Weekend Beer Update

Looks like we’re headed for reasonably-good patio drinking weekend and there’s lots going on to make the most of it! From a number of anniversaries to diverse food-themed events there’s no excuse not to knock back a few brews.

Friday 17 – Saturday 18: Join Strange Craft for a celebration of their ninth anniversary. Friday will feature a special tap release, cellared bottle sales, a vertical tasting and food, while Saturday brings nine collaboration brews with other local breweries, t-shirt printing and food.strange-beers.jpg

Friday 17 – Saturday 18: While only clocking in at six years, Odyssey Beerwerks will also be pulling out all the stops for their anniversary with a special release and food on Friday, then multiple beer releases, barrel-aged tap beers, merch, music, food and even magic (2-5 p.m.) on Saturday.

Saturday 18: Also celebrating six years, Colorado Plus Brew Pub brings live music, over 20 house beers on tap, special sausage and a cornhole tournament.  The tournament comes with prizes, plus Colorado Plus will start raffling free shwag at 3 p.m.

20171110_210133_HDRSaturday 18: With the makings of a great combo afternoon, Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, just down the road from Strange Craft, celebrates two years by showcasing new tappings and cellar beer releases, new merch, food, a beer garden and lawn games. Why not check out both anniversaries for a brew-full afternoon?

Saturday 18: Fire up the stove and cook a pot of your best chili for Living the Dream Brewery’s Beer Chili Cookoff. The fun starts at 2 p.m. with prizes for the best red and green, and naturally all recipes must include craft beer. See the event post for more info and the email address for questions and entry.

Saturday 18: If eating chili has put you in the mood for more heat, head to Alpine Dog Brewery for their annual Chili Pepper Festival where they’ll be infusing some of their standard offerings with different chilies and creating special chili brews, along with hosting a taco truck providing complementary flavors.two22-taproom.jpg

Saturday 18: For those who prefer things on the sweeter side Two22 Brew will host a Peach Festival with the release of their Peach Patio beer plus other beer infusions throughout the day. The theme is luau so Hawaiian-wear is strongly encouraged.

Saturday 18: Continuing the crawfish season, Denver Beer Co. will hold their eighth annual Crawfish Boil at the downtown location. In addition to the requisite crustaceans and sides Denver Beer Co. will release a special pilsner to accompany the Cajun flavors. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Kokopelli BeerSaturday 18: Get a preview of the newest Alamo Drafthouse in Westminster as Kokopelli Beer Company hosts a pre-opening party from 4 – 6 p.m. First 25 people get a free beer!

Saturday 18: Get bluesy with Halfpenny Brewing Company at their second Blues & Brews Night featuring Jeff White. It’s pretty much as advertised; music & beer!

 

Brewery Snapshot: Peak View Brewing Company

After being a brewery desert for so many years, DTC is finally catching up with the rest of metro Denver. The latest addition is Peak View Brewing Company, located just east of I-25 on Arapahoe Road. The brewery, which just opened in early April, is already packing in a full house to drink their impressive selection of  brews and is worth a post-work Happy Hour visit or a special trip for a longer drinking session. 

BEER LINEUP: In their short four-week existence Peak View had compiled a surprisingly diverse taplist, and more impressively almost all of them hit the mark. The brews cover the basic spectrum from a very light pineapple wheat to a dark brown and a stout. Additionally, Peak View is already branching out with things like a coffee cream, an orange saison, and a peach sour.

ATMOSPHERE: As one might expect for a DTC brewery, the clientele was mainly younger- to middle-aged professionals. On our early-evening visit the place was packed, with the garage doors open to the small patio. The taproom itself isn’t anything spectacular – the standard strip-mall model- but worked just fine for drinking beer.

