The calm Denver weather belies a beer storm that is brewing. The Great American Beer Festival, and the week of revelry that surrounds it, are on their way. Breweries, bars and restaurants all along the Front Range are getting ready, but preparations can't be made on adrenaline alone. Here are a few beery events that should whet your appetite during the rest of the week; for listings of all the GABF-related events starting on Sunday, October 6, check out our "Ultimate calendar to the Great American Beer Festival 2013."
Wednesday, October 2
Copper Kettle Brewing is celebrating dead beer styles (styles that you don't see much of anymore) this month by tapping a different firkin every Wednesday. Today's is Ghostly Gose, a German salted wheat beer that will begin pouring at 3 p.m. Ckrepes will be in the house serving food at 4:30 p.m.
The Yak & Yeti will tap its Brown Rice and Honey Ale today at 4 p.m. The beer is a take on a traditional Northern English Brown Ale with Indian-cuisine ingredients like brown rice and honey. This year's version comes in a little lighter than previous years at 5.9 percent AVB, according to the brewery.
Friday, October 4
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will hold a grand opening for its new showplace, a brewery and taproom at The Source, the recently-opened European-style artisanal market in River North. The brewery will open at 3 p.m., and owner Chad Yakobson will host a celebratory toast at 6 p.m. The new, larger taproom will allow Crooked Stave to make and serve a wider variety of beers and styles than it has been doing at its Barrel Cellar, which opened in a business park in Sunnyside in September 2012. As a result of the opening, Crooked Stave will close the Barrel Cellar to the public for the time being. The tentative hours for the new location are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
Hops & Pie will feature a firkin from Stone Brewing at 6 p.m. as part of the restaurant's monthly 1st Firkin Friday program. The beer, Stone's Cali-Belgique, has been spiked with mango, passion fruit and Acacia wood.
Boulder Beer Company will release Shake Chocolate Porter this week, its first new year-round beer since 2009. "A twist on the traditional robust American Porter, Shake Chocolate Porter is black in color with rich, dark chocolate aromatics and flavors and subtle coffee-like notes," the brewery says. "This unique brew blends five different grains, including Chocolate Wheat, that along with cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouthfeel." Shake will be tapped for the first time in Boulder Beer's taphouse at 4 p.m. today. It will be available after that in 22-ounce bomber bottles in liquor stores, in twelve-ounce six-packs and on draft.
Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton has installed a cask system and will be tapping its first beers tonight around 4 p.m., a dry-hopped First Cast from Elevation Beer Company and a an oak-aged vanilla bean pilsner from Hall Brewing.
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.
Sunday, October 6
Emily Hutto, author of the new book Colorado Top Brewers, will join with Imbibe Denver at the Tattered Cover downtown for a beer-pairing event that showcases "a medley of the 26 pairings in the book, including Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project with Smoked Trout Croquettes with Heirloom Tomato Jam; Odell Brewing with Roasted Cashew Stuffed Pork Tenderloin; Strange Brewing with Pots De Creme, and Trinity Brewing with Lemongrass Shrimp & Mussels. Brewers, chefs and Hutto, will be on hand to talk. The event runs from 3 to 5 p.m. and costs $65, or $85 with the book.
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