In a thought-provoking essay called "Death of the Cool," Falling Rock Tap House founder and owner Chris Black tackles the subject of what happens when breweries begin to expand and usurp power from craft-beer bars, which used to be the primary outlet for those breweries when it came to selling their beer. Black has taken on this topic before, most notably in a scathing rebuke of Oskar Blues, which opened a huge new restaurant and tap house just blocks from Falling Rock. The newest essay is much more diplomatic, exploring history and the changes that have led to some conflicts between the breweries and the bars and restaurants that support them. It's a long essay, though, so make sure to crack a beer and sit down before you dig in.
Keep reading to see all of this week's craft-beer events.
Wednesday, October 31
As part of its monthly 11th Tap Project, Platt Park Brewery will tap Puff Puff Pass Porter. This one was brewed with fourteen boxes of Reese's Puffs cereal per barrel — and lactose. It will disappear quickly.
Finn's Manor will give up its taps to some pumpkin beers starting at 5 p.m. There will be seven offerings from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales: Dexter, Bam Biere Sour Farmhouse, Bam Noire Sour Dark Farmhouse, Calabaza Blanca Sour Artisan White Ale, Noel de Calabaza Belgian Dark Strong Ale, La Parcela Sour Pumpkin Ale, Best Lei'd Plans (a collab with Big Island Brewhaus), and Problem No Problem. In addition, Finn's will tap Two Roads Roadsmary's Baby Rum Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Ale and Brasserie Fantome Halloween Saison.
New York Pizza pairs perfectly with New York beer, which is why the Parry’s Pizza location in Northglenn is hosting a speakeasy/Prohibition-themed launch party for Brooklyn Brewery, which began distribution in Colorado this week. Starting at 5 p.m., you'll find Brooklyn Lager, Bel Air Sour, Defender IPA, Sorachi Ace Saison, Black Chocolate Stout, Brown Ale, Winter Lager, East IPA, Pilsner, and Mesiter Pale Ale. There will also be Brooklyn Brewery reps on hand with swag. And since Brooklyn Brewery and Funkwerks, along with 21st Amendment Brewery, announced earlier this year that they were launching a new collaborative distribution platform, Parry’s Pizza will also serve Funkwerks beers for the event, including Peachy King and Oud Bruin.
Golden City Brewery in Golden opened 25 years ago on Halloween and will celebrate a quarter-century in business with a 25th-anniversary bash. There will be a costume contest, food trucks, Mulligan Stew and, most important, 1993 prices on staple beers.
Thursday, November 1
Call to Arms Brewing releases its first bottle-conditioned beer, Really Really Ridiculously Good Tasting, a farmhouse ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces Claussennii, at 3 p.m. Inspired by the movie Zoolander, the beer has "notes of cantaloupe, white grape, lemon zest and a smooth vanilla finish," Call to Arms says. It will be on tap and available in bottles to go.
Epic Brewing will host a release for its 2018 Big Bad Baptist, 2018 Baptista and its brand-new bad boy, Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist. The beers are on tap and will be sold in bottles.
Comrade Brewing taps Honey Brown Ale at noon. This beer was crafted with a variety of malts, including chocolate, pure Idaho, pale, amber and imperial. It was hopped with Simcoe and injected with sixty pounds of Clark's Wildflower Honey. "It pours a rich mahogany with notes of roasted barley, caramel and honey," the brewery notes.
Parry’s Pizza continues its speakeasy/Prohibition-themed launch party for Brooklyn Brewery, this time at the Highlands Ranch outpost. Starting at 5 p.m., you'll find Brooklyn Lager, Bel Air Sour, Defender IPA, Sorachi Ace Saison, Black Chocolate Stout, Brown Ale, Winter Lager, East IPA, Pilsner, and Mesiter Pale Ale. There will also be Brooklyn Brewery reps on hand with swag. Parry’s will also pour Funkwerks beers for the event, including Peachy King and Oud Bruin.
Friday, November 2
Part of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project's Limited Release Series, Coffee Baltic Porter "focuses on the art of coffee roasting, showcasing the uniqueness of this single ingredient," the brewery says. For this year's version, Crooked Stave once again partnered with Method Roasters, selecting its POW (Protect Our Winters) blend. "This blend exemplifies the porter style with its dark chocolate and hazelnut notes. Their POW blend embodies what we at Crooked Stave hold dear, which is our love for the outdoors — 10 percent of Method’s sales of POW goes to fight against climate change through education, political involvement and community activism," the brewery says. "Through conditioning our Baltic porter with freshly roasted beans, we strive for a balanced coffee character, adding dark sugar, plums and cocoa notes to the robust porter base." It is available in six-packs.
Cerebral Brewing will host a triple beer release —including its first canned stout — starting at noon. Dark Energie is a canned 4.6 percent Coffee Oatmeal Milk Stout made with more than eight pounds per barrel of Landspeed coffee from Middle State. Lightways is a canned 6.8 percent ABV IPA brewed with spelt and oats and hopped with a new German varietal, Ariana, along with El Dorado and Huell Melon. Guava-Ing Through Dimensions, in 500 mL bottles, is a 6.7 percent Brettanomyces saison conditioned in stainless-steel tanks for three months and then bottle-conditioned for an additional six months with guava purée.
Dos Luces, which makes neo-traditional chicha and pulque — corn- and maguey-based gluten-free beers inspired by Pre-Columbian traditions — has tapped Pumpkin Spice Chicha and will host a Día de los Muertos party from 6 to 9 p.m. with a family-friendly party that will include sugar-skull painting (with authentic sugar skulls from Potter’s Touch), traditional face painting and candy. Go to the Facebook page for cost, information and RSVPs. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Museo de las Americas.
4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield says Full Transparency "is one of our most unique IPAs to date." Brewed exclusively for the taproom and for Denver Milk Market, Full Transparency "is an impeccable blend of Citra, Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe Powder. The mouthfeel resembles New England-style IPA but lacks the oat and wheat components that are usually featured in the grist."
Saturday, November 3
Mockery Brewing celebrates its fourth anniversary with a Delgany Street block party, with live music all day, special tappings, screen printing with Humble Monster, food trucks and more.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery also celebrates a birthday — its fifth — with a party from noon to 11 p.m. The brewery will release a Belgian quintuple fermented on French oak, mongolian oak and palo santo wood along with Colorado-grown Cabernet Franc grapes. It will be on tap and in bottles to go. There will be limited-edition glassware available for this anniversary beer, as well.
Comrade Brewing taps Honeyman 23 IPA, the 23rd in its experimental IPA series. Hopped with Azacca and Denali hops, it has "a beautifully bright golden straw color" and "notes of grapefruit and pine with a pleasant tropical fruit quality," the brewery says. Honeyman 23 goes on at noon.
Upslope Brewing in Boulder celebrates ten years of beer with an anniversary party from 2 to 10 p.m. at its Flatiron Park location. There will be more than forty beers on tap, live music from the Great Salmon Famine, Pro-Leisure, The Good Kind and 300 Days, as well as food from Lazo Empanadas, Rollin' Bones BBQ, Rocky Mountain Slices, Sancho's Authentic Mexican Restaurant and Schnibs Pretzels. In addition, you'll find games and hammocks from Boulder-based Trek Light Gear, plus other fun activities.
Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY Imperial Stout from Oskar Blues Brewery returns today, and there will be a party in the brewery's Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont (as well as OB's Boulder location) to celebrate. The beer was aged for eight months in bourbon barrels, "allowing vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors to permeate the pitch-black depths of FIDY. During maturation, the FIDY-plus-bourbon flavors mellow into a cool, drinkable, deeply complex brew," Oskar Blues says. It will be available on draft and in 19.2-ounce stovepipe cans. The Tasty Weasel will have Java Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY Imperial Stout — a "jacked-up-on-coldbrew version" — on tap as well. Coop and the Chicken Pluckers will be playing live music in Longmont starting at 4:30 p.m.
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.
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 love music, more beers and anniversary glassware.
Joyride Brewing is holding a fundraising event from noon to 4 p.m., during which 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 Longmont's 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, features "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 Whisky Ale at noon. "One of Ratio’s greatest strengths is assembling tremendous individual talents and finding a way to unify them together 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.
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.
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.
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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, 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.