We spoke with our friends at the Falling Rock Tap House during Strong Ale Fest last weekend and it sounds like they’re going to be hosting some phenomenal events for Colorado Craft Beer Week. Here’s a few teases from what looks to be an action-packed week over there on Blake St. Better start planning your vacation days now.
Howdy! Just wanted to start the list of events we will be hosting for Colorado Craft Beer Week March 18 -24 2013. These events are just the beginning, so keep checking back for updates!
Monday, March 18th – Kickoff Event
We are still working on the lineup for this event but the tap wall will be taken over (for the first time ever) by Colorado Breweries. This is a ticketed event as each of the kegs is a 5 gallon pin from our Colorado brewers, but Chris has this link for you to follow to get your tickets which go on sale SATURDAY MARCH 2 at 10am:
As more details, including the lineup, get ironed out we will update the website and send out Tweets. Right now we know for sure that some old friends and new breweries are going to join us, several having their beers poured here for the very first time.
Thursday, March 21st – Dogfish Head
We’re digging into the stash of DFH beers and a few recent arrivals to put together this list. Chris and his assistant are excited to get some beers out of the cellar on this one, it makes room for more!
- Burton Baton
- My Antonia
- Black & Blue
- Red & White
Friday, March 22nd – Night of the Sours!!
Instead of devoting a night to one of these fine breweries we thought we would put together an amazing night of intense sour beers. Some are overly sour, some simply delightful and a few a bit tangy. Totally worth it for any Sour-head.
- New Belgium Clutch
- New Belgium La Folie
- New Belgium Ooh La La
- Russian River Consecration
- Russian River Sanctification
- Russian River Supplication
Much More To Be Determined…
Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.
Cold, snowy week here my friends. The “Redneck Ruler” has been working overtime, trying to keep up with the foot of snow we got this week.
Our team of “experts” flew in for a few days to revamp the website. Those slackers got a good start, but we’re not ready to relaunch just yet. It’s coming…
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Some of the last kegs of this year’s Pliny the Younger release are getting tapped tonight.
Freshcraft will begin handing out tickets at 5:30 PM, with the tapping scheduled for 6 PM. 6 oz. pours will sell for $7. Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-758-9608.
Over at The Cheeky Monk, they’ll tap their last keg at 6:30 PM. $10 / glass. The Cheeky Monk is located at: 534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203. 303-861-0347.
The Inaugural SUDS for SIDS Brew Fest is at Mile High Station in downtown Denver, CO.
The event will raise money for Angel Eyes, which helps families cope with the sudden, unexpected death of an infant or toddler. As the father of two, this is a very scary topic and one that isn’t recognized enough. Parent or not, it’s a great cause. The $40 ticket will allow you the opportunity to try a variety of beers, sample food from local restaurants and meet dancers from the Broncos and Nuggets. Beer geeks can look for brews from more than a dozen breweries including Elevation, River North, Strange and Oskar Blues. Mile High Station is located at: 2027 W Lower Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204.
Last night, Renegade and Wit’s End tapped their collaboration beer, called Judge Whoppner. It’s an Imperial Brown Ale brewed with malted milk. The initial 10 gallon batch is on tap at Renegade right now. A second batch is set to be brewed soon over at Wit’s End for their tasting room. Shikes has all the details in his recent Westword article. In the meantime, head over to Renegade and give it a try. Renegade Brewing is located at: 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204. 720-401-4089.
Aurora’s Cedar Creek Pub is a bit of a hidden gem out in. Today, they’ll tap a keg of The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye. It’s brewed with around 40% rye malt, then transferred to oak barrels where the sour yeast and bacteria work their magic. This is a tasty, complex, moderately funky, seasonal brew from California’s The Bruery.
I still need to make a trip to visit Cedar Creek Pub, but their beer tappings have just gotten better and better over the past few months and the food menu looks great too. Stop by and give them a try. Cedar Creek Pub is located at: 2100 N Ursula St, Aurora, CO 80045. 303-537-4124.
Up in Arvada, Yak & Yeti’s Head Brewer Adam Draeger, tapped a Toasted Coconut Porter yesterday and the (Yakety Yak) Don’t Talk Bock is getting rave reviews. Here’s this week’s lineup.
Draeger also said he brewed a large batch of a Belgian Dubbel that will be ready sometime towards the end of March. The beer will be called “Brahmin Dubbel Knowledge” and features 25 pounds of homemade Belgian Candi Sugar. Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-431-9000.
Crooked Stave has your sour fix. They just tapped Sentience aged in a Leopold Bros Small Batch Whiskey Barrel. This won’t last, so get to the barrel room today. It’ll also be pouring at Strong Ale Fest, so you’ve got a couple of chances to try this amazing beer.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
Friday, March 1st, 2013
Dry Dock’s Firkin Friday release will be a Citrus Saison.
Tapping at 3 PM. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Down at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s got a 15% ABV Eis’d Bier de Garde, called King Baudoin.
This Deviation is described as a “malt forward and chewy ale” that will “warm you like a thick down coat”. Perfect for the cold, snowy days we’ve experienced lately. This behemoth will tap at 4 PM. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
As for us, we’ll be at the 11th Annual Strong Ale Festival at Avery Brewing in Boulder. You know how much we love the Avery Fests and this one is no exception. This is THE place to be this weekend if you crave those big ass, roided up, 8+% ABV, monster brews. I’ll be scoping out Russian River’s Pliny the Younger, Avery’s Tweak (coffee infused Mephistopheles) and whatever the hell Surly brings this year. Maybe a little of your new barrel-aged Brett beer, Pentagram? Yeah, that works. And bring back Darkness you foolio’s!
Strong Ale Fest sold out quick, so if you don’t already have tickets, well, you’re probably out of luck. However, if you do have tickets, look for us Friday night. The event continues on Saturday and features a live broadcast with the guys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show and American Craft Beer Radio. More details below. And if you just want to re-live last year’s fest and gaze over the menu, click HERE. Avery Brewing is located at: 5763 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303.
UPDATE: The 2013 Strong Ale Fest beer list is up for your drooling pleasure. Start planning your weekend right HERE.
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Strong Ale Fest at Avery continues on Saturday from noon to 5 PM. The Colorado Craft Beer Show and American Craft Beer Radio will kick things off out front beginning at noon. Check them out on AM 760 and 102.3 FM respectively. Be responsible people. Book a hotel, call a cab, eat a big meal, drink a whole mess of water, have fun.
If you don’t have tickets for Strong Ale Fest, then get your butt over to Copper Kettle Brewing Company, for the release of their Barrel Aged Old Ale.
Tapping at noon. Copper Kettle is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC
Don’t forget your German lesson with Bill Eye from Prost Brewing.
Prost needs your help. They’re looking to name their 4 fermenters. They’ve got three 70 barrel tanks and one 80 barrel. Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will win a growler a month for one year! Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211. 303-729-1175.
Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
Hops & Pie will tap their Pliny the Younger keg on Sunday.
They’ll hand out 50 tickets when the doors open at 2 PM. A ticket guarantees you a 10 oz. pour, so don’t be late. The keg gets tapped at 4 PM and all tickets must be redeemed by 8 or you risk losing your share. Pliny the Elder will also be on tap. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-477-7000.
Monday, March 4th, 2013
Your last chance for Pliny the Younger is coming up on Monday down at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs.
Tickets will be available at 6 PM and the tapping will happen at 7 PM. Don’t be one of those whiners who didn’t get their Younger this year. Get out and get some. Trinity Brewing is located at: 1466 Garden of the Gods Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80907. 719-634-0029.
Other Exciting Brew News
Some of Colorado’s lady brewers brewed a collaboration beer at Wynkoop earlier this week. They joined forces to brew a Belgian Pale Ale that’ll debut during Colorado Craft Beer Week in March. Click on this link for a short video that aired on Fox31 a few days ago. There’s also details on a contest they’re having to name the brew. Winner gets FREE BEER!
Boulder’s Fate Brewing has been staying busy. Business is good at the new brewpub and the brewhouse is almost completely installed. Sales & Marketing Director Hannah Lloyd says they should be “brewing test batches by this weekend…fingers crossed”.
Until then, be sure to stop by and check out some of their tasty collaboration brews. Fate Brewing is located at: 1600 38th St, Boulder, CO 80301.
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew gave us a little tease this week.
A new 3 BBL brew system is on the way and it looks like bottles are in the future as well. Congrats to Brandon and the rest of the gang on this very exciting news! Stop by and check them out if you haven’t already. They just expanded their hours again to better serve the local beer freaks. Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-722-2810.
Beer Hunters, take note that Firestone Walker’s §ucaba, a barrel-aged Barleywine and Stone’s Old Guardian Barleywine are making the rounds right now. Stone also released an Oak-Smoked version of Old Guardian as part of their “Odd Beers for Odd Years” line of beers. I can’t speak for the new Oak-Smoked, but the others are great both fresh and aged. Get ’em while you can.
Utah’s Epic Brewing is opening a brewery, barrel room and tasting room right here in Denver. They’re just getting started over there, but plenty of exciting things are coming.
As always, we’ll keep you posted with updates. An April opening is expected.
Happy Birthday to us!
Brewtally Insane (that’s us) turns 1 this week! Just wanted to say Thank You to all of our readers, brewers and amazing people who have supported us since we fired up this little site last year. We really, really, really appreciate it. I started this just as a way to keep some friends in the loop with all the local beer happenings and it’s taken off from there. So Thank You! Look for us at SUDS for SIDS at Mile High Station tomorrow and Strong Ale Fest at Avery Brewing on Friday. Say “hi”, have fun, be safe.
You guys rock! Craft beer rules!
The team behind the annual Winter and Summer Brew Fests in Denver, known as RightOn Productions, has decided to take their beer, food and fun fests on the road. Last weekend, they brought the Inaugural Winter Brew Fest to Broadway Pier in lovely San Diego, CA.
Lucky for us, we got invited to come out and cover the event. Trust me, we didn’t need much convincing. We LOVE a good brew fest and we love San Diego. Yep, count us in!
The event was held at the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier, which is a modern, environmentally friendly Cruise ship terminal. Port Pavilion is easily accessible by car, bus and train and offers scenic views of the USS Midway and San Diego Bay.
The San Diego beer scene is on fire right now, with more than 63 breweries in operation and 32 more in various stages of planning. The San Diego beer scene is almost as exciting as the current Denver beer scene. The inaugural festival gave us the opportunity to try beers from some of the local up and coming breweries such as Iron Fist and Manzanita, but we were just as excited to revisit old favorites from our friends at Mission and Ballast Point.
