In episode 70 of the PorchCast, we welcomed Drew Watson, co-founder of Hops & Pie in Denver to talk a little about how the iconic beer bar and pizza spot got started as well as what they have planned for …
Typically by this point in the year, Colorado beer fans are already knees deep in big-time hype beer releases from breweries that aren’t typically available in the state. However, with GABF going digital, and the entire industry in a state of unknown due to the on-going pandemic, it’s been generally uncertain whether the typical treasure trove of special releases would be hitting the market.
For the past 22 years, on the Monday before the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), one of the country’s most iconic beer bars has helped usher in the event with a celebratory kick-off tapping at 5 p.m.
However this year, on September 21, when Falling Rock Tap House’s GABF countdown timer would normally have ticked down to all zeros, there will be little pomp and circumstance as the festival transitions to a virtual format in response to the pandemic.
New breweries often seem to take a few months to dial in their recipes and make great beers. Not so for 6 and 40 Brewery in Lakewood, Colorado. At their September 11 grand opening, the brewery fired on all cylinders with a wide-ranging tap list designed to satisfy every palate. 6 and 40 is connected to long-standing homebrew store Tom’s Brew Shop.
Owner Tom Schurmann explained that he created 6 and 40’s beer selection for broad appeal. “We want something for everyone,” he explained. “We have 20 selections. We’re gonna have what you like.”
As with every other 2020 beer festival, Beers With(out) Beards, the country’s largest celebration of women in craft beer, is doing things virtually this year. I had the chance to chat with Grace Weitz, the woman who started the festival back in 2018, about how the festival began, what we can expect for this years’ festival, and how going virtual offers up the ability to reach an entirely different group of women.
While the main virtual festival is on Saturday, October 10, you can add on workshops that take place on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before. You can buy the digital passes up until the day of the event. However, if you are looking to purchase the beer box of female-led breweries, sales end on Monday, September 14 (at the end of the day).
It’s clear by now that the year 2020 has no chill, and rather than ease into a gradual shift of in temperature, us Coloradoans have already begun experiencing some seasonal schizophrenia. And while Oktoberfest may have been canceled in Munich, …
A multi-faceted demonstration of craft-beer community support will manifest at Downer Grove’s Orange & Brew Bottle Shop and Tap Room on September 19 (noon – 9 pm). The tap takeover will not only feature a dozen “Black is Beautiful” project beers — some of which have previously only been available in the taproom where they were brewed, but also benefit the Wood Family Pitch In project, which assists oft-ignored inner-city school districts by offering mentoring to kids as they transition from middle school to high school.
Dead Guy Ale, Rogue Ales & Spirits’ flagship beer and one we featured at PorchDrinking.com as part of our OGs of Craft Beer series, turns thirty this year. Rogue is celebrating those three decades of Dead Guy by challenging fans to ‘Paint the Can Dead.’ And, for those that really bring out the spirit of Dead Guy, prizes await them. For those that don’t win, it’s a great way to pass the time in a socially-distanced world; drink beer and do some coloring!
While many beer festivals have been canceled due to the pandemic, the 12th annual Denver Rare Beer Tasting is taking a page out of Great American Beer Festival’s book and will be taking place virtually the weekend of September 25-27. It will feature a live, online event portion, remote brewery releases, and an auction to raise funds for the Pints for Prostates campaign. Over 70 leading craft breweries have already committed to participating in the event.
On Thursday, the Illinois Craft Brewer’s Guild announced that their annual Festival of Barrel and Wood Aged Beer (FoBAB) will be among the many festivals to get cancelled because of the global pandemic. This news coincides with the cancellation of the 2021 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival held in Breckenridge, Colorado. The ICBG mentioned in their official announcement that the annual competition and awards ceremony would still be taking place virtually. Participating breweries will be asked to send their competition beers to FoBAB where they will be judged by 50 industry leaders and certified craft beer judges.
There will be no joy in Breckenridge this January as Laura and Bill Lodge, organizers of Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines, have announced the cancellation of the 2021 event. The festival was planned for January 7-9, 2021 in Breckenridge, CO. The cancellation follows similar moves by virtually every onsite beer festival in 2020 and represents one of the first 2021 events to be canceled. It would have marked the 21st annual event.
Organizers attributed the cancellation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on gatherings.
