May brings Maibocks, spring tappings and the start of beer-fest season

Salt Lake City-based Epic Brewing, which announced in January that it will build a 20,000-square-foot brewery and taphouse in Denver, updated its followers on social media this week with a couple of pictures and some potential opening dates. The Facebook pictures (like the one above) show the brewery's tanks and equipment arriving at the brewery, at 3001 Walnut Street in River North. In the meantime, Epic said on Twitter that it would like to be brewing by the end of May and open at taproom sometime in August.

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

Wednesday, May 1

Loveland's Grimm Brothers Brewhouse will debut Maiden's Kiss, a maibock lager, today from 6 to 9 p.m. exclusively at the new World of Beer in Glendale. The style typically welcomes spring in the German region of Bavaria.

Prost Brewing will release its own Maibock today as well, a beer that head brewer Bill Eye made in collaboration with Tom Hail of the Blue Moon Brewing Company at the Sandlot. Prost opens at noon and all of its employees will be dressed in German attire.

The Glass Half Full bar at the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton will host Breckenridge Brewery head honcho Todd Usry, who will talk beer and offer pours of Buddha's Hand, Agave Wheat and Vanilla Porter tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. The brewery is also bringing a firkin of 72 Imperial Double Chocolate Cream Stout aged with Belgian raspberries. The first 25 people on hand get a Breckenridge Brewery glass.

Fate Brewing, in Boulder, will release its eighth beer brewed on site, Cascadian Dark Ale made with three varieties of hops, today at 11 a.m. The release party features all-day happy hour pricing for the beer, which is dark like a porter, but hoppy like an IPA.

Copper Kettle is celebrating saisons in May. The brewery will tap a firkin of Black Pepper Saison today during taproom hours from 3 to 9 p.m. The Texorado BBQ food truck will be on hand at 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 2

Wit's End Brewing will tap a new beer, Bitter Late Than Never, today at 4 p.m. The idea for the English session-style beer got its start when brewery owner Scott Witsoe "offered up a Brewer for a Day donation to his daughter's school auction fundraiser," according to the brewery. "The winning bidder would be able to work on a custom recipe with Scott as well as be involved in every aspect of the process in creating a commercial beer -- from customizing the recipe to kegging the final product." The winner was Ryan Benine, a former homebrewer who left a batch of beer in a carboy in 1997 when his child was born and never bottled it -- or homebrewed again. Benine found his original recipe notes, though, which he and Witsoe used to recreate that beer. Twenty percent of all sales of this beer will be donated to the school.

The Denver Bicycle Cafe will offer a Free Beer Tasting with Prost Brewing today starting at 5 p.m. Every two weeks, the cafe gives you a chance to taste beer from a local Denver brewer -- rotating breweries each time.

The Blue Moon Brewing Company at the Sandlot, inside Coors Field, is scheduled to open today at 11 a.m. for the first time in more than a decade on a non-game day. It will continue to be open to the general public on non-game days (Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. and on night game days until 4 p.m.) through the season. The Sandlot recently underwent renovations to give it a new layout and a new look. On game days, the brewery and restaurant will still be reserved for Rockies ticket-holders.

Friday, May 3

Hops & Pie celebrates First Friday today at 6 p.m. with its monthly Firkin 1st Friday tapping. Today's beer is Lagunitas Sucks from California's Lagunitas Brewing, described thusly: "Full of complex-ish-ness, this beer is a cereal medly of barley, rye, wheat and oats. Then it's joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous flavor."

TRVE Brewing celebrates the return of its Black Cascade, a 6.6 percent ABV American black ale, today beginning at 4 p.m.; as part of First Friday, the brewery will also be showing new artworks by Douglas Raymond Seaton of Dead Soul Art.

Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton will tap Maiden's Kiss, the new maibock from Loveland's Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, tonight from 6 to 9 p.m.

Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado and Topo Designs will hold a party from 7 to 10 p.m. tonight at Fancy Tiger (during the shop's monthly Civilized Living event) to launch a new, limited-edition backpack that includes a detachable and collapsible insulated six-pack cooler, a branded water bottle that goes in the side pocket, and a bottle opener. Breckenridge Brewery will be tapping a few beers from its Small Batch series at the event. The $140 backpacks are on sale at www.breckenridgebrewery.com/store.

Saturday, May 4

The South Denver Beer Festival, a brand new outdoor two-day event, kicks off beer festival season today from 2 to 5 p.m. in Littleton's Clement Park. There will be beers from sixty breweries, cideries and meaderies from Colorado and elsewhere in the country and the world -- along with food vendors and yard games. Tickets are $40 at southdenverbeerfest.com; there are also VIP tickets ($85), which get you in an hour early for drinks from local distillers, as well as samples from cheese and chocolate makers. The festival will also host a beard/mustache competition and costume contest with prizes for top entries on both days. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring canned food items to support the local food bank Carpenters Cupboard.

Avery Brewing will release its latest small-batch sour ale this Saturday only in its taproom. The beer, Volunt Plus Erat (which translates into "wish there was more"), is No. 14 in the Boulder brewery's acclaimed Barrel-Aged Series and was fermented with two strains of brettanomyces yeast "on base malt (two-row) and Cabernet Franc grape must," according to the brewery. There is an extremely limited amount of the beer available to the public, so bottles, $8 a piece, will only be sold today in the taproom beginning at 5 p.m. and will likely sell out. There is a limit of six per person.

The date of May 4, or May the Fourth -- as in "May the Fourth be with you," -- is a special day for Star Wars fans who celebrate every year with various parties around town, and Denver Beer Co will join in today from noon to 6 p.m. by tapping several beers that have renamed in honor of the movies. They include Dubba Fett, Jabba the Hop, Chewbacca-nator, Emperor Pilspatine, Hop Solo and The Death Star. Enjoy them all in Denver Beer Co's cellar room next to the taphouse and take in screenings of Episodes IV, V, and VI as well.

Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield kicks off a two-day celebration of its one-year anniversary today with a party from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at The Old Man bar and restaurant in Broomfield. There will be giveaways, tapping of new beer, volleyball and a corn hole tournament (sign up for the tournament begins at noon and will only allow for ten teams; the tossing begins at 1 p.m.). The brewery will also tap a special beer at the taphouse (see below).

Big Choice and City Star Brewing in Berthoud will jointly celebrate their first anniversaries today by serving a collaboration beer, Big City Blonde, today at both taprooms. The 5 percent ABV summer rye blonde ale was brewed with alligator pepper and lemon zest.

Sunday, May 5

Big Choice Brewing in Broomfield continues its anniversary weekend with a party today from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. that includes new beer tappings, a movie, balloon twisting, face painting and BBQ from the Still Smokin Fusion BBQ food truck. The event is also a fundraiser for the Adam's Camp charity, and $1 from every beer will go to the cause.

The South Denver Beer Festival, a brand new outdoor two-day event, kicks off beer festival season today from 2 to 5 p.m. in Littleton's Clement Park. There will be beers from sixty breweries, cideries and meaderies from Colorado and elsewhere in the country and the world -- along with food vendors and yard games. Tickets are $40 at southdenverbeerfest.com; there are also VIP tickets ($85), which get you in an hour early for drinks from local distillers, as well as samples from cheese and chocolate makers. The festival will also host a Beard/Mustache Competition and Costume Contest with prizes for top entries on both days. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring canned food items to support the local food bank Carpenters Cupboard.

Wednesday, May 8

Avery Brewing will hold a Samael's Tap Room Release Party today from 6 to 8 p.m. and a guided three-year vertical tasting of this high-alcohol oak-aged barleywine, along with some food pairings. Tickets are on sale in the tap room only and are extremely limited.

Turn the page for more craft beer events later in May.