SERVICE: The staff was exceptionally friendly and happy to hang out and discuss the beers in-depth, including recommendations and personal opinions. They demonstrated an impressive knowledge of the current brews along with others that have kicked or are preparing for release. Even during busy periods the staff took the time to inform patrons about beers while efficiently serving up fresh pours.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Peak View is located at the end of a strip mall in a complex with various other shops, bars, and restaurants on a section of Arapahoe Road filled with big box retailers and auto dealers. While not exactly a walkable area, you can easily combine a visit to Peak View with other errands or a lunch or dinner outing. Parking close to the brewery is tight but the surrounding area has plenty of spots.

peak-view-pils-hefe.jpgSTANDOUT BEER: Combining two of my favorite summer beer styles, the Papa J’s Pilzeweizen brought together the bite of noble hops used in typical pilsners with the banana and clove esters normally associated with hefeweizens.  The mostly-clear, golden beer had a light body and in my opinion the sweeter, fuller esters cut through the spice and bitterness from the hops for an easy-drinking, wonderfully-balanced brew.

Craft Beer Summer School

20180729_145939_hdr.jpgIt’s back for 2019! Twelve of Denver’s best breweries will make learning fun with this year’s edition of Craft Beer Summer School. Starting June 6th and running into September, you’ll visit a different craft brewery each week for in-depth education on ingredients, fermentation, adjuncts, international beer styles and more. The program is broken into three different themed tracks for various interests or you can take them all to become a true expert. Finally on September 7th Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project hosts a graduation party. Check out the website for full information on costs, schedule, and the three tracks. Participating breweries are listed below.

  • Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project
  • Spice Trade Brewing
  • Jade Mountain Brewing
  • Alpine Dog20180527_143822_HDR
  • Baere Brewing
  • Woods Boss
  • CO-Brew
  • Bruz Beers
  • Dos Luces
  • Jagged Mountain
  • Bierstadt Lagerhaus
  • Burns Family Artisan Ales

 

 

Weekend Beer Update

Whether by coincidence or careful planning around the holiday, this Mother’s Day weekend has few coordinated events. Most of the activity centers around feeding mom some beer, although a large number of breweries are doing special releases throughout the weekend. The weather looks good and patios are open, so there shouldn’t be any shortage of excuses to skip the craft brews.

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Peak View Taps

Saturday 11: Highlands Ranch is getting their own Beer Bus which stops at four breweries: Grist Brewing Company, Resolute Brewing Company, Lone Tree Brewing Company, and newcomer Peak View Brewing Company. Starting at 1 p.m., it’s the typical brewery bus deal – five bucks for a ticket and you get a free future pint when you complete all four breweries. Start your journey at any of the participating breweries. Note, the Grist location is the Park Meadows one.

Sunday 12:  Happy Mother’s Day! Bring mom out for beermosas and breakfast food at 105 West Brewing’s Mother’s Day Brunch in Castle Rock.

20180212_175021_HDRSunday 12: If mom lives up north, do brunch at Kokopelli Beer Company instead. They’ll have pancakes, fresh fruit crepes, mimosas, sangrias, specialty drinks, and Bingo. Game starts bright and early at 11:30 a.m.

Sunday 12: If mom’s more of a downtown gal, take her to Ratio Beerworks’ Cirque & Eclat Mother’s Day Brunch where they’ll serve up an all-you-can-eat buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with plenty of Ratio beers of course. Note: This is a ticketed event.  If this all sounds too good to pass up, rumor has it you don’t necessarily have to be a mom to stop by and enjoy.

Brewery Snapshot: Grossen Bart Brewery

For non-German speakers, Grossen Bart translates to “Big Beard” and Grossen Bart Brewery carries that theme through their entire operation, from the taproom decor to the glassware and the website to the beer names. Fortunately they didn’t spend all their time and effort on marketing and conceptualizing. The overall impression of the taproom is a utilitarian but comfortable space with friendly service and solid beers. While that wouldn’t necessarily justify a special trip from Denver, Grossen Bart makes for a pleasant stop if you live in the Longmont area or happen to pass through.

