Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Get Into GABF With Watch Parties, Tappings and Book Talks

Great Divide Brewery and Roadhouse
Great Divide Brewery and Roadhouse VIbe Concepts/Electra Productions

Home brewers, start you engines! Great Divide Brewing and Vibe Concepts are hosting a home-brewing contest that will give the winner a chance to brew a batch of beer at the new Great Divide Brewery and Roadhouse, at 215 Wilcox Street in Castle Rock. The winning beer will then be on tap for a month at Great Divide's locations in Denver and Castle Rock starting on January 1, 2021.

The details: "Great Divide Brewery & Roadhouse is looking for the best fruit-forward IPA from homebrewing enthusiasts," the brewery says. From November 12 to 15, home brewers can drop off their creation at Great Divide Brewery and Roadhouse, Roadhouse Boulder Depot or Reivers Bar and Grill (all owned by Vibe Concepts), to be judged by local industry experts. "Judges will consider aroma, taste, mouthfeel and signature hoppy flavor," Great Divide adds.

“Our goal in creating this contest was to provide something for people to look forward to during a year that has been difficult for many,” says Vibe Concepts co-founder Dan Shipp in a release. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will give homebrewers the opportunity to dig deep and get creative."

Keep reading to see craft-beer events into late October.

click to enlarge STATION 26 BREWING
Station 26 Brewing
Wednesday, October 14
Join Colorado Beer Man and Westword contributor Jonathan Shikes for an online discussion of his first book, Denver Beer: A History of Mile High Brewing, which covers the dynamic beer and brewing industry from Denver's founding in 1858 through Prohibition and into today's craft-beer movement. The virtual program starts at 7 p.m. and will be conducted by the Sam Gary branch of the Denver Public Library. Register here.

The 2020 version of Crooked Stave's GABF Gold Medal-winning Get the Funk Out will be released today at the brewery's 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.

Black Shirt Brewing taps a brand-new IPA this week. Upside Down Circle is a 6.8 percent ABV dry-hopped American IPA made with Australian hop varieties, including Vic Secret, Azacca and Galaxy. "It leans East Coast, but has an assertive bitterness not usually found there," the brewery says.

Did you miss out on the many, many Oktoberfest beers and parties that have been around for the past six weeks? Then head to Station 26 Brewing, which is offering a Last Chance Oktoberfest event. "Join us for a German menu from Roaming Bull Brasserie and a German beer extravaganza," the brewery says. "We'll have our Imperial Oktoberfest on tap for your enjoyment, plus one-liter stein pours of our Vienna Lager and Kölsch Encounters. Drink these German classics like they are meant to be enjoyed."

Cerebral Brewing releases cans of Shore Leave Double IPA, a collaboration with Vitamin Sea Brewing in Massachusetts. The brewery will also have fresh cans of DDH Cheat Code, a double IPA made with Galaxy, Mosaic and El Dorado hops. Both beers will also be available on tap.

click to enlarge JONATHAN SHIKES
Jonathan Shikes
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; 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.

Every Thursday, Great Divide Brewing reveals a new or experimental beer from its Pilot Program. Today that beer is Single Speed Sweater, a low-cal (99 calories) IPA made with Cashmere hops.

Mountain Toad Brewing in Golden will tap two versions of its green chile beer — one made with Hatch green chiles and one with chiles from Pueblo. The chile wars continue. Try them both. (And speaking of chile beers, Golden City Brewery, just down the road from Mountain Toad, releases its famed chile beer tomorrow in cans.)

The newly opened Ska Street Brewstillery in Boulder hosts its second pairing dinner, with seatings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. The socially distant dinner will feature a four-course, handcrafted menu with beer and cocktail pairings. At $45 per person, it's a chance to learn what Ska is all about. Make a reservation at 720-510-9921.

Strange Craft Beer Company
Friday, October 16
The Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony will be live-streamed this year rather than in person (see below), and it takes place tonight on the Brewing Network starting at 5 p.m. Several breweries are hosting watch parties, including Strange Craft Beer Company, which will also bring back its forty-ounce flight; that includes four ounces of all ten beers that the brewery entered into the competition this year.

Odyssey Beerwerks hosts a GABF award-watching party at 5 p.m. and releases its newest beer, Carlos Sultana Italian-style Pilsner. What is an Italian-style pilsner? "It's a German-style pilsner that is dry-hopped. Dry-hopping maximizes aroma without adding additional bitterness," Odyssey explains. "Ours was dry-hopped with twenty pounds of Sultana hops — that's two pounds per barrel. Sultana hops are American hops which impart pineapple, pine and bright citrus notes. We lagered (fermented at very cold temps) this beer for over three months, so it's nice and crisp and clean." If Odyssey wins a medal, everyone at the party gets a free beer.

Raices Brewing, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary two weeks ago, is also hosting a Great American Beer Fest Awards Watch Party starting at 5 p.m.

