Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Genius Wizard, Cookie Monsta and Double Avarice

Berthoud Brewing
The owners of Berthoud Brewing and Peel Handcrafted Pizza, based in Frederick, are teaming up to open 5030 Local, a "collaboration concept" at 1480 Cascade Avenue, in Loveland.

The spot will contain a second brewhouse for Berthoud Brewing on the main level, where there will be a rotating tap list, a limited food menu and a live-music venue. On the second floor, Peel Handcrafted Pizza will offer a full-service restaurant to "explore creative and innovative methods of primitive cooking with the use of locally sourced products and fiery concepts from the restaurant’s wood-fired oven and charcoal grill," Peel says. 5030 Local — which takes its name from Berthoud's elevation — will open its doors in early 2019.

Keep reading to see all of this week's craft-beer events.

click to enlarge
Burns Family Artisan Ales
Wednesday, December 5
Burns Family Artisan Ales has tapped the 12 percent ABV Oak-Aged Bacchanal Barleywine. "This American Barleywine has a brilliant ruby-copper color, aromas of sweet caramel, vanilla and peppery florals giving way to similar flavors on the palate, as well as toasty grain and oaky tannins," the brewery says. "Well-attenuated, rich texture, finishes bitter with a residual soft sweetness." Denver band Mirrors and Lights will be playing blues, rock, Celtic and folk at 7 p.m.

"Chocolate, mocha and mint all thrown into a stout? Does that just scream holiday beer?" If the answer for you is yes, then go directly to Chain Reaction Brewing, which created this "sweet, creamy darkness" as part of the traveling One-Barrel Wednesday program With Strange Craft Beer Company, Black Sky Brewery and the Brew on Broadway. All four breweries will have it on tap starting at 3 p.m.

Thursday, December 6
Liberati Osteria & Oenobeers taps a new beer at 4 p.m. Oximonstrum is a 17.25 percent ABV beer-wine hybrid made with 35 percent nebbiolo and barbera grapes from Piemonte, Italy. "This Oenobeer is purposefully micro-oxygenated to create a profile similar to an aged port wine," the brewery says.

Join Freshcraft at 7 p.m. as it welcomes 21st Amendment Brewery to Colorado. Come out and meet the 21st Amendment crew, enjoy some of their beers and try some dishes designed to pair with them. Beers on tap include Blood Orange Brew Free or Die IPA; Supernova Coffee IPA; and Baby Horse Quadrupel Ale.

click to enlarge
Something Brewery
Friday, December 7
Seedstock Brewing taps Working Class Rye, a 4.2 percent ABV beer reminiscent of pumpernickel bread. "Rye is a good cold-weather crop, and rye beer was especially popular with the working class of Northern Germany," Seedstock says. The brewery makes this beer using more than 50 percent rye in the grain bill. "It has a spicy rye aroma with notes of cloves and a moderately creamy mouthfeel, finishing dry and spicy."

Something Brewery in Brighton is going all out for its third anniversary, with a three-day party featuring 22 different beers, food and prizes. To kick things off, Something will open at 2 p.m. — an hour earlier than usual — just for can sales. The brewery will have every Cookie Monsta beer from the year — Mint Monsta, Peanut Monsta, Two Headed Monsta, Mega Monsta and Coconut Monsta — along with Fruity Sparkles, Fruity Pebbles Sour, Strawberry Limeade Sour, Cherry Limeade Slushie, Cherry Limeade, Pink Starburst Milkshake IPA, Caramel Apple Sour, and Booberry Cereal Blackberry Sour. The Dumpling Deli Food Truck will be there all night. On Saturday at noon, Something will release two new barrel-aged beers: Luxardo Cocktail Cherry Russian Imperial Stout, and Mexican Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout, both aged for over a year in bourbon barrels. Buy both and get a Level 3 anniversary glass free. Jimbeaux’s Cajun Cuisine food truck will be on hand. And on Sunday, the brewery will serve whatever it has left from noon to 7 p.m. Dough Boy Pizza will be there.

