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.

Weekend Beer Update

It seems like all of this weekend’s activities have bunched into Saturday, but that also gives you the pick of various anniversaries, festivals, and other fun & games.

Saturday 23: Escape to Hawaii at Call Arms Brewing Company’s Call To ArmsRumpus & Chill event featuring Hawaiian-themed food, music and special beer tappings.

Saturday 23: Help Lakewood’s Landlocked Ales celebrate their first year in business with food, music, beer releases, and a cornhole tournament.

Saturday 23: Chain Reaction Brewing Company makes it four years this weekend with a party that includes special beer releases and food made using their beers.

epic.jpgSaturday 23: Not to be outdone, Epic Brewing Company will celebrate five years with a 90’s Dance Party and a staff firkin competition. They will also have games and raffles throughout the day.

Saturday 23: Finally, the granddaddy of them all celebrates 39 years! Boulder Beer Co. will have live music and let you taste the beers of tomorrow with a dozen experimental beers from their pilot system.

Saturday 23: Govnr’s Park fires up their Beer Fest for the ninth year with 100 beers for you to sample from 1 – 4 p.m. Note: This is a ticketed event

Saturday 23: Heading out of town, the Rocky Mountain Beer Festival brings a couple dozen breweries to Louisville to pour their best, accompanied by live music, food, and lawn games. Note: The event is free but beer tasting requires ticket purchases.

Saturday 23: All the way up in Greeley the WeldWorks Invitational Beer Festival will pour about 100 beers from 40+ breweries. Note: This is a (pricey) ticketed event although proceeds go to charity.

 

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.

Winter Rino Brewery Crawl

Over the weekend a friend put together a nice route through some good RINO breweries that I’ve described below. However with such a heavy concentration of breweries in that area you can easily add or substitute other establishments to fit your beer tastes and/or your appetite for walking. Our 1.8-mile trip started in the heart of RINO, then crossed the train tracks down to Brighton Boulevard but you can definitely mix it up a lot of ways.

Our journey started at Epic Brewing Company on the corner of 30th and Walnut, which offers a bright and sunny taproom which opens to the brewing equipment and also accesses a spacious patio for sunny days. Epic was a great place to begin, because there’s usually plenty of 20180224_161033_hdr.jpgfree street parking within a block or two. The taproom was packed with a younger and energetic crowd that had streaks of hipster running through it. Mostly it seemed like just a bunch of people spending the afternoon with a tasty beer or two. The servers didn’t seem particularly organized and while they seemed to want to be able to keep up with the busy crowd, patience was required. As always, the beer selection was solid with a few lighter beers but a focus on the darker, barrel-aged, and more flavorful beers including a sour or two. Continue reading “Winter Rino Brewery Crawl”

Brewery Snapshot: Epic Brewing Company

This RINO brewery is the Colorado outpost of Utah-based Epic Brewing Company. The location in brewery-dense RINO makes Epic a great stop on a brewery crawl or a destination in its own right. The ultra-modern taproom seems to be hit or miss as far as crowds, but the beer is always solid and plentiful.  You could easily order off the expansive menu all afternoon without doubling up, as the list covers virtually every style plus multiple variants of the same base beer. Street parking is usually easy but if you’re pub crawling or intent on running the Epic menu, consider Uber or public transit!

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BEER LINEUP: Epic covers the spectrum and then some with their generous menu of over 20 beers. In addition to the expected, Epic does experimental beers, barrel-aged, sours, fruit beers, and more. Nobody should come away disappointed.

ATMOSPHERE: Epic has a relaxed vibe with a diverse crowd of hipsters, couples, older people, and others. The only un-represented group was families – not surprising given the RINO location. It definitely seemed like a place people stopped by for one, with quick turnover. The modern industrial taproom opens to the brewery on one side and a small patio on another. Some days they have food trucks.

SERVICE: Generally good, though we were there on a slow night. When it gets busier there tend to be traffic jams at the bar

NEIGHBORHOOD: Rino – need I say more? Epic is located far enough out to have ample street parking (for now).

