USA Today's "10Best" readers' choice survey is under way online, and once again, it includes a category for the best new brewery. That's a hot contest considering that hundreds of new breweries open each year across the country (there are now more than 6,000) and that the survey covers the past two years.
Even so, two of Colorado's finest new beer makers are in the running: New Image Brewing in Arvada and Outer Range Brewing in Frisco. A total of twenty breweries were nominated by USA Today's panel of four beer experts — and readers have until March 19 to vote for their favorite.
Two years ago, Greeley's Weldwerks Brewing beat out the competition, including several breweries that were much larger, to win the 10Best survey. That win helped launch the brewery's rapid trajectory of success.
Keep reading for all of the craft-beer events into March.
Wednesday, February 21
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial is celebrating its two-year anniversary with new beer tappings each day. Today's beer is Peanut Butter Cup Porter. El Cubanaso Food Truck will be there at 4 p.m.
Resolute Brewing in Centennial will tap Coconut Cream Stout in honor of Stout Month. This 5.9 percent beer "will fool you into thinking you’re enjoying a Hershey’s Mounds Bar," the brewery says. "Subtle flavors of hazelnut and milk chocolate are backed by fresh coconut for a smooth mouthfeel and surprisingly crisp finish."
Stout Month continues at Vine Street Pub, Mountain Sun and other breweries and pubs owned by the Mountain Sun Pub group. Some of this week's tappings will include: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate Thunder Stout, Second Breakfast Chocolate Coffee Oat Stout, Ludovico's Vanilla Cream Stout, Cafe de Olla and B Side Stout.
Thursday, February 22
Hops & Pie gives up its taps to Seattle's Fremont Brewing at noon. They will be pouring all the brewery's "Baller" beers with this tap takeover, including Unicorn Tears, Barrel Aged Dark Star, Rusty Nail, Brew 2000, Mountain Daisy, Lush, Stone Squirrel and Universale.
Join the Upslope Brewing crew at Freshcraft, which is hosting a tapping for the Boulder brewery's newest beer, Experimental IPA. The beer is brewed with Denali, Azacca, Galaxy and Vic Secret hops. The event starts at 6 p.m., and Upslope has some cool stuff to give away.
Renegade Brewing brings back its annual four-day Girl Scout Cookie Pairing series. Starting today and running through Sunday, you can get four cookies and four beer tasters for $15. Go to Renegade's Facebook page for tickets and more information.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial is celebrating its two-year anniversary with new beer tappings each day. Today's beer is Smoked Peanut Butter Hefeweizen. Gyros Kind Food Truck will be there at 4 p.m.
Friday, February 23
Cerebral Brewing will have a triple release beginning at noon that includes its first-ever lager. That beer, called Highly Suspect, was brewed in collaboration with Our Mutual Friend Brewery; it's a 5.6 percent ABV pilsner brewed with a blend of German pilsner malts and hopped with Sterling, Loral and Cascade. The second beer in the release is Secret Chat Room, a 7 percent IPA brewed with wheat and hopped primarily with Mosaic with a dash of Columbus and Simcoe. The third is Brace for Impact, an 8.5 percent ABV double-dry-hopped double IPA brewed with oats and spelt and hopped with Citra, Waimea, Mandarina and Mosaic.
Goldspot Brewing turns three years old and will celebrate all weekend by tapping some new beers — like Guava IPA and Whiskey Barrel Aged Baltic Porter — and bringing in their favorite food trucks. (On Saturday, the brewery taps Double Dank IPA, Laws Whiskey Barley Wine and other classic barrel-aged and high-gravity favorites.)
Hogshead Brewery hosts its annual Hogshead Days party today through Sunday. The brewery, which focuses on English-style cask ales, will tap various big ABV cask ales.
4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield will re-release the very popular Whimsy New England Style IPA at 2 p.m. on draft and in cans. The beer was brewed with Citra, Amarillo and Jarrylo hops.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial is celebrating its two-year anniversary with new beer tappings each day. Today's beer is Moon Shadow Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout. There will also be live music from Scarecrow Revival from 6 to 9 p.m. and food from the Farmer in the Hive from 4 to 9 p.m. In addition, there will be hourly giveaways, including the grand prize: beer for a year.
Saturday, February 24
Oskar Blues Grill & Brew in Denver, in collaboration with Troubadour Maltings and TRVE Brewing, will host SOWN III, "an expo dedicated to brewing with intent" that showcases "native ingredients in direct support of local suppliers and producers," Troubadour says. Oskar Blues will pour beers made with Troubadour malts from Baere Brewing, Colorado Plus, Comrade Brewing, Odd13 Brewing, Oskar Blues, Our Mutual Friend and TRVE. There will also be a panel discussion with local brewers, maltsters, seed growers and hop cultivators on the importance of sourcing locally produced ingredients. Tickets are $5 and will benefit Future Farmers of America.
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.
Back by popular demand is Great Divide Brewing's Mexican Chocolate Yeti, which was first tapped in January as part of the brewery's Local Knowledge series. "The first batch of this delicious stout sold out the very first day it was available, so the brewers decided to make some more," Great Divide says. Brewed with Cholaca liquid cacao, vanilla, coffee and a variety of spices, the beer invokes the flavors of a Mexican hot chocolate. It will be on tap at both of Great Divide's Denver taprooms.
