Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Frightful Pumpkin Beers and Halloween Tappings

Beer Calendar: Frightful Pumpkin Beers and Halloween Tappings
Bristol Brewing
"Well, 2020 strikes again," says Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs. For the first time since 2007, the brewery wasn't able to make its famed Venetucci Pumpkin Ale.

"We’re sad to say that we won’t be able to brew Venetucci Pumpkin Ale this year. With the pandemic wreaking havoc on our balance sheet, we just don’t have the resources right now," Bristol writes. "As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision. But know that we have every intention of coming back strong next year."

Is "famed" hyperbole? No. The beer — which is made from whole pumpkins that Bristol staff and volunteers harvest and roast themselves — was named by Time magazine as one of "Eight Great Pumpkin Beers" in 2012; it was also one of the very first beers in Colorado that people would line up for hours to buy. The demand was so crazy that Bristol had to limit sales and carefully dole the beer out to liquor stores.

Today, Venetucci Pumpkin Ale doesn't make the headlines much: there are too many other hyped beers and breweries, and too many pumpkin ales on the market. But 100 percent of the proceeds from the beer is still donated to the Venetucci Pumpkin Farm, a beloved institution in Colorado Springs that goes back decades and is known for its founder, who donated thousands of pumpkins to schoolchildren every year.

Keep reading to see craft-beer tappings and events into early November.

click to enlarge 2 PENGUINS TAP & GRILLE
2 Penguins Tap & Grille
Wednesday, October 28
Cerebral Brewing debuts two new beers in cans this week: Marine Layer, an 8.2 percent ABV "hazy West Coast double IPA," and Adjunctivitis No. 3, a 10.2 percent ABV mint chocolate brownie imperial stout.

Copper Kettle Brewing taps a single firkin of Pumpkin Imperial Cafe Con Leche on nitro. This beer, which is on draft only, is the final pumpkin beer in a month-long series of tappings.

Our Mutual Friend Brewing and WeldWerks Brewing teamed up on a blended beer that OMF will release today at its taproom (and WeldWerks will release on Friday). Juicy Times IPA was made by combining Time's Arrow, OMF's West Coast IPA, with Juicy Bits, WeldWerks' flagship NEIPA. "This dynamic combo imparts flavors and aromas of citrus, orange, pine and resin, and finishes dry and not too sweet," the brewery says.

The Hop Wars saga continues at 2 Penguins Tap & Grille in Centennial — with a pumpkin twist. The beer bar will tap hazy IPAs from five of the state's best: 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.

click to enlarge COMRADE BREWING
Comrade Brewing
Thursday, October 29
Comrade Brewing taps two beers. Buckwheat Blonde was brewed with Pilsner malt and buckwheat from Colorado Malting Company and hopped with Zuper Saazer hops from Michigan. It has spicy, grassy, herbal and honey notes. Lupulin Manifesto is a "re-brew" of Comrade's collaboration with Fat Head's Brewery. Brewed with Pure Idaho Pilsner and imperial malt, the 6.8 percent ABV IPA was hopped with Amarillo, Equinox and Galaxy and then dry-hopped with more Ekuanot, Idaho 7, Amarillo and Galaxy. Comrade opens at noon.

As part of its Thursday pilot release program, Great Divide Brewing is tapping Cash(mere) Is King, a low-cal, low-ABV IPA brewed with Cashmere hops. "Think a fruit cocktail with peach/stone fruit leading the way and a lively white wine finish," the brewery says. On the other end of the spectrum, Great Divide also taps its latest Yeti Imperial Stout variant, Peanut Butter Yeti. "For this savory entry into the esteemed Yeti Series canon, we’ve created a dark chocolate peanut butter cup in a can." This one will be out later in cans.

