Fresh hops, Freshcraft and fresh beer in this week's beer calendar

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Wynkoop Brewing Company is gearing up for the Great American Beer Festival and recently tapped a couple of its rarest but most outstanding beers. Orville is a blend of a couple of unusual beers: a pale ale fermented with brettanomyces in four wooden barrels for six weeks, and the same beer fermented in steel with a Belgian Trappist yeast. And then there's Hopfen Weiss, a unfiltered Bavarian-style hefeweizen made with German Saphir hops that is a new Wynkoop test beer. And if that's not enough, the brewery will also tap Belgorado on September 1. A bronze medalist at GABF last year, Belgorado is made with Colorado malts, 75 pounds of fresh, locally grown hops and a a Belgian yeast strain. The Wynkoop is making three batches in the coming weeks, each with fresh hops from a different Colorado hop farm. Wednesday, August 29

Freshcraft will break into two barrel-aged beers from Elevation Beer Company today at 7 p.m., the Signal De Botrange Belgian Ale -- one aged in chardonnay barrels and the other aged in cabernet barrels. Freshcraft will also pour a version of Elevation's Apis IV quad that was aged in red wine barrels along with regular Apis IV.

River North Brewery will tap a new version of its Belgian Pale Red (BPR) today as part of its weekly Wayward Wednesday program. River North describes it thusly: "Fermented with another one of the delicious yeast strains Belgium has to offer, this version is fruitier and slightly less dry than the original. While still bitter, leaving out the dry-hopping lets the new yeast shine through."

Thursday, August 30

Head to Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora at 6 p.m. to meet journalist Ed Sealover, author of Mountain Brew: A Guide to Colorado's Breweries. He'll be reading from and signing his book and also, most likely, enjoying a beer.

Saturday, September 1

Denver Beer Co will brew its second annual Neighborhood Hop Swap beer today -- a brew made with hops grown by customers in their backyards around town. The brewery is asking all growers to pick their hops today, put them in paper bags and bring them in by 3 p.m. today for the weigh-in ceremony. A prize will be awarded for the most cones by weight. Immediately following, each farmer will ceremoniously toss their hops into the brew. Denver Beer Co is upping the excitement by entering this year's beer in the Great American Beer Festival's brand-new Fresh Hop category and says, "We hope this year's brew will again showcase the Denver terroir and win us a GABF medal!"

Freshcraft will celebrate its second anniversary today with a special menu featuring barbecue and beer tappings. They include a firkin of Upslope Peach Cobbler made with Palisade peaches and spices at 11 a.m.; Avery's Avery Lilikoi Kepolo, made with passionfruit, at 1 p.m.; New Belgium's La Folie Sour Brown at 3 p.m.; Firestone Walker Parabola at 7 p.m. and Oskar Blues Jim Beam Barrel Aged Ten Fidy on nitro at 10 p.m.

Left Hand Brewing in Longmont brings back its annual Leftapalooza festival today, featuring a Mile High Tribute Band Competition that brings together some of the most talented cover acts in the country to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The seven bands will cover songs by U2, Rush, the Grateful Dead, Van Halen, the B-52s, Steely Dan, and Led Zeppelin. The day will also feature the Leftapalooza Chili Fest, local food vendors, kids' activities, and Left Hand beer. Tickets are $10.

Wednesday, September 5

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will open its Barrel Cellar to the public today at noon. Owner Chad Yakobsen will be serving a couple of his wild or sour ales on tap; he'll open a second brewery in RiNo next spring.



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

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