With the Monday holiday it’s a jam-packed weekend of celebrations to usher in the new year and then recover from all that celebrating. Numerous breweries are hosting New Year’s Eve parties as well as New Year’s Day recovery parties so whatever your mood you should be able to find a reason and place to celebrate 2018.
Saturday 30th: New Year’s Eve Eve celebration at Station 26 Brewing Co. with a live band playing songs from musicians who passed away in 2017.
Sunday 31st: Start your festivities early at Avery Brewing Co. with their New Year’s Eve Brunch beginning at 11:00AM and featuring beer flights and a long menu of delectable dishes.
Sunday 31st: If you want to continue on the gourmet food and beer train, head over to Copper Kettle Brewing Company for their annual Beers & Cheers NYE Black-Tie Dinner featuring four courses of beer and food pairing. Note: This is a ticketed event.
Sunday 31st: And finally, if you want to skip the long lines and cover charges at clubs, many of our local craft breweries are having special New Year’s Eve parties featuring special tappings, live music, and other fun. Some of the breweries with festivities are Fiction Beer Company, Beryl’s Beer Co., Ratio Beerworks, and Caution Brewing Co.
Monday 1st: Get right back on the horse with a Hangover Brunch at Ratio Beerworks from noon – 3:00.
Since the Christmas holiday takes precedence this weekend, there are few events on the calendar. However a number of breweries including River North and Intrepid Sojourner are clearing out merchandise and beer to make way for the new year so check your favorite local for possible last-minute gifts or a treat for yourself! And of course – Merry Christmas!
Saturday 23rd: Get comfortable at Zuni Street Brewing Company with their Cheese & Cheesy Sweater Party, which gives you the opportunity to don your worst Christmas sweater for a beer and cheese pairing starting at 4:00 (ticketed event $16). Regardless of whether you want to get cheesy, Zuni Street will offer beer releases and live music for all.
Monday 25th: If you run out of beer or simply want to enjoy the holiday with like-minded drinkers, Alpine Dog Brewery opens at 11:00 for an all-day Christmas party which will include several tappings and other treats.
If you’re looking for a last-minute gift for the craft beer lover in your life, consider an American Homebrewers Association (AHA) membership. Membership includes great information and resources for brewing, plus industry news and of course advance purchase of Great American Beer Festival tickets. It also provides huge value to even casual craft beer drinkers, as most craft breweries offer discounts ranging from $1 off your first beer to 15% of your total check. With those kinds of benefits you may want to treat yourself to an extra Christmas gift!
I can say from personal experience that my membership pays for itself in discounts, so all the other benefits are essentially a free added bonus. The only difficulty is remembering to ask for the discount before you get your check!
Memberships are for 1/2/3 years at $38/$68/$97 or $700 for lifetime, plus the AHA throws in some free gifts too.
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 a 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.