Beer Man

Oskar Blues celebrates ten years of canning; Denver Bicycle Cafe turns one

Oskar Blues and Ska Brewing finally released some details about the collaboration beer they made to celebrate the Longmont brewery's tenth canning anniversary. The smoked IPA is called oSKAr the G'Rauch because: 1) you can't spell Oskar without Ska, and 2) it was made in the smoked rauschbier style. It's the first collaboration between Oskar Blues and Ska, the first two craft breweries in the nation to can their beers.

Oskar Blues describes the beer like this: "Aromas of freshly-peeled orange and apricots with a touch of...smoke? Juicy citrus and fruit flavors dominate but don't overpower the slightly sweet malt structure. Finish is all citrus rind ping-ponging with some smoky phenols; 8.5% ABV. Many IBUs." It will debut in 19.2-ounce Royal Pint cans at the tenth CANiversary party at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew in Lyons on November 17 (see details on the next page). After that, limited quantities of oSKAr the G'Rauch will be sold at the Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Taproom while supplies last.

See all of this week's craft beer fun on the next page.

Wednesday, November 14

River North Brewery pours an experimental Wheat Saison today for its Wayward Wednesday series and welcomes Spent, which makes fresh-baked, spent-grain pretzels.

Thursday, November 15

When Odell Brewing partnered with Cafe Society on a contest in honor of our upcoming 2012 Denver Web Awards, we knew the results would be great. At the ceremony, which will be held at RedLine today to honor the best and brightest minds in digital Denver, the brewery will serve its pumpkin beer, the web-savvy #OhMyGourd, and show off a tap handle art designed by Jeff Herndon, the winner of a Westword contest. (Here's the design). Wanna try it? Go to the Cafe Society Facebook page tomorrow and print out an invite to the party.

Avery Brewing will mark the return of the Czar -- part of the brewery's Dictator series -- today with a taproom party from 5 to 9 p.m. The 11.1 percent ABV Russian Imperial Stout is "loaded with flavors of toffee, rich mocha, sweet molasses, candied currants and a hint of anise," according to Avery. The brewery is also holding a food drive: bring in three items from its high-needs list (100 percent fruit juice, cold and hot cereal, peanut butter, canned fish and meat, canned chili and stew and pasta sauce) in return for a ten-ounce pour of Czar and a chance to win two cases at the party.

Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Denver will tap its holiday seasonal, Winter Tartan, today at 6 p. m. A portion of proceeds from the sale of Winter Tartan will benefit the annual Parade of Lights. Free pints of the beer will be served from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

A dozen chefs will partner with the same number of local breweries at the first Chef and Brew Festival, which takes place at the Oriental Theater from 6 to 9:30 p.m. today. Each brewery will pour two beers that will be matched with one (or two) appetizers prepared by each chef, and attendees will decide which team wins the grand cash prize; a squadron of judges will determine which team is the most creative and who wins best in show, and those teams will also be awarded prizes. Tickets are $39 in advance and $49 at the door.

Saturday, November 17

The Denver Bicycle Cafe will celebrate its first birthday today at 6 p.m.; for $15 (or $20 on the day of), you get three beers and a commemorative pint glass, along with cake, live music and bike movies projected onto the wall. The Cafe pours beers made by some of Denver's smallest breweries and is often the only place you can find some of these beers outside of where they were made.

Oskar Blues will celebrate its tenth anniversary today with a party from 6 p.m. to midnight at its original Oskar Blues Grill & Brew in Lyons, with three bands, beer and food specials, a silent disco and giveaways. Tickets for one of the bands, White Buffalo, are $15 in advance. Oskar Blues will be serving an anniversary beer that it whipped up in collaboration with Durango's Ska Brewing, in addition to other beers.

Copper Kettle will bring back its Basil Blond today at noon in the taproom. The beer is made from fresh, locally grown basil, and Copper Kettle suggests a growler of it as a Thanksgiving Day accompaniment. Crazy Good Food will be there at 5 p.m.

Sunday, November 18

Copper Kettle Brewing brings back its Bourbon Breakfast Stout Brunch today, serving a three-course meal from the Harvest Food Truck. The brewery will pair the dishes (which include brioche spinach strata, pork belly and apple crepes) with its original batch of bourbon breakfast stout as well as its newest batch, which was aged in Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels. There are two seatings, at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. For tickets, $25 per person, email the brewery.

Hops & Pie hosts its monthly Littlest Big Beer Fest today with Fifty Fifty Brewing out of Truckee, California. Starting at 2 p.m., you can order flights or single pours of Donner Party Porter, Totality Imperial Stout, RyePA, Rockslide IPA, and Eclipse, which is the Totality aged for 300 days in twelve-year-old Elijah Craig oak bourbon barrels.

Saturday, November 24

Right Coast Pizza in Wheat Ridge will continue its twice-monthly Beers and Bonfire series today by tapping a bunch of beers from Avery Brewing. The series celebrates winter by letting a brewery take over the outdoor satellite bar and then lighting the fire pits and heaters.

Copper Kettle will release its Bourbon Breakfast Stout today. It's an imperial oatmeal stout made with coffee, chocolate and aged in bourbon barrels for months. The Statue of Liberty" band will be playing at 7 p.m. and there will be food available at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, November 28

Brewery Rickoli in Wheat Ridge plans to open its doors for the first time today at 4 p.m. with a couple of beers on tap.

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