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.

Brewery Snapshot: Dry Dock North Disc Golf

While I’ve been to Dry Dock Brewing Co.’s South Dock in Aurora dozens of times over the years, this past weekend I finally made it to the Canoe Room at the North Dock, partly to check out their taproom and partly to try their disc golf course. The taproom side was much less busy and and more laid back than South Dock but the beer selection didn’t seem to be much different, despite what I had previously heard. The disc golf course was fun but a little rough, located on an old industrial site filled with prairie dogs. If you golf, grab a map from the taproom before starting, since some of the hole alignments are hard to decipher. We didn’t fully realize that until we got back to the taproom and realized we missed an entire hole. There are some challenging placements right on the edge of a ditch that runs through the site, but overall the course is on the short side.

BEER LINEUP: From what I could tell the lineup looked much like South Dock, ranging from light Pilsners through the IPA and Amber range up to a couple stouts and their famous Vanilla Porter. Basically they offer something for 20170610_195333_HDRabout every taste, generally solidly-made.

ATMOSPHERE: The taproom had a chill, fun vibe going on in with a graduation party happening as well. Aside from the wood-paneled taproom, the Canoe Room has an industrial back room in the production area featuring couches and games like air hockey.  People kept drifting in and out of the different spaces and the brewery so the whole thing seemed a little more like a college party than people trying to make a scene, as in some breweries in town.

SERVICE: Reasonable. We asked for beer; the server delivered. Not much chitchat but after a hot day of disc golf we happily settled for an efficient beer-delivery mechanism.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Kansas, basically. Clearly a production facility vs. retail, the industrial location east of the airport puts function over form. Don’t count on any food or other local businesses to visit. However it is easy to find on Tower Road just south of I70, with clear signage and ample parking. The truly cool thing about the remote location is that it leaves room for the disc golf course, which is a pretty unique amenity for a brewery.

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STANDOUT BEER: Maybe it was disc golfing in 90-degree weather but the Wheat offered a refreshing and satisfying experience. Normally I wouldn’t get too excited about a wheat but this packed more complexity than your stereotypical light-yellow beer. The maltiness on the front provided a  unique surprise for such a light beer, but then some hefeweizen-like banana esters kicked and pulled it back in the wheat direction. The end result was a beer with a lot going on but ultimately a refreshingly balanced and satisfying beverage.

Free Belgian Beer Class – Oct 29!

A friend of mine is studying to be a cicerone and giving beer appreciation classes to help prepare. The next one – Beers of Belgium –  is Saturday October 29 at Smiley Library in the Tennyson neighborhood from 1:00-3:00. It’s open to the public and totally free. Afterward the class will adjourn to De Steeg Brewing to apply  lessons learned. Last week was German beers and was very informative, followed by great company and discussions. Stop on by! 20160723_162307_hdr