Last night was a great start to Copper Kettle Brewing Company’s Twelve Firkins of Christmas with blackberry Berliner weisse that was not too sweet, not too sour, but very fruit-forward. This weekend’s releases also look to be worth stopping by for, along with a number of other beer-related events around town including disturbing number of ugly-sweater parties (not all involving beer).
Friday 15th: The first of many ugly-sweater events, Westfax Brewing Company’s all-day party starts at 2:00 and will feature a double IPA tapping, presumably so you can drink those awful sweater memories out of your head.
Friday 15th: Fiction Beer Company cuts to the chase of the Christmas season by hosting a Drunk Christmas both Friday and Saturday starting at 8. In addition to the obvious – beer – Fiction will have raffles, auctions, baked goods, and Christmas Karaoke as a fundraiser for Audacious Theater.
Saturday 16th: The annual Festivus returns to Lowry at the Wings Over the Rockies museum with over 50 breweries pouring their best – better book your Uber now! GA tickets are sold out but VIP tickets are still available.
Saturday 16th: If a traditional Christmas is more your style, The Intrepid Sojourner Project is hosting a Gingerbread Invitational that integrates gingerbread beer releases, cookie decorating, and a gingerbread house contest.
Saturday 16th: For more traditional Christmas activities, venture up to the Tennyson St. Holiday Rumpus and Market. In addition to a traditional German market with food and music, Call to Arms Brewing Co will also offer special holiday beer release along with their normal lineup.
Saturday 16th: As if ugly sweaters weren’t enough, Mockery Brewing is hosting a onesie party featuring stout hot chocolate and free cookies starting at 7.
Sunday 17th: For the craftiest of the craft-beer fans, Living the Dream Brewery is hosting holiday ornament decorating starting at noon. Note: this is a ticketed event.
Or as Copper Kettle Brewing Company calls them, the Twelve Firkins of Christmas . . .
Forget about silly lords-a-leaping or turtle doves – this’ll get you in the Christmas spirit! Today through Christmas Eve Copper Kettle continues their longstanding practice of releasing a firkin a day to count down to the holiday. It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions and the menu looks to give everyone at least one beer to be thankful for this season!
- 12/13 Black Berliner Weisse w/ Blackberries
- 12/14 Gingerbread Latte
- 12/15 Bourbon Barrel Aurora Strong
- 12/16 Key Lime Wit
- 12/17 Imperial Smoked Porter
- 12/18 Passionfruit Charlie’s Golden Strong
- 12/19 Eggnog Stout
- 12/20 Mocha IPA
- 12/21 Imperial Cafe Con Leche
- 12/22 Basil Cherry Blond
- 12/23 Golden Stout (Imperial Cream Ale with Chocolate and Lactose)
- 12/24 Christmas Spice Strong Ale
Part of the renaissance of The South Broadway Mile in Englewood, The Brew on Broadway (BoB) nicely complements the neighborhood of small retail business, restaurants, and The Gothic Theater. BoB’s comfortable taproom and large patio fit right in with the pedestrian-friendly vibe of the area and encourage a stop for a quick pint.
BEER LINEUP: BoB’s beers are not overly adventurous but each offers a generally pleasant experience of its style. The menu clusters around IPAs and fills out both ends of the spectrum with a few examples of both light and dark beers along with a few speciality beers like a sour, and imperial stout, and a seasonal Thanksgiving porter.
ATMOSPHERE: The good-sized taproom offers various seating options including couches and feels like an industrial/ rustic combination with lots of exposed brick and wood. Outside there’s a large patio with a firepit. The mixed crowd seemed neighborhood-based with families, couples, and friends kicking back on a sleepy Saturday afternoon. BoB also appears to be dog-friendly based on the number of pooches running around.
SERVICE: BoB offers bar service only and the staff was reasonably efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Englewood has focused on making the surrounding neighborhood pedestrian- and small-business-friendly so there are plenty of shops and restaurants to browse if you want to combine beer with other pursuits. The area has reasonable street parking and BoB offers a small lot in back.
STANDOUT BEER: Although it’s a bit gimmicky, the Thanksgiving Stuffing Spiced Porter was the most interesting beer I tried. Unlike some flavored beers, the spices were not overwhelming and provided a pleasant kick to a solid porter base with distinct malt and subtle chocolate flavors. The color and body were as-expected for a porter.
Take a break from Christmas shopping to stop by one of the many holiday-themed brewery events scheduled this weekend, or better yet give the gift of beer or brewery merch!
Friday 8th: Break out your ugliest sweater for Strange Craft Beer Company’s release of their Ugly Sweater Belgian-style brown ale. Needless to say there will be prizes for the ugliest attire! Starts at noon.
Friday 8th: If tradition is more your style, visit Grandma’s House for old-fashioned cookie decorating in the evening. Free with the purchase of a beer!