STANDOUT BEER: The Santa Cruz Brown IPA stands out for its balance. The medium reddish-brown color and medium body serve up a good shot of hop bitterness with a bit of floral essence that is brought back to center by the solid malty foundation. All of the flavors intertwine to produce a complex and enjoyable beer.

RINO Ramble

Recently some friends and I spent a chilly afternoon touring four RINO breweries on foot. Given the number of breweries practically side-by-side in RINO one could literally run them end-to-end, GABF style without any breaks. However in the spirit of getting a little exercise and not getting outstandingly hammered we threw in a few that required a walk.

We met at Epic Brewing Company, which usually offers decent parking if you choose to drive. The taproom sports the standard RINO-brewery decor – concrete & steel, lots of glass & garage doors, and an open brewing area. It also has the bonus of a cozy fireplace and a bunch of tvs with various games on. The beers lean toward barrel-aged and/or high-alcohol but there’s enough variety that anyone ought to be able to find something pleasing. Our group tasted some great IPA’s, an unusual lime lager, porters, fruit beers, and a barleywine. The Sage Saison stood out, seeming appropriately seasonal with light earthy flavors and strong sage, as did the Pumpkin Porter, with rich malty flavors and undertones of pumpkin spice.

20161203_150908_hdrA few Epic beers fortified us for the 20+ minute walk to the Great Divide Brewing Company Barrel Room on Brighton Blvd. Heading left from Epic you’ll walk down to 38th and go left, either up and over the tracks at the light rail station or under them on 38th itself. It’s definitely a developing area but seems more deserted than sketchy. The Barrel Room has a ski-bar vibe going, which would be cozy on a cold winter day. Even nicer are the warming high-alcohol barrel-aged beers. Great Divide seems to try different combinations and rotate frequently so it’s best to check out the chalkboard and chat with the bartender for the latest and greatest. Of course they also serve the traditional Great Divide offerings – Collette, Yeti, Claymore Scottish, etc. One caution is that their small space gets jammed if a bus or large group comes, which happened to us.

Continue reading “RINO Ramble”

Wynkoop Brewing – Day of The Darks

Yesterday Wynkoop Brewing Co. sponsored their annual Day of the Darks in support of Movember and for dark-beer lovers it was Thanksgiving come early! About 30 breweries poured some of their finest in support of men’s health charities, while Wynkoop provided snacks and cholcolate for pairing. If you’re into darks, some of the highlights I’d recommend checking out if you find yourself by the brewery or at a liquor  store are:

  • Boggy Draw Groundhog Mountain Milk Stout – Not overly sweet like some at the Fest. The light sweetness provides balance to the slight bitterness of the roast malt
  • Boggy Draw Wee Stout – Combines English hops flavors (primaly tea) with roast malt
  • Strange & Epic Strangely Epic Imperial Cherry Stout – Collaboration using Strange’s Cherry Kriek and Epic’s Big Bad Baptist. The Baptist definitely won out with the rich malty flavors taking center stage and only a hint of cherrydarks
  • Strange Pumpkin Porter – Strange used 25 lb of pumpkin per barrel to make a beer that’s not overwhelming on the pumkin spice and carries notes of vanilla and honey too
  • Dry Dock Peaunut Butter Porter – Crazy-good beer that tasted like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup
  • Dry Dock Quad – Also a crazy-good beer with complex flavors of raisin, malt, carmel, and vanilla. Unlike lots of quads it doesn’t have the sharp alcohol flavor
  • Left Hand Smoke Jumper – A nice dark beer with a hickory BBQ type of smokiness that almost makes the beer savory.It reminded me of a good smoked cheddar
  • Liquid Mechanics  Cascadian Dark – An unusual black IPA that does a great balancing act between the up-front floral/citrus hops and the subtle dark-roast malt flavors
  • Briar Common American Porter – Dark-roast malt combined with robust coffee flavors