Beer Me: May 17, 2016 – May 23, 2016

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Party harder this Friday at Ratio Beerworks

There are currently more small and independent breweries in operation than at any other single time in American history. Over 4,200 and growing. American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) – running May 16 – May 22, 2016 – offers thousands of events across the country to help celebrate these heady days.

You can participate in the official nationwide toast on Thursday, May 19 at 6pm Mountain Time. All you need is a glass of craft. Here’s how Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head plans to celebrate.

Over at they unveiled The Biggest Small Beer Ever Made, a 50 state, 4,000+ brewery collaboration. Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Brewers Association and publisher, explains, “There’s nothing more American than small and independent craft brewers and their amazing, full-flavored beer. American Craft Beer Week is a time to raise a glass and toast how they have forever changed our beer culture, economy, communities and country as a whole. Craft beer is a unique community where competitors work together to provide beers that represent authenticity, quality and innovation. The unity and collaboration behind the Biggest Small Beer Ever Made shows brewers believe that the success of other independent brewers is their own success.” This video pretty much says it all.

Read on for some related (and unrelated) #ACBW events below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 @ 5pm: Battle of the Beards – Raise Some Helles at Brewer’s Republic

Instead of all the marbles, the winner of this competition will get to keep all of their beard hair while the loser will go home significantly less hirsute. A keg of Paradise in Helles from Declaration will go up against a keg of Tivoli Helles with the first one to kick signifying the loss of facial hair for the other.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 @ 4pm: Wilford Bottle Release at Wit’s End Brewing Co.

The result of Wit’s End’s first foray into bottling will be available in 22 oz. bombers at the brewery and simultaneously at Little’s Wine & Spirits. Wilford is a 7% ABV Belgian-Style Oatmeal IPA.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 @ 5pm: World Beer Cup Winners Tap Takeover at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen

Recent winners from the 2016 World Beer Cup will be filling the taplines over at First Draft. Denver selections will include Razz Against the Machine from Little Machine, Comrade’s Yellow Fever, Dry Dock’s Pilsner and Amberas well as Lost Highway’s Golden Ghost. Winning selections from Ommegang, Ska, Grimm Brothers, Left Hand, Odyssey and many others will also be available.

Thursday, May 19, 2016 @ 2pm: Dr. Strangelove Bomber Release Party at Strange Craft Beer Co.

Fresh off of its bronze medal at the 2016 World Beer Cup in the Aged Beer category (and a bronze at GABF back in 2012), Dr. Strangelove will be released in bombers as part of Strange’s sixth anniversary party. Despite being 10.5% ABV with 99 plus IBUs, this Barleywine is incredible balanced and drinkable #HangWithTheDoc

Friday,  May 20, 2016Purple (Mountain Majesty) Drank Release at Ratio Beerworks

Each week, Ratio reimagines one of their beers, producing an experimental small batch firkin. This week their French Saison, Dear You, has been reinvented as Purple Mountain Majesty Drank, a Blueberry Saison that, “celebrates the young, but storied history of American craft brewing” while the Purple Drank element “is a nod to Ratio’s tradition of infusing music into all aspect of the brewing process.” To further enhance the experience, SPELLS will be melting faces at 7pm as part of their split cassingle release with Hooper. For FREE.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 @ various times: Tappings, Releases, and Parties, Oh My!

Whether it’s part of American Craft Beer Week or an anniversary party, Saturday will see a slew of tappings and releases. At noon, Grist will release the extremely limited Virgil’s Reserve, a Belgian Strong Ale, naturally soured in French Cabernet barrels for several months. Over at Diebolt, they’ll be tapping Wiggy Wiggy, a hibiscus and honey Saison at noon (costumes encouraged). Also at noon at Platt Park, they’ll have one keg and 100 bottles of Watermelon Berliner Weisse for sale. Odyssey will celebrate its third anniversary starting at noon with live music, food trucks, door prizes, and four barrel-aged bomber releases. And, at 1pm at Freshcraft, Casey Brewing & Blending will be pouring four beers, two on draft and two bottled.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 @ 2 – 10pm: Hops of Hope – Charity Keg-Off at the Posner Center for International Development

Children’s Future International is Denver-based non-profit aimed at providing an education to impoverished children. How can you help? By drinking beer, of course! They’ll be holding a blind taste test featuring hoppy beers from Diebolt, RatioMockery, Deep Draft, Zephyr, Fermaentra, and LowDown. Your $10 ticket gets you a flight of beers for the taste test, plus the added satisfaction of supporting a great cause. Additional beers will be $4 and Mile High Cajun and Gustos will be serving food. A cornhole tournament, giant bowling, live music, and virtual reality tours of Cambodia will round out the event.

Sunday, May 22, 2016 @ noon – 2pm: Gambit Release to Benefit the Brewtography Project at Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales

Black Project has teamed up with the Brewtography Project to offer a very photogenic pairing. 100 bottles of Gambit (named after a recently declassified 1960s spy satellite) will be available as part of a package that includes two 750mL bottles of Gambit (numbered and signed), an 8×10 inch signed Brewtography Project print, a Black Project branded tote, and a sticker pack for $65. Gambit is a, “small batch spontaneous grapefruit Saison with complex sour and funky characteristics.” Fund the Brewtography Kickstarter prior to the event and get a FREE 10 oz. pour of any beer on the menu.

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.