Weekend Beer Update

Seems like everyone’s still working off last weekend’s Thanksgiving food coma and shopping hangover as there aren’t a lot of planned events this weekend. I guess everyone deserves a recovery weekend every once in a while!

AveryFriday 30 – Sunday 2: Coffee fan? Beer fan? Get your fix at Avery Brewing Co.’s Tweakend with the release of this year’s Tweak, a bourbon-barrel-aged imperial coffee stout. Avery will also pour vertical Tweak tastings from their cellar and have Tweak-inspired food.

Saturday 1: Fort Collins gets all the action today. McClellan’s Brewing Company celebrates their third anniversary with the release of a winter warmer, while Black Bottle Brewery hits six with special releases & tappings including a vertical of Angry Elf, their barrel-aged American strong.

Sunday 2: Get an 11 a.m. start at Ratio Beerworks’ Hazy Holidaze brunch with an acoustic performance from Red City Radio, brunch food, and some special beer releases. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180930_170344_HDRSunday 2: Always wanted to learn how to get crafty and sew? Hit up Kokopelli Beer Company for Sipping and Sewing for some sewing-skills education and walk out with a finished Christmas stocking. Sewing starts at 2 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Stanley Beer Hall

Although it’s been open for a couple of years, I only just got around to trying the Stanley Beer Hall at Stanley Marketplace adjacent to the Stapleton neighborhood. It’s a relatively unique concept for the Denver market and for me at least, a mixed bag of cool ideas and mild annoyance.

How it Works: When you arrive you have to check 20170719_195209_hdr-e1501000049807.jpgin at the front desk to get a card that allows you to pour your own beer and keeps a running tab. A row of taps with electronic flow monitoring sits at the back of the restaurant. When you want a drink you wave your card in front of the monitor and then dispense as much beer as you want. Beers are priced per ounce and the system tracks of how much you’ve purchased via your card.

First, the Pro’s:

  • The flexible pour-yourself concept lets you try a greater variety of different beers by having partial glasses or enjoy smaller pours of high-gravity beers.
  • They have a relatively wide selection of craft beers and ciders (plus one lonely Coors Light)  including seasonals and unique beers from Front-Range breweries
  • The taps also offer a few wines and cocktails for non-beer-drinkers
  • Each time you pour, the LCD screen shows how many total ounces you have consumed so you can monitor how much you’ve had
  • You can load your card for a pre-set amount if you have a drinking budget or leave it open-ended and pay at the end.
  • They serve food. This part is done by servers, which makes the self-service beer part a little confusing as employees are already making the rounds of the place.

Now the Cons:

  • You do all the work, constantly leaving your seat to trek across20180331_151504_HDRthe restaurant to the taps. This is particularly annoying if you are eating as well as drinking.
  • Beer info is only provided on the screens at the taps and even that is rather limited. As a result, things jam up while everyone tries to read the various tiny screens to make their choices.
  • Much of the beer is relatively expensive if you convert ounces to pints ($7-$9 per pint). While the LCDs show your volume they do not show your total, which makes it a little hard to tell how much you are spending. The price issue particularly annoyed me since I was doing the work of waiter/bartender.
  • You have to wait in line to get the card and wait while the hostess sets up the account
  • You have to wait in line to close out the card if you haven’t pre-paid

Overall I think the place has a cool concept, a nice location, and a comfortable vibe. However the whole process of cards, taps, etc. could be executed a little better to have less wait time and hassle so the focus could be on the fun aspects like sampling the well-curated  beer selection.

Weekend Beer Update

Happy Thanksgiving! With the holiday and all it seems like formal weekend activities are curtailed, however virtually every craft brewery has Black thanksgiving-turkey-clipart-1 | Do Dive InFriday sales on merchandise & beer and/or special releases. Sounds like a great excuse to get a jump on Christmas shopping or take advantage of the sales to get something special for yourself! Many breweries have buy-one-get-one types of offers where if you purchase a gift card you get a special gift for yourself.

Friday 23: Tap into your Black Friday dark side with Westfax Brewing Company’s dark beer tap takeover. Combine that with their Cosmic Beer Party starting at 6 p.m. and you can decompress from all the shopping stress. The party features a DJ, black lights and glow sticks so make your best impression by wearing some glow-in-the-dark apparel.

Friday 23: In other dark-beer news, Hops & Pie will pour stouts from 14 local craft breweries at their Stout Fest beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Saturday 24: This weekend features but one anniversary: Evergreen Brewery’s 3rd. They’ll celebrate in their foothills taproom with special releases, screen printing, and pop-up shops.

Sunday 25: Still have Thanksgiving leftovers? Bring them down to Halfpenny Brewing Company to share! Halfpenny is hosting a Thanksgiving leftovers party to mix & match those tasty Thanksgiving dishes starting at 2 p.m. and coinciding with the Broncos game. See their website for all the details about serving, etc.

