Hogshead Brewery turns one; beer fests abound this weekend

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This week USA Today announced the results of its hunt for the "best" craft brewery in America. Experts whittled the list of this country's 2,538-plus breweries (the latest number from the Brewer's Association) down to 72 nominations, and those went to a vote of the readers. More than 11,500 people weighed in, and their votes put Delaware's Dogfish Head at the top of the "Top 15 craft breweries in the USA." Although no Colorado brewery cracked the top five, four made the list. Here's how this state's breweries ranked:

6) New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins 11) Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins 13) Avery Brewing Co.., Boulder 14) Oskar Blues, Lyons

Read the USA Today story here. And for this week's craft-beer events, turn the page.

Wednesday, August 14

The Copper Kettle will roll out four different barrel-aged beers in August as part of its Wednesday firkin series. Today's beer is Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Chocolate Stout. The beer is on tap from 3 to 9 p.m. (or until it's gone). The East Coast Joe's food truck will be in the house at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 15

Hogshead Brewery will celebrate its first anniversary this week with different tappings and giveaways today through August 18. Tonight, the brewery will release its new Maiden IPA, followed tomorrow by the tapping of some Gilpin Porter varietals, including a barrel-aged version. On Saturday, Hogshead will release Maiden Windowlicker Barleywine, and on Sunday, it will tap From the Wood IPA.

Friday, August 16

Star Bar will host a tap release party at 5 p.m. for the Bruery's Batch 1000 Bryeian, a beer that will only be released, on draft and in bottles, in California and Colorado. The beer was brewed using a recipe created by local homebrewers Brian Pramov and Bryan Keas, who won the Bruery's homebrew competition earlier this year. The two men flew out to Orange County to make the beer, which is described as a Cascadian dark rye (read: black IPA). Oh, and Star Bar will have several other Bruery beers pouring as well, including Mischief, Hottenroth, Autumn Maple, Bottleworks XII, White Chocolate (shhhh, don't tell anyone) and Oude Tart.

Summer's hot, but it's easy to cool off with your favorite beverage, and you can have your pick today from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Endless Summer Beer & Spirits Festival, which is dedicated to liquids in various forms. A benefit for Water for People, which is focused on water preservation and sanitation around the world, Endless Summer will be serving spirits and cocktails made by eight Colorado distilleries, and summer seasonals from twelve local breweries. You'll also find food vendors, live music and lounges. Some featured breweries and distilleries include Great Divide, Ska, Strange, Odell, Breckenridge, Denver Beer Co, Crazy Mountain, Spring 44, Peach Street and Golden Moon. Tickets to the fest, which takes place in the historic McNichols Building in Civic Center Park, are $40 and available at imbibedenver.com.

The Wildlife Experience will host its third annual Art and Ale Festival today from 6 to10 p.m., featuring thirty food and beer vendors like Great Divide, Rockyard, Chipotle, Noodles & Co and Johnny Carinos. Tickets are $25. For more info, call 720-488-3336.

Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs will hold a two-day grand-opening celebration beginning today for its new 2.5-acre brewery complex in the former Ivywild School, a 97-year-old building. Founded in 1994 by Mike and Amanda Bristol, the brewery now features a 34-barrel brewhouse built by BrauKon in Bavaria, Germany. In addition to the brewery, Ivywild features a couple of other businesses: the Meat Locker charcuterie and delicatessen, the Old School Bakery, the Principal's Office coffee and cocktail bar. There will be various festivities throughout both days.

Saturday, August 17

The fourth annual Stapleton Beer Festival runs from 5 to 8:30 p.m. today on the Green in Stapleton, featuring 25 local breweries, a dozen food trucks and live music from The Young Austin Band and Chris Daniels and the Kings. The concert, which starts at 4 p.m., is free and open to the public, but tickets for the beer fest cost $35.

ESPN Denver is hosting its inaugural ESPN Denver Beerfest today at 3 p.m. at Infinity Park in Glendale, showcasing twenty breweries and cider makers (most of them Colorado craft), local restaurants, food trucks, specialty shops and rugby as the Serevi Rugbytown Sevens Tournament hits the field. The fest is sponsored by American Craft Beer Radio; get tickets and more info on the rugby at vendini.com. Keep reading for an alert on other upcoming events. Saturday, August 24

Welcome Candice and Todd Alström of Beer Advocate to Denver (read about why they are moving here in this Q&A with Todd Alstrom) with a social gathering at Great Divide's tasting room today at noon. The Chef Driven food truck will be outside.

The two-day Fermentation Festival kicks off today at the Highlands Masonic Center, where guests will be able to sample fermented foods and beverages from across the country. Participants include Kombucha breweries, local distillers, craft breweries, wineries, restaurants and sauerkraut makers. Since the festival is designed to increase awareness of fermented foods and beverages, there will also be educational seminars. There are numerous ticket packages, ranging from $17 to $55; check them all out at ticketfly.com.

The Great Central City Beer Festival will return from noon to 7 p.m. today for its second run in the mountain-town-turned-gambling-hall. In addition to Central City's own Dostal Alley, there will be beer from Grimm Brothers, Cannonball Creek, Dillon Dam, Wynkoop, Tommyknocker, AC Golden, Blue Moon, Pateros Creek, Tivoli, Very Nice, Mountain Toad, Twisted Pine, Backcountry, Arvada Beer and the Sandlot. There will also be live music from three different bands along Main Street. Tickets are $20 or $25 the day of.

Sunday, August 25

The Yak & Yeti in Arvada is hosting a Brewery Bike Crawl through five breweries in Arvada and Wheat Ridge today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The crawl kicks off at the Yak at around noon, heading along the Ralston Creek trail to Odyssey Beerwerks. At around 1:10 p.m., riders will head south to Colorado Plus Brewpub, and at 2:30, they'll pedal on to Brewery Rickoli. From there, they'll leave at 3:35 p.m. for Arvada Beer Company, and then its back to the Yak at 4:55 p.m.



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

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