“Our Big Beers board has met and discussed the pandemic situation. We are very clear that our first priority as a Big Beers community needs to be supporting our sponsors and brewers throughout this bizarre and difficult time as they work hard to adapt business as necessary – and not by asking you to travel and/or otherwise support us in January of 2021,” said organizer Laura Lodge.
Lodge went on to explain that they’ve decided not to move forward with a virtual version of the event, but that they are still exploring the possibility of some scaled-down homage via newsletter or social media that would take place on the originally proposed January 2021 date.
As beer-drinkers increasingly long for festivals and celebrations to return, Purpose Brewing and Cellars seems to have found a way to throw a great party that’s both fun and safe. Purpose, located in Fort Collins, CO. celebrated their third anniversary on Aug. 1 with many of the usual features including music, special releases and an outdoor beer garden, along with pandemic-inspired additions like masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.
There’s nothing that epitomizes summer like a beer festival: Standing under the hot sun with a diminutive glass, waiting in snake-like lines to score the rare — or new-to-you — brew. However, with COVID-19 lurking like a skunky beer in the six-pack, in-person beer festivals have been canceled left and right. Except, it seems, for one.
COVID has derailed everyone’s way of life. In addition to your personal plans being put on hold, small and large brewers alike have been forced to make tough decisions to adapt to the current climate. While most live entertainment and nightlife is far from being back to normal, some breweries are taking creative approaches to attract drinkers to their taprooms like hosting stand up comedy to coincide with their craft beer. Let’s be real, a good laugh and a beer might be more important now than ever.
Sanitas Brewing Company may not be a flashy new name in the Boulder, Colorado, brewing scene, but the brewery’s palpable excitement and energy come through when talking to co-founders Chris Coyne and Michael Memsic. They have every reason to be excited because they recently opened the largest outdoor patio in Boulder. This new patio adds another component to the brewery, especially during the pandemic, offering room for live music, games, movie nights, running and bike clubs, and plenty of socially distant seating.
The Colorado Brewer’s Guild (CBG) has announced the new date and participating brewery list for Colorado Pint Day 2020. Colorado Pint Day will now take place on Wednesday, July 29.
The annual event raises money for the guild and traditionally takes place during Colorado Craft Beer Week each spring. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBG had to postpone its 2020 fundraiser. Now that breweries are being allowed to re-open with on-premise consumption, the guild was able to confirm a new date.
Drawn together by a shared adventurous spirit, Denver’s FlyteCo Brewing and Feral Outdoor Gear Shop have come together to release a limited release collaboration Double Dry-Hopped Hazy Pale Ale called Bearhawk.
Beermiscuous, a local beer cafe in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago (and another new location in Highwood, IL), recently celebrated their sixth anniversary, having opened on June 27, 2014. In years prior, they have hosted events ranging from tappings of special beers to raffles that give the winner two free beers each week. With the current state of COVID-19, Beermiscuous instead hosted a virtual tasting, hosted by co-owner, Austin Harvey.
When looking back at Colorado breweries who have made the most of 2020’s nightmare of a year, Bierstadt Lagerhaus might be at the top of the list. In what was already shaping up to be the Summer of Lager as …
Pure barrel flavoring. No extracts. No syrups. No sugar bombs. The Imperial Oak Brewing Quiet Giant (strong) Barrel-Aged American Imperial Stout series, now in its sixth year, celebrates the artistry of barrel-aging in its purest form.
Yes, there are varieties with adjuncts, but only as complementary flavors. “Why put a beer in a barrel for a year and then completely cover it up? That’s why the two-year [BBA] is still my personal favorite. But, I do like our variants. They aren’t going to knock you in the face. That’s not our thing. None of them are going to be a chocolate bomb, coconut bomb..that type of terminology. I like adjuncts. But, I want it to be subtle and complement the beer,” said Brett Semenske co-owner and brewer.
Quiet Giant arrives each year for its anniversary, which this year enjoys the theme: Six years, Six Feet Apart (details can be found at the end of this story). The party slogan speaks to the challenges presented to breweries in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. But, Illinois’ case numbers are declining, patios are open and the beer remains consistent as ever. Going forward, most can expect five variants to arrive each May (this year in June due to the COVID-19 lockdown), with more two-year BBA for 2021. However, this year, Imperial Oak also has a one-time special beer from its Savage Oak room, offered in bottles.