Weekend Beer Update

The run-up weekend to the July 4th holiday looks pretty quiet for events, but a lot of breweries have special beer releases this weekend if you are so inclined. Or you could go low-stress and relax on a patio somewhere with a cool brew on a hot day.

Friday 29 – Saturday 30: Last Call at Caution Brewing Co.Caution will close its doors June 30 and in effort to drink down their last supply they will throw a two-day party with  giveaways, kill-the-keg contests, and other fun shenanigans.

Saturday 30: The West Side Brewery Bike Loop hits the road again, this month with a patriotic red, white, and blue theme. The official route begins at noon at Westfax Brewing Company and runs through Joyride Brewing Company, Hogshead Brewery, and Seedstock Brewery but realistically you can start any time to do a self-directed tour. Get $1 off a pint at each brewery and a free beer voucher when you complete them all!20171111_130651_HDR

Saturday 30: Hopheads rejoice! Renegade Brewing Company starts a new tradition with their first annual Hop Head Festival featuring special beer releases, food, music, games, and other hop-themed activities. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 30: If you’re already in the neighborhood for Renegade,intrepid-sojourner-sign.jpg why not check out Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project’s graduation party for the Craft Beer Summer School? The party starts at 3 p.m. and aside from the proud graduates, Intrepid Sojourner will pour guest taps from all of the participating breweries.

Saturday 30: Up north in Loveland, Verboten Brewing and Barrel Project combines several great ideas with their Beer Bacon Coffee Donuts event from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., although naturally the beer continues all day and beyond!

Brewery Snapshot: Zuni Street Brewing Company

Located in the heavily-breweried Highlands area, Zuni Street Brewing Company nonetheless manages to create a unique experience. While I found their beer decent but not spectacular, the spacious, rustic-themed taproom with both front and back patios differentiates them from other area breweries as a summer hangout.

BEER LINEUP: Zuni Street features mostly lighter beers, with a handful of dark and high-gravity offerings. The ones I tried were pleasant, but not exceptional: great for a neighborhood pub.

ATMOSPHERE: With the garage doors open to both patios on a beautiful sunny day the place was busy and had a lots of energy. The open taproom with the pergola-and-plant-covered bar lends a tropical feel and Zuni Street offers board games for inside and patio games for outside. There’s also a food truck.

20180621_171830_hdr.jpg

 

SERVICE: Given how busy the evening was, the servers moved orders through reasonable quickly and offered friendly service. It appeared to be bar-only service.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Located just a couple blocks from Speer & Zuni, between I-25 & Federal, The immediate area around the brewery is redeveloping at a frantic pace although there are still plenty of run-down older buildings and vacant lots. The area feels totally safe, though, and offers plenty of other businesses, including breweries, within 20180621_172209_HDRwalking distance. You could easily include Zuni Street in a pub crawl, and they frequently participate in the West Side Brewery Bus Loop.

STANDOUT BEER: The Zuni Street IPA pretty much defines the IPA style and offered plenty of hops and refreshment on a hot day. The beer pours clear and golden-copper with only minimal head.

Weekend Beer Update

It seems like all of this weekend’s activities have bunched into Saturday, but that also gives you the pick of various anniversaries, festivals, and other fun & games.

Saturday 23: Escape to Hawaii at Call Arms Brewing Company’s Call To ArmsRumpus & Chill event featuring Hawaiian-themed food, music and special beer tappings.

Saturday 23: Help Lakewood’s Landlocked Ales celebrate their first year in business with food, music, beer releases, and a cornhole tournament.

Saturday 23: Chain Reaction Brewing Company makes it four years this weekend with a party that includes special beer releases and food made using their beers.

epic.jpgSaturday 23: Not to be outdone, Epic Brewing Company will celebrate five years with a 90’s Dance Party and a staff firkin competition. They will also have games and raffles throughout the day.

Saturday 23: Finally, the granddaddy of them all celebrates 39 years! Boulder Beer Co. will have live music and let you taste the beers of tomorrow with a dozen experimental beers from their pilot system.

Saturday 23: Govnr’s Park fires up their Beer Fest for the ninth year with 100 beers for you to sample from 1 – 4 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event

Saturday 23: Heading out of town, the Rocky Mountain Beer Festival brings a couple dozen breweries to Louisville to pour their best, accompanied by live music, food, and lawn games. Note: The event is free but beer tasting requires ticket purchases.

Saturday 23: All the way up in Greeley the WeldWorks Invitational Beer Festival will pour about 100 beers from 40+ breweries. Note: This is a (pricey) ticketed event although proceeds go to charity.

 

Brewery Snapshot: Two22 Brew

Normally I’m a little suspicious of any business that leads their sales pitch with a cause, versus their products or services. Happily, Two22 Brew in Aurora stands as a clear exception to that guideline and offers great beer in a friendly atmosphere. Two22 donates $2.22 of every $10 in profits to a foundation started to honor the father of one of the owners, and which makes grants to nonprofits focusing on the environment, education, and “whole person” enrichment. But enough about the cause; on to the beer!

BEER LINEUP: Two22 serves a wide range of beer styles. The menu covers the traditional spectrum of light-to-dark with a blonde, hefeweizen, several IPAs, a porter, and a stout, but also branches out into some adventurous territory with peach-flavored beers and a gose. Short version: something for everyone.

ATMOSPHERE: The decent-sized taproom and 20180601_174220_hdr.jpglarge, shady patio offer plenty of space to spread out and get comfortable. The Friday-evening crowd was a mix of after-work beer drinkers and young families with small children and dogs (patio-only). It seemed like many customers were regulars and the comfortable chairs and patio games gave the entire place a very relaxed feel and encouraged kicking back and having one more beer on a pleasant summer evening.

