Weekend Beer Update

This weekend is absolutely packed with beer-drinking fun! From anniversaries in south Denver to festivals in northern Colorado there’s no shortage of stuff to do. Add in what’s shaping up to be decent weekend weather and there’s no excuse not to be out and about grabbing a few brews and catching some rays!

ck-8th-anniversary.jpgFriday 26 – Sunday 28: For an action-packed weekend head to Copper Kettle Brewing Company for their 8th anniversary celebrations. Friday kicks off with a release of five sours, multiple food trucks and a band. Saturday brings the Staff Showdown where each staff member has brewed a beer and customers vote for their favorite, plus more food and music. Sunday keeps things going with a cellar draught release of aged beers from 2014-2018 and a Hangover Brunch.

Friday 26: For something unique head up to Longmont for Primitive Beer’s barrelhouse opening. Primitive focuses on spontaneous, barrel-fermented beers. Between the hectic schedules of the owners, who both work at other breweries, and the limited quantities of the beers, Primitive only opens for a few hours twice a month.

Friday 26: In Boulder, Microbreweries for the Environment brings bluegrass music and beer from almost twenty breweries to the Boulder Theater in support of a good cause. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 27: Another southeast Denver brewery celebrates an anniversary, as Comrade Brewing Co. marks five years with special beer releases, food trucks and souvenir glassware. Since they’re just a couple miles apart, a bus will circulate between Comrade and Copper Kettle’s party for just five bucks.

Saturday 27: Now that we’re finally getting warm-ish weather, it’s a great time to check out Halfpenny Brewing Company’s Biergarten Opening! Oddly for a biergarten theme, it has mostly British elements – a fish & chips truck plus the release of a bitter. Whatever nationality, it ought to be nice to hang out in the sunshine with brew and listen to some live music.

Saturday 27: Get your hop on at Verboten Brewing and Barrel Project’s IPA Bash in Loveland. Verboten plans to offer over 15 different versions of IPAs including fruited, sour, and the ubiquitous hazy.

Saturday 27: If you’re already up north, why not wibby-tasters.jpgstop by Longmont and Wibby Brewing’s Ancient Steinbeer Brew and Crawfish Boil. Wibby’s brewmaster will illustrate the ancient art of brewing a steinbeer, complete with fire and the chucking of red-hot stones into wort. The fires will be put to further use for s’mores roasting, complemented by a crawfish boil from 3 – 6 p.m. To round out the day, Wibby will also feature ice carving and live music.

Saturday 27: Also up north, High Hops Brewery’s Patio Party brings food, music and the tapping of a special spring Berliner weisse. Looks like good weather will be part of the package as well.

Saturday 27: Back down in Denver, another Crawfish Boil fires up at Station 26 Brewing Co. with beer, mudbugs, and live music.

Saturday 27: Rye Fest 2019 comes to Chain Reaction Brewing Company, bringing unlimited tasters of rye beers from over a dozen Colorado breweries. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20180224_175151_HDRSaturday 27: The fourth annual celebration of Reinheitsgebot, Germany’s Beer Purity Law, takes place at Mockery Brewing with their Reinheitsgewhat? party. They’ll mix things up with music from a polka/metal band along with a number of special releases that don’t exactly adhere to the law, but are likely to be tasty nonetheless.

Saturday 27: For a slightly healthier option, jump on the West Side Brewery Bike Loop. Participants get a discounted beer at each of the five participating breweries along with a free beer voucher for finishing all of them. A group ride leaves at noon from Westfax Brewing Company, or ride at your own pace starting at any of the breweries during the afternoon. The other participating breweries are Joyride Brewing Company, Hogshead Brewery, Seedstock Brewery  and Oasis Brewery.

Sunday 28: For lovers of Belgian beer, Bruz Beers’ Belgian Brew Fest is a can’t-miss, with pours from 10+ breweries, live music and food. Special guest breweries Duvel and Ommegang will also be on hand for your drinking pleasure. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 28: What goes together better than beer, tacos, and live music? The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco, and Music Festival brings all three to Fiddler’s Green. With tastings of over 100 beers, lucha libre wrestling and some pretty big names in punk music (The Offspring, Bad Religion to name a couple) this looks to be one helluva party.  Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 28: For a more cultured experience, drop in on Living the Dream Brewing Company’s Night Photography Class. Over some great beer, Darren White will explain techniques for better nighttime photos such as focus, exposure, stacking, noise reduction and post processing ideas. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Weekend Beer Update

This weekend brings a whole lot of activity across the metro area and beyond, with multiple anniversaries, Day of Dorks, a new Beer Bus and other assorted fun & games. 

westfax-bar.jpgFriday 8 – Saturday 9: Celebrate three years on West Colfax with WestFax Brewing Company. Over the course of the weekend they’ll release seven new beers, treat beer-lovers to a concert, bring in food trucks, and have some other fun treats like anniversary glassware, beard trimming and axe throwing.