The food trucks parked outside along the bay were no joke either. They had prepared beer-centric menus just for the brew-minded crowd. We couldn’t get enough from the guys at Underdogs, who were serving up some mean sausage creations. I went with the “Mac Daddy”, which was a Stone Porter Sausage, topped with macaroni and cheese and bacon. Oh delish. The cheese sauce on top was made with a Saison from Iron First Brewing.
Inside the pier, the crowd sipped on beer, nibbled on Cabot cheese and grooved to the sounds of local bands. All in all, a great time and another well run festival from the RightOn crew. No word yet on whether they plan to expand the event to include a San Diego Summer Brew Fest. We can only hope.
Until next time, check out some of the sights from the San Diego Winter Brew Fest.
To see more highlights from our San Diego adventure, visit the Beer Trippin’ portion of our site.
Well, here we are again, in the middle of our annual “Beer Fest Drought”. Gone are the days of Summer, when it seemed like we had multiple brew fests every weekend. Luckily, wedged between January’s Big Beers up in Vail and February’s Firkin Rendezvous down in Colorado Springs, we’ve got the Denver Brew Fest to help get us through these tough times. The Denver Brew Fest is a semi-annual event, (the Winter Brew Fest is in January and the Summer Brew Fest falls in July), that takes place at the historic Mile High Station.
Mile High Station, which dates back to 1897, was previously occupied by Midwest Steel & Ironworks and at one point, was utilized to help construct ships for the U.S. Navy during WWII. The building has since been renovated and now serves as a popular spot for receptions, corporate events and private parties. Its’ 2-story layout and unique architectural features, make it the perfect backdrop for a beer festival.
The Winter Brew Fest offers a VIP option, which allows attendees admittance 1-hour early. All festival goers have unlimited access to more than 100 beers from more than 40 different breweries. In addition to a wide variety of Colorado breweries, there are also quite a few from out-of-state, including Firestone Walker, Stone, Boulevard and Green Flash. Aside from the great selection of craft beer, the Denver Brew Fest has live music, a beer and cheese pairing, food trucks, photo booths and more.
This was our first time attending this festival and it’s clear these guys know how to run a great event. A few hours into the night, some bottlenecks and long lines began to form at the more popular tables, but there was plenty of beer to be had and it didn’t seem to get in the way of anyone’s good time. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and took the opportunity to revisit some of our favorite breweries, while discovering a few new ones along the way. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Mark your calendars for the Summer Brew Fest, which is set for July 26th, 2013. Tickets and full details can be found on the official website.
I Love me a good beer fest and here in Colorado, there’s no shortage of good beer fests. We’ve got plenty to choose from throughout the year. But, it’s the Great Ones that keep me up at night. The Great Ones that get me excited like a kid on Christmas morning. The Great Ones that I’d jump on a flight to attend if I ever moved out-of-state. (Gasp!) The annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines in Vail is a Great Beer Fest.
Big Beers (or BBB or #Bigbeers for you twitterers / hash tag types), is a world-class event that educates beer lovers, brings us closer together with tastings and bottle shares and when all’s said and done, leaves us thirsting for more. How the hell have I not been back to this event for the past 6 years!?!? No clue, but I guarantee it won’t happen again.
On The Road Again
Our adventure began on Friday morning with a trip up old I-70. No trip through the mountains is complete without a stop at Backcountry Brewery in Frisco.
Within a few minutes of arriving, our group had secured spots at the bar and I had a glass of Old Beer Wagon Barleywine sitting in front of me, courtesy of Backcountry’s Head Brewer Alan Simons. The perfect beer to warm up with from the sub-freezing temperatures and blowing snow outside. We enjoyed lunch and I got my fill of Alan’s amazing Barleywine and hearty Breakfast Stout.
Just as we were preparing to press on to Vail, Alan re-appeared and offered us a tour and the chance to check out Backcountry’s recent expansion.
In addition to the new family of fermenters, Backcountry has a new bottling line that should be rolling out 6-packs down the mountain shortly. Alan was kind enough to share some special treats with us like his GABF award-winning Imperial Saison, Imperial Saison w/ Brett and Tart SaiZin, which was aged in Zinfandel barrels. Another great visit to Backcountry. Their great beers and hospitality can’t be beat. Be sure to pay Backcountry a visit on your next trip up that way.
Warming Up With A Bottle Share
We pressed on and in no time, found ourselves pulling into Vail. We hadn’t even checked into our condo yet, when I realized Gary V from American Craft Beer Radio was trying to catch up with us for a beer. With not much else planned for the day and bone chilling, sub-zero temperatures outside, we decided to coordinate a bottle share for the night.
We had a solid group of craft beer enthusiasts including Dave from Fermentedly Challenged, John from Backcountry Pizza, Lauren from Napa of Beer, plus several homebrewers and our host Gary from American Craft Beer Radio. It was a lot of fun just to sit around, taste and share a variety of beers from Cigar City to Jester King. Surly Five is such a tasty, barrel-aged Brett beer. Three Floyds Dark Lord seems to show up at every tasting we attend and I can’t get enough of the rich, inky stout. And Cantillon continues to be my favorite Belgian Brewery.
We talked and tasted into the wee hours. Thanks to everyone involved for a great time!
The Main Event
On Saturday, with no kids to wake me up at 5 AM, I managed to sleep in until all of 7 AM. A quick check on the phone revealed a lovely temperature of -15 F.
Yeah, -15 F is pretty special. No reason to fight it. We just got the gang together, got the fire going, started a pot of coffee and whipped up pancakes, sausage and eggs. Who forgot the bacon???
Before I knew it, we were off to the Commercial Tasting Session.
Starting things off right with some Rochefort and Orval.
I finally had the opportunity to sample the variety of sours from Colorado’s Three Barrel Brewing. They are hoping to get bombers into the Denver market later this year. I really enjoyed all of their beers and if you’re a sour fan, I’d definitely keep an eye on them.
Brewtally Best of Show
With so many amazing beers, covering a wide variety of styles, it was nearly impossible to narrow down a favorite. But here are three that stuck with me.
Big Beer: Bell’s Brewery – Raspberry Wild One. With the ridiculous amount of stellar beers pouring, I could easily list 10 as my “Favorite Big Beer”, but I’ve done my best and narrowed it down to this one. The Wild One. The tartness, mixed with the sweet fruit, was what made me enjoy this one so much. It’s got complexity and depth with the oak presence, acidity and sour notes. Raspberry Wild One was just a great beer that really stuck out in my mind from the weekend. Great job Bell’s!
Belgian: Brasserie d’Orval – Orval. This is the Trappist that goes against the grain. While the other Trappist monasteries brew some of the finest Dubbels and Quads around, Orval takes a different approach with their dry, slightly hoppy and funky Brettanomyces brewed beer. I could drink Orval all day. Drink it fresh for the hops, or age it for a little more Bretty funk. Orval is a delicious beer and the only one the brewery puts into bottles.
Barleywine: Strange Brewing – Dr. Strangelove. This is an American Barleywine with tons of sweet, caramel malt, balanced by a generous does of hops. Head Brewer Tim Myers, said he hopes to bottle Dr. Strangelove later this month and sell bottles at the brewery shortly thereafter. Job well done. Beer hunters, snag some if you can.
With 200+ beers pouring this past weekend, it’s downright unfair to pick just 3, so here are a few others that definitely deserve a mention: Wynkoop – The Chancellor Barleywine, AC Golden – Peach Sour, Mission Brewing – Double IPA, Hair of the Dog – Adam, Three Barrel – Penitente Chimayo, Surly – Abrasive, Rockyard – Buddha Nuvo, Trappistes Rochefort – 10, Renegade – Black Gold (Peanut Butter Cup Stout), Oskar Blues / Ska – OSKAr the G’Rauch, Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Elevation – Oil Man Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Boston Beer Company – Utopias 10th Anniversary, Crooked Stave – L’Brett d’Or, Backcountry – Imperial Saison with Brett, Grimm Brothers – Wee Heavy Bourbon Barrel Brett and on and on and on. As you can see, the list was phenomenal!
Here’s some links to last week’s radio shows, both of which were live from Vail:
Vail Big Beers gives beer lovers a rare chance to sample some of the finest beers on the planet AND talk to the brewers that create them. Such a great weekend and a BIG Thank You to all involved. We can’t wait to go back next year.
It’s been a good week here in Colorado. I was able to attend a fun little bottle share last weekend with some local craft beer lovers. It was a great group of people and the tasting featured everything from Cigar City Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu to Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise to Hill Farmstead Anna. A few of us collaborated on a Czar vertical from ’05 to ’12. I like to call it the Czar Voltron.
It’s tough to beat a good bottle share and it was great to see the dedication and generosity of the local beer geek community.
Last Friday, Epic Brewing of Utah, announced their plans to open a brewery, barrel room and tasting room in Denver this Spring. All the details can be found in the Press Release.
Also last week, I had the opportunity to review Elevation Beer Co’s Downpour Imperial Red Ale and try Odell’s Lugene Milk Chocolate Stout (review coming soon!).
But enough about last week, there’s a new weekend right around the corner and we are READY! The 13th Annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival hits Vail over the next few days. After a long hiatus, we’re excited to be heading back up the mountain for this amazing festival. Anybody else headed up that way? Wait. Let’s back up, I’m getting ahead of myself. Deep breath. Alrighty, here we go!
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Colorado gets a new brewery today! Over in Boulder, J Wells Brewery will pour their first beers at 1 PM.
Stop by and check out the new place and try one of the three beers on tap: Jamie’s Pale Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout and Hop Haze IPA. J Wells Brewery is located at: 2516 49th St., Boulder, CO 80301.
Friday, January 11th, 2013
Get your firkin fill over at Dry Dock Brewing with Firkin Friday.
This week’s tapping is Turncoat Amber. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Down at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s releasing Darth Cherry for this week’s Deviation.
Darth Cherry is a Dark Cherry Stout. Stop by for the 4 PM tapping. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Verboten Brewing will open their doors for the first time on Friday.
This new brewery up in Loveland will be open from 3 – 9 PM on Friday and 1 – 9 PM on Saturday. For opening day, they’ll be pouring: Belgian Wit w/ Lemongrass, IPA and Caramel Porter on both nitro and CO2. Verboten Brewing is located at: 1550 Taurus Ct, Loveland, CO 80537. 970-988-6333.
Saturday, January 12th, 2013
Vail is THE place to be this weekend with the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines (BBB) festival going on Thursday, Friday & Saturday at the Cascade Lodge. Although the festival kicks off on Thursday with the Brewmasters’ Dinner (with Avery and Dogfish Head), continues Friday with a homebrew competition, Cicerone exam and another Brewmaster’s Dinner (with Dry Dock Brewing), the real fun is the seminars and commercial tasting on Saturday. Although no official list of beers has been released, there should be more than 200 beers pouring from some of the best breweries in the world.
The Commercial Tasting runs from 2:30 – 6 PM, with seminars beginning as early as 10 AM. Unfortunately, the tasting sold out earlier this week, but tickets to a few of the seminars are still available. A complete schedule of events can be found HERE.
Both the Colorado Craft Beer Show and American Craft Beer Radio will be broadcasting live from BBB on Saturday. Be sure to stop by and show your support for these great shows. They’re doing a great job of spreading the word of craft beer. If you’re not heading up to Vail, pour yourself a beer and tune in to see what you’re missing. Colorado Craft Beer Show will air on AM760 after the CU game, around 2:30 PM and run until 5 PM. American Craft Beer Radio will air on 102.3 FM at 2 PM.
Broncos fans should know that the BBB directors are trying to figure out a way to broadcast the game inside during the tasting. No promises, but they’re working on it.
Into The Future
Looking towards next weekend, Denver Beer Co. is hosting an Inaugural Beer Dinner in their new Barrel Room on Friday, January 18th. This will be your very first chance to see the newly completed barrel room and expansion.
The $60 ticket includes dinner and a chance to try some of Denver Beer Co’s first barrel aged brews. Denver Beer Co. is located at: 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-433-2739.
Also coming up on Sunday, January 27th, is a benefit at The Rackhouse Pub to raise money for Strange Brewing’s legal defense fund. The whole Strange vs. Strange has gotten a little out of control and the Colorado Craft Beer community is rallying behind our Strange Brewing to help them through this tough time. So far, two dozen local breweries have generously donated beer for this event, which runs from 3 – 6 PM on 1/27. Tickets are only available online for $25 and can be purchased HERE. The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223. 720-570-7824.
That’s it for this weekend guys! If you’re driving from the Denver-area up to Vail, be safe. Snow is on the way.
See you soon!
We had the opportunity to attend the Denver Only Beer Festivus last Saturday. This is a new (and hopefully recurring) beer festival that was presented by Denver Off The Wagon and Imbibe Denver. The event was held at the recently renovated McNichols Building at Civic Center Park in Denver and featured ONLY Denver breweries (all 18 of them!). Despite having sold out weeks ago, the inaugural Festivus had no lines, great beer, a DJ and dance area, plenty of room to move about and brewers working their booths and supporting their craft beers. At one point, my wife whispered in my ear “This might be my new favorite beer festival”. It was truly a Festivus Miracle!
TRVE Brewing just keeps getting better and better. Owner / Brewer Nick Nunns was pouring Diotima, a Smoked Tea Saison and Stout O))), a thick and roasty American Stout. Stop by the brewery and give these brews a try if you haven’t already. Stout O))) was one of my favorite beers of the night. It’s a hearty brew and perfect for those cold winter nights that lie ahead.
Crooked Stave brought the funk and crushed it as usual. No shocker there. Amazing brews.
There was a Yeti sighting at the Great Divide table. They brought Oak-Aged Yeti, Titan IPA, Hibernation Ale and their upcoming Belgian Tripel called Orabelle. Keep an eye out for Orabelle in 12oz. bottles sometime in January.
Prost is awesome, but you already knew that.
Strange Brewing always brings a great lineup and the Festivus was no exception. Head Brewer Tim Myers brought his “Beers Made By Walking” release called Eldorado Juniper Bel-Jin Dark, along with the very tasty Pumpkin Porter and Le Bruit du Diable Farmhouse Ale.
I geek’d out for a good 20 minutes at the River North Brewery table. They brought some big and impressive beers for all the geeks in the house. They were pouring a barrel-aged version of Avarice (Belgian-style Imperial Stout), along with Quandary (Quadrupel) and Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle (Belgian-style Double IPA). Awesome stuff.
The standout of the night for me was Black Shirt Brewing and their Imperial Red Rye IPA. This a hop heads wet dream. Man, I was blown away by this beer with its’ full and complex flavor profile. I also tried their Saison and Red Ale, both of which were really tasty. There was reportedly a keg of Red Hubbard Squash Saison, but it was so popular that they ran out before I got a pour.
Black Shirt Brewing Co-Owner Branden Miller has been really helpful with providing information and answering questions for the blog and it was nice to finally meet and taste his beers. Guys, I’m excited about this one. Black Shirt Brewing looks to be the real deal. Miller said that going forward, they plan to open every Saturday, so check the Weekend Beer Buzz for updates on what they’ll be pouring in the Tap Room.
And that’s just a few of the many great breweries that were in attendance at the Festivus. Don’t forget Our Mutual Friend, CAUTION, Denver Beer Co., Wynkoop, Wit’s End, Renegade and on and on! Denver is lucky to have so many great, young brewers that are crafting some awesome beers these days. It’s really impressive to see so many high quality beers coming out of places that are so new to the brewing community. I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in 5 years.
So that’s just a quick recap on the Festivus scene and the many great beers that were flowing. Again, awesome, awesome time. Thanks again to Denver Off The Wagon and Imbibe Denver for hosting a great event. Now, on to the pictures.
12.12.12. It just sounds Epic. It’s big and bad and has a lot of 12’s. Well, it’s HERE! 12.12.12. is tomorrow! No, it’s not the end of the world, that’s next week. 12.12.12 marks the end of an era. The end of the Stone Vertical Epic Series. You know, the one that started way back in 02.02.02 when Stone decided to put 300 or so cases out and kick off a decade long journey exploring a variety of beer styles along the way.
The idea was simple. Stone would release one beer per year in the series, each release coming 1 day, 1 month and 1 year after the previous release. Beer nerds would buy a bottle and cellar it until 12.12.12, when the whole collection was meant to be tasted together. Very cool concept. It’s been something I’ve been looking forward to trying for years, picking up the many releases along the way.
Collecting the entire set turned out to be more than a little difficult. I’ve actually tracked down all but the elusive 02.02.02 and I’m ok with that. For one, 02.02.02 is a Witbier, which is typically not a style of beer that ages very well. For another, it comes with a hefty price tag. In the past few years, bottles have popped up on various online sites for $500+. Think of all the amazing beer you can buy with $500 and then compare it to one bottle of a 10-year-old Witbier. A little hard to pull the trigger don’t ya think?
With the craft beer explosion that has occurred over the past few years, it’s a safe bet that a lot of craft beer enthusiasts don’t have the earlier releases. If you find yourself in this boat, but still want to try the series, Falling Rock Tap House in Denver is here to help.
On Wednesday, 12.12.12, Falling Rock will have Stone Rep Chris Cantrell in the house and they’ll be tapping the entire lineup, except for 02.02.02. I told you that was one elusive little bastard… Flights of 03.03.03 through 12.12.12 will be available beginning at 1:12 PM for $25.
Or for you high society types, Falling Rock will have a VIP option, with the same beers flowing, but paired with 5 appetizers, beginning at 6 PM. In addition to the Epic Series, they’ll also have 3 barrel-aged variants available for VIP attendees. Both events are ticketed ($25 for the flight, $60 with the appetizers) and expected to sell out.
Don’t miss out on this truly once in a lifetime event. Stop by and get your tickets before they’re gone. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-293-8338.
And if you go, be sure to let me know what you think of the beers. I’ve got a group tasting planned which unfortunately won’t happen until later this month or next. That is unless, the end of the world really happens on 12.21.12… Hmm, might have to reschedule that tasting.
Wow, what a weekend of beer. Even if you only had half as much fun as I did, you’re still in great shape. My only complaint is that the weekend still isn’t long enough for my liking. I’m still campaigning to cut the work week down and get a 3-day weekend every week, but that hasn’t happened yet…
On Saturday, we were lucky enough to attend Zwanze Day over at Crooked Stave. After a weekend of good beer, I typically like to let the pictures do the talking, but I have some thank you notes and quick observations to share with you.
First of all, a HUGE Thank You to Chad Yakobson and his team over at Crooked Stave. They had their hands full with the hundreds of sour beer freaks that started showing up on their doorstep as early as 3 AM on Saturday morning. The Crooked Stave gang did an outstanding job of handling the large turnout and keeping everyone happy on a very busy day. Thank you guys! You rock!
Second, big shout out to the Colorado Craft Beer Community. The pre-Zwanze bottle share was nothing short of awesome and the generosity was unreal. Huge thanks to everyone that brought beer and food to share. I was camped out next to the table that was full of beer bottles, hoplava (hoppy baklava), doughnuts and 5 pounds of freshly grilled bacon. If that’s not reason enough to get up at 4 AM, I don’t know what is. You guys rock and I’m proud to be part of this enthusiastic, friendly and generous group of beer lovers.
Finally, Thank You to Jean Van Roy and Brasserie Cantillon for sending some of your amazing beer to Colorado and sharing it with us. As if the highly anticipated Zwanze wasn’t enough, you spoiled us with Fou’ Foune on draft and bottles of Lou Pepe Framboise, St. Lamvinus, Classic Gueuze and Iris. Not to mention, my wife finally got that Cantillon shirt she’s been trying to track down for too many years to count. Thank You Cantillon, I hope Colorado made you proud. Cheers!
Hope you enjoyed this round of pictures. If you have comments, pictures or anything you’d like to share from your Zwanze Day experience, please send me an e-mail or leave a comment on our Facebook Page. I’m sorry we missed Parade of Darks at Wynkoop and the Grand Opening of Black Bottle Brewery up in Fort Collins, but I’ll never forget Zwanze Day.
We’ve got a big weekend folks and I’m dropping bombs! Say what? Hey, there’s not one, but two new breweries opening in Colorado this week! This looks like it’ll be the biggest weekend we’ve had since the GABF circus rolled through town almost two months ago. Strap on your beer goggles and get ready to go. Oh and if you really want to enjoy this week’s post, grab your favorite beer and take a swig every time you see the word “BOOM!”. Hurry up, you just missed one.
Ready? Alright, let’s do this.
Earlier This Week
Firestone Walker XVI dropped not once, but twice. BOOM!