 

Brewery Snapshot: Atrevida Beer Co.

Stuck in the corner of an uninspiring strip mall, but with a focus on small batch production and creative twists on traditional styles, Atrevida Beer Co. is kind of a sleeper in my book that greatly exceeds outward expectations. Add in the funky Mexican taproom and friendly staff and and Atrevida rises pretty high on the must-visit list if I’m in Colorado Springs.

BEER LINEUP: Atrevida’s small-ish taplist covers a lot of territory, from standards like a brown and pale ale, through a tasty strawberry cream ale, to beers with pineapple and lemongrass. You’ll definitely find the basics, but be prepared to also have your horizons expanded – in the best possible way of course.atrevida-taproom.jpg

ATMOSPHERE: The small taproom has a chill Mexican theme going for it and feels a lot more comfortable than it looks from outside with a lot of bright colors, murals, and interesting decorations. There’s a definite industrial undertone of steel-and-concrete and on one side are racks of equipment producing the small-batch and experimental beers. The brewery also has a rather stark, sunbaked patio out front. Overall, the mashup of different elements works to create an unpretentious feel for hanging out. atrevida-brewing.jpg

SERVICE: Our server was very friendly and fast, both at the bar and the table.

LOCATION: There’s not much to recommend the atrevida-exterior.jpgindustrial-park neighborhood next to a busy highway except the plentiful parking. Atrevida is most definitely a destination brewery.

STANDOUT BEER: The Bouriqua Belgian Blonde with pineapple and citrus takes a solid, golden Belgian blonde and spices it up with a tasty balance of pineapple sweetness set off by lime-flavored citrus. Overall a very refreshing beer.

Weekend Beer Update

Happy Yeti Awareness Week! Help Great Divide protect these gentle but endangered giants on Friday, National Yeti Day, or enjoy some of the other diverse fests, anniversaries, and pre-Thanksgiving festivities taking place this weekend. 

Friday 16: Today is National Yeti Day and the epicenter is Great Divide Brewing Company’s Barrel Bar. They promise a full day of celebration with over ten varieties of Yeti on tap including some crazy ones like Maple Pecan, Chai, and S’mores. They’ll also have giveaways, raffles, a photobooth and food including Yeti ice cream floats. Great Divide also promises to lure the elusive creature out for sightings throughout the day.

Friday 16 – Sunday 18: Feel smarter by celebrating Cerebral Brewing’s third anniversary with special beer releases, food, a DJ, prizes & raffles, and concluding Sunday with an egg-drop competition starting at 2 p.m.

Saturday 17: Get an early start and head to Bruz Beers for a good20171106_194213_HDR cause. Starting at 10:30 a.m., Bruz hosts a Movember mile run that entails drinking a quarter beer and completing a challenge each 1/4 mile. Whether you race or not, stick around for seasonal brews, food trucks, live music, photo booth and shaving station. Needless to say there will be a beard/stache contest.

Saturday 17: Don’t be afraid of the dark! Wynkoop Brewing Company’s Day of Darks brings 32 breweries showcasing their best dark beers to Wynkoop’s upstairs from 12-4 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180212_175021_HDRSaturday 17: Spend a comfie day in your PJs at Kokopelli Beer Company’s all day Pajama Party and enjoy music in the afternoon, a special beer release, and the movie Mean Girls at 8 p.m.

Saturday 17: Spice up your day with Chain Reaction Brewing Company’s Chili Cookoff starting at noon. If you’re an aspiring gourmet, whip up a batch to compete for prizes and if not just stop by for samples and beers.

Saturday 17: Locavore Beer Works in Littleton turns four, with an anniversary party offering up special tappings, live music, food, and giveaways.

Saturday 17: Today also marks the fourth anniversary at Fermaentra Brewing with special releases and other festivities that, according to the brewery, are still TBD.fermaentra-2.jpg

Saturday 17: Have a laugh at WestFax Brewing Company’s free comedy show starting at 8 p.m.

Saturday 17 – Sunday 18: Visit either the downtown or Arvada taprooms of Denver Beer Co. for Thanksgiving pie and beer pairings. Four pies + four beers! Note: This is a ticketed event, with discounts for advance purchase.

 

 

Weekend Beer Update

This weekend looks to be a transitional weekend with summer-oriented outdoor events giving way to indoor fall-type events with comfort food and darker beers. Of course there are the usual suspects for brunch, music, and anniversary parties as well.

Friday 9 – Saturday 10: WeldWerks Brewing Co. in Greeley celebrates the milestone of brewing 100 beers in a year with special re-releases both days for onsite consumption and/or takeaway.

20170305_141942_HDRFriday 9 – Sunday 11: Join 105 West Brewing Company in Castle Rock to help cap off a full week of anniversary celebrations including tappings, a patio party, live music and special events for the Veteran’s Day weekend.

Saturday 10: Get up early and head to Westfax Brewing Company for their all-you-can-eat Brewery Brunch Buffet catered by Stupid Awesome! The brunch starts at 10:30 a.m. and includes a beermosa. Note: This is a ticketed event. Purchase in advance or day-of.

Saturday 10: If brunch wasn’t enough, slide into comfort food season with Copper Kettle Brewing Company’s Mac N Cheese Cookoff from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Entry is free and the winner takes home a free keg of beer! Note: For tasting this is a ticketed event.

20181031_171536_HDR

Saturday 10: Sour fans, head to Sanitas Brewing Company in Boulder for Sanitas Sour Day 2018 featuring over a dozen of their house-made sour beers.

Saturday 10: Alpine Dog Brewery has made to four years! Join the celebration by enjoying special releases & collaborations, music, food and giveaways.

Saturday 10: Grist Brewing Company has logged one 20170729_142951_HDRmore than Alpine Dog and will mark their fifth anniversary in both of their south-metro taprooms by releasing new beers, hosting live music and giving away prizes.

Saturday 10: For a full afternoon & evening of fun, join this month’s West Side Brewery Bus Loop starting at 2:00 p.m. at any of the participating breweries: Little Machine Beer, Joyride Brewing, Zuni Street Brewing Co. , Diebolt Brewing. The theme this month is Thanksgiving/Movember and tickets are only five bucks, plus score you a free future-visit beer when you complete the loop. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 10: For an excursion from Denver, visit the All Colorado Beer Festival at Chapel Hill Mall in Colorado Springs with 64 breweries and 2 cideries pouring over 200 beverages. On second thought, might not be a bad idea to reserve a hotel! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 10: The fifth annual Nitro Fest at Left Hand Brewing Company in Fort Collins brings a boat-load of smooth-pouring dark beers from around the world set to live music and a voodoo masquerade featuring aerialists, acrobats, and fire dancers.  Note: This is a ticketed event and themed dress is expected.

Sunday 11: Another day, another brunch. Station 26 Brewing Co. will hold their monthly Bluegrass Brunch with food, music and of course beer – all starting at 11:00 a.m.

Sunday 11: After filling up on brunch, head to RINO for Mockery Brewing Co.’s Veteran’s Day Beer and Cookie Pairing, with proceeds going to help support veterans’ charities.

Sunday 11: Grab your banjo and head to Seedstock Brewery for their Bluegrass Jam and Beer from 4:00-6:00 p.m. You can join in the jam with fellow musicians or just kick back with a beer and listen.

Brewery Snapshot: Cerberus Brewing

With a huge beer garden offering mountain views and tasty gourmet-pub fare, Cerberus Brewing has created a great place to enjoy Colorado’s beautiful weather and relax outdoors. Add in a full spectrum of tasty beers and it’s the perfect combination for an afternoon of chilling.

20181026_125314_hdr1.jpgBEER LINEUP: The broad taplist offers up a full range of styles, from the 2018 World Beer Cup bronze-medal-winning Kolsch to stouts and a tripel. Some have creative twists while others stick close to style.

ATMOSPHERE: On our lunchtime visit the indoor industrial-looking taproom was mostly filled with working folks taking a lunch break while the outdoor patio and huge, comfortable beer garden seemed to have small groups of friends a grabbing a beer and food with nowhere to rush back to. Regardless, the environment felt very relaxed and pleasant for hanging out and enjoying the great food. The sunny day and mountain views from the patio no doubt encourage a more relaxed state of mind, although the traffic blasting by on the adjoining  thoroughfare counter-acts that to some extent. Cerberus had a full kitchen and specializes in brisket, which infuses the parking lot with the mouth-watering smell of the smoker.20181026_125857_hdr.jpg

SERVICE: The servers were all very friendly, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about both the food and drink. We sat on the patio which can sometimes be a blind spot at craft breweries but we still received extremely attentive service.

LOCATION: The area has a mix of older residential houses and varied retail, service and restaurant businesses on the main road in front of Cerberus and the surrounding area. You could easily pair a quick beer and bite with other nearby errands. Whether you make Cerberus a destination or a quick stop, the medium-sized lot and additional street parking should let you stash your car, and there’s a bike shop across the street if that’s more your style.

STANDOUT BEER: Hathor California Common. This actually rather un-common style fit the warm fall day perfectly with a medium-bodied dryness bringing forth flavors of straw and non-floral hops. While that was the most noticeable flavor it was not excessive and was nicely balanced by the malt. The orange/yellow color also fit right in with the fall season.