Monday, March 23, 2015

A Quickie Guide to Colorado Craft Beer Week

Do you really need an excuse to celebrate locally made beer? The guess is that if you're enough of a beer geek to read this blog, you probably get twitchy if it's been over a week since you've been to a brewery or beer bar, and you use that as reason enough to go back out.

But if you need that extra push — like, purely hypothetically, if you have a 7-month-old at home and feel a little guilty calling home and telling your wife that you have to go support the craft-beer industry before you can feed him and put him to bed — this week gives that to you. It's Colorado Craft Beer Week, and a whole bunch of breweries and bars are offering one-of-a-kind or only-once-in-a-while activities that hold great interest.

This is not a comprehensive guide to what's out there; you can find that on the Colorado Brewers Guild's official event page. But for those who want the CliffsNotes version, here's a couple of the most interesting offerings over the next six days.

1) New Kids on the Block
Imbibe once again is bringing together many of the breweries that opened in the past two years, to show off what is new and what is experimental in the Colorado scene. Scheduled for 7:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday at The Lobby, the $45 event serves as a great opportunity (last year's is pictured above) to catch up with some of the non-Denver innovators especially that you might not find in every bar or liquor store yet.

2) 2nd Choice Collab Fest
Those who missed Saturday's Collaboration Fest missed one of the most audacious collections of beers in one room in a long time, from fascinating new takes on the IPA style to Basil blonde/cherry kriek combos. The Terminal Bar at Union Station will be serving a number of the offerings all week — and it might be the last chance you'll have to try them.

3) Fuss Off
Speaking of collaborations, the most intriguing event of the week will be a Wednesday-night gathering of a number of breweries that decided to make a pumpkin-peach ale of some sort after Budweiser's Super Bowl ad mocked the style. Only people who buy a ticket will be informed of the location of the get-together. That's planning something the hard way.

4) New Beer Tappings
Countless ales will make their debut this week. A few of the more intriguing ones are:
• Denver Beer Co. releases its Cocoa Creme Graham Cracker Porter at 4 p.m. Thursday;
• Also at 4 p.m. Thursday, Odell will tap a smoked juniper and pepper version of its classic 90 Shilling at Stapleton Tap House; and,
• At 5 p.m. Friday, Trinity Brewing taps a 45th Parallel Oregon-style IPA.

5) Book Festival
From 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dry Dock is hosting a Book Showcase at its North Dock facility. Signing and selling their wares will be beer authors Emily Hutto, Dan Rabin and ... well, me. So, seriously, stop by and say hello, even if you already have your copy of "Mountain Brew."

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