The Bad News: It disappeared from store shelves almost as soon as it landed. The Good News: It’s on tap at Parry’s Pizza right now (11/29/2012 11AM). Head over and try this unique anniversary blend of 8 different barrel-aged beers! BOOM!
Deschutes The Abyss hit Colorado. BOOM!
This inky impy stout is proving to be a challenge to track down as well. There’s not as much to go around as originally anticipated. I’m not sure if we’ll be getting a second shipment or if the beer geek boom is stretching the supply thinner than previous years. Whatever the case may be, if you want some, don’t wait around. It’s hitting shelves this week and a few stores have already sold out.
Dry Dock bottled their 2012 batch of Bligh’s Barleywine on Tuesday. BOOM! This luscious Barleywine has spent the better part of 2012 aging in Stranahan Whiskey Barrels.
I had the opportunity to try a sample a few weeks ago during our interview with Dry Dock Co-Owner & Founder Kevin DeLange and it’s shaped up very nicely. You’re going to love it. And if you don’t, you’ll sell your bottles to me and like it. Dry Dock’s releasing 10 cases at the brewery on Sunday, 12/9 ($20 each / 1-bottle limit), with more cases going to local liquor stores on 12/11.
Brewery Rickoli Ltd. opened in Wheat Ridge on Wednesday. BOOM!
Brewmaster Rick Abitbol has been brewing along the Front Range for more than a decade. Rickoli opened with Black Pliny Double IPA, Social Lubricant Scotch Ale, Aldo’s Red, Totally IPA and a Rye Stout. Stay tuned for a single-hopped Pale Ale series exploring one hop variety at a time, plus a Hoppy Barleywine, a Bourbon Peach Strong Ale, a Dark Chocolate Milk Stout and more! Brewery Rickoli Ltd is located at: 4335 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. Mon – Thu: 3 PM – 11 PM & Fri – Sun: 2 PM – 12 AM. 303-344-8988.
Cantillon bottles have been dropping on local retailers too (thankfully no one was injured)! BOOM!
My most favoritest of the Belgians. I heart you Cantillon. Sadly, I’m not too hopeful that I’ll find any. With everyone on the hunt, I figure winning this week’s $400+ Million Powerball jackpot might be easier than finding a little Cantillon on a store shelf around town. But, hey, at least it’s returned to CO. More Cantillon news below…
Friday, November 30, 2012
For this week’s Deviation down at Rockyard Brewing, the Jellyman will be pouring JPA – Jelly Pale Ale.
According to Jellyman, this is a 7% ABV that pours a “dark straw with lacy white head”, has aromas of “fruit berry jelly with hints of toffee” and has “a balanced maltiness and citrus hops, punctuated by jam”. Get your Jelly On at 4 PM! BOOM! Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Dry Dock Brewing is following up last week’s Ho Ho Ho Slapdown with a very festivus Firkin Friday. Here’s Firkin Friday Surgeon General Walt Chleva modeling an amazing beer and pairing it with this Christmas sweater that’s… Well it’s… hmm, oh yeah nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Thanks Mom.
This week’s firkin will feature a Roasted Marshmallow version of Bethla-Yam. Bethla-Yam is a Sweet Potato Stout, winner of the 2012 Ho Ho Ho Slapdown and creation from Dry Dock Brewer Brett Williams. The win has secured Brett bragging rights around the brewery for the next 12 months as he beat out fellow brewers Doug Hyndman and John Schneider for the title.
As for Bethla-Yam, it’s a sweet, moderately spiced stout. BTW – Dry Dock is still pouring all of the Ho Ho Ho Slapdown entries, so if you’re interested in trying them or grabbing a growler to-go, head over now and get your fix. As for Firkin Friday, tappings will be at 3 PM & 7 PM. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Wynkoop’s Annual Parade of Darks is lined up for Saturday.
34 breweries bringing 82 brews, all leaning towards the darker side of the force. BOOM! Here’s the complete list from Wynkoop’s very own Beer Evangelist, Mr. Marty Jones:
Arvada Beer Co – Jolly Holiday Ale, Foreign to Me Stout
Avery Brewing – The Czar, Old Jubilation, Out of Bounds Stout
AC Golden – Blueberry Sour, Plum Sour,
Bootstrap Brewing– Worthog Stout, Boomer Brown
Boulevard Brewing – Bully! Porter, Dark Truth Stout
Breckenridge Brewery – Oatmeal Stout, Vanilla Porter, Extra ESB, Christmas Ale
Bull & Bush – Big Ben Brown Ale, Stonehenge Stout, Punk Up The Yams, The Legend Of The Liquid Brain, Captain Funk, Captain Midnight
Caution Brewing – Toaster Bat Black Smoked Porter, Dunkel(er)weiss.
Copper Kettle – Mexican Chocolate Stout, Pumpkin Porter
Denver Beer Co– Graham Cracker Porter, Chill Out Chocolate Chili Stout
Elevation Brewing – Apis, Lil Mo Porter
Drydock Brewing – Wee Heavy Strong Scotch Ale, Raspberry Porter
Firestone Walker – Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout, Walker’s Reserve Porter, DBA
Fort Collins Brewery – Double Chocolate Stout
Great Divide – Yeti Imperial Stout, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Claymore Scotch Ale, Hibernation
Green Flash – Double Stout
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse – Master Thief German Porter, Fearless Youth Dunkel Lager, Wee Heavy Barrel-Aged Scottish Strong Ale
Jolly Pumpkin – Bam Noir
Left Hand – Fade to Black, Milk Stout Nitro
Lone Tree Brewing – Acres O Green Irish Red, Toots’s Full-Bodied Oatmeal Stout, Chili Beer Collaboration #2, Old # 99 Rauchbier
Lost Abbey – Lost & Found
Maui Brewing – Coconut Porter
Mountain Sun Brewery & Pub — Megatron Imperial Stout, Oatimus Prime Imperial Stout
Odell Brewing – Mountain Standard, Isolation Ale
Ommegang – Three Philosophers
Port Brewing – Old Viscosity
Prost Brewing – Doppelbock, Dunkel
Pug Ryan’s– Brain-teaser Barlywine, Barell-Aged Leap Year Trifecta
Sierra Nevada –Narwhal Imperial Stout,Wine Barrel Aged Dubbel
Ska – Steel Toe Stout, Nefarious, On The Sly Again
Strange Brewing – Pumpkin Porter, Cherry Bomb Stout, Gingerbread Man, Vanilla Rum Porter
Twisted Pine – Espresso Stout, Honey Brown
Upslope Brewing– Christmas Ale, Brown Ale
Wynkoop Brewing – Gingerbread Stout, 2012 Barleywine, Cowtown Milk Stout, B3K Black Lager, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, Colorojo
As you can tell, this is going to be full of awesome beers for your tasting pleasure. Tickets are $35 in advance and available HERE or $42 at the door (if they’re not already sold out come Saturday). The Wynkoop is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-297-2700.
Just up the road from the Wynkoop, Crooked Stave will be hosting Cantillon’s Zwanze Day on Saturday. BOOM!
This is a world-wide event with a coordinated toast at 1 PM MST. This is the first time a Colorado location has been picked to participate so don’t miss out. To quote some snotty teenager somewhere in America, “it’s kind of a big deal”. BOOM! For more specifics, check out our article about Zwanze Day from earlier in the week by clicking HERE. Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
Black Bottle Brewing up in Fort Collins, CO will open their doors to beer freaks for the first time this Saturday. BOOM!
This new brewery, run by Sean Nook, will be pouring their own beers, along with some great craft beer on their 40 guest taps. They’ll also have a full bar and fermented grape juice for those non-beer drinking types you so unwisely choose to associate yourself with… I’m freakin’ psyched about these guys. They’ve gotten great reviews and took second place in the People’s Choice Awards at the 2012 Gnarly Barley Brew Festival. In the near future, they’ll be working out a barrel-aging program, souring beers and brewin’ up some nice styles of craft beer that they’ll want to drink. And by the looks of things, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to drink them too.
Their videos are tough to beat. I mean, have you seen this yet?
Because Craft Beer Rocks! BOOM! I can’t wait to visit Black Bottle Brewing and give them a try. Black Bottle Brewing will be open 7 days a week from 11 AM – 2 AM and is located at: 1605 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525. 970-493-2337.
Over in Boulder, Asher Brewing turns 3 this weekend.
They’ve got a little shindig planned complete with beer, food, beer, music, beer, dogs, games, beer and beer. Beer, it’s what’s for dinner. Bet you thought I was going to say “BOOM!”. I did clown. Now drink! Two for flinching. The party runs from noon – midnight. Asher Brewing is located at: 4699 Nautilus Ct, Suite 104, Boulder CO, 80301. 303-530-1381.
But wait, there’s more. While you’re up in the People’s Republic of Boulder, swing over to Twisted Pine and grab a bottle or 3 of the last installment in their Artisan Ale Series. For December, they’re releasing Noel Tripel.
This beer is a 9% ABV Belgian-style Tripel. 750mL bottles will be sold in the tap room beginning at noon. Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301. 303-786-9270.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Into next week, New Belgium has planned “The Creator’s Dinner”, where all the beers being poured will be introduced by their creator / brewer. This is happening over at The Kitchen in Denver on Monday at 6:30. Check out this lineup:
- Kick- Presented by Kim Jordan (NBB Co-founder and CEO) and Dick Cantwell (head brewer and owner of Elysian Brewing Co)
- La Folie- Presented by Peter Bouckaert (Brew Master at New Belgium)
- Le Terroir- Presented by Lauren Salazar (Wood Beer Blender and Sensory Specialist at New Belgium)
- Eric’s Ale- Presented by Eric Salazar (Wood Beer Brewer and Blender at New Belgium)
- Chocolate Coffee Stout- Presented by Grady Hull (Assistant Brew Master at New Belgium)
- Transatlantique Kriek- Presented by Peter Bouckaert (Brew Master at New Belgium)
BOOM! There will be incredible food paired with each beer. This is a really great opportunity to meet and talk with some of the creative minds behind New Belgium’s fantastic beers. Reservations are $85 and can be made by calling 303-623-3127. The Kitchen Denver is located at: 1530 16th St, Denver, CO 80202.
That’s it. Did you make it all the way to the end? I hope so. I’m all BOOM’d! out. Yes, that one counts too, so take your final sip and go grab a nap. You’re going to need it before the weekend gets here.
Have fun out there.
