Weekend Beer Update

This weekend brings a great mix of festivals if you want to put down roots or crawls if you want to get out on the town, though quite honestly with the weather forecast my choice is going to be holing up somewhere warm!

Friday 1: With herds of Girl Scouts roaming the town peddling their treats, Goldspot Brewing Company gets in on the action by hosting a beer and cookie pairing matching four of their beers to complementary Girl Scout cookies. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Friday 1 – Sunday 3: Station 26 Brewing Co is trying out station-26-bar.jpga novel approach for 303 day by holding 303 WKND with events all over Denver. Friday features Happy Hour deals  around town where Station 26’s 303 Lager is served. Saturday gets more ambitious with a 303 Lager Bar Crawl to five different downtown bars. Get to Freshcraft at 2:00 p.m.to get your punch card, drink a beer at each place and have your card punched, and get Station 26 swag at the final destination around 6:30 p.m. Finally on Sunday Station 26 brings it home to their taproom and hosts a craft market with local vendors, artisans, food, and music.

Saturday 2: The Mile High Beer Festival returns to Denver, this year at a new location – Number 38 in RINO. This year’s version features almost 40 Colorado breweries pouring over 90 craft beers. With two sessions, plus VIP options, everyone will have plenty of time to enjoy the goodness! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 2 – Sunday 3: Also making a return appearance, the Bacon, Beer and Coffee Festival hits Denver Beer Co at 8:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Get a breakfast burrito, coffee, and as much bacon as you can handle along with a Denver Beer Co coffee mug to fill with breakfast-inspired brews. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Zuni Street BarSaturday 2: If you’d rather be more mobile, the monthly West Side Brewery Bus Loop will transport you between four breweries for only 5 bucks, and if you finish all four you get a free beer on your next visit. This month’s breweries are regulars Zuni Street Brewing Co.Little Machine Beer,  Joyride Brewing Company with Seedstock Brewery rotating in. First bus leaves at 2 p.m. and in honor St. Patrick’s this month’s theme is the color green.

 

Brewery Snapshot: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

Denver’s premier sour beer purveyor Crooked 20190112_165407_hdr.jpgStave Artisan Beer Project occupies a corner of The Source on Brighton Boulevard in Rino. The mixed-use development features a collection of artisan shops, food stores, restaurants and even a hotel in a former old factory, so visiting is somewhat of an immersive experience. On the beer side, Crooked Stave has expanded from typical sours and now serves several traditional styles for non-sour-drinkers along with even more experimental sour options.

BEER LINEUP: Crooked Stave now offers a lot of options going in all different directions. Originally the brewery featured only a small lineup of sours and bottle-aged beers, most which were made with Brettanomyces. Crooked Stave has gradually expanded those offerings with more experimental beers and the addition of spices and other flavors, but has also added non-sour  beers for less-adventurous drinkers. In summary, you’ll find standard beers here but Crooked Stave is really a place to get your sour on.20190112_164821_hdr-1.jpg

ATMOSPHERE: Sharing a building with The Source creates an interesting traffic flow where people wander out with beers, bring in prepared food or even put together a little picnic from the gourmet food shops in the building. The old brick factory lined with stores and restaurants creates an intimate and dynamic atmosphere where you can leave the taproom to stroll around or lounge in the common area. On a weekend afternoon the taproom was full of a wide range of people just hanging out, from beer geeks to hipsters and even a few families. The sliding doors at the back of the taproom hide a huge stash of bottles and we noticed many people taking bombers to enjoy later.

SERVICE: This is the one area where Crooked Stave fell flat. Despite the three servers behind the bar, we watched a perpetual line of just six or eight people waiting (and waiting) for 15 minutes to get a beer. We tried to work out the cause – perhaps excessive sampling, nitro pours or quirky taps – but nothing seemed to account for the delays except simply massive disorganization from the (friendly) serving staff.

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The Source Common Area

NEIGHBORHOOD: The brewery and The Source sit along the quickly-developing portion of Brighton Boulevard closest to downtown. In addition to exploring the businesses in The Source, several other restaurants/bars are within walking distance and a short drive will bring you to downtown in one direction or to a handful more breweries, restaurants or the Denver Coliseum in the other. Numerous transport options exist, including a nearby light rail stop, bus lines, and easy highway access. The parking lot is posted for 30-minute parking but longer paid street parking and lots are just across the street.

STANDOUT BEER: On this one I’m going to have to push. As someone who is not a sour fan I tried a couple of the traditional beers and while they were solid, at Crooked Stave the sours are going to hit the home runs. I’d encourage you to draw your own conclusions if you’re a sour fan, or want to get into that game.

Weekend Beer Update

It’s a weekend with a few breweries turning the corner and saying hello to another year, while sadly Fermaentra won’t make it to their next anniversary and is having a closing party this weekend. Stop in and say goodbye, or better yet show your support for your neighborhood craft brewery and down a few there!

All Week through Sunday 24: Join Halfpenny Brewing Company to celebrate their third anniversary. They’ll have food trucks and fresh beer releases each day of the week culminating with live music all weekend plus brewery tours and prizes.20170315_185333_HDR

Friday 22 – Sunday 24: It’s a weekend-long party at Goldspot Brewing Company for their fourth anniversary. Enjoy tropical-themed beers, food trucks, and special merch.

Friday 22: Check out the Second Annual Stout Wars at Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery. The staff competes to make the best stout, and the first keg to kick wins.  Buy a ticket for tasters, a pint of your favorite, and a commemorative glass to keep. Tapping starts at 6 p.m.

Saturday 23: Sadly, the hyper-competitive Denver20170211_211127 beer market claims another victim. Fermaentra Brewing near DU will have their final party Feb 23, where they will tap their barrel-aged brews for the last time.

Saturday 23: So it’s not actually beer event but the Winter Tequila Tasting Festival sounds like a heck of a lot of fun if  you want to take a break from beer. There are two sessions – early and late afternoon – at Blake Street Tavern downtown. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 24: It’s Girl Scout Cookie season again and that means local breweries tap into the theme, with cookie-inspired beers and pairings. Copper Kettle Brewing Co. will do their part by brewing up some special beers for their Girl Scout Cookie Pairing today, featuring four cookie/beer pairings.

 

Day of Dorks Early Bird Tickets

20160721_201225_HDRDon’t miss out on this year’s Day of Dorks Saturday, March 9th at Wynkoop Brewing Co! Early Nerd ticket sales end Feb 23 and prices go up, plus it may sell out. It’s one of my favorite festivals of the year because it’s small enough to mingle with the brewers and try at least a couple beers from each without feeling like a marathon. In this case, over 30 brewers will bring their geekiest and craziest concoctions for sampling. Nerd attire is encouraged as well.

Weekend Beer Update

Saturday seems to be the go-to day this weekend for coordinated events, but don’t get down on the other days of the weekend! There are still plenty of breweries doing special releases and participating in Stout Month in various ways to keep everyone busy.

Friday 15 – Saturday 16: Join Factotum Brewhouse for a party celebrating four years of brewing. Both days will feature special releases, food trucks, and music.

BristolSaturday 16: Head to the Springs for Bristol Brewing Company’s 15th annual Firkin Rendezvous, where over 30 breweries from across the state will push, pull or drag their firkins of cask-conditioned ale to Bristol for your sampling pleasure. The fun starts at 1 p.m. so don’t be late! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 16: Closer to home, River North Brewery celebrates seven years with seven beers.  They’ll be pouring  seven barrel-aged beers including 20170812_151542_HDRa special anniversary ale, along with various one-off keg tappings. On the food side they’ll have a mini birthday cake and beer pairing with Good Sugar Baking, plus a food truck.

Saturday 16: In an unusual combo, Alpine Dog Brewery will host a beer and oyster pairing, although it’s not unprecedented as it’s the fourth annual event. At any rate, it’s pretty much as advertised; a couple of special release beers and oysters!

 

 

Brewery Snapshot: Pilot House Brewing Company

20181230_185839_hdr.jpgOnly six months after opening, Pilot House Brewing Company in Aurora features and impressive lineup of beers, both in quantity and quality. Combine that with excellent service and a unique nautically-themed taproom and it makes the drive deep into the ‘burbs worth the effort.

BEER LINEUP: Pilot House brews many of their beers in small batches, which allows for an extensive and diverse selection on their 24 taps along with frequent rotations. All of the beers that I tried were solid and most went above average. The vast majority of the beers represent traditional styles from light kolsch to dark stout including several high-gravity choices. Pilot House also offers a handful of slightly more experimental beers like their Smoked Plum American Porter.

ATMOSPHERE: The coastal New England motif of the taproom offers a refreshing contrast to the typical industrial look of most suburban breweries. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the design, including the large outdoor patio, and the space truly reflects the owner’s New England sailing roots. 20190111_171640_hdr.jpgDepending on the night the taproom atmosphere can range from relaxed and comfortable to busy neighborhood hub with events like trivia or live music. The taproom serves pizzas and a bit of snack food but the surrounding area holds plenty of restaurants where you can order food or do takeaway. The diverse crowd looked like mostly neighborhood folks, with some families, stopping in for a quick pint or two.

SERVICE: The friendly servers had an impressive knowledge of the beers, the brewing process and the brewery’s history, all of which they happily shared. Service was also reasonably fast and the brewery has a unique ordering system; order at the bar and they serve you at the table.20181230_194825_hdr.jpg

NEIGHBORHOOD: The area meets expectations for a brewery deep in the burbs; lots of small businesses in strip malls surrounded by housing. Given that restaurants, stores and service businesses populate all four corners of Pilot House’s Buckley Road & Quincy Avenue location you could definitely get a few errands done in combination with some tasty beers, or just make it a destination. Keeping with the suburban spirit, parking is close and plentiful.

STANDOUT BEER: Everyone in our party agreed that the Chardonnay Creme Ale was a unique and exceptional “wine-beer”. The brewing process starts with a standard Creme Ale then adds Chardonnay grapes, specialized yeast, and oak chips for an additional fermentation. The resulting beer pours dark-golden with relatively full body and a very smooth, balanced flavor. The initial Champagne-style bite and white-wine acidity give way to a light malt sweetness for a complex and pleasant overall experience.

Weekend Beer Update

20180106_150906_HDRStout Month continues, with numerous breweries keeping extra taps flowing and others doing special releases or rotations throughout the month. However if stout isn’t your thing there are plenty of festivals and gastronomic experiences, plus a few oddball events, to keep you busy and keep your thirst at bay this weekend.

Feb 8-10: Ratio Beerworks celebrates four years with a weekend-long party offering music and food trucks every day plus special releases on Saturday and a Sunday brunch.

Friday 8: Every month Bruz Beers tries to bring some 20180721_135240_HDRclass to the beer scene by featuring a different artist in their taproom. This Friday they’re hosting a reception for Brett Matarazzo’s February installation from 6 – 9 p.m. so come on out and get a little culture with your beer.

Saturday 9: Really not sure what to make of this one. The Wizards and Witches Beer Festival is a Harry-Potter-themed fest featuring over 20 winter, pumpkin, and holiday beers. The event takes place at 6:30 p.m. at The Church on 12th Ave and Lincoln Street so it’s got some potential to be a little over-the-top. Or just cheesy. But you won’t know if you don’t go. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 9: In another wacky one-off event, Wynkoop Brewing Co. hosts the Beer Drinker of the Year competition. Participants will be tested on their knowledge, passion, and commitment to beer, and it appears audience participation will help determine the winner. Plus Wynkoop promises some free beer and giveaways. The warm-up starts at noon with the competition firing up at 1 p.m.

Saturday 9: If you’d rather spend your day out and about, the monthly West Side Brewery Bus Loop will transport you between four breweries for only 5 bucks, and if you finish all four you get a free 20181222_212153_hdr1.jpgbeer on your next visit. This month’s breweries are regulars Zuni Street Brewing Co.Little Machine Beer,  Joyride Brewing Company with special guest Westfax Brewing Company. First bus leaves at 2 p.m. and this month’s theme is ski bunnies.

Saturday 9: On Tennyson Street,  Hops & Pie will hold the OG Whales of Craft Beer Fest showcasing over a half-dozen of the original and legendary brews that garnered early craft beer fame. We’re talking famous brews like Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder and Dogfish Head’s 120 Minutes, so settle in for an afternoon of drinking!

20181224_150254_HDR[1]Saturday 9: For the fourth year in a row Fiction Beer Company has paired with a bakery – Cake Crumbs Bakery & Cafe this year – to put together beer & cupcake pairings with four beers paired with four special cupcakes.

Sunday 10: It’s Station 26 Brewing Co.’s monthly Bluegrass Brunch. Get an early start, as the food, beer and music starts at 11 a.m.

Sunday 10: For more of a fine dining experience, sign up for Briar Common Brewery’s  five-course beer-pairing dinner from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.