Max Taps beer bar in Highlands Ranch gives up its taps to Frisco's Outer Range Brewing, which will be pouring a variety of beers all day long. Selections include: Solo Series Azacca NEIPA, Heightened State BA Stout (6-8 p.m.), Blocks of Light NEIPA, Tippy Top West Coast IPA, Gaper Gap Pilsner, Kinfolk Porter, Heebeegeebees IPA and In the Steep double-dry-hopped NEIPA with Nelson hops.

click to enlarge WOODS BOSS BREWING
Woods Boss Brewing
Friday, October 30
Woods Boss Brewing debuts three barrel-aged beers in bottles, along with a tart NEIPA in cans. Secular "Peachy" Morals is a 13 percent ABV Belgian golden strong ale that was soured for two and a half years on three strains of Brettanomyces yeast and two harvest years of Palisade Peaches. Bagged Car Buddies is an 11 percent imperial Baltic porter aged in tawny port rye barrels. Above Tree Line is an 11 percent Belgian-style tripel brewed with Colorado alfalfa honey and coriander and aged in tequila barrels. The NEIPA, Growing Brighter Now, packs pineapple and orange notes from Citra, Rakau, Meridian and Eldorado hops; it was also brewed with citric acid to create the tartness. The brewery opens at noon.

Denver Beer Co. will release a limited run of Chocolate Coconut Graham Cracker Porter in four-packs of sixteen-ounce cans; it is the first of a series of small releases celebrating some of the brewery's "most classic beers," DBC says. This one is a 6.5 percent ABV version of the brewery's gold-medal-winning Graham Cracker Porter that has been enhanced with dark chocolate and fresh coconut.

Baere Brewing has three fresh cans available. The first is Proceed to Memory, its West Coast IPA brewed with Citra, Strata, Mosaic and Centennial hops. The second is No Line Imperial Stout, brewed with coffee, cocoa and vanilla. The third is Superconnected, a sour with raspberry, blueberry and apricot.

Copper Kettle Brewing taps a brand-new stout called Snow Flurries. Described as the "little cousin" of the brewery's imperial oatmeal stout, Snowed In, the new stout is "made with the liquid that came out of the final run of Snowed In," Copper Kettle says. "At 7 percent ABV, it tastes similar to Snowed In but with a lot lower ABV."

4 Noses Brewing releases an election-themed New England-style IPA in addition to three versions of its El Jefe Coffee Imperial Stout. The NEIPA, called Fly to the Polls, was brewed with citrusy Galaxy hops and has a passion fruit aroma; at 7.6 percent ABV, it "is just strong enough to get you through election night, and a little BUZZZZed," the brewery says. The El Jefe beers are El Jefe Caliente, El Jefe Con Leche, and the new El Jefe Maple, which weighs in at a solid 8.4 percent ABV "to cap off your evening with something a bit sweet."

Luki Brewery in Arvada taps Potion 7B Blueberry Mango Sour. Fermented with WildBrew Philly Sour, "a new yeast...strain that has the ability to produce both lactic acid and ethanol," the beer also has blueberry and mango purée," 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."

Odd13 Brewing celebrates a hazy milestone with the fifth anniversary of its flagship New England-style IPA, Codename: Superfan. In honor of the beer, the brewery is releasing two new versions. Codename SuperDuperfan, an 8 percent ABV double IPA with Citra, Ekuanot, Simcoe malts and CouldHaveBeenaFan, a 6.5 percent ABV IPA made with Columbus, Galaxy, Simcoe and Amarillo hops. Guarantee yours by purchasing online.

Well, 2020 can't be all bad if Odell Brewing is re-releasing Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout. The original version of this beer — named for the farmer who collects Odell's spent grain to feed to his cows — is back on draft at the Fort Collins taproom, starting today, before being distributed in six-packs of bottles.

click to enlarge SEEDSTOCK BREWERY
Seedstock Brewery
Saturday, October 31
After twenty years of brewing a pumpkin beer in secret for his wife, Seedstock Brewery head brewer Jason Abbott is releasing his pumpkin beer for one day only. Seedstock Pumpkin is made with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger and pumpkin. The tapping goes along with the brewery's socially distant Halloween party. Biehl Kitchen will have food, and costumes are encouraged.