Saturday 9th: One of the best deals in Denver returns this afternoon from 2:00-10:00 – the West Side Brewery Bus Loop! Ride between four breweries for just $5 and if you complete the loop with a beer at each one you get a free beer. So really, it pays for itself. Buy a tickets to start at any brewery. This month features Little Machine Beer, Hogshead Brewery, Zuni Street Brewing Co. and Joyride Brewing.
Saturday 9th: Come inside and warm up with Living the Dream Brewing Company as they host their 1st Annual Barrels of Brews. Enjoy four barrel aged releases on the same day paired with chocolates from 1:00-6:00
Saturday 9th: Join Station 26 Brewing Co. in celebrating their 4th anniversary with live music and special beer releases
Hogshead Brewery is simply all about the English-style beers; nothing more and nothing less. It’s a bit of a quirky approach all around, from the tiny taproom to the laser-focus on a singular style but it seems to work, as the taproom regularly fills up with crowds spilling over to the outside tables.
BEER LINEUP: All things English: multiple bitters, pale ales, a mild, and a porter. Oddly, there was one Belgian light beer too. To add to the variety, many of the beers can be poured off either the cask or the keg.
ATMOSPHERE: Hogshead definitely has a neighborhood-hangout feel and if it wasn’t for being squeezed into a former gas station it could almost qualify as a local British pub. The diverse crowd includes older couples, younger groups of friends, and couples with kids. The small taproom gets cozy in cold weather but in the summer patrons can use the many outdoor tables. There is no food on premises.
SERVICE: Fast and informative. The server helpfully explained some of the nuances between various British varieties like bitter vs. ESB, among other things.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Hogshead sits in a quaint residential neighborhood west of The Highlands and is definitely a destination bar unless you’re a local. Aside from a small retail building across the street with a soon-to-open Growler USA there’s little to draw you to the area. Street parking is plentiful along with Hogshead’s small lot.
STANDOUT BEER: Gilpin Black Gold porter. Darker than your average porter but with medium body, the flavor is intensely roasty and malty with hints of chocolate. The beer provides a satisfying experience, particularly on a cool fall day.
The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project brings a new and innovative approach to Denver by brewing internationally-inspired beers. Some beers originate from unique foreign styles, others use foreign ingredients, and some are inspired by international flavors. The genesis of this super-experimental approach is the head brewer’s foreign travels along with his interest in foreign cultures and history. Based on our group’s reaction during our visit, some of the experiments are hits and others, well, not so much. But I guess that’s the whole point of experimenting!
BEER LINEUP: The menu runs the gamut of foreign styles from familiar Czech Pilsner, to lesser-known ones such as Finnish Sahti. The brewery also features beer and food combinations like a Garlic Amber, Chamomile Hefe-Wit, and Basil IPA. Chances are you’ll find something comfortable and familiar, but you are assured of finding a bunch of interesting and unusual flavors as well if you feel adventurous.
ATMOSPHERE: The taproom is furnished in the typical Colorado-outdoorsy style and features loads of games along with travel and cookbooks to help complement the theme. On the evening we were there it was pretty quiet with a handful of people in the bar at any one time. Intrepid Sojourner also offers a patio. Check their calendar for occasional food trucks and frequent beer specials.
SERVICE: With only a few patrons the service was fast and attentive and the server was seemed pretty happy chatting everyone up. She also provided helpful thoughts on the beers as we contemplated our orders.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Intrepid Sojourner is in the same artsy S. Santa Fe neighborhood as several other breweries, along with art galleries and restaurants so you can certainly make an afternoon or evening out of strolling around. After dark it feels a little deserted, but not really dangerous and regardless of the hour you can generally find street parking on a side street or in the brewery’s small lot. Note: On the First Friday Art Walk all parking hopes go out the window!
STANDOUT BEER: Garlic Amber. Perhaps not strictly the best beer, this one stands out for innovation. Garlic in a beer is so unique I had to try it. The end result is a beer with the amber/copper and light/medium body represented the typical amber style, but it seemed like the garlic accentuated the hops rather than standing out much on its own.
Time to get out of the post-Thanksgiving food coma and drink some (more) beer! The weekend’s a little light on events but still a reason to get off the couch and back out to the real world.
Friday 24th: Try out the first annual Black Friday Invitational at Station 26 Brewing Co. featuring releases of their Dark Star series along with a number of other guest breweries and munchies. Ticketed event.
Saturday 25th: Dance off the Thanksgiving calories at Dry Dock’s Ugly Sweater Swing Dance at the South Dock from 5:00-10:00. Or just come to marvel at the sheer ugliness of it all . . .
Sunday 26th: Jump right back into the turkey-based feasting with Halfpenny Brewing Company’s Turkey Day Leftovers Potluck. Bring leftovers to share and get a discount on beer, or just show up and extend the Thanksgiving feast one more day.