#coloradocraftbeer – PorchDrinking.com
While the Craft Brewers Conference is an amazing opportunity to gain valuable education from the multitude of sessions and seminars, as brewers we know the real fun comes with the after-parties surrounding the conference. To help you navigate the week-long schedule of tap takeovers, beer dinners, special releases and more surrounding CBC we put together a day-by-day external events guide. Use the menu below to quickly navigate to the corresponding day.
Additionally we will be updating this guide throughout the week, so if we missed an event be sure to shoot us a message.
Special thanks to our friends at OnTap Credit Union, who have been crafting banking solutions for breweries, brewery employees and beer lovers for the past 64 years in Golden and Arvada. Their support in underwriting PorchDrinking allows us to continue to research and present in-depth pieces like the the 2019 CBC External Events Writeup
The heart of February means showering those with whom you love affection…and beer, right? Of course, it also means enduring the last few weeks of cold and snow, unless you happen to be in Arizona enjoying Arizona Craft Beer Week. …
The nearly four-year-old Denver brewery, Call to Arms Brewing (CTA), won a 2018 World Cup gold in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category for a beer inspired by the crew’s love of Billy Madison with its More Like Bore-O-Phyll. In September, during GABF week, the brewery held its third annual [email protected]#*ing Call to Arms Catalina Wine Mixer! Simply, the brewery deftly intertwines the art of sophisticated beer production with relaxed, easy-going fun. And, the recent release of Really, Really, Ridiculously Good Tasting (RRRGT), a farmhouse ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brett Claussennii only further cements that concept; one should not feel compelled to stick out one’s pinky—just kick back and enjoy a beer that’s really, really, ridiculously good.
CAN YOU? What single element can turn previously laid-back fun-loving brewers into nose-to-the-grindstone workers? Oh, that could only be…success. CEO and Head Brewer Mike LaCroix of Soulcraft Brewery in Salida, CO and his team are transitioning from very limited bottling to full-out canning.
On his first day off in three weeks, he takes some time to breathe and reflect on this next transition: The “big spark” he believes will revolutionize this small brewery into a nationally recognized brand.
Denver’s River North Art District is beginning to look completely different than it did even six months ago. Just along the once rough and tumble, sleepy main drag of Larimer Street alone, the transformation is none more apparent than the recent additions of American Bonded, the next chapter in Sean Kenyon’s (founder of Williams and Graham) burgeoning cocktail bar catalog, and Call, a trendy coffee shop, sandwich concept, along with it’s upcoming neighboring sister bar Beckon. The landscape has also been forever changed by the recent influx of satellite locations from several already well-established national brands. This recent flood of familiar faces includes one of the country’s hottest bar concepts in Death and Co, inside of The Ramble Hotel, the fast food behemoth that is Shake Shack, and chain wine bar concept Barcelona. And beginning Monday, Odell Brewing will extend their reach outside of their Fort Collins roots to Denver’s hottest neighborhood, when they open their second outpost in the heart of Denver’s River North Art District.
Odell Brewing, home to the (unofficial) official Best Patio of Fort Collins, hosted its Small Batch Festival on May 26. Not many breweries can pull off a festival consisting entirely of their own brews, but the prolific Odell successfully produced a beer lineup consisting of old favorites and some brand new blends.
For $35, patrons received two 12oz pours (8oz for high ABV brews ), a stainless steel cup and 60+ beer options. This party isn’t new—Odell has hosted this festival a handful of times in the past decade—and in the late May summer sun, the Small Batch Festival definitely felt like a familiar get-together. It was part business as usual, but other aspects felt distinctly special. Here’s the breakdown of what felt old, and what was new:
A beer series usually provides intrigue, and it provides brewers with a chance to be creative, experiment, tell a story and have some fun. Like the brewer, let’s have some fun and figure out the intention of the first installment of the Left Hand Brewing Company Les Quatre Saison Series: Saison au Miel.
Here in Colorado, it’s the beginning of the season for patio sitting, flip flop wearing, and summer time imbibing. The abundance of sunshine has got me in vacation mode and not just any kind of vacation mode—the kind where you sink your toes in the sand and smell the salt in the air. Sadly, I won’t be embarking on such a vacation anytime soon but Funkwerk’s Pineapple Provincial, paired with a tiny umbrella, will take you on a tropical vacation one delicious sip at at time.
Verboten Brewing & Barrel Project is a Loveland darling, known for taking risks and creating innovative, exciting beers that differentiate their taproom from the rest of the pack. From their Killer Boots Caramel Porter to the “Rollin’ In Ze” series that is compiled of goses that employ flavors ranging from mango to Palisade peach, the mantra that there’s a beer for all is the apparent theme with the tap list. One of the powerhouses that have become a staple in the taproom is the Blood Guardian Imperial IPA, and it’s easy to see why it is so popular.
We’ve mentioned Renegade Brewing Company several times here at PorchDrinking. Since 2011, Renegade has been gifting the Denver Arts District with exciting and unique brews. From their Peanut Butter Cup Milk Stout to the Pancakes Maple Porter, you’d be hard-pressed to find something you aren’t intrigued by on the taproom menu.
On my most recent visit to Renegade, which also happened to be my first, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As a sucker for dark beers with malty, roasty flavors, I don’t often find taprooms that have a large variety of these drinks on the beer list. However, when I walked into Renegade, I was pleasantly surprised by the vast array of stout and porters on the list. I knew I wanted to highlight one of their beers, but I simply couldn’t pick. So, you lucky readers get a five-for-one in this beer showcase, as I was a lucky drinker of what I’ve taken to calling the Night Flight courtesy of Renegade Brewing.
Once again, for the fourth year in a row, we get to try Strangely Epic, a blend of two celebrated beers from Strange Craft Beer Company and Epic Brewing. The beer was first created in 2013 for Denver’s Collaboration Fest. Crafted at both breweries and named Strangely Epic and Epically Strange (for where each beer was brewed and blended), the collaboration brews release is eagerly awaited each year.
Last October, Surly Brewing made shockwaves within the craft beer world after the popular Midwestern brewery announced the departure of Todd Haug, Surly’s iconic brewmaster, who has been credited with developing many of the brewery’s cult classic beers. 12 months later, as the popular Minneapolis-based brewery celebrates its 10 year anniversary, Surly is primed for its next evolutionary phase, as it expands its distribution footprint.
Pairing wine with food has been a long-standing tradition in the food and beverage world. Fortunately for craft beer lovers, beer pairing dinners are becoming more commonplace in restaurants. Here in Colorado, some of the household names in craft beer are starting to branch out and begin the trend of beer pairing meals.
Last June, Great Divide took their iconic, but somewhat dated Denver Pale Ale and reimagined every aspect of the beer. Not only did its 20+ year old recipe receive a facelift, evolving from an English to an American-Style Pale Ale, but it’s label design was re-imagined for a newly introduced canned format.
Paying homage to the artistic roots associated with its new Barrel Bar location’s home in the River North Art District, Great Divide’s yearly rotating Artist Series features the work of a new local illustrator each year.
Golden, Colorado, 15 miles directly west of Denver, is one of those classic quaint mountain towns that still feels a little bit suburban, a little bit mountain-y, and a little bit homegrown similar to it’s neighbor to the North, Boulder. But as the locals will say, “Please don’t Boulder my Golden.”
When Epic Brewing first released its Sour Brainless on Peaches in late June 2015, the brewery’s sour program was officially launched. I remember going to the first release at the Denver taproom, where I was able to hand-dip the wax on my bottles, enjoy free peach ice cream from Little Man with flame roasted peaches, and also get my first taste of Epic’s sour peach. In the two years since the initial release, Epic’s sour initiative has quickly matured into an innovative and well-respected program.
ABV: 7.9% | IBU: 85
If you like beer then you must have heard about the newest “trend” in the craft beer world — the hazy IPA. Craft brewing is an ever-evolving industry that has witnessed numerous trends, but this trend isn’t really a trend because it’s nothing new and it is definitely here to stay. More than a decade ago, The Alchemist brewed the infamous Heady Topper whose rare and unique flavor profile created a buzz around the country that quickly led to it being one of the most sought after beers in America.
Featured photo provided by Maxline Brewing
Step inside Maxline Brewing and you’ll see a small tasting room lined with large, wooden community tables and expansive garage windows that open out to a patio in the south-facing sun. Inside the tasting room, three fermenters are in full view with chalkboard titles tantalizing guests with the beers to come. On this particularly sunny day, the patio is full and beers are flowing. Maxline staff, often called beertenders, weave seamlessly throughout the tasting room stopping to exchange pleasantries with customers, pet a dog or two (dogs are allowed on both patio and tasting room), and high five children on their way out. For this midtown location in Fort Collins, it’s as if “everybody knows your name.”
Photo Credit: Holidaily Brewing Co.
Gluten-free – trendy, healthy, high maintenance or life altering. Those are just some of the reactions you might receive when you ask people what they think about gluten-free. In truth, those two words evoke vastly different reactions from just about everyone. For Karen Hertz, gluten-free became part of her life during a treatment plan as she battled and beat melanoma in 2007 and then both papillary thyroid cancer and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease, in 2008. After beating cancer twice Karen developed a passion for health and happiness. This centered around gluten-free options, but there weren’t many out there in the world of beer.
Original skyline photo taken by Daniel Schwen – modified for the purposes of this story.
My first excursion to the Odell Brewing taproom occurred nearly fifteen years ago while on a trip to Colorado. Impressed would be an understatement. However, I, like many Chicagoans, had to rely on bottle hauls for a chance to enjoy Odell creations.
But not anymore.
Odell Brewing is bringing its beer from the Rocky Mountains to the city of Big Shoulders and to kick off the eastward expansion, Odell will take over the taps at three bottle shop & tasting rooms — Bitter Pops, The Cellar, and The Open Bottle.
(Edit: Other events have been added since this was first published. Those items have been added at the end of this piece.)