This weekend offers an unbelievable set of beer-related choices. Aside from the special events listed below, many breweries have special releases and tappings on their calendars. Combine that with (hopefully) nice weather and patio season and there’s no reason not to visit a craft brewery or two for a pint!
Saturday 21st: If you’re a fan of rye in your beer then check out Denver Rye Fest from 1:00-5:00 at The Brew on Broadway (BOB). The festival features rye-tastic beers from 15 breweries. Note: This is a ticketed event.
Saturday 21st: Give a salute to Comrade Brewing Co for making it four years! Comrade will celebrate with six special anniversary beers, limited edition glassware, and of course a food truck.
Saturday 21st: Help 4 Noses Brewing Company’s brewers square off at the Brewers Pilot Challenge. Brewers will compete to have their beer poured on their own tapline. Voting on the three beers is thoroughly democratic: the one with the most pours wins!
Saturday 21st: Retro comes to Avanti Food and Beverage with their celebration of Record Store Day. Enjoy a DJ spinning records, limited edition vinyl, record-themed giveaways, and special releases of six Dogfish Head Brewery vintage beers.
Saturday 21st: The Viking hordes invade Alpine Dog Brewery for a Viking Party. Wear a costume and check out their Viking-inspired ale, photo booth, Viking movies, and Norwegian metal.
It looks like a rather slow weekend on the beer-events calendar but there are a few things to keep you busy. Sunday looks to have decent weather so checking out one of the many patio-equipped breweries could be an option.
Friday 13th – Sunday 15th: Hopefully the unlucky start date won’t weigh down Spangalang Brewery’s 3rd anniversary party. Join the crowd at the Five Points location to help celebrate, and if the weather’s nice you can piece together a nice RINO-area brewery walking tour.
Saturday 14th: The north suburbs gain another brewery with the grand opening of Primitive Beer in Longmont. The brewery produces spontaneous, barrel-fermented beers using only Colorado ingredients for a funky local flavor.
Saturday 14th: Go highbrow with a book signing at Baere Brewing Co. Dustin Hall will sign his book of Colorado craft brewery photos called Discovering Colorado Breweries from 3-5, and of course Baere will serve their tasty beer all day if you want to linger.
I had heard great things about Briar Commons Brewery’s food and mixed reviews about their beer, so I jumped on a friend’s suggestion to head up there over the weekend to see for myself. As promised, Briar Common cooked up some tasty food, and the beer also exceeded expectations. Situated between The Highlands and Mile High, Briar Common makes a great stop by itself, or a good place to refuel on a brewery walking tour that could include Zuni Street Brewing Company and/or Little Machine.
BEER LINEUP: Briar Common’s beer list seems to focus on Belgians and hoppy beers, along with a few experimentals like Kimchi-Inspired Sour Chili Ale. However if none of their offerings strike your fancy they also serve guest beers, wine, and hard liquor.
ATMOSPHERE: Located in a renovated old brick building, Briar Common seems both modern and cozy at the same time. The warmth of the brick combined with modern updates and brewing tanks at the edge of the taproom made for a low-key vibe. The brewery seemed to draw a younger, vibrant, neighborhood crowd meeting up for a beer, a bite, and some sports-viewing. Signage promised a rooftop deck coming soon.
SERVICE: Simply excellent. As soon as we walked in the door a server shepherded us to a table and after that a non-stop parade of servers checked in, answered questions, and was just generally friendly and attentive.
NEIGHBORHOOD: The area is a mix of new & trendy housing, old residences, and neighborhood businesses. You can easily park on the street and make a day of brewery-hopping or visiting local businesses, with the knowledge that the area gets nicer toward downtown/Highlands and a little less so toward Mile High Stadium and Federal Blvd. Access from downtown or the highway is easy, and I’d imagine RTD offers some public transit options too.
STANDOUT BEER: The golden-apple color of the Hobart Tripel promised great things even before the first smell or taste and it didn’t disappoint. Each sip offered up a wonderful Belgian with a tart apple and raisin component complemented by the breadiness of the Belgian yeast.
Wow, so much to do this weekend – particularly on Saturday! The Baseball Brewfest looks like a fun and creative concept, but if Parker is too far away then take the easier path and jump on one of the bus circuits and let someone else do the driving. For the truly lazy, most breweries have started their patio season so as long as you can motivate yourself to get out the door the rest kinda takes care of itself.
Saturday 7th:Baseball Brewfest 2018 comes to FanDraught Sports Brewery in Parker. This sounds like a fun new concept where you can “play” 9 different baseball positions, each serving a taster from a different craft brewery while watching the Rockies game in the background. Best part: You can play each position as often as you’d like! Note: This is a ticketed event.
Saturday 7th: This month’s version of the West Side Brewery Bus Loop starts at 2:00 and includes Joyride Brewing , Diebolt Brewing, Zuni Street Brewing Co and Little Machine Beer. Note: This is a ticketed event, starting at any of the breweries.
Saturday 7th: If four stops doesn’t sound like enough of a challenge, try out the 8-Brewery Bus Loop that showcases breweries on South Broadway, Santa Fe, and the Mile Hi area. It runs from 2:00-10:00 so if you want to visit all of them you’ll have your work cut out for you. Note: This is a ticketed event, starting at any of the breweries.
Saturday 7th: If you didn’t get enough of Collaboration Fest last weekend, River North Brewery hosts their own little Collaboration Party with four other breweries starting at noon.
Sunday 8th: Get out of bed for Station 26 Brewing Co’s monthly Bluegrass Brunch. Starting at 11:00 Station 26 will have a brunch food truck, bluegrass music, and of course beer!
The explosive popularity of RiNo seems to be a mixed bag for craft beer lovers. While it first promoted a wave of breweries opening in the spacious warehouses with cheap rent, it has now boomeranged back and resulted in rising rents, redevelopment, and heightened competition. Already River North Brewery and Zephyr Brewing Co. have relocated to north Denver and now Beryls Beer Company is looking to sell.
The goal is to sell by the end of April and the list price is $195,000 if you happen to be in the market for a turnkey brewery. If the business doesn’t sell, the future appears a little murkey so if you’re a fan of their beer it might be best to plan a Beryls visit sooner rather than later.
This was my first visit to Strange Craft since they merged with Wits End and I’m happy to report there’s been little change since my original post. Strange is still the same quirky, cozy taproom in an industrial park, with friendly staff and satisfying beers.
BEER LINEUP: Little difference from the original post, with the addition of a limited selection of Wits End beers. There are definitely fewer than were on tap at the old Wits End.
ATMOSPHERE: Pretty much the same, although Strange has reconfigured their main taproom and added some tables in the space next door to offer more indoor seating. The biergarden is still a rather depressing gravel patch next to the railroad.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Unchanged, naturally
STANDOUT BEER: Good old Cherry Kriek. Thinner than most Belgian’s I’ve had, the red-colored beer still offers a good hit of sweet cherry with strong Belgian yeast flavors. A lot of krieks tend toward the sour side but this one only gives a hint of that.
Personally, I feel like EVERY week is Colorado Craft Beer week, given the brewery bounty along the Front Range. However the Colorado Brewers Guild makes it official by kicking off Colorado Craft Beer Week today through April 7th. Check out the link to their event listing of special releases and other commemorations by local breweries.
Additionally, there are MANY breweries doing their own thing that aren’t listed so ask your local craft brewer how he or she is celebrating our state’s abundance!