Colorado's independent craft breweries have been getting in on Small Business Saturday for years, but this time around, about two dozen of them have teamed up with Crowling Rental Company on a special Crowler that they can each fill with their own beer. Every participating brewery will affix their own sticker to the 32-ounce, limited-edition Crowlers, which they can then offer to customers with various specials and deals on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. "We wanted to put this project together to really showcase the community of local breweries and to demonstrate how we stick together and bring on discussion of shopping small and local," says Chain Reaction Brewing, which helped lead the project. "You’re going to be out spending your hard-earned cash, so why not spend some of it locally?"
Participating breweries include Chain Reaction, Wynkoop, Timnath Beerwerks, Soul Squared, El Rancho, Dead Hippie, Green Mountain, Welcome Home, Great Frontier, Brass, Fossil Craft, the Brew on Broadway, Declaration, Kokopelli, Periodic, 14er, Landlocked Ales, Alpine Dog, Bent Barley, Westfax, Banded Oak and Burly.
Keep reading for all of this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, November 21
Renegade Brewing will release its latest barrel-aged beer just in time for Thanksgiving. Barrel-Aged Berbere Imperial Chocolate Stout is an imperial chocolate oatmeal stout with native Ethiopian berbere spice aged in Laws Whiskey barrels. The 12.5 percent ABV beer will be available on draft and in sixteen-ounce cans to go.
Banded Oak Brewing brings back Drunkard's Cloak at 4 p.m. This barrel-aged English-style old ale took gold at the Great American Beer Festival this year and features Madagascar vanilla beans, "big malt and oak, which meld together with the pinot noir barrel to create an impressionable beer," the brewery says.
As we enter the holiday season, Ratio Beerworks has lined up a double release to get people in the mood for Thanksgiving. The first beer is Roots Radical Citrus Beet Saison, a "beautiful, naturally bright, ruby-hued saison featuring a slight blend of tartness, yielding to sweetness from the citrus and coriander," Ratio says. The second beer is Reservoir English Strong Ale, a winter warmer that "imparts bold, toffee, nutty, malt-forward flavors from the use of Maris Otter English malts and muscovado sugar."
Cedar Creek Pub in Aurora taps Fremont Brewing's Barrel Aged Dark Star Imperial Stout at 11 a.m., along with
Hubbard's Cave Brewery Fresh V6 DIPA, Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA with maple syrup, and Boulevard Brewing Company Plaid Habit Barrel Aged Imperial Brown.
Friday, November 23
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project got a bunch of its friends together earlier this fall for a "megabrew" collaboration; the results will be tapped at noon. The participating breweries were: 18th Street Brewery, American Solera, Beachwood Brewing, Casey Brewing and Blending, Jackie O's Brewery, Monkish Brewing, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales and WeldWerks. The beer, called Megacollab Double-Double Dry Hopped Imperial Juicy India Pale Ale, weighs in at 8.5 percent ABV and will be available on draft and in cans to go.
It's Black Friday 2018 at Station 26 Brewing, and that means the annual release of the brewery's barrel-aged imperial stout,
Dark Star Nightfall of Diamonds. The beer, formerly called Dark Star, has become a Black Friday tradition, and although Station 26 won't be releasing bottles this time, it will tap ten different flavor variations, alongside a base version and vintage batches from years past. All ten versions will go on at 11 a.m. The Order 26 Food Truck will serve special pairings inspired by Nightfall of Diamonds.
It's Black RyeDay at Baere Brewing, which will tap a beer of the same name. This rye-heavy imperial stout was inspired by pumpernickel bread and has "just the right amount of caraway and fennel seed," Baere says. It was also aged in freshly emptied Laws Whiskey House Secale Rye Whiskey barrels. Baere will also tap its annual Black IPA, which was fermented this year with Brettanomyces yeast, and the last five gallons of Cranberry Duplicitous.
Hops & Pie turns to the dark side at 11:30 a.m. for a Black Friday stout fest. The tap list includes: Westbound & Down Barrel Aged Posse Riot, Bell's Brewery Cherry Stout, Odell Whiskey Barrel Aged Lugene, Prairie Artisan Ales Deconstructed Bomb! Vanilla, Mikerphone Brewing & Untitled Art Barrel-Aged Hazelnut Imperial Stout, Untitled Art and Angry Chair Brewing Chocolate Vanilla Maple Imperial Stout, Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star, Hubbard's Cave Vanilla Imperial Stout and Chocolate & Raspberry Pot De Créme, WeldWerks Coffee Maple Achromatic and Mocha Milk Stout, Station 26 Nightfall of Diamonds, Comrade Quit Stalin with Vanilla/Marshmallows, and Copper Kettle Brewing Company Snowed In: Coconut.
