Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Cinco de Mayo, Free Comic Book Day and Spring Brews

Westminster Brewing returns.
Westminster Brewing returns. Westminster Brewing Co.
Westminster Brewing, which closed its doors at 7655 West 108th Avenue last year, has received an injection of support from some new ownership and will reopen on Friday, May 3. Nathan Adler, who had been the brewer at Stein Brewing in Boulder (formerly called J Wells Brewery), is the new head brewer and co-owner. Adler will bring back some of the brewery's old favorites while adding some of his own recipes. Nicknamed The Tasting Lab, Westminster Brewing's taproom first opened in December 2013 as the north Denver suburb's first brewery, but closed last September, when it was listed for sale.

Keep reading for craft-beer events into mid-May.

click to enlarge A special bottling of Intrepid Sojourner beer. - INTREPID SOJOURNER
A special bottling of Intrepid Sojourner beer.
Intrepid Sojourner
Wednesday, May 1
Platt Park Brewing gets into the spirit of the warm season by tapping POG New England Style Hazy Pale Ale, with flavors of passion fruit, orange juice and guava. The beer taps at 3 p.m. and will disappear quickly.

Chain Reaction Brewing created a Blackberry White Ale as part of Traveling One Barrel Wednesdays, a collaborative project with Strange Craft, Black Sky Brewing and the Brew on Broadway. The beer will go on tap at all four locations at 3 p.m.

Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, in collaboration with Molly's Spirits in Lakeside, has brewed a big, bold 13.5 percent ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in a Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrel with a secondary fermentation on figs. "Rich, dark and chocolatey, it has the essence of stone fruit, a nice drying sensation from the barrel, and boozy notes that aren't overpowering," the brewery says. It is available on tap and in bottles in the taproom, as well as in bottles at Molly's Spirits.

click to enlarge Enjoy a pilsner at Ratio on May 2. - RATIO BEERWORKS
Enjoy a pilsner at Ratio on May 2.
Ratio Beerworks
Thursday, May 2
Ratio Beerworks taps No Shade German-Style Pilsner at noon. Light, dry and traditional, it "goes down easy at a barbecue, summer park potluck or pre-show tailgate," the brewery says. The beer was brewed with Pilsner malts from local Proximity Malt and traditional Hallertau Mittelfrüh German hops for a crisp, clean, finish.

Friday, May 3
"Turn Friday into Fri(Yay)," says Westfax Brewing, which will release fruited variants of both Urban Lumberjack Hazy IPA (mango) and Spirit Animal Hazy IPA (passion fruit) on tap, for consumption in the taproom only. There will also be a limited run of these beers (standard versions) in sixteen-ounce four-packs.

click to enlarge Call to Arms brings back a favorite. - CALL TO ARMS BREWING
Call to Arms brings back a favorite.
Call to Arms Brewing
Saturday, May 4
Shirtless Putin Nuzzling With Dolphins returns to Call to Arms Brewing at noon. This most excellently named beer is a bourbon barrel-aged imperial Baltic porter with coffee. "This decadent dark lager was brewed with Czech pils yeast and eight different malts, along with the addition of Chinook hops. It was then aged in Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels," the brewery says. "To add even more complexity, we added Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters Hometown Blend as the finishing touch. Finishing at 11.4 percent ABV, the resulting brew offers flavors of subtle oak, vanilla, marshmallow and chocolate-covered cherries." The label artwork was designed, illustrated and hand screen-printed by local artist Jake Rathkamp of the Graphite Club, who will also screen-print a limited amount of custom T-shirts with the label design. These will be for sale at the release for $22 each. The beer will be available on draft and in 375mL bottles to go.

Cerveceria Colorado, the Mexican-style beer bar from Denver Beer Co., is celebrating its first birthday with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta featuring Anniversary Cerveza, a tequila-barrel-aged imperial poblano pilsner. There will also be limited-edition "Bridges Not Walls" glassware, a Señor Piña Colada Crowler release, Mexican games, Mexican food trucks, a tres leches cake, street corn, churros, piñata smashing and a photo booth.

