Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Breweries Celebrate Mardi Gras, Stout Month and Smoke

Get ready to hit thirty.
Get ready to hit thirty. High Hops Brewery
High Hops Brewery in the northern Colorado town of Windsor just got its own canning line, and the beer makers there are wasting no time putting it to good use. The brewery plans to become one of the first — if not the very first — craft brewery to sell a thirty-pack of beer. Do we really need that? High Hops thinks so. It intends to start packaging The Cold One Colorado Craft Lager on February 18, and will have a launch party that day at the brewery.

"Starting then, you can expect to see it on the liquor-store shelves cozied up next to the other thirty-packs from big beer names like Budweiser and Coors," the five-year-old brewery says. "The Cold One comes in at an easy-drinking 5.2 percent ABV and has a refreshingly light, crisp body... [It] is a great transition beer for those who enjoy lagers and other light beers, but want to support local, independently owned breweries."

Keep reading to see all the craft-beer events through late February.

click to enlarge MOUNTAIN SUN PUBS
Mountain Sun Pubs
Wednesday, February 7
The 25th annual Stout Month continues at all five Mountain Sun Pub breweries and restaurants: Mountain Sun, Southern Sun, Under the Sun, Vine Street Pub, and Longs Peak Pub. During the course of the month, they will tap 31 different in-house stouts as well as thirty stouts from other breweries. This week, you can look for Girl Scout Stout, 48 Smooth Chai Stout and Addition Imperial Coffee Stout — but, notes Mountain Sun, "Although these and many more new stouts will be tapped this week at all locations, it is impossible to predict when."

Strange Craft Beer Company taps a different beer every Wednesday for its continuing One Barrel Wednesday series. This time around, it's Peanut Butter IPA.

First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will tap a collaboration beer — a wee heavy made with coffee — brewed in conjunction with Chain Reaction Brewing, at 5 p.m. The beer bar will also tap several other beers from Chain Reaction, including There's Always Money in the Banana Stand Hefe, Orange Cream Ale, and Pollie Ollie Pale Ale.

Banded Oak Brewing has tapped French Lager Bièr Ambrée, a lager Inspired by a traditional Bier de Mars. This beer has "a solid malt body, subtle farmhouse character and a touch of dryness. Half of the batch is ready for your drinking pleasure, and the other is currently resting in pinot noir barrels for a later release."

Thursday, February 8
Epic Brewing's Son of a Baptist is an imperial stout that "focuses on the unique and complex flavors of independent coffee roasters," the brewery says. This year, Epic worked with fourteen different coffee roasters from across the nation, and although the variations can only be found on tap or in cans in the local regions that their coffee roasters are from, the brewery will have all fourteen SOBs lined up tonight in Denver from 6 to 8 p.m. The tasting is $8 — first come, first served — and the brews will be available to taste side by side this one night only. Epic will also have collection packs of all fourteen canned versions available to purchase, or you can mix and match your own six-pack variations. Come out and experience the nuances of coffee.

Comrade Brewing taps Mosaic Red IPA at noon. This 6.5 percent ABV beer was brewed with pilsner malt from Loveland's Root Shoot Malting, as well as crisp caramel malt, Weyermann Munich and a touch of honey malt. It was hopped and dry-hopped with Mosaic.

Rails End Beer Company in Broomfield will tap Juicy Hazy IPA, a New England-style IPA with flavors of citrus, orange, grapefruit and tangerine, "but with a little kick and bitterness for the true IPA lover," the brewery says.  There will also be food from King of Wings and music from Nomad Neighbors.

click to enlarge RATIO BEERWORKS
Ratio Beerworks
Friday, February 9
Ratio Beerworks kicks off three days of parties to celebrate its third anniversary. Tonight there will be music and comedy. On Saturday, the brewery taps One Great City Belgian Quad at noon. It will also release 100 bottles of its rum-barrel-aged One Great City Belgian quad. Ratio is also bringing back Continuous Thunder Double IPA, this time featuring the use of Simcoe and Citra hops with a dry hop of Idaho 7 and Mosaic. There will be music all day and night. On Sunday, there will be a Hangover Brunch with the Denver Vintage Reggae Society.

