Festivals and cold weather beers highlight this week's beer calendar

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As Denver snow lovers gets ready to strap on their bindings for the ski and snowboard season, a couple of ski-town breweries are heading in the other direction, sending their beers to the big city. The first is Aspen Brewing, which purchased a canning line from Boulder's Wild Goose Engineering earlier this year and is now ready to distribute beer, including Independence Pass Ale and This Season's Blonde.

The second is Dillon Dam Brewery, which has once again teamed up with the Denver Art Museum on a beer, La Seine Shine, inspired by a major exhibit -- Passport to Paris, which focuses on French art from the 1600s to the 1900s. Tapped last week at the Rackhouse Pub, the light lager is still available there (as well as in Dillon). The steam beer has elements of both lagers and ales and was inspired when brewmaster Cory Forster checked out the work of the impressionist painters at the DAM who incorporated light, sunshine and faded blue skies into their work.

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

Wednesday, November 6

November is "Be Thankful" cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing, and the brewery will be pouring firkins of beers every Wednesday that were made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Today's cask is Pumpernickel Sage Rye Porter, a rye porter made with pumpernickel bread and fresh sage herbs. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4:30 p.m.

Friday, November 8

Join Breckenridge Brewery and Never Summer Industries at 5 p.m. at Punch Bowl Social to kick of the 2013 skiing and snowboarding season with a free parking-lot party. The two companies will release their collaboration beer, Imperial Express, a hoppy imperial red ale named after the infamous chairlift on Breckenridge Mountain. They'll also show off their collaboration snowboard. And there will be games and activities, including life-sized human foosball, monster trike racing, a bowling tournament, a raffle, free waxing and edging from 720 Boardshop, music, prizes and the premiere of "Slap Happy," a video from Never Summer.

Saturday, November 9

Avery Brewing will hold its second annual IPA Fest today from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets, $45, are likely sold out by now; proceeds go to the Foothills Flood Relief Fund, providing relief and recovery for people affected by the severe flooding across Boulder and Broomfield counties.

Books, Bites and Brews. Sound like a good combo? Douglas County Libraries will put it all together at the Books, Bites and Brews Festival, which takes place today from 4 to 9 p.m. at Cielo at Castle Pines. Savor tasty bites from a variety of local cookbooks, including Tasting Colorado, Eclectic Entertaining, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen, Muy Bueno, The Denver and Boulder Chef's Table, Soul Food, Shinin' Times at The Fort and Beyond the Sauce. They will be accompanying beers from Hall Brewing, Elk Mountain, Lone Tree Brewing and Rockyard American Grill. Cicerone Sarah Johnson from Mandalay Bay will take attendees through a tasting tour. General admission tix are $25, although there are some available add-ons, and can be found on evenbrite.

Dry Dock Brewing will celebrate its eighth anniversary today with a party at its original location, now known as South Dock, that begins at 11 a.m. Some of the beers on tap include Imperial Pumpkin, Cracked Saison, Belgian Dark Strong, Ambassador Sour, and Bligh's Barleywine. There will be live music from the Royal Aces from 2 to 5 p.m. and That Damn Sasquatch from 5 to 8 p.m.

Hops for Hope, taking place at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, will serve up beer, liquor and food today from 5 to 9 p.m. Some of the breweries on hand will include Anheuser Busch InBev, Boston Beer, Kona Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, Loveland Ale Works, Epic, Odell, Redhook, Funkwerks, Goose Island, Verboten, Widmer, Great Divide, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and High Hops Brewery. General admission tickets to the event -- presented by The Ranch and American Eagle Distributing -- are $25, and VIP tickets are $35 and include a one-hour early entry and a commemorative glass. Tickets are available for purchase at www.ComcastTIX.com, 877-544-TIXX (8499) or at Budweiser Events Center Box Office. A portion of the proceeds from Hops for Hopes will go directly to Realities for Children, which serves the unmet needs of abused and neglected children in Larimer County.

Sunday, November 10

Denver Bacon and Beer Festival returns from 2:30 to 5 p.m. today at the EXDO Denver Event Center. The second annual event, produced by Eat Boston and Denver Off The Wagon, will once again bring together area restaurants and breweries to offer bacon-based dishes and craft brews (for a full list of the vendors, go to the Eat Boston website). Proceeds benefit Metro CareRing and Project Angel Heart. Tickets are $45 ($60 VIP) and will likely sell out, if they haven't already.

Tuesday, November 12

Firestone Walker takes over the taps at World of Beer in Belmar today at 5 p.m., tapping some standards like DBA, Pale 31, Union Jack and Pivo Pils, along with some bigger, badder brews like Double Jack, Wookey Jack, Velvet Merlin (randalled with coffee beans) and Velvet Merkin Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout. Schwag giveaways, too.

Enjoy at night of cheese and beer at Black Shirt Brewing, which will host a cheese expert from Marczyk's Fine Foods who will pair four cheeses with four beers. Tickets are $18 and available at Eventbrite. The event starts at 7 p.m.

Hope all is well with you, and as always, if I have left out vital information or if you have any questions, let me know. Cheers.

Wednesday, November 13

November is "Be Thankful" cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing, in which the brewery will be pouring firkins of beers every Wednesday that were made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Today's cask is Yamalama, a Candied Yam Red Ale. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4:30 p.m.

Turn the page to find craft beer events later in November. Thursday, November 14

The Chef & Brew food-and-beer-pairing festival returns today -- this time at a larger venue, the EXDO Event Center. It features more than fifteen local chefs and brewers in a competition to create the ultimate food and beer match-up. Attendees have the chance to sample all of them, and pick the winner. Last year's winner -- a blue corn pork taco by Jay Leandro of Pub 17 -- ended up on the menu there. This year, Leandro will be teamed with Crooked Stave. To see the rest of the pairings, go to the Chef & Brew website. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m., and tickets are $49 in advance. VIP tickets are $59 and get you in the door at 6 p.m. A portion of sales will benefit Project Angel Heart.

Saturday, November 16

Renegade Publik House presents Cans of Wrath (taken from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath), from 1 to 5 p.m. today; the party celebrates canned craft beer that is 7 percent ABV or higher, including Hammer & Sickle, the new Russian Imperial Stout from Renegade Brewing. Enjoy an unlimited sampling of more than 25 beers from around the country, among them Oskar Blues, Redstone Meadery, Wynkoop, Crabtree, Aspen Brewing, Eddyline, Pikes Peak, Bonfire, Asher, Ska, Fate, Upslope, Santa Fe and Renegade. Tickets are $40 -- or $45 at the door.

River North Brewery is bringing back a second version of its first-ever barrel aged beer, Whiskey Barrel Aged J. Marie, today at 1 p.m. The brewery first released the beer a year and a half ago. For this rendition, the brewers aged J. Marie farmhouse ale in a combination of rye and bourbon barrels, then blended them. Individually numbered bombers will be available to go. The brewery expects bottles to sell out quickly, but the beer will be on tap all day; the rest will be distributed to liquor stores.

Boulder Beer Company will release a limited-edition, barrel-aged barleywine in bottles at 3 p.m. today called The Dude's Bane. (Get there at noon to get an early line number, and wear a robe -- like the Dude himself -- for a chance to win bottle #1.) Aged for one year in first-use bourbon barrels, The Dude's Bane, at 12.3 percent ABV, is Boulder Beer's first barrel-aged beer released in bomber bottles and its most rare packaged offering, with only eight barrels in existence. "It began as a lighter-bodied English-style Barleywine with undertones of candied fruit, then over time evolved into something much more complex with the fusion of bourbon, vanilla and oak flavors from the barrel," the brewery says. There is a limit of twelve bottles per person.

Sunday, November 17

The Colorado Brewers Guild will host a new small festival, the Thanksgiving Rendezvous, today from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Stapleton Tap House. The gathering "is a way for us to showcase a hand-selected collection of diverse beers from across the state," the CBG says. Breweries include Backcountry Brewery, Blue Spruce Brewing, Bristol, Caution, Denver Chop House, Dry Dock, Epic, Grimm Brothers, Hall, Left Hand, Lone Tree, Oskar Blues, Pikes Peak Brewing, Prost, Renegade, River North, Ska, Strange, Tommyknocker. Tickets, $40, are limited and can via Imbibe Denver.

Wednesday, November 20

November is "Be Thankful" cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing, in which the brewery will be pouring firkins of beers every Wednesday that were made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Today's cask is Pecan Bourbon Brown Ale, a brown ale made with fresh pecans soaked in bourbon. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 27

November is "Be Thankful" cask month at Copper Kettle Brewing, in which the brewery will be pouring firkins of beers every Wednesday that were made with Thanksgiving ingredients. Today's cask is Cranberry Wit, a light Belgian wit made with fresh cranberries. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4:30 p.m.



's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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