Friday 8 – Sunday 10: If you’re looking to take a field trip, Gilded Goat Brewing Company up in Ft. Collins marks their second anniversary with a weekend of fun. They’ll have special tappings and bottle releases along with birthday cake, a toast with the mayor, raffles, giveaways and a commemorative glass for the first 50 customers on Saturday.

Saturday 9: Anniversaries continue, with Zuni Street Brewing Co. marking two years with a full-on celebration in their parking lot offering up the usual food trucks and live music along with art from local artists, pottery painting, yard games, a photo booth, and topping it off with a bouncy house.

Saturday 9: Rounding out the anniversary celebrations, New Image Brewing Co. in Arvada brings on the special releases, live music, and new merchandise for year number three.

Saturday 9: The Beer Bus concept comes to southeast comrade-taps.jpgDenver, with busses running from 1 – 9 p.m. between Platt Park Brewing Co., Comrade Brewing Co., Grandma’s House and Copper Kettle Brewing Company. It costs just 5 bucks to ride all day and if you complete each brewery you get a coupon for a free beer. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 9: It’s finally time for Day of Dorks! Wynkoop Brewing Company’s celebration of geeky and quirky beers takes over the upstairs pool room from noon – 4 p.m. with over 30 breweries pouring their dorkiest stuff. Geek-wear is encouraged. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 10: The monthly incarnation of Bluegrass Brunch comes back to Station 26 Brewing Co. Starting at 11 a.m. they’ll bring in a food truck and bluegrass band for you to relax and recover from the weekend.

Lady JusticeSunday 10th: Join Lady Justice Brewing’s Big Fun Celebration at their shared space with Factotum Brewhouse. The party will celebrate two of Lady Justice’s Community-Supported Beer Membership grant recipients with music, a food truck, and of course beer!

Weekend Beer Update

In the run-up to Christmas a couple of breweries follow tradition by tapping a brew a day until the holiday, while others reach back to their pagan roots to celebrate the winter solstice on Friday.

Gift cards, bombers and merch make for great last-minute gifts and you can treat yourself to a beer at the same time but be mindful that many taprooms roll out limited hours over the holidays. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

All Weekend and Beyond: The Twelve Firkins of Christmas continues through the 24th at Copper Kettle Brewing Company with a 20181219_095001_HDR.jpgnew and (usually) tasty offering every day, along with prizes at the end for those Christmas elves who have finished all 12.

All Weekend: Similar to Copper, Launch Pad Brewery continues their 8 Crazy Nights with beer releases all the way through Sunday the 23rd.

Thursday 20: Have An Imperial Christmas at Comrade Brewing Co. with Christmas music, cookies and multiple varieties of Quit Stalin Russian Imperial Stout.

Friday 21: Both of Oskar Blues Brewery’s Tasty Weasel taprooms will celebrate the solstice with The Darkest Day, a celebration and release of five high-gravity, barrel-aged brews. The ritual drinking starts at 11 a.m. at the Longmont and Boulder locations.

Friday 21: Dive further into the dark at Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont with a release of  the 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 versions of their Fade to Black foreign export stout.

Friday 21: Explore the ancient Scottish tradition that celebrates the shortest day/longest 20170527_141810_HDRnight of the year with the Sacred Fire Solstice Party at Ursula Brewery. Ursula will serve several varieties of The Sacred Fire Scottish ale all day but the fiery festivities really kick up after dark with the lighting of candles and a traditional fire, along with Scottish beef stew.

Friday 21: If downtown is more your hood, join Freshcraft for their Night of Darks where they will tap four of Bell’s Brewery’s darkest and tastiest beers. Additionally, Bell’s staff will visit with glassware and swag.

Saturday 22: Enjoy the sweet pairing of a Glazed and Confuzed doughnut with a specially-created Sweet Potato Pie Specialty Ale at Fiction Beer Company all throughout the day.

Saturday 22: Set the holiday mood with the Holiday Beer Fest at Hops & Pie on Tennyson, where they will pour holiday beers from 11 craft breweries from around the country.20170624_203711_HDR

Saturday 22: Get stung by the Barreled Lightning at Diebolt Brewing’s Barreled Lightning Tap Takeover where they will be cracking 12 different kegs of the beer that they’ve saved from each month’s special release.

Saturday 22: If the family is already getting on your nerves, head to Westfax Brewing Co. for a free comedy show at 8 p.m. Kick back with some beer and20170722_130246_HDR a food truck and forget your holiday stress for a couple hours.

Saturday 22: For something a little more risque, give thanks for the unseasonably warm weather, leave your pants at home and join Black Sky Brewery for their Naughty Christmas Party. Party it up in your best (or worst) undergarments with a DJ and Ugly Undies Contest.

Sunday 23: Much like their beers, Chain Reaction Brewing Company’s Cookie & Ugly Sweater Get Together will have a little bit of everything: Christmas music, a cookie decorating station, a can & coat drive, shirt printing and holiday gifts for purchase.

SE Denver Winter Cruise

‘Tis not normally the season for biking but last Saturday we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather for a quick (thanks, limited daylight) ride around southeast Denver. To minimize time & distance we shortcutted down a number of streets, most of which are bikeways, but you could also spend much of the ride on trails in the warmer months with more time. If you drive, it probably works best to park at Comrade and ride to Copper Kettle to avoid a decent uphill climb after a strenuous ride and a few beers!

20181205_185334_HDR.jpgAt our first stop, Copper Kettle Brewing Company, we marveled at the nice weather while sitting on the sunny patio. Copper Kettle has a relatively wide variety of beers to satisfy most tastes, including light beers, IPAs, a high-gravity or two, and usually at least one sour and something dark. The good-sized taproom and large patio will let you spread out and there are plenty of spots to lock bikes. As usual we had great service, although arriving at opening time with only one other patron no doubt helped with that!

It’s probably best if you follow a map app for the exact directions, but the general plan after leaving Copper Kettle involves mostly street riding to get to the Cherry Creek Trail, crossing Cherry Creek South Drive and cutting through Cook Park. Taking Florida Avenue west reaches a dead-end at South High School. After cutting through trails/lots south of the school, more street riding south and west reaches Platt Park. The last few blocks involved threading the needle down busy side streets including Pearl Street but we arrived safely and used the patio fence for a bike rack.

Platt Park Brewing Co. has just a small patio, but a large indoor taproom and garage doors that make it feel like you are outside in warmer weather. The brewery also serves a wide range of beers for almost every taste, from light to dark with a few tangents that can get interesting. The servers are invariably attentive and knowledgeable, and the location in the middle of a neighborhood gives it a sort of local-pub vibe. Although we didn’t take advantage of it, Platt Park also had a food truck, which seems pretty standard for them. After a quick beer and a half it was time to get moving and beat the rapidly-approaching sunset.Platte-Park-Bar.jpg

From Platt Park there are numerous paths to Comrade, including reversing the original route and then heading south at the Cherry Creek Trail (map below). However we went south from the brewery and navigated streets with bikeways to pick up the Highline Canal Trail at Mamie Doud Eisenhower Park near Colorado Bouldvard and Dartmouth Avenue. We took that to Quebec Street and Iliff Avenue. From there we quickly found Comrade to the east in an auto 20181208_154744_HDRstrip mall. Note: to shorten the route cut out part of the Highline Canal Trail by exiting at Iliff Avenue and rejoining the trail a bit east (shown on the attached map)

At our final destination, Comrade Brewing Co., we grabbed a large table to celebrate our completion of the ride and enjoy the energy of their large taproom. Their beers focus mostly on IPAs and hoppy brews but Comrade usually has at least one or two other options for non hop-heads. In the summer the entire front of the taproom opens to the outdoors although they do not have a patio. Service is reasonably good, but bar-only and they typically have a food truck that several in our group used to refuel after the ride. There’s a bike rack out front.

Link to Route Map Described Above: https://goo.gl/maps/4DcVKKf3PXx

View of a Different Option:

 

 

 

Cherry Creek Trail Bike Ride

This ride takes in four breweries located just blocks off the Cherry Creek Trail. The mostly flat trail parallels the creek through relaxing natural surroundings and spans the edge of downtown to the city border. All of the stops either serve food, have a food truck, or have adjacent restaurant options.

We met at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Glendale, which pours a handful of their own beers along with numerous guest taps plus a little wine and liquor. On our early -afternoon visit the place was virtually dead and offered a chill way to start the day. The taproom offers patio seating but with the southwestern exposure and the already-hot day we skipped the patio for the indoor shade and A/C.

Leaving Crazy Mountain, we crossed Cherry Creek South Drive and headed down the ramp at Colorado Bouldevard to catch the Cherry Creek Trail northbound toward downtown. This part of the ride gets more city-like as it passes Cherry Creek Mall, heads under University, and parallels Speer Boulevard. We exited up the Lincoln Avenue ramp, headed one block west to Broadway, then directly south for about 2 blocks until we arrived at Banded Oak on our left.dsc06358.jpg

Banded Oak Brewing Co. has a very small seating area indoors so our group landed on the large, shaded patio with misters to help stay cool. The brewery focuses on wine-barrel-aged beers but also has a handful of standard styles that they usually keep on tap. We agreed that the barrel-aged beers were the stars but had to be careful due to their high gravity and the remaining ride to two more breweries. Continue reading “Cherry Creek Trail Bike Ride”

Weekend Beer Update

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!

Friday 20th: Celebrate the beautiful spring weather on the patio at the Firkin Spring event being thrown by Dunbar Kitchen & Tap. Alpine Dog Brewery, Ratio Beerworks, Epic Brewing Company, Station 26 Brewing Co each crafted a one-off firkins for the party.

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.

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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.

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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.

Sunday 22nd: Speaking of Makin’ Noise, Pussy Riot’s version 6.0 comes out simultaneously at Baere Brewing Co, Femaentra Brewing, Broken Compass Brewing, Storm Peak Brewing Company, and Renegade Brewing Company. Makin’ Noise is a group of breweries that have joined up to use their skills and make a positive impact on the community. One dollar from every pint of version 6.0 goes to environmental organizations.

Sunday 22nd: The CO-Brew homebrew supply shop celebrates 3 years with an employee beer competition and live music.

Cherry Creek Trail Fall Colors Ride

This ride is similar to one I posted earlier in the summer but visits a new-ish outpost of Crazy Mountain in Glendale and drops one stop to account for the shorter days. You might not get much of the beautiful fall colors along the Cherry Creek Trail any more but the ride still offers pretty creek and mountain views.

We started at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Glendale, 20171022_120349_hdr.jpgwhich took over the former World of Beer location. They’ve slowly built up their taplist to about 35 beers including their own brews and guest taps. The vibe is seriously laid back, especially on a weekend afternoon, and if you can catch a nice day the patio offers some sunning opportunities. Although Crazy Mountain doesn’t have food there are numerous places nearby that deliver if you want to avoid drinking and biking on an empty stomach.

Leaving Crazy Mountain, we crossed over Cherry Creek Drive South to access the Cherry Creek Trail and headed south before cutting off to the left at Place Bridge Academy and catching a trail at the backside of their parking lot that leads to Quebec & Florida. Crossing Quebec we headed up Florida to Parker Road, crossed at the light, took a sharp left in front of Walmart, then rode briefly northbound along Parker before turning off at Valentia to reach Copper Kettle. This is by far the trickiest part of the ride because Florida has a rather steep hill and you pretty much need to ride on the street.

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Copper Kettle Brewing Co. was quite disappointing, with a very small selection of beers. We may have just caught them in between batches or something because normally they have a broad range of tasty beers. At any rate, the taproom offers a cozy place to hang out and sip one of their brews, or if it’s nice you can take your beer out on the deck. They typically have a food truck.

From Copper Kettle we reversed course 20171016_170145_HDRalong Parker, down Florida, and past Place Bridge to get back to the Cherry Creek Trail where we took a left to continue south. After a flat and easy ride we reached Iliff, where we exited the trail to the right and headed west a couple blocks to a strip mall with Comrade.

Comrade Brewing Co. continues its reputation for making solid beers and this visit did not disappoint. Although I’ve generally found their taproom to be a bit sterile, the service always impresses and the beers help compensate as well, particularly if you are a hop-lover. Comrade also consistently has a food truck.

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From Comrade it is an easy return to Crazy Mountain, heading east on Iliff to Cherry Creek and taking the trail all the way back. In the past we have done similar rides with a stop at Bull & Bush so if you want bonus beers that’s an easy detour on the way back to Crazy Mountain. Just exit the trail a little bit early at Cherry Street and cross over the bridge, then when are done you can just ride the few blocks on Cherry Creek South to Crazy Mountain.

Route: Fall Cherry Creek Trail