Beer Calendar: Oktoberfest, Brewery Anniversaries and Big Beers Fest Tix

Categories: Beer Man

David Foxhoven
Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Fest.
Tickets to the fifteenth annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival, which takes place January 8 through January 10 in Vail, went on sale this morning -- and some of the events have already sold out. Although the events, and the weekend itself, are expensive compared to many beer fests, every attendee I've ever talked to has returned feeling it was worth the money -- and then some, so it's worth trying to score some tickets if you can. Activities this round include the Commercial Tasting ($65), Brewmasters' Dinners (hosted by Jennifer Glanville of Boston Beer Company and David Cole of Epic Brewing, among others), a brewer's reception, homebrew judging and educational seminars put on by the craft-brewing industry's leading innovators and brewery owners. And then there's the drinking: craft celebrities and famous beermakers bring huge, rare and special beers to the fest, and then proceed to drink them with you. Most of the events are ticketed separately; for all the prices, times and information, go to

Turn the page to see all of this week's craft-beer events.

Wednesday, September 3

Copper Kettle will tap a cask of Cucumber Saison today as part of its weekly firkin program. "English cucumber has far less seeds, reducing the bitter taste of the cucumber leaving the Saison characteristics to come through," the brewery says. The CKatering food truck will be on hand.

Friday, September 5

Lowry Beer Garden will strike up the band again for Oktoberfest, celebrating the German-style beer party for three weekends in a row this month. And this year, the spot's new sister location, Green Valley Ranch Beer Garden, will also celebrate. Left Hand Brewing will take over the taps today and tomorrow, from 5 to 9 p.m., pouring Oktoberfest, Milk Stout Nitro, Polestar Pilsner and 400 Pound Monkey. There will also be oom-poah bands in the house each weekend, including Austrian Connection, The Rhinelanders and the Peter Kron Band -- not to mention Lowry's collection of brats and dogs. So dust off your dirndl, polka shoes and lederhosen for this annual fall tradition. Anyone wearing the getup gets their first beer free.

Conservation Colorado, which works to conserve the state's water, air and beer, will hold its fourth annual Save the Ales fundraiser and beer-tasting event at EXDO tonight beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 (VIP tix are $60 and get you in an hour early) and include unlimited beer samples from 20 to 25 breweries, along with food from local vendors. Get the brewery list and more info at

Dry Dock Brewing will tap a cask of Chocolate Mint Stout at its original location today as part of its weekly Firkin Friday program. These specialty casks are tapped at 3 p.m.

Maine-based beer writer Russ Phillips, the founder of, will be at Oskar Blues's Tasty Weasel taproom in Longmont today from 5 to 8 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, CANNED! Artwork of the Modern American Beer Can. Since 2009, Phillips has been writing about canned craft beer; he has compiled a database of 1,500 entries and 300 beer reviews online. As for the book, it includes the stories behind more than 200 canned beers and their artwork. Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis wrote the forward.

Copper Kettle will tap Stinger Imperial Pils today. The beer is a hoppy, dry imperial pilsner with local Colorado wildflower honey.

Lucky Pie's Louisville location will tap all twelve collaboration beers from Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America series today at 4 p.m., along with several other brews from Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues. The collaborations were with Bells Brewery, Cigar City, Allagash, Russian River, Three Floyd's, Firesone Walker and others.

Saturday, September 6

Gravity Brewing in Louisville will celebrate its second anniversary with a blowout today from noon to 10 p.m. The brewery will be tapping a barrel-aged or small-batch beer each hour, on the hour, including Rum Barrel Aged Mendacious Golden Strong, Apple Whiskey Barrel Aged Mendacious, Brett Barrel Aged Mendacious, Brett Barrel Aged IPA, Brett Barrel Aged ESB, Barrel Aged Coffee Stout, Flanders Red and more. There will be live music, too: The Longest Day of The Year Duo from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.; Fully Belly from 6 to 9 p.m. And there will be food from Worldwide Vittles.

Denver Pearl Brewing will host a party starting today at noon when it officially announces its new (possibly neighborhood-based) name, along with a new logo. There will be prizes, merchandise and new beer releases. The brewery will be selling glasses with its old Denver Pearl logo for $5 each and donating all of the proceeds from those to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver. The brewery is changing its name after receiving word from two other breweries that it was violating trademarks.

Denver Beer Co will hold its annual Hop Swap today at the Platte Street taproom. In the spring, the brewery gives away hops plants, which people plant in their back yards. Then, in August and September, they harvest their hops and bring the cones to Denver Beer Co, which will use them to brew its Neighborhood Hop Swap Ale. At 2 p.m., the brewery will start its weigh-in ceremony "where each farmer's harvest will be weighed and a prize will be awarded for the most cones by weight," the brewery says. "Immediately following, each farmer will ceremoniously toss their hops into the brew." If you can't go to the ceremony, you can still bring your hops in (in a paper bag labeled with your name), starting at 3 p.m. on September 3. The beer will be tapped in a few weeks.

Sanitas Brewing will host a first-anniversary party beginning at noon today, featuring rare beer tappings, a grown-up bake sale with beer-infused cupcakes, a crawfish boil put on by McDevitt Taco Supply, and tunes spun by DJ Z-Staar throughout the evening.

Casey Brewing & Blending in Glenwood Springs will release Cherry Fruit Stand Farmhouse Ale today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Fruit Stand series consists of Casey's saison aged on different Colorado fruits. There are two versions of Cherry Fruit Stand, one made with sweet cherries and one with sour Balaton cherries. Both will be available on tap ($6 a pour) and in bottles ($18 each with a six-bottle limit). Casey will also be pouring Saison Blend Two, Saison Blend Three ($5 a pour) or by the bottle ($15), and selling Saison Blend Three ($15 per bottle). There are forty cases of Saison Blend Three and twenty cases each of the Cherry Fruit Stands.

For more events in September, turn the page.

Location Info


Copper Kettle Brewing

1338 S. Valentia St., Denver, CO

Category: General

Lowry Beer Garden

7577 E. Academy Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The EXDO Hall

3545 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: General

Dry Dock Brewery

15120 E. Hampden Ave., Aurora, CO

Category: General

Tasty Weasel Tap Room

1800 Pike Road, Longmont, CO

Category: Music

Platt Park Brewing

1875 South Pearl Street, Denver, CO

Category: General

Denver Beer Co.

1695 Platte St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Sanitas Brewing

3550 Frontier Ave., Boulder, CO

Category: General

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Southlands Oktoberfest this weekend, Sept 5 - 7.

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