Beer Man

The Ten Best Colorado Craft-Beer Events in February

The Ten Best Colorado Craft-Beer Events in February
Mountain Sun Pub
February comes pre-loaded with two beer-friendly holidays: Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day (or Anti-Valentine's Day, as the case may be). But the shortest month of the year is also special in Colorado because of Stout Month, which was started by the Mountain Sun Pub 25 years ago and is still going strong today. And while Mountain Sun, Vine Street Pub and the company's other associated restaurants and breweries will have different stouts on every day, numerous other breweries get into the spirit as well, tapping stouts of their own. You can find many of them in our weekly Beer Calendar, which posts every Wednesday. But for the ten best February events, keep reading.

Westword file photo
Pliny the Younger Tappings
Dates TBD
Multiple locations

It's that time of year again — time to stand in line to sample one of the West Coast's most storied, most sought-after beers, Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Younger Triple IPA. This hop bomb was at one time ranked atop the list of best beers in the country, but has fallen a few notches over the past few years as styles and tastes changed across the country. It is still a fantastic beer, though, and well worth seeking out. Pliny will first be tapped in California and then make its way over the Rockies to Colorado in mid- to late February, when very limited amounts will be tapped at places like Falling Rock Tap House, Freshcraft and Lucky Pie. Stay tuned to our weekly beer calendar for tapping dates once they are announced. Here's a message from Falling Rock about this year's Pliny the Younger arrival. UPDATE: Falling Rock will tap Pliny the Younger on Saturday, February 17 at 1 p.m., Sunday, February 18 at 1 p.m., and Saturday, February 24 at 1 p.m. To get some, follow the instructions on Falling Rock's web site.

click to enlarge MOUNTAIN SUN
Mountain Sun
Thursday, February 1, through Wednesday, February 28
Stout Month
All Mountain Sun Pubs and Brewery locations

The Mountain Sun Pub company, which owns the Vine Street Pub in Denver and four other locations in Boulder and Longmont, will celebrate a quarter-century of stouts with its 25th annual Stout Month celebration. Over the next 28 days, the pubs and breweries will tap at least 31 Mountain Sun stouts and barrel-aged stouts, including 48 Smooth Chai Stout, Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Addition Imperial Coffee Stout, Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout, Dark Harvest Pumpkin Stout, Chocolate Dip Stout, Space Odyssey Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatimus Prime Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Chocolate Thunder Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout. In addition, stouts from more than thirty other Colorado breweries will rotate through their tap boards. Mountain Sun, Southern Sun, Under the Sun, Vine Street, and Longs Peak Pubs will also host special events, concerts, tastings, giveaways and gatherings to pay homage to the great stout. Stay tuned to their Facebook pages for details and specific beer offerings.

February 3, February 10, February 17
Two Peak Launch Project
Two22 Brew; Peak to Peak Tap & Brew; Launch Pad Brewery

Three small Aurora breweries — Two22 Brew, Peak to Peak Tap & Brew and Launch Pad Brewery — in collaboration with American Craft Beer Radio, have teamed up for the Two Peak Launch Project, a three-part series of "Aurora Dessert Blonde Stouts." The first release is today at Two22 Brew, and it features Coffee & Donuts Blonde Stout made with raspberry and cold-brewed vanilla coffee. The second release, on February 10 at Peak to Peak, is White Chocolate Blonde Stout, which was the top-voted employee brew at Peak to Peak's Anniversary Party. The final yet-to-be-named beer will be served at Launch Pad Brewery on February 17. Each brewery will have a unique piece of glassware that if collected as a trio will come together in one epic design.

Bierstadt Lagerhaus
Saturday, February 10
Rauchbock Parka Party
Bierstadt Lagerhaus/Rackhouse Pub

Smoke ’em if you got ’em at the Rauchbock Parka Party, which takes place outdoors at Bierstadt Lagerhaus and the Rackhouse Pub from 2 to 8 p.m. Bierstadt will tap its newest lager, a smokey German-style rauchbier. But the mini-fest will also feature a few pop-up partners in River North, all of whom can bring the smoke. There will be hand-rolled cigars by Palma Cigars & Bar Las Palmas, a whole smoked pig by Owlbear Barbecue, a Mezcal tasting by Finn's Manor, and s'mores from the Preservery. Oompah music will be provided by Rick Borger & the Average German Band. Bierstadt says, "Bring your coat and drink beer in the elements or sunshine because: Colorado."

Tommyknocker Brewing
Saturday, February 10
10,000th Brew Party
Tommyknocker Brewery, Idaho Springs

Tommyknocker Brewing gathered current and former employees and brewers early last month for a daylong event during which the 23-year-old beer maker whipped up its 10,000th brew, a collaborative Baltic Porter. To celebrate, the brewpub will tap the beer, while the renowned Rapidgrass Quintet will perform live. There will also be food and drink specials. The beer will be on hand at Collaboration Fest as well, taking place March 31.

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