Beer Man

Hops & Pie, Wit's End and Boulder Beer celebrate birthdays; Oktoberfest rolls on

Earlier this month, President Obama's designated the 4,700-acres Chimney Rock Archaeological Area in southwestern Colorado -- an area that is sometimes called "America's Stonehenge" -- as a national monument. The move means that the area between Durango and Pagosa Springs (which was home to thousands of ancient Native Americans) should start seeing an influx of new tourists -- with new thirsts. We'll drink to that -- and so will the Pagosa Brewing Company & Grill, which has brewed a beer, Ancestral Ale, that incorporates some of the foods used by the ancient Pueblo People 1,000 years ago. Ingredients include: yellow squash, Anasazi beans, sweet corn and prickly pear cactus fruit. The beer may available during GABF.

Go to the next page for all of this week's beery events. For more, check our continually updated Great American Beer Festival 2012 calendar of awesome events.

Wednesday, September 26

Great Divide continues its celebration of Oktoberfest this week by putting on all of its German-style beers in the taproom. The list includes: Schwarzbier, Alt, Hefeweizen, Oaked Smoked Dunkelweiss, Wiesn, and Wolfgang. The first four pilots have been poured before but the Wiesn is a new beer off the pilot system that is a traditional Oktoberfest favorite. Pints are $5 and tasters are $1. The beers will be through September 28.

Friday, September 28

The relatively new Lowry Beer Garden kicks off a three-day Oktoberfest celebration at 5 p.m. today, doubling in size for the event by expanding into the parking lot of Hangar 2. Guests at the massive biergarten will enjoy a ceremonial tapping of an authentic wooden keg, live music, including traditional oom-pah, German food, performances and plenty of opportunities to do the chicken dance. There will also be beer, including all of Lowry's regular tap handles, along with Paulaner. There is a suggested $2 donation for admission; a portion of the proceeds will go to the Denver Children's Home. The party runs through midnight and picks up again tomorrow from 11 a.m. to midnight, and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Prost Brewing celebrates Oktoberfest all weekend, beginning today at noon when Mayor Michael Hancock will tap the first keg of the brewery's new Marzen lager. There will also be live music from the Rhinelanders, who will play an Alpenhorn, and food from Baker Street pretzels, Uber Sausage, Follow That Cart and Dipstix. The festivities will continue until midnight and then pick up again on Saturday from noon to midnight, and again on Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

Saturday, September 29

Hops & Pie knows how to celebrate a birthday, and beginning today at noon, the pizzeria and taphouse will celebrate its second year with a massive list of rare beers from Boulder's Avery Brewing, along with giveaways and prizes. Some of the the beer you'll be able to enjoy include: Uncle Jacob's Stout, Ale to the Chief, Summer's Day IPA, 2009 Czar, 2010 Mephistopheles, 2010 Reverend, Beast, Kaiser, Immitis, Oud Floris, Odio Equum, and more.

The Great Rumpkin will rise at Avery Brewing today at 5 p.m. when the Boulder brewery taps its amazing imperial pumpkin ale aged in fresh rum barrels. Avery squeezed this beer into twelve-ounce bottles for the first time last year after previously distributing it only on tap and it will have both again this year. Today's barrel-release party will include live music, autumn-inspired eats, and a selection of rare and exclusive brews to sample. Bottles will be $10 each; cash only.

Continue reading for more events.

Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora will host its Docktoberfest today from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan will be on hand to tap the German-style Märzen at 11:15am. There will be food and live music.

Colorado's oldest microbrewery, Boulder Beer, celebrates its 33rd birthday today from 2 to 6 p.m. with an Anniversary Beer Rave featuring "the most underground, tap-room-exclusive, specialty and hand-crafted beers from more than thirty Colorado breweries." Tickets, $30, include samples of all beers and a commemorative tasting cup. Proceeds benefit the Danny Williams Fund; buy tickets at

Wit's End Brewing, meanwhile, will celebrate its very first birthday from noon to 8 p.m. today with the brewery's full lineup of beers -- along with some new ones -- and pizza from Marco's Coal Fired Pizza. There will also be door prizes. "There are plans to grow our little operation over the coming months and 2013 should be a great year," says owner Scott Witsoe.

Black Shirt Brewing will host a backyard party today from 5 to 8 p.m. The brewery, which hasnt' quite opened with regular hours, will be pouring its wet-hopped Red Ale that was made with hops from Voss Farms in Arvada. The Mestizos food truck will be on hand.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland will celebrate Oktoberfest beginning today at 11 a.m. by releasing its annual Farmer's Daughter, an Oktoberfest lager and with a party that will spill into the parking lot. There will be live music from Wendy Woo and The Stubby Shillelaghs, a pretzel-eating contest at 2 p.m.; a children's dance contest at 3 p.m.; a men's keg race at 4 p.m.; live music from the Stubby Shillelaghs at 5 p.m.; stein-hoisting contests at 6 p.m. Proceeds to benefit Colorado Youth Outdoors.

Sunday, September 30

Falling Rock Taphouse got its hands on a special treat recently -- the only bottles of Toronado 25th Anniversary Ale, a beer brewed specially by California's Russian River to celebrate Toronado, the famed San Francisco beer bar; the beer is a blend of six other beers that has been aged in barrels with brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus. Falling Rock will start selling bottles (to drink on premises only) at 2 p.m.

Friday, October 5

Denver Beer Fest, the nine-day sudsstravaganza around the Great American Beer Festival, kicks off today when Mayor Hancock returns to Denver Beer Co at 4:30 to tap the pumpkin beer that he sort of helped brew on September 19. The beer is made with pumpkins from Denver Urban Gardens.

The Mayor will be here at 4:30 to tap the batch. The beer will pour through the week!

Saturday, October 6

Copper Kettle will tap a new fresh hop beer today, Hoppa, that will replace Fresh Hop #9, a beer with a different recipe; all of the hops in this one came from Arvada Hop Farms. Copper Kettle is open from noon to 10 p.m. today, and Jesse's Smokin' NOLA will be out with Cajun cuisine from 5 to 9 p.m.

Odell Brewing will release its sixth Woodcut brew, an oak aged American ale featuring Mosaic hops -- a new hops variety -- today at its Fort Collins taproom. Woodcut No. 6 is the first dry-hopped offering in the series and is the result of more than a year of collaboration between Odell and the Mosaic hop farmers, the brewery says. The tapping party will include live music and local food.

Chipotle Mexican Grill presents Cultivate Denver today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., a free, all-day festival in the Meadow at City Park that celebrates "food, music and ideas and works to raise awareness of the impact that food has on society." There will be cooking demonstrations, seminars from celebrity chefs, a kids area, and live music from Best Coast, Group Love, Okkervil River, Tennis and Zach Heckendorf. There will also be an Artisans' Hall and Brewers' Hall offering Colorado food (including an item from Chipotle's new Asian concept restaurant, ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, in Washington, D.C.), along with wine and beer from Del Norte, Boulder Beer Company, Great Divide, Avery, Oskar Blues, Odell, Breckenridge Brewing, Left Hand, New Belgium and Ska. All proceeds from beer and wine sales will be donated to Food Family Farmers Foundation, which features Chef Ann Cooper's The Lunch Box program. The Lunch Box helps transition school lunchrooms from processed foods to made-from-scratch meals.

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