Colorado Craft Beer Week is nearly upon us. You know what the Dr says.
I like Beer. You like Beer. Drink often, drink well. Who’s got what on tap, when and where? I’m on it.
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Black Shirt Brewing’s been teasing some big news on their Facebook page this week. They’re busy for sure and I can’t wait to share the news with you guys. Hopefully next week. In the meantime, here’s this week’s setlist.
Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205. 303-993-2799.
Former Future Brewing Company is releasing tickets today for their first ever tasting event, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th.
The link to score FREE tickets will go up on their Facebook Page at 2 PM. There’s only 50 tickets available, split between two timed sessions. Don’t delay.
Boulder’s Upslope Brewing will re-release their Belgian Style Pale Ale at the brewery on Thursday.
You want fresh? You got it. From 5 – 7 PM, you’ll be able to walk right up to the canning line and grab a freshly filled can before the lid is sealed on top. How cool is that?!?! 6-packs will also be available to-go. Beer hunters watch for this one to hit your local retailers over the next few weeks. Upslope Brewing is located at: 1501 Lee Hill Rd #20, Boulder, CO 80304.
World of Beer opened in Denver yesterday.
500+ beers from around the world, plus 50 taps. It’s good to have options. And a cab. We stopped by and were blown away by the selection. Top notch beers and a very knowledgable staff. Good times for sure. They don’t offer food, but you can bring your own or order from nearby restaurants. We’re working on a feature story which will hopefully be up soon. Until then, stop by and see what they’re all about. World of Beer is located at: 660 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80246.
Friday, March 15th, 2013
Aurora’s Dry Dock Brewing will tap a firkin of Flyin’ High Rye on Friday. This is a dry-hopped Rye Ale.
Tapping at 3 PM. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Rockyard Brewing’s very own Jellyman is getting in the spirit of the upcoming Funk’n Wild event (details below), by releasing “…Deviate From The Norm”. This is a 5% ABV “light ale fermented with Brettanomyces yeast”.
Nerds, you catch that Rush reference? Old School Rush. Eat it up. “Everybody needs a mood lifter.” Tapping at 4 PM. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Up at Yak & Yeti in Arvada, they tapped a Chocolate Frosting Stout, which was brewed with vanilla, almond and lactose. This is the newest release in the “Haunted Series”. Here’s the rest of the lineup.
Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-431-9000.
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
There’s fun(k) to be had at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids on Saturday. Funk’n Wild is back for another round of frightfully funky, sickeningly sour and wickedly wild ales.
This time around, AC Golden’s Troy Casey will be the guest of honor. Troy just got back from Belgium and will surely have some great stories and experiences to share. He’s a brilliant brewer and has been hatching secret brews in the bowels of MillerCoors for the past few years. We recognized his Apricot in our Best of 2012 article. Stop by and stir the ongoing “Crafty vs. Craft” debate, while enjoying some funk’n wild brews in the process. The fun begins at 1 PM. Oskar Blues HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503.
The boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be posted up at Hops & Pie for this month’s Littlest Big Beer Festival. This time, the LBBF is featuring all Barrel-Aged beers. Quick story, Hops & Pie got ahold of 5 first run, Makers Mark barrels, then hand-picked 5 different local breweries to each receive one barrel. This all went down last September. Each brewery then filled their barrel with a secret brew and stashed it away. Flash forward to this weekend and now these new brews are ready for you. The Odell Mountain Standard & Lugene Blend just sounds stupid good. All 5 beers will be tapped at noon.
While you’re there, enjoy the Colorado Craft Beer Show from noon – 2 PM on AM760. If you can’t make it, be sure to tune in and see what you’re missing while getting your weekly dose of craft beer news. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212.
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Tickets! Get your tickets!
Dark Lord Day is coming, you fervent little freaks. Sunday’s the day to get tickets to the release party, which is scheduled for April 27th at Three Floyds Brewing in Munster, IN. Better skip those St. Patrick’s Day frat parties or you’ll be left behind with nothing to show for it other than a bad hangover and a reminder of why green beer is still lame. Click HERE and cross your fingers on Sunday or the Dark Lord will eat your soul! He’s hungry, so don’t test him.
Monday, March 18th, 2013
Most Monday’s suck. It’s a fact. So says Garfield and Angry Cat. Then again, Angry Cat doesn’t like anything, so screw that little ball of hate.
Well buckle up, because this Monday’s going to be good. In fact, it’ll be great. “Why”, you ask? Thanks for asking. Because Colorado Craft Beer Week begins on Monday and Falling Rock Tap House is the place to be for the big kickoff.
