As it always does, the summer beer festival season is filling up rapidly. In addition to Odell Brewing's Small Batch Festival on May 25 (see below), there's the Avery Brewing Invitational on June 8; the ninth annual Lake Dillon Brew Festival, also on June 8; the Vail Craft Beer Classic on June 21; the WeldWerks Invitational on June 22 in Greeley; the thirtieth annual Colorado Brewers Festival June 28-29 in Fort Collins; the 23rd annual Brewers Rendezvous on July 13 in Salida; the Historic Styles Brewfest on July 20 at the History Colorado Center; and the seventh annual Chef N Brew Festival on August 28.
And that's just to name a few of the big ones. There are also many others with dates or places pending and dozens of smaller fests too numerous to keep track of.
One interesting return to form is Great Divide Brewing's 25th-anniversary party, which will be celebrated once again on Arapahoe Street on June 22. The brewery, which took a break from its anniversary parties last year, had been using its River North Arts District space in the past few years but decided to bring things home for this milestone event; as in the old days, the street will be closed and the brewhouse will be open.
Tickets to the fest, which is dedicated to "bold characters," are $35 to $55 and include a slate of live music, food trucks, lawn games, Yeti appearances, unexpected enchantment and some "exceedingly rare and exceptionally creative beers that you won't see again," Great Divide says. Examples? There will be fourteen different variants of Yeti Imperial Stout (including Chocolate Oak Aged, Maple Pecan, S'mores and a 13.5 percent ABV Big Yeti).
Keep reading to see more craft-beer events through late May.
Wednesday, May 15
River North Brewery has been focused on hazy IPAs for the past year and a half, but the brewery hasn't forgotten about West Coast styles. River North will debut a brand-new, year-round canned double IPA called Fifteener later this month, but it kicks things off today with a mass tapping at a variety of Denver beer bars. The full list is still coming together, but it will include Euclid Hall, Freshcraft, Tap Fourteen Ballpark, Tap Fourteen Uptown, Jack's Uptown Grille, Walter's303 Pizzeria & Publik House and Colorado Plus. "Hopped with stratospheric levels of Simcoe, Centennial and Falconer’s Flight, Fifteener represents the pinnacle of our IPA endeavors," the brewery says. "At 10 percent ABV and 82 IBU, it’s brash enough to satisfy any hophead while remaining deliciously dry and drinkable. Layers of pine and grapefruit blanket the palate, complemented by a sprinkling of floral mango. Packed together, these hop notes allow Fifteener to strike the perfect balance between a contemporary and traditional double IPA." The taproom release takes place on May 25.
Comrade Brewing releases two beers at noon. The first is Honeyman 26 IPA, which the brewery says starts with "a light malt base of pilsner, Imperial and Munich malt," and is then "hopped generously with Galaxy and Amarillo hops and double dry-hopped with Amarillo, Ekuanot, El Dorado and Galaxy." The second beer is Single Hop Strata IPA, brewed with Root Shoot Genie pale malt from Loveland and X331, a new hops variety from Indie Hops. "Comrade describes the beer as "layered tropical notes of mango and passion fruit with a light citrus and grapefruit with dank herbal notes."
Join Hops & Pie at 11:30 a.m. for the Colorado debut of Maine Beer Company; the far northeast brewery will be pouring Lunch, Mo and Zoe & Peeper. Later in the day, at 5 p.m., Maine Beer Co. reps will be on hand to chat about the beers and hand out glassware. Hops & Pie will have New England Clam Chowdah and a Maine lobster and pig sammie.
Thursday, May 16
Novel Strand Brewing will release three beers in cans — all with a motherhood theme. Queen of All Everything is a 7.2 percent ABV IPA brewed exclusively with African Queen hops from South Africa. "Big, big notes of raspberries, black currants and Rooibos tea with tropical fruit," the brewery says. The second beer, Green Queen, is a version of Novel Strand's Green Showers dry-hopped with African Queen. "Massive aromas and flavors of guavas, raspberries, and dank cannabis." The last beer, Novel Queen, is a collaboration with Queen City Collective Coffee, which operates out of the brewery during the day. It's a 3.5 percent oatmeal milk stout infused with a coffee varietal from the Hingakawa Co-Op in Rwanda. "Hingakawa is run by and for women, who do most of the work on coffee farms in Africa," the brewery notes. Empanadas on Wheels will have food.
Local beer pro David Wright, who organized Beers Made by Walking and worked for Great Divide, recently moved back to Denver after a stint at Scratch Brewing Company in Illinois. Now with Our Mutual Friend Brewing, Wright has loads of friends in the business — including the folks at Finn's Manor across the street, who have decided to throw a beer-tapping party in his honor. There will be selections from OMF and Scratch, as well as Baere Brewing, TRVE Brewing and Novel Strand Brewing. Things kick off at 5 p.m.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery taps a new beer called Squishy New England IPA. The hazy brew was hopped with Amarillo, Azacca and El Dorado and has notes of pineapple, papaya and guava.
