Beer Me: October 13, 2015 – October 19, 2015
While the squash-infused elixirs lining the shelves at local bottle shops are a seasonal specialty, it turns out that pumpkin beers might be one of the most American of beer styles. Necessity, rather than a successful Starbucks marketing campaign, caused early patriots to turn to pumpkins for their hooch-making processes.
You see, back in the days of pewter tankards, tricorn hats, and redcoat resentment, Colonial brewers were faced with the prospect of shelling out top dollar for over-priced malted barley from across the pond. To economize, they’d use any adjunct that contained fermentable sugars, including Jerusalem artichokes, spruce tips, persimmons, molasses, corn, and you guessed it – pumpkins. The results were not the delicate, pumpkin pie-spiced ales we know today, rather they were primitive, coarse beers drank mainly for the high alcohol content #party
Bill Owens, founder of Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward, California, is credited with reviving the style in the 1980s when he discovered that George Washington once brewed a squash beer (beyond his own noted tippling, America’s first commander-in-chief was also known to win voters over with booze). That simple factoid helped spawn the cornucopia of pumpkin offerings we have today.
Now, on to the events!
No longer must you sneak a flask and convenience store candy into the local cineplex to catch a buzz and sate the munchies. These days, you can get a four-course meal, including a rosemary-crusted (see what they did there?) leg of lamb and seared steak. Not to be outdone by the food offerings, Avery is bringing their big guns: Raja (double IPA), Gran Cru (Belgian strong dark ale), Rumpkin (15% ABV pumpkin ale), and Tweak (17-ish% ABV imperial stout). Check out the full menu and pairings here. Tickets are $60; the nightmares are free.
Every Wednesday, Strange releases one barrel of an experimental beer. For the love of fall, they also currently have their Pumpkin Porter on tap. Bring your favorite board game and stick around for the Gamers Group, which kicks off at 6pm.
Renegade is inviting original staff back for a unique take on the Throw-Back Thursday phenomenon. Owners Brian and Khara and first hires Keith and Laura will be manning the taps and donating their tips to Youth on Record #itsforthekids
Several years in the making, Crazy Mountain Brewing Company started unloading their brewing equipment on October 1st at the former Breckenridge Brewery facility on Kalamath. They’re celebrating this milestone with lawn games, FREE samples (including their new Creedence Pilsner), and take-home bottles while The Kitchen Next Door serves up complimentary snacks (for the first hour) on their rooftop. No cover.
The holy trinity of liquids – coffee, beer, and water (distant third) – will be available at the second annual Grand Coffee Bazaar this Saturday, happening in the OMF parking lot. Enjoy coffee from 12 local roasters, brunch-inspired bites, and booze. Tickets are $20 and include unlimited coffee samples, small bites from food trucks and coffee shops, a specialty coffee drink, morning cocktail or beer, and a keepsake mug #buzzed
Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery is bringing its 402-foot custom bar into LoDo this Saturday for a pop-up event to benefit Bicycle Colorado. There will be 40 beers on tap, several of which will be paired with dishes from the culinary brain trusts behind Euclid Hall and Brazen. Red Fox Run, The Outliers, Emily Clark & The Passing Fancy, and Fox Street will be providing the musical accompaniment. This is a family-friendly event; no entry fee. Watch their promo video here.
Fiction Beer Company will open early this weekend for the Broncos game and to host their first-ever chili competition. Prizes will be awarded in three categories (best overall, hottest, best vegetarian) with judging to occur after the game. In-between samples, make sure to try their recently tapped sour pumpkin saison, Twilight Superstition, inspired by Washington Irving’s, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.
Matt Sandy, a self-proclaimed “Beer Gadabout,” has been enjoying beer since he was of legal drinking age. Having been born across the pond where “legal drinking age” is a relative term, let’s just say he washed down a shandy or two while still in short pants. He moved to Denver in 2007 and immediately took up residency at the Great Divide taproom. Since then, he’s enjoyed exploring all of the craft corners of this great town and in this column will highlight weekly beer-related events that you should consider drinking in.