Colorado Craft Beer Week, an annual celebration of Colorado's single greatest industry, kicks off Saturday, March 18, with a variety of events continuing through the week until Collaboration Fest, which takes place March 25 at the National Western Complex. The beery week is organized by the Colorado Brewers Guild and is loaded with dozens of tappings and events going on across the state — you'll find some of them below and more on the Colorado Brewers Guild website — but each day during Colorado Craft Beer Week is broken down into themes this year.
March 18 and 19 will focus on brewery tours and events that will allow you to meet the brewers. On Monday, March 20, breweries will host a variety of educational events, while Tuesday, March 21, will showcase brewers and chefs who team up to host beer dinners and special menus. Things kick into high gear on Wednesday, March 22, with Colorado Pint Day, when certain breweries will be giving away special 14er glasses when you buy a pint of beer. Thursday, March 23, is all about special tastings and rare or unusual beers, and Friday, March 24 will highlight beers made for Saturday's marquis event, Collaboration Fest. Friday is when breweries will host special tappings of their Collaboration Fest beers throughout the state, giving craft-beer lovers a chance to experience the vibe of the festival a day in advance. For more on the big March 25 festival itself, see the description below — and check out our list of fifteen must-try collaboration beers.
But don't feel overwhelmed. The best event is whichever one you are able to attend, either at your neighborhood brewery or restaurant, or at one that you go out of your way to enjoy.
Wednesday, March 15
March is Girl Scout Cookie Cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing. Today they'll tap Peanut Butter and Oats Imperial ESB, "a bold and hoppy ale with hints of peanut butter and oats," the brewery says. The beer was inspired by Girl Scout Do-Si-Dos cookies. Pavy's Food Truck will be on hand.
4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield will tap a stout today that was made with coconuts and maple sugar. The Pile High Burgers food truck will also be in attendance.
Thursday, March 16
New Kids on the Block, the brewery-centered ’80s dance party and mini-beer fest, returns for its fifth year today at the Lobby. Hosted by the PorchDrinking website and blog, New Kids fetes breweries that are under two years old. "Festivities kick off at 7 p.m. with unlimited pours from approximately twenty of the best up-and-coming Colorado breweries, each showcasing two of their best beers," PorchDrinking says. "Additionally, the ’80s dance party will be rocking all night long with a live DJ. Be sure to dress the part, as we'll have brewery prizes for best-dressed outfits." Tickets are $30 through March 5, $35 through March 15, $40 the day of the event. Buy them at nightout.com.
Colorado Plus Brewpub in Wheat Ridge will kick off a St. Paddy's Day weekend by tapping several Irish reds and dry stouts today, including two of its own brews: Grafton St. Red and Gaeta Dubh Stout. Other beers on tap include: 3 Freaks Irish American Red, Renegade Irish Stout, Lone Tree Irish Red, Platte Park Irish Red, Kokopelli Nitro Irish Stout, and Dry Dock Bilberry Irish Stout.
Friday, March 17
Alpine Dog Brewing will tap Lemon Zest Grissette today, the beer it brewed for Collaboration Fest with Golden's Mountain Toad Brewing. "Grissette is a low-ABV Belgian-style beer similar to a saison," the brewery explains. Green Tree Stir Fry Food Truck will be on site.
Bierstadt Lagerhaus will bring back its Dunkel today after a short absence.
Head to Cerebral Brewing today for the release of Blurpleberry, its collaborative IPA with Portland's Great Notion Brewing. "One of the things we love most about these guys is their commitment to innovation and creativity," Cerebral says. "In this spirit we created what we can safely say is our most ambitious IPA to date. Brewed with wheat and oats, then conditioned on lactose, vanilla beans and Oregon grown boysenberries." Burgerchief will be parked outside starting at 4 p.m.
Copper Kettle Brewing will tap Nitro Help Me Out Stout today for St. Paddy's Day. Help Me Out Stout is a creamy, dark ale with roasted character served on nitro for a smooth body. California Wrap Runner food truck will be there.
