tropical passion fruit, peach and "delicate dankness." Eau de Cologne is an unfiltered German kolsch-style beer with Motueka and Summer hops. Nitwit is a 4.2 percent ABV Belgian-style biere blanche, or witbier, brewed with barley and wheat malt courtesy of Colorado's Troubadour maltings, freshly cracked Indian coriander and a special blend of Belgian yeasts.
When Great Divide Brewing was founded in Denver in 1994, one of its very first beers was called Arapahoe Amber Ale, and one of the very first LoDo bars to carry the beer was a popular but now-closed spot called Wazoo's on Wazee. Fast-forward more than a quarter of a decade, and Great Divide has teamed up with the restaurant group that owned Wazoo's, Vibe Concepts, on a new restaurant and brewery, which just opened in Castle Rock in May. To celebrate those connections and the opening, Great Divide Brewery & Roadhouse has decided that its first beer release on site will be a remade version of Arapahoe Amber. Need another reason to try it? The beer won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1996.
Friday, August 28
Like a lot of small breweries that never really intended to package their beers, Mockery Brewing has discovered that it needs to do just that to help survive a lack of customers during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the brewery will release its first-ever cans at noon today. Rock the F*ck On Forever is a double-dry-hopped West Coast-style IPA with "a buttload of Citra, Amarillo and Rakau hops," the brewery says.
Woods Boss Brewing brings back its stellar 5.5 percent ABV Hisolda Irish Coffee Cream Stout — a little early this year, because the brewery says it will be submitted as an entry in the Great American Beer Festival. "Elegant, smooth, creamy, delicious," the brewery says.
Seedstock Brewing is bringing back its "horner beer," an unusual old-world style that the brewery says is nearly impossible to find in the United States. The beer is brewed exclusively from oat malt and is a hazy, pale yellow-green color as a result. Cream of tartar is added to the wort to get a slightly sour and refreshing flavor, Seedstock says. Invented in Vienna in 1750, the horner beer was mentioned in Mozart's "Bei der Hitz im Sommer ess ich" canon as the drink of summer. It will be available at 3 p.m. in 22-ounce bottles.
One of Colorado's best pumpkin beers returns to Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada, which hosts a release of Fluffy Pumpkin Toasted Marshmallow Porter. The beer's "deep flavors of spiced pumpkin and toasted marshmallow dance with notes of chocolate and graham cracker," the brewery says.
"Back when we got in the game, people were real excited to tell us that hazy beer was a fad that had no staying power," says New Image Brewing. "But we just kept making what we liked to make, and now that the BJCP recognizes it as a style, we’re just gonna keep on doing what we already were doing and making tropical and citrus haze boiz." With that declaration in mind, New Image has created Don’t Be Salty, a 7.8 percent ABV New England-style IPA "that brings the juicy, soft mouthfeel you’ve come to expect from us with all the citrus, stone fruit, and tropical flavors you love." It's available on tap and in canned four-packs to go.
4 Noses Brewing has two new beers available in cans and is bringing back a favorite, as well. The new beers are Mango Velvet Milkshake-Style IPA, which was made with mango and peach purée, vanilla and lactose for a tropical, fluffy mouthfeel; and Caution Tape New England Style IPA, which boasts notes of passion fruit. The old favorite is Casey, You're on Mute, a New England-style double IPA "inspired by the numerous Zoom calls and always having to remind Casey that he is, in fact, on mute," the brewery says.
Fiction Beer brings back Off Script Pilsner, a non-traditional pils that was brewed with 100 percent floor-malted Bohemian pilsner malt, Saaz hops in the whirlpool and Saphir for the dry-hop. It is dry, with floral notes and a slightly bitter finish, the brewery says, and was inspired by the book Daisy Jones & the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Ratio Beerworks releases its seasonal Major Nights Lime Gose on draft and, for the first time, in six-packs. "This mildly tart, mildly salty, traditional German-style wheat beer received [the addition of] zest from over 400 limes," the brewery says. "It offers an explosion of unique savory flavors brought on by the use of coriander and red Hawaiian sea salt, in addition to the bright refreshing tartness of fresh limes."
Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley debuts four new beers — along with its first-ever ice cream, called Ice Cream Truckz: Queen Whip, which is made from beer produced with puréed strawberry, caramel, marshmallow, vanilla and milk sugar. The beers are: Ice Cream Truckz Camarostang, a smoothie-style unpasteurized pastry sour ale with puréed raspberry, chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow and milk sugar; Ice Cream Truckz Queen Whip, a smoothie-style unpasteurized pastry sour ale with puréed strawberry, caramel, marshmallow, vanilla and milk sugar; A Visit From the Fruit Lady Banana Orange Passion Fruit, a smoothie-style unpasteurized fruited sour ale with puréed banana, orange and passion fruit; and A Visit From the Fruit Lady Blackberry Pomegranate Raspberry, a smoothie-style unpasteurized fruited sour ale with puréed blackberry, pomegranate and raspberry.
