Denver Best Craft Beer Things to Do From September 11 to 28, 2019 | Westword

Beer Calendar: Chile Beers, Fresh Hops, Oktoberfest and Pumpkins

Our weekly calendar of the best Colorado craft beer festivals, tappings, tastings and other events.
Beer Flights takes over the plaza at DIA.
Beer Flights takes over the plaza at DIA. Denver International Airport
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Denver International Airport is an absolute hot mess right now — as it will be for the foreseeable future while construction, construction delays and construction-company firings ravage the twentieth-busiest airport in the world. Still, the business of flying appears to be continuing without too much disruption to passengers.

Beer Flights, DIA’s annual two-week long beer-garden event, returned to the plaza between the Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin Hotel on Monday, September 9. But this time around, the garden, which is open until September 22, may be more of a "missed flight." That's because the dates completely miss the Great American Beer Festival, from October 3 through 5, and the hundreds of associated events that take place all over Denver and its surrounding suburbs. Normally, thousands of visitors arriving for GABF would take advantage of Beer Flights on their way in or out of the city. This time, they'll just have to rely on their own beer-scavenging abilities.

For those who are flying in the next ten days, however, Beer Flights is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Tickets are available at the door for $10 and include a souvenir glass to taste up to twenty samples of beer, two ounces at a time. There's also live music daily from 4 to 6 p.m. Twelve Colorado breweries are on board the flight, and each brewery is serving two options. Avery, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge, Colorado Cider, Denver Beer Co., Great Divide, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Tivoli, Upslope and Wibby are represented. Five of those breweries also have freestanding locations at the airport.

Continue reading to find craft-beer events through late September.

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Westfax Brewing
Wednesday, September 11
Westfax Brewing in Lakewood brewed a malty American amber ale with Takara shishito peppers and green chiles from Sprout City Farms. The brewery will donate $2 from every pour to Sprout City. It taps at 3 p.m.

Finn's Manor plans to clarify your IPA confusion at 5 p.m. with the Clear the Haze tapping of several non-hazy West Coast IPAs from clear-beer champions Comrade Brewing, Cannonball Creek Brewing and La Cumbre Brewing (from New Mexico). Beers on tap will include Cannonball Creek's Mindbender, Vladimir Brutin and Trump Hands; Comrade's Superpower, Galaxy Superpower and Triple Dry-Hopped Superpower; and La Cumbre's Elevated, Ryeot IPA and Oktoberfest, along with several non-IPA beers from the three breweries.

"Caffeinated Beer? Well, of course! Rise and shine with our version of iced coffee," say the breweries that participate in the weekly Traveling One Barrel Wednesdays program, who have come up with a buzzy new brew. "Steeped with Peruvian coffee from Kaladi Coffee Roasters, this brew results in a light/medium-bodied porter with bold flavors of bakers chocolate, caramel, light earthiness and a walnut finish." Find it at Strange Craft Beer Company, Chain Reaction Brewing, Black Sky Brewery, and Dead Hippie Brewing beginning at 3 p.m.

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Comrade Brewing
Thursday, September 12
It's not late summer without fresh-hop beer season, and it's not fresh-hop beer season without Comrade Brewing's much-loved and award-winning Superdamp IPA. The 7 percent ABV beer is Comrade's flagship Superpower IPA, only wet-hopped with organic Chinook, Cascade and Nugget hops from High Wire Hop Farms In Paonia. The hops were added to the brew less than 24 hours after harvest. Oh, and next Thursday, September 19, Comrade will tap the same beer, but made with hops from Billy Goat Hop Farm. Get wet beginning at noon both days.

Join Goldspot Brewing for the release of Coffee Amber, with "notes of honey graham cracker, light caramel and toasty oats along with fresh-roasted Huckleberry Chelbesa Natural Ethiopian coffee," the brewery says. Goldspot will donate $1 for every pint sold to Rainforest Trust, which is working to combat the destruction in the Amazon and protect indigenous populations.

Upslope Brewing in Boulder will tap its latest Lee Hill Series beer, Foeder-Aged Apricot Sour, at 5 p.m. at the brewery's original Lee Hill taproom. "This bright, effervescent beer is a culmination of our mixed-culture golden sour ale, re-fermented on 1,200 pounds of apricots," Upslope says. There will be music, food trucks and 19.2-ounce cans for sale to go.

