Weekend Beer Update

Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, which of course means no shortage of Mexican-themed celebrations across the metro area and beyond. Additionally, there are plenty of other fun events from anniversaries to Derby parties and it looks the weather will cooperate for some patio beers, regardless of which craft brewery(ies) you venture out to this weekend.

Friday 3 – Sunday 5: Join Dos Luces Brewery to celebrate the Battle of Puebla all weekend with food, music, and plenty of chicha and pulque beers. The highlight will be the release of Moctezuma III, an imperial pulque, on Saturday. The Battle of Puebla has evolved into our current Cinco de Mayo celebration, which commemorates the victory of Mexican forces over the French in 1862.

Saturday 4: Though it’s a day early, Cerveceria Colorado’s combination Cinco de Mayo celebration and first anniversary party doesn’t skimp on the fun and games. In addition to several special releases, they’ll also have Mexican games, Mexican food trucks, piñata smashing and a photo booth.

Saturday 4: Saturday is also Derby Day and Epic Brewing Company will celebrate the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby with their Never Tell Me the Odds Derby Party. Throw on your best seersucker, prettiest dress, and wackiest hat to watch the Derby, drink Epic’s Mint Sour, and take some pictures in the photo booth.  The best Kentucky Derby attire and/or Star Wars costume photo strip wins free beer.

Saturday 4: Crawfish Boil season continues this weekend at Bruz Beers, where they’ll have crustaceans, sides and live music all day. You can buy tickets in advance to reserve your crawfish or just show up and take your chances.

Saturday 4: CO-Brew combines their four-year anniversary with a Cinco de Mayo party that includes music, a nacho bar and piñatas, along with the much-anticipated employee beer competition returns.

Saturday 4: If you’ve had your fill of Mexican celebrations, take a break at Prost Brewing and their Maibock Release/German Night party. In addition to the Maibock, Prost will have specials on their regular beers accompanied by food and music. German attire is suggested.

Saturday 4: Up north in Berthoud, City Star Brewing celebrates their seventh anniversary with music, food trucks, merch, cupcakes and of course beer releases!

Sunday 5: Celebrating the actual Cinco de Mayo, Lone Tree tanksLone Tree Brewing will hold a salsa and guacamole competition with prizes for your best recipes. They’ll also release a Strawberry Mexican Lager Margarita beer and have a food truck with a taco bar. Contestants need to email the brewery at info@lonetreebrewingco.com ahead of time with their name and type of entry.

Sunday 5: Continuing the Cinco de Mayo theme, Ironton Distillery will hold a Viva Cerveza party with guest taps of craft beers from Mexico.

Brewery Snapshot: Dos Luces Brewery

Born out a lifelong connection to Latin America and the traditional beer styles of Chicha and Pulque, Dos Luces Brewery on South Broadway aims to change the way that people think about beer, according to owner Judd Belstock. The brews are created from corn and maguey (in the agave family), ingredients20190118_174407_hdr.jpg available to indigenous peoples in the Americas, but brewed with modern methods. The result is a much different flavor profile and experience than your standard barley-based beer. Judd and his staff are happy to educate visitors on the history and production of their products, as well as to make the argument that these are just a different style of beer. It seems to me that these styles are pretty much love/hate types of brews, but it’s certainly worth it to stop by and experience them in person.

BEER LINEUP: First off, this is not a traditional brewery. The two flagship beers, chicha and pulque, are made with corn and maguey syrup, respectively, and use spices like cinnamon and clove in place of hops. As a result, their flavors have little in common  with barley-based brews and it’s worth describing them in more detail than usual. Both are served in opaque, eight-ounce ceramic vessels. The chicha is medium-bodied with a slightly sweet and un-complex flavor and a bit of cinnamon. The pulque is, as Belstock describes it “a reverse sour.” The initial taste of the frothy brew is mildly sour, fading off into a light sweetness with numerous spice notes along the way; in general, a very complex beverage. Dos Luces also constantly experiments on these flagships by adding spices, flowers and fruits to create completely different-tasting brews (see below). They serve several guest taps for the less-adventurous and chicha morada, a sweet, non-alcoholic traditional beverage made from blue corn. Note: Some people find the smaller pours a little pricey compared to other breweries.