Zwanze Day is coming to Colorado. Shhh!!! There’s not much to go around, so don’t tell anyone, OK? Don’t even read this post. You already know too much!
Just relax and take a deep breath will ya? Zwanze Day is almost here, but there’s no reason to freak out. Read on to get the latest on this Saturday’s world-wide toast with Cantillon.
Cantillon, the legendary Lambic brewery in Brussels, Belgium, began making Zwanze in 2008 and decide to bottle it for an annual release at the brewery. Zwanze is a spontaneously fermented Lambic and the bottles that were released at the brewery from 2008-2010 were highly sought after by craft beer lovers around the World. All was well until 2010, when several bottles appeared on eBay for more than ten times the original price.
So in 2011, the brewery decided to keg the entire batch and send it to some of the finest breweries and beer bars around the world for everyone to enjoy. This year marks the first time a Colorado location has been chosen to receive Zwanze. Cantillon’s fourth generation brewer and blender, Jean Van Roy, chose the Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar in Denver to participate in this years’ Zwanze Day, which has turned into a world-wide tapping and toasting party.
On Saturday, December 1st at 1 PM MST, wild beer fans from all over the Rocky Mountain area will descend upon Chad Yakobson’s Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar for a chance to try this unique beer and raise a glass with beer lovers around the world. Crooked Stave is one of only 35 beer destinations across the globe, 15 of which are in the U.S., to receive the coveted brew.
Chad and the Crooked Stave Team are preparing for a big crowd on Saturday. They’ll be opening up the Barrel Cellar to accommodate the gathering of loyal beer hunters. Chad says this will be a first-come, first-serve event and they’ll be using a ticketing system to keep things as fair and orderly as possible for attendees. The doors will open at noon and ticket holders will be allowed to purchase 2 pours of beer (1 Zwanze and 1 yet unnamed Cantillon) plus a Zwanze day glass for what is expected to be a $20 (CASH ONLY) price tag.
There will only be 150 pours of Zwanze on Saturday and jokes have already started buzzing around about how early beer nerds will begin lining up for the festivities. Those ARE jokes right guys? I hope. I mean, we just survived the Black Friday shenanigans and that was just over TV’s… This is about BEER, which is obviously way more important than any TV could ever hope to be. Do we at least have time to run home for a shower and a hot meal before heading back out to line up for Zwanze Day? A low-key, in-line bottle share has been discussed as well, but it remains unclear if the powers that be (i.e. local laws and surrounding businesses) will allow a bottle share to take place or not. If not, I’m pretty sure Crooked Stave will have some beauties on tap to share.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
Here’s a few more details about this year’s Zwanze Day straight from Cantillon’s Jean Van Roy:
When in early April we brewed a top-fermentation beer which was to become Zwanze 2012, we hoped that it would be ready 3 or 4 months later so that we could organise another Zwanze Day sometime in September.
However, since we are working in the very specific environment of traditional Lambic brewery where natural yeast flora reign supreme, even a top-fermented beer can take control of its own destiny. As such, on the occasion of a final tasting session at the end of June it became crystal-clear that the Zwanze 2012 would not be ready in time and that it would, we hope, become Zwanze 2013.
Seeing that we had received numerous requests to organise a Zwanze Day this year we decided to recreate the very first Zwanze produced in 2008. As a reminder, that year’s vintage had been brought about by soaking rhubarb in Lambic. The ultimate result of that experiment was a very delicate and complex product in which the beer’ acidic taste struck a very nice balance with the plant’s tartness and then lingered long on the palate.
For this new production batch we decided to work with organically-grown rhubarb, and you can really taste this in the beer, which is more structured and full-bodied than the 2008 vintage. We opted to recreate the rhubarb Lambic because very few consumers had been able to taste this beer 4 years ago, when only 300 litres had been produced. On top of this, unlike fruit crops, rhubarb production was not adversely affected by the very poor weather which hit Europe this spring. And finally, the last, perhaps most important reason of all for bringing back Zwanze 2008: my wife tells me it’s one of her favourites.
Of course, because of the delays encountered with the first Zwanze we will not be able to hold this year’s Zwanze Day in September. Instead, Zwanze Day 2012 will take place on Saturday, 1 December at the 30 or so locations around the world listed below.
I wish you all an excellent Zwanze Day!
- America – USA :
- Armsby Abbey – Worcester, Massachusetts
- Avenue Pub – New Orleans, Louisiana
- ChurchKey – Washington, D.C.
- Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar – Denver, Colorado
- Holy Grale – Louisville, Kentucky
- Hop and Vine – Portland, Oregon
- Lord Hobo – Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Monk’s Café – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Novare Res Bier Café – Portland, Maine
- REAL a gastropub – Honolulu, Hawai’i
- Redlight Redlight – Orlando, Florida
- Spuyten Duyvil – Brooklyn, New York
- The Foundry – Kansas City, Missouri
- The Trappist – Oakland, California
- Toronado – San Diego, California
- West Lakeview Liquors – Chicago, Illinois
- America – Canada :
- Canada – Montréal : Dieu du Ciel
- Europe :
- Belgium – Brussels : Moeder Lambic Fontainas
- Belgium – Brussels : Moeder Lambic Saint-Gilles
- Belgium – Arlon : Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon
- France – Paris : La Fine Mousse
- France – Lille : La Capsule
- Great Britain – London : The Earl of Essex
- Italy Rome : Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà
- Italy Bergamo : The Dome
- Italy Nicorvo : Sherwood Pub
- Italy – Quinto Vicentino : The Drunken Duck
- Italy – Quartu Sant’Elena : Ristopub Margherita
- Norway – Grimstad : Nøgne Ø
- Finland Helsinki : Pikkulitu
- Denmark Copenhagen : Olbutikken
- Netherlands – Amsterdam : De Bierkoning
- Sweden Stockholm : Akkurat
- Spain – Sant Joan de Mediona : Masia Agullons
- Asia :
- Japan – Tokyo: Embassy of Belgium
- America – USA :
In all seriousness, everyone just remain calm and good luck this weekend beer hunters! It’s only beer. Right? This post will self destruct in 3… 2… (Cheers!) 1…
Another brew filled weekend has come and gone. Here’s the highlights in pictures.
Our Mutual Friend was open for the weekend. The Huckleberry Roasters Coffee Stout is delicious!
Next, we met up with some friends at CAUTION. The Green Tease blew me away. It’s brewed with Green Tea Leaves and two Sake yeasts. Really nice, refreshing beer.
We wrapped up our weekend with a trip down South to attend the All Colorado Beer Festival. It was nice to finally try Paradox and some of their Barrel-Aged brews. I also got my Trinity fix and sampled new beers like the Lips of Faith releases from New Belgium and Upslope’s Christmas Ale.
Another great weekend of beer here in Colorado!
Howdy! Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! We made the rounds with our little ones and popped a little nightcap when they went to bed. Three Floyds Dark Lord ’07 anyone?
Had to have something with a spooky name on Halloween! Man, this beer has aged sooo well. Delicious.
The weekend’s right around the corner. Got plans? Need someone to point you in the right direction? Follow me!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Crooked Stave has an awesome lineup of beers ready for you this weekend.
Cuvaison III – a blend made with Passion Fruit; L’Brett D’ Or – Golden Sour; Nightmare on Brett with espresso beans and more! Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Denver, CO 80211.
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew will be open Thursday – Sunday this weekend.
The guys have been working hard to catch up from their crazy busy weekend during GABF. They’ve brewed up a bunch of fresh batches to share with you. Stop by and try their IPA, Pale Ale, Saison, Tart Saison, Proletariat Cream Ale and Huckleberry Coffee Stout. They’ll be open on Thursday 4 – 10 PM, Friday 4 PM – 12 AM, Saturday 2 PM – 12 AM and Sunday 2 – 10 PM. Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-722-2810.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Dry Dock’s got a good one for this week’s Firkin Friday. Can you say “Peanut Butter Cup Porter”?!?! Love this brew. Get some! Tappings at 3 PM and 7 PM on Friday.
They’re also pouring a Spicy Stout, which was brewed with cinnamon and cayenne and they’ve also got a bit of their Shotgun Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout left as well. Both are delish! Speaking of the Dock, they turn 7 next weekend! Put next Saturday on your calendar now as the Anniversary Parties always include special tappings and good ol’ fashioned fun. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Speaking of firkins, Breckenridge Brewery will be hosting Firkin First Friday this week.
Look for a firkin of 471 IPA, dry-hopped with Warrior Hops on Friday at 5 PM. This’ll be at their Denver location, which is at: 471 Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80204. 800-328-6723.
Jellyman’s got another good one lined up for this week’s Deviation at Rockyard Brewing. This Friday, he’s releasing Freaktoberfest, which is a Hefeweizen fermented Oktoberfest.
This 6% ABV beer has aromas described as a “spicy fruit cornucopia” and tastes like “caramel malts with light citrus notes and spice”. Tapping at 4 PM. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
The Rocky Mountain Brew Fest is in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center this weekend.
It’s connected with the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo and runs through Sunday. There’s 4 sessions running over the weekend and it’s only $12 to get in the door, which includes 3-samples and 1 full beer. Additional beers may be purchased separately. Look for Backcountry Brewery, Big Choice Brewing, Elevation Brewing, Odell Brewing and more. Ticket information and times can be found HERE. The Colorado Convention Center is located at: 700 14th St, Denver, CO 80202.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Once again Saturday, is just ridiculous.
We should rethink our Saturday policy. I say we drop a day mid-week and add a second Saturday every week. There’s just never enough time on Saturday to see and do everything. I think two Saturday’s in a week might let us get around to all of these great beer events. Hey, it’s an election year. You want my vote politicians? Make it happen! Until then, you might have some tough decisions to make this week.
First up is the All Colorado Beer Festival. I did a writeup earlier this week on this beer festival down in Colorado Springs. Check it out HERE.
Two Sessions, 30+ Breweries, 100+ Beers. I’m really looking forward to having an opportunity to visit with some of Colorado’s newer breweries like Paradox and Elevation. This should be a blast.
And if you’re on the fence about the VIP ticket option, let me just drop a few beers on you. Upslope Pumpkin, Trinity TPS Report, New Belgium La Folie and more than 20 other interesting beers will be pouring in the VIP area. Don’t miss out! Again, click HERE for all the details and I hope to see you there!
In Denver, the Wynkoop is hosting their annual Beers of the Year event on Saturday.