I repeat, Falling Rock Tap House is THE place to be on Monday. So quit your whining and head over to view the glorious sight of 80 different Colorado breweries pouring under one roof. Yeah people, this is BIG! (That’s what she said!) $45 gets you in. The fun starts at 7 PM (not 6 PM, like you may have heard elsewhere) and runs until 11 PM. You can buy tickets right here. You need to go. It’s your civic duty. Make it happen. Tell the King I sent you.
But don’t tell the King I’m showing you this list. It’s Über secret and we’re the only blog on the street brave enough to have hijacked his keg list. Check out the list of breweries and a few of the beers that’ll be on hand.
Big Choice Brewing
Boulder Brewing Champagne Mojo
Bristol English Old Ale
Bull and Bush
City Star Brewing
Colorado Cider Company
Crooked Stave Assorted Goodness including L’Brett D’or
Elevation Oil Man
Hall Brewing Company
Hogs Head on CASK!
Left Hand Brewing on CASK!
Lone Tree Brewing
Odell Brewing Wooden Sidecar Oakaged Myrcenary
Strange Cherry Kriek
Wynkoop Ellegance, the Women’s Collaborative Brew
Say what?!?! You’re telling me there’s still a keg of Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout still out there? That amazing beer alone is worth the price of admission. Again, get your tickets HERE and ring in CO Craft Beer Week like one bad little monkey.
The admission price will get you your fill of any of the beers being poured. No limit or tickets, but please be responsible and don’t ruin it for everyone else. Cookies from The Cookie Brewer will be on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202.
Into the Future…
As for the rest of the week, I’m not going to list every single event going on during CO Craft Beer Week. If I did, I wouldn’t have time to get out and enjoy the fun myself. But, keep your browser pointed HERE for a list of what to drink and do next week. There are plenty of chances to get out and toast our amazing breweries and craft beer scene. Check with your local breweries to see what they’ve got planned. We’ll have more events listed on our Facebook Page and in the next Weekend Beer Buzz. Stay tuned.
And last, but not least, Parry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch will be releasing a small amount of delicious bombers from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing on Thursday, March 28th at 6 PM.
I don’t need to tell you how big this is. Parry’s is the only place in the state where you’ll be able to find Cigar City (aside from some random beer nerds cellar) and these beauties surely won’t last long. We’ll see if we can finagle some more details before the event gets here. Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126.
That’s it for now. 70 degrees this weekend. Go, see, do, drink, repeat.
Another great week here in Colorado. Last weekend, we had the opportunity to check out the Denver Winter Brew Fest. We put together a recap and shared a ton of pictures from our visit to this fun festival.
We also launched the first in a series of collaborative beer reviews that we’re working on with Dave Butler over at Fermentedly Challenged. Together, we put together an in-depth look at Lugene Milk Chocolate Stout. So far, the feedback has been very positive. I know we both enjoyed working on the review, so be on the lookout for more “coblogorative” style reviews in the future.
And now, here we are again, getting ready for a weekend full of great craft beer. 2013 looks to be the year of the new brewery. I’d say we’re on pace for an average of 1 new brewery to open every week in Colorado this year. I’m not complaining, but it’s going to be a very busy year in the world of craft beer. This coming weekend, we’ll see three new breweries open in just four days. If we keep this up, we’ll have to host two GABF’s. One for Colorado and one for the rest of the U.S.
Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids is tapping a few special kegs from Goose Island on Thursday night.
Matilda, Sofie, Pere Jacques and Mild Winter will all be available. Wait, I think I’m forgetting one… Hmmm, what could it be? Oh yeah, Bourbon County Brand Stout! Now we’re talking. Get over to Liquids & Solids for this special tapping, which runs from 4 – 6 PM. Oskar Blues HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80501. 303-485-9400.
Our Mutual Friend’s Imperial Belgian IPA will probably kick soon.
Head over today and don’t miss out! Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-722-2810.
Crooked Stave has some tasty treats on tap as well.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
Over at Yak & Yeti, Head Brewer Adam Draeger tapped his Orange-Chocolate Porter last night. Only 1 keg was available and it’s long gone. But fear not, he’s got plenty of other great brews to share. Earlier this week, he tapped the newest release in his Haunted Series. This time it’s “Yak’s R.I.S.”, a big ol’ 10% ABV, 100+ IBU Russian Imperial Stout. Here’s the rest of the lineup for this week.
Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-431-9000.
