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Weekend Beer Buzz: Strong Ale Fest & Birthday Edition 02/28/2013

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 kevin@prostbrewing.com.  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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Cheers!

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Weekend Beer Buzz: GABF Edition 10/10/12

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: bill.sysak@stonebrew.com  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.

Cheers!


Beer Trading Part Two, Uncle Jacob’s Release and Opening Day

So a few days ago I gave you a little tease about getting into the delicious world of beer trading.  We were going to walk through a trade, along with Tony, one of our readers and track down some tasty New Glarus in exchange for some Colorado locals.  Did you miss out?  If so, click HERE to catch up and come back when you’re ready.  (insert Jeopardy theme song…)

Good?  Good! 

So we set up our free account on beeradvocate.com; we made our simple ISO (In Search Of): FT (For Trade) post; we raked in a bunch of responses (about 15 in 24 hours).  Now what??? 

So now you’re wondering, how do I pick a trader to go with?  Like I said, we got about 15 responses the first day of our ISO:FT post.  I’ve got a few ways to narrow down the trader we’re going to work with.  The first way is to go with the first response.  Kind of seems fair that the early bird gets the worm.  Another way is to go with someone you’ve already traded with. 

For me, trading is all about establishing good, friendly relationships with traders from around the country.  That way, when a beer comes along in a certain area of the U.S. that I’m looking for, I’ve got someone that might be able to help me out and vice versa.  There are several traders that I’ve known for years and we hook each other up with local fav’s, brewery only releases and so on, to share the loot.  In this case though, I wanted to start fresh and not fall back on past experiences.  I wanted to play the “rookie” and show you that it’s still easy to lock in a trade without knowing someone ahead of time. 

So I decided on a response from Kody, who actually lives in Chicago, IL, but makes frequent trips to Wisconsin.  Kody’s initial response was simple and to the point.  He just stated that he had New Glarus Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart and was looking for Odell and Lost Abbey.  We swapped a few more messages and came to the realization that we both had access to the same Lost Abbey beers, but I suggested some beers from Dry Dock, Avery and Funkwerks that he hadn’t heard of and might be interested in. 

In the past week, we’ve exchanged about a dozen more messages, narrowing down specific beers to swap and our favorite styles.  Turns out, Kody is going to be obtaining bottles of Three Floyd’s Dark Lord later this month, which is considered to be one of the best beers on the planet.  I love me some Dark Lord and am always on the hunt for more.  So we’re already talking about future trades! 

Like I said, beer trading for me, is about making those friendships that will continue for years to come.  I enjoy making connections with people like Kody who have the same passion for beer as I do.  In the future, I can get beers exclusive to my area that he will enjoy and swap for beers in his area that I will enjoy.  This is what makes the beer geek community so cool and unique.  Granted, it’s not always this way.  I’ve done many “one and done” trades, but more often than not, I trade with the same people, over and over again.  Hell, there’s even a guy in Boston, MA that I traded with so many times that I flew him out for the Great American Beer Festival a few years ago. 

Anyway, so we’ve locked in our trader, made small talk, locked in the beers we’re going to trade and we’re one step closer to having some delicious New Glarus for our glass.  Our next step is to buy our beers, pack, ship and wait for our box o’ goodies to arrive.  Questions????  Comments????  I’m going to try and pack our beers this week, so stay tuned! 

In other news, I hit the Uncle Jacob’s Stout release at Avery last night.  Uncle Who?  Click HERE for the details.  I got there late, but avoided the line and still got my allocation.  The reviews so far have been great.  For anybody that went and popped open a bottle, what did you think?  Looks like they flipped the line around and ran it into the barrel room and back through the keg room.  After attending various Avery releases for the past few years, it seems like Avery has gotten better and better about their small batch releases.  They continue to improve the customer experience and that’s a GREAT thing.  Big shout-out to Adam, Phil and everyone else over there for their awesome efforts in making these releases run smoother each and every time.  I hope to open a bottle soon and will try to share with you when I do. 

Lastly, tomorrow is Opening Day for the Colorado Rockies.  As a huge baseball fan, I’m really, really looking forward to this.  The weather should be perfect and the beer scene will be in full effect.  Falling Rock Tap House will be rockin’ with tents set up out front representing your favorite breweries.  Freshcraft, Denver Beer Company, Great Divide and the new kid on the block, River North, will be open and ready for the baseball crowd.  Rumor has it, Sandlot, at Coors Field, will even be pouring a sour for Opening Day!  Patti and I will be there and hope to see you downtown!  Drop us a line if you’re going.  We’d love to meet up and share a brew with you.