Beer Man

California crashes Colorado, and Ten FIDY goes big in our craft beer calendar

New Belgium Brewing, which has been making beer in Fort Collins for 22 years, plans to update the look of its beer labels beginning in 2014. The new designs will take some of the "iconic and playful watercolor imagery" that the brewery has used and update it "through a modern lens," the company said in a statement.

The brand-wide refresh will replace the artwork of Ann Fitch -- who is brewery co-founder Kim Jordan's neighbor -- with labels from Hatch Design of San Francisco (like the one above), featuring artist Leah Giberson. The first beer drinkers to see the new labels will be in Ohio, where New Belgium plans to begin distribution in December and January.

Turn the page for all of this week's craft beer events.

Wednesday, August 28

As part of its weekly Wayward Wednesday program, River North Brewery ‏will tap a keg of Hoppenberg Uncertainly Principle Belgian IPA that has been aged with fresh whole-cone Chinook hops. The first pour is at 3 p.m.

August is Barrel Aged Cask Month at the Copper Kettle, and the brewery has been rolling out a new firkin each Wednesday. Today's beer is Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout, which will be served from 3 to 9 p.m. East Coast Joe's will be serving food at 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 29

The Denver Bicycle Cafe will host a beer and cheese pairing from 8 to 10 p.m. tonight featuring five brews from Black Shirt and five cheeses that have been hand-picked by an expert from Marczyk's Fine Foods. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Friday, August 30

Falling Rock Taphouse will tap an unusual beer today at 5 p.m. that was brewed at California's Firestone Walker in February 2012 with input from members of the Publican National Committee, a loose group of pub owners across the country (including the Falling Rock's Chris Black). Called PNC, the Imperial Buckwheat Stout was aged in tequila barrels for thirteen months and weighs in at 13.7 percent ABV.

Oskar Blues will celebrate the return of its winter seasonal, Ted FIDY, today at the Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont. The 10.5 percent ABV Imperial Stout is also being released to liquor stores earlier than usual, in September, thanks to the addition of the brewery's second facility in North Carolina. The beer will be available until February, when Oskar Blues hopes to release an as-yet-unnamed new seasonal. The Tasty Weasel party will feature a vertical tasting of FIDY from years past, plus a barrel-aged FIDY, a firkin of FIDY Pale, and a Nitro Smidy.

Saturday, August 31

Five of California's most popular craft brewers will be in Colorado today, participating in the inaugural EPIC Beer Event from noon to 4 p.m. at Ernie's Bar & Pizza; the restaurant will close down its parking lot for the brewers, who will serve unlimited tasters, meet with guests and talk about the beer. The Big Bad Band will perform live from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Participating breweries include Stone, Russian River, Green Flash, Firestone Walker and Lagunitas. Tickets are $35 at the gate and include a souvenir cup.

Denver Beer Co will hold its annual Neighborhood Hop Swap brew today, in which beer fans who grew hops for the brewery this year can turn in their sticky cones. Denver Beer Co will again hold a weigh-in ceremony at 3 p.m.; a prize will be awarded for the most cones by weight. Shortly thereafter, each farmer will ceremoniously toss their hops into the brew. (If you can't attend that day, you can turn in your hops beginning at 3 p.m. on August 28.) Note to farmers: pick the hops on Saturday and carry them in a paper bag.

Monday, September 2

The Denver Passport, a two-for-one drinks coupon book produced locally and good at 56 different breweries, bars, restaurants, and wineries, will celebrate the end of its summer-long run today with a party from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe Lounge. Every stamp you have is worth one raffle ticket; ten stamps gets you a free drink. There will also be many prizes. RSVP on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 3

Crooked Stave and 12 Percent Imports will begin their partnership in Colorado today by serving up some of the beers they are distributing here at Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse. Starting at 6 p.m., you can try brews from Belgium's Hof ten Dormaal, along with with gypsy brewers, Stillwater and Evil Twin Brewing.

Thursday, September 5

Euclid Hall is kicking off a series of intimate beer dinners tonight leading up to the Great American Beer Festival in October. The series, called The Road to GABF starts with a dinner tonight at 7:30 p.m. featuring beers from Dry Dock Brewing paired with creative food from the restaurant. Tickets are $40 per person. A rep from Dry Dock will be on hand. Future dinners are: September 12 with Trinity Brewing; September 18 with Epic Brewing; September 26 with Telluride Brewing; and October 3 with Stone Brewing.

Front Range BBQ in Colorado Springs and the Focus on the Beer blog will host their latest Meet the Brewer event at 7 p.m. tonight with Loveland's Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, which specializes in traditional German-style ales and lagers. Company founder and head brewer Don Chapman will be in attendance to hang out, showcase some of his beers and talk about the brewery. Available beers at the pay-per-pint event include: Farmer's Daughter, a Marzen style beer for Oktoberfest; 3 Golden Hairs, a hoppy pilsner; Dragon Slayer, a smoky, Bamberg style Rauchbier; Little Red Cap, an Altbier with multiple GABF medals; Fearless Youth, a Munich Dunkel; and Snow Drop, a Köttbusser beer with contained oats, honey, and molasses.

