Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Belgian Beers, IPAs and a Guacamole Pairing

Rock out at Red Rocks with New Belgium.
Rock out at Red Rocks with New Belgium. New Belgium
New Belgium Brewing has signed a multi-year deal with the City of Denver to become "the official craft brewer of Red Rocks Amphitheatre,” an agreement that will give the Fort Collins brewery access to music fans and an even more prominent position at the venue. New Belgium will also brew a beer just for Red Rocks called Stage Rock Colorado Ale (named for one of the rock formations there), a 4.7 percent ABV kolsch.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but the arrangement means that New Belgium will also "have opportunities to partner" with other city-run venues like the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado Convention Center and Bellco Theatre, according to both the brewery and Denver Arts & Venues, the city agency that operates all of these.

“This entire partnership is very exciting, but the big ‘wow’ piece has to be Stage Rock Colorado Ale,” said Arts & Venues marketing director Brian Kitts in a statement. “This is a world-class brewery taking the time to make a beer specifically for enjoyment by music fans visiting our world-class performance venue."

A percentage of the sales from Stage Rock will be donated to Preserve the Rocks, a fund dedicated to education, restoration and preservation in and around Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The beer will be on tap at Red Rocks and other city venues and available in 19.2-ounce cans.

Keep reading for craft-beer events through the end of July.

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Grateful Gnome
Thursday, July 19
The Grateful Gnome releases its newest beer, an Imperial Red IPA, at 11 a.m. "This 8 percent ABV gem is bursting with bright citrus aroma, a caramel biscuit-y malt backbone, and finished with a resinous dryness."

Renegade Brewing welcomes History Colorado historian Sam Bock, who will give a talk called "High & Dry: Stories From Prohibition-Era Colorado," from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $8, and a portion of the proceeds will go to supporting Beer Here!, a History Colorado exhibit that will debut in 2019. Here's the organization's description of the event: "Did you know that Prohibition began four years earlier in Colorado than in the rest of the country? Want to know about why the mob and the KKK were connected to banning beer? Come uncover the hidden history of going dry in Colorado. Each attendee of this historic lecture will receive a mug of Renegade Brewing’s 1916 Colorado lager. Lagers were the predominant beer style at the time of Prohibition, and Denver beer culture was heavily German-influenced in the early days of the city. However, American lagers were distinctive in their addition of a premium ingredient, flaked corn, and the 1916 Colorado Lager does its best to recreate what a lager would have tasted like back then."

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Feel the haze at Ursula Brewery.
Ursula Brewery
Friday, July 20
The Makin' Noise beer project returns to five different breweries with Volume 7. For this version, the breweries each made a hoppy beer and will donate a portion of proceeds to charities that make a difference in Denver, most in support of people or causes that are in danger because of the current presidential administration's policies. Black Shirt Brewing made a hazy IPA with blood oranges and lactose, and dry-hopped with Galaxy and Citra; the brewery's charity is Youth on Record. Woods Boss Brewing made a Brut Pale Ale for the Colorado Water Trust, while Fiction Beer cooked up Calypso Northeast IPA for Swallow Hill Music. Goldspot Brewing made a tropical extra pale ale for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, and Strange Craft brewed an all-Colorado session IPA for a charity to be determined.

Cerebral Brewing hosts another of its trademark triple can releases starting at noon, and this time, all three are collaboration beers. The first beer, Arbitrary Benchmark, was brewed with Odd13 Brewing. This 6.8 percent ABV IPA features Plumage Archer malt and is hopped with Citra lupulin pellets, Nelson Sauvin, Vic Secret and Melba. The second beer, Feedback Loop, is a 7.8 percent double IPA brewed with Kane Brewing. It was hopped with Galaxy and Waimea in the whirlpool and Galaxy, Waimea and Vic Secret in the dry hop. And finally, there's Flaming Dragon Smoothie Style Sour, brewed with Southern Grist Brewing. "This beer draws inspiration from the tiki cocktail of the same name," Cerebral says. It was "conditioned on lactose, dragonfruit, lime and ginger.

Freshcraft breaks out "the good stuff" at 7 p.m. for its weekly series, the Good Stuff. This time around, Freshcraft will be pouring a keg of Cross Flow IPA, a collaboration between Outer Range Brewing and Casey Brewing and Blending; the beer was double dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, and Citra Hops. Freshcraft also has a single bottle of Elmer T Lee Bourbon available for $10 a pour.

Ratio Beerworks taps Float on Hefeweizen, which boasts "classic esters of banana and clove and finishes with a lilting, effervescent mouthfeel," the brewery says. "Additionally, our head brewer Jason utilized research from South German techniques used to accentuate a bolder banana flavor profile. The result is a light, approachable 60 percent white wheat-based Bavarian Hefeweizen, built perfectly to represent the no-worry attitude imbued by beer." Ratio will make the beer available in "traditional half-liter pours."

Ursula Brewery in Aurora brings back fan favorite Lazy Brewer at noon, on draft and in cans. This New England-style double IPA is made with Galaxy and Citra hops — but no Cascade.

Launch Pad Brewery in Aurora marks its three-year anniversary with a three-day party kicking off today with Funky Friday. The brewery is finally tapping a giant, one-hundred-year-old French cognac barrel "that has been taking up taproom space for months," Launch Pad says. The beer in the barrel is called Curiosity, a sour blonde ale aged with plums. The brewery will also release Sagan's Golden Record Sour Golden Ale and Transit of Venus Imperial blonde, which was aged in red wine and bourbon barrels with strawberries and cacao nibs. The Noke Aloha food truck will be outside.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland is celebrating its eighth anniversary with eight specialty beers over two days. They are versions of Snow Drop and Maiden’s Kiss, with cherry, raspberry, strawberry and watermelon. The brewery will also showcase its recently renovated taproom, holding the party indoors to keep people out of the heat. As an added bonus, there will be a slushie machine for a slushified Dragon Bloom Juicy IPA. Food will be provided by the Matador both days.

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Its guac-and-roll time at Denver Beer Co.
Denver Beer Co
Saturday, July 21
Hops & Pie brings back its annual Hops Fest by tapping some of the best hoppy beers from around Colorado and the rest of the country. Breweries included are Westbound & Down, Maine's Lawson's Finest Liquids, Cannonball Creek, California's Russian River, Outer Range, Call To Arms, Weldwerks, New Mexico's La Cumbre, Boston's Lord Hobo, Half Acre, Odd13 Brewing, Fremont and Ecliptic.

You've paired your beer with just about everything, from cheese to cupcakes, from pies to pizza. So how about guacamole? Sounds delicious. Cerveceria Colorado will host a beer-and-guac pairing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving four kinds of guacamole from El Gallo Blanco and four beers from Denver Beer Co.-owned Cerveceria Colorado. Timed tickets are $20 each and available at

Wynkoop Brewing taps the third beer in its S.M.a.S.H. (single malt, single hop) series with S.M.a.S.H. #3 German Pale Ale. The 5.6 percent ABV beer was brewed with all Gambrinus pilsner malt, "which brings delicate malt flavor and is extremely low on the Lovibond scale," Wynkoop says, and Hallertau Blanc hops, which "have a great white wine spiciness." Set your alarm and snag your release-party tickets at for a spot at this limited-seating 10 a.m. bash. Ticket holders get a free pint.

Join Our Mutual Friend Brewing for the bottle release of Pageantry, a lemon verbena saison brewed in collaboration with Austin Beerworks.

Call to Arms Brewing is hosting its third anniversary celebration from noon to 11 p.m. by pulling out all the stops with specialty beer releases, carnival games, live music and plenty of food. This "carnival-themed soiree" features several beers, Space Balls Galaxy Dry-Hopped Ballroom Beer, Tennyson Standard Kolsch and George Juicerson Jr. Session IPA. There wil be live music from Pick & Howl, and food provided by the Budlong Hot Chicken and Mas Kaos.