It's Girl Scout Cookie time, and that means it's also time for Ursula Brewery's Merit Badge Imperial Porter, a beer that was inspired by the cookies and brewed with coconut and chocolate. This one only comes out once a year, so stock up: Ursula will be selling cans for the first time ever, in addition to pouring the beer on draft.

click to enlarge 4 NOSES BREWING
4 Noses Brewing
Saturday, February 10
Smoke ’em if you got ’em at the Rauchbock Parka Party, which takes place outdoors at Bierstadt Lagerhaus and the Rackhouse Pub from 2 to 8 p.m. Bierstadt will tap its newest lager, a smokey German-style rauchbier. But the mini-fest will also include a few pop-up partners in River North, all of whom can bring the smoke. There will be hand-rolled cigars by Palma Cigars & Bar Las Palmas, smoked meat from Owlbear Barbecue, a mezcal tasting from Finn's Manor, and s'mores from the Preservery. Oompah music will be provided by Rick Borger & the Average German Band. Bierstadt says, "Bring your coat and drink beer in the elements or sunshine because: Colorado."

Call to Arms Brewing is "blending tradition with innovation" for its Mardi Gras Rumpus, a festive soirée from noon to 9 p.m. offering special beers, New Orleans-style food from Rolling Smoke Food Truck, and Mardi Gras-inspired sweets from Copia Confections and Good Sugar Baking. There will also be the World’s Tiniest Mardi Gras Parade down Tennyson Street; led by the Mile High Brass Band, the 4 p.m. parade features mini-floats from Avery Brewing, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Call to Arms, Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery, Station 26, Little Machine Beer, Beryl’s Brewing and Goldspot Brewing.

Fiction Beer brings back its cupcake-and beer-pairing with neighborhood bakery Cake Crumbs. "A selection of beers have been individually paired with amazing confections to bring something that together is better than the sum of the parts," the brewery says. Each pairing will be served with a full-sized cupcake and beer. We do this so that you have numerous bites in which to taste the flavor nuances. Cupcake, then beer; beer, then cupcake; cupcake and beer together. However you want to taste, you will be sure to enjoy every bite and sip." Pairings include Magic Wallet Passion Fruit Milkshake IPA with a raspberry cupcake with vanilla buttercream and toasted coconut; Damned Curious Business Sour IPA with an orange-vanilla buttercream; and Feely Effects Milk Chocolate Stout with a Matcha tea cupcake with amaretto buttercream topped with pistachios.

Alpine Dog Brewing continues its Stout Month by tapping a firkin of its Blind Sherpa Stout infused with loads of raspberries and chocolate. It goes on at noon.

"Something magical happens when we age our J. Marie imperial saison in fresh whiskey barrels, a unification of delicate stonefruit malts with notes of toasted coconut and an oaky finish," says River North Brewery, which will tap this year's batch of Whiskey Barrel J. Marie at noon. It will also be available in bottles to go.

Three small Aurora breweries — Two22 Brew, Peak to Peak Tap & Brew and Launch Pad Brewery — in collaboration with American Craft Beer Radio, have teamed up for the Two Peak Launch Project, a three-part series of "Aurora Dessert Blonde Stouts." The second release today at Peak to Peak is White Chocolate Blonde Stout, which was the top-voted employee brew at Peak to Peak's Anniversary Party. The final, yet-to-be-named beer will be served at Launch Pad Brewery on February 17.

4 Noses Brewing will release its latest Ad Hoc Series beer, Orange Velvet Blood Orange Milkshake IPA, at 11 a.m. "The Amarillo, Citra and Jarrylo dry-hopping accentuates the blood-orange character, while the lactose sugar creates a full and fluffy mouthfeel," the brewery says. "This amalgamation of hops, fruits and lactose sugar will trigger forgotten memories of orange creamsicles and push the boundaries of the IPA as we know it."

