We had a killer time last week on the left coast. San Diego is a great, great beer town. No, it’s not Denver, let’s not get carried away, but it’s solid and growing just as quickly as our local scene. This was our second visit in 18 months and it’s crazy to see the growth. We shared some sights and tastes from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens and Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey and we’ve got more to come including the Inaugural San Diego Winter Brew Fest, Green Flash, AleSmith and more. Stay tuned!
And hey, it’s lent.
Maybe give up something a little more reasonable like eating or shaving (which I happily haven’t done since November). Do what you gotta do, but don’t give up craft beer.
In other news, the CO brewers won their fight against grocery and convenience stores selling full-strength beer. Well done boys and girls. I sincerely hope this is the last time you all have to fight that fight. Unfortunately, it seems some overpaid assbanana brings it up again year after year. Until then, Congrats on winning this battle.
And lastly, before we start our weekend run down, Cheers to Swagger, the Old English Sheepdog and CO-native that made us all proud at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The big guy placed second overall out of 2,500+ pups. Nicely done! Now maybe your owner will finally get that furry mop out of your eyes.
And now, it’s time to get serious. Focus. It’s time for your Weekend Beer Buzz.
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
The Day of Love is very near and if you love beer, then have no fear, just plant your eyes on this page right here. Many of the beery events and Valentine’s beer dinners sold out long ago, but here are a few that don’t require tickets and should have plenty of beer flowing for you and your special someone on Thursday night.
Dry Dock has a delicious pair of tappings lined up for Thursday. Stop by and revisit Rudolph’s Revenge, which you might remember as Head Brewer Doug Hyndman’s Raspberry Pomegranate Porter from the 2012 Ho Ho Ho Slapdown. Dry Dock also plans to release a firkin of Strawberry Hefeweizen, which I think at one point used to be called Heidi Klum? Am I wrong here? Either way, firkin at noon, Rudolph at 4 PM. Don’t be surprised if a few more treats pop up as well.
Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Black Shirt Brewing is hosting a beer and desert pairing on Thursday. End your special night with a Chai Red Porter and a specially prepared desert.
This will run from 5 – 9 PM and is rumored to be your only chance to try this great brew. The BSB tasting room will now be open on Wednesday’s, with expanded hours throughout the week. Black Shirt Brewing is located at: 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205. 303-993-2799.
Scott and the Wit’s End Gang will have their 2nd Annual Valentine’s Day Beer and Chocolate Pairing from 4 PM – ? (until the chocolate’s gone!).
Cruise over to the Wit’s End Website and see what they’ve got planned for this year’s event. The Kitchen Sink Porter is paired with a chocolate-bacon bar. Need I say more? Sappy, cheese-filled music provided free of charge. Wit’s End Brewing is located at: 2505 W 2nd Ave, Unit 13, Denver, CO 80223. 303-459-4379.
Up at Yak & Yeti in Arvada, Head Brewer Adam Draeger released (Yakety Yak) Don’t Talk Bock and Cherry Porter this week. For Valentine’s Day, he’s bringing back Red Hot Wheat, which is brewed with Red Hots Candies. Draeger describes the 4.9% ABV bright red brew as a “Dentyne gum flavored dessert wine to share with the sweetheart of your life”.
Yak & Yeti is located at: 7803 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80002. 303-431-9000.
Speaking of Yeti’s, there’s been reports of a sighting over at Great Divide. They’ll be tapping a Jim Beam Barrel-Aged Version of Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti at 2 PM. Wow, that sounds amazing.
Great Divide Brewing is located at: 2201 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205. 303-296-9460.
Up in Longmont at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids, they’ll have hand carved prime rib and some special Ommegang goodies on draft.
Homemade Liquids and Solids is located at: 1555 S Hover Rd, Longmont, CO 80501. 303-485-9400.
Lone Tree Brewing will tap The Princess Vidrevitz Russian Imperial Stout and Chocolate Cherry Stout at noon today. Sounds delish.
Lone Tree Brewing is located at: 8222 Park Meadows Dr, Lone Tree, CO 80124. 303-792-5822.
