Beer Calendar: Get Your Brews With Lemon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange and Chocolate

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Dry Dock Brewing Facebook page
Two bi-partisan groups of Colorado lawmakers -- a crew that is often woefully unfamiliar with this state's craft-beer industry -- will make their way to a pair of breweries this week as part of a program created by the Colorado Brewers Guild called Hop the Vote. A team of state senators will be at Dry Dock Brewing today while a roster of state representatives will head to Denver Beer Co on Friday. Both groups will brew a beer -- and then Great American Beer Festival attendees will vote on which is better in October. The real payoff will come in 2015 and thereafter, though, if the Guild is able to keep these legislators on its side when it comes to booze-related political issues like whether or not grocery stores should be allowed to sell full-strength beer, wine and spirits.

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Oskar Blues Selling Crowler Machines to Other Breweries for Canned Beer to Go

Categories: Beer Man

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Oskar Blues
The table-top Crowler machine at the Tasty Weasel.
Beer to go is nothing new in Colorado: Most breweries sell glass, plastic or stainless steel vessels, known as growlers, that they fill right from their tap lines. But some of those containers have developed a reputation for being too big, unwieldy or worse -- for letting their contents go flat after only a day or two.

At Oskar Blues -- a company whose name has become synonymous with aluminum since it canned the first craft beer in 2004 -- those materials aren't going to cut it, anyway. That's why the Longmont brewery spent two years creating a prototype for a machine that could seal a growler-sized can right at the bar and send it home with happy customers.

See also: Oskar Blues will debut Old Chub Nitro this week, the first U.S.-made nitro beer in a can

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Denver Pearl Brewing Changing Name to Avoid Confusion, Possible Legal Action

Categories: Beer Man

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Denver Pearl Facebook page
Just three months after opening in the Platt Park neighborhood, Denver Pearl Brewing is changing its name in order to avoid confusion and the possibility of legal action from two other breweries, one local and one in another state.

Denver Pearl has selected a new name -- one that avoids the words Denver and Pearl -- but doesn't plan to reveal it until a party on September 6, says founder Colby Rankin.

See also: Kettle & Stone changes name to Vindication Brewing at the request of Stone Brewing

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Beer calendar: The Boulder Craft Beer Fest, New Holland, and a Top-Secret Wild Ale

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Oskar Blues Facebook page
Oskar Blues said last week that it has lowered the alcohol content of its newest and most unusual craft beer, Old Chub Scotch Ale Nitro, at the request of bars across the OB's 35-state distribution network, where the beer will be rolled out in coming weeks. Old Chub will now weigh in at 6.9 percent ABV, rather than 8 percent.

The change means that these bars can offer traditional full-pint pours rather than eight- or ten-ounce pours, the Longmont brewery says. OB debuted the beer -- the first American-made nitro beer in a can -- in Denver in April at the Craft Brewers Conference. Regular, non-nitro Old Chub will remain at 8 percent ABV.

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Colorado Craft Pioneer Oasis Brewery Plans to Resurrect Beers Like Tut Brown, Scarab Red

Categories: Beer Man

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Adventurous Colorado beer drinkers didn't have a lot of choices in the early 1990s. There were a few imports, but since microbrews were few and far between, anyone who was interested in branching out probably came across Oasis Brewery's Tut Brown Ale.

Founded in 1991 by George Hanna, Oasis was one of the first craft breweries to make a name for itself in Colorado -- alongside Boulder Beer, Odell and Breckenridge -- and reached its peak in the late '90s, when it opened a restaurant and packaging facility. It was also became one of several breweries to close when the industry hit hard times in the 2000s.

See also: Tivoli Brewing plans its second historic Denver beer, Sigi's

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GABF Rule Changes Force Coors to Take a Much Smaller Part in the 2014 Festival

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Blue Moon Facebook page
Blue Moon's Keith Villa pours beer at GABF in 2012.
Coors has been a part of the Great American Beer Festival since its ragtag beginnings in 1982 in Boulder. The brewery won its first medals -- for Killian Irish Red and Coors Extra Gold -- in 1988, a year after the festival held its first competitive judging. In the decades since, the Golden brewery has merged with Molson and then Miller, but Coors, and its various subsidiaries, continued to win GABF medals by the fistful. The Sandlot -- located inside Coors Field -- has taken home 43 by itself, while Blue Moon and AC Golden, which are both based in Colorado, have won seventeen between them.

In recent years, MillerCoors has been represented by as many as eight different companies that poured dozens of beers on the festival floor, from the big-name brands like Coors, Keystone and Miller to niche creations made by tiny subsidiaries.

See also: Nearly 1,400 Breweries Register for GABF, 81 Percent Higher Than Last Year

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Crazy Mountain Is the First Colorado Brewery to Can a Barleywine

Categories: Beer Man

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In the same month that Ska Brewing released one of the lowest-alcohol beers to be canned in Colorado -- the 4.5 ABV Rudie Session IPA -- Crazy Mountain Brewing in Edwards released one of the most potent: the 10 percent ABV Lawyers, Guns & Money.

Labeled as a barleywine, the beer tastes more like a double IPA and it rivals only Ten Fidy from Oskar Blues when it comes to alcohol content in a canned beer. It is also the only barleywine that has been canned in Colorado.

See also: Crazy Mountain Neomexicanus Is One of Only Two Beers Made With Hops Native to the U.S.

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Beer Calendar: Ed Fest and Special Beers from Diebolt, Verboten, Black Shirt and Upslope

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New Belgium Facebook page
Is it fall yet? Almost. A pair of seasonal beers from two Colorado breweries are hitting shelves around town right now. They include Grimm Brothers Brewhouse's Farmer's Daughter, a 6.1 ABV German Style Oktoberfest beer with a creamy mouthfeel and toasty aroma, and New Belgium's Tour de Fall, a new seasonal that celebrates the Fort Collins brewery's annual ten-city Tour de Fall bicycle extravaganza. The 6 percent ABV pale ale was dry-hopped with Cascade and Amarillo dry hops.

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Photos: Denver Beer Co Cranks Up Huge New Production Brewery and Canning Line

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Each can is printed with one of 24 different GPS coordinates.
Just three years after opening in a former garage on Platte Street, Denver Beer Co has just tapped a huge new production facility in the Sunnyside neighborhood, making the brewery a perfect symbol for the rapid rise of craft brewing's third wave.

Denver Beer Co's Canworks in located inside a cavernous 11,000-square-foot warehouse, at 4455 Jason Street, and includes a thirty-barrel brewing system -- making it the fourth largest in Denver -- and four sixty-barrel fermenters. It also boasts a large canning line from Boulder's Wild Goose Engineering, which the brewery will use to package six-packs of Graham Cracker Porter, Incredible Pedal IPA and other beers.

See also: DMNS and Denver Beer Co team up on science, fun and a Maya-inspired beer

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Beer calendar: Fermentation Fest, Firkins, Football and Denver Beer Co's Anniversary

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New Belgium Facebook page
The Daily Meal released its annual list of the 50 Best Craft Breweries in America -- as voted on by readers -- last week, and it included seven in Colorado. They are: New Belgium Brewing (ranked 7), Oskar Blues (ranked 9), Avery (ranked 12), Epic (ranked 16), Great Divide (ranked 18), Odell (ranked 27) and Crooked Stave (ranked 32).

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