Longtime Colorado brewery veteran Thomas Larsen has returned to the state after working at Amundsen Brewing in Norway for the past two years. Larsen is taking a job as the new production manager at Epic Brewing, where he has known the owner, Dave Cole, and staff for more than six years.
“I met Dave early on and was impressed with the wide range of beer that was produced here. They have a nice sour and barrel program, and it's obvious Epic has a lot of fun with their beers," Larsen says. "I'm excited to learn more about managing the different styles as well as the connection with the Salt Lake City facility."
Larsen, who grew up in Denver, worked for Wynkoop Brewing for a decade, the last six of those as the head brewer. In 2008, he moved to Durango to take the same job at Ska Brewing, where he remained until 2017. While there, he brewed all of Ska's flagships as well as some experimental beers.
Epic says Larsen will focus on improving quality and efficiencies in all departments while helping grow the company. "I am excited to bring on someone with his level of expertise to our Colorado facility, says Epic's Jordan Schupbach. "He is going to take our production to the next level.”
Keep reading for all of this week's craft-beer events.
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. The new beer will be available in cans around the Front Range.
Lady Justice Brewing is celebrating (Super)girl power with the release of an exclusive collaboration beer made in conjunction with Alamo Drafthouse. Astral Aviator is a blood-orange pale ale with butterfly pea flower and a hefty dose of...glitter! Enjoy a pint or two of this movie-related beer while listening to live music from some of the talented female musicians of Girls Rock Denver. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Girls Rock Denver.
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's won for two years in a row. The beer will also be available in six-packs to go.
WestFax Brewing celebrates its third anniversary today and tomorrow with various beer releases. Today's festivities begin at 2 p.m. with Barrel Aged Friday, when Westfax releases Concussion Protocol Belgian Quad; Silently Judging, a Laws Whiskey bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout; and Rye Are You Judging Me?, a Laws Whiskey rye-barrel-aged imperial stout that will also be available in 22-ounce bombers. Westfax will also sell its flagship, Urban Lumberjack Hazy IPA, in sixteen-ounce cans to go. In addition, there will be food trucks, ax throwing, new anniversary merchandise and hair/beard trims by Crisp Barbershop.
When ancestors of the family behind Seedstock Brewing moved to Nebraska from what is now the Czech Republic, "the first thing they did was set up a brewery in a barn," Seedstock notes. From that heritage, the brewery has created its Bohemian Barn Beer, an old-world beer using only Vienna malt and Saaz hops. The 5.9 percent ABV beer has "a malty-sweet aroma with a slight hint of melon," Seedstock says. "It gets its sweet and rich mouthfeel from the Vienna malt, while the Saaz hops really shine through with a spicy, peppery finish."
Join Cerebral Brewing for a triple can release starting at noon. The first beer is Bird of Paradise Blood Orange & Mango, a 5.2 percent ABV smoothie sour that was inoculated with Lactobacillus and conditioned on lactose, blood orange and mango. The second beer is International Waters, a 5.1 percent ABV unfiltered pilsner that was brewed with raw Colorado wheat and Sterling and Taiheke hops and then lagered in a wooden foeder. The final beer is Cheat Code, a 7.9 percent ABV double IPA brewed with Galaxy, El Dorado and Mosaic hops.
Saturday, March 9
The brand-new FlyteCo Brewing will host a grand-opening celebration complete with live music, tours and beer. The aviation-themed brewery is located near the corner of 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street. The party runs all day, with at least seven beers on tap — but you'll need tickets to get in after 6 p.m.
The Cultural Center, a shared tasting room and barrel cellar from Westbound & Down Brewing and Amalgam Brewing, will host a tapping event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 6381 Beach Street. There will be eight beers on draft, some from each brewery. Amalgam Brewing will have bottles of Other Realms Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and Landscapes Golden Sour Blend, which was aged on Colorado-grown Red Globe peaches and Ovation nectarines to go. The Taco Veloz food truck will be outside.
River North Brewery will debut a brand-new West Coast-style double IPA. The beer, Project: First Ascent, was brewed with Simcoe, Falconer's Flight, Centennial and Citra hops. It will be on draft and available to go in a limited number of six-packs only from the taproom.
Zuni Street Brewing turns two years old and is celebrating with a noon-to-midnight extravaganza. There will be live music all day and night, local artists, pottery painting, food trucks, yard games, a photo booth, a bounce house and plenty of beer, including a specialty cellar-series release.
Join the Wynkoop Brewing Company from noon to 4 p.m. for the dorkiest party in town. The annual Day of Dorks Festival includes thirty-plus breweries (see the full list on the Wynkoop's Facebook page) pouring "some of the geekiest and [most] white-whaley craft brew in all the land," Wynkoop says. Nerd attire is suggested but not required. "And to truly encourage 'The Next Generation' of dorks, we'll be collecting school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks and more," says the brewery. "Donations to benefit local area schools." Tickets, $35 to $40, are available at eventbrite.com and entitle you to a commemorative Day of Dorks glass for unlimited pours.
There has been a west-side brewery bus loop for a couple years now, but now a few east-side breweries are getting into the act. From 1 to 9 p.m., there will be two buses running continuously between Comrade Brewing, Copper Kettle, Platt Park and Grandmas House. Start at whichever brewery you choose and ride the loop all day for $5. Visit all four and get a coupon for a free beer.
It's time to get wild and celebrate New Image Brewing's third anniversary in Olde Town Arvada. Starting at 11 a.m., there will be taproom-only beer releases, specialty merchandise, tons of live music and more.
WestFax Brewing continues its third-anniversary celebration with four timed beer releases and limited (150) anniversary glasses custom-drawn by Colorado artist Drawing From Nature, depicting West Colfax and the Rocky Mountains. The beers are Irish Thin Mint Nitro Pastry Stout; Raspberry Berliner; Sippin’ on a Cloud Hazy Double IPA; and W3 Brut IPA, a collaboration with Woods Boss and Westbound & Down.
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.
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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.
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.
Wednesday, March 20
Colorado Pint Day returns as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week. Multiple breweries 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.