ATMOSPHERE: The taproom feels like the courtyard of a hacienda in Costa Rica, with rich, vibrant paintings, tropical plants and patio-style furniture. The crowd seemed a little older and more subdued than many South Broadway drinking establishments, with a mix of people hanging out to converse over drinks and those who stopped in to get a sampler of the unique beers. Overall the taproom had a more sophisticated vibe of discerning and/or curious drinkers.

SERVICE: On the night I visited there were an abundance of servers (bar service only) who were happy to discuss and educate customers on the unique chichas and pulques on offer.

NEIGHBORHOOD: The brewery is located at the edge of historic South Broadway and offers many options for walking to food, other breweries & bars, and even a little bit of shopping. Arrival by car or public transit is relatively easy, as it is near I25 & Broadway, and you can generally find metered parking within a few blocks. It would be a great inclusion on a brewery crawl.

STANDOUT BEER: The Azteca pulque is the result of one of the continual experiments that Dos Luces undertakes to combine ingredients in unique ways. In this case the inspiration was Mexican hot chocolate and the beer includes three kinds of chocolate plus cayenne peppers. The result is a light, frothy beverage with notes of rich, real chocolate kicked up with a hint of heat from the cayenne. It reminded me very much of some of the best hot chocolate I had in Oaxaca, Mexico. Beer? Perhaps. Tasty? You bet!

 

Weekend Beer Update

The post Halloween weekend serves up a few final thrills and chills, along with a whole bunch of anniversaries. In addition, Saturday is Learn to Homebrew Day and many local homebrew supply stores are offering free classes and other events if you want to take your beer love to the next level! Check out places like The Brew Hut, Broadway Brew Supply, CO-Brew, and many others for information and instruction.

Friday 2: Connect with the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos at Dos Luces Brewery with face painting, sugar skull painting, candy and other treats.

Saturday 3: In what’s probably the first event of the its kind this season, Avery Brewing Co.’s Ugly Sweater Party runs all day, and anyone wearing an ugly sweater gets a free pint of Old Jubilation.20161203_160811_HDR

Saturday 3: Head to RINO for Mockery Brewing’s fourth anniversary with block party offering up live music, special tappings, screen printing and food trucks.

Saturday 3: If downtown is more your game, Jagged Mountain Brewery makes it five years with a special anniversary beer – Belgian Quintuple aged on oak – along with six other beer tappings.

Saturday 3: The longest-tenured brewery to hold an anniversary this weekend is Upslope Brewing Company in Boulder, which makes it a nice round ten. The party will spill out into the back parking lot with over 40 beers on tap, live music, food, games and even a cheese and beer-pairing Happy Hour (ticket event).

FictionSaturday 3: Fiction Beer Company will help ease the transition from Daylight Saving Time with Descent Into Darkness, which taps nine dark beers for you to cozy up with on the long, dark nights.

Saturday 3: Estes Park gets into the time change in its own way with the Fall Back Beer Fest, offering up samples of over 100 beers, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages along with music, food trucks and vendors. Chat with brewers, learn about homebrewing or even walk away with one of the prizes being offered. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Sunday 4: Regardless of what goes on in the stadium, you can still find happiness before next Sunday’s game on the Broncos Beer Bus which starts at WestFax Brewing Company at 11 a.m. and then stops at Joyride Brewing Company,20180621_172209_HDR Oasis Brewery and Zuni Street Brewing Co. before reaching Mile High and looping back to the start. The free bus runs hourly starting three hours before the game so you can even make a couple of loops if you think the game will be particularly painful.

Sunday 4: As usual, the first weekend of the month brings a number of cultural events and Alpine Dog Brewery will host Sunday Night Culture Club with beverages and the photography of Zachary Wilson.