Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Get Outta Town for Nitro Fest, Parties at WeldWerks and Grist

Zack Kaplan is the new head brewer at Eagle's Bonfire Brewing.
Zack Kaplan is the new head brewer at Eagle's Bonfire Brewing. Radcraft
There have been a number of changes amid the ranks of Denver's top breweries. Ali Benetka, who had been at Ratio Beerworks for the past two years, has moved on to another industry. Wayne Waananen, meanwhile, who has served as head brewer for Station 26 Brewing since it opened in 2013, is also looking for work after parting ways with the Park Hill beer maker. Rob Kevwitch, the founding brewer at Grist Brewing, which opened its doors in Highlands Ranch in 2013, has also moved on. In his place are Kevin Paquette, formerly of the Lone Tree, Dry Dock and Platt Park breweries, and assistant Brendan Devlin, who worked at 10 Barrel.

Bonfire Brewing in the Vail Valley has hired Zack Kaplan as head brewer. Kaplan served in the same position at Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada. Before that, he held brewing jobs at Denver Beer Co. and Upslope Brewing, as well as Saint Archer and Green Flash Brewing in San Diego. Jeff Griffith has taken the top spot at Odyssey. He was the longtime lead at Golden City Brewing before helping to found Fate Brewing in Boulder.

Keep reading to see craft-beer events through mid-November.

Strange Craft Beer Company
Wednesday, November 7
Copper Kettle Brewing will focus on sour beers this month during its Wednesday firkin nights. The first beer to be tapped is Cranberry Golden Sour; it will go quickly.

Strange Craft Beer Company has cooked up a beer in a nearly extinct style called Grodziskie or Gratzer — "also known as the Polish Champagne back in it's heyday," the brewery says. Strange, along with Chain Reaction Brewing, Black Sky Brewery and the Brew on Broadway, will all tap the beer at 3 p.m. as part of their collaborative Traveling One Barrel Wednesday program.

Thursday, November 8
For the seventh year, the iconic Silver Grill in Old Town Fort Collins has teamed up with Odell Brewing to craft the popular CinnsationAle – "a sensational and sweetly spiced autumn ale infused with hundreds of tasty bits of the Grill’s famous cinnamon rolls," according to the businesses. Odell will host a release party from 4 to 6 p.m.
at its Fort Collins taproom. Free Silver Grill cinnamon rolls will be served — but both the rolls and the beer are expected to disappear quickly. If you miss out, CinnsationAle will be on tap at the Silver Grill, 218 West Walnut Street, through the fall.

click to enlarge
Weldwerks Brewing
Friday, November 9
Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada taps Dark & Stormy Dark Hazy IPA at 2 p.m. Part of its Gone Tomorrow Series, the 6.5 percent ABV beer packs a dark punch, the brewery says.

You may have missed it if you blinked, but the tiny town of Timnath is just to the east of I-25 as you head toward Fort Collins. Today, Timnath gets its own brewery, the aptly named Timnath Beerwerks, which opens its doors at noon and will be celebrating all weekend.

WeldWerks Brewing in Greeley will host a One Hundred Beers in a Year celebration to commemorate "all the fun we had making over 100 unique beers this year," the brewery says. As such, it has brought back six of 125 beers it has made so far — three for today and three for Saturday. Starting at noon, you can get draft pours and to-go cans of: Evil Haze Factory NEIPA, Mosaic DDH Juicy Bits, and Air Pinky New England-style Sour Triple IPA brewed with Chardonnay grapes. On Saturday, it's Triple Double NEIPA, Grandma J's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Berliner, and Nutty Bar Stout. Weldwerks will also release bottles of its newest batch of Coffee Maple Achromatic, a "rich, decadent" imperial stout brewed with maple and locally roasted coffee.

click to enlarge
Denver Beer Co.
Saturday, November 10
Denver Beer Co. celebrates the release of a brand-new canned beer called Big Juicy Freak with ’80s parties at both of its taprooms. Hopped with Mosaic, Simcoe and Cascade and fermented with oranges "for a citrus fruity explosion," the beer was also made with flaked wheat and oats to make it "smooth, creamy and juicy all at the same time," the brewery says. There will also be raffles and giveaways starting at 11 a.m.

The West Side Bus Loop is back for its monthly circuits — this time with themes. For $5, you can ride one of two buses running continuously between Little Machine Beer Company, Joyride Brewing, Zuni Street Brewing and a different guest brewery each time. Today's guest brewery is Diebolt, and the themes are Thanksgiving and Movember. Start at any of the participating breweries and ride all day; complete the loop and get a coupon for a free beer at the brewery of your choice on your next visit. Tickets can be purchased at your starting brewery on the day of the event. Future guest breweries will be: Call to Arms, Briar Common, Westfax and Seedstock.

Ursula Brewery releases 11 Iron Men at noon. The hazy triple IPA is brewed with eleven malts and eleven hops and is 11 percent ABV. "It changes every year based on what we have available and what flavors we are seeking to experiment with," the brewery says. The beer, and a blood-orange version, will be released on draft and in cans.

Alpine Dog Brewing will mark four years in business by opening early — at 10 a.m. — for two bottle releases: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dyatlov Pass Incident Russian Imperial Stout and Bear Creek Distillery Single Barrel Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dyatlov Pass Incident Russian Imperial Stout. There will also be free doughnuts at 10 a.m., along with Maple Rye BA Imperial Stout, Coffee Wolf's Blood Red Ale and other new beers, such as a fourth-anniversary collab with Fermaentra and Locavore Beer Works, which will be an orange-milkshake IPA with Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado hops. Goldie's Burgers food truck will have food, and there will be live music, more beers and anniversary glassware.

Joyride Brewing is holding a fundraiser from noon to 4 p.m., when it will donate $1 from every pint sold to Pints for Prostates, a national prostate cancer awareness group that hosts a rare-beer festival each year in Denver during GABF week. The brewery will tap a special beer, a smoked porter infused with a massive amount of blueberries. The Prostate Conditions Education Council will be giving free PSA tests from 1:30 to 4 p.m. "It's a simple thirty-second blood draw that could save your life or the life of someone you love," Joyride says.

Grist Brewing in Highlands Ranch will celebrate its fifth anniversary starting at noon. To mark the birthday, the brewery will tap five new beers to honor five years of fun.

"Envelop yourself in a dark, swanky beer festival like no other," says Left Hand Brewing, which will once again host Nitro Fest, the nation's only beer festival devoted exclusively to nitrogenated beers. And while the fest, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. (VIP tickets get you in at 4 p.m.), at 1270 Boston Avenue, Longmont, will highlight "rare beers poured by acclaimed breweries from across the globe, as well as an exclusive invite-only list of the best nitro beers from the United States," it is also known for its "macabre, mysterious and mystical" vibe. There will be performances by national touring artists, as well as fire dancers, aerialists and more. Expected dress is "voodoo masquerade formal." Tickets are $75 to $100, and some of the proceeds benefit charities.

Breckenridge Brewery and Never Summer Industries host their annual Opening Day parking-lot party at Punch Bowl Social on South Broadway to celebrate the start of the skiing and snowboarding season. Cover band the Gin Doctors will be playing ’90s hits. There will also be karaoke, Breckenridge beer, giveaways, free waxings, snowboard art and more.

Wednesday, November 14
Ratio Beerworks will tap Nobody’s Darlin’ Blended Barrel-Aged Whiskey Ale at noon. "One of Ratio’s greatest strengths is assembling tremendous individual talents and finding a way to unify them toward a greater singular force," the brewery maintains. Such is the case with Nobody’s Darlin', which blends bourbon barrel-aged versions of Hold Steady Chocolate Rye Scotch Ale, Reservoir Old Ale, and a black IPA that Ratio brewed with Stone Brewing. "The result is a beautifully balanced, barrel-forward" beer.

Great Divide
Friday, November 16
Snowed In Mocha lands at Copper Kettle Brewing at noon. This 12.7 percent ABV beer is a "velvety sweet imperial oatmeal stout aged in Breckenridge bourbon barrels with coffee and chocolate," the brewery says. It is the same beer from previous years, "but renamed with mocha to distinguish it from the coconut (fall) and maple (spring) editions we added to the lineup." It will be on tap and available to go in 19.2-ounce cans.

National Yeti Day returns to Great Divide Brewing's Barrel Bar, which will "honor the magical beasts we love so much," the brewery says. There will be at least ten varieties of Yeti Imperial Stout on tap, including: Yeti Imperial Stout, Barrel Aged Yeti, Velvet Yeti, Chai Yeti, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Oatmeal Yeti, Macadamia Coconut Yeti, Maple Pecan Yeti, S'mores Yeti, Chocolate Cherry Yeti, Mexican Hot Chocolate Yeti, plus two specialty firkins. There will also be Yeti floats made with Sweet Cow's Yeti-infused ice cream. At 2 p.m. you can sign up to be entered into a chance for several giveaways, which begin at 3 p.m. They include beer, gift certificates, Yeti merchandise, a Yeti game and a Yeti Timbuk2 Backpack. At 5:30 p.m., Great Divide will open its Yeti Cave & Patio — which is actually its barrel-aging room; the Yeti cave will have special tappings, giveaways, treats, new merch, a photo booth and more. The Clamato Time food truck will be on hand as well.

Saturday, November 17
Westbound and Down Brewing, in Idaho Springs, and Amalgam Brewing, which doesn't yet have a taproom, will unveil their new joint tasting room from noon to 7 p.m. in its shared barrel cellar. The Cultural Center, at 6381 Beach Street in north Denver, will specialize in barrel-aged sours. El Taco Veloz will be on hand with food.

Take a walk on the dark side with Wynkoop Brewing's annual Day of Darks, a festival highlighting dark beers from more than thirty breweries from near and far. Tickets, $30, get you a commemorative glass for unlimited tastings and lots of chocolate. Some proceeds benefit Beer for Boobs, the Colorado Cancer Institute and Movember.

Fermaentra Brewing celebrates its fourth anniversary with a variety of special tappings and can releases. The specifics are TBA, but the first 100 people will receive a commemorative, exclusive, full-color-wrap Rastal Harmony Tumbler with their first pour.

Locavore Beer Works in Littleton marks its fourth anniversary with exclusive beer tappings, live music, food and giveaways. Beer releases will include 2018 Black Pearl BBA Imperial Porter; BAT Orange Bitters Barrel Aged Trippel; 2017 Quadricorn BBA Quadruppel; TBD Collaboration Milkshake IPA with Fermaentra and Alpine Dog Brewing (which are also celebrating their anniversaries this month); and more. The Dollhouse Thieves will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and A.J. Fullerton will be there from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The Eric Dorn Trio will wrap things up from 6 to 9 p.m. There will also be limited-edition beer glasses available.

Oskar Blues celebrates its sixteenth "Caniversary" with a concert, pig roast, plenty of Oskar Blues beers and a party in the Oak Room, located at the brewery's headquarters in Longmont. Who's playing? That would be the Lonesome Days at 6 p.m.,  Bonnie and the Clydes after that, and finally, the acclaimed Gasoline Lollipops. Doors open at 5 p.m., and tickets are $17.50 online.

Wednesday, November 21
Renegade Brewing will release its latest barrel-aged beer just in time for Thanksgiving. Barrel-Aged Berbere Imperial Chocolate Stout Release is an imperial chocolate oatmeal stout with native Ethiopian Berbere spice aged in Laws Whiskey barrels. The 12.5 percent ABV will be available on draft and in sixteen-ounce cans to go.

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.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes