Beer Man

Fresh hops, pumpkins, chiles and lederhosen fill out our weekly beer calendar

It's harvest season, and pumpkins and peaches aren't the only things making their way into beers. Breweries are putting together and releasing their annual fresh hop -- or wet hop -- beers using hops from both Colorado and Washington. The point of these beers is to capture the flavor of the hops within 24 hours of being picked from the bines. Some tap-only breweries breweries have already started pouring them, while a few of the bottled versions should be hitting shelves in the next few days or weeks. One example is Ska Brewing's Hoperation Ivy, which uses hops picked from High Wire Hop Farms in Paonia and grain from Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa. In this case, the hops were picked at 6 a.m. one August morning and in the brew kettle by 3 p.m.

Turn the page for more of this week's craft-beer events.

Wednesday, September 11

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, Cascade 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.

River North Brewery will tap Milk Stout Avarice, a version of its Avarice Russian Imperial Stout, today for the brewery's weekly Wayward Wednesday program.

Thursday, September 12

Postponed due to rain: Upslope Brewing's highly-anticipated Pumpkin Ale will return today with a party at the brewery's new FlatIron Park taproom. The GABF award-winning fall seasonal is made with 3,000 pounds of baby bear pumpkins grown at Boulder's Munson Farms. The beer will be flowing all day, but the party officially starts at 6 p.m. with live music from Felonious Smith and food from Orange Crunch. Cans hit shelves on October 1.

Falling Rock will help 12 percent Imports kick off distribution in Colorado at 5:30 p.m. today by serving beers from two highly-acclaimed "gypsy brewers," Stillwater and Evil Twin.

The Boulder History Museum will delve into how a few of Boulder County's oldest craft breweries got their start at 6 p.m. at the Brewery Founders Speaker Panel and Happy Hour "Today, breweries have an association and a large network of other breweries as resources, but how did the first breweries get started?" the museum asks. On hand to provide answers: Dave Hummer of Boulder Beer, Eric Wallace of Left Hand Brewing, and Bob Baile of Twisted Pine. The panel is part of the museum's current exhibit, BEER! Boulder's History on Tap, and will be hosted at 2205 Broadway, the future home of the Boulder History Museum. Admission is $10 and $7 for museum members. Admission includes the first beer and the program.

Friday, September 13

Lowry Beer Garden is hosting its second annual Oktoberfest this month, bringing the lederhosen, the beer liters and the party back for three weekends in a row -- each of which will highlight a different Colorado brewery. (And anyone who wears a German dirndl or lederhosen 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 Prost Brewing, which will be pouring Altfränkisches Dunkel Bier, Prost Pils, WeiBbier and Marzen. (American Craft Beer Radio will be in the house today, broadcasting live from noon to 1 p.m.) Next weekend's featured brewery is Odell, followed by Left Hand on September 27-28.

Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will tap its new seasonal Fresh Hop IPA today at 7 p.m.

Dry Dock Brewing will tap Green Chili Double IPA at 3 p.m. today featuring Mirasol roasted chiles (grown in Pueblo) from Nick's Garden Center. The tapping is park of Dry Dock's weekly Firkin Friday program.

Saturday, September 14

"Since the 19th century, oysters and stouts have been quite the dynamic duo," says Denver Beer Co, and today from noon to 4 p.m., the brewery and Seattle Fish Co. will team up to host an inaugural Oyster & Stout Fest in the main taproom. Tickets are $25 and include two pints and twelve oysters. It's $15 for each additional dozen, and there will be three oyster stations: East Coast, West Coast and, yes, Rocky Mountain oysters. Also, from 11 a.m. to noon, there will be a VIP oyster-shucking class and tasting held in Denver Beer Co's Barrel Room. Tickets to that are an additional $25 and include six oysters and three tasters. For reservations, call 303-433-2739.

Tha Hoppa returns to the Copper Kettle today at noon. The beer, brewed with hops that were hand-picked by Copper Kettle staff at Voss Farms in Arvada, is the brewery's signature fresh hop ale. The Dogtown Concessions truck will be serving at 4 p.m.

Odell Brewing will release a new beer this week in bottles that you can only get if you buy the brewery's fall/winter Montage Variety twelve-pack in stores. But Odell will give people a taste by tapping the beer, Well Spring Dry-Hopped Saison, today in its Fort Collins taproom. "Slightly hoppier than the classic Saison, this debut is crisp with notes of lemon pepper, banana and stone fruit," the brewery says. The 6.6 percent ABV beer, and other brews, will be paired with cheeses from Mouco Cheese.

Monday, September 16

POSTPONED until September 30 to allow flood-affected Oskar Blues to participate: 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.

St. Arnold Brewing, of Houston, Texas, has just begun selling beer in Colorado, and it will hold a kickoff event at 5:30 p.m. today at Falling Rock Taphouse. It's featuring the three core beer brands with which the brewery is entering the Colorado market -- Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer, Saint Arnold Elissa IPA and Santo -- as well as some special offerings, such as cask-conditioned Saint Arnold Endeavour (Double IPA), bottles of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 12 (Old Ale aging since May 2012), Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 13 (Belgian Quadrupel originally released in February 2013) and Saint Arnold Bishop's Barrel No. 4 (Weizenbock aged in bourbon barrels with cocoa nibs).

Tuesday, September 17

CANCELLED: Black Shirt Brewing is throwing an East Coast Lobster Bake in its intimate back yard today with East Coast Joe's. The meal will include a 1.5 pound lobster, steamers, corn on the cob, and roasted red potatoes. You'll also your choice of one personal 32-ounce growler of any of the brewery's selection of pre-filled growlers. "There will be great music, great company, and this will be the perfect way to say farewell to summer and hello to a Colorado fall," the brewery says. Tickets, $60, are limited to forty spots.

Turn the page for more beer events later in the month.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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