Weekend Beer Update

Nothing goes better than the Superbowl and beer and several breweries are hosting Bowl-related events. Alternately, stop by your favorite taproom to grab a growler to share with friends at a Superbowl party! Once the big game is over, the rest of February promises to be a dark and boozy month full of stouts, imperials, and barrel-aged beers.

Thursday 1st: Today marks the first day of Stout Month at Vine Street Pub so pick a date on the calendar, get some friends together, and get your stout on!

Thursday 1st: Today also marks the start of Frozen February at Wild Woods Brewery in Boulder. They’ll showcase imperial, barrel-aged, and winter seasonal beers with weekly tap and bomber releases, plus special cellar tappings.

Friday 2nd: De Steeg Brewing celebrates their fifth anniversary Image result for public domain chili photoswith a beer and cookie pairing. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 3rd: Fire up your taste buds with Copper Kettle Brewing Company’s 2nd Annual Chili Cookoff. Visit their website to sign up to participate, or to get tickets to taste and vote for your favorites.  Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 3rd: Hop on the Winter Bus Loop between Strange Craft, Black Sky Brewery, Renegade Brewing, and Seedstock Brewery. For just $5 you can start at any brewery and catch a bus that circulates between all four. Even better, complete the circuit and get a free beer on your next visit! Note: This is a ticketed event.

Saturday 3rd: Rock out (quietly) with Diebolt Brewing Company’s Vladislav Release Party and 80’s Disco Party offering various flavor options of their Bourbon Aged Imperial Stout and of course funky dance moves. Note: This is a ticketed event.

20171106_194213_hdr.jpgSunday 4th: Superbowl Sunday starts early at Bruz Beers with the dog-friendly Puppy Bowl, where they will tune in to the Animal Planet show and have doggy bowls and other dog-related products for your pup. From there they launch right into their Superbowl viewing party and potluck. Bring a dish to share and get your first beer free.

Sunday 4th: If you’re more of a south-Denver person, Living the Dream Brewing Company will also be showing the game on their big screen.

 

Weekend Beer Update

2018 has come roaring in with a weekend packed full of festivities that mixes up traditional events like anniversaries with some pretty unique morning events and a traditional Wassail Winter Carnival. If you have the time and a strong liver you can pretty much have a beer in your hand from Friday evening all the way through the Monday holiday.

Friday 12th: Oscar Blues Brewery kicks off the grand opening weekend of their Denver taproom at 1624 Market Street with food, drink, and music at their live music space next door. Celebrations continue on Saturday. Note: The live music is a ticketed event.

Saturday 13th: One of two anniversaries this weekend, 20170101_151519_hdr1-e1505312001811.jpgKokopelli Beer Company celebrates with limited-release beers and giveaways.

Saturday 13th: Get up early and start your day at the Beer, Bacon, and Coffee Fest at Denver Beer Co’s Arvada taproom. Note: This is a ticketed event and also doesn’t seem to specifically involve beer.

Saturday 13th: Cellar West Artisan Ales in Boulder celebrates their first anniversary with a bash that includes special tapping of their beers plus collaboration, along with BBQ to munch on.

Saturday 13th: If you’re looking for something a little unusual (though not exactly beer), C Squared Ciders hosts their Winter Carnival in The Rackhouse featuring a tapping of their winter wassail and numerous activities to frighten away evil  spirits and summon good ones for the upcoming year. The evening will include Magicians, Jugglers, Tarot Card Readers and Live Music. The show keeps rolling on Sunday as well.

Sunday 14th: You can get a head start on today’s iteration of the Winter Carnival with Station 26 Brewing Co’s Bluegrass Brunch from 11:00-3:00 featuring live bluegrass, a brunch food truck, and of course beer!

Monday 15th: Call to Arms Brewing invades Euclid Hall for a Kick the Keg Tap Takeover starting at 11:30am if you have MLK day off and are looking for something to do. The menu features seven Call to Arms beers along with a special pairing menu from Euclid Hall’s kitchen. The person who gets the beer that kicks each of the kegs wins a prize!

Wednesday 17th: While not technically a weekend event, the Strange/Wit Meet & Greet at Strange Craft sounds pretty cool. From 4:30-6:30 interact with a panel of the owners & brewers of Strange and Wit that focuses on the topic of seasonal ingredients. Note: This is a ticketed event.

Weekend Beer Update

Take a break from Christmas shopping to stop by one of the many holiday-themed brewery events scheduled this weekend, or better yet give the gift of beer or brewery merch!

Friday 8th: Break out your ugliest sweater for Strange Craft Beer Company’s release of their Ugly Sweater Belgian-style brown ale. Needless to say there will be prizes for the ugliest attire! Starts at noon.

Grandma's HouseFriday 8th: If tradition is more your style, visit Grandma’s House for old-fashioned cookie decorating in the evening. Free with the purchase of a beer!

Saturday 9th: One of the best deals in Denver BusLoop4_Web.pngreturns this afternoon from 2:00-10:00 – the West Side Brewery Bus Loop! Ride between four breweries for just $5 and if you complete the loop with a beer at each one you get a free beer. So really, it pays for itself. Buy a tickets to start at any brewery. This month features Little Machine Beer, Hogshead Brewery, Zuni Street Brewing Co. and Joyride Brewing.

Saturday 9th: Come inside and warm up with Living the Dream Brewing Company as they host their 1st Annual Barrels of Brews.  Enjoy four barrel aged releases on the same day paired with chocolates from 1:00-6:00

Saturday 9th: Join Station 26 Brewing Co. in celebrating their 4th anniversary with live music and special beer releases

Wits End Moving to Strange

Reminder that this coming weekend Wit’s End Brewing Company will be closing their 2nd Ave location to move in with Strange Craft Beer. They anticipate celebrating the completion of the move the following weekend. Given Strange’s already-cramped taproom I have difficulty envisioning how the combination will play out, but I suppose that’s just one more excuse to stop in and enjoy a few beers!

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Brewery Snapshot: Wit’s End Brewing Company

UPDATE: As of the end of late 2017 Wit’s End has combined forces with Strange Craft Beer Company. The flagship beers and brewer are the same but now produced and served at Strange’s location near 13th and Zuni.

A lot has changed at Wit’s End Brewing Company since my last visit a couple of years ago. On the positive side they have broadened and deepened their beer menu by adding a number of darker beers, high gravity beers, and barrel-aged beers. They truly offer a curated menu where most beer drinkers will find a sweet spot. On the other, bittersweet, side they will shortly be closing their brewery/taproom and moving in with Strange Craft Beer Co. so while they will continue to brew and pour, they won’t be doing it in their own unique space. In recognition of that I’ve truncated the review below to focus mainly on the beer.

BEER LINEUP: Very broad and comprehensive with good variety of light, medium, dark, IPA, and barrel-aged. All the beers I tried were very smooth and easy drinking, sometimes dangerously-so on the high-gravity beers. Everything seemed very solidly-produced and true to style.

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ATMOSPHERE, SERVICE, and LOCATION:  Wit’s End is currently buried deep among growhouses in an industrial park off of 2nd and Federal, which may contribute some to its sleepy vibe. The small taproom sits in the same space as the brewery, giving the whole place a stripped-down industrial look. The service was great and the bartender happily guided our party through the variety of selections to help us make our selections. If you want to visit this location, you better hurry and get there before Thanksgiving!

STANDOUT BEER: Scotchy Scotch Scotch – 2015 and 16. You really need to have both of these Scotch Ales to appreciate them, although I would heartily recommend either on their own. Obviously from the dates they have been barrel aged, though surprisingly the 2016 has a much smokier and Scotch-like flavor.  Both beers have a thick consistency and very smooth, sweet, and syrupy base. They feature big, intense hits of roasted malt and almost woody flavors. In the 2015 the sweetness wins out to the point that I got some marshmallow undertones occasionally. In contrast, the woody and smoky flavors dominate the 2016. Scotch-lovers would be all over 2016.

West Side Beer Bus This Weekend

Brewery Snapshot: Strange Craft Beer

One of the older Denver craft breweries, Strange Craft Beer has remained tucked away below I25 for seven years in its industrial location near Mile High Stadium. Despite being off the beaten path, Strange draws a mixed crowd of regulars and visitors from throughout the city with its cozy taproom and eclectic beer lineup offering both traditional styles and interesting new brews. The central location makes it easy to head down for an evening or stop by on the way to another event.

BEER LINEUP: Strange offers a diverse and always-changing lineup from IPAs to Strange-Cherry-Kriek-Labelstouts to farmhouse and fruit. They generally feature a few standbys like Cherry Kriek and Breakfast Grapefruit IPA combined with rotating favorites like Big Malty and a few new brews. Although the menu is unpredictable it would take an awfully picky drinker to not find something to like.

ATMOSPHERE: The taproom has a very intimate feel and it seems like many patrons are regulars and know each other and the bartenders. The familiarity is good since the small taproom practically requires sharing tables and making new friends. During warmer weather the Biergarten behind the brewery opens with tons of seating and outdoor games which include raising a toast to each light rail train that passes by. Strange seems to always have a food truck out front.

SERVICE: Always super-friendly. While the bar can get jammed up and appear hopeless for getting refreshment, the bartenders do a great job of managing traffic while still offering samples and friendly chitchat about the beers.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Strange sits right below the 13th street bridge under I25 and next to a power plant in an industrial strip mall so the neighborhood offers little else of interest aside from maybe the distillery next door. Although within walking distance of Mile High Stadium you really need a good map app to navigate the twists and StrangeBigMalty-Labelturns to find it. The area has a slightly sketch feel but it’s really more deserted than unsafe. Parking in the strip mall lot is usually available.


STANDOUT BEER:
 Big Malty. In an IPA-crazed world it’s refreshing to break the mold with this medium-dark beer combining the slightly sweet and roasty flavors of malt with essentially no hops bitterness. Best of all, it’s surprisingly light-bodied, unlike many stouts and other malt-forward beers. Better get it fast, though, as I think its season’s about ending.