Fiction Beer will host a GABF award-watching party as well. "In a normal GABF awards ceremony year, the FBC staff is hung over, munching on breakfast burritos and imbibing hair-of-the-dog morning beers in an auditorium with thousands of our peers in craft beer. Not this year though," the brewery says. Instead, "We’ll have the ceremony up on the TVs with a live stream. We’ll be slamming beers and trying to remember which categories we entered beers into. It’s gonna be a good time! And, we’ve won two medals in six years, so...fingers crossed." Deja Roux Cajun is the food truck for the night.

And then there is Little Machine Beer Company, which is not a big fan of the virtual Great American Beer Festival but is celebrating its fifth anniversary. "We'll party how we want to. F this year's fake GABF — we did not participate (no, not even in the competition) — and we're giving you the beer instead," the brewery explains. There is also new artwork and new merch available. Reservations highly encouraged.

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.

River North Brewery has a new version of Hop-A-Tronic Lupulositor available in both of its taprooms. This version of the brewery's New England-style double IPA features Nelson and Citra hops. The Hop-A-Tronic beers highlight some of the brewers' favorite hops, combining two or more; available in cans and on tap.

New Image Brewing in Arvada has two new beers available in cans and on tap. The first is Triple Dry Hopped Coriolis Effect, a pumped-up version of one of the brewery's mainstays. This 9.5 percent ABV whopper was brewed with Strata and Galaxy hops. The second beer is Betterer Togetherer Double Dry Hopped Double IPA, a 9.5 percent hop bomb made with Citra and Mosaic hops. The beer benefits the Jefferson Center for Mental Health and is a way to encourage community building and togetherness.

If you love the Great American Beer Festival but you're rolling gluten-free, then Holidaily Brewing in Golden is the place to be. From noon to 9 p.m., the gluten-free brewery will have tasters of all nine beers that it entered into this year's GABF competition (Holidaily won a medal last year), Beers include Boombastic Hazy IPA, Fat Randy's IPA, Favorite Blonde, Wet Hopped Fat Randy's IPA, Big Henry Hazy IPA, Patchy Waters Pumpkin Ale, Riva Stout, Santa's Nightcap and Globetrotter Gose.

Over Yonder Brewing in Golden releases its first barrel-aged beer, The Dark Space Between. "We filled a Basil Hayden's Whiskey barrel with our imperial stout and let it age for nine months," the brewery says. "Coming in at 15 percent ABV, we couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out. With aromatic characteristics of chocolate, spices and vanilla, the warm and smooth mouthfeel is accompanied with decadently rich caramel, vanilla, candied brown sugar, cherry, chocolate and fig flavors." The beer will be released at 4 p.m., followed by a GABF awards ceremony watch party on the big screen.

Cerveceria Colorado brings back La Fiera Sour, which the brewery calls "a delicious marriage of two wonderful fruits. The tamarind pulp has a distinct stone fruit flavor and is quite tart on its own. Combined with a base kettle sour and rounded out by fresh guava, the blend of fruity flavors is both refreshing and complex... This is what fall tastes like on the coast of Mexico." It is available on tap and in Crowlers to go.

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 Brewability Lab, which moved from its location in east Denver to a bigger spot on South Broadway last year, celebrates its fourth anniversary starting at 3 p.m. and lasting all weekend. There will be beer, music and other activities like pottery painting and chair massages.

Golden City Brewery in Golden releases cans of its famed Hatch green chile beer. Proceeds benefit the Golden Fire Department. The beer is likely to sell out fast.

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. 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.

Jonathan Shikes
Saturday, October 17
In the spirit of the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place virtually this year, BookBar, Westword beer writer Jonathan Shikes and Ska Brewing co-founder Dave Thibodeau will host a virtual conversation about Shikes's recently released book, Denver Beer: A History of Mile-High Brewing, at 6 p.m. Shikes and Thibodeau, who is featured in the book, will talk about GABF, local breweries and Denver's rich beer history. Register in advance and log on to Crowdcast to participate.

"With the colder temps rolling in, everyone’s looking for the darker beers to keep them cozy and warm," says River North Brewery, which will host a stout tap takeover at both of its taprooms. There will be a dry milk stout, an imperial stout aged in whiskey, gin, rum and tequila barrels, and many more.

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. 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.

Cerebral Brewing and Berkeley Donuts (Hops & Pie) have teamed up on a doughnut and beer pairing this weekend that will take place at both watering holes. The pairings are Dark Galaxie Stout with Bourbon Glazed Sourdough Doughnut, Inhabited Form with Tart Cherry and Salted Sunflower Seeds Cake Doughnut, and Rare Trait IPA with Pink Grapefruit and Mosaic Hop-Infused Hawiian Salt on Sourdough Doughnut.

Lady Justice Brewing, the philanthropic brewery focused on partnering with nonprofits promoting the status of women and girls in Colorado through grants, releases I Dissent, a spiced seasonal ale, in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The beer features Moose Drool coffee from Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters in Arvada, along with a garam masala spice blend, cocoa powder, and lactose. The brewery loves RBG and has a mural on its wall that includes her. It also named its fermenters after the judge.

