On March 11, when the NBA shut down its games in light of several positive COVID-19 tests and kicked off a rapid-fire series of events and news items that would trigger nationwide lockdowns, Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone had a few words of wisdom for how he planned to spend his time away from the game: “I’m probably going to drive up to WeldWerks Brewery in Greeley, Colorado, get some Juicy Bits, get on my mountain bike and figure out how we’re going to move forward,” he told the Denver Post and other media outlets at a news conference.
Words of wisdom — and words that could have come from just about any Colorado resident with a penchant for local craft beer and getting outdoors. WeldWerks, after all, has become one of the state's most popular breweries over the past few years, based partially on its flagship, Juicy Bits IPA.
The shout-out, of course, delighted the staff at WeldWerks, especially since the NBA and its arenas are so closely associated with the nation's familiar industrial light lagers rather than craft beer. "We have some incredibly die-hard fans on staff, and so this was an incredible pick-me-up during a crazy time," the brewery says, adding that it got some Juicy Bits to the coach shortly after the press conference.
Fast-forward to the playoffs — which just ended for the Nuggets on September 26 against the Los Angeles Lakers after an awesome run — and WeldWerks has returned the love by making a beer called Prost Malone!, which not only toasts the coach in its name, but makes a nice play on rapper Post Malone's name, as well. Brewed with Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado hops, it's basically Juicy Bits in a Nuggets-colored blue and gold can. Prost Malone! will be available in the Greeley taproom, with limited distribution in Denver, beginning today.
Keep reading to see craft-beer tappings through this weekend.
Wednesday, September 30
Cerebral Brewing has three new cans available. Lightsome, brewed in honor of the owner's son, is an IPA made with Citra, El Dorado and Motueka hops, which gives it notes of lime zest and lemon meringue. DDH Rare Trait is a double-dry-hopped version of the brewery's flagship IPA, while Forbidden Idol - Blue Hawaiian is a "tiki sour" double IPA made with pineapple, coconut, tangerines and lactose.
After a long absence and near-closure, Renegade Brewing reopens its doors at noon with new management in the form of brewer Jack Meyer. Although the nine-year-old brewery will have a few of its old staples on tap, Meyer plans to offer a wide range of new beers on tap only.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is kicking off a series of virtual-GABF-related releases today with Barrel-aged Scoville, Doomsday Clock and Kiwi IPA at both taprooms, in Denver and Fort Collins.
Upslope Brewing in Boulder hosts an Oktoberfest shindig at its Flatiron Park taproom. There will be limited-edition Upslope steins, a stein-hoisting competition and lots of beer, including Upslope's Oktoberfest lager and Vienna lager. Wear your lederhosen and dirndls to get into the spirit.
Thursday, October 1
Comrade Brewing taps a fresh batch of More Dodge Less Ram IPA, which won a gold medal in 2019 at the Great American Beer Festival in the coveted American-Style IPA category. A stronger version of Comrade's flagship Superpower IPA, More Dodge is given an extra round of dry-hopping.
Although GABF moved its dates to October 16 and 17, hundreds of breweries across the country are offering discounts, BOGOs, special releases and other deals to GABF Passport holders beginning today. Find all the deals on the GABF website; some breweries have begun scheduling special releases, as well.
In honor of its fourth anniversary, New Terrain Brewing in Golden is tapping a slew of new and/or specialty beers this week and through the weekend. All of the specialty releases are extremely limited, so they will be offered as five-ounce pours from the brewery's beer trailer. They include Shadowland Imperial Stout aged in Fireside Bourbon barrels, along with a vanilla variant and a cacao and coconut variant; Tributary aged in oak barrels with raspberry as well as the same beer aged with orange and spices; and Margarita Sour, which was aged in a tequila barrel with strawberries.
Friday, October 2
"Put on your lederhosen or your dirndl and get ready for a spread-out Oktoberfest celebration throughout the weekend to give more folks an opportunity to celebrate with our limited seating to operate safely," says 4 Noses Brewing, which will have its Oktoberfest and foeder-aged Oktoberfest beers on tap and in cans to go. There will be Oktoberfest decorations, music and food, along with lagers by the liter.
Across town in Broomfield, Wonderland Brewing also hosts a weekend-long Oktoberfest celebration, complete with a triple beer release, German dishes and a costume contest.
Novel Strand Brewing releases three new IPAs. They are: Alpha Beta Soup, with notes of "candied pineapple and peach, with a quick lychee burst and a smooth finish," the brewery says; Falafel Pop, "with massive flavors of guava, passion fruit, grapeberries, and some sticky icky"; and Weapon of Choice - Vic Secret, with "big tropical fruit and a kiss of piney dankness."