Saturday, August 29
Strange Craft Beer Company turned ten years old in May, and the brewery that kicked off Denver's taproom revolution wants to celebrate — in a safe way. As such, it's throwing a distanced event. Each table includes two sixteen-ounce beers per person, lunch or dinner from the Barrett & Pratt food truck, and cupcakes from Valhalla Cakes paired with a birthday shot of Dr. Strangelove Barleywine. While tables for two are already sold out, tickets for four-tops are still available on Eventbrite for $120.
River North Brewery takes its rotating hazy double IPA series, Hop-A-Tronic Lupulositor, and ramps it up to a new level, creating SUPER Hop-A-Tronic Lupulositor, a triple IPA made with Sabro and Citra hops. "You’ll discover a very citrus-forward IPA with hints of pineapple and cream on the finish," the brewery says about the New England-style IPA, which comes in at 10.5 percent ABV. It will be on tap and in cans to go at both taprooms.
Monday, August 31
As one of its last summer releases, Epic Brewing bring forth Señor Pepino, a cucumber lime lager that will be available on tap and in sixteen-ounce cans. Brewed with Pilsner, Munich, and Carapils malts, and Tettnang and Saaz, the beer was cold-fermented to "create a crisp and clean cucumber essence," the brewery says.
Tuesday, September 1
Okay, it's finally pumpkin beer season, and 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield will sate that craving with its award-winning Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, Pump Action, at 7.7 percent ABV, is available on tap and in six-packs to go starting at 3 p.m.
Lady Justice Brewing, the philanthropic brewery that partners with nonprofits that promote the status of women and girls in Colorado, begins public sales and pickup of its fall bottle release — three beers that will be used to raise money for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, "an organization that leverages the universal language of dance to honor African American heritage, explore the human condition, and offer a transformative experience through physical movement," the brewery says. In addition, customers can tack on extra bottles to donate to teachers in Colorado, similar to what the brewery did for frontline workers in April. The 22-ounce bottles, $65 for a package of all three, are: When Life Hands You Lemons Cream Ale, with ginger and lemon peel; Crook & Nanny English Mild, with chamomile and bergamot; and Flapper's Delight Saison, aged on chardonnay-soaked French oak spirals and fresh peaches. Get all the info and buy bottles on the brewery's web site.
Wednesday, September 2
Coda Brewing in Golden celebrates its second anniversary today through Sunday with a series of special tappings (thirty beers in all) along with live music and other fun. It's a good idea to make reservations for tables.
Cerebral Brewing has three interesting beers in cans available starting today. The first is Ripe Trait, a version of the brewery's house hazy IPA, Rare Trait, that was infused with peaches from the Western Slope. The second beer is Critical Space, a double IPA brewed with CTZ, Citra, El Dorado and Sabro hops, along with wildflower honey. And then there is the return of Burner Phone, a double IPA with Galaxy and Mosaic.
Thursday, September 3
Holidaily Brewing in Golden, which is a 100 percent gluten-free brewery, has collaborated with Frisco's Highside Brewing on ChocCollab Brownie stout, which is made with gluten-free grains — millet and buckwheat — from Grouse Malt House in Wellington and gluten-free brownies from Gluten Escape Bakery in Centennial. The brownies were added to the boil to create a rich, chocolatey and smooth stout, Holidaily says. (Highside Brewing will tap the beer on Saturday, September 5.)
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Friday, September 4
After nearly six months of being closed because of coronavirus restrictions, Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales is reopening its taproom at 4 p.m. "We will be debuting several new beers on draft in addition to some Black Project classics," the brewery says. "For the the time being we will remain closed Sunday and Mondays. We'll be open for take out beer Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and dine in Friday and Saturday. Come laugh, love, and enjoy some of our latest projects with us."
Hogshead Brewery brings back its 4.9 percent ABV The Boys Bitter at noon. This cask-conditioned ESB-style beer is smooth and malty, and was one of the first beers that the brewery ever had on tap.
The new Spice Trade Brewing location in Greenwood Village is hosting a little shindig in honor of the annual release of Pumpkin Spice Latte, a beer version of the popular drink made with Novo coffee beans and a housemade blend of pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin purée. A $20 ticket gets you a limited-edition #PSL Coffee Mug, your first pour of #PSL, and an order of New England Style Apple Cider Doughnuts to pair. Buying tickets in advance is highly recommended on Spice Trade's website.
Barnett & Son Brewing in Parker celebrates the annual release of Nevermore Pumpkin Ale at 6 p.m. The 5.6 percent ABV beer is made with pumpkin spices. There will be a raffle, as well.