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.

With Halloween falling on a Saturday, Dos Luces Brewing decided to combine its Día de los Muertos celebration with Halloween and the annual release of its very special Azteca Pulque, which was made with cacao and a hint of cayenne. There will also be pumpkin-spice chicha, which will only be available in small-batch form this year.

Bierstadt Lagerhaus hosts ReinFRIGHTSgebot, a Socially Distanced Halloween Party. Reserve a table and a ten-liter keg of Helles "to share with people you trust enough to allow within six feet of you," the brewery says. "Come dressed to scare for our costume contest: $100 cash prize each for individual costume and table theme costume, judged right from the safety of your own table." See the Facebook page for details.

Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada hosts a Halloween event from 5 to 9 p.m. with a couple of special beers on tap: 2019 Imperial Fluffy Pumpkin Porter and Odyssey of the Flyte Belgian Golden Strong Ale. There will also be a costumer contest, a raffle, and various other shenanigans.

Hop Zombie Day returns to Lone Tree Brewing, which has its 9 percent ABV Hop Zombie Imperial Red IPA on draft and in cans starting at 11 a.m. The brewery only made enough to last the day, so get there early.

"Halloween 2020 happens to be the perfect opportunity to embrace the face mask," says Dry Dock Brewing, which is hosting a costume party from 7 to 9 p.m. at its South Dock location. "Whether you come simply in a COVID-abiding face mask, or you're in for a good scare, we'd love to see you there." There will be prizes, live music by Pete Henry, beer and beer-and-candy pairing flights.

click to enlarge LUKI BREWERY
Luki Brewery
Sunday, November 1
"It's your right, so get that vote out." That's the theme behind Burns Family Artisan Ales' release of Commonalities, a new low-ABV beer. Tickets are required; they include two sixteen-ounce pours of Commonalities, a quaffable 4.5% ABV common-style beer. See Facebook for more info.

Tuesday, November 3
Luki Brewery in Arvada taps Democracy IPA — a beer that it created after allowing customers to vote on the style characteristics. Hey, it's Election Day. You're gonna need a beer.

Wednesday, November 4
4 Noses Brewing teamed up with Lady Justice Brewing to make Super Diva, a dry-hopped "Italian-style" pilsner brewed with Pulawski hops, an unusual variety that Lady Justice imported directly from a farm in Poland. "It has a pungent and complex aroma with white grapes, clove, and ripe papaya," the breweries day. The name, Super Diva, was chosen in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. "We lost a legend during our collaboration and felt the need to honor RBG's legacy. RBG was notorious for her vigorous workouts. Which is why we chose to name the beer, Super Diva, after the sweatshirt she wore while working out with dumbbells." There will also be Super Diva sweatshirts available; 100% of the sweatshirt profits will go to Colorado ACLU.

Thursday, November 5
Copper Kettle Brewing hosts a pairing of its Well Bred English Barleywine with bleu cheese from the Truffle Cheese Shop. Starting at 5:30 p.m., guests can try a vertical of Well Bred — the 2018, 2019 and just-released 2020 versions — along with three different kinds of cheese. Tickets are $25.

Platt Park Brewing highlights National Stout Day by tapping Kakou Nitro Hawaiian Golden Stout. The beer was brewed with Kona coffee, toasted coconut and pineapple. The brewery is also offering a deal where you can get a limited-edition Kakou glass and a pint for $10.

Saturday, November 7
Mockery Brewing will celebrate its sixth anniversary with a "socially-distanced extravaganza." Tickets are required, and they get you a table (for four to eight people) for one hour and 45 minutes. "Scheduled arrivals/departures will provide ample time for sanitizing between reservations," the brewery says. The party includes a paired dinner with the Buffalo Theory involving all of Mockery's anniversary beers.

Jagged Mountain also celebrates a birthday today — number seven — by tapping some classic Jagged beers from the past. They include: Wolfpack Black Saison, Cattywampus Grapefruit DIPA, and Red Point Rye DIPA.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes