Fall beers, flood relief and Oktoberfests highlight our weekly beer calendar

As quickly as the floodwaters rose, Colorado is organizing benefits to help those affected, and bars and breweries are no exception -- especially those in Longmont, Lyons and Boulder where some of the flooding hit the hardest. One of those benefits is Longmont's Oktoberfest, organized by Left Hand Brewing, but there are also efforts being organized by Oskar Blues, Avery, Upslope, Wynkoop and Star Bar. You'll find some on the next page, but Cafe Society will post a larger compilation later today.

For all of this week's regular craft beer events, turn the page.

Wednesday, September 18

River North Brewery will have a special "End of Summer" edition of Wayward Wednesday today at 3 p.m., featuring River North White infused with fresh raspberries.

Copper Kettle Brewing is turning out a new cask of beer aged with fresh hops each Wednesday this month for its weekly Firkin Wednesdays program. Today's beer, Chinook Fresh Hop will go on tap at 3 p.m., when the brewery opens. East Coast Joe's food truck will be serving starting at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 19

Star Bar will host a flood relief fundraiser tonight starting at 7 p.m. featuring discounted beer from Avery, Black Shirt, Breckenridge, Colorado Cider Company, Crazy Mountain, Dry Dock, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Ska, Telluride and Twisted Pine, along with ten different Colorado distilleries. There will also be a silent auction. The goal is to raise $5,000 and donate it to the Oskar Blues Family and Friends Flood Relief.

The recent weather put a hold on Upslope Brewing's Pumpkin Ale Release Party, which has been originally scheduled for last week, but the sun's finally out and they're ready to debut the GABF gold medal-winning beer, which will be on tap all day at the Flatiron Park taproom. And Upslope has also turned the release party into the kickoff of a week-long fundraiser for those affected by the floods: $1 from every pint sold for the next week will be donated. Live music by the Lefthand Market Boys and food by Burger Radio start at 6 p.m.

Boulder Beer Company will release a new small batch, limited-edition seasonal beer this month in bomber bottles and kegs. It's called Dragonhosen Imperial Oktoberfest, and the brewery will host a release party for the beer today along with live polka music and sausage specials. The brewery describes Dragonhosen thusly: "Brewed with generous amounts of Vienna and Munich malts for a rich, full-bodied malty flavor, Dragonhosen begins as a traditional Oktoberfest lager, then stealthily breathes fire with 9 percent alcohol by volume. Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops add balance with a mild earthy aroma and flavor with moderate bitterness."

Freshcraft and Ska Brewing will welcome Autumn back at 7 p.m. by tapping Ska's second incarnation of Autumnal Mole Stout, a chile beer that Ska first brewed and canned last year as the first of four seasonal stouts. Freshcraft will also tap the other three stouts, Hibernal Vinifera Stout, Vernal Minthe Stout and Estival Orange Cream Stout (which didn't end up in cans afterall). There will also be food specials and Vernal Minthe Ice Cream Floats. The first 24 people to order a seasonal stout will leave with a Ska glass.

Boulder's Sanitas Brewing, which just opened, will release its newest beer, Special Cargo Belgian Red Ale, today a 6 p.m. Made with freshly-picked "wet" hops grown on the Western Slope, Special Cargo has a spicy yeast character and fruity hop notes. "Although Special Cargo wasn't bottled, guests are encouraged to take home a growler of the limited beer," the brewery says.

Friday, September 20

Copper Kettle took its Imperial Pumpkin Porter recipe and added lactose (which is what milk stouts are made with) to give "a creamy, silky smooth finish" and then cask conditioned it to create Milk Imperial Pumpkin Porter, which will be served cask-style today at 4 p.m. The delicious-sounding brew was made with fresh local pumpkins, nutmeg and allspice. But there are only ten gallons, so get there early. The Crazy Good food truck will be there are 5 p.m.

Upslope Brewing and Illegal Pete's have collaborated on a limited-edition brew that they're calling Illegal Peach Session Ale. The 5.4 percent ABV beer was made with 200 pounds of Palisade peaches from Munson Farms. To brew it, a small crew from Illegal Pete's visited Upslope's smaller Lee Hill location in August. Illegal Pete's will host several tapping parties (where representatives from Upslope and Illegal Pete's will be on hand to give out schwag and hang out). Today's tapping is at Illegal Pete's on South Broadway from 5 to 7 p.m. After that, you'll find it at the following times and places: Saturday, September 21 at Illegal Pete's Pearl Street (Boulder) from 4 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, September 24 at Illegal Pete's Lodo from 5 to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, September 25 at Illegal Pete's DU from 6 to 8 p.m.; and Thursday, September 26 at Illegal Pete's DTC from 5 to 7 p.m.

Lowry Beer Garden will host its second annual Oktoberfest this month, bringing the lederhosen, the beer liters and the party back this weekend and next. (And anyone who wears a German dirndl or ledershosen gets their first beer free). This weekend's party runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow with live music (Oom-Pah bands: Austrian Connection, the Rhinelanders and Polkanauts) and a mini tap takeover by Odell Brewing, which will be pouring an Oktoberfest beer brewed special for this event as well as Odell 90 Shilling, IPA, Isolation Ale, Well Spring, and Myrcenary. Next weekend's featured brewery is Left Hand.

Updated: Longmont's Left Hand Brewing will bring back its Oktoberfest celebration today from 4 to 10 p.m. and tomorrow from noon to 10 p.m. in Roosevelt Park. The celebration, which is now serving as fundraiser for flood relief, features live music, German-themed activities and beers from Left Hand, Oskar Blues, the Pumphouse and two soon-to-open Longmont breweries. There will also be best-dressed, stein-holding and bratwurst-eating contests (and on Saturday, the organizers will attempt to fill and cook the world's longest bratwurst at 55 feet in length and commemorate Left Hand's 20th anniversary with a special late night toast). In addition to the German fun and festivities, Left Hand will thank flooding first responders on Saturday. "Their stories will be heard throughout the weekend with a formal salute to our rescue teams at 4:30pm on Saturday," the brewery says. All proceeds will go to the three beneficiaries actively working with flood relief: Longmont Meals on Wheels, Longmont HOPE, and the Left Hand Brewing Foundation.

Update: The Loveland Oktoberfest which had been scheduled to run today and tomorrow has been moved to the brewery and appended due to flooding. It will no longer take place today, but it will still take place tomorrow.

Saturday, September 21

Wit's End Brewing will celebrate its second anniversary today from noon to 8 p.m. with thirteen beers on tap -- which is a lot for this tiny brewery -- including some new ones and some old favorites that haven't been around for a while. There will also be schwag, GABF tickets to raffle and food from from Pride of Philly.

Vine Street Pub and Brewery will host its third annual Uptown Block Party and Brewer's Olympics today from 1 to 9 p.m. today, featuring a free live music from an all-star band made up of Keith Moseley of String Cheese Incident, Dave Johnston of Yonder Mountain String Band, Dave Watts of the Motet, Scott Law and Greg Schochet. There will also be plenty of beer (the event is free, but pints are $5) from Vine Street (the flagship brewery for Mountain Sun Pubs and Breweries), Breckenridge, Upslope, Wynkoop, Boulder Beer, Twisted Pine, Avery, Great Divide, Odell, Oskar Blues, Cannonball Creek, and Renegade. Vine, between 17th and 18th avenues, will be closed off for the party. The Brewers' Olympics, in which staff from different breweries will compete in various games (past sporting events have included tricycle races, blind-folded grain stacking relay, moving keg obstacle course) begins at 1 p.m.; the awards ceremony is at 4 p.m. All proceeds from the block party benefit New Era Colorado.

The Copper Kettle brings back its Imperial Pumpkin Porter today at 4 p.m., a rich, smooth imperial porter with mild hints of pumpkin spice. And you can even get it served in a baby pumpkin if you'd like. The El Toro the Tot food truck will be there are 4 p.m.

Odell Brewing will celebrate the return of Mountain Standard Double Black IPA today with a party in its taproom in Fort Collins. The seasonal release, which will hit shelves soon as well in four-packs, features hops picked on Colorado's western slope. The 9.5 percent ABV beer is available September through December.

TRVE Brewing will kick off its first-ever bottle release with party starting at 1:30 p.m. (for members or would-be members of the brewery's Growler CVLT) and 2 p.m. for everyone else. The beer, called Vexovoid, was fermented with brettanomyces and also has some lactobaccilus, giving it "the perfect level of tart acidity and a champagne-like carbonation," the brewery says. CVLT member pricing will be $15 per bottle, with a six-bottle limit; standard pricing is $17, with a 4 bottle per person limit.

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park will host a beer festival today from noon to 5 p.m., featuring 45 different beers and a few ciders. Tickets are $39.99 and include access to the park and all of its rides, plus sampling of all the beers on hand. Season ticket holders can enjoy the beer fest for an extra $5. Get them online or at the gate. Over the past two years the Elitch leaders have embraced more locally made beers, including three custom brewed beers from Wynkoop Brewing.

Updated: Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland, which brews traditional German-style beers, had planned to expand its annual Oktoberfest celebration into a two-day community festival and move it to the Foote Lagoon Amphitheater and Park. However, the flooding has forced them to change their plans. The fest will now be held on just one day -- today -- and at the brewery rather than the Foote. It runs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and includes activities for all ages. Bands will play every hour and there will be dancing, beer games and children's activities, along with Austrian and German food vendors and artisans. In addition to Grimm, there will be beers from Loveland Aleworks, Verboten Brewing, Big Beaver Brewing and Rock Bottom; Loveland-based distributor American Eagle is providing additional craft brews from Great Divide, Breckenridge, Odell Brewing and Epic. Proceeds will go to support flood recovery efforts in Loveland and Larimer County along with Colorado Youth Outdoors.

Sunday, September 22

Avery Brewing will delight pumpkin beer fans today with the release of Rumpkin, its massive, 18.53 percent ABV rum-barrel-aged monster. This year's version was brewed with 600 pounds of hand roasted organic pumpkins from Boulder's Munson Farms and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and then aged for six months in dark rum barrels. Bottle sales will begin at 5 p.m. at Avery's Boulder taproom, although the line party will start at 11 p.m. (and there will be several rare beers on tap). Each twelve-ounce bottle is $12, and fans are limited to one case each. In addition, Avery is selling raffle tickets for $10 during the party (each one includes a free pint) to support flood relief efforts. The grand prize is an entire case of Rumpkin ($288 value); other prizes include 6-packs of Rumpkin, two pairs of IPA Fest tickets, and some Avery gear. Raffle tickets will be on sale from 2 to 5:45 p.m. Prizes will be announced at 6 p.m.; you must be present to win.

Turn the page for more beer events later in the month. Wednesday, September 25

Copper Kettle Brewing is turning out a new cask of beer aged with fresh hops each Wednesday this month for its weekly Firkin Wednesdays program. Today's beer, Nine Digit #45 Fresh Hop will go on tap at 3 p.m., when the brewery opens. East Coast Joe's food truck will be serving starting at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 26

Freshcraft, Odell Brewing and Leopold Bros will come together tonight at 7 p.m. for a release party/beer dinner celebrating Odell's Fernet Aged Porter at the beer-centric restaurant. The idea for beer came about last year when Freshcraft picked up a Fernet barrel from Leopold Bros and took it to Odell, where the brewery aged some Cutthroat Porter in it. This year, Odell brewed a special imperial porter and then aged it in several Leopold Bros Fernet barrels; it is being released in bottles and in kegs. But Freshcraft still has a keg of the original brew and it will tap one of each tonight alongside some special dishes and some cocktailes using Leopold Bros spirits. Tickets are $60 ticket and include food from the buffet, a pour of each beer, a cocktail and another Odell beer.

Friday, September 27

Lowry Beer Garden wraps up its second annual Oktoberfest this month with live music (Oom-Pah bands: Austrian Connection, the Rhinelanders and Polkanauts) and a party today and tomorrow from 6:30 to 10 p.m. (And anyone who wears a German dirndl or ledershosen gets their first beer free). There will also be a mini tap takeover by Left Hand Brewing, which will be pouring Oktoberfest, Sawtooth Ale, Milk Stout Nitro, Polestar Pilsner, 400 Pound Monkey and Short Spear.

Ernie's Bar & Pizza will showcase "fresh-hop" beers on a third of its taps starting today and running through October 4. They will be one of the few places in town to carry such a wide variety of these beers. Ernie's will donate 50 cents from every fresh hop pint purchased to the Colorado Brewers Guild.

Saturday, September 28

River North Brewery is set to debut several new barrel-aged beer over the next few weeks in bottles and on draft. The first is Rum Barrel Quandary, which is a blend of two-thirds River North quadrupel aged in rum barrels with one-third fresh. "The result melds the maltiness of a Belgian dark ale with the sweet sharpness of rum and oak, striking a refined balance between the beer and the barrel," the brewery says. There will tapping party in the taproom today at 1 p.m., where bottles will be sold as well. But since 72 cases were bottled, the beer should be available in liquor stores as well.

Monday, September 30

A group of women brewers and brewery workers will tap the third all-female collaboration beer today at 6 p.m. at Wynkoop Brewing. The beer, called Whakalicious, is an extra pale ale featuring Motueka hops. It was brewed a couple of weeks ago at Longmont's Oskar Blues. Previous lady beers were tapped earlier this year. Proceeds from the beer are being donated to the Pink Boots Society.

Hops & Pie, the craft beer-and-pizza-centered restaurant that helped usher in a new wave of beer-themed eateries to Denver, will celebrate its third birthday with a party starting at noon and a fantastic selection of beers from Avery Brewing. Selections on tap include Momi Hiwa, Uncle Jacob's Stout, Lilikoi Kepolo, Bad Apples, Wee Turtles, Trogdor the Burninator, Tweak, DuganA, White Rascal, Cacade Hop-Backed IPA, the Beast, Chai Brown, Samael's, Odio Equum, Black Pearl, Thensaurum, and some secret taps. There will be raffles and prizes, and the Colorado Craft Beer Show will broadcast live from the party.

Epic Brewing will hold a grand opening party today for its new taproom in Denver, which is attached to the multimillion-dollar new brewery that the Salt Lake City-based company opened here in July. The tap room features 25 taps and two beer engines. Public tours of the brewery will also be available at that time.

Saturday, October 5

River North Brewery will release the first in a series of new limited-release barrel-aged collaboration projects today at 1 p.m. B-Side Quandary -- the brewery's signature Quadrupel aged in oak bourbon barrels with cherries -- is a collaboration with Mr. B's Wine and Spirits. Only thirty cases were bottled and will be available both at Mr. B's and the taproom today. The taproom will have a two-bottle limit during the release party. Mr. B's will release more bottles on Friday, October 11 during GABF.



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