This is the final weekend to reserve your seat for Falling Rock’s Annual Barleywine Dinner on Tuesday, February 5th.
The multi-course menu is still being planned and there are vegetarian options available, if you notify them ahead of time. In the past, there have been up to a dozen barleywines paired at this dinner. Tickets are $55. Call or stop by Falling Rock to reserve your seat for this great event. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-293-8338.
Friday, February 1st, 2013
We’ve got a new brewery opening on Friday! De Steeg is set to open their doors on Friday at 4 PM. Owner Craig Rothgery is ready to pour his first beers from the newest brewery to open in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver.
This weekend, he’ll be pouring a 5.1% ABV English Mild on Nitro, a 5.5% ABV Pomegranate Acai Wheat and an 11% ABV Imperial Pumpkin. Come out and explore the area as the opening has been coordinated with the Tennyson Street First Friday Artwalk, which spotlights local artisans and restaurants. De Steeg Brewing is located at: 4342 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-484-9698.
In Aurora, Dry Dock Brewing’s got a Mosaic Dry-hopped IPA ready to roll for Firkin Friday.
Tapping at 3 PM. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Jellyman’s tapping “The French Press” for his Deviation this week down at Rockyard Brewing in Castle Rock.
This is a 6% ABV Coffee Stout brewed with the second runnings of Wilson, their very tasty Russian Imperial Stout (which is getting bottled today). Tapping at 4 PM. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Breckenridge Brewery is back again this month with their Firkin First Fridays.
This month’s release is their Avalanche Amber Ale with Kaffir lime leaves and dry-hopped with Summit Hops. Get out and enjoy the nice weather and this great sounding brew. Tapping at 4 PM. Breckenridge Brewery is located at: 471 Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80204. 303-573-0431.
Can’t get enough freakin’ firkins? Then head over to Hops & Pie for their Firkin 1st Friday release. This time it’s with Crooked Stave and their Surette Saison.
Look for plenty of funk and spices in this 6.5% ABV Saison that was aged in a Downslope whiskey barrel. Tapping at 6 PM. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-477-7000.
Friday is also the kickoff for the “Run the Gauntlet” challenge over at Star Bar. 30 Avery beers in 28 days. Can you handle it? Probably not, but you should try anyways, because if you can, you’ll be rewarded with transportation from Star Bar to Avery Brewing for a private tour. Have you seen the beer list? Here’s a peek at some of the ridiculously tasty offerings they’re planning to tap:
– The Maharaja Imperial IPA
– The Czar Imperial Stout
– The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest
– Hog Heaven Barleywine
– The Reverend Belgian-Style Quad
– Salvation Belgian Golden
– New World Porter
– Lilikoi Kepolo
– 3Point5 Pale Ale
– Bolder Weisse
Star Bar is located at: 2137 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-328-2420.
Over at Falling Rock, it’s the start of “Dain Bramage Month”, with a month-long celebration of Barleywines!
Owner Chris Black acquired 6 new barleywines last week and plans to tap several vintage kegs Tuesday night for those lucky guests attending the Barleywine Dinner (see above). These will be available for everyone else beginning on Wednesday. No word on what will be tapped just yet. They’re still deciding what to pull out of the cellar. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-293-8338.
Don’t forget February is the beginning of Stout Month over at the Mountain Sun brewpubs. Stout Month is always a great time to stop by and enjoy some rich, roast brews.
Look for special beers to be released every Tuesday and Friday, beginning on 2/5 at all three locations. In addition to their own beers like Addicition Coffee Imperial Stout, Girl Scout Stout and Chocolate Dip, they’ve got plenty of great guest beers lined up as well. Keep your eyes open for Odell’s Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout, Renegade’s Black Gold Peanut Butter Stout, Wildwood’s S’mores Stout and dozens more. Mountain Sun is located at: 1535 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302. Souther Sun is located at: 627 S Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. Vine Street Pub is located at: 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206.
Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
We mentioned Verboten a few weeks ago when they had a soft opening at their location up in Loveland. But get ready, because their Grand Opening is coming up on Saturday afternoon.
They’ll be debuting their new brewery with live music, food trucks, beer cupcakes, giveaways and of course BEER! Verboten will be pouring Orange Blossom Honey Wheat, Lemongrass Wit, IPA, Caramel Porter, Espresso Stout, Kentucky Common Dark Cream Ale and Sour Rum Barrel-Aged Porter. The party starts at 1 PM. Be sure to check out this preview of Verboten from our friend Dave Butler over at Fermentedly Challenged. Verboten Brewing is located at: 1550 Taurus Ct, Loveland, CO 80537. 970-988-6333.
