Weekend Beer Update

This weekend comes jam-packed with anniversaries and ugly sweater parties, plus a few culinary events and – if you are willing to brave the elements a bit – the monthly brewery bus tour. Cheers!

Friday 7 – Sunday 9: Up in Brighton, Something Brewery celebrates their third anniversary with a weekend-long party focusing on unique beer releases including a cookie-themed lineup on Friday and barrel-aged beers on Saturday.

Saturday 8 – Sunday 9: One of the newest entrants into the brewery20181201_180521_hdr.jpg scene celebrates its first anniversary this weekend. Alternation Brewing Company will mark their first anniversary with bands, food, and their first foray into canning and bottling.

Saturday 8: Time to break out the hideous Christmas clothing for what has become an annual tradition: The Ugly Sweater Christmas Party! Kicking off the season, Westfax Brewing Company starts the fashion freakshow at 11 a.m. with some free glassware plus food and of course a prize for the ugliest sweater at 1 p.m.

Saturday 8: Things will also get ugly at Landlocked Ales in Lakewood, as they host an ugly sweater charity 5k run along with an ugly sweater party and contest. The entry fee gets you a bunch of swag and supports Drink for Pink Colorado, or you can just come to drink some beers and gawk at the sheer ugliness of it all. Note: The race is a ticketed event.

Saturday 8: On a nicer vibe, Dry Dock Brewing Co. also gets into the holiday spirit with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition to the festive pair, Christmas carolers will help set the holiday mood.

Saturday 8: Not to be left out, Strange Craft will hold their own ugly sweater party starting at 6 p.m. and will also celebrate the anniversary of Wit’s End Brewing Company, which merged into Strange last year.

Saturday 8: It’s also anniversary time for Station 26 Brewing Co., which celebrates five years of brewing with two special releases, live music, and food.20180129_163411_HDR

Saturday 8: The anniversary-filled weekend continues with Lone Tree Brewing’s seventh, featuring special beer tappings, food, and a casino night benefiting Freedom Service Dogs.

Saturday 8: Up in Longmont, Grossen Bart Brewery turns four with special beer releases, music, giveaways and even face painting.

Saturday 8: Also up north, Asher Brewing Company in Boulder holds their ninth anniversary bash with pours of their organic beer (it’s Boulder of course!) along with food and a photo booth.

Saturday 8: The final up-north anniversary this week is Funkwerks’ eighth, where they will release two special beers for the occasion, with a free cheers at 5 p.m.

Saturday 8: Back in Denver, Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company celebrates six years with special bottle and tap releases.

20170211_211127Saturday 8: For foodies, Fermaenta Brewery will host an all-day beer and cheese pairing that matches four of their beers with four cheeses selected by a Certified Cheese Professional (sort of like a Cicerone of cheese). Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 8: For those with a sweet tooth, Fiction Beer Company Fiction Beerpairs four of their beers with chocolates custom-designed by Chocolate Lab all afternoon. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 8: If all of these options have your head spinning, then take the easy route and latch on to the West Side Brewery Bus Loop, which this month includes Joyride Brewing Company, Call To Arms Brewing Company, Westfax Brewing Company and Zuni Street Brewing Co. As usual, a $5 ticket gets you a ride on the bus from brewery to brewery and those who complete all four get a free future beer. Start at any of the participating breweries and, no surprise, the theme of the month is ugly sweaters.

 

Weekend Beer Update

This weekend is one of the rare years when the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo fall on the same date and brewery’s have plenty of fun for both on offer. In addition the holiday festivities, the weekend features anniversaries, openings, and some just plain interesting events. Cheers!

Friday 4: Last day of Teacher Appreciation Week at Factotum Brewhouse. All week Factotum will recognize teachers and help them build up their summer-drinking tolerance by offering a buy one/get one free beer with your work badge.

Friday 4 – Sunday 6: Tonight starts the weekend-long party at Big Choice Brewing, celebrating their 6th anniversary. Although they’ve moved to Brighton from their original location, the bigger space lets them throw down food, music, special tappings, and fun events like piñata-busting and face painting.

Friday 4:  Another up-north brewery will also celebrate its 6th anniversary this Friday as well. City Star Brewing in Berthoud is holding a hootenanny featuring  bluegrass music (of course) along with special tappings of their barrel-aged golden lager.

Image result for free kentucky derby clip artSaturday 5: Put on your Kentucky Derby hat and head up to New Belgium Brewing Company for a Race Day Party to watch the horses, enjoy special tappings, and try some of their Mint Brewlip Ale.

Saturday 5: If you’re more of a Cinco de Mayo person, stop by The Highlands for Cervecería Colorado‘s grand opening and enjoy Mexican games, food, Mexican-inspired beers, and even a piñata-smashing.

Image result for free cinco de mayo clip art

Saturday 5: Alternation Brewing Company will also get into the Cinco de Mayo theme with unique beer releases and music all day.

Saturday 5: While not explicitly Cinco-related, Alpine Dog Brewery hosts their 3rd annual Chile Pepper Beer Fest with four new chili beers plus spicy food.

Sunday 6: Ratio Beerworks will proudly carry on the tradition of hipster beer brunch with free brunch samples from various restaurants, a pop-up record shop,  and a preview of the new 303 Music Vol. 1 showcasing music from local bands. The free event starts at 11.

Sunday 6: If something later in the day suits you better, Briar Common Brewery offers their Spring Beer Pairing Dinner at 4:30, which matches their brews with their kitchen creations.

 

Brewery Snapshot: Alternation Brewing Company

Although open a relatively short time (Dec ’17), Alternation Brewing Company has established a presence on South Broadway with a large and solid taplist and active taproom. One would think that South Broadway already has more than enough breweries, but Alternation has staked out their own neighborhood and filled a gap between Black Project and Grandma’s House, making them perfect for a Broadway brewery crawl.

BEER LINEUP: For a relatively new brewery, Alternation offers 20180317_171056_HDRa broad taplist of approximately 10 beers ranging from hefeweizen on the light end, through IPA, all the way to stout on the dark end. There is a definite Belgian focus – saisons, farmhouses, dubbels. All the beers I tried were solid and tasty, though perhaps not 100% style-specific.

ATMOSPHERE: Given that we visited on St Patrick’s Day things may have been a little crazier than usual. The narrow taproom features three small sections: a bar area, a seating area in the brew tanks, and a newly-opened outdoor patio with games. All three areas were  energetic on St Pat’s, with people spilling onto Broadway for the food truck and heading to the patio for the bands. Overall, Alternation has a friendly vibe and we watched as the afternoon family crowd gave way to the younger brewery-hopping crowd in the evening.

SERVICE: Hard to judge, given the holiday crowds but overall the servers were efficient and pleasant even in the face of green-clad, beer-loving hordes.

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Tanks, Band, Patio

NEIGHBORHOOD: Parked right in the middle of Antique Row, Alternation lends itself to a leisurely few hours of shopping, dining, or brewery-hopping at nearby establishments. The area is most definitely pedestrian-friendly, transit-friendly, and even has reasonable street parking options.

STANDOUT BEER: Cooper Approved Oatmeal Stout. C’mon, could there be anything else on St. Pat’s? Seriously, the deep chocolate and roasted malt flavors in this beer would be good any day and were enhanced by the low carbonation. The typical dark-brown color gave way to a thinner body than might be expected, but not that unusual.

Weekend Beer Update

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Of course it’s going to be a huge 20170103_210350_HDRweekend of celebrations and sickeningly-green beer but also a time when many craft brewers put out special Irish-themed releases. I had the opportunity to try Odyssey Beerworks’ Young Flanagan Dry Irish Stout the other night and that definitely put me in the Irish mood. If you can’t make it to one of the official celebrations or events below (or simply don’t want to mess with the mayhem) at least stop by your local brewery for a hearty stout!

Saturday 17th: As if you need an excuse to break out your best Irish fashion, Big Choice Brewing is holding their Kilt Irish St Patrick’s Day Party where green attire and kilts get you beer discounts all day, plus entry into the best kilt contest. To accompany all the kilti-ness, a swag-leprechaun will make an appearance at 2:00, followed by Irish step-dancing at 4:00. Kilt contest follows.

Saturday 17th: Perhaps driving to Fort Collins (and back) for St Patrick’s revelry isn’t especially advisable, but New Belgium Brewing Company’s St Patrick’s celebration sounds tempting. In addition to their normal, tasty taplist they will release a green wit to complement the live music and dancing they have scheduled.

St Patrick Day Background

Saturday 17th: If you’re on the south side of town and heading back from the parade or simply don’t want to deal with it, stop in at Alternation Brewing Company on South Broadway for their St Patrick’s Day Bash. Starting at 9:30am they’ll christen their new biergarten/patio with beer releases, live music, and food.

Image result for st patricks public domain imagesSaturday 17th: Fiction Beer Company takes a different direction with an intentionally chill St Patrick’s with Irish-themed food, music, and a Jameson-barrel-aged stout.

Saturday 17th: Irish food and dancers also feature prominently in Living the Dream Brewery’s St Patrick’s Shenanigans if you’d prefer to stay in the south suburbs.

Sunday 18th: It’ll be a full day at Mockery Brewing, starting with the 2nd annual Mockery Homebrew Competition followed by the St Patrick’s Day Hangover Brunch. The gist of the homebrew competition is that Mockery brews up wort in the morning, provides it to homebrewers who then do their own things with it, and finally return with their unique brews for judging. Pretty cool, huh? See the link above for specifics. If that sounds like way too much work then just stop by for Hangover Brunch with breakfast beer drinks and greasy hangover food starting at 11:00am.