The dog days of summer are here, and what better way to toast that scorching heat than by visiting a new brewery that includes an off-leash dog play area. But the opening of Littleton's Coal Mine Avenue Brewing (see below) is just one of many craft-beer happenings taking place in Colorado this month. There are also brewery anniversaries, a taco fest, a Hazy Appreciation Day and, of course, Independence Day. And to top it off, the Colorado Brewers Guild hosts its annual Rendezvous in Salida.
Keep reading to find out about the ten best craft-beer events in July.
Wednesday, July 4
Fourth of July Parking Lot Party
Little Machine Beer
2924 West 20th Avenue
What could be more American than fireworks, burgers and a beer that tastes like an orange Creamsicle? How about all of that — plus tacos? Little Machine Beer will host its third annual Fourth of July Parking Lot Party starting at noon and running until after the fireworks end. The brewery, located on a rise next to Mile High Stadium, makes for a great viewing spot from the parking lot, or you can walk down to the grassy areas around the stadium. But first, play some yard games at Little Machine, enjoy food from Burger Chief and True West Tacos, and drink Tangerine Creamsicle. There will also be two other new beers on tap: Fun City Session IPA and Agribotix Hefeweizen. Parking will be very limited, so plan on alternate forms of transportation.
Friday, July 6
Coal Mine Avenue Brewing Opening
Coal Mine Avenue Brewing
9719 West Coal Mine Avenue, Unit A, Littleton
Dogs. Love ’em or hate ’em, there's no denying that they are an integral part of Colorado living. People are so enamored of their four-legged friends, in fact, that they inundate breweries, sometimes making them look like doggy day-cares. Well, now there's a place for those people to go. After more than a year and a half of work and delays and more work, Coal Mine Avenue Brewing will open this weekend with an off-leash area for pups and a focus on canine-kind. Beers on tap for the opening include Colliery Porter, Pixie Slap Pale Ale, Punflex Cream Ale and A-Dobie Cilantro-Lime Saison, with a potential surprise fifth beer.
Saturday, July 7
1675 West 67th Avenue
You can't drink all day if you don't start early, and Bruz Beers will be starting early, at 7 a.m., with beers and brunch from Basted Egg Food Truck. There will be coffee from the brewery's neighbor, Backstage Coffee, and a car show in the north parking lot until 10 a.m. Starting at 11 a.m., you can shop local at the mobile Midtown Market. There will also be yard games, giveaways and five food trucks serving local eats and desserts, including a special food truck for dogs. From 4 to 10 p.m., there will be live music from Ravin' Wolf, David Henning and Manza Boyz. And finally, Bruz will be tapping some special new releases throughout the day, along with some beers from its reserves.
Saturday, July 14
Fourth Anniversary Block Party
2501 Sheridan Boulevard, Edgewater
For its fourth anniversary party, Joyride Brewing is once again shutting down 25th Avenue in front of the brewery for a block party. A large stage will host seven bands throughout the day, starting at 11 a.m. There will be multiple food trucks and beer stations, as well as plenty of activities for the kids. Joyride will also tap four collaboration beers made in honor of the event, including brews made with Elk Mountain and Downhill Brewing, Little Machine Beer, Hogshead Brewery and Station 26 Brewing.
Saturday, July 14
Haze Appreciation Day
River North Brewery
6021 Washington Street
Join River North Brewery as it starts "a new chapter...and a new series of taproom-only, whatever-the-hell-we-want-to-brew can releases." The first two releases are being combined into an event called Haze Appreciation Day, because River North will tap and release a variety of hazy New England-style beers. Beers on tap will include: Hop-A-Matic Lupulositor, an 8.3 percent ABV double IPA brewed with oats, wheat, lactose and Mosaic, Simcoe and Idaho 7 hops; Flux Opacity, an 8.3 percent double IPA brewed with oats, wheat, lactose and Citra and Mosaic hops; Mountain Haze, the brewery's 6.5 percent flagship NEIPA; Galaxy dry-hopped Mountain Haze; Vic Secret dry-hopped Mountain Haze; Milkshake Mountain Haze; and Super Secret Mountain Haze. The first two beers will be available in taproom-only six-packs to go; supplies are very limited. El Taco Veloz will be serving Mexican street food.
Saturday, July 14
Bastille Day Celebration of Saisons
Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project
925 West Eighth Avenue
In keeping with its international theme, the Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project will host its second annual Bastille Day Celebration of Saisons with an outdoor beer garden and party. In addition to the release of its own Honey Saison, made with honey from Urban Farmer's rooftop beehives, the brewery will welcome several guest saisons from other beer makers. Food will be served by the Saba’s Ethiopian Food truck. A bus loop, running from 1 to 9 p.m., will take people to Alliance Française Denver, which is having its own Bastille Day party, as well as to Strange Craft and Woods Boss Brewing. (Unlimited rides are $5.) "French saisons were traditionally pale ales brewed in cooler months, then stored and served to farm workers during the summer. Each worker was allowed up to five liters for each day worked," Intrepid Sojourner says. "Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille Castle in Paris on July 14, 1789, during the French Revolution."
Saturday, July 14
Colorado Brewers Rendezvous
The 22nd Annual Colorado Brewers Rendezvous returns to Riverside Park, on the edge of the Arkansas River in downtown Salida. Typically a favorite of both brewers and beer fans, the fest features 300 beers from more than 75 members of the Colorado Brewers Guild and is a primary fundraiser for the organization. In addition to the beers, the fest includes live music, food vendors and gorgeous views. New this year is the Pre-Vous, a rare beer tasting the day before the main festival. This special preview spotlights highly sought-after beers from twenty breweries that will not be available at the festival. Tickets to the fest, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m., are $45 and available at the Salida Chamber of Commerce website. Pre-Vous tickets are $35; find more details about ticket options and participating breweries at the chamber's website.
Saturday, July 21
Sanitas Taco Fest
3550 Frontier Avenue, Boulder
Tacos and beer, tacos and beer, tacos and beer! Yeah, it's heaven. Sanitas Brewing brings back its Taco Fest starting at noon, when it will begin pouring twenty different beers made just for the event, while longtime food partner McDevitt Taco Supply offers up at least forty different kinds of tacos. There will also be live music all afternoon and evening, lucha libre wresting on a stage, and piñatas for all ages (including some with adult treats). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door (kids twelve and under get in free) and include one beer and one taco, along with the music and wrestling. Get more at sanitastacofest.com.
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Saturday, July 28
Westy Craft Brew Fest
Westminster brings the heat with the return of the Westy Craft Brew Fest and a whopping sixty regional breweries and cider makers, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Christopher Fields, where you'll find fantastic views of the Front Range. In addition, there will be music from Rob Drabkin, food trucks and even child care for kids seven and up. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door; there are also VIP options. Get them at westybrewfest.com.
Saturday, July 28, to Sunday, July 29
Beer and Ice Cream Pairing
Denver Beer Co.
Denver and Arvada locations
Denver Beer Co. is cooling things down with its third annual Beer and Ice Cream Pairing, taking place at the original taproom on Platte Street in Denver and at the Arvada brewery. The brewers at Denver Beer Co. teamed up with Little Man Ice Cream to create five different summer shandies (beer plus juice) that can be paired specifically with five different ice cream flavors. The full (five four-ounce beers and five mini-scoops) pairing will be available both Saturday and Sunday for $20.