Colorado beer calendar: The Rackhouse puckers up; Vine Street lights up on 4/20

Ever since Longmont's

Left Hand Brewingreleased its Milk Stout Nitro in a bottle

before the

Great American Beer Festival

last year, pouring a pint has been a favorite party trick. Stand on someone's expensive rug with a bottle and glass and upend that sucker: You'll hear some gasps, but if you do it right, the rug will be safe and the beer stays in the glass. (Screw it up, and you'll be buying that person a new rug.) Now Left Hand is running a contest inviting all of its fans to show off their take on the hard pour, film it and upload it to YouTube. The winner gets tickets to this year's GABF -- and judging from the lame vids that have been submitted so far (like the fail above), the competition isn't tough.

Check it out at the Show Us Your Pour part of Left Hand's Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 18

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 even better, transportation will be provided from the Rackhouse to the festival and back). Avery's Karma will be tapped tonight, followed by Uncle Jacob's Stout next week and Anniversary Tripel on May 2. And June will be Sour Month at the Rackhouse; stay tuned for details.

Boulder Beer Company is changing the name of its "Whiskey Wednesdays" to "Barrel Wednesdays." The reason? "Because the brewers have been diving more into other varieties of barrels recently," says spokesman Doug Christie. Today's tapping, in fact, is a very unusual one: the brewery's Obovoid Oatmeal Stout aged six months in a rare cognac barrel. Tappings are normally at 4 p.m.

Thursday April 19

The Copper Kettle will go big for its one-year anniversary party, tapping four beers in four days with four food trucks and four live bands. Up first is the Belgian Golden Strong Ale at 3 p.m. today; Doimoi Dumplings, which is serving potstickers, will be thee from 5 to 9 p.m., and Lizzie Huffman will be singing folk music during that time as well.

Wynkoop Brewing opens up its doors for a five-course Guest Brewers Beer Dinner featuring brews from Denver Beer Co, Renegade Brewing, Strange Brewing, Wit's End and Wynkoop, which will be paired with a one-night-only, spring-minded menu. Reps from all five breweries will be on hand. Tickets are $45; reservations are required.

Friday, April 20

It will smokin' at the Vine Street Pub today when the restaurant and brewery (finally) celebrates its fourth birthday with a benefit event, the Smokin' Hot Anniversary Party, that begins at 4:20 p.m. The party -- which is free to get into -- features BBQ meats, burgers and brats, special beers (including an anniversary beer called Capital Saison), and live music from the By All Means Band. All proceeds benefit Denver's Judi's House, which helps children and families who have lost a loved one.

Star Bar gets into the spirit of 4/20 with specials on big sticky beers on tap during today's Happy Hops and Hemp from 4 to 7 p.m. For $4, you can get twenty-ounce drafts of Red Nectar Hemp Ale, Dale's Pale Ale, and Avery IPA; $3 will buy you a can of Ska's Modus Hoperandi or New Belgium Ranger IPA; $4 will get you a can of Oskar Blues G'Knight, while $5 will get you a sixteen-ounce can of Deviant Dale's.

Copper Kettle continues its four-day anniversary party by tapping its Belgian Black Quad and welcoming Biker JIm's into the house along with Whole Lotta Notta on acoustics.

Saturday, April 21

Odell Brewing brings back one of its spring seasonals, St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale, a beer that pays tribute to hops and includes the Cascade and Centennial varieties. Odell will celebrate the beer at a taproom party today, which will also feature live music, local food and backyard games. St. Lupulin is available through September in liquor stores.

Did you miss the first two days of Copper Kettle's four-day anniversary celebration? Then head over today to try the brewery's barley wine and food from the Biscuit Bus. The Acoustic Mining Company will be performing bluegrass under a tent.

Sunday, April 22

Copper Kettle rounds out its anniversary celebration today by tapping a firkin of its Bourbon Breakfast Stout aged in a cask. There will be food from Uber Sausage along with music from Pete Stein.

And further down the road....

Thursday, April 26

Stand clear for the resurrection of Avery Brewing's Samael's Ale, its seasonal English strong ale. You can join in a multi-year vertical tasting -- with food -- beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Avery tasting room in Boulder. Tickets are $20; seating is limited.

Friday, April 27

Tickets for Avery Brewing's June 2 Boulder SourFest go on sale today at 9 a.m. at www.ticketalternative.com. These are the beer world's equivalent to tickets to Book of Mormon or the World Series or, dare we say it, the original Van Halen. So, log on early and often. Last year, tickets sold out within minutes.

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