California crashes Colorado, and Ten FIDY goes big in our craft beer calendar
New Belgium Brewing, which has been making beer in Fort Collins for 22 years, plans to update the look of its beer labels beginning in 2014. The new designs will take some of the "iconic and playful watercolor imagery" that the brewery has used and update it "through a modern lens," the company said in a statement.
The brand-wide refresh will replace the artwork of Ann Fitch -- who is brewery co-founder Kim Jordan's neighbor -- with labels from Hatch Design of San Francisco (like the one above), featuring artist Leah Giberson. The first beer drinkers to see the new labels will be in Ohio, where New Belgium plans to begin distribution in December and January.
Turn the page for all of this week's craft beer events.
Wednesday, August 28
As part of its weekly Wayward Wednesday program, River North Brewery will tap a keg of Hoppenberg Uncertainly Principle Belgian IPA that has been aged with fresh whole-cone Chinook hops. The first pour is at 3 p.m.
August is Barrel Aged Cask Month at the Copper Kettle, and the brewery has been rolling out a new firkin each Wednesday. Today's beer is Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout, which will be served from 3 to 9 p.m. East Coast Joe's will be serving food at 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 29
The Denver Bicycle Cafe will host a beer and cheese pairing from 8 to 10 p.m. tonight featuring five brews from Black Shirt and five cheeses that have been hand-picked by an expert from Marczyk's Fine Foods. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
Friday, August 30
Falling Rock Taphouse will tap an unusual beer today at 5 p.m. that was brewed at California's Firestone Walker in February 2012 with input from members of the Publican National Committee, a loose group of pub owners across the country (including the Falling Rock's Chris Black). Called PNC, the Imperial Buckwheat Stout was aged in tequila barrels for thirteen months and weighs in at 13.7 percent ABV.
Oskar Blues will celebrate the return of its winter seasonal, Ted FIDY, today at the Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont. The 10.5 percent ABV Imperial Stout is also being released to liquor stores earlier than usual, in September, thanks to the addition of the brewery's second facility in North Carolina. The beer will be available until February, when Oskar Blues hopes to release an as-yet-unnamed new seasonal. The Tasty Weasel party will feature a vertical tasting of FIDY from years past, plus a barrel-aged FIDY, a firkin of FIDY Pale, and a Nitro Smidy.
Saturday, August 31
Five of California's most popular craft brewers will be in Colorado today, participating in the inaugural EPIC Beer Event from noon to 4 p.m. at Ernie's Bar & Pizza; the restaurant will close down its parking lot for the brewers, who will serve unlimited tasters, meet with guests and talk about the beer. The Big Bad Band will perform live from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Participating breweries include Stone, Russian River, Green Flash, Firestone Walker and Lagunitas. Tickets are $35 at the gate and include a souvenir cup.
Denver Beer Co will hold its annual Neighborhood Hop Swap brew today, in which beer fans who grew hops for the brewery this year can turn in their sticky cones. Denver Beer Co will again hold a weigh-in ceremony at 3 p.m.; a prize will be awarded for the most cones by weight. Shortly thereafter, each farmer will ceremoniously toss their hops into the brew. (If you can't attend that day, you can turn in your hops beginning at 3 p.m. on August 28.) Note to farmers: pick the hops on Saturday and carry them in a paper bag.
Monday, September 2
The Denver Passport, a two-for-one drinks coupon book produced locally and good at 56 different breweries, bars, restaurants, and wineries, will celebrate the end of its summer-long run today with a party from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe Lounge. Every stamp you have is worth one raffle ticket; ten stamps gets you a free drink. There will also be many prizes. RSVP on Facebook.
Tuesday, September 3
Crooked Stave and 12 Percent Imports will begin their partnership in Colorado today by serving up some of the beers they are distributing here at Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse. Starting at 6 p.m., you can try brews from Belgium's Hof ten Dormaal, along with with gypsy brewers, Stillwater and Evil Twin Brewing.