Dry Dock Brewing will host a draft and bottle release for the fourth installment in its very limited Funk & Sour Series: Maurea. Four different barrels, three different fruits, and at least eight different strains of Brettanomyces were used for the beer, Dry Dock says. "Teasing out memories of strawberry rhubarb jello, early season blueberries, bright floral notes of hibiscus and rose hips with a balanced, approachable acidity, Maurea is as delicate as it is complex." The 6.1 percent ABV beer will be on sale at 3 p.m. at the Aurora brewery's original South Dock location.
Westfax Brewing in Lakewood will celebrate its first anniversary today and tomorrow by tapping Barrel Aged Tears of Our Enemies, Green Colfax Cream Ale and Nitro Dry Irish Stout. The brewery, which opens at 2 p.m., will also give away beer glasses to the first forty people to buy a beer and will hold raffles and giveaways. The ShaWING food truck will also be celebrating its one-year anniversary by hosting a chicken-wing-eating contest at 7 p.m.
Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield will host a sham punk-rock St. Paddy’s Day party starting at 2 p.m. The brewery will tap a traditional Red Irish Ale and play Irish punk music all night. "Forget your green beer, four-leaf clovers and green bowler hats, instead join us to celebrate the Pogues, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers, Flatfoot 56, the Real McKenzies, the Young Dubliners, the Blaggards and more," the brewery says.
Weldwerks Brewing in Greeley will celebrate its second anniversary this weekend with at least ten new beer releases, live music and food trucks. One of those beers will be the 2017 version of Medianoche, a 14 percent ABV imperial stout aged in Breckenridge Distillery barrels for ten months. "This particular batch is a single barrel version of Medianoche, something we have never done before," Weldwerks says. "In our humble opinion, this batch of Medianoche is the best barrel-aged stout we have made to date." Other releases include: S'mores Achromatic, Double Blackberry Gose, and Apricot Goserita. Go to Weldwerks Facebook page to get more information about food trucks and live music, as well as updated beer release info.
Saturday, March 18
Comrade Brewing will tap a new beer at noon. Honeyman 15 is the latest version of the brewery's R&D IPA series. This one was hopped with Amarillo, Cascade, Chinook and Mt. Hood hops.
Ratio Beerworks will host its Stay Gold Spring Marzen Release Party today. Stay Gold is Ratio's take on the classic malt-forward Bavarian Märzen beer. Brewed with Pilsner, Munich and Vienna malts, the lager was fermented with a German lager yeast strain "for a crisp and clean finish, while showcasing German Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops to add a balanced hint of bitterness," the brewery says. Matt's Snack Shack will be on hand with brats and pretzels.
The Work From Home Beer Breakfast, complete with waffles and bacon, returns to Cerebral Brewing this morning from 10 a.m. to noon, and this time there's a barrel-aged version of Work From Home, a "breakfast" porter brewed with Vermont maple syrup and cold-brewed Colombian coffee roasted by Middle State and prepared by Cerebral's neighbors at the Lula Rose General Store. The barrel-aged version has been slumbering in Woodford Reserve barrels for twelve months. Tickets are $40 and include a screen-printed glass mug, a ten-ounce pour of Work From Home, a four-ounce taster of Barrel Aged Work From Home, and a waffle and side of bacon from Waffle Brothers. Additional pours of Work From Home are $5. There will also be cartoons on the big screen, and the brewery highly encourages you to wear your favorite pajamas. There might possibly be a best-dressed prize. Cerebral will also sell Barrel Aged Work From Home in bottles. Space is limited, and tickets are expected to sell out quickly.
Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales will release bottles of two beers today at noon. The first is Jumpseat, a golden sour ale aged for eight to twelve months and then hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Equinox. Each 750mL bottle is $24 (limit of two per person). The other is Ejector, which is similar to Jumpseat except that it has been hopped again with Citra, Mosaic, Equinox and Lemon Drop. Bottles are $26 (limit of two per person). For more details on the beer and the release, go to Black Project's Facebook page.
