Saturday seems to be the pick day of the weekend for beer drinking! Check out a few options below, both north and south. You could even combine visits to Dry Dock and Brewability for a 2fer! And on Sunday maybe learn a thing or two . . .
Saturday 21st: Hard to believe but Dry Dock will celebrate their 12th anniversary at their North Dock location from 12-5. Tickets are $35 advance/$40 door and include unlimited pours of 30+ beers including rare and specialty beers.
Saturday 21st: Living the Dream will host South in Your Mouth with eight South Denver pouring and proceeds benefitting the Castle Rock Dumb Friends League.
Saturday 21st: Brewability Lab one-year anniversary will have music, sword fighters, and the inclusive community atmosphere that they strive to promote.
Saturday 21st: Barrel-Aged Nightmare Fuel Halloween Party at River North Brewing. Get a jump on the holiday with the release of regular and barrel-aged Nightmare Fuel
Sunday 22nd: Cider-making class at the Brew Hut. Learn some new skills and make a hard cider with advice from C-squared Cider Company
3 Freaks Brewery is one of my favorite places to visit because they always have something interesting going on. As I noted when I profiled them earlier, the employees are the brewers and with minimal encouragement will tell you all about the interesting things they have on tap and their exciting plans. As for the beers, they keep a few year-round standards on tap including an IPA, a red, and a stout but their real strength is in their creativity.
At the Great American Beer Festival 3 Freaks served a Watermelon Blond, a Christmas Peppermint Chocolate, a Turkey Beer, and their IPA and all of them were delicious! The turkey is made with stuffing so not surprisingly it has a thick consistency with bready, sage, and spice flavors. Some people find it overwhelming but I can enjoy a pint before moving on to the Christmas Beer, which has nice light peppermint notes and robust chocolate flavors on top of a sturdy stout. Both beers are currently in the taproom with plans to keep them in some form through the holidays.
Just as interesting are their future plans. According to the staff, they will be bringing back the watermelon in season and plan to experiment with beers as diverse as cinnamon toast crunch, a West Coast IPA, a cranberry wheat, and a beer with ginger and wasabi. They refuse to do the standard fall pumpkin ale and instead have plans for a beer based around acorn squash.
Located near Park Meadows, 3 Freaks is a bit of a haul for many people but I’d highly recommend making the trip, perhaps to wind down from some holiday shopping.
In the shadow of GABF, this weekend doesn’t have a whole lot of beer events going on, but if you’re still craving more craft beer and fall fun there are a few happenings.
Saturday 14th: Falling Rock Taphouse Fresh Hop Festival with over 30 mostly-Colorado breweries
Saturday 14th: St Dominic’s Oktoberfest is more of a family event hosted by St Dominic’s at 29th & Federal from 2-9pm.
Sunday 15th: Get ready for the Broncos Game with Living the Dream’s Tailgate Party and Pig Roast
If you’re a lover of the sours or pumpkin beers (no, not sour pumpkin beers because that might be nasty) check out Copper Kettle Brewing this month. After a recent release of sour batches they have about a half-dozen sours currently on tap, though not listed online, but they’re going fast!
Additionally, they’re doing weekly releases of pumpkin versions of their beers in addition to the Pumpkin Porter that’s on the menu.
- Oct 11 – Pumpkin Oktoberfest
- Oct 18 – Pumpkin Saison
- Oct 25 – Pumpkin Snowed In
I finally found time to visit the Crazy Mountain Brewing
taproom in Glendale that replaced the old World of Beer location near Colorado and Cherry Creek Dr. and it’s amazing what a quick change of beers can do for a vibe. I always found World of Beer a little cold and dead, but Crazy Mountain feels active, energetic, and busy (without being crowded). The only discernable changes I noticed were new tables and different beers. Even the sign outside is just World of Beer flipped backwards.
But on to the important stuff – beer. Like the other Crazy Mountain locations his one has the year-rounders, but differs due to its new-ness with only a handful of the Local’s Stash beers. A previous post
discussed Crazy Mountain’s regular lineup, and in Cherry Creek my favorite of the Locals Stash was the barrel-aged pumpkin which contained a little pumpkin, a little caramel, a little boozy-ness, and a lot of complex rich
flavors nicely blended together. According to the staff, they are ramping up production of their own Locals Stash lineup so stay tuned! However between their own offerings plus guest beers (currently featuring Renegade) nobody will feel disappointed.
A few notes specific to the location: Crazy Mountain does not offer food but there are loads of places in the surrounding strip malls from which you can order. Parking can look difficult but a parking garage exists under the surface lot. And don’t get worried about those “2-hour” signs. Apparently a recent lawsuit ended with the complex not enforcing them til 48 hours.
After visiting Colorado Plus Brew Pub I developed a keen sense of envy of folks living in Northwest Denver. Colorado Plus combines a solid brewing operation of their own with a well-curated menu of Colorado beers, plus a full kitchen, all presented in a comfortable taproom.
BEER LINEUP: Colorado Plus has a limited menu of their own beers plus dozens of guest beers and cider from across Colorado. Colorado Choice’s brews are all on the lighter side (Cream Ale, IPAs, Saison) but the guest beer collection appears to be thoughtfully put together with some of the usual suspects and many truly unique one-offs. There’s something for every taste. Finally, this is one of the rare craft breweries that offers Happy Hour!
ATMOSPHERE: The taproom feels like it used to be a local hole-in-the-wall bar that’s had a quick makeover. The interior is dark and comfortable, with the low-key vibe of a neighborhood joint populated by diverse groups of all ages and numerous families. There’s also a small patio out front.
SERVICE: Colorado Plus is one of the few breweries with table service, and in our case it was a mixed blessing. Our server was super-friendly, knowledgeable about the beers, enthusiastic, and on top of our orders . . . when we could find him. The bar seemed to have a abundance of equally friendly and efficient servers so perhaps we just had bad timing when needing a refill.
LOCATION: Tucked off 38th Ave in Wheat Ridge, Colorado Plus fits nicely into the working-class neighborhood of main street small business and small homes on side streets. While there may not be many reasons to linger in the immediate area, 38th Ave features numerous restaurants and other business if you want to hang or need to run errands. Parking is ample, both onsite and on the street.
STANDOUT BEER: Skalds, Colorado Plus’ saison, displayed a golden-orange color and the first sip offered a full-bodied beer with light farmhouse notes and spicy/savory flavors as well. While not as adventurous as some of the guest beers, Skalds proved an interesting and pleasant offering.
Tis the season for fall beerfests & Oktoberfests and a great time to get out of Denver to check out the aspens in the mountains or have a weekend getaway in another part of the state. It seems like almost every little town has its own beer festival in the fall and some of the ones coming up in the next couple weeks include:
Telluride Blues & Brews – Sept 15 – 17
Steamboat OktoberWest – Sept 16
Loveland Oktoberfest – Sept 16 & 17 at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
Louisville Red White & Brew – Sept 16
Colorado Springs Pawtoberfest – Sept 16
Longmont Oktoberfest – Sept 22 & 23
Fort Collins Fall Harvest Brewfest – Sept 23
Manitou Springs Heritage Beer Festival – Sept 23
Monument Bines and Brews – Sept 23
Canon City Bikes and Brews – Sept 23
Denver Micro Brew Fest – Sept 23 (yeah this one’s not out of Denver but looks really promising!)