Colorado Craft Beer Week returns next month, March 16 to 23, for its seventh year, but now is the time to get some of the events on your calendar. The theme this year is "Craft Beer: It's in Our Nature," and breweries around the state will use that idea to create beers and events, all of which you can find on the Colorado Brewers Guild website.
The headlining event, of course, is the sixth annual Collaboration Fest, which takes place on Saturday, March 16, at the Hyatt Regency Denver. Showcasing the collaborative nature of the craft-beer industry, the festival will serve more than 100 beer projects from breweries 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 at collaborationfest.com.
Colorado Pint Day takes place on Wednesday, March 20. The Colorado Brewers Guild, which organizes Craft Beer Week, along with Two Parts, "has partnered with acclaimed illustrator Shaw Nielsen to create a design around the theme of 'Craft Beer: It’s in Our Nature.' These custom-made pint glasses will be available for purchase at dozens of breweries across the state. One dollar from each pint sold will be donated to the Guild."
The closing event for the week is a brand-new one — and it's a bit of a backlash against the predominance of hazy New England-style IPAs. The Big Reveal, taking place on March 23 at the Gallery at Union Station, celebrates Colorado’s best traditional American-style IPAs made in Colorado. For this inaugural edition (tickets are $30), "attendees will be given an hour and a half to sample and vote on twenty [beers]."
Keep reading for all of this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, February 20
Freshcraft will celebrate all things Surly by tapping beers from Minnesota's Surly Brewing; the restaurant will serve a special entree paired with one of the beers. Several members of the Surly crew will be in attendance, including its head brewer. The beers include Todd the Axe Man IPA, Barrel Aged Pentagram Sour Ale, DAF Brut IPA, Salted Chocolate Funeral Bar Dessert Stout and Coffee Bender Coffee Infused Brown Ale.
Burns Family Artisan Ales releases Last Cry, a 6.7 percent ABV West Coast IPA, "sporting the old-school American hops (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook) imparting those classic flavors we’ve been missing," the brewery says. There will be tunes from David Lawrence at 7 p.m., and Empanadas on Wheels with food.
Fire on the Mountain has scored a keg of Russian River's Pliny the Younger for the first time and will tap it at 2 p.m. The wing joint will start handing out tickets at 11 a.m. For more details about the rules for getting a ticket (only fifty are available), go to Fire on the Mountain's Facebook page.
Thursday, February 21
Novel Strand Brewing will release three beers in cans at 3 p.m. They are 2>1, a 7.5 percent ABV IPA made with Amarillo and Vic Secret hops; Alpha-Beta Soup, a hoppy 7.2 percent ABV beer made with Apollo, Citra, Galaxy, Summer and Vic Secret hops; and Contains Hops, brewed with Apollo, Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops. La Patrona will be parked outside with tacos.
Finn's Manor taps its five-gallon keg of Russian River's Pliny the Younger at 5 p.m. The beer bar and food-truck court will also tap STS Pilsner, Blind Pig and Damnation. As with most other places that have this rare beer, there are rules for how to get a ticket. Go to the Finn's Manor Facebook page for details.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery taps a beer at noon called Zero Hop:30. This is a "zero IBU IPA," or is it? Either way, it’s "dry-hopped to the moon with Mouteka, Amarillo and Mosaic," but is not expected to be bitter.
Wibby Brewing, an all-lager brewery in Longmont, releases the first in its experimental Rotating India Pale Lager series. The debut beer, Sir Citra-ness, is "a yellow, medium-bodied, hoppy lager brewed with copious amounts of Citra, Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon hops," Wibby says. This also marks the brewery's first limited can release. Twelve cases of Sir Citra-ness will be available in the taproom.
Friday, February 22
Help Goldspot Brewing celebrate its fourth anniversary with a three-day luau party where five new beers will be unveiled: Strawberry Brett IPA (a collaboration with Woods Boss), Coconut Porter, Pineapple Pale Ale, Maple Brown and Rum Barrel Aged Red Hefeweizen. There will also be custom glassware, anniversary merchandise and food trucks every day (Friday is Michigan Colorado Chefs, Saturday is Toby's New Orleans Po'boys, and Sunday is Ohana Grille). Other beers on tap include Cutter IPA, Pantalones Rojos Red IPA, Kodiak Brown Ale, Lavender Honey Stout, Guanabana Ale, Kolsch, Winter Warmer Lager, Orange Honey Rye Saison, Belgian Dubbel, Rye Pale Ale, Hull and Oats White IPA, Grapefruit Belgian Table Beer and Malbec Barrel Aged Plum Saison.
Cerebral Brewing hosts a triple can release starting at noon. The first beer is Scam Likely, an 8 percent ABV double IPA made with 100 percent Citra hops. The second beers is Forbidden Idol — Painkiller, a 7 percent ABV "Tiki Sour," which is the second in Cerebral's Tiki Series; hopped with Citra, Sabro and Galaxy in the whirlpool, it was then dosed with lactose, coconut, pineapple and tangerine. (Cerebral will have 75 tiki glasses as well; $12 gets you a glass and a sixteen-ounce pour.) The final beer is Inhabited Form, a 5.6 percent lager that was brewed with pilsner malt, oats, Galaxy hops, debittered Citra and debittered Mosaic hops. It was then aged in the brewery's wooden foeder and lagered again in stainless steel.
Join Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery for its second annual Stout Wars, a friendly competition between staff members who team up to produce six unique stouts. For $20, you get four tasters plus one sixteen-ounce pour of the stout of your choice and a limited-edition souvenir glass. The first stout to kick its keg wins. Kegs tap at 5 p.m. There are only five gallons of each one.
Seedstock Brewery taps Premium Czech Lager today. Seedstock owner Ron Abbott has been brewing this beer for fifteen years, both as a home brewer and a professional, and it is his favorite. Similar in many ways to a Czech pilsner, this lager "has a richer malt character and is a little darker in color," the brewery says. "Seedstock uses all Czech ingredients — grains, hops and yeast. The color is light golden amber with a malty sweet aroma. It has a rich and bready flavor with a very slight hint of caramel."
Factotum Brewhouse taps Peanut Butter Nitro Porter at 3 p.m. "This gem was imagined by our beertender Andrew and made into reality by our brewer Dan," the brewery says. "Creamy, rich, and smooth, this beer will have your tastebuds begging for more. Only one keg of this tasty beauty was made."
Copper Kettle Brewing releases a new beer at noon. Cafe Con Leche, a milk stout brewed with Novo coffee and vanilla, will be available on draft and in six-packs to go.
Westfax Brewing in Lakewood will release a limited run (only one hundred each) of sixteen-ounce cans in four packs, part of a planned series of monthly canned releases this year. Both beers are brewery flagships. The first is Urban Lumberjack Hazy IPA, brewed with Citra, Azacca, Eldorado, Amarillo, Simcoe and Mandarina hops. Juicy and tropical, it has notes of orange, nectarine and mango. The second beer is Tears of Our Enemies Scottish Ale, a light-brown Scottish Ale with aromas of subtle fruit, caramelized sugar and toasted bread.
4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield brings back its Single Hopped Citra Whimsy. "Brewed with 100 percent Citra hops, this Whimsy packs a strong passion fruit, grapefruit, melon and gooseberry flavor profile. It's like fresh cut fruit plucked straight from the tap," the brewery says. It will be available on tap and in four-packs.
Saturday, February 23
Diebolt Brewing hosts the annual release of its Vladislav Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout at 2 p.m., when the beer will be available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. In addition, the brewery will tap four variations: banana split, chile pepper, coconut curry and cherry. At 4 p.m., Diebolt taps 2018 Vladislav aged for one year in Four Roses barrels. There will also be raffles all day and food from Koi and Ninja.
"You didn’t think we were going to do an Other Half Brewing Company can drop without working in a collaboration, did you?" That's the question from TRVE Brewing, which answers it at noon today by releasing canned four-packs of Seitan. It's a golden mixed-culture sour base beer along with a touch of barrel-aged spontaneous beer. It also includes "a judicious amount" of Hallertau Blanc hops.
