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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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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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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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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Beer calendar: Sesh Fest, Avery's anniversary and a pair of new cans

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Dad & Dude's Breweria Facebook page
Dude's Brews, the packaging arm of Dad & Dude's Breweria in Aurora, has started canning two new beers: Leaves of Lemongrass, a light-bodied wit bier brewed with lemongrass, coriander and orange peel, and Riot Red Rye Ale, a spicy red infused with Lampong peppercorns from Indonesia. They should be available in local liquor stores next week, along with an existing beer, Dank IPA. Dude's was able to can the beers after raising $770,000 from investors; the brewery used the money to hire two sales reps to help expand its distribution and to design the artwork for the cans. All of the beers are being produced at Rockyard Brewing in Castle Rock using an alternating proprietorship agreement, which allows Dude's to use its fellow brewery's equipment.

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Beer calendar: Throw down at Grimm Bros., Sanitas, Avery and Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp

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Powder Keg Brewing Facebook page
Powder Keg Brewing has opened in Niwot, where it's the town's second craft-beer maker; the location has a brewpub license (since it plans to serve food), which means it can also pour beers from other local breweries, including its neighbor, Bootstrap Brewing. Powder Keg plans to be open seven days a week, from 2 to 10 p.m.

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Beer calendar: Special events at Copper Kettle, Wynkoop, Upslope and World of Beer

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Avery Brewing Facebook page
Riders from last year's BoulDurango cracking beers at elevation.
Beer can pack on calories, especially for the owners and employees of Colorado's breweries, who have to drink their brews for a living (tough life). Fortunately, they know how to work them off as well. On Monday, July 21, owners and reps from six breweries (Avery, Ska, Boulder Beer, Left Hand, Oskar Blues and Great Divide) will participate in the sixth annual Tour De BoulDurango, a five-day, 426-mile bike ride that starts at Avery Brewing in Boulder, traverses some of the state's steepest passes, and ends at Ska Brewing in Durango. And then they will party: Finish Fest (tickets are $10) starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 25, featuring beers from all six breweries, including Wheelsucker Wheat, a collaboration between Avery and Ska. And this year, the riders are allowing anyone along the route to join in, cheer them on or meet them for a beer along the way with the use of Insta-Mapper GPS tracking software. Go to skabrewing.com for more information.

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Colorado Brewers Rendezvous, Breckenridge Hootenanny highlight this week's beer calendar

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Barrels & Bottles released three flagship beers this week, all of them created by new head brewer Kim Collins. The beers are Piney the First, a 5 percent ABV all Chinook-hopped pale ale; Lil' IPA, a 5.2 percent ABV session IPA; and Hot Lips, a 3.7 percent ABV sour mash blonde ale that was brewed with Lactobacillus to give it sour notes. The brewery, founded last September by Zach and Abby George, plans to create and release three new beers this fall as well.

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Beer calendar: Try new brews from TRVE, Copper Kettle and Jagged Mountain

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Eric Wallace of Left Hand Brewing.
Left Hand Brewing co-founder and president Eric Wallace was recognized last week as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the consumer products and services category, beating out two dozen other candidates. The award recognizes "extraordinary performance in leading successful innovative businesses, strong financial performance, and an endearing commitment to the community," the brewery says. Left Hand was founded in 1993 in Longmont, by Wallace and Dick Doore.

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Renegade, Front Range and the Colorado Brewers Festival celebrate anniversaries

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Boulder Beer Company, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, said this week that it will begin canning two of its flagship beers, Buffalo Gold Golden Ale and Mojo IPA, for the first time. Both cans will feature redesigned artwork. Boulder Beer has canned two of its other beers, Hazed & Infused year-round and Hoopla Pale Ale, with the help of Mobile Canning LLC. But the brewery recently purchased its own canning line. Both beers will be sold in six-packs of twelve-ounces cans.

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