Comrade Brewing taps the latest beer in its experimental IPA series, Honeyman 19 IPA. Hopped with Azacca, Ekuanot, Galaxy and Amarillo, this one has a "beautifully bright golden straw color, intense citrus and orange, with a pleasant herbal quality and a crisp and dry finish," the brewery says. It goes on at noon.
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.
Tap Fourteen Uptown celebrates its grand opening with various festivities. The first 100 customers to order a beer will get the specialty Tap Fourteen glass. There will be giveaways all day long from Colorado breweries and distilleries, including items from Avery, Funkwerks, Great Divide and more.
In honor of February being stout month, Ursula Brewing in Aurora is releasing a whopping nine different versions of its 180 Gram Russian Imperial Stout, plus its 2016 Pro-Am GABF entry, Brandy Barrel Aged Noch. The versions include a three-year vertical (2016, 2017 and 2018) of the base beer and a two-year vertical (2017 and 2018) of the barrel-aged 180 Gram. The older versions will be available on tap, while the 2018 versions will be available to go in cans (regular) and bottles (barrel-aged). There will also be the brand-new 180 Gram Raspberry and Chocolate (on draft and in cans), Barrel Aged Cafe 180 Gram (the 2017 180 Gram aged over a year in bourbon barrels and dosed with coffee and vanilla beans), and Barrel Aged Aztec 180 Gram (the 2017 180 Gram aged over a year in tequila barrels and dosed with chile, cacao, cassia bark, vanilla beans and rosewater). Those two will also be available to go in bottles.
New Image Brewing in Arvada hosts the taproom release of Coconut Cacao Melanoidin starting when it opens at 11 a.m. To make this beer, New Image infused its Melanoidin Imperial Coffee Stout with organic coconut and cacao nibs to give it an extra kick. It will be sold on draft and in cans; there is a limit of one case per person.
Halfpenny Brewing in Centennial is celebrating its two-year anniversary with new beer tappings each day. Today's beer is Brandy Barrel-aged Wee Heavy. There will be live music from the Loaners from 6 to 9 p.m. and food from the Cravings Truck from 2 to 9 p.m. Hourly giveaways include beer for a year.
Monday, February 26
Resolute Brewing in Centennial will tap Golden Stout in honor of stout month. "Golden Stout made its debut during the brewery’s first anniversary week last August and proved to be a hit," the brewery says. "Unexpected but delicious, this beer pours a sunny, golden color with all the aroma and flavor of a traditional stout, featuring notes of roasted coffee, fresh vanilla and chocolate."
Tuesday, February 27
Freshcraft taps its keg of Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger triple IPA — along with some other Russian River beers — at 6 p.m. As with all of the PTY tappings, there are some special rules about how to get a ticket or a pour; see the Freshcraft Facebook page for details.
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.
Oskar Blues is bringing fresh specialty releases, brewed at the brewery's original location in Lyons, to its Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont and the Boulder taproom. The beers, which are part of the Barn Burner series, will be tapped on the first Thursday of every month. Today's are Interstate Smash Express — Galaxy;
Bwahahaha — Mi Chinook; All coloRADo IPA; and Barn to Barrel DH Farmhouse.
Friday, March 2
Banded Oak Brewing taps its seasonal 4.8 percent ABV Vienna Lager. The beer is one of Banded Oak's original four beers from when the brewery opened. It celebrates the fact that warm weather is just around the corner.
Saturday, March 3
At noon, Great Divide Brewing releases the eleventh batch in its Local Knowledge series, Golden Galactic Goddess SMaSH. The beer was brewed with Golden Promise malt to add "a depth of malty flavor that is bright and bready," the brewery says. "However, the Galaxy hops are the real star of the show, providing for a tropical blast of passion fruit and guava with a hint of raspberries." Local Knowledge is Great Divide's limited, single-batch pilot series; the beers are available only in six-packs and on draft from the brewery's two taprooms.
"Starkbierzeit is known as Oktoberfest's little brother but with stronger beers," says Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which will tap its higher ABV Eisbock. There will be a couple of bands, Steve Rock on the accordion and singing polka for us from 2 to 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., Gora Gora Orkestar will go on. There will also be German foods.
Parry's Pizza will tap Pliny the Younger at its Highlands Ranch location at 11 a.m. The pizza joint opens at 10 a.m., though, and the first sixty people in line will get a ticket for a pour. Any remaining beer will be raffled off. In addition to PTY, Parry’s will be tapping Russian River's Pliny the Elder, Sanctification and 2015 Consecration, along with Barrel Aged Darkness by Surly Brewing and Easy Evil by Anchorage Brewing. Parry's will also have its breakfast pizza for the event, which includes scrambled eggs, green peppers, onions, bacon and cheddar.
Thursday, March 8
Zuni Street Brewing kicks off three days of parties to celebrate its first anniversary. Today you'll find live music from the Ken Burdette Band Duo from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Wheels on Fire Food Truck and anniversary T-shirts and sunglasses. Friday, there will be more live music and a food truck. And on Saturday, Zuni Street will release two beers: Bourbon Barrel Aged Midnight, a whiskey ginger beer with a Belgian Twist; and Sour Brown Ale Aged with Strawberries. There will also be music, ice cream, food trucks, a bouncy castle and more.
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