Beer calendar: Beerdrinker of the Year, Pliny the Younger and Denver Off the Wagon

The local booze blog Denver Off the Wagon will celebrate its second birthday this weekend with a three-day extravaganza that celebrates the drinking culture around town. The festivities kick off Thursday with a six-course booze-paring dinner (involving beer, wine and spirts) at Joney's Eatbar (tickets are $40), followed on Friday by the tapping of a Belgian dubbel (see the video above) that the Wagon crew brewed at Denver Beer Co. And finally, there will be a massive bar crawl through a couple of neighborhoods on Saturday that ends up at Star Bar.

For more details of the latter two events -- along with all of this week's craft beer fun -- check out our calendar on the next page.

J.Wilson, 2012 Beerdrinker of the Year.jpg
Wynkoop Brewing
Last year's winner, J. Wilson, will serve as a judge at the 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year contest.
Wednesday, February 20

The Rackhouse Pub has been hoarding beer, but has now decided to share with a series of Wednesday night "I'd Tap That" events. The latest is today at 5 p.m., when the Rackhouse brings out Elevation Brewing's Oil Man Imperial Stout, Apis IV and Signal de Botrange.

The Copper Kettle will tap a firkin of coffee smoked porter today as part of the brewery's weekly firkin series. Hours are 3 to 9 p.m.

Friday, February 22

Denver Off the Wagon is throwing its second birthday party this weekend with a series of boozy events. Today's is the release of Dubbel Entendre, a Belgian dubbel that Wagon bloggers brewed a couple of weeks ago at Denver Beer Co. The beer includes Belgian malts like Caramel Vienne, German Northern Brewer hops, lots of Belgian Candy sugar and Abby yeast. Join the Wagon crew at Denver Beer Co at 4:30 p.m.

As part of its twentieth annual Stout Month, the three Mountain Sun pubs (Vine Street in Denver and the Mountain Sun and Southern Sun in Boulder) will tap Mutual Respect Belgian Coffee Stout, a big 10.5 percent ABV collaboration between Mountain Sun and Odell Brewing. To make it, the Mountain Sun team went to For Collins to use the brewery's five-barrel pilot system.

Saturday, February 23

Denver Beer Co will host its second annual Beer, Bacon & Coffee Fest today from 9 a.m to noon at the brewery and in the new Barrel Room next door. Tickets cost $30 and include a breakfast burrito from Chile Billy, coffee from Coda Coffee, all-you-can-eat bacon from chef Justin Brunson's new Denver Bacon Co., and a souvenir mug to fill with all the "breakfast inspired" brews you can drink from Denver Beer Co.

Hops & Pie brings Firestone Walker to its monthly Littlest Big Beer Fest, which starts today at noon. Beer on tap include: Anniversary XVI, Walker's Reserve, Sucaba, Union Jack, Hop Yard, Velvet Merlin and a firkin of Union Jack. Flights and single pours will be available.

The Denver Off the Wagon blog continues its birthday celebration today with an epic pub crawl in the Five Points, River North and Ballpark neighborhoods, followed by a party at Star Bar. The crawl begins at 3 p.m. at Mile High Spirits and then proceeds on to Our Mutual Friend, The Matchbox, River North Brewing, Blake Street Tavern, Breckenridge Brewery and Whiskey Bar, before winding up at Star Bar, where there will be all kinds of goodies on tap, including Dubbel Entendre (a Belgian beer that the Wagon bloggers brewed with Denver Beer Co), New Belgium La Folie and Tart Lychee, Odell Friek, The Meddler, Deconstruction and Saboteur, Avery Tweak and Bolder Weiss, Great Divide Barrel Aged Belgian Yeti and numerous others.

The Wynkoop Brewing Company hosts its 17th annual Beerdrinker of the Year contest today. The national competition honors the nation's most passionate beer lovers and afficionados and crowns one as the champion after a rigorous series of questions and tasks. "These super beer geeks must have a deep understanding of how beer is made, its many styles and its importance in advancing civilization. They must have a vast array of beer tasting experiences and be shining ambassadors for the culture of fine beer," the brewery says. This year's three finalists are Warren Monteiro, of New York City; Kevin Cox of Muncie, Indiana; and Jen Schwertman, also of New York City (and who worked at the Wynkoop in the 1990s). The BDOTY starts at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs will host the 9th Annual Firkin Rendezvous today from 2 to 5 p.m. The unusual fest features dozens of beers from forty different Colorado breweries that have been cask-conditioned with other ingredients to create one-of-a-kind treats. Tickets are $35 in advance or $50 for VIP treatment (meaning you get in an hour early) and are available at wwwbristolbrewing.com or by calling 719-633-2555, and include a commemorative glass and unlimited pours. But only 200 tickets will be available in order to keep the crowd manageable. Food will be available.

Falling Rock Taphouse will tap a keg of Russian River's Pliny the Younger, rated the second best beer in the world today at 12:30 p.m. Get there early for tickets, which is the only way you'll be able to get a pour.

Sunday, February 24

Falling Rock Taphouse will tap a keg of Russian River's Pliny the Younger, rated the second best beer in the world today at 1 p.m. Get there early for tickets, which is the only way you'll be able to get a pour.

The Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder will tap a sixtel of Russian River's famed Pliny the Younger triple IPA today at 11 a.m. The rare beer only makes it to Colorado once a year and only to a few select locations where it is poured on tap and sells out with hours -- if not minutes. Tickets will be available for purchase at Backcountry at 11 a.m.; it costs $9 for a 10-ounce pour, one ticket per person.

Monday, February 25

The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe on Colfax Avenue, will tap a sixtel of Russian River's famed Pliny the Younger triple IPA today at 6:30 p.m. The rare beer only makes it to Colorado once a year and only to a few select locations where it is poured on tap and sells out with hours -- if not minutes. A glass at the Cheeky Monk costs $10 and be served on a first come-first serve basis. The Cheeky Monk will tap another keg on Thursday, February 28.

For more craft beer events later in February, turn the page.

Location Info

Rackhouse Pub - CLOSED

208 S. Kalamath St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Copper Kettle Brewing

1338 S. Valentia St., Denver, CO

Category: General

Vine Street Pub & (Brewery)

1700 Vine St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery

1535 Pearl St., Boulder, CO

Category: Music

Southern Sun Brewery

627 S. Broadway, Boulder, CO

Category: Music

Denver Beer Co.

1695 Platte St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Bristol Pub at Ivywild School

1604 South Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO

Category: General

Hops & Pie

3920 Tennyson St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Backcountry Pizza and Tap House

2319 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant

The Cheeky Monk

534 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Falling Rock Tap House

1919 Blake St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Wynkoop Brewing Company

1634 18th St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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