Tommyknocker Brewing gathered current and former employees and brewers early last month for a daylong event during which the 23-year-old beer maker whipped up its 10,000th brew, a collaborative Baltic Porter. To celebrate, the brewpub will tap the beer, while the renowned Rapidgrass Quintet will perform live. There will also be food and drink specials. The beer will be on hand at Collaboration Fest, on March 31, as well.

Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette releases three beers in six-packs at the taproom only. The first is Coal Miner's Cuzzin, a 6 percent ABV stout brewed with flaked oats and a variety of English malts. The second is I-P-Aliens, an 8.5 percent double IPA brewed with space-themed hops: Galaxy, Comet and Apollo. The last one is I-P-Alien, the 7 percent regular IPA version, also made with the same spacey hops.

click to enlarge WYNKOOP BREWING
Wynkoop Brewing
Sunday, February 11
Join the Colorado Haiti Project at Wynkoop Brewing to celebrate Moringa Lager, a collaboration project of the two organizations. Moringa Lager is a 4.7 percent ABV, 10 IBU "tropical-style pale lager brewed with toasted rice, flaked maize and moringa leaves," Wynkoop says. "Crisp, light and refreshing, this lager is an easy sipper. It’s also the world's first beer brewed with moringa leaves, which are native to Haiti and highly nutritious. The leaves can be used as a cooking herb as well as a base for making a flavorful and healthy tea. Rice and corn are two huge crops in Haiti, and the style of beer of this Lager is typical of the region as well." The beer will be on tap at the Wynkoop all month, and the brewery will donate $1 from every beer sold to the Colorado Haiti Project. "This is an organization that Wynkoop is passionate about supporting, especially after the President’s recent commentary about Haiti," the brewery adds.

Someplace Else Brewery in Arvada will host the first Brewery Bazaar (a reincarnation of the old Jonesy’s Art Bazaar). There will be local artisans and makers selling wares, along with beer and a food truck. Make sure you bring your quarters for the pinball and Skee-Ball games as well. Entry is free.

Monday, February 12
Resolute Brewing in Centennial is honoring Mountain Sun's Stout Month by tapping a variety of its own stouts all during February. Today's beer is Chocolate Orange Stout. "Pale chocolate malt lends a mellow, sweet flavor backed by bright citrus from fresh oranges and hops," the brewery says.

Wednesday, February 14
Strange Craft Beer Company will release its annual Valentine's Day beer, Belgian Chocolate Raspberry Love Stout, at 4 p.m. The 10.9 percent ABV beer combines massive amounts of cacao nibs and raspberries into a roasty barrel-aged imperial stout," the brewery says. "After the initial impact of roast, dark chocolate, and fruit, notes of vanilla, oak, coffee, appear in the background."

"Valentine's Day is lame, new Snowed In flavors are not." That's the word from Copper Kettle Brewing, which is hosting an anti-Valentine's Day party along with the release of Cherry Cordial Snowed In, a one-time-only, single-keg tapping of a cherry version of the brewery's imperial oatmeal stout. It will not be available in bombers, Crowlers or growlers. There will also be anti-Valentine's coloring sheets, mad libs, and cards.

Thursday, February 15
Join Loveland's Verboten Brewing for its 5th Anniversary Tasting Event, from 7 to 10 p.m., where you can get a sneak peek of four collaboration beers brewed with Stem Cider, Grossen Bart, Odell and Funkwerks, along with two anniversary barrel-aged releases: Tiramisu Little Nonsense and A Little Thing Called Destiny Barrel-Aged White Chocolate Wheat Wine. Verboten will also share some creative beer cocktails, including a Blueberry gose, a Milkshake Double IPA and more. The ticketed event includes beer samples, light appetizers, and a stemless tasting glass to take home. Ticket holders will also get a first glance at Verbten's new brewhouse and first opportunity to buy bottles of the two new releases. Tickets are $36 per person, and there are 65 tickets available.

Friday, February 16
Landlocked Ales in Lakewood is celebrating Mardi Gras with beads, beers, music and a crawfish boil. Mile High Cajun will be boiling fresh crawfish straight from New Orleans. There will also be beer specials, king cakes by LeBlossoms and live New Orleans street music from 7 to 10 p.m. For all the details on prices, tickets and food, go to the brewery's Facebook page.

