Wait, what? I could swear it was just the middle of summer and I was drinking juicy IPAs. But, no, we've blazed right through pumpkin-beer season, fresh hops and Oktoberfest, landing squarely in the realm of dark beers: winter, that is. But November may be one of the best months for beer drinking because of the rich, brooding brews that are typically released at this time of year. You'll find plenty of those below, along with several brewery anniversary parties, which are always a good time. Here are your ten best beer events for November.
Saturday, November 4
Descent Into Darkness
Fiction Beer Company
Join Fiction Beer Company for its Descent Into Darkness and mac ’n' cheese cook-off, beginning at 5 p.m. "To celebrate (or cope with) the coming of darkness, we are tapping ten of our dark beers simultaneously," the brewery says about the impending clock change. The beer list includes: Barrel Aged Feely Effects, Barrel Aged Malice and Darkness, Malice and Darkness Feely Effects, Wintry Emblem (2016), Ye Who Enter Here, This Is Not an Exit, Alternate Present (2016 GABF medal Winner), Paperback Writer and Deep Roots. There will also be a very limited number of 2015 Wintry Emblem bomber bottles for purchase. As for the mac ’n' cheese contest, "Cook your best darn homemade mac ’n' cheese recipe to be judged and shared with the taproom," where official judges will be on site "meting out badges of glory," Fiction says. Eventbrite registration is encouraged for mac ’n' cheese cook-off participants.
Saturday, November 11
Three Third-Anniversary Parties
Alpine Dog Brewing, Fermaentra Brewing, Locavore Beerworks
Three different Denver-area breweries celebrate their third anniversaries today, something they are all aware of, which is why the breweries teamed up on a collaboration beer — the 11.5 percent Mama Had Triplets Triple IPA — which will be available today at all three breweries (it will also be tapped November 18 at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen). You can pick one or all three of the parties going on today. Alpine Dog celebrates by releasing bombers of its second-anniversary beer, Wild BA Imperial Stout, followed by this year's anniversary beer at noon. That one is an IPA brewed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops and fermented with wild Brettanomyces yeast. Then, at 6 p.m., Alpine Dog releases Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Liquid Debauchery Barley Wine. MGJ's Burgers Food Truck will be there all day (the brewery also has events on Friday and Sunday). Fermaentra Brewing will have food trucks, merchandise giveaways and commemorative glassware (for the first 100 people), as well as some crazy beers. They include MMXVII Anniversary Barrel Blend bottle release; Galaxy DDH Peasant Magic IPA Crowler release; and a firkin and other barrel-aged beers. And finally, Locavore Beer Works in Littleton will commemorate its third birthday with a big party featuring live music (The Dollhouse Thieves, The Eric Dorn Trio, and Turkeyfoot), food, giveaways, and several barrel-aged beers and bottle releases. Beer tappings include Black Pearl Barrel Aged Imperial Porter; The Vig Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout; Cherry Hammer Barrel Aged Cherry Brown Ale; Fifi Barrel Aged Saison; Edwards Wee Demise Barrel Aged Scottish Wee Heavy; Quadricorn Belgian Quadruppel; and, of course, Mama Had Triplets Triple IPA.
Saturday, November 11
Palisade Peach Table Sour/Real Dill Green Chile Sauce Release
"If you've been in the Baere taproom often enough, you've likely heard us talk about both our love for hot sauce and our love for Palisade Peach Table Sour. Now we finally have the chance to party with both of these glorious things at the same time," Baere Brewing says about its hot sauce release with the Real Dill. "We met the Dillionaires of the Real Dill not long after we opened and spared no time diving into a fermentation/pickling/hot sauce nerd fest of a conversation. We dreamed of one day co-creating a hot sauce using Baere-liner Weisse as the majority of the souring liquids. We gave them as much beer as they wanted and they hit the kitchen running. After a few different pilot batches, they did what they always do, and created the ultimate Green Chile Hot Sauce with just the right amount of heat to pour all over anything and everything you can imagine." To go with it, Baere will release bottles of its Palisade Peach Table Sour, made with more peaches. There will also be some on tap. The chile sauce sells for $12 per sixteen-ounce bottle. The beer goes for $14 for a 750-ml bottle.
Saturday, November 11
Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy
Oskar Blues, Longmont
Oskar Blues brings back its popular but rare Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy and Java Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy (both at 12.9 percent ABV) with a release party at the Oak Room, located on the northwest side of the brewery in Longmont. To make the beer, Oskar Blues aged its Ten FIDY Imperial Stout in a blend of Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for at least eight months. The Java version was mixed with Oskar Blues-owned Hotbox Roasters cold brew made with a blend of Mexican and Brazilian beans; it will only be available in the taproom for one day. Sales of the 19.2-ounce cans begin at 10 a.m., "though we have a feeling that a line might begin to form earlier, so we’ll start giving out numbered wristbands at 9:30," the brewery says. "These wristbands will allow you to walk around and not worry about losing your place in line. To ease the pain of the wee hours, we’ll have CyclHOPS Bike Cantina slingin' breakfast burritos. Did we mention there’d be coffee? Hotbox Roasters will be on scene." For details on limits, the importance of the wristbands and other info, go to the Oskar Blues Facebook page. Both beers will be on draft in limited quantities — and the regular BA Ten Fidy will soon hit select liquor stores in Colorado and across the country.