Briar Common Brewery + Eatery releases Bramble in the Woods, a 9 percent ABV whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout. With "bright chocolate with roasted coffee, vanilla and blackberry notes, this annual staple was aged in a Woods Whiskey barrel for almost a year," the brewery says.
In honor of the monthly First Friday on Tennyson Street, The Empourium Brewing Company taps Now and Forever Fresh Hop IPA. Brewed with 100 pounds of freshly harvested Chinook hops flown in from Hop Heads Farms in Michigan, this 6.2 percent ABV beer "has a tasty combination of fruit and floral notes," the brewery says. There will also be a keep-the-glass promotion, and food from Little Red's Kitchen.
Copper Kettle Brewing taps Dreaded Brit Extra Special Bitter at noon. "Named after our friend and owner of Hogshead Brewery, Stephen," the beer "is malt focused with caramel and biscuit notes and brewed with English style hops. It has a moderate to low caramel sweetness with a little bit of hop to it," the brewery says.
Aurora's Ursula Brewery hosts the annual release of Colorado Buckeye, its 10 percent ABV peanut butter and chocolate stout; it will be available on draft and in four-pack cans to go. This year, the brewery will also have a barrel-aged version and a coffee barrel-aged version.
New Image Brewing has a new beer available in cans. The oddly but hilariously named "For Sale: 93 Land Cruiser" is a collaboration with the newly opened Peculiar Ales in Weld County. A 9.5 percent ABV double IPA, the beer also contains vanilla and serves as a classified ad for Peculiar owner Nick Armitage, who is trying to sell his beloved ’93 Land Cruiser. "Sure, we could draw you in with how the tropical citrus of the hops in this DIPA mix with the vanilla to add a creamy mouthfeel and some sweetness, but we’ve got an SUV to get rid of here," New Image says. "She’s got 266K miles and runs like a champ."
Saturday, October 3
Join Hops & Pie as the artisan beer-and-pizza joint safely celebrates its tenth anniversary with a crazy tap list, live music, and giveaways every hour from noon to 5 p.m. Beers on tap include Single Barrel Laws Coconut Medianoche from Weldwerks; Mornin' Delight from Toppling Goliath; Persica from Crooked Stave; East Bank, Bourbon East Bank & A special 10th anniversary Blend from Casey Brewing & Blending; 3653 Days of Delicious Monotony from Call To Arms; Hops & Pie 10th Anniversary Double IPA from Comrade Brewing; Another Hops & Pie 10th Anniversary IPA from Cannonball Creek; Oktoberfest from Bierstadt Lagerhaus; Sip of Sunshine from Lawson's Finest in Maine; and "many more secret treasures," the restaurant says.
In addition to celebrating Hops & Pie's tenth anniversary at the restaurant, Comrade Brewing will also tap the beer it made for Hops & Pie, the 10th Anniversary IIPA, at noon in its own taproom. Made with Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka hops, this bad boy weighs in at 8.3 percent ABV.
O'zapft is! translates from German as "It is tapped!," and serves as the traditional cry to start the annual Oktoberfest celebration in Bavaria. The saying is also the name of Strange Craft Beer Company's new festbier lager. To celebrate the beer and the occasion, Strange hosts a socially distanced, sit-down Oktoberfest event starting at 4 p.m. Reservations and tickets for tables of four or six people are available online; each attendee gets a commemorative liter Maß (Mass) filled with O'zapft Is (the tapping is live) and a plate of authentic German food.
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In honor of its fourth anniversary, Briar Common will tap a new, as-yet-unnamed IPA. "Fruit-forward IPA with notes of apple, pear and a little something tropical, the beer finishes crisp with assertive bitterness," the brewery says. It was brewed with Centennial and Cashmere hops.
River North Brewery re-releases Legalese, an imperial stout aged on peppercorns. This beer was brewed in collaboration with the Beer Attorney, a local law firm that represents numerous breweries. The beer will be available at both taprooms on draft and in bottles to go starting at 1 p.m.
Sunday, October 4
In honor of its fourth anniversary, Briar Common Brewery + Eatery releases Hobrett's Chamber of Secrets, a 9 percent Belgian golden strong ale aged for almost a year with Brettanomyces yeast in a wooden barrel. The beer boasts "bright stone fruit with secondary floral, spice and earthy notes. Bitterness and acidity balance the perceived sweetness caused by the high alcohol content," the brewery says.