"Beers have been made into legends, and legends have turned into beer. Watch beneath your bed, beers might be hiding..." says Arvada's New Image Brewing, which adds, "A legend foretold of a monster so terrifyingly delicious that whispering its name could haunt beer drinkers (into never enjoying peaches the same way again)." The monster's name is Peachra, a sweet milkshake IPA made with Citra hops and Colorado peaches. It taps today at 11 a.m.

River North Brewery, which began its life as a Belgian-style brewery before adding other styles, breaks out some classic beers for Belgian National Day, the annual celebration of Belgian independence. All beers will be available on draft and in bottles or Crowlers to go when the brewery opens at noon. One of these is a new release: Single Cask J. Marie, an imperial saison aged in a chardonnay barrel with pinot noir grape must. The rest of River North's sixteen taps will pour 2016 Whiskey Barrel Quandary; 2017 Whiskey Barrel Quandary; 2017 Single Cask J. Marie: Port-Cask Whiskey; 2016 Decennial I: God Complex; 2017 Vicennial I: Barrel Aged God Complex; 2017 Rum Barrel Quandary; 2016 Saison Conspiracy Noir; Anniversary Ale 6; Electric Kazoo; Quandary; Avarice; J. Marie; White; FarmHouse; plus a surprise new keg for quad lovers.

Launch Pad Brewery in Aurora continues its three-year anniversary weekend by releasing its anniversary brew, Archer's Honey Blueberry Blonde Ale. There are three versions, Imperial, Laws Secale Whiskey barrel-aged, and Laws Hordeum Whiskey barrel-aged. The party will also include a pig roast.

Living the Dream Brewing in Littleton is hosting a fourth-birthday bash with special releases, guest breweries, a $700 cornhole tournament and several food trucks. The beer list includes: New England IPA, 7 Speed IPA,  IIIPA Your Brains Out Triple IPA, High Country Haze Hazy IPA, Cherry Maguire Belgian Cherry, Guava Mountain Gose, Powder Run Vanilla Cream Ale, and three barrel-aged beers. Guest breweries include Outer Range, Bonfire, Hideaway Park Brewery, Vail Brewing, and Casey Brewing and Blending.

Tacos and beer, tacos and beer, tacos and beer! Yeah, it's heaven. Sanitas Brewing in Boulder brings back its Taco Fest starting at noon, when it will begin pouring twenty different beers made just for the event, while longtime food partner McDevitt Taco Supply offers up at least forty different kinds of tacos. There will also be live music all afternoon and evening, lucha libre wresting on a stage, and piñatas for all ages (including some with adult treats). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door (kids twelve and under get in free) and include one beer and one taco, along with the music and wrestling. Additional beer and tacos will be available for purchase. Get more info at

Wibby Brewing in Longmont hosts its third all-lager beer festival, Hooplagers, from 3:15 to 8 p.m. at 209 Emory Street. Formerly known as the Lagers for Lumber Festival, Hooplagers features more than 45 breweries from across the country, including Deschutes Brewery, August Schell, Melvin Brewing, Jack's Abby, Weldwerks Brewing, Cannonball Creek and Lone Tree Brewing. Hooplagers also features a massive pool party, a fundraising sandcastle-building contest, three live bands, a silent disco, an indoor arcade and food trucks. General admission tickets are $27, while VIP are $50. They can be purchased at the taproom or online at Proceeds benefit Longmont charities, such as Safe Shelter of St. Vrain, Out Boulder County, Bicycle Longmont, Firehouse Art Center and Habitat for Humanity of St. Vrain.

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Happy birthday, Bess.
Grateful Gnome
Sunday, July 22
It's Grateful Gnome head brewer Bess Dougherty's birthday, so the deli and taproom is celebrating with $5 pints of Gnome ESB and tunes from Denver Vintage Reggae Society.

