Beer Me: January 5, 2016 – January 11, 2016
Breckenridge Brewery’s sale to Anheuser-Busch’s “craft” brand, The High End, just before Christmas was bound to draw some strong reactions. Anheuser-Busch, the U.S. branch of the global beer behemoth AB InBev, was making its first foray into Colorado brewing, adding the iconic brand to its growing craft portfolio that now includes Four Peaks Brewing Co., Goose Island Beer Co., 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Blue Point Brewing Co., Elysian Brewing Co., and Golden Road Brewing.
The Twitter outcry was swift with some bringing up Breck’s past video antics, which poked fun at the advertising gimmicks employed by the big boys in the beer world. In a 12/24 editorial, the Denver Post told Colorado craft beer lovers to relax, citing the preponderance of other independently owned CO breweries to choose from. Longtime Colorado craft beer ambassador, Marty Jones, shot back on 12/31 in a letter to the editor justifying “beer purists” concerns. Jones, who previously worked for Wynkoop Brewing Co. (part of the Breckenridge-Wynkoop management group), summed up the issue eloquently, writing, “these sellouts leave their longtime peers and customers feeling duped by macro wolves in microbrewery clothing.”
Beyond the aforementioned consumer confusion, there are many other fears associated with the current macro-brewer buying spree, including dwindling shelf space in a crowded market (AB InBev recently unveiled an incentive program for distributors who prioritize selling their products). The documentary, Beer Wars, does an excellent job outlining the stakes in this beer-y battle. It’s up to the consumer to be cognizant of who brews the beer they are buying as the “macro wolves in microbrewing clothing” will not always be evident from the label…
Now onto events!
Every Tuesday, Copper Kettle donates $1 of every beer purchased to a different charity. This week, they’re recognizing Friends of Berthoud Pass, a non-profit working to preserve the abundant public recreational opportunities on Berthoud Pass (a ski resort existed there until 2002). The non-profit will also be holding a FREE avalanche awareness class at the brewery starting at 7pm.
Five years ago, Chad Yakobson unveiled Crooked Stave and immediately put Denver at the forefront of the sour/wild-ale movement. They’ll celebrate over the course of five days with special tappings, limited and rare bottle releases, and food pairings with other Source denizens. Yakobson will be on-hand Sunday at 5pm to toast the tapping of a barrel of Batch #1. Check out the full lineup here.
The Passport Program is kicking off their Winter Warmer season with a specialty-brewed strong, dark Belgian ale from Trve. Somniloquy was spiced with cinnamon, aged on cranberries, and clocks in at 6.2% ABV. The Winter Warmer Passport – which entitles holders to 2-for-1 drink deals at a number of cozy locations across Denver – is available for $20. A local version also exists for Boulder and Fort Collins.
Laugh and drink local! Chain Reaction hosts a slew of talented Denver comics during their monthly night of stand-up. Harrison Rains headlines a lineup that also includes Ben Bryant, Rachel Weeks, Matt Wayman, and Tim Messenger. Hosted by Steve Vanderploeg; no cover.
If you have a chili recipe that draws rave reviews, enter it in Diebolt’s inaugural cook-off for a chance to win cash or brew bucks. Otherwise, simply bring your appetite and sample the lineup. Tickets are $11.54 and include samples and one pint.
No Broncos this week so head over to Park Hill for Station 26’s monthly bluegrass hootenanny. The Acoustic Mining Company provides the sounds while Glazed and Confuzed Doughnuts and Rolling Smoke BBQ provide the eats. No cover.
Still thirsty? Use this handy map of Colorado breweries and other drinking establishments to plan your next adventure. Cheers.
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.