Dry Dock Brewing launched their cans to local retailers last week and that’s cause for celebration. Stop by the brewery for the official “Take it in the Can” launch party on Saturday from 11 AM – 5 PM. Snag a can of Apricot Blonde, Hop Abomination, Hefeweizen or Amber for only $3.
Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Don’t forget to check out the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM760 from noon – 2 PM.
Don’t quote me, but I believe the boys are back in the studio this week. They always put on a great show, so be sure to tune in and see what’s on tap for this week.
Over on the FM side, Gary V and Dustin (from Avery Brewing) will be in the studio for American Craft Beer Radio.
This show is live on 102.3 FM ESPN Radio from 1 -2 PM.
Sunday, February 3rd, 2013
Go watch the Super Bowl already. Or at least watch the commercials and heckle whatever joke of an artist the NFL has chosen for the half-time show. Do your thing and drink a craft beer or two. Go Ravens.
Monday, February 4th, 2013
Fate Brewing in Boulder, will open their doors on Monday. They might not have their brewhouse up and running just yet, but that hasn’t stopped Head Brewer Jeff Griffith from getting out and brewing some beer. He’s already collaborated with multiple brewers in Boulder, including Wild Woods, Twisted Pine and Southern Sun.
Fate plans to have their collaborations pouring on Monday, along with twenty other Colorado craft beers. Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried the Imperial IPA, Cocoa Punk’n Porter and Eisbock and I love what I’ve had so far. Bring an appetite, as a full food menu will also be available. Fate Brewing is located at: 1600 38th St, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80301.
Beer Hunters, Gatherers, Trappers and Traders
Pliny the Younger Season starts this weekend at Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA.
Here in Colorado, we’re still patiently waiting to see what beer bars will be allocated a keg of this beautiful beer. Try to remain calm and know that we’ll get you the details as soon as we can. In the meantime, enjoy this fun little documentary we came across last week.
Sour fans might want to consider securing a bottle or two of Cascade’s 2011 Vlad the Imp Aler, when they go on sale through the Cascade website this Saturday.
A little pricey at $30 / bottle, but this is a phenomenal beer. Mrs. Insane and I visited the brewery a while back for their Anniversary Party and this is one of my favorites from Cascade. The beer is a blend of Quads, Triples and Blonds and has been aged in select bourbon and wine barrels. Get some before they’re gone.
Firestone Walker will release their latest batch of §ucaba this week.
Beer hunters should keep an eye out for this barrel-aged American Barleywine to hit the CO market in the next few weeks. Drink fresh or age for later. (Or both.)
Lastly, for all the beer traders out there, Foothills Brewing out in North Carolina, will be releasing the 2013 batch of Sexual Chocolate on Saturday at the brewery in North Carolina.
1800 bottles of this delicious Russian Imperial Stout will be up for grabs during Saturday’s release. It’s well worth the trouble if you’re lucky enough to track down a bottle.
Almost forgot about your German lesson for this week.
Thanks Bill! Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211. 303-729-1175.
Man, I’m spent. Hope that tides you over for a few days. Have fun, drink well and enjoy the big game.
The weekend’s nearly here. Big weekend of beer, combined with a beautiful forecast.
The Kool-Aid Man always knows the right words to say. Chicks dig the big guy too.
Oh, before we get started, Mile High Wine & Spirits deserves a HUGE shout out for bringing De Dolle Stille Nacht back to Colorado. Yep, the bestest ever xmas beer made a return appearance in our great state last week.
I don’t know how Andre does it, but he does. Keep on, keeping on my friend. The Reserva lasted about 11.3 seconds, so don’t waste your time calling to get a bottle. I don’t know if he’s got any Stille Nacht left. He shouldn’t. If I had made it over, he wouldn’t. But either way, I applaud Andre and his beer department for continuing to track down the very best offerings from around the globe. If you haven’t checked them out yet, make it a priority. They care about bringing the very best beers to Colorado. Mile High Wine & Spirits is located at: 435 S Vance St, Lakewood, CO 80226. 303-936-0272.
Crooked Stave has a killer menu every week and they’re at it again with this great lineup.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
Get over to Yak & Yeti sometime soon for a chance to try some of Head Brewer Adam Draeger’s awesome creations. Right now, he’s got everything from a Chipotle Porter to a Oaked IPA, the latest release in his Haunted Series.
Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-431-9000.