Here’s the latest from Crooked Stave.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is located at: 1441 W 46th Ave, Unit 19, Denver, CO 80211. 720-508-3292.
Friday, February 15th, 2013
Just in case you don’t have enough spice in your life on Valentine’s Day, Dry Dock’s tapping a Green Chili Double IPA on Firkin Friday.
Tapping at 3 PM. I don’t typically reach for chili brews, but this one’s good. Damn good. Trust me. Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Down at Rockyard Brewing, Jellyman’s busting out “The Preacher” for this week’s Deviation. The Preacher is a Simcoe and Vanguard Pale Ale.
Tapping at 4 PM. Rockyard Brewing is located at: 880 W Castleton Rd, Castle Rock, CO 80109. 303-814-9273.
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
Congrats to River North Brewery, who’ll be celebrating their 1-year Anniversary on Saturday. Stop by and share a beer from their great lineup of Belgian-influenced ales. You’ll also have the opportunity to try their newest and biggest beer yet, a 12.5% ABV Imperial Stout that was brewed to commemorate the special occasion. 120 cases produced, so perhaps this’ll see a bit of local distribution. Keep your eyes peeled fellow beer hunters and gatherers.
River North will also be offering tours of their barrel room. The party starts at 1 PM and you won’t want to miss out. River North Brewery is located at: 2401 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205. 303-296-2617,
The Tasty Weasel is also gearing up for an Anniversary Party. The Oskar Blues Tap Room in Longmont will be celebrating 4 years with a super secret beer release, food trucks and of course skee ball. They’ll be joined by the Colorado Craft Beer Show, who’ll be kicking it off at noon on AM 760. Better yet, stop by and watch the show live.
The Tasty Weasel is located at: 1800 Pike Rd, Unit B, Longmont, CO 80501. 303-776-1914.
The 3rd Annual Winter Beer Fest is right around the corner. On Saturday, the Woodland Park Cultural Center will be turned into a beer garden as Prost Brewing, Arvada Beer Company, Trinity Brewing and others set up shop for the afternoon.
Tickets are only $15, but hurry, as they’ll jump to $30 if you wait to buy them at the door. Ticket price includes taster glass and unlimited tastings. This event runs from 2 – 6 PM. More details and ticket info can be found HERE. The Woodland Park Cultural Center is located at: 210 E Midland Ave, Woodland Park, CO 80863.
Pliny the Younger Update
The Younger kegs are slowly invading Denver.
So far, we’ve got two tapping times confirmed.
Backcountry Pizza and Tap House will tap their keg on Sunday, February 24th at noon. Tickets are $9 / 11 oz. and will be sold at 11 AM. Backcountry Pizza and Tap House is located at: 2319 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302. 303-449-4285.
The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe in Denver will have TWO tappings! The first will hit tap lines on Monday, February 25th, the second will get tapped on Thursday, February 28th. Both will start pouring at 6:30 PM. $10 / glass, first come, first serve. The Cheeky Monk is located at: 534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203. 303-861-0347.
Until next time, here’s your German lesson for the week.
Pretty sure they didn’t teach you that in High School. Prost Brewing is located at: 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211. 303-729-1175.
It’s been fun. Let’s do it again next weekend.
What’s up weekend? I’ve missed you! Good to see you again. Let’s make some plans!
The big buzz for Saturday, June 9th is over in Lyons, CO, where Oskar Blues has joined forces with the Lyons Outdoor Games and the Colorado Brewers Guild to bring you a fun filled day with sports, dogs and beer. Head up to Lyons to check out the kayaking, fly fishing, chainsaw carving and more. Stick around to get your fill at Burning Can, which is a beer festival featuring ALL canned beers! 35 breweries are expected to be pouring their canned masterpieces including Maui, 21st Amendment, Ska and New Belgium.
Tickets for Burning Can are $25 in advance and $30 at the event ($25 if you ride your bike!) and can be found HERE. The beer fest runs from noon – 4 PM. There’s plenty of nearby camping available, so get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery up there.