SERVICE: The servers occasionally make a loop of the taproom to take orders but for immediate refreshment head to the bar. Attentiveness was hit or miss but once we had a server engaged they were very friendly and helpful in discussing the beer and providing samples. 20180601_173812_hdr.jpg

NEIGHBORHOOD: This is a love it or hate it proposition. Those in south Aurora, Centennial, and the like will probably enjoy the convenient location and comfortable suburban strip-mall feel, but access is difficult from other parts of the Denver metro. 20180601_174236_hdr.jpgOnce there you will find convenient parking and several food options by way of a food truck and local restaurants with takeout and delivery. Aside from that the area is mostly residential.

STANDOUT BEER: Watermelon Gose. The delicate balance of sour and fruity/sweet watermelon accented by hints of savory and salt make this beer a delicious easy-drinker on a hot summer day. The light body and slightly-hazy golden color also contribute to the refreshing experience.

Weekend Beer Update

It’s looking like a great weekend to take dad out for a beer! Saturday has the most options but Sunday has some Father’s-Day-specific events. Or perhaps you’d rather just treat yourself to a refreshing beverage, whether you’re a father or not, since there are loads of choices!

Thursday 14 – Sunday 17: If the city heat is getting you down, head to the Vail Craft Beer Classic. Four days of fun features about a dozen beer events from tastings and food pairings to hard-core outdoor events like hiking and biking with the brewers. Note: Many of the events are ticketed.

Friday 15 – Saturday 16: Parker’s Barnett & Son Brewing Co. will celebrate their third anniversary with food and music on Friday and a crawfish boil on Saturday.

Saturday 16: Toyota enthusiasts rejoice! Copper Kettle Brewing Co. will hold their second annual Toyota Truck Meet & Greet for truck owners to show off their ride, enjoy some beer, and grab some food. The event runs from noon-4 p.m.20170609_184428_HDR

Saturday 16: Just down the street from Copper Kettle and starting at 5 p.m., celebrate Lowry Beer Garden’s sixth anniversary with their BBQ and Beer Fest featuring 25 beers from 8 local craft breweries, BBQ, and live music.  Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 16: From 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Stanley Marketplace joins forces with Holidaily Brewing Co. and Gluten Free Explorer to offer a unique spin on beer & food pairings with tastes of gluten free beers and pizza.

Saturday 16: Several Aurora breweries will join Dry Dock Brewing Co 20161105_151452_hdrat their South Dock location (Hampden & Chambers) for the A-Town Funk Fest featuring brews, food, and a DJ. The funkaliciousness runs from noon-5 p.m..

Saturday 16: Finally! An excuse to wear your T-Rex costume! Billed as a day of beers, music, and dinosaurs, Dinosaur Ridge’s Brontos and Brews Festival in Morrison will attempt to set the Guinness world record for the most people dressed like dinosaurs. The costumes might be hot, but the organizers are promising plenty of cold beer.

Saturday 16: The IPA Bash at Verboten Brewing & Barrel Project in Loveland pretty much speaks for itself: 14 different IPAs including guest taps and a collaboration brew.

Saturday 16: Check out the newest brewery in the metro area as Redgarden Restaurant and Brewery holds their grand opening in Louisville. For the special occasion they plan a pig roast in addition to serving up their farm-to-table menu and pouring house-made beers.

Sunday 17th: Happy Father’s Day! Several breweries have activities set up for you and your dad to bond over a brew. At 10:30 a.m. Baere Brewing Co. will host Father’s Day yoga followed by a beer. Starting at noon Seedstock Brewery has multiple seatings for their second annual Father’s Day Crawfish Boil, and will offer $1 off beers to dads all day! Finally, at 3 p.m. Station 26 Brewing Co. fires up their Surf & Turf & Surf with a special surf & turf menu accompanied by surf music. Note: Baere and Seedstock are ticketed events.

Station 26 .5 k
Station 26 .5K Run

Cherry Creek Trail Bike Ride

This ride takes in four breweries located just blocks off the Cherry Creek Trail. The mostly flat trail parallels the creek through relaxing natural surroundings and spans the edge of downtown to the city border. All of the stops either serve food, have a food truck, or have adjacent restaurant options.

We met at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Glendale, which pours a handful of their own beers along with numerous guest taps plus a little wine and liquor. On our early -afternoon visit the place was virtually dead and offered a chill way to start the day. The taproom offers patio seating but with the southwestern exposure and the already-hot day we skipped the patio for the indoor shade and A/C.

Leaving Crazy Mountain, we crossed Cherry Creek South Drive and headed down the ramp at Colorado Bouldevard to catch the Cherry Creek Trail northbound toward downtown. This part of the ride gets more city-like as it passes Cherry Creek Mall, heads under University, and parallels Speer Boulevard. We exited up the Lincoln Avenue ramp, headed one block west to Broadway, then directly south for about 2 blocks until we arrived at Banded Oak on our left.dsc06358.jpg

Banded Oak Brewing Co. has a very small seating area indoors so our group landed on the large, shaded patio with misters to help stay cool. The brewery focuses on wine-barrel-aged beers but also has a handful of standard styles that they usually keep on tap. We agreed that the barrel-aged beers were the stars but had to be careful due to their high gravity and the remaining ride to two more breweries. Continue reading “Cherry Creek Trail Bike Ride”

Caution Brewing Co. Closing

Fans of Caution Brewing Co. need to head over soon, as the brewery will close at the end of June. Visitors might catch a good deal on their favorite beer, as the brewery will be winding down their stock with beer specials and promotions.

However, the circle of life continues and new startup brewery will take over the space and equipment so stay tuned!