Friday, January 25th, 2013
Dry Dock Brewing Company will tap a Maple Smoked Porter at 3 PM for this week’s Firkin Friday release.
Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Jellyman’s got “The Honey Bird” lined up for this week’s Deviation.
This is a 6% ABV filtered American Wheat Braggot. Look for a mead and malt nose, nicely balanced flavor and big time drinkability. Tapping at 4 PM. When it’s gone, it’s gone, so leave work a little early and get on over for this one. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
As for us, we’ll be attending the Winter Brew Fest at Mile High Station on Friday.
It sold out earlier this week, but I hope to see some familiar faces in attendance. More than 40 breweries will be pouring including Elevation, Firestone Walker, Oskar Blues and Stone. Doors open at 6 PM for VIP and 7 PM for GA. Mile High Station is located at: 2027 W Lower Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204.
Saturday, January 26th, 2013
Saturday is stupid. It’s too big for its’ own good. Saturday is so bad, it should be in detention.
Over at Falling Rock Tap House, the King’s cleaning out his cellar.
Owner Chris Black has been digging deep to share some of his cellared treasures with Denver beer geeks and he was kind enough to give us an exclusive sneak peek into what’ll be available. You want this? Are you ready? Me too, but first, a few points I was asked to keep in mind:
– Quantities are LIMITED! Falling Rock will have a tally board to keep track of what’s available, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. No cry babies, so get there early if you see something you MUST have.
– Beer must be consumed on-site. Sorry, but that’s standard CO law. No growlers, no takeaways, no flasks and no crazy camelbacks to sneak out your beloved beer. Bring a friend, a wife, a girlfriend, your friend’s girlfriend, your friend’s boyfriend, an enemy, an enemy’s friend or whoever to imbibe with… Open, share, enjoy, repeat.
– Prices weren’t given to me, but I was told beers “will be at a much lower price than they would be offered at the bar any other time”.
The list below is only about 1/2 of the 60+ different beers that will be available on Saturday. You’ll have to come by on Saturday to see the full list, but here’s what we know so far:
|A Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout||2003||11.2oz|
|A Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout||2009||9.3oz|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2003||16 oz.|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2006||22oz|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2008||22oz|
|Alaskan Smoked Porter||2009||22oz|
|Avery Beast||2004||22oz (Batch #2!)|
|Bridgeport Old Knucklehead||1997||12oz|
|Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout||2008||750ml|
|Full Sail Old Boardhead||2003||22oz|
|Gale’s Prize Old Ale||1999||9.3oz|
|Gale’s Prize Old Ale||2005||9.3oz|
|Great Divide Barrel Aged Old Ruffian||2008||22oz|
|Great Divide Barrel Aged Old Ruffian||2009||22oz|
|Lost Abbey Bourbon Barrel Aged Angels Share||2009||375ml|
|Lost Abbey Judgment Day||2011||750ml|
|North Coast Old Stock||2003||12oz|
|Odell Old Curmudgeon||2003||12oz|
|Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale||2008||750ml|
|Rogue Old Crustacean||2006||750ml|
|Sierra Nevada Bigfoot||1999||12oz|
There’s a sexy little rumor floating around that there might be a special appearance from some early 2000’s J.W. Lees Harvest Ales as well, but you didn’t hear that from me…
Thanks to Chris and Beth over at Falling Rock for getting us this list. Beer Geeks, do your part on Saturday and help the King make some space in his cellar. The sale starts at noon and runs until 6 PM. Falling Rock Tap House is located at: 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-293-8338.
Over at Parry’s Pizza, we’ve got a Dry Dock Tap Takeover lined up for Saturday. But, not just at the Parry’s in Highlands Ranch. No sir, this’ll be going down at their Castle Rock location as well. Now you’ve got no excuse to miss it.
They’ll be pouring everything from Apricot Blonde to Hop Abomination. (Side note – you ever mix the Apricot with the Hop Abomination? The Dry Dock staff calls it a Hopricot. I call it splendidly delish! Try it.) Brewery reps will be on hand at both locations to answer your questions and give away some great Dry Dock merchandise. The takeover runs from 11 AM – 10 PM. Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 and 5650 Allen Way, Castle Rock 80106.
Hops & Pie is gearing up for another round of Denver’s Littlest Big Beer Fest. This time they’ve teamed up with Green Flash Brewing from San Diego, CA to bring some seriously big-ass brews to you.
The party starts at noon. Take a cab. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 S Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212. 303-477-7000.
Saturday will also be the premiere of Our Mutual Film, a film about Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew.
