Beer Man

The Ten Best Craft-Beer Events in Denver in May

Strange Craft will celebrate American Craft Beer Week and its seventh anniversary.
Strange Craft will celebrate American Craft Beer Week and its seventh anniversary. Strange Craft Beer Company

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click to enlarge Andrew Moore (left) and Ben Gettinger of Intrepid Sojourner. - JONATHAN SHIKES
Andrew Moore (left) and Ben Gettinger of Intrepid Sojourner.
Jonathan Shikes
Saturday, May 20
Grand Opening
Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project
925 West Eighth Avenue

Andrew Moore and Ben Gettinger are opening Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, a brewery that will specialize in "internationally inspired twists on traditional beer styles." That means the Belgian-style tripel will be made with lavender, the stout will be brewed with Turkish coffee, and the amber will be made with garlic. You can find those and several other beers today during the grand opening. Moore, the head brewer, used to be an archaeologist, which is why the beers will feature ingredients from around the world. The brewery, located along the busy Eighth Avenue corridor in west Denver, will also feature maps and travel decor.

click to enlarge UPSLOPE BREWING
Upslope Brewing
Saturday, May 20
Upslope Get Down
Upslope Brewing
1898 South Flatiron Court,
Upslope Brewing brings back its annual free music fest, the Upslope Get Down, from 1 to 10 p.m. As it does every year, the Boulder brewery will take over the parking lot at its Flatiron Court location (so don't go to the Lee Hill Road location) so that it can bring you three stages' worth of live music, food trucks, games, art, a kid zone, lots of beer, and the Elemental Enhancers, a Denver performance group that plays with fire. The music lineup includes Roosevelt Collier's Colorado Get Down, with very special guests Freekbass, Caribou Mountain Collective, the Pamlico Sound, Sixty Minute Men, Envy Alo, Guerrilla Fanfare, Voodoo Visionary, Arthur Lee Land Trio, Coambient, and BluePrint Metro. Upslope will donate a portion of the proceeds from the festival to Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit that enlists the help of professional athletes and the outdoor sports community to effect climate change. And although admission is free, you can upgrade to the VIP package and get more information at

Strange Craft Brewing
Saturday, May 20
Strange Craft Anniversary Backyard BBQ
Strange Craft Beer Company
1330 Zuni Street

To celebrate its seventh anniversary, Strange Craft Beer Company has invited some brewery buddies over for a birthday beer festival. The Anniversary Backyard BBQ runs from noon to 4 p.m. and includes beers from Wit’s End Brewing, Renegade Brewing, Hogshead Brewery, Caution Brewing, Copper Kettle, Black Sky Brewery, Chain Reaction, The Brew on Broadway and Very Nice Brewing. There will also be music from Blooming Honeywise at 6:30 p.m. and food from Spudz & Frank’s BBQ. Tickets are $30 at or $35 the day of the party. And since Strange Craft’s anniversary coincides with American Craft Beer Week, the brewery will also be hosting daily events, including the Westside Is the Best Side beer bus tour on May 13 and a screening of the documentary film Blood, Sweat, and Beer on May 16. Find a complete ACBW event list at

click to enlarge A screen capture from Odell's Small Batch Festival in 2016. - ODELL BREWING
A screen capture from Odell's Small Batch Festival in 2016.
Odell Brewing
Saturday, May 27
Small Batch Festival
Odell Brewing, Fort Collins

Odell Brewing's on-again, off-again Small Batch Festival returns at a new time of year for 2017. This year, the event will be one day only, from 1 to 6 p.m., and will include more than fifty — yep, fifty — different Odell beers on tap. Many of the beers were made on Odell's five-barrel pilot system, and they include sours, barrel-aged brews, seasonals and twists on some Odell favorites. “This festival is the culmination of a year’s worth of brewing,” says Odell's Adam D’Antonio. “For months, we’ve been hoarding a few kegs of our favorites.... I think our brewers look forward to it as much as the fans." There will be food trucks along with live music from Choice City Seven, The Reminders and Euforquestra. Tickets are $35 and include two beer tokens and a stainless-steel cup.

click to enlarge DENVER BEER CO
Denver Beer Co
May 27
Maui Express Luau and Party
Denver Beer Co

Denver Beer Co is releasing its Maui Express Coconut IPA for the first time in cans this year, and to celebrate, the brewery is throwing a proper Hawaiian luau at its taproom on Platte Street. "Denver Beer Co will be transformed into a tropical paradise for the party, and we're hoping to see a lot of dudes sporting coconut bikinis and grass skirts, and ladies in awesome Hawaiian shirts," the brewery says. In addition to beer and music, there will be raffles for lots of DBC swag, including Maui Express growlers and a Maui Express keg. Raffle tickets will be handed out with every Maui Express pint purchased between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes