Three of Denver's favorite beer bars are reopening after months of COVID-19 closures, and all three are working through the new normal of socially distanced tables, unusual ordering methods and outdoor space.
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, at 1309 26th Street, will celebrate with a patio party hosted by Bell's Brewery, with Oberon and Two Hearted Ale on tap, Coney Island dogs on the grill, and swag to give away.
At 3920 Tennyson Street, Hops & Pie has taken over the parking lot next door for a newly built and spacious patio with umbrellas and tables; there is also very limited indoor seating. To celebrate, Hops & Pie will tap a keg of Cantillon Gueuze on Thursday and is offering a variety of other specials.
And finally, Falling Rock Tap House, at 1919 Blake Street, is ready to reopen on Thursday at 5 p.m. after seemingly endless weeks of the coronavirus shutdown, followed by curfews put in place last week by Mayor Hancock over protest fears. And the taproom has a poignant message to share about small business: "It’s going to take a lot of effort on our part to survive and hopefully thrive, but it’s also going to take an effort from all of you. Every one of us is going to have to figure out what is most special to us and to support those things. Not just Falling Rock, but everything; do you want that small independent (restaurant, butcher shop, store, etc.) to survive? Then you will need to support it on an ongoing basis or it won’t be there. Unless, of course, you want the future to be run by only a few massive companies... Even with your support, the next year is going to be extremely challenging. The limits put on every business to be safe are not exactly conducive to survival, but we’re going to do our best to conduct our business in as safe a way as possible, we cherish all of our family, both staff and customers here in Colorado and all over the world."
Keep reading to find craft-beer tappings in the Denver area.
Wednesday, June 10
Cerebral Brewing will have two beers available in cans to go; you can order them online beginning at 9 a.m. for pickup as early as noon. Star Stuff IPA was made with Citra and Galaxy hops and lactose, to give it notes of "white peach, lychee and pineapple," the brewery says. Muscle Memory is a pale ale brewed with Citra, Idaho 7 and Motueka hops. It has notes of grapefruit, pineapple and orange marmalade.
Counter Culture Brewery + Grille taps Cazimi Hoppy Wheat Ale. Named after an energy recharging astrological event, "the beer was brewed and dry hopped with a perfect alignment of Citra and Galaxy hops for a refreshing drinking experience," the brewery says. It is available in Crowlers to go.
Copper Kettle Brewing brings back Oh, For Hef-n's Sake, its traditional German wheat beer, at 2 p.m. With "a soft bouquet of banana and clove, the hefeweizen is available on tap as well as to go," the brewery says.
Odell Brewing is reopening its Denver taphouse at 2945 Larimer Street, with hours of noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday for the time being. The brewery will open up its Fort Collins taproom on Thursday and will keep Thursday-Sunday hours.
Thursday, June 11
Before the pandemic started, Goldspot Brewing got together with Bierstadt Lagerhaus to make a Dortmunder Export. This style of lager "has the malt profile of a Helles with the hop profile of a Pilsner and a bit more alcohol than both," Goldspot says. "We lagered this beer for two months, and it has notes of honey bread and graham crackers, spicy hops and wonderful yeast character from their house lager strain." The beer pairs perfectly with wood fired pizza from Wheels on Fire, which will be on hand at Goldspot, 4970 Lowell Street.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery will have three new beers in sixteen-ounce cans. They are Squishy DDH New England IPA with Sabro and Citra; Cougar Slayer Blackberry Saison; and Kawaikini Tiki Sour with Pineapple, Orange and Toasted Coconut.
Friday, June 12
It is once again time to celebrate the day when Bierstadt Lagerhaus brewed its first beer; you might call it an anniversary, but Bierstadt calls it a "brewniversary." This is also the only day of the year when the brewery allows customers to order Slow Pour Pils by the liter. In fact, the brewery says, "Not only is it allowed, but it is encouraged. So come early or come late, we will have SPP by the liter all day. If you miss this day, you will have to wait a full year until you can get a liter of Pils again."
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Goldspot Brewing releases its first can — a version of the Colorado Strong fundraiser beer that it brewed in collaboration with Odyssey Beerwerks. "We changed the order of the ingredients to make ours an India Pale Lager, dry-hopped with local Chinook and Cascade hops," the brewery says. The ingredients were donated by Root Shoot Malting, Colorado Hop Company and Propagate Yeast, and 20 percent of all sales will return to the Colorado Strong Fund and will be allocated directly to provide assistance to the health-care, hospitality, service-industry and gig-economy workers across the state. B and P Provisions will have food.
For its newest version of Double Dry Hopped Coriolis Effect, New Image Brewing says it wanted to experiment with a developing method for dry-hopping: hop terpene infusion. Terpenes are "the aromatic and flavor compounds found in plants, so hop terpenes are basically super-concentrated hop aroma and flavor that can be used in place of cones or pellets in dry hopping," the brewery explains. Oast House Oils in Lafayette is one of the leading local innovators of the process, so New Image sourced Galaxy hops terpenes from the company. The new version of DDH Coriolis Effect will be available at the brewery at noon.
Sobremesa returns to Copper Kettle Brewing at noon. This unusual beer is an 8.1 percent ABV English-style strong pale ale that was aged in tequila barrels with lime zest and agave nectar. It is available in nineteen-ounce cans to go, as well as on draft in the brewery's much larger space.
Join 4 Noses Brewing for a double release. Casey, You're on Mute is 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. Brewed and dry hopped with Citra and Galaxy hops, the beer has tropical notes. The second beer, Hear the Calling, is an updated version of the brewery's Simcoe pale ale. "With more Simcoe dry-hopping, the aroma will elevate this beer to new levels."
Saturday, June 13
introduced a new pastry stout series called Assorted Variety. "The base beer was brewed to be full bodied, soft and with an 8.3 percent ABV that we can jam-pack with different flavors," the brewery explains. The beer is now on sale online and can be picked up Saturday. In addition, Westfax will have another new beer called Tangerine Milkshake IPA, brewed with oats, lactose and tangerine for a sweet velvety mouthfeel; doors open at noon. The Barrett & Pratt Provisions food truck will be on site.
Denver Beer Co. is back for round three of its virtual Beer, Bacon and Coffee fest. This time around, you can order three new breakfast beers, along with new DBC mugs and a small box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. The take-home pack is $75 for two people and includes three Crowlers (Minute Made IPA Orange Juice Juicy IPA, Maple Pancake Stack Maple Golden Ale, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Graham Cracker Porter, two blue DBC coffee mugs, one twelve-ounce bag of Coda coffee, one one-pound pack of Tender Belly Bacon, two breakfast burritos from The Mighty and a small box of cereal. Available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. At noon, the brewery will go live to share and chat about all things breakfast beers, bacon, coffee and burritos.