Dos Luces is celebrating the Victory of the Battle of Puebla — "the original celebration that has evolved into the Cinco de Mayo we know today" — with its second-ever bottle release, Moctezuma III Imperial Pulque. "In the spirit of creation, Dos Luces let the flavors of the maguey reach their fermented zenith, achieving a deep tartness and complexity that is then enhanced by time within tequila barrels," the brewery says. "At 8 percent ABV, Moctezuma has aromas of apricot, vanilla, and white pepper that bring complexity to the tart and sweet flavors." Why the name? The story of Moctezuma is one of inspired creation and tragic destruction," Dos Luces adds. "Moctezuma I grew the Aztec Empire beyond the imagination, to the vibrant shores of the 'Sea of the Sky.' Moctezuma II outdid his namesake and brought the Empire’s reach to its absolute peak, before it was shattered by the brutal waves of history." Dos Luces opens at noon; bottles are limited.

The Populator returns to Diebolt Brewing, and this time the barrel-aged, dry hopped barleywine is available in cans. "Dark fruit, raisins and light cherry notes blast forth, followed by a sweeping shock wave of caramelization," the brewery says. "This heavy hitter is weighing in at 11.5 percent ABV and spent twelve months in a second-use bourbon barrel. Then we moved it to a fermenter and double dry-hopped it with 2.75 pounds per barrel of Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe. The Dry Hops added a huge tropical fruit aroma and flavor reminiscent of mango, papaya, and starfruit." The beer is also on tap.

Maibock returns to Prost Brewing just in time for spring weather. "Bock beers have traditionally been brewed for special occasions (hence their higher alcohol percentage), so in true fashion, Prost will be throwing this release party the same day as our May German night as a celebration to kick off the season," the brewery says. The beer will tap at 2 p.m., and there will be live music from the Polkanauts at 4 p.m. There will also be a food truck and $10 liters of core beers. Traditional German outfits suggested, but not required.

Alpine Dog taps its newest beer, Dom Puppignon, a brut IPA with Gewurztraminer grape juice and loads of Azacca, El Dorado and Citra Hops. "This beer's final gravity is below the density of water, meaning it's super dry, crisp and refreshing with low bitterness and notes of white grape, lychee, stone fruit, melon and citrus," the brewery says. The Bada Bing Food Truck will be on hand.

To celebrate their shared love of comic books — as well as Free Comic Book Day — Arvada's Odyssey Beerwerks, Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing, and Golden's Cannonball Creek Brewing teamed up to brew 3 Superheroes Walk Into A Brewery, a pale ale loaded with Amarillo, Galaxy and Sabro hops. All three breweries will tap the beer; they will also have a limited number of T-shirts for sale, as well as free comic books supplied by Mile High Comics.

Last year, Upslope Brewing in Boulder got together with Denver's Freshcraft restaurant to brew a beer called Sparkling Rosé IPA. It turns out that people liked it, so the brewery is releasing the beer in cans — and Freshcraft is throwing a party to celebrate. The beer will be on draft and available as beer frosé.

CO-Brew, the homebrew shop and brewery on Broadway, will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a Cinco de Mayo party. The employee beer competition returns, and there will be a nacho bar, piñatas and the store's biggest sale of the year. The One and Only Jon Ham brings the music with special guest Will Brant starting at 2 p.m.

Join Blue Moon Brewing Company for a Kentucky Derby-inspired party from 3 to 10 p.m. The party will feature the tapping of Bourbon Barrel Aged Mint Julep Brew and other specialty beers; a derby viewing, music from  Trout Steak Revival and The Kinky Fingers, a Tenderbelly pig roast with a pulled pork sandwich bar, Little Man ice cream, cookies from Good Sugar Baking, themed games and raffles, best-dressed and best hat competitions, and a DJ Dance Party set by Maddy O'Neal to close the night. Register on

The annual South in Your Mouth beer festival returns to Grist Brewing at noon, celebrating breweries located in Denver's southern suburbs. "Nearly a dozen breweries will gather together to celebrate beer, our community and sudsy camaraderie," organizers say. "And since this season’s event falls on the same weekend as Cinco de Mayo and Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you), we’ll be having our very own 'Cuatro de Mayo' with an intergalactic twist. So feel free to dress as your favorite character from a galaxy far, far away." There will be music, food trucks and two beers each from Blue Spruce Brewing, Coal Mine Avenue Brewing, Dead Hippie, Grist, Halfpenny, Living the Dream, Locavore Beer Works, Lone Tree Brewing, Pikes Peak, Resolute and 38 State. Drink tickets are $3 for a five-ounce pour and $5 for a ten-ounce pour; $2 from the sale of commemorative glasses will be donated to All Paws Matter Rescue.