BEER LINEUP: Despite the name, Grossen Bart is not a German-focused brewery and the tap list covers the spectrum of typical styles where you’ll find a kolsch, some ambers, and an IPA, along with several dark beers and even a barley wine. Unlike many breweries, Grossen Bart seems to avoid trend-chasing and I saw no sours, fruit beers, or hazy IPAs. Overall, our group enjoyed all of the solidly-made beers.

ATMOSPHERE: The taproom decor is kind of a mashup between industrial, rustic, and funky, with one wall given over to technicolor cartoons. Unfortunately rain prevented us from checking out either of the attractive-looking outdoor patios, but the spacious taproom allowed plenty of space to spread out. The general feel was relaxed and friendly.

SERVICE: Our server was friendly, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about the beers. We really appreciated her help, as several of the beers have beard-related names without any description of the beer style.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Grossen Bart is tucked away at the end of a parking lot deep in an industrial park (look for the brewery sandwich board on the street). There’s not really a lot going on in the area except for lots of parking.

grossen-bart-mullet.jpgSTANDOUT BEER: Mullet. This copper-colored, slightly-hazy beer is difficult to categorize but very pleasant to drink. What stood out most was the enjoyable balance between the maltiness of the lager base and the noticeable but not overwhelming addition of hops. The low carbonation and medium body also contribute to making this an easy-drinking beer.

Happy National Homebrew Day!

Tomorrow is National Homebrew Day! Time to grab some supplies at your local homebrew shop and fire up a boil to make something tasty! Many craft brew supply stores are having special events and demonstrations so even if you’ve never tried it before, tomorrow’s a great day to learn first-hand what goes into making a great homebrew.

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The Brew Hut in Aurora will host one particularly large event: Big Brew Day. They invite current homebrewers to bring their equipment and do a boil from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, or for anyone with an interest to come, hang out, swap ideas with other homebrewers and  learn from homebrewing demonstrations. As an added bonus they’ll have special sales on brewing equipment and ingredients.

Weekend Beer Update

Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, which of course means no shortage of Mexican-themed celebrations across the metro area and beyond. Additionally, there are plenty of other fun events from anniversaries to Derby parties and it looks the weather will cooperate for some patio beers, regardless of which craft brewery(ies) you venture out to this weekend.

Friday 3 – Sunday 5: Join Dos Luces Brewery to celebrate the Battle of Puebla all weekend with food, music, and plenty of chicha and pulque beers. The highlight will be the release of Moctezuma III, an imperial pulque, on Saturday. The Battle of Puebla has evolved into our current Cinco de Mayo celebration, which commemorates the victory of Mexican forces over the French in 1862.

Saturday 4: Though it’s a day early, Cerveceria Colorado’s combination Cinco de Mayo celebration and first anniversary party doesn’t skimp on the fun and games. In addition to several special releases, they’ll also have Mexican games, Mexican food trucks, piñata smashing and a photo booth.

Saturday 4: Saturday is also Derby Day and Epic Brewing Company will celebrate the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby with their Never Tell Me the Odds Derby Party. Throw on your best seersucker, prettiest dress, and wackiest hat to watch the Derby, drink Epic’s Mint Sour, and take some pictures in the photo booth.  The best Kentucky Derby attire and/or Star Wars costume photo strip wins free beer.

Saturday 4: Crawfish Boil season continues this weekend at Bruz Beers, where they’ll have crustaceans, sides and live music all day. You can buy tickets in advance to reserve your crawfish or just show up and take your chances.

Saturday 4: CO-Brew combines their four-year anniversary with a Cinco de Mayo party that includes music, a nacho bar and piñatas, along with the much-anticipated employee beer competition returns.

Saturday 4: If you’ve had your fill of Mexican celebrations, take a break at Prost Brewing and their Maibock Release/German Night party. In addition to the Maibock, Prost will have specials on their regular beers accompanied by food and music. German attire is suggested.

Saturday 4: Up north in Berthoud, City Star Brewing celebrates their seventh anniversary with music, food trucks, merch, cupcakes and of course beer releases!

Sunday 5: Celebrating the actual Cinco de Mayo, Lone Tree tanksLone Tree Brewing will hold a salsa and guacamole competition with prizes for your best recipes. They’ll also release a Strawberry Mexican Lager Margarita beer and have a food truck with a taco bar. Contestants need to email the brewery at info@lonetreebrewingco.com ahead of time with their name and type of entry.

Sunday 5: Continuing the Cinco de Mayo theme, Ironton Distillery will hold a Viva Cerveza party with guest taps of craft beers from Mexico.

Beer of The Month: Maibock

For May, what beer is more natural than a Maibock?

The German bock tradition originated seven hundred years ago in the northern-German town of Einbeck and was later picked up by brewers in Bavaria who created the Maibock variant. They pronounced the name of the town as “ein Bock” goat-patch-beer-3.jpgwhich means “a goat”  in German. As a result you’ll often seen the image of a goat on bock labels. 

Maibock is an offshoot of the traditional bock and is associated with springtime and often the end of Lent (time to get drunk!). Similarities include a medium/high alcohol content, usually in the 6 – 8% range, and the golden to light-amber color. Where Maibock differentiates itself is in the hops. While still maintaining the strongly-malted profile of bocks, Maibock introduces additional hop notes for a more balanced taste and a drier finish. You’ll still find bock’s bready and toasty malts, but with a side of bittering, spice and pepper from Noble hops. 

Maibock serves as a wonderful transition from heavy, malted winter beers into lighter, hoppier summer beers. With the increasingly longer days, this style provides a great metaphor for coming out of the darkness into the light!

Brewery Snapshot: Wibby Brewing

When a friend scheduled a brewery crawl up in Longmont I had some reservations, given the remoteness of the location. However, I’d enjoyed Wibby Brewing at a few festivals so I made the effort to drive way up north and overall was pleased with the results. At heart, Wibby is a German-style brewery, which provides a preview of the beers you’ll encounter. The brewery is also all about about the outdoors with huge areas of tables and games but a rather cramped taproom; in other words, best to visit during warm weather.

BEER LINEUP: As mentioned, Wibby has a focus on German styles and you’ll find plenty of helles and dunkel being thrown around. However, likely in deference to current tastes, they also pour several IPAs, a red and other wibbey-bar.jpgnon-German styles.

ATMOSPHERE: The setup includes a HUGE outdoor area with several seating sections plus a game area. The small indoor taproom definitely encourages taking the party outside. The overall design is relatively cookie-cutter; rustic/industrial with brewing equipment at one end and garage doors opening to the patio on the other. One novel concept is direct bar ordering from the patio. The crowd seemed younger and happy to be chilling out with some brews and bar games. With no kitchen, Wibby’s hosts food trucks to satisfy customers’ hunger.

SERVICE: The service was reasonably fast and the bartender was friendly.

NEIGHBORHOOD: The area is currently very industrial but appears to be transforming rapidly, with a huge apartment complex going up across the street. It’s just a couple of blocks from Longmont’s main street so a visit can be combined with some shopping and dining. It’s also within a longish walk or a short bike ride or drive to several other breweries so a pub crawl also works as an option. They have a parking lot plus plenty of street parking (for wibby-moondoor-dunkel.jpgnow, at least). One additional transportation note: The Brew Hop Trolley runs on weekend days for those too tired or drunk to walk, bike or drive the route.

STANDOUT BEER: Moondoor Dunkel. At a German place I had to go native. This mahogany/brown beer hits you with heavy roasted malt and lots of it! Notes of chocolate along with the medium body keeps it from being overwhelming, though.

 

Weekend Beer Update

This weekend is absolutely packed with beer-drinking fun! From anniversaries in south Denver to festivals in northern Colorado there’s no shortage of stuff to do. Add in what’s shaping up to be decent weekend weather and there’s no excuse not to be out and about grabbing a few brews and catching some rays!

ck-8th-anniversary.jpgFriday 26 – Sunday 28: For an action-packed weekend head to Copper Kettle Brewing Company for their 8th anniversary celebrations. Friday kicks off with a release of five sours, multiple food trucks and a band. Saturday brings the Staff Showdown where each staff member has brewed a beer and customers vote for their favorite, plus more food and music. Sunday keeps things going with a cellar draught release of aged beers from 2014-2018 and a Hangover Brunch.

Friday 26: For something unique head up to Longmont for Primitive Beer’s barrelhouse opening. Primitive focuses on spontaneous, barrel-fermented beers. Between the hectic schedules of the owners, who both work at other breweries, and the limited quantities of the beers, Primitive only opens for a few hours twice a month.

Friday 26: In Boulder, Microbreweries for the Environment brings bluegrass music and beer from almost twenty breweries to the Boulder Theater in support of a good cause. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 27: Another southeast Denver brewery celebrates an anniversary, as Comrade Brewing Co. marks five years with special beer releases, food trucks and souvenir glassware. Since they’re just a couple miles apart, a bus will circulate between Comrade and Copper Kettle’s party for just five bucks.

Saturday 27: Now that we’re finally getting warm-ish weather, it’s a great time to check out Halfpenny Brewing Company’s Biergarten Opening! Oddly for a biergarten theme, it has mostly British elements – a fish & chips truck plus the release of a bitter. Whatever nationality, it ought to be nice to hang out in the sunshine with brew and listen to some live music.

Saturday 27: Get your hop on at Verboten Brewing and Barrel Project’s IPA Bash in Loveland. Verboten plans to offer over 15 different versions of IPAs including fruited, sour, and the ubiquitous hazy.

Saturday 27: If you’re already up north, why not wibby-tasters.jpgstop by Longmont and Wibby Brewing’s Ancient Steinbeer Brew and Crawfish Boil. Wibby’s brewmaster will illustrate the ancient art of brewing a steinbeer, complete with fire and the chucking of red-hot stones into wort. The fires will be put to further use for s’mores roasting, complemented by a crawfish boil from 3 – 6 p.m. To round out the day, Wibby will also feature ice carving and live music.

Saturday 27: Also up north, High Hops Brewery’s Patio Party brings food, music and the tapping of a special spring Berliner weisse. Looks like good weather will be part of the package as well.

Saturday 27: Back down in Denver, another Crawfish Boil fires up at Station 26 Brewing Co. with beer, mudbugs, and live music.

Saturday 27: Rye Fest 2019 comes to Chain Reaction Brewing Company, bringing unlimited tasters of rye beers from over a dozen Colorado breweries. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180224_175151_HDRSaturday 27: The fourth annual celebration of Reinheitsgebot, Germany’s Beer Purity Law, takes place at Mockery Brewing with their Reinheitsgewhat? party. They’ll mix things up with music from a polka/metal band along with a number of special releases that don’t exactly adhere to the law, but are likely to be tasty nonetheless.

Saturday 27: For a slightly healthier option, jump on the West Side Brewery Bike Loop. Participants get a discounted beer at each of the five participating breweries along with a free beer voucher for finishing all of them. A group ride leaves at noon from Westfax Brewing Company, or ride at your own pace starting at any of the breweries during the afternoon. The other participating breweries are Joyride Brewing Company, Hogshead Brewery, Seedstock Brewery  and Oasis Brewery.

Sunday 28: For lovers of Belgian beer, Bruz Beers’ Belgian Brew Fest is a can’t-miss, with pours from 10+ breweries, live music and food. Special guest breweries Duvel and Ommegang will also be on hand for your drinking pleasure. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 28: What goes together better than beer, tacos, and live music? The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco, and Music Festival brings all three to Fiddler’s Green. With tastings of over 100 beers, lucha libre wrestling and some pretty big names in punk music (The Offspring, Bad Religion to name a couple) this looks to be one helluva party.  Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 28: For a more cultured experience, drop in on Living the Dream Brewing Company’s Night Photography Class. Over some great beer, Darren White will explain techniques for better nighttime photos such as focus, exposure, stacking, noise reduction and post processing ideas. Note: This is a ticketed event.