Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Stout Month, Sours and Melvin Brewing's 2X4 Day

Alyssa Thorpe takes over as head brewer at Jagged Mountain.
Alyssa Thorpe takes over as head brewer at Jagged Mountain. Photo courtesy of Brandon Thorpe
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery has hired experienced local brewer Alyssa Thorpe as its new head beer maker.  Thorpe started her career at the now-defunct Mu Brewery in Aurora before moving to Lone Tree Brewing, where she gained recognition "for her creative and unique take" on beers, Jagged Mountain says. She joins Nathan Watt, who just started as the assistant brewer, in the ten-barrel brewhouse.

"It’s definitely bittersweet to me. Leaving Lone Tree Brewing was not a decision I took lightly; I’ve made some lifelong friends there and learned to make great beer from great brewers. I will truly miss that place and the people," Thorpe says. "That being said, I have so many ideas for new beers, and I’m ready to dive in head first."

Keep reading for all the craft-beer events into mid-February.

Wednesday, January 30
Strange Craft Beer Company, Black Sky Brewery, Chain Reaction Brewing and the Brew on Broadway will all tap Nachtmusik American Black Lager as part of their Traveling One Barrel Wednesday program. The word Nachtmusik comes from Mozart's "A Little Night Music," the composer's thirteenth serenade as well as one of his most popular compositions. The beer was brewed with German malts and 100 percent Simcoe hops.

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Coda Brewing
Thursday, January 31
Great Divide Brewing will tap Orabelle Belgian-Style Tripel at both taprooms. "A seasonal favorite, Orabelle is brewed with barley, wheat, oats and rye," the brewery says. "Its two yeast strains, orange peel and dash of coriander, impart surprising complexity and richness to this delicate ale."

The newest brewery to open in Golden is Coda Brewing — and it will tap Carrot Cake at 3 p.m. "More than sixty pounds of carrots, raisins and brown sugar went in this batch," Coda says. "We will be adding a special topping to the beer served over the come get your beta carotene on."

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Stout Month is here.
Mountain Sun
Friday, February 1
The Mountain Sun brewpub and restaurant group will kick off its annual Stout Month at its locations in Boulder, Denver and Longmont. "Throughout the month, more than a dozen taps at all five Mountain Sun locations [Vine Street Pub, Mountain Sun, Southern Sun, Under the Sun and Longs Peak Pub] will be devoted to...the rich, thick and dark ale," the company says. "More than 31 Mountain Sun stouts will be featured, including 48 Smooth Chai Stout, Coconut Cream Stout, Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout, Chocolate Dip Stout, and Space Odyssey Stout." In addition, there will be stouts from more than thirty other Colorado breweries rotating through. In Denver, Vine Street Pub will features several barrel-aged offerings at various times. They include Rye Barrel-Aged Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatimus Prime Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Chocolate Thunder Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout.

Join Our Mutual Friend Brewing at noon for the release of Thanatoid Vanilla Imperial Stout. The beer was aged for twelve months in Laws Whiskey House Bourbon and Secale Rye barrels, "then conditioned on a borderline ludicrous amount of Tahitian vanilla bean," OMF says. "Thanatoid is viscous, but still balanced in body and not too sweet. Aroma and flavor are complex, with German chocolate cake, Oreo cookie, vanilla, anise, oak and whiskey notes (to name a few). It’s warming at a tad under 13 percent ABV." There are only thirty cases available (each 500ml bottle is $20), and the first twenty people in the door get a free Thanatoid tumbler.

For Stout Month, Platt Park Brewing will host a very limited bottle release and tapping of Future Blind Batch #3, a barrel-aged tart cherry chocolate stout. The brewery opens at 1 p.m.

Black Sky Brewery loves Stout Month, so it will showcase the style all through February. Here's what's on tap today: Blackberry Stout, Chocolate Fudge Brownie Milk Stout, Chocolate Mint Pistachio Stout, Fallen Angel Oatmeal Stout, Skinned Syndicate Chocolate Mocha Stout, Draghoria Black Cherry Stout, Hot Chocolate Stout,
Bourbon Barrel Aged Fallen Angel Stout, and Hazelnut Porter.

Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project celebrates First Friday in the Art District on Santa Fe by tapping its first-ever dunkelweizen. "A full-bodied, dark German wheat beer, the dunkelweizen is perfect for a cold Colorado winter day," the brewery says. This is a pilot batch, so only two kegs were made.

It's Sour Month at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, which will have eight taps devoted to rotating sour beers for the entire month. You'll find beers from Russian River Brewing, Firestone Walker, WeldWerks Brewing, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and many more.

Wit's End Brewing, which is located inside Strange Craft Beer Company, will bring back Mick Jaggery, an English-Style ESB with a slight twist: the addition of an Indian cooking sugar called jaggery. "Deep crystal malts give this beer its amber color and malt-forward sweetness," the brewery says. "The early hop additions add just enough bitterness to prevent the sweetness from taking over. Jaggery is an earthy and floral unrefined sugar that integrates into the malt structure and EKG hop flavors."

Peak to Peak Tap & Brew kicks off its own version of Stout Month by tapping Cookies & Cream Stout. The Aurora brewery will tap four more stouts over the course of the month: S'Mores Stout on February 8; Chocolate Mint Stout, along with a cookie pairing, on February 9; 'Nawlins Praline Stout on February 15; and Crimea River Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout on February 22 (also available in bombers).

Great Divide Brewing
Saturday, February 2
Join De Steeg Brewing as it celebrates Six Years in the Alley, an anniversary party featuring the release of the brewery's 19.5 percent ABV Anniversary Biere de Garde. There will also be a chili cook-off and free swag.

TRVE Brewing taps two new beers today and brings back an old favorite. The first is Bring on the Clouds, which was brewed in collaboration with Oregon's Breakside Brewery; it has jasmine flowers and sakura (salt-preserved cherry blossoms). The second is Beatin' the Odds, a collab with Civil Society Brewing in Florida; it's a barrel blend with orange peel and juice. And finally, TRVE is dropping this year's version of Ecate, a mixed-culture golden ale aged on grape pomace. "This year’s batch has huge amounts of fruit flavors as compared to prior batches, with a distinct grape Jolly Rancher flavor," the brewery says. Doors open at noon.

Melvin Brewing, out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, brings back its fourth annual International 2X4 Day in honor of its flagship IPA, 2X4, and it will party at Hops & Pie starting at noon. Some people might even call it "the best damn DIPA in the world," Melvin says, since it won the triple crown at GABF, WBC and Alpha King. Hops & Pie will also tap Melvin's Asterisk, Kung Fu Bar, Pilsgnar and Cloudy 5000.

With the changes in the weather come the changes in the flavor of New Image Brewing's unusual Dyad Sour Kombucha Ale. This time around, the brewery is releasing Cran Cherry Crumble Dyad at 11 a.m. on draft and in cans. "This fruited version of Dyad has the same kombucha-inspired tastes and tartness you’d expect from regular Dyad, but with a healthy addition of cranberries, cherries, vanilla and cinnamon," the brewery says.

Sunday, February 3
In honor of now being open seven days a week, Blue Tile Brewing (1609 East 58th Avenue, Unit G) will have a Super Bowl watch party and tap its new Russian imperial stout infused with Coda Coffee's cold brew.

Monday, February 4
Another Stout Month participant, Diebolt Brewing, will tap a variation of its Vladislav Russian Imperial Stout each Monday in February. Today's is Bourbon Aged Imperial Stout with Huckleberry Roasters' Atitlan el Grano coffee. "We put one pound of whole beans into five gallons of Vladislav for five days and then added just a hint of vanilla to round out the roast notes," the brewery says.

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TRVE Brewing
Friday, February 8
Cedar Creek Pub in Aurora will celebrate Stout Day by tapping a variety of dark treats. They include Founders Brewing's KBS BA Imperial Stout, Founders Brewing's CBS BA Maple Imperial Stout, Cigar City Brewing's Marshall Zhukov's Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing's Chocolate Cherry Yeti Imperial Stout, and Aspen Brewing Company's 24-month barrel-aged 10th Mountain Imperial Stout.

Saturday, February 9
Join Hops & Pie during Flagship February for its OG Whales of Craft Beer Fest. What are "whales?" Well, they are the rare beers the people seek out — the life-listers, the ones you brag about on social media. In the past few years, these whales have evolved and changed. The old-school ones no longer get as much buzz as they once did, either because other beers have supplanted them or because the breweries that make them have grown and can supply more kegs and bottles. But those OG whales are still hard to find and really, really good. "These are the beers that you used to wait in line for and still love," Hops & Pie says. "Let’s turn back the clock and give a nod to the beers that helped the industry become what it is today. Brews on tap at noon include: Founders Brewing CBS and KBS, Bells Brewery Hopslam, Russian River Pliny The Elder, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, Firestone Walker Anniversary Ale, and Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star.

Speaking of whales, the original cult beer, Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger Triple IPA, will hit Falling Rock Tap House at 1 p.m. for its first foray into Colorado in 2019. And since the California brewery was able to make more of this hop bomb after a recent expansion, Falling Rock will be able to tap the beer several more times this month (it typically sells out within minutes or at least a few hours). They are Sunday, February 10;  Saturday, February 16; Sunday, February 17; and Saturday, February 23. And although all the tappings are at 1 p.m. on those days, Falling Rock opens at 11 a.m. and will distribute tickets at the door. If you get one, it means you get a pour, but only if you're there at 1 p.m. For the rest of the rules, go to Falling Rock's Facebook page.

Ratio Beerworks celebrates its four-year anniversary with a weekend-long party featuring beer releases, music and more. Today the brewery hosts a limited double bottle release. The first beer is Genius Wizard Imperial Stout Grand Cru, a 24-month barrel-aged version of imperial stout. Ratio will also re-release Wild in the Streets, a funky, nuanced wild saison aged in red wine barrels.There will also be live music that night.

Ursula Brewery in Aurora will release two old favorites in brand new packaging: 19.2-ounce stovepipe cans. The beers are Merit Badge Imperial Porter, a coconut and chocolate porter inspired by Girl Scout cookies, and 180 Gram Imperial Stout with pomegranate and chocolate. There will also be four barrel-aged variants of 180 Gram available in 375ml bottles. Doors open at noon.

Monday, February 11
In honor of Stout Month, Diebolt Brewing will tap a new variation of its Vladislav Russian Imperial Stout each Monday in February. Today's is Strawberries & Cream Bourbon Aged Imperial Stout. "We put eleven pounds of strawberry purée into five gals of Vladislav for two weeks and then added lactose sugar for extra body and sweetness," the brewery says.

Thursday, February 14
Diebolt Brewing taps Double Dutch Chocolate Bourbon Aged Imperial Stout for Valentine's Day. It was made with Dutch cocoa powder, cacao nibs and French sea salt.

Join Baere Brewing on Valentine's Day for a beer release and a beer-and-cupcake pairing with Buttercream Bakeshop. Here's a description of the beer: "We took four oak barrels of our mixed-culture sour brown and aged them in freshly emptied Laws Whiskey barrels for up to nine months. Then we blended them and aged some of the delicious nectar on freshly harvested Palisade Bing cherries. Baere will have both the regular and Bing cherry versions on tap and in 375mL bottles to go. As for the cupcake pairing, you get four cupcake bites and four beer samples for $20.

Friday, February 15
Hogshead Brewery brings back its annual weekend-long Hogshead Days party. The brewery, which specializes in English-style cask ales, will tap a variety of dark or heavy specialties. They include Window Licker Barleywine, Barrel Aged Old Burton Extra Old Ale, Barrel Aged Divine Right Russian Imperial Stout, Gilpin Black Gold, John Stout Porter From the Wood, and Bourbon 101.

Come party with Factotum Brewhouse, which celebrates its fourth anniversary with a two-day party. Doors open at 3 p.m. on Friday, when the brewery will tap Tiramisu Nitro Stout; there will be food from Morsa's Kitchen and music from Big J. Beats. Then on Saturday, Factotum will tap its fourth-anniversary beer, Mango Pineapple Berliner Weisse, at noon. There will be food from Crescent City Connection and music all day.

Monday, February 18
Diebolt Brewing will tap a new variation of its Vladislav Russian Imperial Stout each Monday in February. Today's is Thin Mint Bourbon Aged Imperial Stout with peppermint extract, Dutch chocolate and cacao nibs.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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