If you go, check out the guys from the Colorado Craft Beer Show on AM 760. They’ll be broadcasting live from Burning Can in their newly exanded, 2-hour time slot, from noon – 2 PM.
Copper Kettle Brewing will be releasing their Czech Pilsner on Saturday, June 9th at noon. Can’t say that I reach for this style very often, but it does make for a nice session beer on a warm summer day. In case you didn’t notice, it’s going to be in the 90’s this weekend, so their timing couldn’t be better. They’ll have Capt’n Crabby outside at 5 PM serving authentic Maryland-style crab cakes. I was raised in Maryland and have been trying to find a good crab cake outside of Maryland (aside from Mom’s), for years. Capt’n Crabby, I have high hopes for you sir!
Copper Kettle is located at: 1338 S Valentia St #100, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
Over at Dry Dock Brewing, they recently tapped a keg of Lachlan’s award winning Wee Heavy. This beautiful Scotch Ale has won not one, but two medals at the World Beer Cup!
Dry Dock will be tapping a firkin of Challenger Dry-Hopped Amber for Firkin Friday at 3 PM. Check it out! Dry Dock Brewing is located at: 15120 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80014. 303-400-5606.
Lone Tree Brewing will be celebrating their 6 month anniversary on Friday, June 8th. They’ve got a bunch of great seasonals pouring right now, including Das Bart Dunkelweizen, Nate’s Saison (homebrew winner), Marienplatz Pilsner along with their tasty flagship beers like Hoptree IIPA and Toots’ Oatmeal Stout. The party runs all day, with pizza available for purchase at 5 PM and live music at 6 PM.
Lone Tree Brewing is located at: 8222 Park Meadows Dr, Lone Tree, CO 80124. 303-792-5822.
Speaking of anniversary parties, Pateros Creek Brewing, up in Fort Collins, CO, will be celebrating their 1-year Anniversary on Saturday, June 9th. They’ll be tapping some new beers and revisiting some old favorites from their weekly Outlaw Series. Some of the special beers getting tapped are Franklinstein (a 4-pepper pale ale), Blueberry-lemon kolsch and their newest creation, Spiranthes Extra Pale Ale. The event runs from 4 PM – 9 PM and also features music, games and food.
I still need to make it up to Pateros Creek. Sounds like they’re doing really well up there. Pateros Creek is located at: 242 N College Ave. Unit B, Fort Collins, CO 80524. 970-484-7222.
I’m really, really excited about the upcoming opening of TRVE (pronounced “True”) Brewing in Denver, CO. While the big opening on Wednesday, June 27th is still a few weeks away, you can get a sneak peek this weekend. TRVE will open their doors on Saturday, June 9th at noon to give fans a glimpse inside and check everything out. They’ll also be pouring samples of Wanderlust, their Belgian-American Pale Ale.
This Saturday will also be the first chance beer nerds will have to join the TRVE Cvlt. The Cvlt gives members one of the kick ass, signed and numbered growlers pictured below, five free growler fills, refills with any TRVE beer for only $7, invitiations to member-only events and more. Get all the details HERE.
I’m really excited for these guys. Small, 3 BBL batches of craft beer and heavy metal music! TRVE Brewing is located at: 227 Broadway #100, Denver, CO. 303-351-1021.
Finally, if you’re heading to the Greenwood Village Summerfest on Saturday, June 9th, say “Hi!” to my wife Patti. She’ll be hanging out in the biergarten pouring for Dry Dock Brewing from 11 AM – 3 PM. This is a great chance to get out and try some good brews and check out some fun and unique cars at the classic car show. All the details can be found HERE.
That’s it for this round of weekend news. Hope you can find something to stay busy and beat the heat.
Just got back from a full weekend up in the mountains. Patti and I made the trip up to Breckenridge for their annual Spring Beer Festival. It was our first time attending, but we had heard good things from friends who had attended in the past. We headed up I-70 on Friday afternoon and took our time exploring some of the little mountain towns on the way. We hit a few breweries along the way, including some old favorites as well as a few places that were completely new to us. I’ll try to post some reviews later in the week.
We stayed in the quiet, resort town of Keystone, CO. Keystone is just a short, 15-minute drive from Breckenridge, CO and turned out to be the perfect place to call home for a few days. Hot tubs, no neighbors and no crowds. It was just what we needed. We’re not skiers, so we kind of prefer going up there in the off-season. In our 5-story building, there were only 3 other cars in the garage. Perfect!
We finished off our day with some bacon-wrapped filets and a bottle of Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout. Beer was delicious. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, sweet – but not overly sweet, 17.4% ABV is well hidden. Surprisingly smooth at this point in its’ young life, but should age very well. If you missed the release at Avery last weekend, keep your eyes peeled for the remaining bottles to start showing up around town soon. Grab some while you can.
The Breckenridge area has a public transportation system that could rival New York City. I couldn’t believe how many busses they offer to get you around town. During the off-season, the Keystone area even has a bus that you can call to arrange pick up and drop off for personalized service. It’s convenient and free. To Breckenridge however, we caught the Swan Mountain Flyer. This bus runs once an hour from Keystone and makes the loop into downtown Breckenridge.
We caught the 11:30 bus to head to the festival, which opened at noon. We arrived in Breckenridge at around 12:10 and started our walk to Main Street Station. Along the way, we ran into Jason, the head brewer over at Lone Tree Brewing. Sadly, he wasn’t pouring any beers at the festival, but was just out enjoying a rare and well deserved day off with his girlfriend.
The festival offers both a standard tasting ticket, as well as a VIP ticket. The standard ticket sells for $25 and offers admission, unlimited tastings and music. The VIP ticket sells for $65 and comes with a commemorative stein, private buffet and lounge area, along with unlimited tastings and music. Patti had found a deal online for more than half off VIP tickets, so we snagged a pair. We got up to the festival entrance, traded our tickets for a map and stein and headed inside.
Once we got through the gate, the first table we came upon was Oskar Blues. I had to get the day started off on the right foot, so I reached for a pour of Deviant Dale’s. A great accompaniment to the band covering Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” in the background.
Main Street Station is surrounded by several buildings that are condo’s on top, with restaurants and stores on the main level. Between the buildings is a large, open space, that’s used for different events throughout the year. It’s a great area for a mid-sized beer festival.
Working around the outside edge of tables, were many out-of-state breweries, including Sierra Nevada, Widmer, Red Hook and Alaskan.
Towards the back were some of the smaller, local places. A few of which I had never even tried like Bonfire (remember the Tebrew beer from last year’s Tebow mania?), Crazy Mountain and Palisade. This was my favorite area of the festival. The tables were situated along the river, with a beautiful mountain view in the background. Lots of new beers to try, a great view and a whole row of bathrooms nearby. Hey, you gotta know where your bathrooms are at a beer fest. Good combination folks.
Back towards the middle of the festival were the big boys. Avery, Odell, Great Divide, Bristol and more. Great Divide tapped a keg of Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti at 2PM, which went well with the cooler, afternoon temperatures and the light snow that started coming down.
The VIP ticket also gave us access to a private buffet that was catered by Kenosha Steakhouse. They brought some tasty BBQ for the meat lovers, plus some lighter sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, salad and even desert. The lounge area had comfy couches and chairs, so festival attendees could sit down and enjoy their food. There was even a table full of beers donated by the breweries. I snagged a Dale’s Pale Ale to go with my plate of pulled pork. As someone who was kind of on the fence about spending the extra money for VIP tickets, I’d have to say it was worth it. Even if we had paid full price, the unlimited trips to the buffet, the quiet area to sit and eat, the big table full of beers and the private bathroom, made it all worthwhile.
25 breweries in total made the trip. It was well balanced between novice, gateway Wheat and Pale Ales, up to big Double IPA’s and Stouts for the true beer nerds in the crowd. I tried alot of new beers and discovered some new breweries that don’t distribute out my way. Towards the end of the festival, I snagged a nearly full stein of Great Divide’s Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and went to listen to the live bands on stage.
The clouds eventually started to roll in and the sun gave way to snow, but it only added to our experience. You’ve got to expect snow in Breckenridge in Spring. We made the walk back to the bus station and caught our ride home.
As much as I love the Great American Beer Festival, these little beer fests around the country are a great way to get out and truly appreciate the beer scene, without feeling too overwhelmed. Nice and relaxing, not too big of a crowd, good music and plenty of good beer and food to go around. I’d definitely give it a thumb’s up.
Breckenridge also hosts a Festival in Summer, which is coming up on Saturday, July 14th. I would expect to see a much bigger crowd, but they run a good show. It might be worth checking out.
Random pics from the festival:
It feels like summer outside! This nearly 80 degree weather is making me thirsty for an IPA on the deck, but first, let’s get the rundown of what’s happening in the beer world.
First, I wanted to share some news about Great Storm Brewing down in Colorado Springs. Their grand opening is today! Jeff and Lynn Jacobs held a soft opening last week, but they’re official grand opening is today. Jeff has been homebrewing for 6 years and recently decided to make the jump and open his own place. He’s operating on a 1 bbl system and plans to have 5 flagship beers with 2-3 rotating seasonals.
From left to right: Lightning Wit (Belgian Witbier), Brass Ale Honey Amber (British Amber / Braggot), Black Bear Zwartbier (Belgian Black Lager), Lilliput Pale Ale and Shine On (Oaked Belgian Golden Strong). By the time you read this, there should also be an IPA called Seven Wolves available on both CO2 and Nitro, as well as a Rum Raisin Stout on Nitro. The Rum Raisin Stout is brewed with oats and brown sugar and sounds delish.
There’s no food for sale at Great Storm, although pretzels are available and there’s a pizza place next door. Stop by and enjoy the nice weather on their patio. Great Storm is located at: 204 Mount View Lane #3, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.
Thanks to Steve, one of our readers, who visited Great Storm last night and was able to get these pics to share in the blog. Thanks man!
All the way up in Fort Collins, CO, Odell has announced that their Double Pilsner will be back on store shelves soon. I gotta admit, when I think pilsner, I think Bud, crap, Miller and more crap…, but the Odell Double Pils is a tasty beer. Come on now, can the guys at Odell make a bad beer? Perfect for those warm summer days, it’s full flavored and refreshing and at 8.1% ABV, it packs quite the punch.
Want to get your “drink on” a little early on Tuesday, March 27th? Start your day off right and head over to Lone Tree Brewing for an early riser happy hour. Fox 31’s Good Day Colorado will be broadcasting live from the brewery and they want to fill the tap room with beer drinkers. You’ll be rewarded with $1 off pints from 6am-9am and who knows, maybe you’ll even be on TV! I’m sure your boss won’t mind if you stop by on your way to work. Maybe it’ll make your co-workers seem a little more tolerable. You bring the doughnuts, Lone Tree will bring the Oatmeal Stout. Lone Tree Brewing is located at: 8200 Park Meadows Drive, Suite 8222, Lone Tree, CO 80124.
Next weekend, Hops & Pie is hosting another one of their Littlest Big Beer Fest’s on Sunday, April 1st. This time they are focusing on barrel aged beers. Once again, they will be pouring a solid list of beers with treats like Firestone Walker XV, Dogfish Head Burton Baton, Verhaege Duchesse De Bourgogne and Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout to name a few. This is NOT an April Fool’s joke and will certainly be THE place to be next Sunday afternoon. Hops & Pie is located at: 3920 Tennyston St, Denver, CO 80212. Check it out!
If anybody was out at Dry Dock last night, I hope you got to try the Hop Goblin with 7 C’s hops. It was a super tasty brew. The last few ounces were like a thick, hop slurry. Mmmm, good stuff! My son is a big fan of their root beer which is also pictured below. Nice big crowd as usual. I love Firkin Fridays!
That’s it for now. Enjoy the weather and the tasty beers. Cheers!