Beer Me: January 12, 2016 – January 18, 2016

41441Last month, the Brewers Association (BA) released their statistics for 2015. The U.S. brewing industry has officially reached a historic high with 4,144 breweries nationwide. This tops the previous high of 4,131 breweries in 1873. Considering by some accounts the number of breweries in America had shrunk to less than 90 in the early 1980s (thanks, Prohibition), growth over the last 35 years has been impressive to say the least. In fact, there are now more than 2 brewery openings a day, according to the BA, with 15 states being home to over 100 breweries.

“Craft breweries are a part of their communities, operating in neighborhoods and towns, returning us to a localized beer culture,” said BA chief economist, Bart Watson, in the year-end summary. “There are still thousands of towns currently without a brewery—but with populations potentially large enough to support one. With beer lovers continuing to desire more full-flavored, innovative options from small and independent local breweries, ample opportunities exist for well-differentiated, high-quality entrants in the marketplace.”

These figures provide one of the best answers to the oft-asked question of whether or not we are hitting a saturation point in terms of breweries. In 1873 – the last time America saw this many breweries – there were 42-million inhabitants. That breaks down to 10,167 people per brewery. In 2015, we have 312-million neighbors working out to about 75,290 people per brewery. We could add another 25,000 breweries and still not reach the same brewery per capita rate we saw back then. It seems that there is still plenty of room for new breweries provided that they’re in locations where the population lacks quality beer or have a niche (style, theme, ethos, etc.) that fills a gap.  

Now, here are your events:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 @ 5:30 – 8:30pm: Beer & Cheese Pairing with St. Kilians Cheese Shop at Call to Arms Brewing Co.

Call to Arms is teaming up with their Berkeley neighbor, St. Kilians Cheese Shop, to offer a beer and cheese pairing. $20 will get you four 4 oz. pour, four cheeses plus accoutrements. No tickets needed; just stop by.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016Get your coffee fix at Copper Kettle Brewing Co. or Black Shirt Brewing Co.

Copper Kettle is in the midst of a coffee-centric cask month. At 2pm today, they tap Rum Coffee Cream Ale made with Kenyan coffee. Over at Black Shirt, they’re tapping Zelelu Coffee Saison at 5pm as part of their weekly One Keg Wednesday program. This brew incorporates a portion of Huckleberry Roasters stash of Zelelu coffee beans from Ethiopia.

Thursday, January 14, 2016 @ 7:30pm: Sherlock Holmes Trivia Night at Fiction Beer Co.

Dust off your magnifying glass and deerstalker and then head over to Fiction for Sherlock Holmes-themed trivia. Questions will be drawn from the wide world of Holmes, including books, movies, and TV shows. Dress in costume to get your first beer free…perhaps a pint of The Game is Afoot, which will be retapped for the occasion.

Friday, January 15 & Saturday January 16, 20162-Year Anniversary Party at Caution Brewing Co.: West

Caution kicks off the second anniversary of its Lakewood location on Friday with a two-day beer bonanza. Eric Gilbertson and New Wave Revival will play from 6 – 10pm on Saturday and there will be free door prizes and specialty tappings throughout the event. Food will be provided by Luckyz Eatz.

Saturday, January 16, 2016 @ noon: Spoonful Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bottle Release at Coda Brewing Co.

Coda will release 112 hand-numbered bottles of their latest barrel-aged brew, Spoonful Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bottle, a 10.2% ABV barleywine aged in bourbon barrels for nine months. There will also be one keg of the beer on tap during the release.

Sunday, January 17, 2016 @ noon – 2pm: Black Project Duel Bottle Release at Former Future Brewing Co.

For the first time, Former Future’s side-venture, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, will release two beers on the same day. The first – Peach Rye Dreamland – is a sour olden ale with peaches aged in an A.D. Laws Secale Rye Barrel and will retail for $12 per 375mL bottle. The second – Mach-Limit Tempranillo – is a heavily-fruited sour beer made in collaboration with Palisade’s Red Fox Cellars & Vineyard and will retail for $28 per 750mL bottle. Bottle limits will be finalized day of the event.

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.