Colorado beer calendar: Colorado Beer Week meets American Craft Beer Week

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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

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:

Euclid Hall

The restaurant will be tapping a different beer every day this week at 3 p.m.

Monday, May 14 Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Tuesday, May 15 Lost Abbey Angel Share

Wednesday, May 16 DFH/Stone/Victory Saison du Buff

Thursday, May 17 Russian River 2010 Supplication

Friday, May 18 Lost Abbey Deliverance

Saturday, May 19 Crooked Stave Good Glory, aged in chardonnay barrels

Sunday, May 20 Surprise Tapping

Strange Brewing

Sunday, May 13

Beer Brunch: 1st Course - Paint It Black Coffee Stout; 2nd Course - Rosemary Pale; 3rd Course - Belgian Chocolate Raspberry Love Stout

Monday, May 14

Strange releases its Anniversary Beer, Munich Dunkel.

Tuesday, May 15

Strange Nostalgia Night: Cabor Toss, 151 Anniversary, Double Take IPA, Barleywine, Belgian IPA

Wednesday, May 16

Soci-ALE Colorado Brewers Guild One-Barrel Wednesday Release

Thursday, May 17 Cherry Saison Firkin; Buck-An-Ounce Steak Night; live music from Fourth Dog Floyd at 6 p.m.

Friday, May 18 Food by Worldwide Vittles; live music from the Colorado Goat Ropers at 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 19 Strange celebrates its official second anniversary with Kegs & Eggs at 9 a.m. Chris will cook breakfast and the taps will be flowing; live broadcast of the Colorado Craft Beer Show at noon; live music from Acoustic Mining Company at 7 p.m.; food all day.

Hops & Pie

Tuesday, May 15 Colorado craft beers, $1 off tap

Wednesday, May 16 $2 craft can night featuring Upslope Brewing beers, 5 p.m. to close

Thursday, May 17 Colorado craft beers, $1 off tap

Friday, May 18 Tapping a firkin of Firestone Walker Union Jack; flowing all day until it's empty.

Saturday, May 19 Poker ride at noon with Avery Brewing, More info TBA

Sunday, May 20 The monthly Littlest Big Beer Fest will feature Stone Brewing beers. More info TBA

Boulder Beer Company

The Boulder brewpub will celebrate American Craft Beer Week with various new food specials, all using their beers as featured ingredients. Examples include: Hazed & Infused Anaheim Pork Chili Verde with Parmesan-Garlic Tater Tots on Monday; Buffalo Gold Bison Meatloaf with Beer-Braised Carrots & Mashed Potatoes on Tuesday; and Smoked & Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Flashback India Brown Ale Barbeque Sauce on Wednesday.

Monday, May 14

For ACBW, Boulder Beer "nitrogenated" a special batch of its Flashback India Brown Ale, which will be tapped simultaneously at 4:20 p.m. at dozens of bars throughout the country. Local participants in the "Simultap" include Rueben's Burger Bistro and Park & Co., as well as Boulder Beer's own pub.

Saturday, May 19

Boulder Beer Company will turn over all twelve of its taps to its small-batch pilot and barrel-aged brews. VIP tickets, $10, will get you in the doors at 11 a.m. and includes three samples of these Innovation Beers. It also gives you guaranteed access to other beers, all of which are limited to around 40 pints each. Doors to the public open at noon. Highlights include a barrel-aged Apricot Cranberry Mojo IPA and four different pilot versions of a saison recipe.

Falling Rock Taphouse

Friday, May 11

At 5:30, Falling Rock will tap Russian River Brewing's "-tion" beers: Supplication, Sanctification, Temptation, Consecration and Damnation.

Saturday, May 12

A Lips of Faith extravaganza begins at 5 p.m., highlighting New Belgium's specialty beer series, including Tart Lychee, Kick, Clutch, Super Cru, Abbey Grand Cru, Vrienden and, since its Falling Rock, La Folie from 2009.

Sunday May 13

Tapping some special Lost Abbey and Port Brewing beers from the cellar at 6 p.m., including Red Poppy, Deliverance and Older Viscosity.

Tuesday May 15

Falling Rock will host a "Pork-Centric Beer Dinner" with Chef Justin Brunson from Masterpiece Deli at 7:30 p.m. The cost $65 (tax and tip included) if purchased by May 12, and $75 after (although it will likely sell out since there are only forty tickets.

River North Brewery

Wednesday, May 16

Quandary Bottle Release Party: 22-ounce bombers of Quandary, a Belgian-style Quad, will be available in the taproom for the first time ever. Look for them in stores soon after.

Thursday, May 17

Barrel Program Debut: River North will be releasing one 1/6 barrel keg (5 gallons) of its Whiskey-Barrel-Aged J. Marie Saison. Pours start at 3 p.m. until it's gone!

Friday, May 18

River North celebrates its three-month anniversary with $1 off all beers all day and 25 percent off merchandise.

Sunday, May 20

The Grand Finale: River North releases an oak-aged, dry-hopped, imperial wit. "We are especially proud of this rare combination of flavors," the brewery says.

Dry Dock Brewing

Dry Dock will tap a different firkin every night this week.

Yak & Yeti

The Yak will have three different IPA's on tap this week: Himalayan IPA, which won a 2010 GABF gold medal; West-Coast Glutton, a Double Red IPA (10 percent ABV) that was named by the Wynkoop's 2012 Beer Drinker of the Year: and White IPA, a dry-hopped imperial wit bier.

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