Come out for a pint and enjoy the movie at the brewery. The movie begins at 7:30 PM and the filmmakers will be on hand to answer your questions. Our Mutual Friend is located at: 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205. 720-722-2810.
While you’re drinking all this great beer around town, tune into AM 760 from noon – 2 PM for the Colorado Craft Beer Show.
This week, they’ll be broadcasting live from Arvada Beer and chatting with Jeff Griffith from Fate Brewing in Boulder, which is set to open at the end of the month. Stop by Arvada Beer for the live broadcast. Arvada Beer is located at: 5600 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-467-2337.
Sunday, January 27th, 2013
The local breweries are rallying around Strange Brewing this weekend in the ongoing, Strange vs. Strange battle.
The Rackhouse Pub will play host to more than two dozen breweries in an event designed to raise funds for Strange Brewing’s legal defense. This event is sold out. No tickets will be sold at the door. Click HERE for a full list of breweries that’ll be participating on Sunday. The Rackhouse Pub is located at: 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223. 720-570-7824.
Up in Boulder, Backcountry Pizza and Tap House will celebrate their 2nd anniversary with an “Epic Avery Tap Takeover”. More than 30 kegs from Epic Brewing and more than 30 kegs from Avery Brewing will be flowing at Backcountry for this killer event. No tickets, no bull, just show up and enjoy some great beers (and food).
On the Epic side, Brewmaster Kevin Crompton will be in attendance and will be pouring beers like Elder Brett, Big Bad Baptist and for the first time ever, Brainless IPA. I haven’t seen the Avery lineup yet, but come on, you can practically walk to the brewery from Backcountry. I’m sure they’ll have plenty of awesome things on tap to share. Backcountry will have a buffet for $15 from 11 AM – 4 PM, plus giveaways throughout the day. Backcountry Pizza and Tap House is located at: 2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302. 303-449-4285.
Schoolhouse Rock! with Bill Eye and Prost Brewing
And now for your German lesson of the week with Prost Head Brewer, Bill Eye.
Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211. 303-729-1175.
That’s it for this round my beer-lovin’ friends. Hope to see you all around town this weekend!
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.
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.
It’s been an interesting week. We got back an hour of sleep, although my kids still haven’t figured out how to sleep past 5:30 AM… We survived another election. I don’t get political on here. Truthfully, I don’t really talk politics at all on here or otherwise. It’s not my thing. But, I’m enjoying the fact that the phone calls during dinner, knocks at the door and back stabbing commercials have ceased for the time being.
I spent an afternoon over at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, sipping on a 6-year old Framboise and talking all things beer with owner Kevin DeLange. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for a full report on one of Colorado’s top breweries and be sure to stop by Dry Dock this weekend and help them celebrate their 7th Anniversary on Saturday. Details below.
The weekend’s here. Let’s rock it!
Friday, November 9th, 2012.
You wanted the hops? You got the hops! Kick off your weekend with a visit to Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora. The Firkin Master’s summoning all of Colorado’s Hop Freaks for his Citra Dry-Hopped Osirus Bitter.
Tappings at 3 PM and 7 PM. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Saturday, November 10th, 2012.
It’s all about Dry Dock this week. I can’t help it. They’ve got an Anniversary this weekend, they’re gearing up to open their Production Facility, they’ve got cans on the way and I’m sipping on their Barrel-Aged Shotgun Russian Imperial Stout as I type this. If you missed our 2-part interview with Owner / Founder / Brewer Kevin DeLange, click HERE and HERE to get the full scoop on Dry Dock’s Past, Present & Future. Dry Dock, here’s to 7 awesome years! Help them celebrate on Saturday at their Anniversary Party.
The party starts at noon and runs until… I guess until they kick you out, which they’re not very good at. So just plan on sticking around all day and getting a cab home. Just glancing at this list of beers getting tapped, I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong. 2010 Wee Heavy, Sour Apricot and the incredibly tasty Ambassador Sour Ale. That’s good times right there. Check out Dry Dock’s 7th Anniversary Party and wish them luck with their new Production Facility and 40 BBL Brewhouse. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
The folks behind The Funk’n Wild Sour Beer Club are back at it again. This time they’ve wrangled Avery’s Barrel Herder Andy Parker to join the group and talk about and taste all things sour.
Once again, they’ve secured some great beers to share including Crooked Stave’s L’Brett d’Or, Avery’s Dihos Dactylion, New Belgium’s La Folie, Russian River’s Consecration and Bear Republic’s Tartare and that’s just the beginning! Although I haven’t been able to make it to a meeting yet, I’m loving this group of Sour Beer Enthusiasts. Fingers crossed I can swing up to Longmont to check it out this time around.
