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Beer Calendar: GABF Releases at Ursula, Launch Pad, Crooked Stave

Wayne Burns and Laura Worley of Burns Family Artisan Ales.
Wayne Burns and Laura Worley of Burns Family Artisan Ales.
Burns Family Artisan Ales

Yes, 2020 sucked. Believe us, we know. Wanna say goodbye to the year that shouldn't have existed? Burns Family Artisan Ales is hosting "20 Events to Say Good Riddance to 2020" to do just that. The first event took place last week, and the second is this Saturday, October 10, when the family-run brewery releases Wolf Sighting, a hazy triple IPA in conjunction with a dog parade from Burns to Colorado Cider Company down the street.

After that, events will run weekly through the end of the year and will include everything from a scavenger hunt and a masquerade party to a home-brewing class, a solstice party and a holiday gifting party. Most of these will also involve the release of Burns Family's big, bold beers (many of which are over 10 percent ABV). Keep track of them all by following the Burns brewery Facebook page, and give the finger to the year that was.

Keep reading to see more craft-beer events into mid-October.

Beer Calendar: GABF Releases at Ursula, Launch Pad, Crooked StaveEXPAND
Crooked Stave Artisan Ale Project

Wednesday, October 7
Join Crooked Stave Artisan Ale Project at both of its locations for the release of Cherry Bourbon Smash, a burgundy sour aged in wine barrels with Montmorency cherries and citrus zest. "We're excited to share this mixology-inspired beer with the general public for the first time," the brewery says. The beer is being released in  honor of the Great American Beer Festival, which is virtual this year.

Cerebral Brewing has two new beers available on draft and in cans. The first is a version of the brewery's Dark Galaxie chocolate oatmeal stout made with cacao and sea salt. The second is Bird of War, a smooth-style sour with mango, banana and pineapple. Cerebral will also have fresh cans of Rare Trait, its house IPA.

Avery Brewing is still turning out foil-topped bottles of barrel-aged beers. The latest, number 59 in its years-long series of specialty beers, is Irish Goodnight, an imperial milk stout aged in fresh Irish whiskey barrels. It will be available in liquor stores as well as on draft and in 12-ounce bottles to go at the brewery.

Beer Calendar: GABF Releases at Ursula, Launch Pad, Crooked StaveEXPAND
Great Divide Brewing

Thursday, October 8
Great Divide Brewing taps this year’s fresh-hop beer at both taprooms. This beer features Galena, Centennial and Chinook hops from Crooked Yard Hops in Bozeman, Montana. "Our head brewer drove them down personally," Great Divide says. The beer will be available on tap and in Crowlers to go, and Great Divide will also have commemorative 16-ounce 2020 GABF glassware available; $10 gets you the glass and a fill.

Comrade Brewing taps Probably a Communist Double IPA at 2 p.m. This 8.9 percent ABV beer was brewed with Citra, Mosaic, El Dorado and Simcoe hops and will be entered into the 2020 Alpha King challenge.

Beer Calendar: GABF Releases at Ursula, Launch Pad, Crooked Stave
Ursula Brewery

Friday, October 9
Ursula Brewery loves college football (as evidenced by its yearly Colorado Buckeye release). And this year, its head brewer, a graduate of the University of Iowa, is getting into the game with Hawk IPA, a 6.5 percent "Midwest IPA," available on tap beginning at noon.

New Image Brewing releases cans of StraBro, a 5 percent ABV pale ale with Strata and Sabro hops and vanilla. The two hop varieties are "absolutely packed with strawberry, pineapple and coconut flavors, so we figured we’d add some vanilla to the mix to play with the sweetness and mouthfeel," the brewery says.

Beer Calendar: GABF Releases at Ursula, Launch Pad, Crooked Stave
Fiction Beer Company

Saturday, October 10
Fiction Beer Company celebrates its sixth anniversary by releasing three beers in cans and one in bottles. The
Juice Box Honeydew & Blueberry Kettle Sour; Steep Coffee Stout with Pablo’s coffee, chocolate and coconut; and 6 New England Style IPA. Fiction also releases Zembla Baltic Porter aged in Laws Whiskey Barrels.

Launch Pad Brewery, Comrade Brewing and three other beer makers get into the GABF spirit by releasing limited four-packs comprising four different beers that each brewery entered into the competition. Launch Pad's cans include a QR code that takes consumers to a beer judging score sheet and guidelines so they can join official GABF judges in evaluating the beer. Comrade, meanwhile, is offering four-packs of eight-ounce twist cans with Superpower IPA, More Dodge Less Ram IPA, Yellow Card and Redcon. Bent Barley, Coda and Downhill breweries have also done something similar. Pick up the beers in advance so you can taste and toast during the GABF awards ceremony, which will be live-streamed on the Brewing Network on Friday, October 16.

At least six breweries are participating in the Beer Pennant Race as a way to bring attention to both the GABF passport and small breweries. Dry Dock Brewing, Downhill Brewing, Living the Dream Brewing, Station 26 Brewing, Woods Boss Brewing and Ursula Brewery will all have mini brewery pennants available to collect for GABF passport holders who purchase a beer (see the breweries' websites for specifics).

It's chile beer day at River North Brewery, which taps Fresh Hatch Pilsner at both locations. In addition, the  North Washington Street taproom will have a local chile roaster on site with mild, medium, hot and extra hot chiles while supplies last. The G Wagon will be at the Blake Street taproom with food specials all day.

Burns Family Artisan Ales is hosting the second in its "20 Events to Say Good Riddance to 2020" series, which include various activities and beer releases. The theme this time is the release of Wolf Sighting Triple IPA, along with a Doggy Dress-up Parade from Burns to the nearby Colorado Cider Company starting at 4 p.m. "Wolf Sighting is a hazy-juicy IIIPA made with Styrian Wolf hops, Blueberries and Almonds. At an easy 11.1 percent ABV, it’ll keep you warm in the woods for any wolf-viewing you dare to do," the brewery says.

Monday, October 12
Join Goldspot Brewing for its first can release of Motueka Italian Pilsner. This Italian-style pils has "notes of lemon and lime with a classic German pilsner base," the brewery says. Available on tap and in four-packs.

Tuesday, October 13
Goldspot Brewing follows up yesterday's can release with a second beer in cans. Ryzen Sun Marzen is a German-style lager with notes of honey, biscuit, zesty spice, light caramel and a crisp, refreshing finish.

Wednesday, October 14
The 2020 version of Crooked Stave's GABF Gold Medal-winning Get the Funk Out will be released today at the brewerys Denver and Fort Collins taprooms. But this being 2020, the beer is called Stay the Funk In; it's a spontaneously fermented ale aged in French oak barrels.

Beer Calendar: GABF Releases at Ursula, Launch Pad, Crooked StaveEXPAND
Epic Brewing

Thursday, October 15
Autumn is Big Bad Baptist season at Epic Brewing, which has been brewing this bourbon barrel-aged imperial coffee stout — and multiple variants — for many years now. This year, the brewery will release more spin-offs than ever, including Bigger Badder Baptista, brewed with smoked malt and Cafe de Olla spices; Big Bad Baptist Double Chocolate Double Peanut Butter, a combination of two previous beers; Big Bad Baptist Pecan Pie, brewed with cinnamon and pecans (with extra pecans for pairing); Big Bad Baptist Chocolate Raspberry; and Big Bad Baptist Sextuple Barrel. They will all be on tap today, along with the original Big Bad Baptist, now in cans. In addition, the brewery will have vintage Baptist releases available, along with merchandise, paired food and a DJ.

Friday, October 16
Well Bred returns to Copper Kettle Brewing for its 2020 iteration in honor of GABF weekend. This English-style barleywine is 10.2 percent ABV with hints of vanilla, caramel and earthy wood undertones, the brewery says. It will be available on draft and in 19.2-ounce cans starting at 2 p.m.

Hogshead Brewery releases a very limited number of Crowlers of Hog Wild, a 5.9 percent AVB can-conditioned IPA. There are only 54 cans available; first come, first served.

The 39th annual Great American Beer Festival is not happening in person — though there will still be a judged beer competition. But the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which hosts the greatest of all beer fests, is trying to bring people around the country together in spirit with its Brewnite campaign, which involves a $20 GABF passport (see above). In addition to beer specials and releases, Passport holders will have exclusive access to online content during the Official Virtual Festival. "Tune in for tips and tricks to enhance beer knowledge and enjoyment, lager lore and sudsy stories from craft beer luminaries, profiles of breweries and individuals that are transforming their communities one beer at a time, and flavor fusions through beer and food pairings to tantalize the taste buds," the BA says.

Saturday, October 17

In the spirit of the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place virtually this year, BookBar and Westword beer writer Jonathan Shikes will host a virtual conversation and reading from Shikes's recently released book, Denver Beer: A History of Mile-High Brewing, at 6 p.m. Shikes will talk about GABF, local breweries and Denver's rich beer history — possibly with a surprise guest. Log on to Crowdcast to participate.

The 39th annual Great American Beer Festival is not happening in person — though there will still be a judged beer competition. But the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which hosts the greatest of all beer fests, is trying to bring people around the country together in spirit with its Brewnite campaign, which involves a $20 GABF passport (see above). In addition to beer specials and releases, Passport holders will have exclusive access to online content during the Official Virtual Festival. "Tune in for tips and tricks to enhance beer knowledge and enjoyment, lager lore and sudsy stories from craft beer luminaries, profiles of breweries and individuals that are transforming their communities one beer at a time, and flavor fusions through beer and food pairings to tantalize the taste buds," the BA says.

Denver Beer Co. is hosting another Beer, Bacon & Coffee Take-Home Brunch in honor of Denver Beer Week. Each brunch pack comes with three breakfast Crowlers (Brunchy McBrunch Face Orange Juicy IPA, Apple Jack Cinnamon Apple Ale and Chocolate Yum Yum Chocolate Raspberry Kolsch), two DBC glasses of your choice, a twelve-ounce bag of Coda Coffee, a twelve-ounce package of Tender Belly Bacon and two breakfast burritos from the Mighty. Visit the brewery's website or Facebook page for details.

Join Dry Dock Brewing at its North Dock location for an exclusive fifteenth-anniversary beer-pairing dinner with co-owners Kevin DeLange and Michelle Reding, as well as managing brewer Alan Simon. "This socially-distanced, seated dinner includes a look into Dry Dock's last fifteen years and offers a peak into the future through a fine-dining experience," the brewery says. "Tour five iconic beers paired with an immaculate five-course dinner served by the chefs of Brightmarten Restaurant and Bar." Tickets are $110 and include a can of 25: 15 Imperial Stout, which isn't yet publicly available. Get all the details at Dry Dock's Facebook page.

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