Colorado beer calendar: Boulder Beer gets blue, Copper Kettle gets amber

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New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins has finished the installation of its 16,000-square-foot canning line and plans to begin using it this week. The first beers off the line will be 16-ounce tallboys of Fat Tire and Ranger IPA, but the brewery's newest beer, Shift Pale Lager, will be released for the first time next month -- and only in tallboys.

The canning line can fill 360 cans per minute and increases New Belgium's canning volume capacity six-fold. Purchased from Germany's KHS, the line is similar to the one that Oskar Blues rolled out last month when it released tallboys of Deviant Dale's IPA.

Wednesday, March 7

It's One Barrel Wednesday at Strange Brewing, when the brewery taps a keg of a beer made on its smaller system. Today's release is Caber Toss; a smoked Scottish ale with grains smoked using whiskey staves from a local distillery.

In the meantime, Strange co-owner and head brewer Tim Myers will be at the Wynkoop Brewing Company tonight at 6 p.m. when Denver's oldest brewpub puts Strange Brewing's Cherry Bomb Belgian Stout on a guest tap upstairs.

The Bull & Bush taps its 2012 version of Release the Hounds, a hop-forward barleywine that weighs in at 12 percent ABV.

Boulder Beer Company releases Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat, its spring and summer seasonal, today at its Boulder pub. Get $3 pints of Kinda Blue during the launch party from 4 to 7 p.m. The brewery will also offer the winner of its annual balloon pop game a chance to take home a keg of beer or other prizes. Kinda Blue is made with pureed, organic Oregon blueberries.

Thursday, March 8

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar will add a briny twist to its annual Oyster Month today at 4 p.m. by tapping a special Oyster Stout made just for the restaurant by Odell Brewing in Fort Collins. Jax, which has spots in Denver and Boulder, recently opened a third location in Fort Collins, and the proximity to Odell was too much to resist. The beer combines seven kinds of malts, TCZ hops, and 25 pounds of Emersum oysters, shells and all.

Rock Bottom kicks off its annual Fire Chief Ale promotion today at various locations. At the downtown Denver location, fire fighters will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 5 to 7 p.m., there will be a silent auction benefiting the Denver Fire Fighters Burn Foundation. The fire fighters will also be offering bucket rides from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in their tower truck. And finally, the restaurant taps Fire Chief Ale at 6 p.m. and gives away free pints until 6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

The Rackhouse Pub will host the staff from Boulder's Upslope Brewing today from 4 to 6 p.m., along with a couple of rare beers from the brewery itself. On tap: Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale; Double IPA; and Brewer's Secret Firkin No. 9. The brewery's pale ale and craft lager will also be available. The first fifty people get a free pint glass.

Great Divide Brewing will tap a firkin of Hip Hop Hooray -- described as an uber-hopped version of the brewery's Titan IPA -- today at 2 p.m.

Copper Kettle releases American Amber Ale today during tap-room hours, from 3 to 9 p.m. The OG Burgers food truck will be outside from 5 to 9 p.m.

Dry Dock Brewing tests out two casks of its X-perimental Dry Hop Pale Ale today, one at 3 p.m. and another around 7 or 8 p.m.

Avery Brewing will host its Strong Ale Festival today and tomorrow at the Boulder tap room, however the event is sold out.

Saturday, March 10

Denver Beer Co throws down Big Easy-style today from noon to 4 p.m. with a crawfish boil. Tickets are $25 and include two beers, crawfish and all the fixings. The brewery points out that beads, beers, andles bon temps are guaranteed. Call the brewery at 303-433-2739 to reserve limited spots in the beer garden.

Tuesday, March 13

Euclid Hall breaks out its Beer Bites program, a weekly series running through January, today from 3 p.m. to close. Beer Bites includes three two-ounce pours of selected beers -- or, in this case, hard ciders -- paired with three bite-sized snacks for $12.50 in the bar.

Thursday, March 15

Jonesy's Eatbar has kicked off a new brewery dinner series. On the third Thursday of every month, the restaurant will feature a four-course meal alongside five beers from a different brewery. Only twelve family-style seats are available; tickets are $40 per person. Today's dinner kicks off at 6:30 with a reception, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. with beers from Boulder Beer Company. A brewery rep will be on hand as well. In April, Jonesy's will highlight Oskar Blues, followed by New Belgium in May, Tommyknocker in June and Dry Dock in July.

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