Oskar Blues isn't going to can Gubna, its imperial rye IPA, for nationwide distribution anymore (though it will still send it out on draft), but the Longmont brewery will have cans for sale at the Tasty Weasel in Longmont. So get your Colorado feels on for this release party starting at noon. Truckstop Honeymoon, a "two-piece band with banjo, guitar, upright bass and a truckful of songs" will be playing, and Chuburger will be serving food. Each year for the past three, Gubna has been getting a new hop bill. This year it was brewed with whole-leaf Galena, as well as Columbus and Sorachi Ace. Gubna is then dry-hopped with prodigious amounts of El Dorado, Comet and Chinook hops, "creating a dank, dense, pineapple and lemon zest nose and unique blend of grapefruit, apricot, and herbs, while finishing clean and bitter. "
"Three years ago, a drunken group of brewers had a wild idea to start a rye festival," say the organizers of said event. "It turned out to be so much fun, we're doing it again — celebrating the Third Annual Rye Fest 2017." Eleven Denver breweries (mostly from the west side) will bring their versions of rye beers to the Brew of Broadway, where the garage doors will open onto the patio if the weather is nice. The breweries are: Barnett & Son, Black Sky Brewing, The Brew on Broadway, Caution Brewing, Chain Reaction Brewing, Fermaentra, Brewery Rickoli, Boggy Draw Brewing, Strange Craft Beer Company, Dead Hippie Brewing , and Halfpenny Brewing. There will be food from El Toro the Tot Food Truck and music from the Denver Celtics and the Rye Pushers. This is a fundraiser for the Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation.
Denver Beer Co. will host a popcorn-and-beer pairing with City Pop. DBC selected five of City Pop's seventy flavors and paired them with five beers. The event runs all day long at the Platte Street taproom. Tickets are $20 and include five half-cup servings of popcorn and five four-pours.
Fiction Beer will release its first bottled sour today at 1 p.m for Colorado Craft Beer Week. Nearly three years in the making, Antiquarian No. 1 American Sour with Cherry is the first of several blended sours to come. All of them are made with fruit and various other ingredients.
Westfax continues its one-year anniversary celebration at noon by pouring two of its newly released beers alongside a buffet from Mile High Cajun. The beers are Concussion Protocol Belgian Quad and Peach Saison. The brewery will also be giving away glassware and other merchandise.
Sunday, March 19
Fiction Beer Company will tap a new beer called Lupulin 'Ohana. It's a New England-inspired pineapple IPA with tropical, juicy flavors.
Tuesday, March 21
Station 26 Brewing teamed up with the Colorado Brewers Guild and EatDenver to brew a culinary-inspired white IPA for Collaboration Fest this month. But the brewery will tap the beer itself at 1 p.m. Made with Colorado grown and malted barley from Root Shoot Malting, Colorado grown and malted white wheat from Troubadour Maltings, whole pureed Mandarin oranges, freshly ground coriander and fennel seeds, the beer was triple dry-hopped with Amarillo, Citra, Galaxy, Lemondrop, Mandarina Bavaria and Summer. It weighs in at 7.2 percent ABV. Roaming Bull Brasserie will be on hand from 4 to 9 p.m.
Help raise money for Girl Scouts at Strange Craft Beer Company, and enjoy pairing five different cookies with beers. Boxes available for purchase include Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs and Savannah Smiles.
Wednesday, March 22
As part of Colorado Craft Beer Week, numerous breweries in Colorado will participate in Colorado Pint Day as a fundraiser for the Colorado Brewers Guild. Order a pint and keep a commemorative glass; most breweries will donate $1 for each pint glass sold. This year, CBG worked with artist Liam Ashurst to create limited-edition artwork for the Colorado 14er glass. "We used a 16-ounce glass and created a 14-ounce pour line to create the “perfect pour," CBG says. "Yes, this glass is part style, part education and all Colorado. We also used some super-cool metallic gold and blue inks to make this feel a little extra special." See a list of participating breweries on CBG's Colorado Pint Day website.
Friday, March 24
Fiction Beer will release a final allotment of Bourbon Barrel Aged Malice and Darkness today at 6 p.m. There are only a few bottles available. The beer recently placed twelfth of 144 in a blind tasting by Paste magazine , beating out many major breweries. Limit of one per person.
Boulder Beer Company is celebrating the end of Colorado Craft Beer Week by releasing its new spring beer, Hola Maria Mexican-style Ale. "Brewed with malted wheat for a soft mouthfeel and left slightly unfiltered for full flavor in a light crisp ale," the beer will be tapped at 1 p.m. Boulder Beer will also have a limited amount of each of its Collaboration Fest beers on tap: Coconut Curry Hefeweizen (brewed with Ska Brewing) and Ladyfingers, a Tiramisu Brown Ale (brewed with New Holland Brewing).
Open Door Brewing in Longmont will host a grand opening of its taproom today at 3 p.m. in the Prospect New Town neighborhood. There will be plenty of beer and food trucks.
Saturday, March 25
Now in its fourth year, Collaboration Fest, hosted by the Colorado Brewers Guild, has grown into one of the state's largest, most creative festivals. But its aim is unique: The fest will pour more than 110 beers made collaboratively by more than 150 breweries around the state and the country (and even a few overseas), and showcases the distinctly collaborative nature of the craft-beer industry. "Every beer tapped at Collaboration Fest has a unique story, as two or more breweries come together to brew something special," event organizers say. Some will only be brewed once, while others will find so much success that they will take on a life of their own. Tickets, $60 for general admission and $85 for VIP, are available at collaborationfest.com. There will also be food vendors and live music. The festival runs from 4 to 7 p.m. (VIPs get in an hour earlier) at the National Western Complex.
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Fermaentra Brewing will release two barrel-aged bottle offerings today in honor of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The first is Brandy-Barrel-Aged Meristem Russian Imperial Stout, which has "expressive flavors of caramel, nougat, chocolate and subtle vanilla all wrapped up inside a silky, velvety-smooth texture," the brewery says. The second Colorado Whiskey Barrel-Aged Quixotic Belgian Quadrupel, which has "intense flavors of caramelized sugar, apples, and smooth oaky vanillas that intertwine against cherry and marshmallow undertones." Both are appropriate for aging or for drinking now. Each 375ml bottle is $10. Quiero Arepas will be serving from noon to 4 p.m.; Little India will be on hand from 5 to 9 p.m.
Big Choice will tap the second beer in its Brown Bag Series: Chinook Bob-Omb IPA, today at 2 p.m. "This style is what we are calling a Colorado IPA," the brewery explains. "Colorado is known for its C-hops: Centennial, Cascade, Chinook and Columbus hops. We wanted to make a delicious, more flavorful IPA, less bitter than juicy NE IPAs, but with the standard hops, as opposed to the 'sexy' hops like Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra. With the Chinook hop, we are proving you don’t have to use sexy hops to create a juicy IPA by varying the timing of the addition of the hops in the brewing process." Big Choice will be giving away a free Chinook rhizome to people who buy a six-pack of the Hop Bob-omb (limited supplies), courtesy of Quirky Homebrew.
Sunday, March 26
It's not summer yet, but that's not stopping Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield from hosting a Summer in Winter (spring, actually) party in order to tap its seasonal 10,000 Summers Saison. The brewery will serve beer mimosas and beer ice cream floats in addition to the new beer. "Feeling brave? Show up in your swimsuit to receive a free pint," the brewery says. There will also be a summer-themed paint-and-sip party thrown by Pinot’s Pallets upstairs.
Friday, March 31
Alpine Dog Brewing will tap a new New-England-style IPA today at 5 p.m. called Thunder Puppy. "Our usual West Coast IPA is sitting one out while we rotate in an East Coast-inspired version," the brewery says. "Brewed for a fuller/creamier body with fruity and dank hops, this beer will be hazier and feature the newer hop varieties Mosaic and Citra while keeping 'merican IPA roots with some Cascade in there as well."