The boys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show will be in the house broadcasting live from this funky event from noon – 2 PM. Check them out on AM 760. Somebody buy Turk a La Folie. That boy can’t get enough of that beer. He’s got good taste.
Stop by Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids from 1 PM – 4 PM and see what Funk’n Wild’s all about. OB’s HMLS is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80503. 303-485-9400.
Branden and the gang at Black Shirt Brewing are opening their doors once again this Saturday from 3 -8 PM.
Despite their limited hours, Black Shirt Brewing continues to receive positive reviews as they showcase the versatility and complexity of the Red Ale. If you have the time, I’d recommend getting over there for a visit. It’s at the top of my list. Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205. 303-993-2799.
Lastly, Copper Kettle Brewing Co. will host “A Night of Casks” on Saturday beginning at noon and running until 10 PM.
The Hoppa Fresh Hop hits the hand pumps at noon, with the Imperial Pumpkin Porter going on at 5 PM. There’s just something about a smooth, flavorful, real cask ale. Check out this unique twist to CKBC’s brews. CKBC is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
Thursday, November 15th, 2012.
Looking into next week, the Chef N Brew Festival is coming up on Thursday night.
This will pair 12 local breweries with 12 local chefs for an interesting night of tastings and competition. Come by and see what kind of creative dishes Denver’s top chefs have created to go with beers from Denver’s top breweries like Prost, Crooked Stave and Strange. This is being held at The Oriental Theatre in Denver. Tickets are $39 in advance, $49 at the door and can be purchased HERE.
There you have it good people. Get out and try something new this weekend. Or something old, that’s fine too. No matter what it is, have fun and respect your beer.
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!
I love weeks like this. You know, the ones where you get to partake in so many beery events, that it just flies by. This past week, I made it over to Crooked Stave for the Grand Opening of their Taproom and Barrel Cellar, got the full tour and tasting with Head Brewer Adam Draeger over at Yak & Yeti (blog is forthcoming), attended Avery’s Inaugural IPA Festival and because they’re just sooo dang good, went back to Crooked Stave for another visit and got the all access tour and tasting with Owner / Brewer Chad Yakobson. It’s been so much fun, I kind of want to do it all over again.
Unfortunately, the DeLorean’s in the shop, so let’s just start a new week!
Thursday, September 15th, 2012.
Prost Brewing is getting the weekend kicked off right, with the tapping of Bill Eye’s Helles Lager.
The beer has been named Tivoli and is a nod to the Tivoli Brewery, which operated in Denver from 1866-1969. Click HERE for a good read about Prost that ran in The Denver Post earlier this week. Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80202. 303-729-1175.
Copper Kettle is getting a jump start on the weekend too, with their Beer & Cheese Pairing Series. This monthly event is a tag-team tasting, coordinated with the amazing cheese Fromager’s from Denver’s Truffle Cheese Shop.
I had the opportunity to attend a pairing back in July and it was pretty damn delish. Four Copper Kettle beers are matched with four artisan cheeses for participants to sample, learn, talk about and enjoy. The cheese gets cut at 7 and tickets are $20. Grab a ticket at the brewery or reserve your spot by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This will also be your first opportunity to get a sneak-peek into Copper Kettle’s expansion. Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
Friday, September 14th, 2012.
Dry Dock Brewing is waiting for you. Firkin Friday will bring a version of their Mild Ale that’s been dry-hopped with Kent Goldings hops.
The Mild barely clocks in at 3% ABV, so help yourself to another before it’s gone. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
The Rockyard’s got a Belgian IPA lined up for this week’s Deviation. Tapping’s at 4 PM. Don’t be late!
Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Saturday, September 15th, 2012.
Parry’s Pizza is at it again, this time with an Oskar Blues Tap Takeover!
16 delicious treats will be on tap just for you. Check out this amazing lineup: Nitro G’Knight, Nitro Old Chub, Nitro Dale’s Pale Ale, TEN Fidy, Gubna, Deviant Dale’s, Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils, Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils, Red Wine Barrel-Aged G’Knight, Barrel-Aged Gubna, Barrel-Aged TEN Fidy, Barrel-Aged Chub, Dave’s Pale Ale, Legends India Brown, Homeskillet (Black IPA) and Chaka.
