Beer calendar: Baseball, blondes and the Craft Brewers Conference
The Brewers Association released its annual accounting this week of the top fifty craft brewers in the nation as base on sales, as well as the top fifty brewers altogether. In Colorado, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Odell, Left Hand, Boulder Beer and Craftworks -- which owns the Rock Bottom and Old Chicago chains -- remained on the first list. But Left Hand launched itself onto the second list as well for the first time, becoming the fiftieth largest brewery in the United States. At the same time, the Longmont beer maker released its own numbers, saying that its volume grew by 32 percent in 2013 to 65,879 barrels; Left Hand predicted that will brew 85,000 barrels in 2014.
For all of this week's craft beer events, turn the page.
Wednesday, April 2
It's Blonde Ale Cask Month at Copper Kettle Brewing, which will tap a different firkin each Wednesday featuring different kinds of blondes. Today's is Ugli Fruit Blonde Ale, made with a Jamaican fruit that is a hybrid of a grapefruit, orange and tangerine. CKrêpes & CKatering will be out at 3 p.m.
River North Brewery will tap an India Brown Ale, followed by a Belgian Dubbel today for its Wayward Wednesday series. There's only five gallons of each. The first one goes on tap at 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 3
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery will tap a brand new beer today, Keyhole Session IPA. Also,the Basic Kneads food truck will be in the house.
Friday, April 4
Most of the breweriesa and beer bars in the LoDo and Ballpark neighborhoods, like Jagged Mountain, Falling Rock, Great Divide, River North and others will be tapping special brews or extending their hours today in honor of Opening Day. Yay, baseball!
The Blake Street Vault will host a Dry Dock Brewing tap takeover today in honor of Colorado Rockies opening day. The takeover runs from noon to 6 p.m. with nine different Dry Dock beers on tap. There will be a $3 special draft pint each inning along with a $1 draft pint during the seventh-inning stretch and Dry Dock prizes every hour.
Monday, April 7
Barrels & Bottles in Golden will help kick off the Craft Brewers Conference & World Beer Cup with a tap takeover today from 5 to 10 p.m., featuring twelve rare or unusual beers from four breweries, Dry Dock, Bonfire, Trinity and Eddyline (go to Barrels & Bottles Facebook page for the beer list). Brewery representatives and owners will be on hand with giveaways and to talk about their beers.
Odell Brewing will celebrate the release of its newish session beer, Loose Leaf, in six-packs today -- which also happens to be "Session Beer Day" nationwide -- with a party in its Fort Collins taproom. Session beers are typically considered to be under 5 percent ABV, and Loose Leaf comes in at 4.5 percent ABV.
Tuesday, April 8
Hops & Pie will surrender a few of its taps to River North Brewery today at noon for a tap takeover featuring a one-time-only pilot brew, a Belgian Dubbel with tart cherries. Also on tap: J. Marie Barreled & Bretted, the brewery's farmhouse ale aged in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces, along with other beers.
Euclid Hall will get into the spirit of the Craft Brewers Conference by tapping different beers each day this week. Today, the restaurant digs into five kegs of Boulevard Brewing's Chocolate Ale, along with Euclid Sour, beginning at noon. Then, at 6 p.m. they'll tap a Elda M. Bourbon Barrel Milk Stout from No Label Brewing in Texas.
Ernie's Bar & Pizza will host an unprecedented tap takeover today featuring thirty beers that were brewed by women at breweries in Colorado and across the country. The event, starting at 9 p.m., benefits the nonprofit Pink Books Scholarship Fund, which helps pay for women to go to brewing school. Many of the brewers will be on hand to talk about their beers, which will remain on tap through April 11.
Boulder Beer Company will party like its 1979 today when it taps the first kegs of its 35th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA at Marlowe's in Denver during the Craft Beer Conference taking place here this week. "Dark black in color with a big all-around hop presence, Boulder 35 remains a well-balanced big IPA with a smooth roasted malt flavor," the brewery says. There will also be other Boulder Beer libations on tap from 9:30 p.m. until after midnight, along with live music from Gipsy Moon. The event is open to the public, however, all CBC badge holders will receive two free beers from Boulder Beer.
Wednesday, April 9
For its weekly Wayward Wednesday tapping, River North Brewery will pour two versions of its Imperial Stout at 3 p.m. -- Barrel Aged Avarice and B-Side Avarice; they are the same base beer, aged in different barrels.
Freshcraft will host beers from the Bruery and Cigar City tonight at 7 p.m. Beers on tap include Cigar City's 5 for 5 American Barleywine, 5 for 5 Imperial Oatmeal Cream Porter, 5 for 5 Tangerine Florida Weisse, and Invasion Pale Ale. Beers from the Bruery include Filmishmish, Saison De Lente, Melange #1, Grey Monday. Among others.
As usual during big events, Hops & Pie will have many rare or hard-to-find beers on tap during the Craft Beer Conference. Today's are Jester King's La Vie en Rose, Noble King, RU55, Ambrée, Ol' Oi, Atrial Rubicite & Funk Metal. You can also drink several Crooked Stave beers, including Batch 60, Nightmare on Brett, Surette, Winter St. Bretta.
Join Denver Beer Co for a good old-fashioned pizza party tonight at 6 p.m. when the brewery welcomes in two of the city's best pizza trucks, Basic Kneads Pizza & Brava! Pizzeria. There will also be live music from Modern Whiskey Market.
Breckenridge Brewery has teamed up with SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta, Georgia, on a special collaboration beer that will be tapped today at Ale House at Amato's while the Craft Beer Conference is in town. The beer, called O'Tay, is a dry-hopped red wheat wine ale and will available elsewhere later this month in Colorado. Brewed with red wheat malt from the Colorado Malting Company and malted Buckwheat and Mosaic hops, it's a tribute to the friendship between Breckenridge head Todd Usry and Sweetwater chief Freddy Bensch, who "used to pal around Colorado in the early days of craft beer." Amato's will also host a tap takeover by Breckenridge and SweetWater. "The night will also honor the late Curtis McArthur of SweetWater Brewery with a toast at 4:20 p.m. Brewer friends of McArthur, Upslope Brewing Company and Crooked Stave, will be in attendance with a few of their beers to pour as well," the brewery says.
Ska Brewing will release a new collaboration with Sweden's Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri today from 5 to 8 p.m. at a party at Star Bar. Wipa Snapa White IPA was brewed in Durango when the Swedish brewery came to Ska's world headquarters for a visit. The beer -- a hybrid of the Belgian witbier and India Pale Ale styles -- is the second that Ska and Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri have worked on together. It features ingredients from both Colorado and Sweden, including Sea Buckthorn berries -- a tart, refreshing berry native to Scandinavia -- and Chinook hops from High Wire Hop Farms in Paonia.
Euclid Hall will tap Boulevard Brewing's unusual Foeder Projekt sour beer at 7 p.m. There will be national brewery reps in attendance.
For more events later in April, turn the page.
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