Beer Me: October 20, 2015 – October 26, 2015

12094899_10207943994822052_3159004331169961262_oI spent several days last week in Utah in preparation for the Pony Express Trail 50/100 mile race. Unfortunately, that somewhat precluded my ability to experience much of the state’s craft beer and spirits culture, BUT I was able to put some of my preconceived notions of drinking in the land of Brigham Young to the test.

Considering my brother once had a bottle of hooch confiscated at the state line while Greyhounding across the country and with the mere existence of Zion curtains, I expected to see picketers outside the state stores and anti-drinking evangelists blocking barroom doorways. Perhaps had I spent more time boozing and less time running I would have encountered more of Utah’s much-maligned liquor laws. But, as it were, I didn’t have any problems grabbing a drink during brief stops at Red Rock Brewery (2007 GABF Large Brewpub and Brewer of the Year), Wasatch Brew Pub (Park City), and High West Distillery (the state’s first distillery, established in the 1870s).  

A couple things I learned about our westerly neighbor:

  • Breweries cannot serve flights of beer
  • You no longer need to be a member to drink at a bar (repealed in anticipation of the 2002 Winter Olympics)
  • You cannot have multiple bars in a row on the same street (unconfirmed)
  • You can only order one drink at a time, i.e. no boilermakers
  • You cannot go into the Salt Lake Temple (not, we were informed, because there was anything “secret” going on, but because it is a holy site)
  • The Golden Spike that joined the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was removed the next day for safe-keeping and now resides in the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
  • Very few swim in the Great Salt Lake for fear of the horrible consequences
  • Utah is not called the Beehive State for their honey production, but rather the beehive represents the idea that this is the land of milk and honey and it symbolizes industry and the pioneer virtues of thrift and perseverance
  • There is such a thing as magic underwear

Now on to Centennial State events!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 @ 6 – 10pm: Fermentation Celebration at The Horse Barn

If it weren’t for fermentation, we’d all basically be drinking O’Douls, only without that “less than 0.5% ABV” kicker. Hear more about zymology from “fermentation revivalist” and author, Sandor Katz. Tickets are $25 and get you two drink tickets, food samples, and a talk by Mr. Katz. (Individual workshop tickets are available as well for 10 bucks a pop.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 @ 6 – 9pm: Gourdious Night at Epic Brewing Company

Speaking of Utah beer, Epic – who chose to open a second location in Colorado “where the politics are more inviting to beer makers” – will celebrate all things pumpkin at their RiNo taproom. The fundraiser for Denver Urban Gardens will feature pumpkin painting, pumpkin spice Kettle Head popcorn, and a free treat with the purchase of a Pumpkin Porter or Gourdian. Old Halloween cartoons and spooky music will add to the festivities. Free entry, $5 suggested donation for pumpkin painting.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 @ 4:29pm: Bomber (Can) Release of Obeah at Big Choice Brewing

The Broomfield brewery is unveiling a new style of resealable cans for the release of their 19.2 oz. Caribbean-inspired Imperial stout aged in rum barrels. If you have to ask why the 4:29pm tapping you had better bone up for the Back to the Future trivia starting at 5:30pm. 

Friday, October 23 & Saturday, October 24, 2015 @ 12 – 10pm: Funk the Man Farewell Finale at River North Brewery

Growth in the River North district is forcing the area’s signature brewery to find new digs. After losing their lease to make way for a new apartment building, they will be releasing the third version in the Funk the Man series, a Brett Saison with black currants. That, plus the first two Funk the Man releases along with rare barrels from the last year, will be pouring all weekend. Food trucks will also be on-site to help soak up the nostalgia.   

Saturday, October 24, 2015 @ 2 – 6pm: Dry Dock 10th Anniversary Party at Dry Dock North

Swing by Dry Dock’s Tower Road facility to sample some new beers, some old beers, and even some straight from the barrel. The full list of 30+ beers is impressive and includes their 10th Anniversary Quad, bottled this week. Tickets are $35 and include a Home Fleet beer and six sample tickets. Live music and food by Big Kiwi Eats will round out this festive celebration.

Saturday, October 24, 2015 @ 6 – 10pm: Colorado Puppy Rescue 10th Anniversary at Diebolt Brewing

“What’s that you say? You’re going to Diebolt? And there will be puppies for adoption? I guess I’ll put in a bulk puppy chow order now.” Help the Colorado Puppy Rescue celebrate a decade of service with 10,000 puppies saved. This event is FREE although donations are encouraged.

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.