This is a really cool event that features a keg of every beer brewed at the Wynkoop during 2012. They’ll also be pouring casks and beers from other local CO breweries. A partial list of beers that will be pouring on Saturday, can be found HERE. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 or at the door for $32. The event runs from 1 PM – 4 PM. Wynkoop Brewing Co. is located at: 1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-297-2700.
Up in Boulder, Upslope Brewing is celebrating their 4th Anniversary on Saturday.
They’ll be unveiling their 4th Anniversary Beer, which is a Saison brewed with Patagonia-sourced hops. They’ll have more than 15 additional brews to sample, live music, food trucks and a live broadcast with the guys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show.
That’s right, the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be kicking off the party at noon with a live broadcast on AM 760. The show goes until 2 PM, the party rolls on all day and there’s NO COVER! Congrats to Upslope on 4 years of great beers! Upslope Brewing is located at: 1501 Lee Hill Rd No. 20, Boulder, CO 80304. 303-449-2911.
If you make it up to Boulder for the Upslope party, swing over to Twisted Pine for the next release in their Artisan Ale Series.
This month’s release is called “Modern Day Pine-eer”. This is an India Pumpkin Ale brewed wtih Pilgrim and Columbus Hops and 500 lbs. of pumpkin! The party goes from noon – 9 PM and label artist Shannon Ripley will be at the brewery displaying her artwork and signing bottles. Twisted Pine Brewing is located at: 3201 Walnut St, Suite A, Boulder, CO 80301. 303-786-9270.
As if that wasn’t enough, Learn To Homebrew Day is also on Saturday.
This is a great opportunity to try your hand at brewing your own craft beers. There’s a full list of events HERE, or just head to your local homebrew shop and watch how it’s done. If you’ve got your own rig, load it up, bring it to your local homebrew shop and share the fun of this growing and addictive hobby!
Thursday, November 7, 2012
Looking into next week, Prost will be pouring their beers for a German Beer Dinner at Ernie’s in Denver on Thursday.
The $40 dinner covers a 4-course meal each paired with a different Prost beer. This is limited to 30 people, so call Ernie’s and reserve your spot today. Ernie’s is located at: 2915 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80211. 303-955-5580.
There you have it peeps, another full week of beer here in Colorado! Get out and enjoy the nice weather. Hope to see you out and about.
Just when you think this year’s Beer Festival season is coming to a close, I’m going to wow you with one that highlights the best of our delicious state of beery goodness. Meet the All Colorado Beer Festival (ACBF)!
If you were anywhere near Denver earlier this month, you no doubt heard about or even experienced the madness of the Great American Beer Festival. It was BIG, it was FUN, but it’s gone away until next year. It’s time to get back to our roots. Time to refocus and revisit the amazing brewers and breweries right here in Colorado. The ACBF, held annually at the Freedom Financial Expo Center, in Colorado Springs, is your perfect chance to sip some old favorites and seek out some new ones as well.
The ACBF, which is entering its’ 6th year, aims to raise money for Colorado Springs nonprofit organizations. In five years, the festival has donated more than $85,000 to local charities! So now you can drink local, while supporting local. Get on it. It’s win / win people!
I’ll admit, I’ve never been to the ACBF, but on Saturday, November 3rd, I’m hoping to change all that. The festival offers two tasting sessions, along with a VIP option. Session 1 runs from 1 – 4:30 PM and Session 2 runs from 6:30 – 10 PM. The VIP option allows you to get in 1-hour earlier and also grants you access to beers not available to the rest of the attendees. Tickets are $30/per session ($25 with Military ID), $40 for VIP and $10 for DD. Tickets, times and other details can be found HERE. If you act quickly, you might be able to take advantage of the Groupon running right now.
As for the breweries, keep your eye out for your familiar favorites, such as Odell, New Belgium, Ska, Avery, Great Divide, etc… But what’s really exciting for a big beer nerd like myself, is the abundance of new(er) breweries that will be making an appearance. Paradox, out of Woodland Park, barrel ages everything! and has been getting quite a few good reviews from my fellow beer nerds. Rocky Mountain Brewery, out of Co. Springs, recently took home two awards for their fruit beers from the very prestigious World Beer Cup. I could go on and on, but half the fun is discovering new beers on your own. More than 30 breweries will be bringing their beers to share at the ACBF this year. Check out the complete list of breweries to map out your plan for the festival.
This year’s ACBF will also feature a formal judging event, live music, food and more. The festival is shaping up to be a great day of beer, food and fun, all for a great cause. Come on out on November 3rd and check it out for yourself.
It looks like Mother Nature has dished out a bit of snow and cold weather to us. Don’t fret, there’s still plenty of good beer to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside again. It’s time for the weekend people. You ready?
Fire it up right now, by making a trip over to Crooked Stave. Just look at this lineup.
Not only are there amazing brews on draft, but they’ve got both Oculus and the GABF-medal winning Sentience in bottles to go. Don’t forget to sign up for Crooked Stave’s Cellar Reserve while you’re at it. You won’t regret it. Crooked Stave is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.
Over at the Yak & Yeti is their Oaked IPA. This is their Himalayan IPA aged in a Leopold Bros. Rye Whiskey Barrel. Brewer Adam Draeger teased this recently on our behind the scenes tour of the brewery and I’d love to taste how this turned out.
They’re also pouring Blueberry Tart, which is a slightly tart, blueberry brown ale and a Milk Stout, which will only be pouring for the colder months. Stay tuned for a series of Porters that will head into territories never before visited by previous Porters. More details in the coming weeks. Check out Yak & Yeti at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002 and 8665 N Sheridan Blvd, Westminster, CO 80003.
Friday, October, 26th, 2012.
So the Jellyman down at Rockyard is up to his usually playfulness again this week. This time, he’s releasing “Wonder Twin Powers…Activate!” Best beer name I’ve heard in a long time. He’s taken an IPA and filled it with antioxidant goodness from the very special and tasty Açaí berry. Well, lots of Açaí berries actually.
Guaranteed to be way better than a flu shot, stop by at 4 PM to get your fix. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273. And for you kids still wondering who the hell the Wonder Twins are, get learned.
This may or may not be from the original cartoon series. You be the judge.
Before this post goes any further South, let’s just move on.
Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids is turning 3! Stop by on Friday for this family friendly event, complete with balloon making and face painting for the little ones.
Good beer? Are you kidding me? These guys kill it in the beer category and will have a ton of great brews flowing. The food menu is tough to beat too. Man, I wish I could make this. It’ll be an awesome time. Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids is located at: 1555 S Hover St, Longmont, CO 80501. 303-485-9400.
Parry’s Pizza is hosting Beer & Fear on Friday.
Scary Costumes meets Scary Beer. Get all ghouled up and stop by for some spooky brews from Jolly Pumpkin, Lost Abbey and Shmaltz. Costume contest from 7 PM – 8 PM. Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.
Dry Dock is ready for another round of Firkin Friday. This week’s release is their Double IPA, dry-hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. Hop-heads arise! Tappings at 3 PM and 7 PM.
Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Saturday, October 27th, 2012.
Saturday is a solid day of beer happenings, so let’s refocus and get serious.
The Rackhouse Pub is turning 3 this weekend! To celebrate their 3rd Anniversary, they’ll be hosting a Dry Dock Tap Takeover.
Yeah, they’ve got your Hop Abomination, GABF Gold-medal winning Apricot, Vanilla Porter and so on, but they’ll also be pouring Dry Dock’s World Beer Cup medal winning Wee Heavy, Coffee Milk Stout, Bligh’s Barleywine (yes, Bligh’s Barleywine), The Ambassador Sour (my fav!) and even a firkin of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Porter. More than 20 beers will be making an appearance for this amazing event.
Do NOT miss this! I mean it. Aside from maybe your buddy’s beer cellar, when’s the last time you saw a bottle of Bligh’s Barleywine? Head over to the Rackhouse and help them celebrate 3 years. There’s even a costume contest and live music later in the evening. The Rackhouse is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.
Arvada Beer is also celebrating an Anniversary this weekend.
For their 1-year anniversary, they’ve been tapping great beers all week-long. Here’s the complete list of what they’ve got planned:
- 10/21 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Wit
- 10/22 – Both White House Ales
- 10/23 – Nitro Russian Imperial Stout
- 10/24 – Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Aged Belgian IPA
- 10/25 – Russian Imperial Stout
- 10/26 – Batch 100 Wheat Wine
- 10/27 – Syrah Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
There’s some amazing beers on the list for sure! Stop by on Saturday for a Halloween costume contest, a chance to win free beer for a year! and to check out a live broadcast with the boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show.
Turk and the Gubna will be broadcasting live from noon – 2 PM on AM 760. Tune in or stop by to get all the latest Colorado craft beer news. Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-467-2337.
Parry’s Pizza is inviting you out to drink beer for a
good great cause on Saturday.
They’re hosting a silent auction to help raise money for little Zoe, who is battling cancer. Stop by for a beer, a bite to eat and bid on some great merchandise for an amazing cause. Parry’s Pizza has three locations at: 9567 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. 12501 E. Lincoln, Englewood, CO 80112. 5650 Allen Way, Castle Rock, CO 80108.
Black Shirt Brewing’s gearing up for another party on Saturday. While they still don’t have any permanent hours established just yet, they’ll be pouring a variety of Red Ales from 3 – 8 PM.
Stop by for a sneak-peek and try some beers from Denver’s newest brewery. Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.
This last one is for all the über beer geeks and beer traders out there. Darkness Day at Surly Brewing in Brooklyn Center, MN is going down on Saturday! Darkness is an amazing, amazing, amazing Imperial Stout that is delicious fresh, but also ages incredibly well. I also think it’s kind of cool that Surly chooses a different monster / zombie / scary creature to adorn their bottle every year.
Darkness Day only happens once a year, so show up early to secure up to 6-bottles of this limited, yummy brew. Cash only. I’ve got a vertical running back to ’08 and if anybody happens to have an extra bottle and can grab me this year’s workshirt, you’ll be rewarded with, well, more beer. Duh! E-mail me (email@example.com) if you’ve got a bottle that you just need to get rid of and we’ll figure out the details.
Again, Darkness is a pretty special brew that you should go out of your way to find. Seriously great beer. It’s good too. Grab your bottles, stick around for the beer (obviously!), food trucks and metal music. It’s going to be a blast! Surly Brewing is located at: 4811 Dusharme Dr, Brooklyn Center, MN 55429.