Let’s be honest, that’s a ridiculous lineup of beers. Don’t miss this. You’ll only kick yourself when it’s over. When you’re done kicking yourself, I’ll kick you too. I had a few of these beers at the Avery IPA Fest last weekend and they’re awesome. As if the beer isn’t enough, the food at Parry’s is amazing too. The poster says “Barrel Aged Passion”. So wrong, but oh, so right! Parry’s Pizza is located at: 9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. 303-683-0600.
Don’t miss this people. I’m serious! Do it for the children!
So what if I told you, I’m not going to Parry’s Tap Takeover on Saturday?!?! Will you still love me tomorrow? Truth be told, I can’t. Mrs. Brewtally Insane and I are hittin’ the road with our peeps for some camping and a stop at the Colorado Mountain Winefest in Palisade. Yep, this is a beer blog, I’m quite aware…
I look at the Winefest as a chance to get a professional palate cleansing by some of the state’s best wine makers. I’m resetting my taste buds so I can better enhance my beer drinking experience. It’s to better mankind. Yeah, that makes it sounds better. Whatever…
Don’t worry, we’ll be hitting a few breweries along the way and have a trunkload of beer to enjoy and share with any beer nerds we meet. I’ve already talked to Danny, the Head Brewer at Palisade Brewing Company and he’s going to meet up for a few pints. See, I’m not turning into some sort of wine snob on you.
And look, if wine’s your thing, the CO Mountain Winefest is apparently a pretty big deal. 50 wineries, unlimited tastings, live music, food and more. It’s also a great excuse to leave things behind, hit the road and get away for a few days. Grab a ticket and get all the details HERE if you’re interested.
Palisade is loaded with wineries and orchards and sometimes the delicious fruit finds its’ way into a brew kettle. Copper Kettle is releasing two firkins of their Peach Saison on Saturday at noon that was made with Palisade peaches. These peaches are amazing! I can only imagine how good this beer is going to taste.
Copper Kettle Brewing is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
The boys at the Colorado Craft Beer Show are hittin’ the road for a trek over to Telluride for the 19th Annual Blues & Brews Fest.
A huge variety of breweries will be pouring. From the smaller breweries like Bonfire, Horsefly and Revolution, up to the big boys like Stone, Deschutes and Sierra Nevada. Grab a beer and enjoy the tunes from Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, The B-52’s, Little Feat and dozens more. It’s like Bonnaroo without the hipsters and humidity. Yeah, I said it. To hell with that east coast humidity.
This looks solid. Click HERE for all the details, ticket info and more.
Can’t make it? Tune into the show on AM 760 at noon and see what you’re missing. I’m going to miss the broadcast since I’ll be with the winos in Palisade, but you can always catch the podcast over on coloradocraftbeershow.com Now you’ve got no excuse.
The Fight Fire With Beer Festival will be held on Saturday at Boulder’s 29th Street Mall.
This family friendly event runs from noon – 10 PM and features 10 breweries, food and live music. The beer flows from 3 – 7 PM at 1710 29th Street, Boulder, CO.
The Vine Street Pub is hosting their third annual Uptown Block Party at 1PM. 10 Breweries will compete in the Brewer’s Olympics for bragging rights around town. Watch the fun while sipping on more than 30 beers pouring in the beer garden.
Live music and tasty food will be available as well. Vine Street Pub & Brewery is located at: 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206. P.S. Bring cash if you’re going to attend as Vine Street doesn’t take plastic.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a new brewery opening their doors for the first time on Saturday from noon – 7 PM and again on Sunday from noon – 5 PM. High Hops Brewing in Windsor is ready to share a beer with you on this weekend, but keep in mind this is a soft opening. Look for their Grand Opening sometime in October.
They’ll be pouring 4 beers at their Hop Hut: The Golden One – Lemon Pilsner, The Honeyed One – Sweet American Red, The Noble One – Belgian Ale brewed with Noble Hops and The Dark One – Milk Stout. High Hops is a family run brewery, hop farm, homebrew shop and garden center. They’re brewing on a 10 BBL system and grow 35 different varieties of hops on their own hop farm! I’m looking forward to stopping by for a pint on my next trip up north. High Hops Brewery is located at: 6461 Highway 392, Windsor, CO 80550. 970-686-9771.
Oh, does anybody know anything about the twitter? My agent signed me up with an account and I’m supposed to be twittin’ about beer stuff I guess. Look for my bird and follow Brewtally Insane please. I’ll figure it out eventually.
That’s it for this round guys. Get out and take advantage of the nice weather before Old Man Winter rolls in.