Westword file photo
Saturday, February 17
Falling Rock Tap House will tap Pliny the Younger, the once-a-year triple IPA from Russian River Brewing, at 1 p.m. To get some, you will need to follow the directions on Falling Rock's website. The beer bar will also tap the beer on Sunday, February 18, at 1 p.m. and on Saturday, February 24, at 1 p.m.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year (Year of the Dog) at Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, which will be tapping a new beer — a Belgian blonde made with orange peel, ginger root, turmeric and dong quai. In addition, you can try free samples of beer from Jade Mountain Brewing, which will open later this year in Denver. There will also be a guest tap, Spice Trade Brewing's Sichuan Saison, food from the Ohana Grille food truck, a food drive and live bluegrass. And finally, Intrepid Sojourner is giving away a trip to China in a drawing.

Chocolate Milkshake IPA is next in Station 26 Brewing's Milkshake IPA series. It's loaded with liquid cacao, vanilla, lactose, and Amarillo and Citra hops. The brewery will have 300 $14 Crowlers of Chocolate Milkshake IPA available beginning at 1 p.m. The limit is three per person.

"Come warm up and indulge all of your vices" at the seventh annual Beer, Bacon & Coffee Fest, says Denver Beer Co, which is hosting the early-morning event, starting at 8 a.m. "All that is required of you is to wake up... and roll down to the brewery. Afterward, you are free to take a nap." Tickets are $40 and include a big breakfast burrito from the Mighty Colorado Burger, coffee from Coda Coffee, and as much Tender Belly bacon as you can eat. You will also receive a souvenir Denver Beer Co coffee mug to fill with beer.

Bristol Brewing brings back the fourteenth annual Firkin Rendezvous, a celebration of Colorado cask ales, from 2 to 5 p.m. (or 1 to 5 p.m. for VIP ticket holders). At least thirty Colorado breweries will be on hand with beer that has been conditioned in small casks called firkins. Some will be traditional, some will be weird. "The cask conditioning of ales is a traditional British style of brewing that originated centuries ago when publicans lived above their pubs and made a life’s work out of tending their beers," Bristol explains. "Cask ales are fermented, conditioned and served in a single cask, the ‘firkin’ being the British cask size most commonly used." Tickets are $45 for general admission and include a commemorative glass and buffet lunch; VIP tickets are $65 and get you in an hour early, in addition to a glass, lunch and a T-shirt. The event benefits the Colorado Brewers Guild.

Sunday, February 18
Falling Rock Tap House will tap Pliny the Younger, the once-a-year triple IPA from Russian River Brewing, at 1 p.m. To get some, you will need to follow the directions on Falling Rock's website. The beer bar will also tap the beer on Saturday, February 24 at 1 p.m.

Saturday, February 24
Falling Rock Tap House will tap Pliny the Younger, the once-a-year triple IPA from Russian River Brewing, at 1 p.m. To get some, you will need to follow the directions on Falling Rock's website.

River North Brewery will celebrate its sixth anniversary with a party pouring the brewery's Anniversary Ale 6, which is described as "a superstout like none other," available on tap and in bottles to go. River North will also have its Double Dry Hopped Mountain Haze on tap and in Crowlers to go. There will be food from Matt's Snack Shack and rotating kegs all weekend, along with other fun activities.

Thursday, March 1
Hops & Pie will tap its allotment of Russian River Brewing's famed triple IPA, Pliny the Younger, at 1:30 p.m. However, the craft-beer bar and pizza joint will be handing out tickets starting at 11:30 a.m. If you have a ticket, you are guaranteed a pour after 1:30 p.m., today only. If you don't make it in by 10 p.m. or if you lose your ticket, you're out of luck and forfeit your pour to the Hops & Pie staff.

Saturday, March 3
Parry's Pizza will tap Pliny the Younger at its Highlands Ranch location. The details are TBA, but Parry's will also tap "other crafty delights for you to enjoy with your Pliny the Younger."
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes