To participate, breweries around the state brew a special beer that was designed by Guild board members Dave Bergen of Joyride Brewing and Jason Ford of Broken Compass Brewing. Then, each brewery donates 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the beer to the Colorado Strong Fund. This year's beer can be either a hazy, New England-style IPA or a clear, West Coast-style IPA, depending on preference; each version will be made entirely with Colorado ingredients (which Colorado Strong pays for), including malt from Root Shoot Malting, and Cascade, Chinook and Cashmere hops from Colorado Hop Company. The participating breweries will all begin to tap or release their beers in November.
The Colorado Strong fund was originally designed and marketed in the spring of 2020 as a way to directly provide assistance to health-care, hospitality, service industry and gig economy workers across the state during the pandemic. But after raising the money, the Guild and Foundation decided that the funds would be better spent on other programs, including the Safer With Foam advertising campaign. By the end of 2020, $25,000 had gone to Safer With Foam, $15,000 to support the Guild and $54,000 to pay for ingredients. Another $15,000 was used to start this year's effort.
The Guild plans to make the campaign an annual one. The "Colorado Strong beer recipe and nonprofit will rotate, but the premise remains the same: participating breweries will brew the Colorado Strong recipe to benefit a nonprofit that supports the brewing industry," the Guild says. "The recipe may be adapted so that breweries can create a beer that matches their brand and style."
Keep reading to see craft-beer tappings and events into early October.
TRVE Brewing drops a new beer in cans and brings back two of its classics. The new beer is Bloodaxe, a 7 percent ABV Norwegian farmhouse beer brewed with orange peel and grains of paradise, and fermented with Kveik yeast. The two other beers are Arise German Pilsner, made with Colorado malt and noble hops, and Scorn, a "no-coast pale ale" dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic, the brewery says.
Wynkoop Brewing hosts its first-ever Oktoberfest party, starting at 6 p.m. There will be traditional German food, live entertainment and, of course, German-style beers. These include Fest Friends Forever, a 5.1 percent ABV Munich-style festbier brewed with three different German malts. Wynkoop will also have its Wixa Weiss, Dunkelweizen and Light Rail Kolsch on tap.
Novel Strand Brewing takes over the Grotto at Finn's Manor, where it will be slinging four different cans until they run out. Brewery owners Chantel and Tamir will be on hand, starting at 5 p.m. The beers are: Arbitrary Units, a session IPA; Una Fria, the brewery's house lager; Vicious Delicioius, a sour beer fermented with Brettanomyces; and Weapon of Choice — Riwaka, a lower-ABV IPA.
New cans: Cerebral Brewing recently canned two new beers: Absolute Mayhem Pastry Sour, a collaboration with Two Tides Brewing that was made with blackberry, lemon, stroopwafels and vanilla; and 2 Hour Parking, a 7.4 percent ABV IPA made with Strata and Motueka hops.
Grange Hall, from restauranteur Troy Guard and the TAG Restaurant Group, opens to the public at 4 p.m. at 6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard. The 13,000 square-foot former CB & Potts is now home to multiple restaurant concepts, including Crazy Love Pizza, Rado Burgers, Bubu, Honey Fish by Mizu Izakaya, the Crack Shack, Eiskaffe from the High Point Creamery folks, and Uptown & Humboldt. In addition, Guard is starting his own brewery, Little Dry Creek Brewery, helmed by head brewer Ty Nash.
The annual Longmont Oktoberfest, which had been planned for September 25 at Roosevelt Park in Longmont, will now take place in smaller doses over five days, September 22-26, at Left Hand Brewing’s brand-new outdoor space, The Garden. The Left Hand Brewing Foundation, which is hosting the party, says it changed the dates and the venue “in an abundance of caution due to the uncertainty caused by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant." Attendees can expect great beers (including the brewery’s Oktoberfest), live music and local food vendors every evening, along with special Oktoberfest-themed activities and all-day music lineups on Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the weekend events is $5.
Strange Craft Beer taps its much-loved Pumpkin Porter for the fall. “Gobs of fresh pumpkin combined with Grandma Myers's pumpkin pie spices combine to make a one-of-a-kind celebration of the end of summer,” the brewery says. It is 5.5 percent ABV.
Odell Brewing has a new limited beer available on draft and in four-packs of sixteen-ounce from all three of its taprooms. Fresh Strata Hop IPA is made with Strata hops that were harvested in Oregon and flown via air cargo for same-day delivery to Fort Collins. "No kilning, bailing, pelletizing. Just the freshest, stickiest Strata hops going straight into the brewhouse to produce a tasty IPA with all the cut grass and fresh hop flavors we love from these short-lived seasonal brews," the brewery says.
The 51st annual Denver Oktoberfest continues September 24-26 on Larimer Street. There will be beer from Spaten and Breckenridge Brewery (both owned by Anheuser Busch InBev) along with all of the traditional events, like stein hoisting, music and keg bowling. Get all the information about times, events and ticket prices at thedenveroktoberfest.com.
Epic Brewing taps a different firkin at 5 p.m. every Friday this month. Today’s is Breakfast Baptist, which is Son of a Baptist Coffee Stout made with waffles and syrup.
A Bit Twisted Brewpub & Smokehouse hosts a soft opening each day this weekend. The new spot, at 3095 South Peoria Street, in Aurora, will have eight of its own beers, along with four guest taps. It will specialize in serving Central Texas-style barbecue on the weekends, with elevated bar food, like burgers, wings and tacos during the week. A Bit Twisted will also show sports on TV on a regular basis.
4 Noses Brewing throws its own Oktoberfest celebration all weekend, starting with the release of its Foeder Oktoberfest lager (not to be confused with its regular Oktoberfest beer), which will be available on draft and in cans to go. "We will be decorated in Oktoberfest style, offering lagers by the liter, playing polka music and holding beer stein contests," the brewery says. There will also be German food.
Fiction Beer turns seven years old and is throwing itself a "very whimsical seventh birthday party. We’ll be releasing seven beers, have a balloon drop at 7 p.m.," the brewery says. There will also be stilt walkers, face painting, custom t-shirt printing, live music and food. The beers are Madame Psychosis New England Style IPA, ‘7’ Peach Milkshake IPA Anniversary Beer, Lunas Hatch Green Chili Blonde Stout, 95 Nightmares Before Christmas Dry Hopped Munich Style Lager, Laws Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Alternate Present Dark Lager, Laws Bourbon Barrel Aged Alternate Present Dark Lager, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Twilight Superstition Sour Imperial Pumpkin Brown Ale.
You'll scream for ice cream at Denver Beer Co.'s South Downing Street location when the brewery and its on-site ice cream parlor, Yum Yum's, host a beer-and-ice cream pairing. Attendees get five scoops and five beer tasters, including: Grandma's Nanner Bread Hefeweizen paired with Banana Walnut ice cream; Hey Pumpkin paired with Cinnamon Pepita Brittle ice cream; and Anniversary X Imperial Porter paired with White Chocolate ice cream. Tickets are available for two time slots: 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.
Crooked Stave is honored to once again host Zwanze Day, a worldwide bottle release and toast by Belgium’s Cantillon, at its Friends & Family taproom. Tickets are $50.
River North Brewery's annual Chile Beer Day is back. Starting at 1 p.m., you can try Socorro Chile Lager on tap at both taprooms, or take it with you in cans. There will also be other chile beer variants, and a local chile roaster at the Blake Street location. Moya's Tacos will be on site at Blake Street, as well.
Diebolt Brewing celebrates “Boltoberfest” with the annual release of its tongue-in-cheek Boltsteiner Lager on tap and in cans. The brewery will also release DunkelHeist Dunkelweizen. There will be bratwurst by Leevers Locavore. Steins and lederhosen preferred but not required.
Platt Park Brewing kicks off its own Oktoberfest party by tapping its celebratory lager. For $15, you get a one-liter traditional glass and a fill. Gates Deli & Grog will be serving pretzels and sandwiches all day.
Dos Luces Brewing continues its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by releasing Moctezuma III Imperial Pulque, which was infused with hibiscus and aged in Napa Valley Cabernet barrels. The brewery will also be offering a vertical tasting of three years' worth of Moctezuma.
Epic Brewing hosts a massive Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout release and tap takeover, featuring more than twenty variants of new and vintage Big Bad Baptists, including six that are new for this year. In addition, for the third year in a row, the original Big Bad Baptist will be available in twelve-ounce four-packs. This year’s variants are: Double Barrel, a collaboration with Blue Copper Coffee that was made with green Colombian coffee beans aged in whiskey barrels; In the Rye, which was aged in rye barrels instead of bourbon barrels to add peppery notes and earthy tones; Naked Baptist, a version without coffee or cacao; Black Forest Cake, with notes of chocolate, ripe cherries and fresh coconut; Double Jam, made with raspberries, blackberries and coffee; and Chocolate Mint, made with fresh mint and “a copious addition of cacao nibs,” the brewer says. All of these will be distributed to liquor stores in October and November.
Friday, October 1
Wah Gwaan Brewing kicks off a three-day party called Jamrocktoberfest, There will be food, live music, giveaways and two beer releases, including an Oktoberfest.
Primitive Beer Company in Longmont will have a re-grand opening after having been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic. "However, looking at silver linings, we’ve used the last eighteen months to hone our craft and mature a large stock of beer, dive into new projects that we’re excited to announce, grow a cellar that we’re thrilled to share, and reimagine how our Barrel House tasting room will operate going forward," the brewery and blendery says. As such, Primitive now has expanded hours of operation, increased outdoor seating, guest beers "outside the realm of our favorite funky and spontaneous offerings," and and an extensive guest cellar focused on Lambics. Covid-19 vaccination is required for entry.
The Colorado Brewers Guild and Salida Chamber of Commerce host the 25th Annual Colorado Brewers Rendezvous at Riverside Park in Salida. It features fifty Colorado breweries (see the list here). The Guild fundraiser was canceled last year and postponed this year due to the pandemic; as a result, the festival will be smaller to help with social distancing and such. Tickets, $55, get you unlimited tastings, a commemorative glass, live music and access to food vendors. The fest starts at 1 p.m.
The Sloan’s Lake Beer Fest runs from 3 to 7 p.m. near the corner of 16th Avenue and Raleigh Street. It includes unlimited samples from more than thirty breweries, along with food trucks, street-food vendors, a themed dance party and costume contest with a live DJ, lawn games, a photo booth, a DIY pretzel-necklace station, themed swag and more.
The Foothills Park & Recreation District hosts the inaugural Hops in the Park, a beer festival in Littleton's Clement Park, from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets, $30, get you unlimited beer samples from local breweries, food trucks, vendors, yard games and entertainment.
Upslope Brewing brings back its innovative Backcountry Tap Room one-day event. This year, participants take the Winter Park gondola to the top of Mary Jane and then hike the four-mile (there and back) high-elevation Roof of the Rockies trail to Lunch Rock, where they will find a pop up taproom, complete with a live band, snacks and four bars serving up cans of Mary Jane Pale Ale, a beer that Upslope brews specifically for the ski resort (as well as other Upslope beers and seltzers). This is the first year that the beer has been canned. The event is a fundraiser for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Mary Jane Pale Ale is brewed with Colorado-grown and Munich-malted barley along with U.S.-grown Azacca and Cascade hops. Tickets for the Backcountry Tap Room are $30 and available online.