The owners and brewers at Cerebral Brewing and Baere Brewing have been friends since before they opened their respective establishments, and they've finally collaborated on a beer. Dynamic Tension is a 10.4 percent ABV oak-aged wild ale with Barbera grape must. This wine-beer hybrid is available via pre-sale at cerebral.craftcellr.com. Any additional bottles will go on sale at Cerebral at 11 a.m.
Falling Rock Taphouse taps its last keg of Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger. Doors open at 11am, when Falling Rock will hand out tickets. Pliny goes on tap at 1 p.m.
Freshcraft taps a new beer from Seattle's Fremont Brewing. Release the (Sky) Kraken is a "monstrous" hazy pale ale. Freshcraft will also have other Fremont beers, including 2016 Barrel Aged Dark Star Imperial Stout, Mod Pod IPA and Mountain Daisy IPA.
Parry's Pizzeria in Highlands Ranch, 9567 South University Boulevard, taps a keg of Russian River's Pliny the Younger at noon. Doors open at 10 a.m., though, which is when you might need to get there for a ticket.
Friday, March 1
Grist Brewing will release four different beers in cans at both of its tap rooms in Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree; the release also marks the coming out party for Grist's new look and one new beer. The beers are Tragic Hipster Hazy IPA, All & Westerly West Coast-style IPA, Octo Cream Ale, and Crimson Crow American Red Ale.
Copper Kettle Brewing releases Maple Snowed In at noon. This is the brewery's 12.4 percent ABV oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels with dark maple syrup added. It will be sold on tap and in 19.2-ounce cans to go.
Saturday, March 2
Denver Beer Co. hots its eighth annual Beer, Bacon, Coffee Fest today and tomorrow at the Platte Street Taproom from 8:30 to 11 a.m. both days. Roll on down and enjoy bacon from Tender Belly, coffee from Coda Coffee Company, and beer, of course. This year, DBC's spinoff concept, Cervecería Colorado, will be joining in on the breakfast beer action with a make-it-yourself michelada bar. Tickets are $40, and each one entitles you to a big breakfast burrito, coffee, and as much bacon as you can fit in your belly. You will also receive a souvenir Denver Beer Co. coffee mug to fill with all the breakfast-inspired brews you can drink.
Call to Arms Brewing hosts its 4th annual Mardi Gras Rumpus from noon to 9 p.m., a "festive soirée" that offers New Orleans-inspired food and a crawfish boil at 2 p.m. from the Rolling Smoke food truck. You can also watch the World’s Tiniest Mardi Gras Parade at 4 p.m., featuring the Mile High Brass Band and mini floats by local breweries and businesses. There will also be beers brewed just for the occasion.
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The fifth annual Winter Craft Beer Festival takes place at the Balch Field House on the University of Colorado campus from 1 to 5 p.m., with at least 55 breweries pouring more than 150 beers. In addition to the great beers, the event will feature a live band, a silent disco and food options. Tickets, $45 to $65, are available at wintercraftbeerfestival.com; some proceeds benefit the Colorado Brewers Guild.
Wednesday, March 6
Walter's 303 Pizzeria + Publik House will tap a new beer from Telluride Brewing, a 4.5 percent ABV Leipzig-style gose called Alpengose, brewed with Italian plums. And it has an interesting story. Last winter, Telluride released a similar beer in honor of the changing seasons and the disappointing lack of snowfall that year. It was called There Gose the Snow. "And the snow went. Telluride’s snowfall for the entire 2017-18 winter totaled 160 inches ... about half of average," the brewery explains. So, this year, the superstitious owners, Tommy Thatcher and Chris Fish, decided to change the name at the last minute. The new beer will be available in cans around the Front Range.
Friday, March 8
Copper Kettle Brewing will tap Gettin' Figgy With It, an 8 percent ABV doppelbock brewed with figs, graham cracker and vanilla. The beer was dreamed up by staff bartender Rocky, who won an intra-brewery competition; in fact, she has won for two years in a row. The beer will also be available in six-packs to go.
Saturday, March 9
The brand-new FlyteCo Brewing hosts a grand-opening celebration complete with live music, tours and beer. Located near the corner of 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street, the brewery has an aviation theme and will have at least seven beers on tap. The party runs all day, but you'll need tickets to get in after 6 p.m.