Comrade Brewing taps a version of Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout that was brewed with Chinook, Azacca and a generous late addition of Centennial hops. "Aroma of toffee and chocolate dominate, lightly sweet, full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a subtle smoky finish and just enough bitterness to balance out the malt sweetness," the brewery says. The 10 percent ABV beer goes on at noon.
WestFax Brewing hosts its annual Black Friday Day of Dark Beers, releasing seven new dark beers at 11 a.m. They include a Black Brut IPA, Imperial Coconut Coffee Stout, Imperial Black IPA, Imperial Black IPA Nitro, Eclair Pastry Stout, Coffee Stout on Nitro, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. That last one, called Silently Judging, was aged for six months in Laws Whiskey barrels and will be available in limited bottle quantities for purchase and in ten-ounce pours. Then at dusk, Westfax will convert its taproom into a Cosmic Beer Party with black lights, glow sticks and live music by DJ RC3. Guests can enjoy all these dark brews (while supplies last) and don neon or glow-in-the-dark outfits "to take Black Friday to a new dimension."
4 Noses Brewing brings back Cinnamon Stout Crunch, a 9.4 percent ABV Russian Imperial Stout served on nitro. "Brewed with 50 percent more Cinnamon Toast Crunch this round, you'll experience a robust cinnamon flavor with an overwhelmingly smooth mouthfeel," the brewery says. The beer isn't available to go, but 4 Noses will offer two-for-one Summer Whimsy packs. The Little Big Sandwich Truck will be on hand as well.
All Parry’s Pizzeria & Bar locations in the metro area (except for the Parker location) will tap rare dark beers in honor of Black Friday — "offering a reprieve for thirsty shoppers or a refuge for those avoiding the malls," the company says. Check each location's Facebook page for a tap list.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette releases Hop Hop Troll Troll in cans starting at noon. This 8 percent ABV double IPA is a variant of Hop Troll, the brewery's single-malt and single-hop (S.M.A.S.H) IPA. "As a Double S.M.A.S.H IPA, it contains two malts and two hops," Odd13 says. "Pilsen and spelt form a backbone for Citra and Montueka. In addition, the brewery will have some St. Newcole on draft.
Saturday, November 24
Comrade Brewing taps Chairman's Reserve Double IPA at noon when it opens. This double IPA was brewed with Citra and Galaxy hops. It is big and bold at 9.5 percent ABV.
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Wednesday, November 28
The Aurora History Museum just opened a new exhibit called “Drink Local: Aurora’s Craft Beer Scene," which displays "the local entrepreneurial spirit that has created Aurora’s craft brew landscape,” according to Aurora History Museum director Scott Williams. “We also want to bring together scientific explication and artifacts to capture the curiosity of visitors.” The exhibit, which runs through April 7, includes special programs such as brown-bag lunch lectures on beer archaeology by Avery Brewing brewer (and CU professor) Travis Rupp. The exhibit ends with an April 6 tasting event, where participants will get unlimited beverage tasting, exclusive drink releases and a commemorative tasting glass. While the number of breweries in Aurora is limited, the show is a nice preview for a much larger exhibit planned by History Colorado for late 2019.
Thursday, November 29
Don your finest ugly sweater and join Boulder's Upslope Brewing (at the Lee Hill location) at 5 p.m. for the release of Wild Christmas Ale with Balaton Cherries, part of the brewery's Lee Hill Series. Upslope makes a new wild version of its Christmas ale every year, each time with a different fruit. This year, the 9.1 percent ABV beer was aged in oak barrels for twelve months with the brewery's house sour culture before being racked onto 1,000 pounds of Balaton cherries and allowed to re-ferment for eight weeks. "Aromas of pie cherries, leather, clover honey and almond are followed by mulling spices and a touch of orange peel," Upslope says. The beer will be available on draft and in 19.2 ounce cans to go.
Friday, November 30
Good River Beer and Woods Boss Brewing "share the same passion for protecting Colorado’s natural resources," the breweries say, which is why they both donate some of their proceeds to organizations that work with those resources. Now the two breweries have collaborated on a reddish spiced ale called Over the River and Through the Woods Holiday Amber to "both celebrate handcrafted local beer and donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations that are making an effort to protect and conserve Colorado’s rivers and forests."
Saturday, December 1
Arvada's New Image Brewing is bringing back two favorites on the same day, in cans: Blackberries & Cream Dyad and TuHop Shakur West Coast IPA. New Image opens at 11 a.m.