As part of its 7.5-year anniversary weekend, Odyssey Beerwerks taps Pride and Joy Belgian Dubbel. "A classic Trappist dark brown ale, Pride and Joy has rich, complex notes of caramel and toffee, subtle tones of dark fruits, and ripe fruity esters," the brewery says. The 7 percent ABV beer is slightly sweet with a dry finish.

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.

Make Believe Beer, which is an offshoot of Lafayette's Cellar West Artisan Ales, has a new canned beer available called Paranormal. This 6.2 percent ABV "hazy experimental IPA" was brewed with fluffy flaked wheat and malted oats and double dry-hopped with "new, experimental American hop varietals, each loaded with unique characteristics," the brewery says. "A bombastic hop charge of Talus™, X10416, & Altus™ drapes this IPA with huge notes of tangerine creme, juicy papaya, drippy pine resin and pink grapefruit peel."

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 peek 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.

Wednesday, October 21
Cerebral Brewing releases two new beers on tap and in cans. Neural Glide is an IPA made with Mosaic, Simcoe and Strata hops. Vote Double IPA, meanwhile, was brewed with Citra, Amarillo and two experimental hop strains. "Colorado voter turnout in the 2016 Presidential Election was 72.1 percent, making us fourth highest in the nation...but we think you can do even better, Coloradoans," the brewery says. "We strongly believe in your Constitutional right to representation. Get out there and be heard."

Copper Kettle Brewing continues a month of pumpkin firkins by tapping Pumpkin Snowed In, a pumpkiny version of the brewery's barrel-aged oatmeal stout.

click to enlarge VERBOTEN BREWING
Verboten Brewing
Friday, October 23
Luki Brewery in Arvada taps Room 217 Blood Orange Double IPA, Brewed and dry-hopped with El Dorado, the 8.9 percent ABV beer was aged on blood orange puree, "which kicks the citrus taste up to a maximum," Luki says. The beer is named, in the spirt of Halloween, for the haunted room at the Stanley Hotel.

Join Verboten Brewing in Loveland for the release of its newest barrel-aged imperial stout, Not a Speck of Light, along with two variants. The 13.5 percent ABV beer was brewed with Golden Promise, caramel and chocolate malts and Belgian Candi sugar, then boiled for six hours. After that, it sat for more than a year in bourbon barrels, giving notes of molasses, marshmallow, coconut and dark fruits, the brewery says. The first variant had both Tahitian and Ugandan vanilla beans added, while the second, Not a Speck of Light German Chocolate, has toasted coconut flakes, Ghana cocoa husks, and pecan. All three beers will be available on tap and in two-pack cans to go. Verboten has been making award-winning barrel-aged beers for years.

Wednesday, October 28
The Hop Wars saga continues at 2 Penguins Tap & Grille in Centennial — and with a pumpkin twist. The beer bar will tap hazy IPAs from five of the state's best at making them: 4 Noses Brewing, Woods Boss Brewing, Rock Cut Brewing, Outer Range Brewing and Knotted Root Brewing. Cast your vote once you’ve tried the flight blind. In addition, there will be three pumpkin beers going at it: 4 Noses Brewing Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin, Upslope Brewing Pumpkin Ale and Southern Tier Brewing (out of New York) Pumking Imperial Pumpkin. "Your vote is also an entry to win awesome Colorado craft beer swag. If you’re extra adventurous, try to guess all five (IPA), or all eight breweries correctly for a special bonus prize," 2 Penguins says.

Friday, October 30
Luki Brewery in Arvada taps Potion 7B Blueberry Mango Sour. Fermented with WildBrew Philly Sour, "a new yeast ... strain has the ability to produce both lactic acid and ethanol," the beer also has blueberry and mango puree," Luki says. "What’s spooky about the WildBrew Philly Sour is that it was discovered by wild yeast hunters at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia in a tree at a graveyard."

Saturday, October 31
You'll have a devil of a time when Black Sky Brewery taps a beer made in collaboration with the Satanic Temple of Colorado. Satanic Panic is "the caramel apple ale of your spooky adult dreams," says the organization, which made Ale Satan with the brewery last year. Satanic Panic is available on tap and in Crowlers to go.

Burns Family Artisan Ales celebrates All Hallow's Eve with a sit-down, $100-per-table (meant for four)  masquerade party starting at 7 p.m. The brewery is releasing Squash Killer, a sessionable, 5.5 percent ABV beer made with butternut squash, lactose, vanilla, coconut, cinnamon and maple. Tickets include eight sixteen-ounce pours of Squash Killer (or cans to go), eight bags of assorted candy, a small pumpkin to decorate and eight small squashes and hammers for smashing. Halloween music will be provided.
It'll be Halloween all day long at Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, which will have five Halloween-themed beers on tap and is hosting a costume contest. There will also be a food truck outside, "and candy candy candy," the brewery says. Because of social distancing, the brewery has a limited capacity; face masks required.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes