Hopefully by now everyone has recovered from their Great American Beer Festival hangover and perhaps found a new favorite brewery or beer at the Fest. Life goes on, and this weekend offers up a number of fall-themed brewery events including several Oktoberfests across the metro area.
Friday 28 – Sunday 30: Munich comes to Boulder at Avery Brewing Co.’s Oktoberfest, with a special beer menu and free Kaiser for anyone in a traditional German outfit.
Friday 28 – Sunday 30: If RINO is more your scene, Black Shirt Brewing Co. celebrates their sixth anniversary all weekend with special releases (actually starting Wednesday), creative beer slushies and cocktails, Beer, Bacon and Bluegrass on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.
Saturday 29: Oktoberfest makes a stop at Seedstock Brewery from 5-11 p.m. with a special Hell tapping, plenty of Oktoberfest beer, polka music, contests and free mugs for those in traditional German attire. A meat-heavy food truck rounds out the Germanic picture.
Saturday 29: Join Brewability Lab in celebrating their second anniversary with music, a mobile cigar lounge, a yoga bus and a pop-up shop.
Saturday 29: Load up on numerous can and bottle releases at Fiction Beer Company’s fourth anniversary party. In addition to the takeaway options, enjoy special tappings, live music and limited-edition glassware on their special day.
Saturday 29: Howdy Fest Rides into Lafayette with music, food, and a special release from The Post Brewing Co. along with pours from a number of other area breweries.
Sunday 30: Enjoy a preview of Briar Common Brewery’s upcoming anniversary beers at their five-course beer-pairing dinner. The first seating starts at 4:30 p.m. but if demand calls for it they will add a later seating. Note: This is a ticketed event.
Brewability Lab keeps adding events and owner Tiffany works hard to make sure everyone is engaged and having fun in a friendly environment. Last weekend Brewability featured a band, a silent charity auction, and a fundraiser for Mindful Meditation – all at once. The place was packed. In short, there’s always something going on and the solid beers make it a great place to spend a chilly winter afternoon or evening. They’ve also started serving their Coffee Porter in Nutella-rimmed glasses for those with a sweet tooth.
Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project keeps serving up truly interesting world-inspired beers and each time I stop by there are several new and wild ones. Some of my favorites current favorites are:
Chicha, which is a corn-based beer with sweetness reminiscent of the South American beverage of the same name
Turkish Coffee Stout, which combines rich roasted malt and coffee flavors, pretty much as advertised in the name.
BA Imperial Turkish Coffee Stout, a spiced-up and boozed-up version of the coffee stout. It adds pepper, mace and other spices to create an intense and savory effect. I found it slightly addictive but was also happy I followed the bartender’s recommendation and got a short pour.
Definitely give anything here a try before you jump into a pint because many of the beers have a strong flavor profile. The only disappointment was, like my first visit, a noticeable lack of patrons. Although the bartender injected some energy into the place, it felt a little dead so my recommendation would be to bring some friends with you when you go!
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
Even with the great diversity in the Denver brewing scene Brewability Lab stands out for its unique mission and concept. Designed to provide job opportunities and work experience for special needs individuals, Brewability also strives to create an inclusive environment for everyone, particularly special-needs patrons. While the location is a bit of a stretch for many, it is well worth checking out both for the tasty beer as well as the super-chill atmosphere and friendly patrons and employees.
BEER LINEUP: Brewability’s supply was a little low when we were there, with only five beers on tap, but normally they feature eight or more. The beers cover the spectrum from a light strawberry wheat to a dark coffee porter and are pleasant and solid examples of their styles – nothing too experimental.
ATMOSPHERE: Brewability is open relative short hours – evenings and weekends – and the evening we were there the taproom filled early with local workers then broadened into a more diverse mix. The small café-like taproom opens to the parking lot and includes all sorts of games, toys, and accessibility features. Tiffany, the owner, goes out of her way to create a welcoming and open space and there was a lot of mixing and friendly chatting amongst random strangers. She also schedules lots of special events like Batchelor-watching nights, fundraisers, and parties so the crowd – and energy level – changes along with the event.
SERVICE: Fast and friendly. Brewability’s unique color-coded ordering system (order green for IPA, purple for Porter) helps the bartenders keep the beer flowing fast. Tiffany constantly circulates throughout the taproom keeping patrons engaged and having fun by suggesting games, bringing out science kits (below), and explaining the brewery’s unique goals and operation.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Brewability replaced Caution Brewing in a hard-to-find storefront in an anonymous industrial park just off I70 and Peoria. While they’ve added signage to make it easier to find, you still have to pay attention. Parking is ample, although food is in short supply since the area is just one industrial building after the other. If you’re hungry, Brewability has snacks or you can BYO. Unless you work up there, there’s nothing going on for miles around!
STANDOUT BEER: The Science Kit, because it can be any beer you concoct. In my opinion this is such a fun and cool idea. Brewability has trays that outfit you with beer samplers and flavor-modifiers like peach and woodruff so you can experiment and create your own favorite flavor profile. Our group had loads of fun and put together some great – and some kinda awful – combinations by mixing beers and additives.