Oktoberfest, fall brews and pumpkins highlight this week's beer calendar

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It's Oktoberfest season, and you can find out about all of the parties on the next few pages. But in the meantime, more news: Elevation Beer Company in Poncha Springs announced yesterday that it plans to double its brewing capacity -- just four months after opening. The brewery, which specializes in barrel-aged beers, will add two sixty-barrel fermenters, a thirty-barrel fermenter and a fully automated bottling line that will allow it to crank out at least 1,100 barrels by next May, about twice what it had originally planned.

Elevation also said that its two latest beers -- Downpour Double India Red Ale and Oil Man, an Imperial Stout aged in Breckenridge Distilling bourbon barrels -- should hit liquor-store shelves in Denver in mid-October and mid-November, respectively.

Check out all the other beer happenings over the next week or two below.

Wednesday, September 19

Great Divide will celebrate the seven-barrel pilot brewing system it acquired last December by tapping eight different small-batch beers. The half-tap takeover (Great Divide has sixteen total), from 2 to 10 p.m., will showcase these experimental brews, which are: a Belgian-style tripel; an India pale lager; a schwarzbier; an oaked, smoked dunkelweiss; an altbier; a hefeweizen; Baby Yeti, a 3.2 percent ABV version of the brewery's signature stout; and Baby Hercules, a similarly low-alcohol IPA. Try a pint or order a $1 taster of each; all of Great Divide's taster proceeds go to charity.

Arvada Beer Company will throw a Great American Beer Festival release party today from 5 to 9 p.m. by tapping all nine of its GABF entries. Tickets are $20 or $25 at the door (limited to 100) and include tasters of all nine along with a pint of your favorite. There will also be meats and cheeses from Olde Town's Woodburn Deli.

Mayor Michael Hancock will help the Denver Beer Co brew a pumpkin beer today using pumpkins from Denver Urban Gardens. The beer will be tapped in a couple weeks at the launch of Denver Beer Fest, October 5-13, a nine-day celebration of suds that takes place around the annual Great American Beer Festival. Hancock will get "down and dirty with hops, malted barley and yeast" from around 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.

Prost Brewing will host a launch party tonight for Tivoli Beer, a new brewing company that has acquired the rights and recipes to the name of this historic Denver beer, which hasn't been poured in town since 1969. Read all about in our story about Tivoli Beer and its history. Then celebrate, beginning at 3 p.m. with German hors d'oeuvres and a speech by Mike Occhiato, the last Tivoli brewmaster. The party continues at 5 p.m. and lasts all evening.

Thursday, September 20

Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora taps its seasonal Half Moon Pumpkin Ale today at noon; the fan favorite is often served out of a giant pumpkin.

Longtime local beer authority, Dave Thomas will sign copies of his brand new book, Of Mines and Beer!: 150 Years of Brewing History in Gilpin County, Colorado, and Beyond today from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble, at 14347 West Colfax Avenue, in Lakewood. Thomas, who worked for Coors for 32 years, is now the brewer emeritus at the Dostal Alley Casino and Brewpub in Central City.

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery downtown will tap its Rocktoberfest Bier today at 6 p.m. and serve FREE pints until 6:30.

Saturday, September 22

Durango's Ska Brewing takes over the taps at 1 p.m. today at the relatively new Right Coast Pizza in Wheat Ridge. The "Ska Domination Vacation" includes at least twelve Ska beers, including Steel Toe Milk Stout on Nitro, Mexican Logger, ESB, Euphoria, Modus, Pinstrip, Buster Nut Brown, Dubbel Blonde, Nefarious, Decadent and the new Mole Stout (see below).

Copper Kettle hosts its own Oktoberfest today by tapping its Oktoberfest Lager. And, at 5 p.m., there will catered food from Helga's German Deli; a $10 plate includes two kinds of brats, potato salad and saur kraut. There will also be accordion music from 6-9 p.m.

Lone Tree Brewing will also be celebrating its first Ocktoberfest today from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with food trucks (Jessie's Smokin Nola from noon to 5 p.m. and Golden German from 6 to 10 p.m.), German music during the day and the McKenzie Brothers at 6 p.m., German pretzels and the brewery's own Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers.

Odell Brewing welcomes back fall with Mountain Standard, its annual black IPA that it typically brews and taps when we turn back the clocks for Daylight Savings. Odell is tapping the beer, which uses Colorado-grown hops, a little early this year, though. Mountain Standard, weighing in at 9.5 percent ABV, will be available in the taproom beginning at 4 p.m. along with food trucks and live music from The Constant Tourists. The beer will also be sold in four-packs in liquor stores.

Ska Brewing will debut its new Seasonal Stout program today by releasing the first of four canned stouts, Autumnal Mole Stout, a beer brewed cocoa nibs, spices and three varieties of chile peppers: Mulato, Ancho and Hatch green chiles (Read more: "Ska Brewing will debut a new series of seasonal canned stouts."). Cans should start showing up throughout Colorado today or over the next few days. Ska will release three more new, canned stouts over the next nine months, in December, March and June.

Sunday, September 23

Join Denver's finest bartenders today at 2 p.m. at Ghost Plate & Tap for a Beer Cocktail Shakedown. Around contestants will vie to make the best beer cocktails in the city using beers from the Wynkoop Brewing Company. Judges, including Westword's Beer man, will pick a winner. Tickets are $15 and include all-you-can-drink Breck and Wynkoop beer and beer cocktail samples. There will also be snacks and door prizes.

Monday, September 24

West Flanders Brewing will open for business in the former will open in the old BJ's Pizza location on the Pearl Street Mall today. The brewery and restaurant are owned by Mark and Chris Heinritz who also own the Sink and were the founders of the now-closed Redfish New Orleans Brewhouse. Longtime restaurateur Barry Wolfman and former Oskar Blues brewer Brian Lutz are also on the team.

Great Divide celebrates 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. 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.

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.

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 www.BoulderBeer.com.

Wit's End Brewing, meanwhile, will celebrate its very first birthday today with beer and pizza from Marco's Coal Fired Pizza. "There are plans to grow our little operation over the coming months and 2013 should be a great year," says owner Scott Witsoe.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse in Loveland will celebrate Oktoberfest beginning today at 11 a.m. by releasing its annual Farmer's Daughter, an Octoberfest 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.



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

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