Saturday, May 11

Strange Brewing, which was first opened its doors in May 2010, during American Craft Beer Week, will celebrate its third anniversary beginning today with a week-long party involving new tappings, music and food. Today, the brewery will tap its Great American Beer Festival award-winning Dr. Strangelove Barleywine. There will be music from Fourth Dog Floyd beginning at 6 p.m.

TRVE Brewing will lead you to the Slaughter today, and you will like it. The brewery hosts its first beer dinner -- The Slaughter: a feast for the masses -- in conjunction with Blake Edmunds from The Squeaky Bean at 2 p.m.; some of the many dishes include Lapsang tea-brined pig served Bo Ssam style; ribbolita stew with fermented cabbage and mushrooms; roasted beets with vadouvan, sesame, and mint. Tickets are $30 and include two beers; they are available at imbibedenver.com/trve.

Monday, May 13

Strange Brewing continues its week-long third anniversary party today by tapping Oak Imperial Double IPA at 3 p.m. and welcoming in cheese pairings from Marczyk Fine Foods at 6 p.m. Lead by Design plays at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 14

West Flanders Brewing in Boulder holds an event tonight at 7 p.m. called Taste the Difference Brewers' Dinner & Tasting Class w/ Strange Brewing. Each round will have two beers paired with a single dish, accentuating different flavor components in the food. Round one is swordfish crudo with rosemary infused oil and pink grapefruit with West Flanders' Third Kingdom IPA and Strange's IPAphany IPA. Round two is Raspberry and Red Onion Relish with Haystack mountain goat cheese on endive; the beers are West Flanders' Trippel Lutz and Strange's ZORA Pale. For the rest of the pairings and details, go to either brewery's Facebook page. Tickets -- available at Strange, West Flanders and by calling 303-447-2739 -- are $49.

Thursday, May 16

As part of American Craft Beer Week, breweries, bars and restaurants will hold a simultaneous nationwide toast tonight at 6:30 p.m. MST. The Boulder History Museum, which is currently featuring an exhibit called "Beer! Boulder's History on Tap," will host a big one along with a tasting event -- from 5:30 to 8 p.m. -- at which guests will have the opportunity to sample beers from thirteen Boulder County craft breweries. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

As part of American Craft Beer Week, Falling Rock Taphouse will assault your tastebuds with Night of the Hops, a tap lineup of all things hoppy, including IPA's, Imperial IPA's, Black IPA's, and so on. At 6:30 p.m., they'll raise a toast as part of the national event.

Avery Brewing will celebrate its twentieth birthday later this summer, but it's opening its presents early -- as it usually does in May -- by tapping this year's anniversary ale at a party in the Boulder taproom. This year's anniversary brew is Twenty XX India Pale Ale, an aromatic double IPA made with Amarillo and Simcoe hops. The party starts at 5 p.m., and there will be live music as well.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will host a screening of Crafting a Nation, the Colorado-produced craft beer documentary, today at 7 p.m.; director Thomas Kolicko will be on hand, as well. The movie "features breweries, small businesses and individuals that are growing because of the rise in the American craft beer movement. They're not only creating unique and American-made beer, but also jobs, tax revenue, and drive that cannot be stopped for creating a better tomorrow."

Friday, May 17

Falling Rock Taphouse tickles your tastebuds tonight with Night of the Sours, starting at 5 p.m., during which owner Chris Black will tap at least ten kegs of special sour beers that he dug out of the cellar. They include Consecration, Supplication, Sanctification, Sour in the Rye and Ambassador.

At the end of every day, the taproom staff at Avery Brewing kicks back at the round red tables and has a meeting of the minds. "On one such day," the brewery says, "a legend of an idea was born, and your beloved Tap Room staff designed and brewed an epic saison." The beer, Red Table Saison, was brewed with two yeast strains, specialty malts, wheat and American hops -- and created and brewed entirely by the tap room staff. Avery will tap the beer at 5 p.m. You can drink it at a red table.

Denver Beer Co and Mikes2 Kitchen will hold their spring beer dinner tonight from 7 to 9:30 p.m. during American Craft Beer Week. The three-course, four-beer dinner cost $50 per person and will be in the Barrel Room next to the brewery.

Saturday, May 18

Caution Brewing will host a one-year anniversary party for its taproom today beginning at 11 a.m. and also announce the location for its second brewery and taproom during the American Craft Beer Radio show, which will broadcast live from the party from noon to 1 p.m. Caution will have sixteen of its beers on tap, live music and other events.

River North Brewery will release the ninth installment in its Barrel Series -- Hello, Darkness Black IPA -- today at 1 p.m. in the taproom. The beer is River North's black IPA that has been aged for four months in charred oak whiskey barrels. It will be on draft and available for purchase in bomber bottles. Unlike previous beer in the Barrel Series, however, bottles will only be sold from the taproom and won't be in liquor stores.

At noon today, Falling Rock Taphouse will kick of its Day of the Barrel, a Celebration of Barrel Aged Beers, as part of American Craft Beer Week. The list of beers is TBA.

The Front Range Rally, celebrating craft brewers and food trucks (the perfect combination) along the northern Front Range takes place today from 3 to 7 p.m. at the nonprofit Loveland Food Share, 2600 North Lincoln Avenue in Loveland. The festival includes beer from thirty craft brewers, food from fifteen food vendors and live music; it benefits the Food Bank for Larimer County. Tickets range from $35-$40 and area available at www.frontrangerally.com.

Tipsy's Liquor World and the Dakota Ridge Athletic Foundation will hold their second annual Tipsy's Brew Fest from noon to 4 p.m. today outside the store, 5869 South Alkire Street in Littleton. The fest features two hundred beers from seventy breweries, food and live music from the Groove Hogs and Flipside. Tickets are $35 (or $45 for VIP) and proceeds will be donated to the Dakota Ridge Athletic Foundation and the Colorado Brewers Guild. Some of the breweries in attendance will include: AC Golden, Alaskan, Avery, Blue Moon, Boulder Beer, Boulevard, Breckenridge, Bristol, Crazy Mountain, Dry Dock, Eddyline, Elevation, Firestone Walker, Great Divide, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Paradox, Renegade, Rockyard, Ska, Stone, Tommyknocker, Twisted Pine, Upslope, Wynkoop, Grand Teton and Trinity.

Strange Brewing continues its week-long third anniversary party today by tapping Cucumber Belgian Golden, half of which was aged on whiskey staves and half of which was aged on chile peppers.The Colorado Craft Beer Show will be on hand from noon to 2 p.m. and the Acoustic Mining Company will begin playing at 5ish.

Sunday, May 19

The Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will release the final beer in its Wild Wild Brett "rainbow" series today at the brewery's Barrel Cellar -- a day that it is triumphantly calling ROY-G-BIV Day (which includes the first initial of each of the beers). Bottles of Wild Wild Brett Violet will be sold beginning at noon and continue until the bottles are sold out. There is a six-bottle limit. At 1 p.m., Crooked Stave will begin tapping limited offerings of all of the Wild Wild Brett beers. The schedule is as follows: 1 p.m. Wild Wild Brett Rouge; 1:30 Wild Wild Brett Orange; 2 p.m. Wild Wild Brett Yellow; 2:30 Wild Wild Brett Green; 3 p.m. Wild Wild Brett Blue; 3:30 Wild Wild Brett Indigo. In addition, Wild Wild Brett Violet, along with St. Bretta and Hop Savant will be on tap all day.

Ernie's Bar & Pizza hosts an epic battle of the Oskar Blues IPAs today from 3:30 to 5 p.m. featuring G'Knight Imperial Red IPA, Deviant IPA, Gubna Imperial IPA, and Oskar the G'Rausch Smoked IPA. An Oskar Blues brewer will be on hand to talk with guests and offers samples. Tastings are complementary while supplies last.



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

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