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FlyteCo Brewing
Friday, September 13
Strange Craft Beer Company will tap two fresh-hopped beers today when it opens at noon. The first is Fresh Hopped 1000 Barrels Imperial Pale Ale. The second is Heather's Ale, a fresh-hopped version of Strange's IPAphany, brewed with fifty pounds of fresh-harvested Cascade hops from Highwire Hop Farm in Paonia. It was named in honor of a friend of Strange Brewing who lost her battle with cancer.

Bruz Beers and FlyteCo Brewing will both tap Hop Is Our Co-Pilot, a fresh-hopped saison collaboration with a lower ABV, a light body and dry finish. To get the hops, the pilot-owners of FlyteCo flew with the Bruz team from Denver to Paonia to get a load of fresh-picked Chinook hops from High Wire Hops Farm. "Then we rushed them back to Denver to go straight into the brew kettle. You won't find a fresher wet-hop beer anywhere," the breweries say. "Estery aroma and a hint of spiciness. CTZ hops in the kettle provide a nice hop backbone, while fresh hops in the whirlpool and dry-hopping in the fermenter provide an aroma of both citrus and earthiness."

Briar Common Brewery + Eatery taps Earth to Marzen, a German-style Oktoberfest lager that "is sure to make an impression with its burnt toast, caramel and floral aromas finishing sharp and crisp," the brewery says.

Denver Beer Co. will tap Grandma's Carrot Cake, a limited-edition beer, at its original Platte Street location. "This dessert-inspired blonde ale was brewed with fresh shredded carrots, vanilla, raisins and cinnamon," the brewery says. "Lactose sugar lends a sweetness that’s brought together by flavors of creamy vanilla and subtle spices that will leave you wanting another slice, or glass."

Cerebral Brewing releases three beers on tap and in cans. The first is And Then There Were Two, a new 6.8 percent ABV IPA made in honor of the head brewer's second-born child; it is hopped with Ekuanot lupulin pellets and Citra. The other two are old favorites: Secret Chat Room, a 7 percent ABV IPA made with Mosaic, Simcoe and Columbus; and Cheat Code, a 7.9 percent double IPA brewed with Galaxy, Mosaic & El Dorado.

Little Machine Beer Company taps Sparky Pale Ale, a 5.5 percent ABV beer brewed with Sultana, Mosaic and Citra hops. It has "pineapple and mango notes over a backdrop of citrus and pine," the brewery says.

Loveland Oktoberfest returns to Fairgrounds Park in Loveland today from 4 to 10 p.m. and tomorrow from noon to 10 p.m. The authentic German-style Oktoberfest boasts German cuisine, Hammerschlagen, a kids' zone with face painting, Liebsland Helles (a light German-style Helles lager) and German polka bands, accordion players and DJ KAAOS playing German dance music. The beer is a collaboration between ten Loveland breweries and Root Shoot Malting.

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River North Brewing
Saturday, September 14
Suave Fest, the first craft beer festival in the country celebrating Latino-owned craft breweries and Latino community and culture, takes place from noon to 6 p.m. on the grounds of the soon-to-open Raices Brewing Company, at 2060 West Colfax Avenue. In addition to beer, there will be Latin American and Caribbean cuisine from multiple vendors, musical performances from Latino artists and educational information. Participants include Dos Luces Brewing, Donavon Brewing, Boggy Draw Brewery, Novel Strand Brewing, Cheluna Brewing, Lady Justice Brewing, Coal Mine Avenue Brewing and Atrevida Brewing. For tickets and information, visit

Woods Boss Brewing is excited to announce Woods Block ’19, "a block party to promote local business and celebrate the community," the brewery says. Taking place on the 2200 block of California Street (in front of the brewery), Woods Block will offer live music starting at 11 a.m. from Jubilingo, Indigent Row, The Good Kind, Mile High Brass Band, Ben Hammond and Eric Lane Music. "We will be tapping special beers throughout the day, including some from the year-long archives, a variety of small batches from the Sapling Series and some barrel-aged releases," the brewery says. The party will also feature local businesses, food, and charitable information from Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Go to the Woods Boss Facebook page for more info.

Join Ratio Beerworks as it says Prost! to the return of Stay Gold Oktoberfest Märzen at its annual Oktoberfest party. There will be ax-throwing, German fare from Matt's Snack Shack and Ratio Oktoberfest half-liter mugs available for a $10 keep-the-glass deal. Stay Gold is Ratio's take on the classic Bavarian Märzen lagers. Brewed with a blend of Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, the beer "exhibits biscuit-y, malt-forward notes and a ...crisp and clean finish," the brewery says.