click to enlarge
Ratio Beerworks
Saturday, December 8
Ratio Beerworks, which hosts some of the best parties in the city, celebrates the return of its Genius Wizard Imperial Stout and Genius Wizard Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with a Variant Release Party from 5 to 8 p.m. "Attendees will be transported to a mystical new dimension, as Ratio's back brewhouse will be transformed into an ethereal immersive art experience," Ratio says. "This year’s installation will also give attendees a sneak peek into the soon to be unveiled world of Zabiti: An Immersive Circus Adventure, designed by local Denver artists from Rainbow Militia and Unbuilt Library." Genius Wizard will be available on draft, along with several variants, including Chocolate Orange, Coconut Vanilla, Espresso, Chai, and 24-month barrel-aged Genius Wizard Grand Cru. There will also be food from BBQ Supply Co., Cirque Kitchen and Bamboo Sushi. Tickets are $45 and include a full pour of 2018 Genius Wizard or any non-barrel-aged Ratio beer, a commemorative tasting glass, and a bottle of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Genius Wizard; get them at

Lone Tree Brewing hosts its seventh-anniversary party starting at 11 a.m., along with a charity casino night that begins at 4 p.m. There will be several anniversary beers on tap, including Rosé Brut IPA, followed by limited firkins at 1, 3 and 7 p.m., and an anniversary Dopplebock at 5 p.m. (120 commemorative stemmed glasses will be available as well). Mama Said Eat will have food. For the charity casino night, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m., guests will be able to donate $5 or $10 in exchange for chips that are good at the roulette and blackjack tables; they'll also be entered into raffles. Proceeds benefit Freedom Service Dogs of America.

Renegade Brewing's newest barrel-aged release is Hammer Imperial Stout aged in Laws Whiskey House barrels. "With its dark fruit aromas of fig, dates and vanilla," this 12 percent ABV Russian Imperial Stout "is smooth and silky on the palate while the whiskey barrels add a little bite on the finish," Renegade says. The beer will be available on draft and in cans to take home throughout the day.

Join Denver Beer Co. for the special release of Graham Cracker Grand Cru at the brewery's original location on Platte Street and in its newest taproom in Arvada. The beer will be on draft and available in very limited quantities in bombers to go. Graham Cracker Grand Cru "combines a multitude of complementary flavors," Denver Beer Co. says. "The base beer is an imperial strength version of our Graham Cracker Porter that has been aged in whiskey barrels along with chocolate, coconut, vanilla, and coffee. The result is a joyous journey of flavors that are smooth, rich and complex." Bottles may also be available in liquor stores after the release.

River North Brewery debuts Barrel Aged Double Avarice with a tapping event starting at noon. This double-strength version — 19.46 percent ABV — of its Belgian-style imperial stout was aged in Colorado bourbon barrels and can be cellared for years, the brewery says. The beer will be on draft and in bottles to go.

Station 26 Brewing marks its fifth anniversary by releasing a hazy IPA in cans. Double Dry Hopped Hazy Double IPA, which will be available in four-packs of sixteen-ounce cans to go, is "a natural capstone to all of this year's experimentation with the hazy style," Station 26 says. Chris Dismuke Music will be plugging in for some live tunes from 4 to 7 p.m. inside the brewery's heated patio tent, and the Order 26 Food Truck will have food.

Wit’s End Brewing is celebrating seven years in business and one year of cohabitation with the folks at Strange Craft Beer at its Seventh Annual Ugly Sweater Party, taking place from noon to close. The brewery will, of course, tap Ugly Sweater Belgian Brown Winter Ale. "Loosely based on an English brown ale recipe, we throw in some knick-knacks like roasted pumpkin seeds, palm sugar, and peace on earth," Wit's End says. "Its rich caramel maltiness is like drinking a Sugar Daddy; the roasted pumpkin seeds create a creamy nutty texture; and thanks to a Belgian yeast strain, the huge cinnamon and clove notes come through and balance the sweetness."
Additional special tappings to include Ancient Art (a fresh-hopped brut barleywine collaboration with Burns Family Artisan Ales, which now occupies Wit’s End’s former space), Jean-Claude Van Brett, Kessel Run Imperial Stout, classic recipes including their 2018 GABF gold medal-winning Belgian-style blonde ale — Jean-Claude Van Blond, and more. The Little Big Sandwich Truck will be on hand as well.

Our Mutual Friend Brewing officially opened on December 8, 2012 (though the brewery had a few pop-ups earlier that year); it will note its six-year anniversary with beers, a party and fun.

Alternation Brewing joins the cavalcade of anniversary parties today by marking its first birthday with parties today and tomorrow — and by debuting its first-ever can (today) and bottle (tomorrow) releases. Starting at 2 p.m., the brewery will tap a different version of For the Animals every hour. The vegan almond milk stout (not made with milk) has been a popular seller, so Alternation teamed up with other vegan businesses and nonprofits on a few other versions. They include Vegan Van, WongWayVeg, Beet Box Bakery & Cafe, Sweet Action Ice Cream, Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary, and Meta Burger. Alternation will also be selling cans of its flagship beers; going forward, the brewery says, it will have most of its beers available in sixteen-ounce cans to go. On Sunday, Alternation will release bottles of Lady of the Lake, an imperial stout aged in Laws Whiskey and Bear Creek Rum barrels. There will also be a food truck and live music.

New Image Brewing got together with its homies from WeldWerks "to take each other's beers and flip ’em on their heads," the breweries say. So, New Image turned WeldWerks flagship Juicy Bits into Juicy Bust, a sour IPA with mango and blueberries. "Not only can you get your hands on this super-limited beer, but you can also pick up Double Dry Hopped Coriolis Effect cans and a Lavender Vanilla Melanoidin on draft." Get into the taproom to score some cans starting at 11 a.m.

Parry’s Pizzeria & Bar hosts its fifth annual Ugly Sweater & Barrel Aged Beer party from 11 a.m. to close at its locations in Castle Rock, Centennial, Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, Johnstown, Longmont and Northglenn. There will be a one-day exclusive tap list comprise only of barrel-aged beers like Lost Abbey Barrel Aged Serpent’s Stout, 2017 Alesmith Decadence, New Belgium Love Blackberry Felix, and 2017 Epic Big Bad Baptist. And they will only be served to people wearing an ugly sweater. "No joke – you cannot get a glass of anything from this special menu unless you're wearing an Ugly Sweater," Parry's says.

Westfax Brewing
Tuesday, December 11
WestFax Brewing in Lakewood will host a California Camp Fire Brewery Benefit along with seven other Colorado breweries from 4 to 8 p.m. A limited-edition Crowler can will be released for purchase with beers from each brewery involved. "The can artwork was painted as an homage to the tragic California Camp Fire by local Colorado artist David Heath and was donated for this event’s cause," Westfax says. The participating breweries — WestFax, Great Divide Brewing, Copper Kettle Brewing, Joyride Brewing, Westbound & Down Brewing, Hogshead Brewing, 4 Noses Brewing and Woods Boss Brewing — are each donating thirty Crowlers of beer to be sold for fundraising at the WestFax taproom during the event.

Wednesday, December 12
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen invites you to the tapping of a special beer. Dustin Hall of the Brewtography Project collaborated with Metric Brewing out of Colorado Springs and brewed a decadent Baltic Porter. "This 10 percent ABV Goliath features rum, raisin, and licorice notes and isn't camera shy," the organizer says. "It was released at Metric Brewing a couple of weeks ago, but for those living in the Denver area, this is your chance to try it. Dustin Hall will be on hand talking about the beer and The Brewtography Project, as well as selling copies of his book at a 20 percent discount. So come on out, try this Baltic Porter, and say hello."

Rail's End Beer Company in Broomfield is getting aboard the lager train with a planned series of lagers in 2019. It will kick things off a little early though by tapping its first-ever lager, a 4.9 percent ABV German-style Pilsner that the brewery calls "very approachable, refreshing, light-medium bodied."

Thursday, December 13
Copper Kettle Brewing brings back its 12 Firkins of Christmas tappings — and challenge. The brewery will be serving a different unique beer from a cask each day at 2 p.m. If you come to the taproom all twelve days and get a stamp for each beer, you'll get a prize. Today's beer is All Spruced Up Pale Ale, a pale ale made with spruce tips. After that, it's Baby It's Quald Outside Winter Warmer Quad on Friday, #Basic Red Cup Peppermint Milk Stout on Saturday, Respect your Elders Elderflower Tripel on Sunday, and Tipsy Elf Hazy IPA with Brett on Monday. After that, you'll find Papá Noel Gingerbread Mexican Stout, Cookies 4 Santa Milk Stout, Leche de Santa Milk Stout with Coffee, Flamingo-ho-ho-ho Pina Colada Milkshake IPA, Not Yer Grandma's Fruitcake Strong Ale, 3 Shots in the Dark Espresso Imperial Oatmeal Stout on nitro, and Sour Day.

click to enlarge
Westword file photo
Saturday, December 15
When it comes to craft beer, Denver Festivus, a rollicking festival that invites every brewery and cider maker within Denver’s city limits to participate, definitely needs a spot on your winter calendar. The seventh annual iteration of the fest takes place from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Denver Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway, the former home of Sports Authority. Tickets, $35 to $60, go on sale today at After all, that ugly Christmas sweater isn't going to wear itself.

Join the Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project for its second annual Gingerbread Invitational, a holiday celebration and mini beer fest that culminates with "an intense gingerbread house competition for all the marbles." The day begins at 1 p.m. when the brewery taps its Gingerbread Bock collaboration with Spice Trade Brewing. In addition, the brewery will tap beers from some friends: Neapolitan Cookie Imperial Stout from Spice Trade Brewing; and Winter Weizenbock from Resolute Brewing. There will also be a Kvass made in collaboration with Rebel Bread and some beers served in Squarrels. Good Sugar Baking will be in the house with Festive Beer and Cookie Pairings, and there will be handmade holiday gifts with booths from Christkindlesmarkt with Crafted Art Emporium, Two Feet and the Earthbeat, Blackheart Creations and Modern Which-Craft. In addition, find games and gingerbread cookie decorating for adults and kiddos. The Modern Eater will broadcast live from the taproom at 6 p.m. Oh, and bring your boxed and canned goods for Denver Inner City Parish.

Comrade Brewing, like dozens of other beer makers in Colorado and more than a thousand nationwide, has brewed its own version of Sierra Nevada's Resilience IPA — with the goal of raising money for the victims of the recent Camp Fire. Comrade will tap the beer (made with two-row and Simpsons Heritage Crystal malts and hopped with Cascade and Centennial) today at noon. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Fund.

Sunday, December 16
Burns Family Artisan Ales releases Valverde Lager, a straw-gold-colored Mexican-style session lager that is "crisp, and smooth," the brewery says. Ten percent of the day's Valverde Lager sales will benefit the Valverde Neighborhood Association.

Thursday December 20
Comrade Brewing hosts An Imperial Christmas from 4 to 10 p.m. There will be six different variants of Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout on tap. They include: Double Vanilla Quit Stalin; Marshmallow Vanilla Quit Stalin; Coconut Quit Stalin; Maple Coffee Quit Stalin; Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry Quit Stalin; and Chocolate Blueberry Quit Stalin. There will also be Christmas cookies.

Saturday, December 22
For Hops & Pie's No-Nonsense Holiday Beer Fest, you can leave your ugly sweater at home (it probably needs to be washed by now anyway). That's because this tapping is just about the liquid. Some of the festive beers that go on tap at noon include: Prairie's Artisan Ales' Christmas Bomb; Oakshire Brewing's Ill-Tempered Gnome;
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales' Noel De Calabaza; and the Lost Abbey's Gnoel de Abbey. 
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes