Weekend Beer Update

20180106_150906_HDRStout Month continues, with numerous breweries keeping extra taps flowing and others doing special releases or rotations throughout the month. However if stout isn’t your thing there are plenty of festivals and gastronomic experiences, plus a few oddball events, to keep you busy and keep your thirst at bay this weekend.

Feb 8-10: Ratio Beerworks celebrates four years with a weekend-long party offering music and food trucks every day plus special releases on Saturday and a Sunday brunch.

Friday 8: Every month Bruz Beers tries to bring some 20180721_135240_HDRclass to the beer scene by featuring a different artist in their taproom. This Friday they’re hosting a reception for Brett Matarazzo’s February installation from 6 – 9 p.m. so come on out and get a little culture with your beer.

Saturday 9: Really not sure what to make of this one. The Wizards and Witches Beer Festival is a Harry-Potter-themed fest featuring over 20 winter, pumpkin, and holiday beers. The event takes place at 6:30 p.m. at The Church on 12th Ave and Lincoln Street so it’s got some potential to be a little over-the-top. Or just cheesy. But you won’t know if you don’t go. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 9: In another wacky one-off event, Wynkoop Brewing Co. hosts the Beer Drinker of the Year competition. Participants will be tested on their knowledge, passion, and commitment to beer, and it appears audience participation will help determine the winner. Plus Wynkoop promises some free beer and giveaways. The warm-up starts at noon with the competition firing up at 1 p.m.

Saturday 9: If you’d rather spend your day out and about, the monthly West Side Brewery Bus Loop will transport you between four breweries for only 5 bucks, and if you finish all four you get a free 20181222_212153_hdr1.jpgbeer on your next visit. This month’s breweries are regulars Zuni Street Brewing Co.Little Machine Beer,  Joyride Brewing Company with special guest Westfax Brewing Company. First bus leaves at 2 p.m. and this month’s theme is ski bunnies.

Saturday 9: On Tennyson Street,  Hops & Pie will hold the OG Whales of Craft Beer Fest showcasing over a half-dozen of the original and legendary brews that garnered early craft beer fame. We’re talking famous brews like Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder and Dogfish Head’s 120 Minutes, so settle in for an afternoon of drinking!

20181224_150254_HDR[1]Saturday 9: For the fourth year in a row Fiction Beer Company has paired with a bakery – Cake Crumbs Bakery & Cafe this year – to put together beer & cupcake pairings with four beers paired with four special cupcakes.

Sunday 10: It’s Station 26 Brewing Co.’s monthly Bluegrass Brunch. Get an early start, as the food, beer and music starts at 11 a.m.

Sunday 10: For more of a fine dining experience, sign up for Briar Common Brewery’s  five-course beer-pairing dinner from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

 

Weekend Beer Update

It’s a festival-filled weekend from the Front Range to the mountains, with three big fests rolling out the welcome mat. However if festivals aren’t your style, the weekend also offers plenty of options from music to brewery-hopping to food-focused events.

Thursday 10 – Saturday 12: Celebrate eight years of sour beers at Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. Starting Thursday Crooked Stave will offer special beer releases, unique guest beers, food, and commemorative merch.

Thursday 10 – Saturday 12: If you can handle the weekend ski 20160721_201225_HDRcrowds, take a ride up to the Breckenridge Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival for brewing seminars, beer dinners, pairings, homebrew competitions and of course lots and lots of big beers! The main tasting event is Saturday afternoon, with the competitions, seminars, and food events going throughout the weekend. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Friday 11: In the Tennyson neighborhood, the Northwest Beer Fest takes over the Oriental Theater with beers from ten local breweries along with wine and cider. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180212_171117_HDRSaturday 12: Celebrate five years of beer with Kokopelli Beer Company and enjoy their award-winning beers along with a special release, swag and prizes.

Saturday 12: The LowDown Barrel-Aged Beer Festival comes to South Broadway with 14 brews including several from Lowdown plus eight guest breweries. This festival is a bit different, as you pay for your beers as you go vs. getting one all-in ticket.

Saturday 12: Hop on the January edition of the West Side Brewery Bus Loop which will visit Little Machine Beer, Zuni Street Brewing Co., Joyride Brewing Company and this month’s special guest Briar Common Brewery. From 2 – 10 p.m. a bus will circulate between all the breweries. Tickets are $5 and you get a free future beer for completing all four breweries. This ride’s theme is 1980’s-1990’s.

Saturday 12: Get your gourmet fix at Living The Dream Brewery’s Charcuterie at the Brewery. From 3 – 4:30 p.m. enjoy a pairing of five beers with specialty meats and cheeses from Whole Foods. Note: This is a ticketed event (buy at the door).20180527_134218_HDR

Sunday 13: Bring a dish to share and enjoy live music at SomePlace Else Brewery’s Thom & Coley Concert and Potluck. It appears that the duo plays country music. The fun starts at 6 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 13: Enjoy food and music starting at noon at this month’s Bluegrass Brunch brought to you by Station 26 Brewing Co.

Pub Pass Circuit

In an attempt to check off a number of Pub Pass breweries, a friend20181001_143113_HDR scheduled at short ride (approx. 5 miles) through The Highlands and Edgewater. The route primarily uses residential streets but takes a few trails, most notably through Sloan’s Lake Park with pretty views of the lake and mountains. The shorter ride lets you finish before dark on these shorter fall days but beware if it’s a Broncos Sunday, as the first part of the route runs reasonably-close to the stadium.

Briar Common signWe started at Briar Common Brewery + Eatery, which as the name implies offers both beer and food. The location in The Highlands is reasonably accessible by bike from light rail and other transit but if you choose to drive, parking can be tricky with many streets marked for resident permits only. Briar Common serves up a wide range of beers that should satisfy most tastes, paired with gourmet/trendy food offerings. The location in an old brick building feels cozy and has a wonderful patio on the roof for warm days (and why else would you be out biking, right?)

Leaving Briar Common we rode directly west on 23rd Avenue to Sloan’s Lake Park and beautiful views of the Front Range. A quick ride through the park to the corner of Sheridan Boulevard and 25th Avenue brought us to our next stop at Joyride.

Arriving at Joyride Brewing Company, we used 20180915_135700_hdr.jpgthe bike racks in front and at the municipal lot across the street and dived right in to the diverse taplist. In my experience Joyride can be a hit or miss in their selection but I’ve never been completely frustrated with their offerings. The taproom connects to the outdoors with garage doors opening to pleasant Sloan’s Lake views in front and a patio/biergarten out back. On our visit it appeared that they are building a rooftop patio to further leverage their location. Like Briar Common, this place is best experienced in warm weather. If the short ride calls for some sustenance, food trucks consistently park out front.

Crossing back over Sheridan Boulevard and taking Byron Place along the edge of the park we took a left on Xavier (though almost any of the streets opposite the park will work), headed uphill four blocks to 29th Avenue and took a right to bring us to Hogshead Brewery after a couple more blocks.20180915_152206_hdr.jpg

Hogshead Brewery was busy on the beautiful day we rode, with the tiny interior and big patio almost full. Hogshead’s specialty is English-style cask ales  so we settled in for a few lightly-carbonated bitters, porters, and the like. They do have a few other beers such as a saison and blonde but where they really shine is the English brews. They don’t typically have a food truck but there’s a coffee shop next door for a quick snack, and if you happen to have bike problems a bike shop shares the building with the coffee place.

We continued east on 29th Avenue across Lowell Boulevard and the tricky Speer Boulevard crossing to Zuni Street and Zuni Street Brewing.

Zuni Street Brewing Company was also having a busy day with both patios plus their interior full. The taproom has an island feel to it thanks to the vegetation-covered bar, the openness to breezes 20180915_172342_hdr.jpgfrom both the front and rear patios, and the chill band. As for beers, Zuni Street covers the full spectrum from dark to light but on my visits it seems like IPAs and hoppier styles are their sweet spot. We found a place in the shade on the front patio where we had easy access to both the bar and food truck.

Finally, as the sun and temperatures started to drop we headed back out on 29th Avenue – west this time – a few blocks to Clay where we turned south until we reached 23rd Avenue and our starting point of Briar Common.

This route is pretty easy to shake up many different ways and add or subtract breweries since it’s such a target-rich area (Little Machine comes to mind). Given the short distances you definitely want to pace yourself, though, as it’s easy to travel between breweries in just a few minutes.

For details on our particular route click the link.

Weekend Beer Update

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.reichstag-entrance.jpg

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 food20170808_182550_HDR 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 briar-common-sign.jpgfrom 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.

Weekend Beer Update

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  There are plenty of great happy%20memorial%20day%20clipartbeer events happening up and down the front range, and the weather is looking great for patio time. One of my favorite plans involves an active outdoor morning followed by a relaxed afternoon and a few brews!

Friday 25: Another brewery comes to the metro area with the soft open of Burly Brewing Company in Castle Rock.

Friday 25 – Monday 28: Up north, the long weekend lets 4 Noses Brewing Company squeeze in 4 days of 4th anniversary fun including special releases, food, and live music.

20170722_130505_HDRSaturday 26: Get your fix of heavy metal and goat (yeah, that sounds weird) at Black Sky Brewery’s 4th Annual Goat Roast. Goat starts at 2:00, bands at 3:30.

Saturday 26: Hop on up to Golden for Mountain Toad Brewing’s five-year anniversary bash with special tappings, food, bands, and beer & ice cream pairing. With the Saturday forecast of 90+ I think they’re on to something with the ice cream!

Saturday 26: Enjoy the sunny weather and join up with WestFax Brewing Company’s Bikes and Breweries circuit. Participants receive $1 off beers while cycling between Westfax, Joyride Brewing Company, Hogshead Brewery, and Seedstock Brewery and upon completion get a free beer to celebrate. The seven-mile loop starts at noon and will involve both path and street riding.

Saturday 26: Odell Brewing Company rolls out over 40 of their beers including pilot-system brews and barrel-aged offerings at their Small Batch Festival in Ft. Collins. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 26: Celebrate the one year anniversary of 20170729_142951_HDRGrist Brewing Company’s Grist Lab location in Lone Tree with special beer releases every other hour, a raffle, and prizes.

Sunday 27: Take your last runs for the season and then kick back with brews from over a dozen breweries at Arapahoe Basin’s Festival of the Brewpubs. Having been up last weekend I can say that the snow’s pretty thin and once the afternoon sun gets to work you’ll be ready to call it a day with a bunch of beers and live music.

Sunday 27: The holiday Sunday is a slow one for events but if you fancy a drive and/or sour, head up to Ft. Collins for New Belgium Brewing Company’s 20 Years of Sour Celebration.

Monday 28: Memorial Day brings us Briar Common Brewery’s Summer Crushable Party with the release of four new beers, BBQ, games and prizes.

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: Briar Common Brewery

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.