Mr. Sandman returns to River North Brewery in a new form at noon. Vanilla Bourbon Barrel Mr. Sandman is "a silky smooth, 12.9 percent ABV iteration of the beer that will be available on tap and in bottles to-go for a limited time at both of the brewery's taprooms.

Ursula Brewery will release three beers in cans starting at noon: Colorado Buckeye Imperial Chocolate and Peanut Butter Stout (brewed in honor of the start of the college football season), Oktave Oktoberfest German Marzen, and Skyrocket ’23 Pre-Prohibition Lager. The brewery will also have Colorado Buckeye Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate and Peanut Butter Stout for sale in 375ml bottles.

Alpine Dog Brewing will tap its latest beer, Lupulin Superstar Juicy IPA, at noon. "Brewed to achieve a creamy body with restrained bitterness with loads of New Zealand Wai-iti and U.S. El Dorado hops for big juicy notes of peach, apricot, melon, and citrus," the brewery says. The Peyote Mexican Food Truck will be there.

Ten FIDY is back at Oskar Blues, and, as usual, it is coming with friends. The brewery's "titanic" and much-loved seasonal imperial stout "is loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee and hides a hefty 65 IBUs underneath the smooth blanket of malt," Oskar Blues says. The 10.5 percent ABV beer is made with "enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops." There will also be three variations on tap, including 2018 Barrel Aged Ten FIDY, Barrel Aged Three Wisemen and 2018 Double Barrel Aged Port Ten FIDY. The party takes place at Longmont's Tasty Weasel taproom.

Sunday, September 15
Back in 2015, Factotum Brewhouse made its first batch of Oatmaha in honor of Peyton Manning (famous for yelling "Hurry hurry, Omaha, Omaha!"), since the brewery's owners are from Indiana but are also Broncos fans. The first rendition of this beer "was newsworthy enough for ESPN, Fox News, [and others] to feature it on their various TV segments," the brewery says. But after "a few years of retirement (much like its namesake QB), this beer is rested and raring to go once more. The real question is whether or not your mouth is ready for this rocket laser thrown into your gullet." Oatmaha goes on tap at noon, in time for the Broncos game.

Thursday, September 19
Comrade Brewing taps its award-winning Superdamp Fresh Hop IPA for the second time this season, but this week, the beer showcases fresh hops from a different grower: Chinook, Cascade and Nugget hops from Billy Goat Hop Farms in Montrose. The hops were added to the brew less than 24 hours after harvest.

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Black Project
Friday, September 20
Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales will release three beers in sixteen-ounce canned four-packs, a first for the brewery, which up until now has only packaged in bottles. The first is Shadow Factory, a Black Project flagship; this version was brewed with heavy amounts of blackberry and raspberry. The second is a another brewery regular, Magic Lantern, which was "lightly salted with peach, apricot and passion fruit," the brewery says. The type of fruit in both beers rotates on a regular basis. The final beer is Dagger, made from a mix of second-use fruits from the first two beers. All three are spontaneously fermented "solera" ales made with a wheat base. The brewery will also release several other beers in bottles today.

Oktoberfest returns to Comrade Brewing from noon to 9 p.m. Bring your traditional German glassware and the brewery will fill it with its Hunt for Red Oktoberfest, a 6.1 percent ABV Marzen-style lager featuring Munich malt and Hallertau Blanc hops. The beer was "cold fermented with a Swiss bottom-fermenting yeast and lagered for eight weeks for a smooth amber body with an incredible spice bouquet and clean crisp finish," Comrade says. There will also be custom-made Whole Foods Oktoberfest brats being grilled up by Wing Wagon Grill, along with Comrade steins for sale. Traditional Oktoberfest attire is encouraged.

Strange Craft
 taps its famed Pumpkin Porter at noon. This 5.7 percent ABV beer was brewed with over 450 pounds of pumpkins and spices, the brewery says. It has "roasty, burnt chocolate and sweeter toffee-like notes."

Little Machine Beer Company releases Barrel-Aged B.B. Rodriguez Double Brown Ale, an 8.3 percent ABV beer that was aged in Fireside Whiskey barrels for fourteen months. DJ Ill Evans will spin vinyl at 7 p.m.

Thirsty Monk taps Dark Munich Lager, a smooth beers that "is full of toasted malt character," the  brewery says. "Satisfying aromas of caramel, bread crust and toffee blend into flavors of roasted coffee, caramel and toast, with a balanced bitterness finishing decidedly malty and crisp."

Denver Oktoberfest returns for its fiftieth year over two weekends — September 20-22 and September 27-29 — but it kicks off tonight in the 2100 block of Larimer Street with a ceremonial tapping of the first keg at 2 p.m. Additional activities include a stein-hoisting contest, tricycle racing, keg bowling, live music and dancing. In addition, Breckenridge Brewery has brewed an Oktoberfest lager in honor of the event's fiftieth birthday. "Bready, toasty aromas and flavors mingle with light malty sweetness and a touch of hops to offer a clean, dry finish," organizers say. The event will also include Spaten Oktoberfest, "the world’s first Oktoberfest beer, which is used for the ceremonial keg tapping by the Mayor of Munich to kick off the original Oktoberfest festival." Both Breckenridge Brewery and Spaten are owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. The Denver Oktoberfest is one of the largest in the country, welcoming over 250,000 attendees each year.

Saturday, September 21
"Strap on your lederhosen, dirndls and grown-up panties for an epic Denver Oktoberfest adventure." That's the word from Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which will launch the Bierstadt Munich Express, a roving tour through some of Denver's best beer destinations, followed by an Oktoberfest party back at Bierstadt/Rackhouse Pub. Things kick off at 11 a.m., when you'll get to try Bierstadt's Oktoberfest lager straight from the tank. Then head to Falling Rock Tap House for an Oktoberfest tapping at noon, and to Hops & Pie for similar fun at 1 p.m. After that, it's Goed Zuur at 2 p.m. and Finn's Manor at 3 p.m. By 4 p.m., you'll return to Bierstadt for the annual Drink RiNo Oktoberfest party, where you can oompah the night away. Tickets are $60 and include a custom mug, five half-liter Oktoberfest pours (one per location), shuttle service between stops, a tour guide, and entry to Drink RiNo Oktoberfest (a $20 value). Oktoberfest garb is highly recommended.

Burns Family Artisan Ales will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a wild series of activities and events that began at midnight last night (with fire beer!) and continues with a ticketed farm-to-table beer-pairing lunch at noon. Then, at 2 p.m., the brewery will tap three new big beers (check the brewery's Facebook page for times): This Is Your Year Grand Cru at 14.3 percent ABV; Ship of Theseus Anniversary Beer, a 13.5 percent ABV Old Ale aged in Deerhammer Single Malt Whiskey barrels; and Solar Eclipse, an 18.5 percent ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in Laws FourGrain Bourbon barrels. There will also be five new sessionable beers: Get a Court Squash Kveik Ale, Aspire Russian Sage Saison, Rocky Mountain Mild, Genie Logical Mixed Culture Ale with canteloupe and bergamot, and Airfare Hazy Pale Ale. There will also be food trucks and live music.

Diebolt Brewing is celebrating its sixth anniversary with a weekend-long fest. Things kicked off last night and they'll start again today at 2 p.m. with raffles, live music (starting at 8 p.m.; tickets required), screen printing, food and multiple beer releases — some of them outside in the Barrel Aged Biere Garden, featuring rare bottles from the cellar. Diebolt will also release one beer in bottles (Big Braggart BA Imperial Brown) and five in cans: DIA IPA, Braggarts Brown Ale, Stand By Tropical Saison, New Master Sounds Hoppy Pilsner, and Strawberry Brett Wiggy. On Sunday, the brewery opens at 11 a.m. for the Broncos game, a Rise & Shine Biscuit pop-up, live music and specialty beermosas. Check the Facebook page for more information.

Dos Luces Brewing, which specializes in corn and maguey-based gluten-free beers inspired by Pre-Columbian traditions, hosts its first Fiesta de Independencia, a celebration of the Independence Days of Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile and Belize — all of which take place during the month of September. Dos Luces will have a full lineup of "cultural and culinary delights," the highlight being the release of its latest pulque, the new Moctezuma III with Prickly Pear. It boasts "aromas of apricot, vanilla, and white pepper bringing complexity to the tart and sweet flavors of the maguey and prickly pear," Dos Luces says. Festivities will include a culinary pop-up in the evening with ELITA, featuring “Mexterranean” food from local chef Raquela “Rocky” Serber that blends Mexican traditions in the Yucatan Peninsula with Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine. The menu includes items like Prickly Pear Ceviche with Sumac Tortilla Chips and Cochinita Pibil Corn Sopes with Charred Eggplant Tahini.

"Although we think all our beers have a heart of gold, a few of our favorites have taken home top honors and some super shiny medals from GABF and the World Beer Cup," says Denver Beer Co., which is putting together a flight of all of its GABF gold medal-winning beers at both of its locations today and tomorrow. Beers include: Graham Cracker Porter, 2018 GABF Gold, Specialty Beer; Barrel Aged Japance Off, 2018 GABF Gold, Barrel Aged Beer; Just Another Pretty Face, 2017 GABF Gold, Pro-Am; Drama Queen, 2016 GABF Gold, Barrel Aged Beer; and Summit Sunrise, 2016 World Beer Cup Gold, Red IPA.

Oasis Brewing hosts an all-day Oktoberfest party featuring the release of its Das Fest Bier, live music, beer specials and food from the Fiesta Fusion Food Truck.

Sunday, September 22
Don your dirndls and lederhosen and join Station 26 Brewing for its annual Oktoberfest celebration starting at 11 a.m. The brewery will tap its yearly batch of Oktoberfest Märzen lager, "served in a Station 26 stein for proper consumption." The steins will be available for purchase to take home, the brewery says. There will be live polka music from the Rhinelanders from 2 to 5 p.m., traditional German and Austrian cuisine from Schnitzelwirt.

"Although we think all our beers have a heart of gold, a few of our favorites have taken home top honors and some super shiny medals from GABF and the World Beer Cup," says Denver Beer Co., which will once again offer a flight of all of its GABF gold medal-winning beers at both of its locations. Beers include: Graham Cracker Porter, 2018 GABF Gold, Specialty Beer; Barrel Aged Japance Off, 2018 GABF Gold, Barrel Aged Beer; Just Another Pretty Face, 2017 GABF Gold, Pro-Am; Drama Queen, 2016 GABF Gold, Barrel Aged Beer; and Summit Sunrise, 2016 World Beer Cup Gold, Red IPA.

Friday, September 27
Black Shirt Brewing will celebrate its "lucky" seventh anniversary with a party in the beer garden from 7 to 11 p.m. featuring exclusive tappings every hour, a commemorative glass/beer special, spinning vinyl from the pallet stage, spent-grain treats from the Black Shirt kitchen, and more. There is no charge to attend; black shirts are encouraged, but not required.

Little Machine Beer Company will tap Surface of the Moon Barrel Aged Sour. The 6.3 percent ABV sour is a hybrid of the brewery's "multiple major award-winning raspberry beer and our fan-favorite black currant beer that was re-fermented with mixed culture in Chardonnay barrels."

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Our Mutual Friend Brewing
Saturday, September 28
Our Mutual Friend hosts a big party around its anniversary every year — and just before GABF — to thank its fans and customers and to celebrate "friendship and the beer made possible by it." This year, there will be more than thirty OMF beers on tap from 2 to 10 p.m., including special bottle and can releases. There will also be food trucks, merchandise giveaways, a photo booth and more. More info is TBA.

Fiction Beer Company marks its five-year anniversary with a "carnival" staring at 1 p.m. and featuring live music from the Dollhouse Thieves at 5 p.m.; food from Brava Pizzeria; carnival games like plinko, tic-tac-toe toss, Skee-Ball, frog hop and hole-in-one putting; and two can releases: the Recurrence Quadruple Dry-Hopped Triple New England Style IPA, and Steep Imperial Coffee Stout brewed in collaboration with Pablo’s Coffee.

Seedstock Brewing hosts an Oktoberfest party from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., complete with hammerschlagen, a stein-hoisting competition, German-style food, a polka band and more. The brewery, which specializes in Old-World lagers and ales, will also tap its award-winning marzen as well, as a very limited amount of its German Dusseldorf Alt, which was named the third-best beer of 2018 by Beer Connoisseur.

Endo Brewing in Lafayette will mark its second anniversary with a birthday bash from noon to 10 p.m., with music from SoundClub Colorado and Lady Gang, bike-centered contests such as a Slowest Bike Race and a Shine and Show Bike event, food from Mac ’N Noodles and Hangry Hut, and the release of five different barrel-aged beers, including 2018 and 2019 variants of No Quarter, a Brett saison aged in Sauvignon Blanc wine barrels; 2017 and 2018 variants of Kill Me, Thrill Me, a Belgian dark strong aged in a Maker’s Mark barrel; and a 2017 Belgian Dubbel aged in a Woodford Bourbon barrel.
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