Friday, September 6

Boulder's newest beer maker, Sanitas Brewing, will hold a grand opening party today from 3 to 10 p.m., featuring several different beers on tap. After that, the brewery will be open from Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 to 10 p.m., and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Sanitas features a taproom that is exposed to the brewing area and a large three-season patio with mountain views, cornhole and bocce ball sets and permanent food cart, an outpost of the Pearl Street Mall's McDevitt Taco Supply. The brewery will begin two of their beers, Saison and Black IPA, soon.

Hops & Pie brings in Oskar Blues today as part of the beer-centered pizza joint's monthly Firkin 1st Friday series. At 6 p.m., they'll tap a cask of Black IPA that has been dry hopped with Centennial, Mt. Hood and Nugget hops from Oskar Blues's own farm.

Saturday, September 7

Boulder Beer will celebrate its 34th birthday today with its annual Anniversary Beer Rave from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring an amazing lineup of rare and underground beers from Boulder Beer and 35 other breweries. It's a list so long, in fact, that I am just going to link to it on Boulder Beer's website. There will be live music and food; tickets, $30, benefit the Colorado Brewers Guild and the Boulder B-Cycle bike share program.

Thursday, September 12

Falling Rock will help 12 percent Imports kickoff distribution in Colorado today at 5:30 by serving beers from two highly-acclaimed "gypsy brewers," Stillwater and Evil Twin.

Monday, September 16

St. Arnold Brewing, of Houston, Texas, has just begun selling beer in Colorado, and it will hold a kickoff event tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Falling Rock Taphouse featuring special releases and year-round beers.

Thursday, September 19

Boulder Beer Company will release a new small batch, limited-edition seasonal beer this month in bomber bottles and kegs. It's called Dragonhosen Imperial Oktoberfest, and the brewery will host a release party for the beer today along with live polka music and sausage specials. The brewery describes Dragonhosen thusly: "Brewed with generous amounts of Vienna and Munich malts for a rich, full-bodied malty flavor, Dragonhosen begins as a traditional Oktoberfest lager, then stealthily breathes fire with 9 percent alcohol by volume. Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops add balance with a mild earthy aroma and flavor with moderate bitterness."

Friday, September 20

Longmont's Left Hand Brewing will bring back its Oktoberfest celebration today from 4 to 10 p.m. and tomorrow from noon to 10 p.m. in Roosevelt Park. The celebration, which is free and open to all ages, features live music, German-themed activities and beers from Left Hand, Oskar Blues and the Pumphouse. There will also be best-dressed, stein-holding and bratwurst-eating contests (and on Saturday, the organizers will attempt to fill and cook the world's longest bratwurst at 55 feet in length and commemorate Left Hand's 20th anniversary with a special late night toast).

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland, which brews traditional German-style beers, has expanded its own annual Oktoberfest celebration into a two-day community festival and moved it to the Foote Lagoon Amphitheater and Park. It runs today from 3 to 9 p.m. and tomorrow from noon to 9 p.m. and includes activities for all ages. Bands will play every hour and there will be dancing, beer games and children's activities, along with Austrian and German food vendors and artisans. In addition to Grimm, there will be beers from Loveland Aleworks, Verboten Brewing, Big Beaver Brewing and Rock Bottom; Loveland-based distributor American Eagle is providing additional craft brews from Great Divide, Breckenridge, Odell Brewing and Epic. A portion of the proceeds benefit Colorado Youth Outdoors and Team Stabos (Save Them All BIG or Small).

Saturday, September 21

Vine Street Pub and Brewery will host its third annual Uptown Block Party and Brewer's Olympics today from 1 to 9 p.m. today, featuring a free live music from an all-star band made up of Keith Moseley of String Cheese Incident, Dave Johnston of Yonder Mountain String Band, Dave Watts of the Motet, Scott Law and Greg Schochet. There will also be plenty of beer (the event is free, but pints are $5) from Vine Street (the flagship brewery for Mountain Sun Pubs and Breweries), Breckenridge, Upslope, Wynkoop, Boulder Beer, Twisted Pine, Avery, Great Divide, Odell, Oskar Blues, Cannonball Creek, and Renegade. Vine, between 17th and 18th avenues, will be closed off for the party. The Brewers' Olympics, in which staff from different breweries will compete in various games (past sporting events have included tricycle races, blind-folded grain stacking relay, moving keg obstacle course) begins at 1 p.m.; the awards ceremony is at 4 p.m. All proceeds from the block party benefit New Era Colorado.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes