Beer Man

Colorado beer calendar: GABF-winning beers hit the city; Fresh Hops at Falling Rock; new releases from Avery, Great Divide

One of the biggest bummers about the Great American Beer Festival being over is that it can be hard to find -- and drink -- the medal winners: Some were one-off brews that are no longer available. Others are on-draft-only options in towns a couple of hours away. Luckily, a few are still floating around -- specifically at Denver Beer Co, Copper Kettle and Wynkoop Brewing. And then there's Odell Brewing's gold-medal-winning Friek, which will be re-released later this month in 750 ml bottles. The beer, a cross between a Framboise and a sour Kriek, won gold for wood- and barrel-aged sour beers. Aged in oak barrels with Colorado-grown cherries, it was blended with raspberries. Odell will host a party for the beer on October 29, but in the meantime, check out these events: Friday, October 14

Great Divide gets its fall on tonight with the Awesome Autumn Release Party from 6 to 9 p.m. at the tap house. The brewery celebrates the triple release of fall/winter seasonals, Oak Aged Yeti, Fresh Hop and Hibernation. Tickets (cash only!) are $20 at the door, and include three beer tickets and one food ticket for whatever you want to eat from the Basic Kneads Pizza food truck. There will also be a DJ spinning '80s and '90s music. Don't miss it; it's one of the few places where you can party in a brewery without rubber boots on.

Firkin Friday at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora will be a Tart Cherry Hefeweizen. The first firkin will be tapped at 3 p.m; the second around 6 or 7 p.m.

Meet Ska Brewing's head brewer, Thomas Larsen, at the Rackhouse Pub tonight from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be several Ska beers on tap along with a firkin of dry-hopped Euphoria.

Saturday, October 15

Falling Rock Taphouse, 1919 Blake Street, hosts its fifth annual Fresh Hop Celebration today from noon to 5 p.m., celebrating beers that were made with "wet" or fresh hops which had been harvested less than 24 hours before being used. The Celebration takes place on the patio and in the parking lot at Falling Rock; tickets are $20 and include live music, a commemorative glass, four free tastings, information on home brewing and people's choice awards. The festival, which is sponsored by Oregon's Deschutes Brewing, will include two beers poured from "Woody," the brewery's giant traveling beer barrel: Hop Trip and the new Fresh Hop Mirror Pond Pale Ale. There will also be beers from Oskar Blues, Full Sail, Ska, Sierra Nevada and Great Divide and more. Proceeds will benefit Colorado State University's Agricultural Program, which conducts hops research.

Boulder's Avery Brewing, 5757 Arapahoe Avenue, will release what is bound to be on the most sough-after bottles of beer in Colorado this year: Rumpkin Imperial Ale. Aged in Old Gosling rum barrels, this year's version of the brewery's cult-favorite seasonal weighs in a nearly 16 percent ABV and includes nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. The release party will start at 5 p.m., and customers waiting in line will be able to buy a maximum of six twelve-ounce bottles for $10 a pop (cash only!). There will be live music, turkey legs and $2 cans of Avery Brewing beers for sale while you wait in line.

Copper Kettle Brewing won a gold medal at GABF after just five months in business. To celebrate, owners Kristen Kozik and Jeremy Gobien will host a Mexican Chocolate Stout Gold Medal Party today from 5 to 9 p.m. Drink a Mexican Chocolate Stout or a Smoked Porter (a new tap release that day) and get one free meal from Alvie's Eats food truck outside. There will be smoked meat, brisket, chicken and fish to go with the smoked porter, along with Mexican mole dishes to go with the Mexican Chocolate Stout.

Denver Beer Co will rock your lederhosen off today from noon to 11:30 p.m. with an Oktoberfest complete with a special Oktoberfest brew, a pig roast, German toasts and songs. And what better venue than the place that has its own beergarden and Bavarian-style pretzels? The Average German band plays ooompah hits beginning at 4:30 p.m., followed by a a Hotest Lederhosen and Dirndl contest at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include a large souvenir beer stein, 25 ounces of beer and a tiny pretzel.

Sunday, October 16

Hops & Pie will hold its monthly Littlest Big Beer Fest today at 2 p.m., featuring beers from California's Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. Try flights or single pours of Port's High Tide, Wipeout and Anniversary Ale, along with Lost Abbey's 10 Commandments and Lost & Found.

Monday, October 17

Mondays are getting easier at Renegade Brewing, which will celebrate its new Monday hours today from 3 to 8 p.m. by offering $3 pints; the brewery, which opened its doors in June, plans to be open every Monday from now on.

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