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.

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

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Golden City Brewery stops serving food and cider; plans to open winery later this year

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Danielle Lirette
The patio at Golden City.
After more than four years of serving food along with its hand-crafted beers, Golden City Brewery has decided to shutter its kitchen and rely on food trucks instead.

"We were already really small, and the health department changed their requirements for what we had to do to have a kitchen," says Tamara Munroe, the daughter of brewery founders Charlie and Janine Sturdevant. "They want us to add about six more bathroom stalls. But that would take up most of our garden space, so we can't do it."

See also: Ten great Colorado brewery patios to try this summer

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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.

Read on to see of this week's craft beer events.

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Living the Dream Brewing opening Saturday in Highlands Ranch

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Living the Dream Brewing
Carrie Knose, living in California, and Jason Bell, running a liquor store in Chicago, both dreamed of opening a brewery. But it wasn't until they met -- through mutual friends -- after moving independently to Colorado that the dream became reality.

"We started talking beer and decided to make it happen," says Knose.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the business partners will open Living the Dream Brewing, at 12305 Dumont Way, in Highlands Ranch, where it will add to the rapidly-expanding brewery scene in Denver's thirsty southern suburbs.

See also: 3 Freaks Brewery is now pouring in Highlands Ranch

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Ten brand-new Colorado craft beers you'll be seeing in summer/fall 2014

Categories: Beer Man

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Colorado's craft beer scene is getting crowded as a new brewery opens roughly once a week somewhere in the state. But the liquor store shelves can be a bit of a tangle as well, especially as older breweries introduce new or changing products to keep up with the latest thing. Here's a rundown on ten new beers that are on shelves now -- or will be soon -- most of them from breweries that have become household names in this state.

See also: Ten brand-new Colorado canned beers to look forward to in 2014

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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.

Turn the page for all of this week's craft beer events.

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The ten best Colorado brewery patios

Categories: Beer Man

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All photos by Danielle Lirette
Denver Beer Co. was one of the first brewery patios with community tables.
"Once you've had a few beers, it's hard to leave a German beer garden without making some friends," says Patrick Crawford, who opened Denver Beer Co. with Charlie Berger in August 2011. In advance of that opening, Crawford and Berger had gone to Germany -- and came back with the idea of adding a beer garden. "We loved the communal atmosphere of the big long tables there," Crawford says. "And at the time, I don't think there was anyone else who had that style of tables in Denver."

Denver Beer Co.'s Bavarian-style beer garden soon set the standard for brewery patios from Boulder to Golden to Denver. Dozens of new breweries have opened in the metro area over the past four years, and on a warm summer day, there's no finer place to be than on one of their patios. There's no finer place to be on a perfect summer night, either.

See also: Nearly 1,400 breweries register for GABF, 81 percent higher than last year

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Twisted Pine introduces new IPA, shuffles lineup, cuts three longtime beers

Categories: Beer Man

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Craft beer trends have evolved quickly over the past five years, and just because a brewery has been around for a while doesn't mean that its beers will keep selling forever. To keep up, and to stay relevant, some older breweries have cut poorly performing products from their lineups and added new ones that reflect changing tastes.

The latest brewery to update its look and its lineup is Boulder's Twisted Pine, which introduced a new beer, Hop Zealot, last week amid a flurry of other changes.

See also: Boulder Beer ends distribution of Planet Porter, the oldest craft brew in Colorado (the U.S.?)

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Casey Brewing & Blending will give fans of sour beer a sneak peek over the holiday weekend

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Casey Brewing
One of Colorado's most specialized, and most highly anticipated, new breweries will give the public a sneak peek this weekend when it opens for two days to sell its first bottled release, a saison that was fermented entirely in oak barrels with Brettanomyces.

Casey Brewing & Blending, at 3421 Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs, is the brainchild of Troy Casey, who earned a name for himself as an expert in sour and wild ales while he worked at AC Golden, the MillerCoors-owned beer incubator in Golden.

See also: Artisan brewer Troy Casey, of AC Golden, will open Casey Brewing & Blending in Glenwood

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Nearly 1,400 breweries register for GABF, 81 percent higher than last year

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A whopping 1,360 breweries from all fifty states and the District of Columbia will enter beers into the competition at the Great American Beer Festival this October. That's about 81 percent higher than last year, when 750 breweries tried to register for the fest, according to preliminary numbers provided by the Brewers Association.

But because of GABF's new registration process -- which guaranteed admittance to every brewery that wanted to enter this year -- each brewery will only be able to submit four beers for judging, significantly less than in previous years. The number could rise to five, but that has yet to be determined, says BA spokeswoman Barbara Fusco.

See also: GABF hopes to avoid ugly brewery-registration problems next week with new process

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