Friday, May 17
Strange Craft Beer Company, the granddaddy of Denver's new wave of taprooms, will celebrate nine years of "turning strangers into friends" with a weekend-long party that kicks off with the release of the newest version of Dr. Strangelove Barleywine. Previous years will be available in four-beer vertical flights, and vintage bottles will be on sale for $10. Koi & Ninja will be on hand with wings and parmesan-garlic fries.
Seedstock Brewery is tapping its first doppelbock. The 8.5 percent ABV beer is "dark ruby red in color; its rich, malty and slightly toasty aroma finishes with warm notes of plums and figs," the brewery says. The German-style beer was made in collaboration with Propagate Lab, a local yeast provider. Some of the beer has been set aside to be aged in a Laws Whiskey House Four Grain Bourbon barrel.
Westfax Brewing brings back its seasonal Cilantro Lime Ale at 2 p.m., and this time is it available both on draft and in cans. "Made with fresh cilantro and hand-zested limes, this ale is light, crisp and refreshing," the brewery says. The four-packs feature original artwork by Dolan Geiman.
4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield unveils the latest beer in its Whimsy series of hazy IPAs. Brewed with Azzaca and Idaho 7 hops, this version "features beautiful melon and peach aroma complemented with a balanced hop flavor," the brewery says. The beer will be available on tap and in cans (from the taproom only).
New Image Brewing in Arvada will release its latest Dyad sour kombucha/beer variant at 11 a.m. on tap and in four-packs. This one has cucumber, kiwi and jalapeño.
Heading to Summit County for mud season? Then make a stop at Outer Range Brewing, which is releasing two canned beers at noon. The first is Coconut Clouds Milkshake Double IPA, a collaboration with Cerebral Brewing that was made with Citra and Summer hops, coconuts, vanilla beans and lactose. The second beer is Outskirts DDH Double IPA, brewed with Galaxy, Centennial, El Dorado, Citra and African Queen hops.
Saturday, May 18
Strange Craft Beer Company continues its weekend-long ninth-anniversary party by tapping nine different collaborations. "Bring your drinking britches for this day and experience the beer made from around Denver in one location," Strange says. "The garage door will be open, and we will be expanding out to the front with a roped-off biergarten." The beers are Empire IPA with Hogshead Brewery; Sake Saison with Woods Boss Brewing; Cherry Blonde Stout with Mockery Brewing; Spelt Historical Saison with Diebolt Brewing; Cascadian Dark Ale with Falling Rock Tap House; Moscow Mule Kettle Sour with Joyride Brewing; Basil Kriek Blonde with Copper Kettle Brewing; Vanilla Cone with Black Sky Brewery; and Strange Tail VII with Freetail Brewing. There will also be a tenth collab (one for good luck) done with Cannonball Creek Brewing. "Tongue Tied Design will be on premise to freshly print for you our limited one of a kind anniversary t-shirt," Strange adds, while in-house artist David Palmer "has created our new anniversary graphic just for this event." There will live music from 6 to 9 p.m. as well as several food trucks.
The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project honors its second anniversary with an all-day party that kicks off with the release of Chardonnay Cherry Sour, a kettle-soured beer that was fermented in Chardonnay barrels and aged on 500 pounds of Rainier cherries for nine months. In addition, three fan favorites will come up from the cellar: Flanders Purple (collaboration with Dos Luces), Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Turkish Coffee Stout, and Strong Scotch. The brewery will be selling anniversary shirts and glassware. Rumichaka Eats will be on hand.
Baere Brewing has gotten into the spirit of prom season, and is hosting Retro Prom 2019 from 7 p.m. to midnight. The party is for everyone who hated prom, loved prom, or simply didn't go the first time around. For this year's theme, Baere was inspired by old movies. "Think Back to the Future's Enchantment Under the Sea; Carrie's Springtime in Venice; Footloose, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, It's a Wonderful Life, Grease," and more, the brewery says. Music will be provided by The One and Only Jon Ham, and there will be food from the Vegan Van, a photo booth with the Brewtography Project, special beer tappings, a punch bowl and more. Reserve your spot today with a $5 advance ticket (for sale in the taproom), which covers admission and your first beer.
Alpine Dog Brewing's fourth annual Chili Pepper Beer Fest kicks off at 10 a.m., and the brewery is bringing the heat. "We'll be infusing some of our favorites with various chiles and creating some new one-offs for the event," Alpine Dog says. The beers include Ms. American Rye Blonde Ale with jalapeño and Anaheim peppers; Thunder Puppy IPA infused with habanero peppers; Hyper Jam Blackberry Sour; Pupper Brown Ale with double coconut and Thai chiles; Tequila Barrel Aged Imperial Porter with Aleppo pepper; and Blueberry Habanero Polish Grodziskie. The Bada Bing Food Truck will be on hand with tacos.
