Huge holiday seasonals, ugly sweaters and a Yeti sighting in this week's beer calendar
If you are entering a home-brewed stout into the Mountain Sun/Vine Street Pub Stout Month contest, the deadline is Saturday, December 16. The winner gets to brew the beer at Mountain Sun and have it served in February alongside all of the brewery's other beers. For more details, see our post, "More than 75 homebrewers will compete to create Mountain Sun's next Stout Month beer."
If you think you've got what it takes to be the Wynkoop Brewing Company's seventeenth annual Beerdrinker of the Year, applications are due by Monday. The legendary contest honors the nation's most passionate, knowledgeable beer lovers, and the winner gets free beer for life at the Wynkoop, along with a $250 tab at their local watering hole and the bragging rights of a lifetime. For details on how to enter, go to the Wynkoop's web site.
For all of this week's craft-beer events, turn the page.
For the past ten years, San Diego County's Stone Brewing has released a new version of a beer called Vertical Epic Ale; each was released one year, one month and one day after the previous one. The goal of the series was to compare the beers -- which are big, Belgian-style ales -- against one another as they aged. The project will wrap up this year when the tenth and final Epic Ale comes out today, December 12. To celebrate, Stone is hosting Vertical Epic Ale tastings at various locations across the country, including Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver, which will have nine out of the ten Epic Ales (the first year's version can only be found in California). To try them, Falling Rock will pour flights upstairs starting at 1:12 p.m. (which is 12:12 California time -- hurry!) for $25. Or you can try them all downstairs for $65, starting at 6 p.m., where they will be paired with appetizers. It will be Epic.
River North Brewery will release a new, experimental brew today in the taproom as part of its Wayward Wednesday series. The brewery is calling DenverVice "a Belgian-style Table Beer with a refreshing tartness." And unlike most Wayward Wednesday beers, DenverVice isn't based on an existing River North recipe.
Avery Brewing will host the annual release of Maharaja Imperial IPA, part of its Dictator series, at 5 p.m. in the Boulder taproom. A hop-heavy beer, Maharaja is brewed with 50 percent Simcoe, which Avery describes as "hops so intense that you'll think a pine tree and grapefruit tree made a baby, and it's kicking in your nose." There will also be Indian cuisine available, Bollywood films showing in the barrel-aging cellar and the Maharaja himself (available for you to take pictures with). Maharaja, in 22-ounce bombers, will hit liquor store shelves sometime this week as well.
Thursday, December 13
Lucky Pie Pizza in LoDo is kicking off its 12 Beers of Christmas daily tapping party at 5 p.m. today with Odell Isolation. Then it will count down the days with a new holiday seasonal each day at 5 p.m. Tomorrow is Sam Adams Winter Lager followed by Upslope Christmas Ale, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence and He'Brew Jewbelation. Go to Lucky Pie's Facebook page for the rest.
Boulder Beer Company will release a new limited-edition beer from 4 to 7 p.m. today in its taproom and later this week on liquor store shelves. A Honey of a Saison, which clocks in at 11.5 percent ABV, was brewed with lots of wildflower honey from Madhava Natural Sweeteners in Longmont, along with French saison yeast and champagne yeast. A high-gravity beer, A Honey of a Saison should be good for cellaring. Think of it "as a fresh alternative to your typical winter warmer," the brewery says.
Friday, December 14
Wit's End Brewing brings back its Ugly Sweater Winter Ale today with an Ugly Sweater party in the taproom from 2 to 9 p.m. Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater to qualify for door prizes, as well as a special award for the best (or worst?) ugly sweater. And for fans of the beer, today is the only day that Wit's End will offer 40-ounce growlers of the beer to go. So bring in your old 40 or buy a new one.
There will be a major Yeti sighting today at the Rackhouse Pub, which is hosting a Great Divide Yeti Pint Night starting at 4 p.m. On hand: eight different versions of Yeti Imperial Stout, including Oak Aged Yeti, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Belgian Yeti, and the even more difficult to spot Baby Yeti and Barrel Aged Yeti (in bottles). The first fifty people to order a Yeti will get a free Great Divide pint glass.
In the meantime, Great Divide itself will host an art show dedicated to bottlecap artist Amanda Wilshire and her studio, Awd aRT, which has been commissioned by several craft beer-themed establishments in Colorado, including Great Divide, Hops & Pie and Left Hand Brewing. A reception will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Her new work, including an installation called "Where's Your Aspen," will be on display in the taproom through early January, 2013.
Saturday, December 15
Hops & Pie will fill your stockings today beginning at noon with one of the best Christmas beer lineups in town. The Littlest Big Christmas Beer Fest features Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper, Lost Abbey's Gift of the Magi, Oskar Blues Port Barrel-aged G'Knight, Upslope's Christmas Ale, The Bruery's 5 Golden Rings, Strange Brewing's Gingerbread Man, Dry Dock Rudolph's Revenge, Delierium Noel and many more.
Denver Beer Festivus, a new craft-beer festival, goes down today from 2 to 6 p.m. inside the awesome McNichols Building in Civic Center Park. It features Denver breweries only, something that makes sense now that there are more than twenty of them. Hosted by Denver Off the Wagon and Imbibe Denver, Festivus has sold out, but that doesn't mean you can't lurk around outside or try to find a friend with an extra ticket. Most of the breweries are bringing one of their core beers along with something exciting, rare or different. There will also be food trucks, vendors and music. Some proceeds will go to support New Era Colorado, a nonprofit.
And if you can't get tickets for Festivus, then check out the after-party, which will take place in the same building on the third floor, with beer from Great Divide and music from Greensky Bluegrass. Doors to the concert open at 6:30 p.m. directly after Festivus and tickets, $25, just went on sale at this website.
Tuesday, December 18
The Vine Street Pub, Mountain Sun and Southern Sun will release the first in a series of IPAs that have been fermented 100 percent with brettanomyces yeast. This one, called The Rick Vaughn, will be tapped at all three pubs at 4:20 p.m. today. The 9.1 percent AVB Imperial Black Ale was fermented with Drie Fontenein brett yeast in a second-use red wine barrel. "It is an India Black Ale since we use just enough black malt to make the beer black in color, without adding too much roast flavor or bitterness," the brewery says. The yeast "lends flavors and aromas of tart pineapple and 'baryard' or 'horseblanket' that are signature characteristics of Brettanomyces strains. These flavors complement the fruity notes of American hops and slightly roasty malt character."
Wednesday, December 19
Avery Brewing's seasonal New World Porter returns today in the brewery's Boulder taproom and later this week to liquor store shelves. Avery has been making the dry-hopped robust porter, which would now be described as a black IPA, since 1998.
Friday, December 21
The Yak and Yeti will host its own End of the World party with the release of its "Up in Smoke" Rauchbier lager today at 4 p.m.
Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan
2401 Blake St., Denver, CO