That’s about it y’all. Plenty to do both near and far, far and near, amazing things are brewing everywhere. (Sorry, my kids are all about Dr. Seuss these days.) Get on it and have some fun this weekend.
Looks like everyone’s still recovering from last weekend’s GABF. It’s been kind of quiet this week. I guess I picked a good week to go out-of-town. At any rate, I’ve still got some fun things to share with my favorite band of beer nuts.
Friday, October 19th, 2012.
We’ve got a new brewery opening this weekend! High Hops Brewery in Windsor, is having their Grand Opening on Friday and Saturday.
They had a soft opening a few weeks ago, but if you haven’t yet stopped by, put it on your calendar. Live music, $1 off pints, food trucks and door prizes will highlight the weekend. From a Wheat Ale to a Double IPA, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to stop by and welcome Colorado’s newest brewery. The fun starts at noon and runs until 9 PM on both days. High Hops Brewery is located at: 6461 Hwy 392, Windsor, CO 80550. 970-674-2841.
Dry Dock Brewing is releasing Madagascar Vanilla Bean Pumpkin Ale for this week’s Firkin Friday.
Tapping’s will be held at 3 PM and 7 PM. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Jellyman’s Deviation at Rockyard Brewing is called “Here’s Smoke In Your Eye”.
A hand pecan wood smoked german malt and rye ale. Stop by at 4 PM for the tapping and order the special appetizer made specifically to pair with the beer. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Saturday, October 20th, 2012.
The boys on the Colorado Craft Beer Show have a great show lined up for you on Saturday.
Upslope Brewing’s Alex Violette and Chad Peiper will be on the show and hopefully bringing some of their delicious pumpkin beer to share. Justin Tilotta from Twisted Pine Brewing and Dave Cole from Utah’s Epic Brewing will also be on air. Tune in and get the latest update on Epic’s plan to open a brewery in Denver next year. The Colorado Craft Beer Show is on AM 760 from noon – 2 PM.
Copper Kettle Brewing Company is bringing back their Black IPA, which will get tapped on Saturday at noon.
This English Style Black IPA is really tasty and will hopefully stick around for a few months. I think I need to make a little run over there and get some growlers filled. Tapping at noon, with Little India food truck arriving at 5 PM. CKBC is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
Sunday, October 21st, 2012.
Arvada Beer is gearing up for their 1st Anniversary, coming up on October 27th, by releasing a new beer every day next week.
Here’s the full lineup:
- 10/21 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Wit
- 10/22 – Both White House Ales
- 10/23 – Nitro Russian Imperial Stout
- 10/24 – Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Aged Belgian IPA
- 10/25 – Russian Imperial Stout
- 10/26 – Batch 100 Wheat Wine
- 10/27 – Syrah Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
I don’t know about you, but to me, these sound DELISH!!! Three different Russian Imperial Stout’s! Wow, get your butt over to Arvada beer and check these out. This all leads up to their Anniversary Part next Saturday, which will include an all ages Halloween costume contest and a live broadcast with the Colorado Craft Beer Show. Can’t wait! Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-467-2337.
Prost is getting into the Spirit of Halloween by hosting a pumpkin carving contest on Sunday.
$5 gets you a pumpkin and a chance to show off your pumpkin carving creativity. Pumpkins will be on display and customers will get a chance to vote for their favorites. The top three winners will be announced on Halloween and will receive either $25, $50 or $75 worth of credit at Prost. The contest runs from noon – 8 PM on Sunday. Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211. 303-729-1175.
Not a ton of events this week, but after last weekend, it’s probably safe to assume that our livers need some rest. In the meantime, here’s a little tease for next month.
The All Colorado Beer Festival is right around the corner. Look for a full post with all of the details in the near future. Until then, mark it on the calendar for Saturday, November 3rd and I hope to see you there.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Another Great American Beer Festival has come and gone. It was a weekend spent with old friends, meeting new ones and sampling beers from all over this great country. Oskar Blues launched Dale’s Pale Ale in 19 oz. cans, I got to try a beer brewed with Rocky Mountain Oysters (tasty!) and local Colorado brewers took home 35 medals, including Small Brewing Company of the Year, which was awarded to Funkwerks out of Fort Collins. Congrats to all the winners!
The awards ceremony was moved downstairs to the Wells Fargo Theatre, which allowed for more room in the main hall of the Convention Center. In past years, it was nice to give attendees a chance to watch the presentation, but the extra space was a very welcome addition to the festival this year. I didn’t experience the cramped spaces or bottlenecks that I remember being a problem during past GABF’s. The inevitable lines at popular breweries like Dogfish Head and Russian River were fast-moving and not an issue. Things just seem to run very smoothly this time around. I’ll drink to that. Oh wait, I already did.
It’s been such an amazing weekend. Once again, Congratulations to all of the medal winners. Check out the full list of GABF Winners and see if your local brewery took home some hardware this weekend.
And without further ado, here’s a photo recap of GABF 2012.
It’s been an amazing weekend. Hope everyone had a blast!
Where to go? What to do? I find myself asking the same questions every year during GABF. You’ve basically got a year’s worth of great beer events crammed into one week. So I’m going to give you my picks for some of the best events around town this week. These are the ones that aren’t already sold out like the GABF and Rare Beer Tasting IV.
Pick a day, any day, and head over to Crooked Stave. Just look at this menu and list of special tappings for this week.
Deliciouness abounds over there. Stop by Crooked Stave: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211.
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012.
Take a side trip from all the buzz downtown and hit up Parry’s Pizza for their Great Divide Tap Takeover.
Apparently there’s been a Yeti sighting on the south side of town. Be on the lookout for Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, the new Baby Yeti and more. In addition to the family of furry beasts, they’ll be bringing out other big guns like Hercules and Hibernation. The tapping starts at 11AM and runs all day. Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.
Firestone Walker has an amazing beer dinner lined up called The Lion, The Bear & The Brewmaster.
This will feature 4 of Firestone’s previous Anniversary beers and will also be the debut for this year’s Anniversary beer XVI. Each beer is paired with a different course prepared by Chef Hosea Rosenberg.
Firestone Walker owners Adam Firestone and David Walker, along with brewmaster Matt Brynildson will be in attendance to discuss the beers and pairings between each course. This is a rare chance for you to try all of these complex and impressive beers that will never be brewed again. Tickets are $75 / each and can be purchased HERE. This event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at Denver’s Mile High Station: 2027 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204.
Thursday, October 11th, 2012.
Freshcraft’s tapping some beers from the very popular Cigar City Brewery out of Tampa, FL on Thursday at 3 PM.
Get your GABF warmed up with Cinnamon Apple IPA, Guava Grove Saison, Ligero Black Lager, Hotter Than Helles and the delicious Marshal Zhukov’s Russian Imperial Stout. Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.
The first night of GABF wraps up with some great after parties. The World Brewers Forum, sponsored by The Keg Ran Out Club (KROC), a local homebrew club, is entering its’ 18th year.
This year, they’ll have 3 guest speakers. Mitch Steele, the brewmaster for Stone Brewing, along with Mark Irvin and John Bryant from the No-Li Brewhouse. There will be more than 20 homebrews to sample, plus a carving station with roast beef and ham. This is really a great chance to sit back, relax and catch your great after a busy opening night at GABF. There will also be drawings for prizes and a silent auction featuring glassware, t-shirts, beer, gift cards and more. I’ve never left empty-handed.
The event starts at 8PM and runs until Midnight. Best of all, it’s FREE!, but please RSVP to: WBF@kroc.org The WBF is being held at: Marriott City Center Hotel, 1701 California St, Denver, CO.
Oskar Blues is gearing up for a big party at the Blake Street Tavern called “It’s All About The Package”.
They’ve been pretty tight-lipped about this so far, but it sounds like this will commemorate the release of a new canned beer. There will be music, giveaways and even transportation from the Convention Center between 9 – 11PM. Be sure to print off a ticket HERE or have it ready to show on your phone at the door. The Blake Street Tavern is located at: 2301 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205.
Thursday is barrel day over at Star Bar.
They’ll have New Belgium’s La Folie, Tart Lychee, Clutch and Kick. Odell’s is bringing Shenanigans, Saboteur, The Meddler and Deconstruction. Other breweries and beers will be announced as the event gets closer. This fires up at noon.
Stop by later that night for some special one-offs from New Belgium’s Wood Cellar. Look for Dunkel Apple, Funky Friends and more. Live music starts at 9:30 PM. Star Bar is located at: 2137 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.
Just a few blocks down on Blake Street, the Falling Rock Tap House is sure to be rockin’ all week-long. On Thursday, stop by for the tapping of several beers from Sun King Brewery out of Indianapolis, IN.
Look for Osiris (Pale Ale), Cream Dream V (American IPA), Velvet Fog (Belgian Quad) and more to get tapped at 11PM. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.
Friday, October 12th, 2012.
Friday afternoon means the Annual Kill-A-Keg contest at Falling Rock at noon. Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Ale will be racing through the tap lines as owner Chris Black tries to beat last year’s record of draining a keg in just over 9 minutes. Stop by and help make this happen!
Hang out for lunch and wait for the Cigar City release at 3PM. They were able to obtain Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown, Humidor IPA, Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout and more. These are some really nice beers that won’t last long, so get over and get yours. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.
Got hops? Then get over to Rock Bottom for this year’s Alpha King Challenge!
This is an annual search for the best hop bomb out there. Beers under 60 IBU’s need not apply. Stop by and check out the competition which runs from 1 to 4PM. Rock Bottom Denver is located at: 1001 16th St #100, Denver, CO 80265.
The Rackhouse Pub is running a series of classes this year of Liquid Education that’s all about Beer.
One of the sessions that I’m pretty excited about features Andy Parker from Avery, Chad Yakobson from Crooked Stave and Troy Casey of AC Golden leading a class called Sours 101. These 3 bad asses of funky brews will be discussing all that is barrel-aging, souring, blending and more. They will also guide you through a tasting of sour beers from their breweries. Any one of these brewers would be worth the price alone, but the Rackhouse has put all three together for what is sure to be a fun, informative and tasty event. Tickets are available HERE. The Rackhouse is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew is opening their doors for a soft opening this Friday and Saturday from 1-10PM.
They’ll be pouring their 5 beers for $5 / pint and $1 / taster. We met with owner Brandon Proff earlier this summer to get the low down on his new brewery and beers. Check out the post HERE. If you’re planning to attend the soft opening this weekend, and you should be, they ask that you please RSVP at this link: http://www.gabfweekend.omfmb.com/ Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205.