New Terrain Brewing in Golden will debut Tributary Wild Brett Aged Sour, the latest in its Terminus Barrel Series, at 11 a.m. The beer rested for fourteen months before tart cherries were added.

Gluten-free beer maker Holidaily Brewing is throwing a party today and tomorrow to celebrate the opening of Holidaily 2.0, its enormous production facility across the street from its Golden taproom, at 801 Brickyard Circle. There will be food trucks, specially designed H2.0 Crowlers, tours and swag.

click to enlarge Epic gets into the Cinco de Mayo spirit. - EPIC BREWING
Epic gets into the Cinco de Mayo spirit.
Epic Brewing
Sunday, May 5
Epic Brewing celebrates Cinco de Mayo with micheladas made from Los Locos Mexican Lager; a churro and Big Bad Baptista pairing, tacos, burritos and beer specials.

Friday, May 10
Join Cerebral Brewing at noon for the release of three canned collaborations that it brewed during the Craft Brewers Conference last month, and one of the brewery's popular lagerbiers. Electric Ocean is an 11.7 percent ABV triple IPA collab with San Diego's Modern Times Beer; it was made with Gewürztraminer Grape Juice and hopped with Citra, Nelson and Idaho 7. Birthday Paradox IPA a 7.3 percent beer done in collaboration with Civil Society Brewing in Floriday; it was hopped with Citra, Strata and Idaho 7 with added lactose. Symmetrical Universe is a 6.6 percent IPA collaboration with Narrow Gauge Brewing; it was brewed with raspberry/blueberry honey and hopped with Mosaic, Enigma and Southern Passion. Character Reference is a 5.5 percent foeder-aged lager brewed with Vienna, Pilsner and Munich malts and hopped with Tettnang and Hersbrucker; it was conditioned for three weeks in a wooden foeder and an additional three weeks in stainless steel.

Saturday, May 11
Dry Dock Brewing jumps fully on board the haze train with the release of Pineapple Milkshake IPA, a canned summer seasonal brewed with Mosaic and Citra hops, pineapple puree, lactose and a dash of vanilla. "It carries a big nose of fresh pineapple with citrus undertones and a subtle vanilla finish," the brewery says. To mark the occasion, the brewery will throw a release party and luau from noon to six p.m. at its original South Dock location on Hampden Avenue. There will be Hawaiian food from Denver 808 Fusion Grindz.

Join Platt Park Brewing for its third annual Fruit Frenzy, a one-day-only tapping of ten different fruit beers, starting at noon. Beers on tap include: Plattmosphere NEIPA Tangerine & Vanilla; Madagascar Dream Peaches & Vanilla; Madagascar Dream Strawberries and Vanilla; Key Lime Berliner Weisse; White Pear Berliner Weisse; Phaded Pale Ale Passion Fruit; Tropical Snow Dance IPA Pink Grapefruit; Mango Basil American Wheat; Coconut Coffee Porter; and Future Blind Tart Cherry & Chocolate Stout.

TRVE Brewing releases two more IPAs in cans at noon. Ageless Fire is an East Coast IPA, dry hopped with Citra and El Dorado, while Show No Mercy is a West Coast IPA, dry hopped with Centennial, Ekuanot,and Hallertau Blanc. Limited amounts of both will be available only in the tap room.

River North Brewery will release bottles of its imperial stout aged in a whiskey barrel as part of its Single Cask Series, which involves "one single barrel, selected by our brewers for its breathtaking character," the brewery says. Barrel Aged Avarice: Single Cask will be on tap and for sale in bottles starting at noon.

Head to Boulder for the sixth annual Upslope Get Down, a free music fest and parking lot party with Upslope beer, food trucks, games, art, vendors and tons of bands on three stages. It runs from 2 to 10 p.m. at the brewery's Flatiron Park location. And although the music is free, you can buy VIP packages at
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes