It's hard to miss the collaborative spirit among Colorado craft brewers right now. For the past several months, more than 100 of them have participated in joint projects all over the state in anticipation of the sixth annual Collaboration Fest, which takes place this Saturday, March 16 (see below for details). But the fest isn't the only place you can try these beers: Dozens of breweries and bars in the metro area will have one or more of them on tap in the remaining days leading up to the fest, and in the week or two afterward.
And Collaboration Fest is just the beginning of Colorado Craft Beer Week, an annual celebration of the state's independent craft breweries that runs from March 16 through 23. You'll find hundreds of happenings going on during that time at many of Colorado's 400-plus breweries, not to mention bars and restaurants. One of those is Colorado Pint Day on Wednesday, March 20, when you can buy special glassware that raises money for the Colorado Brewers Guild. The final event, the Big Reveal, takes place March 23 at Union Station.
Keep reading to see more craft-beer events through the end of March.
Wednesday, March 13
Over the past several months, Woods Boss Brewing has had "the great pleasure of working with some amazing breweries" to come up with a variety of beers for this weekend's Collaboration Fest. To honor them, the brewery will tap all four of its collaborations today. I Have a Splinter in My Long Johns is a kveik-style beer brewed with a fresh-cut ponderosa pine; it was made in collaboration with Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery and Washington State's Hidden Mother Brewery. Esoteric Mind F&%K, created with Goldspot Brewing, is a mixed-fermentation golden ale brewed with oats, lactose and strawberries before being dry-hopped. W3 Tropical Brut Pale Ale was brewed in conjunction with WestFax Brewing and Westbound & Down Brewing. And One Footed Henchman, brewed with Salida's Soulcraft Beer Company, is a kettle-soured New England-style IPA.
Thursday, March 14
Station 26 Brewing taps Two Musketeers, its Collaboration Fest 2019 brew with Brink Brewing in Cincinnati, at 5 p.m. The beer is an imperial milk stout in two variants: cinnamon-chocolate and raspberry-maple. Brink won the Very Small Brewery of the Year award at the 2018 GABF. The beer will be served at the fest on March 16 as well.
Comrade Brewing taps Orange Creamsicle IPA at noon. This 6.8 percent ABV American-style IPA was brewed in collaboration with Pelican Brewing in Pacific City, Oregon. It was made with pilsner and Crystal 60 malts and hopped with El Dorado and a new variety called Lotus. Orange zest was added in the fermenter, the brewery says, adding that it has "a bright-orange hue with intense notes of orange and subtle vanilla from the Lotus hops."
In honor of Pi Day (3/14), Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, inside the Source, brings back its Key Lime Tau Golden Sour Ale at noon. This beer was aged in oak with fresh lime peel, lemongrass and lactose, and will be available on draft and to go. "Tau is the symbol for a mathematical constant superior to 2*Pi," the brewery explains (in case you like math). "Key Lime Tau is the key lime pie-inspired ale brewed on each side of the Atlantic in collaboration with Hawkshead Brewing in the U.K."
Friday, March 15
Join Copper Kettle Brewing and four other breweries for a Viking-themed party featuring beers brewed with Norwegian kveik yeast. Copper Kettle, which is hosting the event, got the idea after collaborating with South Dakota's Lost Cabin Beer Company on a kveik yeast hazy IPA called Pillaged Village. The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project will also be on hand with a sahti beer it made with Wyoming's Altitude Chophouse and Brewery, half of it aged in Wyoming Whiskey barrels, the other on aspen wood from Distillery 291 in Colorado Springs. Woods Boss Brewing will tap a keg of its West Coast IPA, Strange Craft will pour a hoppy red brut IPA, and Angry James Brewing will have its Norwegian Farmhouse Ale. The Dough Boy Pizza Truck will be on hand with smoked turkey legs and other meats. Come clad in Viking garb to win prizes.
Novel Strand Brewing re-releases Kiwi, a strong hoppy ale designed to showcase the wonderful hops grown in New Zealand, on draft and in cans to go. The beer was brewed with pilsner malt, Golden Promise malt, flaked oats and flaked wheat; it is loaded with Moutere, Motueka, Nelson Sauvin, Tai-Heke and Waimea hops. "We had this beer on tap pouring ten-ounce pours only, and it disappeared almost immediately, so here's your chance to load up on cans," Novel Strand says. La Crêpe à Papa will be outside with food.
Now in its eighth iteration, Strange Tail IPA is "the fruit of a friendship forged many years ago over pints and a shared affinity for the slightly askew," says Strange Craft Beer Company, which collaborates with Freetail Brewing in Texas each March on the beer. "We've shared beers, ideas, conference accommodations, dinners in far-away cities and plenty of good times. We are a part of the Freetail Brewing family, and they are a part of ours." This time around, the breweries added some zing with fifteen pounds of ancho chiles, eight pounds of bitter orange zest, four pounds of lemongrass and three gallons of fresh-squeezed orange juice. It will be on tap at Strange and available tomorrow at Collaboration Fest.
New Image Brewing in Arvada releases its own Collaboration Fest beers today at 5 p.m. Meet The New Boss, a collab with More Brewing in Illinois, is an imperial stout with cinnamon, vanilla, coffee and chocolate.
Talkin' Shit is a sour IPA made in conjunction with Station 26 Brewing. And Secret Stache is an "Imperial Pistachio Ice Cream Stout" made in collaboration with Molly's Spirits in Lakeside.
Saturday, March 16
The sixth annual Collaboration Fest takes place at the Hyatt Regency Denver from 3 to 6 p.m. Showcasing the collaborative nature of the craft-beer industry, the festival serves up more than 100 projects from brewery teams from all over the state — and a few from other states and countries. "Each beer is brewed specifically for this festival, so expect some of the most interesting, exciting, rare and delicious beer tappings," say event organizers. Tickets, starting at $65, are available on the Collaboration Fest website.
"Sometimes a beer is worth the wait," says River North Brewery. That's the case for Anniversary Ale 7, which took its sweet time before finally being ready to serve — several weeks after the brewery's birthday. A "Belgian bière brut," Anniversary Ale 7 was brewed with sauvignon blanc grapes to give it a dry and bubbly character reminiscent of Champagne. It will be on tap and in bottles to go.
Corned beef meets sauerkraut at Rackhouse Pub/Bierstadt Lagerhaus's second annual Marriage of Convenience, an event at which you can drink as much German-style lager as you want while enjoying Irish food and watching out the pub's back windows as floats for the St. Patrick's Day Parade get built. Beginning at 7 a.m., there will be Irish coffee and an Irish breakfast. Then at noon, the Rackhouse will open its Beer Hall for giant games and Irish drinking songs. Live music will follow from 1 to 4 p.m. and 8 to 11 p.m.
Alpine Dog Brewing will tap its latest special-release beer, Paradise Pupper Coconut Brown Ale, at noon. This small brown ale (small because it's only 4.7 percent ABV) was brewed with one hundred pounds of organic toasted coconut, giving it "a big toasted coconut character followed by lightly roasted malty cocoa and caramel notes and light fruity esters," the brewery says.
Sunday, March 17
Burns Family Artisan Ales is throwing a St Patrick's Day party from 2 to 10 p.m. The day begins with the release of Mr. Bloom Foreign Export Stout, while The One and Only Jon Ham rocks the taproom. The luck continues to flow at 5 p.m. with PotLuck O' The Irish, where Mr. Bloom pours free if you bring a dish to share.
Monday, March 18
Beginning today and running through next weekend, five participating Parry’s Pizzeria locations will be tapping three different beers brewed for Collaboration Fest every day at 3 p.m. You can find them in Johnstown, Longmont, Northglenn, Highlands Ranch and Southglenn.
Tuesday, March 19
Epic Brewing hosts the release of a very limited bottled beer starting at 6 p.m. The beer, Big Bad Baer, is Telegraph Brewing's take on Epic's famed Big Bad Baptist; Epic bought California's Telegraph in 2017. "This baby is an imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels for nine months before moving into port barrels for another few months," Epic says. "Then after hibernation, we add some orange peel, cacao nibs and Handlebar coffee from Santa Barbara." First come, first served.
Dos Luces Brewing and La Chiva Colombian Restaurant host a progressive beer dinner from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Guests will enjoy a three-course dinner paired with six of Dos Luces' chichas and pulques (pre-Columbian-style beers made with corn and maguey sap, respectively). The first course will be served at Dos Luces, and then the group will walk over to La Chiva for the main course and dessert. Tickets are $50 per person and include all taxes plus 20 percent tip for servers and bartenders. Tickets only available in advance.
Wednesday, March 20
Colorado Pint Day returns as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week. At least 93 breweries across the state are offering deals where you can get the newly designed glass from Colorado-based artist Shaw Neilsen; the vessel itself is a sixteen-ounce Rastal Willi Becher pint glass. One dollar from each glass sold goes to support the Colorado Brewers Guild. More than 15,000 pint glasses were purchased by Colorado breweries.
Thursday, March 21
Dos Luces Brewing hosts its first-ever bottle release from 1 to 10 p.m., when you'll be able to score a bottle of Tupac Amaru III Imperial Chicha. This liquid was aged in Buffalo Trace barrels with Palo Santo chips for a uniquely complex flavor. At 11 percent ABV, this is also Dos Luces’ strongest Chicha to date. Only 48 22-ounce bottles are available and they will be sold first-come, first-served. There will also be some on tap.
Friday, March 22
Copper Kettle Brewing releases the latest installment in its series of Snowed In Imperial Oatmeal Stouts on draft and in 19.2-ounce cans to go. This one is the brewery's first-ever go with vanilla. "We added Tahitian vanilla to our 12.7 percent ABV Snowed In base and aged it in bourbon barrels, so it will go perfectly with basically any pastry, and particularly well with pineapple upside-down cake, if you want to get tropical with it," the brewery says. Only sixty cases were produced, so it will disappear quickly. Rock N Lobster Roll will be on hand.
Falling Rock Tap House will tap a variety of Collaboration Fest beers today at 5 p.m. The festival was held last weekend, but many of the beers are still available around town this week.
Verboten Brewing in Loveland celebrates its sixth anniversary today and tomorrow by releasing Oak Aged Sour in twelve-ounce bottles. It will also have several draft-only releases, tours of the brewhouse, cake and music.
Saturday, March 23
The first-ever Big Reveal — sponsored by the Colorado Brewers Guild, PorchDrinking.com and Union Station — runs from 2 to 5 p.m at the train depot as the closing event of Colorado Craft Beer Week. "This intimate beer tasting aims to celebrate Colorado’s best of the best within a specific style category, by taking brand recognition out of the equation in the form a blind tasting," organizers explain. "For the inaugural edition, attendees will have two hours to blindly sample and vote on twenty of the best traditional American IPAs brewed in Colorado." In other words, attendees won't know what beers they are drinking. After votes have been counted, the Guild will reveal all twenty breweries and award the top three. Attendees then have another hour to sample them. Tickets are $35 and available at TwoParts.com.
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Join Joyride Brewing for the loooong-awaited unveiling of its stunning new rooftop deck. The deck has views of Sloan’s Lake, downtown Denver, Pike’s Peak, and the St. Anthony’s redevelopment. Get there early if you want a spot, or bid in an auction to reserve a VIP section from either noon to 2 p.m. or 4 to 6 p.m. Accommodating up to ten people, the VIP area "has non-stop, clear access to a corner of the rooftop bar, meaning VIPs never have to wait in line for service," Joyride says. "The VIP area has a separate heater in case it’s a cooler day, and features a retro-themed seating area with a large reconditioned corner-couch out of a '50s-era theater." Winners of the auction also get a $150 bar tab; proceeds will be donated to the International Myeloma Foundation.
Thursday, March 28
Goldspot Brewing teamed up with Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery this year, along with the Pink Boots Society, to brew a beer in honor of International Women's Day Brew. The resulting beer, Prickly Pear Tea Pale Ale, made with Root Shoot Genie pale malt, contains notes of tangerine, mango, passion-fruit, pineapple and prickly pear.
Saturday, March 30
Come "flamingle" with Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, which will release Flamingo Dreams Nitro for the first time at 1 p.m. This berry blonde ale was brewed with fresh raspberries and blackcurrants, and it pours a "striking pink" color that turns heads. Flamingo Dreams will be on tap and available in cans to go, and will also see wide distribution. For the party, Left Hand will have food specials, games, new merchandise, prizes and a costume contest for the chance to win beer for a year.
Sunday, March 31
The Cool Beans Beer & Coffee Festival returns to Ratio Beerworks at 10 a.m., celebrating all things beer, coffee and coffee-beer. Ratio "has once again teamed up local coffee roasters to showcase the diversity of flavors that can emerge from differing coffee bean varieties, various levels of roasts, and how all of those flavors can be highlighted or enhanced when infused in an array of beer styles," the brewery says. Attendees will be treated to coffee from Novo, Method Roasters and Huckleberry Roasters. And there will be breakfast tacos from Adelitas Cocina y Cantina; doughnut holes from Glazed and Confuzed; and bloody Mary's from The Real Dill. Tickets, $35 at nightout.com, also include coffee beers and a commemorative mug.