For some late night, post-GABF action, head over to Freshcraft for their Oak Aged Extravaganza at 10PM.
They’ll be pouring Firestone Walker ’12 Parabola and Anniversary XIV, Odell ’11 Bourbon Barrel Stout, The Meddler and more! Freshcraft is located at: 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.
Saturday, October 13th, 2012.
You’ve got a long day ahead of you on Saturday, so make sure you start out with a good breakfast. Head to The Cheeky Monk for Breakfast With The Bruery.
The popular Belgian Beer Bar has teamed up with Bruery owner Patrick Rue to bring you a variety of special beers paired with a delicious breakfast menu. No advanced tickets required. Breakfast starts at 8AM. The Cheeky Monk is located at: 534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203.
There’s not one, but TWO new breweries opening this weekend. Black Shirt Brewing is gearing up for their Grand Opening on Saturday.
The new Denver brewery, which will focus on a variety of Red Ales will open their doors on Saturday from 3 – 10PM. We’ve been waiting a loooooooong time for this, so get over there and show them your support.
Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205.
Saturday night, once the afternoon GABF session wraps up, I usually grab dinner, catch my breath, regroup and get ready for Dr. Bill’s Annual GABF Beer Tasting at Falling Rock. Dr. Bill is the Beverage Coordinator for Stone Brewing and has one of the largest and most extensive beer cellars in the world. He knows his stuff and can put on one hell of a party.
He takes over the Falling Rock basement each year after GABF to share some amazing beers with all the beer nerds in town. Last year he brought some great stuff including Cantillon’s Lou Pepe Gueuze, The Bruery’s Black Tuesday, Three Floyd’s Dark Lord and so much more! He’s back again this year and armed with 100 beers! Come at 8PM when the corks start getting popped and the caps start flying. Bring $40, a full stomach and a DD. RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO.
So there’s my picks for a good weekend of wholesome beer fun. I hope to see you all around town over the next few days. This is my favorite weekend of the year and personally, I can’t wait to get out there and enjoy all that is GABF. Have fun, be safe, try something new and please don’t drive.
Here we are, just a few short days away from the Great American Beer Festival and I’m as giddy as a little schoolgirl. But whether you’re a seasoned veteran or this is your first time attending, the GABF can be a little overwhelming. 580 breweries pouring 2000+ beers will do that to you. You’ve got to have some sort of plan of attack.
For me, I print out the GABF Map and mark the breweries that I’d kick myself if I were to miss. The floor is divided up by regions of the U.S. I can generally breeze through the Colorado breweries since I’ve either had or can easily get most of the beers pouring in that area. That’s not to say you shouldn’t stop by and say hi to your favorite brewers. It’s also worth nothing that some are planning on bringing some pretty special beers. Avery Brewing will be pouring both Oud Floris and Odio Equum from their hard-to-find Barrel-Aged Series, while Crooked Stave is rumored to be bringing the super delicious and rare Persica. I’d certainly recommend spending some time in the Mountain Region at the GABF, but for me, I’ll probably limit my time there and focus on breweries I don’t normally have easy access to.
So where do we begin? Russian River, Lost Abbey / Port, Cigar City, Dogfish Head all seem like obvious choices, but there are some really interesting, smaller breweries that don’t distribute out this direction at all. Jonathan Shikes wrote a great article in the Westword last week with his picks, many of which would have made my list as well. Three Floyds, Bell’s and Cambridge are all top-notch breweries. Check out the entire article HERE. I’d like to add a couple more of my favorites for you to check out this weekend.
1. The Bruery, Placentia, CA. Patrick Rue is brewing up an empire and a loyal following through his Reserve Society and awesome lineup of beers. Whether it’s mouth-puckering sours or thick, inky stouts, you can’t go wrong. While they do distribute a handful of beer to Colorado, quite a few never leave California. Recommendations: Oude Tart, Black Tuesday.
2. Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN. Upland makes quite a few quality beers, but their Lambics are not to be missed. The bottles, which are sold online a few times a year, always sell out within minutes. Recommendations: Any of their fruit Lambics, which range from Strawberry to Kiwi to Persimmon to Peach.
3. Surly Brewing, Brooklyn Center, MN. Beer for a glass, from a can. For the hop heads, they make two great ones, called Furious (IPA) and Abrasive (Double IPA). They’ve also got a Coffee Brown called Coffee Bender that goes great with a brownie or doughnut. Keep an eye out for any of their big, seasonals like Darkness (Russian Imperial Stout) or this year’s anniversary ale, SYX (Strong Ale). Recommendations: Anything.
4. Allagash Brewing, Portland, ME. The little brewery from Maine makes some might fine Belgian-style beers. As a sour fan, I’ll be looking for anything from their Coolship series. If you lean towards the sweeter side, look for their Dubbel, Grand Cru or Quad. Recommendations: From sweet to sour, you can’t go wrong.
5. Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC. As the South catches up to the craft beer movement, Foothills has taken the lead with their big stouts and barrel-aged experimentation. They produce solid beers across the board. Recommendations: Seeing Double IPA, Sexual Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout.
6. Iron Hill Brewery, PA, NJ and DE. This east coast brewpub, which has 10 locations in 3 states, always brings a huge beer selection to the GABF Floor. From sweet to sour, light to dark, hoppy to malty, they’ve got something for everyone. There’s a reason why they’ve won a GABF medal, every year, for the past 15 years. Stop by they’re multiple tables and get ready to be impressed. Recommendations: With an ever-rotating beer menu, there’s no telling what they’ll be pouring this year. But, they always have detailed descriptions of every beer and plenty of brewers around to answer your questions.
7. Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids, MI. Where to begin? I don’t remember ever seeing Founders at a previous GABF, so when I saw them on this year’s list, I got pretty excited. These guys are famous for their KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), which is brewed with vanilla and coffee and aged in bourbon barrels. In addition to their seasonal and specialty brews, they make an exceptional lineup of year-round beers. Recommendations: Centennial IPA, Devil Dancer (Triple IPA), Cerise (Cherry Beer), Backwoods Bastard (Scotch Ale) or any of their Stouts (KBS, CBS, Breakfast Stout or Imperial Stout).
8. Shorts Brewing, Bellaire, MI. I think I did enough preaching for Short’s earlier this week with my post about their limited release of 6-packs to Denver for the GABF. Still, I want to make sure you’ve got them on your list. They love to experiment and take chances, which makes for some very fun and unique brews. Recommendation: Peaches & Creme and any of the other experimental brews they decide to bring with them.
9. Weyerbacher, Easton, PA. Another east coast gem serving up a wide variety of beers, ranging from Belgian-Style Ales to American IPA’s. Although their distribution range has steadily grown over the past few years, they still haven’t made it to our market. Recommendations: Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Riserva Sour, Heresy Imperial Stout and Double Simcoe IPA.
10. Société Brewing, San Diego, CA. Founded in 2012 by Travis Smith and Doug Constantiner, who met while working together at The Bruery. They decided to join forces and open their own brewery this past June. Since then, they’ve been releasing west-coast IPA’s, Belgian-Style Ales and a Russian Imperial Stout. They’ve also got a spacious barrel room, with a variety of sour beers aging away. Recommendations: This brewery’s only been open for a few months and I haven’t had a chance to try them yet, but I’ve heard good things and would highly recommend stopping by their booth for a sample or two.
I hope this list helps introduce you to at least a couple new breweries this year at GABF. Get out there, have fun and discover some new beers. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com with any other suggestions you might have. Hope to see you this weekend!
Short’s is coming back! That’s right, the little brewery making the big beers out of Bellaire, Michigan is gearing up to distribute three of their beers to various stores around the Denver area to coincide with the Great American Beer Festival.
They brought 6 beers to our market last year and are planning to return with 3 beers this year. This time around, keep your eyes out for Huma Lupa Licious, Pandemonium Pale Ale and Autumn Ale.
Huma Lupa Licious: This gem is honored with the name of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, and is Short’s best selling India Pale Ale. It has such an abundant amount of hops that it sensually provides a punch to the palate. The numerous hop varieties used in its creation render a delicious bitter taste and enticing citrus aroma. The hearty malt bill melds with the hops to create a perfect balance. 6.8% ABV 96 IBU
Pandemonium Pale Ale: This coppered colored American pale ale lends its hue to hearty two-row malts and hand selected specialty grains. American hop additions balance the wort, resulting in a tasty union of malt sweetness, bright floral citrus flavors, and earthy aromas. Behold the bitter hysteria! 5% ABV 35 IBU
Autumn Ale: A London Extra Special Bitter (ESB) that is true to style. It has a medium body, amber color, and full flavor. This beer exhibits a wonderful balance of initial malty sweetness with subtle lingering floral hop bitterness, resulting in an ideal bridge between malty and hoppy beer styles. It is a silver medal winner at the 2006 GABF. 6% ABV 31 IBU
15 lucky liquor stores will be getting allotments of the three beers, which will be arriving in 6-packs over the next few weeks. If you’re on the hunt (and you should be), here’s the list: Argonaut, Tipsy’s, Total Beverage (Westminster), Applejack, Mile High Wine & Spirits, Lukas, Daveco, Mondo Vino, Davidsons, Colorado Liquor Mart, Highlands Wine & Liquor, Little’s, Mr. B’s, Mayfair, Joy Wine & Spirits.
Longing for some Short’s on draft? We’ve got you covered there too. A small amount of Huma Lupa Licious will be arriving in kegs and pouring at: FreshCraft, Hops & Pie, Cheeky Monk (Denver), Star Bar and of course Falling Rock Tap House. Falling Rock will be receiving a few bonus specialty kegs which will be tapped on Friday, October 12th at 11PM. Stop by FRTH and grab a seat at everyone’s favorite post-GABF headquarters. In addition to Huma Lupa Licious, they’ll also be tapping Agave Peach White, Imperial Spruce India Pilsner and Ale La Reverend.
If you’re attending GABF, make sure to check out the Short’s booth, which will surely be rockin’ on the end spot in booth D18. Click HERE for the GABF Floor Map. Short’s makes some innovative and tasty beers, using all kinds of ingredients, from roma tomatoes to blood oranges to key limes, you never know what they’re going to come up with next. Last year, they brought 20 beers to the Convention Center floor and had a crowd throughout the entire weekend at their 1/2 circle end cap spot.
For more Short’s fun, check out their website, pay them a visit at GABF next week and get your beer huntin’ britches on for some tasty brews hitting our market this month.