Saturday, November 11
Left Hand Brewing Nitro Fest
Roosevelt Park, Longmont
One of the state's most unusual — weirdest, even — fests returns to Longmont from 6 to 10 p.m., when Left Hand Brewing hosts the fourth annual Nitro Fest at Roosevelt Park. "The world’s only exclusively nitrogenated beer festival" features more than 100 "super smooth nitro beers" from more than forty breweries in the U.S., Ireland, the U.K., China and Korea. This "wild Cirque de Soleil-style" fest includes "the contagious dance energy from internationally recognized 'jamtronica' band Lotus," along with Lunar Fire, Sven Jorgensen & Fractal Tribe and Boulder Circus School, Left Hand says. Costumes are encouraged. Tickets, $75, are available at lefthandnitro.com. Proceeds benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation.
Saturday, November 11
All Colorado Beer Festival
Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs
The 11th Annual All Colorado Beer Festival will pour beers from nearly eighty breweries — all from Colorado. A total of more than 225 beers will be served at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road in Colorado Springs. This is the sixth year that the All Colorado Beer Festival will hold a formal judging event in fifteen categories. Breweries include: New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Breckenridge, Blue Moon, AC Golden, BJ’s, Blue Spruce, Bru, Colorado Plus, Coors, Elevation, Fieldhouse, Great Divide, Iron Bird, Kokopelli, Launch Pad, Manitou Brewing, Odell Brewing, Peaks n Pines, Red Leg Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Riff Raff Brewing, 38 State, Rocky Mountain Brewery, Ska Brewing, Smiling Toad Brewery, Stem Ciders, Pug Ryan's, Cerberus, Pikes Peak Brewing, Ute Pass Brewing and Wild Cider. There will be two tasting sessions, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:30 to 10 p.m. General admission tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door (there's also a VIP option); buy them at AllColoradoBeerFestival.com. Proceeds benefit Theatreworks, the Empty Stocking Fund, the Home Front Cares, and the ACBF Scholarship Fund at UCCS.
Friday, November 17
National Yeti Day
Great Divide Barrel Bar
Join Great Divide Brewing at the Barrel Bar in RiNo for a celebration of the second annual National Yeti Day as it honors "the magical beasts we love so much." There will be more than ten varieties of Yeti on tap, including a hot and cold Yeti station for Yeti hot chocolate and Yeti floats made with Yeti ice cream from Sweet Action Ice Cream. Plus, there will be awesome specialty firkins, a food truck and the Yeti Cave. There will also be giveaways and raffles starting at 2 p.m. with prizes like a Great Divide bar tab, Yeti beer, new Yeti merch, Yeti Skis from Meier Skis, a Yeti Yoga Mat from Yeti Yoga and more. And finally, the Yeti himself will be in attendance.
Friday, November 17-Sunday, November 19
Cerebral Brewing celebrates its second anniversary all weekend. Things kick off today with the release of two canned beers: Remote Island and Gamma Knife. The Adobo Food Truck will be on hand at noon. On Saturday, Cerebral releases the latest round of Here Be Monsters bottles; details are TBA. Copia Confectionery will be on hand "giving away and selling their delicious chocolates," the brewery says. The Farmer in the Hive will be out front starting at noon. There will also be raffles and prizes. And finally, on Sunday, Cerebral hosts an egg-drop competition. Come pick up your kits starting when the doors open at noon; the competition will begin at 2 p.m. Moe's Original BBQ Truck Denver will be out front. There will also be a customized photo booth in house for the entire weekend, and the brewery will tap a few new releases.
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Saturday, November 18
Day of Darks
Wynkoop Brewing brings back its dark-beer showcase from noon to 4 p.m., serving dark, seasonal beers from more than thirty breweries, mostly in Colorado. Tickets, $35, are available at eventbrite.com, and include unlimited tastings in a commemorative glass and chocolate. Proceeds benefit local health organizations like Movember Foundation and Colorado Cancer Research Program.
Friday, November 24
Black Friday Invitational
Station 26 Brewing
For the past few years, Station 26 Brewing has used the joyous-to-some-and-miserable-to-others Black Friday shopping day as an excuse to release its Dark Star Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, along with several variations on the beer. This year, however, Station 26 takes things up a notch with the inaugural Black Friday Invitational, which will include beers — mostly imperial stouts — from other breweries as well. During multiple ticketed sessions throughout the day, Station 26 will tap Dark Star along with beers from 4 Noses Brewing, Call to Arms, Powder Keg Brewing, River North Brewery, TRVE Brewing and more.