Launch Pad Brewery in Aurora continues its three-year anniversary party by releasing two barrel-aged versions of its Soyuz Stout, one with cookies and creme and one with crème brûlée. There will also be two new coffee beers to try: Moon Landscape, an imperial stout aged in Laws Bourbon barrels with pecans, maple syrup, and Sumatra Mutu Batak coffee from West Coast Roasting; and You Call That a Radar Screen, an imperial stout aged in Laws Bourbon barrels with cinnamon, vanilla beans, and dark roast coffee from Hogos Coffee Co. in Guatemala. In addition, there will be brunch trucks and free cupcakes. The fun starts at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, July 25
Platt Park Brewing taps the latest beer in its monthly 11th Tap Project at 3 p.m. This month, it's Pineapple & Rosehip Saison. The beer was flavored with Florida pineapples and rosehip oil, which "adds a tang similar to hibiscus, while the pineapple gives it a touch of sweet," the brewery says. There is only one keg.

Join Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream and Station 26 Brewing at Freshcraft from 3 to 7 p.m. when Eskimo Bros. will be making liquid nitrogen ice cream paired with Station 26 beers, including the brewery's Dark Star Imperial Stout, Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wayne and Pina Colada Milkshake Double IPA. Available drafts from Station 26 include Juicy Banger, Bang Bang Double IPA, Piña Colada Milkshake DIPA, Dark Star Imperial Stout, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wayne 2016.

Thursday, July 26
Renegade Brewing continues its Beers + Banned Books series at 6 p.m. by pairing To Kill a Mockingbird with Tequila Mockingbird, which is the brewery's 5:00 Afternoon Ale base aged with tequila-soaked American Oak staves and flavored with lemongrass. The first forty people to purchase a ten-ounce pour of Tequila Mockingbird will receive a worn copy of To Kill a Mockingbird to keep. This is the third Renegade monthly event where the brewery pairs books from the banned-book list with a new beer created in a Squarrel Barrel.

The Westy Brew Fest boasts beers from sixty breweries.
Courtesy City of Westminster Parks, Recreation & Libraries Facebook
Saturday, July 28
"Summer means lemonade stands. We've got the adult version of that," says Station 26 Brewing, which will tap  Strawberry Lemonade Sherbert (and, yes, it's spelled wrong on purpose), a kettle-soured beer brewed with lactose, vanilla, and "bursting with flavors of strawberry and lemon. Smooth, slightly tart, and just what you need in the middle of summer." Station 26 will also sell a limited number of Crowlers starting at 1 p.m.

Denver Beer Co. is cooling things down with its third annual Beer and Ice Cream Pairing, taking place at the original taproom on Platte Street in Denver and at the Arvada brewery. The brewers at Denver Beer Co. teamed up with Little Man Ice Cream to create five different summer shandies (beer plus juice) that can be paired specifically with five different ice cream flavors. The full (five four-ounce beers and five mini-scoops) pairing will be available both Saturday and Sunday for $20.

Westminster brings the heat with the return of the Westy Craft Brew Fest and a whopping sixty regional breweries and cider makers, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Christopher Fields, where you'll find fantastic views of the Front Range. In addition, there will be music from Rob Drabkin, food trucks and even child care for kids seven and up. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door; there are also VIP options. Get them at

Get thirsty for ThirstyFest, a beer festival with fifteen breweries, live music, lawn games and food trucks at the McNichols Civic Center Building. The event is a volunteer-led beer festival, and all proceeds will be donated to Water for People, a Denver-based organization that helps people in nine countries gain access to clean water and sanitation. Breweries on hand include: Denver Beer Co., Left Hand, Renegade, Crooked Stave, Joyride, Hogshead, Crazy Mountain, Colorado Native (Coors), Good River Beer, Horse & Dragon, Bruz Beers, Goldspot, 4 Noses Brewing, Epic and Declaration. There will be music from Envy Alo, Boogie Mammoth, Devan Blake Jones, Sonic Flow, Ben Hammond, and Malakai, and food from Dos Gringos and FishSki Provisions. Tickets, $25, are available at
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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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