In the annual overflow of beer weeks, Colorado Beer Week kicks off today, just two days before American Craft Beer Week begins its run. The former is a series of beery events hosted around town by a private events company. The second is a national orgy of beer activities created and promoted by the Boulder-based Brewers Association trade group. Between the two, you won't be lacking for beverages.
To help sort it all out, this week's beer calendar lists a few events by date below and the rest by venue; scroll down to see them all. Cheers!
Wednesday, May 9
Every Wednesday through May 23, the Rackhouse Pub will tap a beer from Avery Brewing 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.) Samael's gets tapped today, with Mephistopheles on deck next week.
Friday, May 11
Crazy Mountain Brewing in Edwards is having a pint night from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Rackhouse Pub, featuring four beers, some of which are rare in Denver: Bourbon Barrel Aged Horseshoes and Hand Grenades; Hookiebobb IPA; Lava Lake Wit; and Cara de Luna Black Ale. Crazy Mountain staffers will be on hand, and the first fifty people to order a pint of their beer get to keep the glass.
Great Divide Brewing will tap a firkin of Oak-Aged Yeti that has been aged yet again in a cask. Knock On Wood taps around 3 p.m. and will be served in ten-ounce pours.
Saturday, May 12
Colorado Beer Week begins today at noon at Highland Tap & Burger, which will be pouring beers outdoors from fifteen breweries and two distilleries. A general admission ticket, $35, gets you three-ounce pours of more than 35 beers and "the opportunity" to buy beer-can chicken from Oskar Blues or a sausage plate. VIP tickets, $45, entitle you to six-ounce pours and a free plate of food. Colorado Craft Beer Radio will be in the house from noon to 1 p.m., broadcasting live at AM 760. Breweries include: Great Divide, Odell, Denver Beer Co, Caution Brewing, AC Golden, Oskar Blues, Left Hand, Ska, Firestone Walker, Alaskan, Arvada Beer Company, New Planet, New Belgium, Crazy Mountain, Breckenridge and Upslope Brewing.
Sunday, May 13
Grab your cruiser bike and meet at Star Bar at 1 p.m. today for the second annual Ska Brewing Cruiser Crawl hosted by Colorado Beer Week. The crawl will stop at four bars, all of which are offering $1 off of Ska beers. Tickets are $15 and include one free beer.
Monday, May 14
Ernie's Pizza will host a Meet the Brewers Night 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in conjunction with Colorado Beer Week, featuring some of Colorado's finest IPAs. Attendees can meet and talk with brewers from Odell, Breckenridge, Denver Beer Co., Crazy Mountain, and AC Golden, while enjoying their beers. IPAs from Alaskan Brewing and Firestone Walker will also be available. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in person at Ernie's or at www.cobeerweek.com. Proceeds benefit Pints for Prostate.
Old Chicago kicks off its annual Craft Beer Mini Tour tonight with tapping parties at various locations. In addition to Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat and New Belgium Shift, Old Chicago is serving a beer made exclusively for the Colorado-based chain called Old Chicago Farm House Saison; its "an easy-drinking Belgian-style summer beer that is hoppy, but not bitter, with a hint of dried apricot," according to the company.
Tuesday, May 15
The Vine Street Pub & Brewery will release its first-ever beer brewed on location in Denver today as part of American Craft Beer Week. Number One, a Belgian-style Trippel made with Golden Naked Oats and Belgian candy sugar, was brewed in early April. The beer, at 9 percent ABV, will be tapped at 4:20 p.m.
Wednesday, May 16
Freshcraft and Oskar Blues have teamed up for a beer dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. today at the LoDo restaurant. The three-course meal is $35 per person and seating is first come, first served. That will be followed by a Hoe Down Throw Down at 8 p.m. next door at the Blake Street Vault, featuring live music from the Tusks.
Thursday, May 17
On Thursday, Vine Street Pub, and its sister locations in Boulder -- the Mountain Sun and the Southern Sun -- will tap Fruit Cake, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with dried mission figs and Turkish apricots. The 9.2 percent ABV beer was aged in rum barrels for three months; it will be released at 4:20 p.m., also as part of ACBW
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Friday, May 18
On Friday, Vine Street, Mountain Sun and Southern Sun will tap the first batch of 2012 Prime Time Pilsner, a pre-prohibition style pilsner brewed with flaked maize and Hallertau and Saaz hops. This one "is a light to medium bodied lager with with an assertive floral and spicy hop character," the brewery says. It will be tapped at opening.
Events by venue through the week: