Colorado beer calendar: Cinco de Mayo, sour beers, and house yeasts

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The entire craft-brewing world will be in San Diego this week for the annual Craft Brewers Conference, which allows brewers from across the country to share ideas, knowledge and plenty of beer. Plus, they get to spend time in America's Finest City. More than 2,600 people are expected to be there, including many representatives of Colorado's breweries -- from the biggest, New Belgium, to one of the smallest, Wit's End in Denver. But even though most of Colorado's beery movers and shakers will be gone, there will still be plenty to do around town.

Wednesday, May 2

Every Wednesday through May 23, the Rackhouse Pub will tap a beer from Avery Brewing Company during "Sour Hour," from 4 to 6 p.m. And anyone in attendance can enter to win a pair of tickets to Avery's 2012 Boulder SourFest, which takes place June 2 and is SOLD OUT. (Even better, transportation will be provided from the Rackhouse to the festival and back.) Avery's Anniversary Tripel gets tapped today.

Friday, May 4

Great Divide Brewing will tap a firkin of its Hercules double IPA that has been dry-hopped. It's called Don't Eat the Cookies.

Saturday, May 5

AC Golden, the ever-innovating MillerCoors brand incubator, takes over the taps at the Rackhouse Pub today, offering up fifteen rare or small-batch beers. Two of the beers, both sours, are blends that Rackhouse owner Chris Rippe worked on directly with the AC Golden team. Some of the other beers on hand all day: Baltic Porter, Apricot Sour, Dry-Hopped Belgian Style Saison, Dry-Hopped American Wild Ale, India Pale Lager, Dunkel and Schwarzbier.

Ale House at Amato's will host its second annual Kentucky Derby Party from 1 to 6 p.m., and you'll need a big hat. But today isn't just Derby Day. It's also Cinco de Mayo, which is why Amato's will be serving cans of Ska Brewing's seasonal Mexican Logger. There will be prizes for best dressed and best hat -- and a chance to win free beer for a month from Breckenridge Brewery. A portion of the day's proceeds will be donated to the Dumb Friends League and Harmony Equine Center.

Twisted Pine Brewing in Boulder is releasing the fifth in its monthly Artisan Ale Series: Big Easy Offbeat Brown, a 7.8 percent ABV American-style brown ale "suffused with wasabi, horseradish and ginger roots," the brewery says. Twisted Pine will hold a party to celebrate the beer from noon to 9 p.m. today. Artist Perry Bergman, whose piece "Red Hat Jazz" adorns the beer label, will be on hand, signing bottles.

Boulder's Upslope Brewing will celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the tap room with a Pin the Tail on the Donkey competition, as well as a Sombrero Relay Race and costumed team event. Prizes will be awarded throughout the day. The Verde food truck will also be in the house.

The Copper Kettle's 2012 Spring Home Brew Winner, La Paloma Wit, gets tapped today when the tasting room opens at 3 p.m. The ingredient list on this beer includes freshly squeezed pomelos and grapefruit, lime zest, Kaffir lime leaves, raw agave nectar and coriander. The Sesame Seed will be out from five to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, May 8

Wynkoop Brewing Company will release a new beer today called Catalyst in honor of Create Denver Week, which takes place May 10 through May 13 and showcases this town's creative community. The one-time-only beer is an unfiltered extra pale ale made with Colorado malts and hops and fermented with the house yeast from seven Denver breweries: Wynkoop, Breckenridge, Strange, Renegade, Denver Beer Co, Wit's End and Copper Kettle. "The result," according to the Wynkoop, "is a singular, golden, moderately hopped version of liquid art that showcases the unique and unexpected wonders of different yeasts -- and different beer artists -- working arm in arm." One dollar from the sale of each pint of Catalyst will be donated to Create Denver.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan
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