Thursday, May 23
The Thirsty Monk taps the third in its Karma Series of beers, Unity Gose. "Brewed in support of LGBTQ equality and inclusion," this lemon kiwi gose was also made with additions of salt and lactose, the brewery says. "At 4 percent ABV, this gose is very much like a lemon Radler; complex, juicy, refreshing and brewed for patio sipping." $1 from each pour of Unity Gose sold will benefit One Colorado.
Friday, May 24
Diebolt Brewing kicks off Memorial Day weekend in style with "a good, old-fashioned patio party" and the release of D. Bolt Lite Lager on draft and in cans. This 4.2 percent ABV is "clear and crisp," Diebolt says, and perfect for crushing in the sunshine. Launch Base will be throwing down tunes at 8 p.m.
Hogshead Brewery taps Billsner Pilsner, its annual collaboration pilsner — lagered for thirteen weeks — made with Bierstadt Lagerhaus and named for Bierstadt brewer Bill Eye. There will also be "German everything: brats and kraut, music, short pants," the brewery says. The tappings takes place at 6 p.m.
4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a three-day party. There will be multiple can and bottle releases, along with daily food trucks and music.
Resolute Brewing opens its second location, Resolute Tap & Cellar, in the Candelas development in Arvada at 11 a.m. The grand opening even will include several beer tappings, along with food from Fajita Junction/The Dog Haus on Friday and the Croc kSpot on Saturday. The beers on tap include Fluffy the Lemon Slayer Sour, Mandarina Bavaria Wet Hop IPA, Dark Czech Lager, Bourbon Barrel Aged Danger Zone, Barrel Aged Coffee Imperial Porter, and Barrel Aged Braggot.
Saturday, May 25
Hops & Pie presents its Sour, Wild, and Fruited Fest, starting at noon. It will be pouring Jester King Montmorency vs Balaton; Cantillon Fou' Foune; Casey Brewing & Blending; Bellwood Brewing Jelly King Pineapple; Beachwood/Cellarmaker Bright Sunshiny Day; Cascade Brunch Line; Creature Comforts Athena Paradiso Passion Fruit & Guava; Crooked Stave/Omnipollo Blackberry Bianca; the Rare Barrel Pop'T Art; Propolis Zephyros; Black Project Cygnus B; Drie Fonteinen Oude Gouze/Hommage/Armond and Gaston; Tilquin; Ritterguts Gose; Grimm Brothers Lunar Return; and Russian River.
River North Brewery releases its brand-new, year-round canned double IPA at noon. Fifteener is brewed with "stratospheric levels of Simcoe, Centennial and Falconer's Flight hops. At 10 percent ABV, this Wet Coast-style hop colossus will be available on tap and in six-packs to go.
Ursula Brewery celebrates its fifth anniversary with a Hawaiian Luau and Pig Roast Party. There will be music all day and the release of its newest beer, Maluhia, a pineapple hibiscus sour. Ursula will also unveil the latest version of its Lazy Brewer Hazy Double IPA (on draft and in cans). There will be Hawaiian limited-edition hats, headbands and T-shirts for sale. Ursula opens at noon.
Odell Brewing is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, so the Fort Collins brewery is going big for its annual Small Batch Fest. There will be more than forty barrel-aged, sours, experimental IPAs, and a few pilot brews from its RiNo Brewhouse, along with Odell staples. There will also be two stages, and performances by Brent Cowles, Dragondeer, Sugarbirds and Whiskey Blanket. Tickets, $40, include four beer tokens (for six-ounce pours) and a custom globe glass. The festival runs from 1 to 6 p.m.
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Friday, May 31
Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley hosts its second annual Luau weekend today through Sunday, and to celebrate, it is bringing back Pua Aloalo, a mixed-culture sour golden ale with Hawaiian hibiscus and vanilla, for the first time in three years. The luau will also include live music, special food options, and several new beers to go and for on-site drinking. They include a few new slushes and a Tiki sour IPA.
Saturday, June 1
For the annual release of Wiggy Wiggy Belgian-style saison, Diebolt Brewing its hosting a Hawaiian luau and its first pig roast. "Lounge by the pools, bring your lawn chairs... and soak up some sun," the brewery says. There will also be poke, hula contests and a ukelele jam. Wiggy Wiggy is flavored with wildflower honey and hibiscus.
Platt Park Brewing will celebrates its fifth anniversary by releasing its first-ever canned beers in sixteen-ounce four-packs(and on draft) at noon. Plattmosphere New England-Style IPA "features a prominent honeydew, melon and mango hop character from the massive whirlpool and dry-hop additions of Mosaic, Citra and Horizon," the brewery says. Watermelon Berliner Weisse is made with wheat, pilsner malt base and mixed with a lactobacillus culture. "We ended up with a golden-colored Berliner that is light and tart."
Jake's Brew Bar in Downtown Littleton celebrates its seventh anniversary with a live blues band in the beer garden, Hot Pizza Ass with food, and some serious beer tappings, including Fremont Brewing Brew3000, Cerebral Brewing BA Table For One, Brasserie Cantillon Saint Lamvinus, and many more.