Beer Me: June 28, 2016 – July 4, 2016


The Pliniest of all Elders

For the past 14 years, the American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) Zymurgy magazine has asked its readers to help select the “best commercial beers in America”. AHA members can name up to 20 of their most beloved beers on the market. Over 18,000 votes were cast in this year’s contest.

“The members of the American Homebrewers Association, made up of experienced homebrewers who participate in this annual poll, are among the most knowledgeable craft beer drinkers in the nation,” said Gary Glass, Director, American Homebrewers Association. “It is no surprise that the beers and breweries they select as the best in their opinion reflect the highest quality beers available from the best brewers out there. The consistency with which some of the beers in the poll win is a testament to the value of quality over hype.”

For a staggering eighth year in a row, Russian River Brewing Co.’s Double IPA, Pliny the Elder, was ranked number one. Two Hearted Ale from Bell’s Brewery came in second, and The Alchemist’s Heady Topper took third.

You’ll have to scan a little further down the list before you hit any Colorado beers. Left Hand’s Milk Nitro Stout tied for 24th place and Odell’s IPA tied for 29th. Ten FIDY from Oskar Blues tied for 39th, and New Belgium’s sour brown ale, La Folie, rounded out the list, tying Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA at 50.

Zymurgy also calls out the top 25 breweries and 10 brewery portfolios. In the former category, Avery came in 11th, New Belgium in 13th, Oskar Blues in 16th, Odell in 18th, and Left Hand in 23rd place. In the latter category, Avery was ranked 4th with 42 beers and New Belgium came in 5th with 41 beers .

While the list is full of decorated beers, it’s reflective of what is most widely available. More people are likely to have tried Odell’s IPA than the brewery’s much rarer – and highly rated – Russian Pirate.

Any selection on the list, however, is preferable this Independence Day Weekend to America… Happy Fourth!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 4 – 8pm: Left Hand Brewing Co. Pride Runs Deep Release at Falling Rock Tap House

Left Hand has brewed the Pride Runs Deep IPA with blue spruce pine tips in support of the U.S.S. Colorado Commissioning Committee. This brew is in honor of  the stealth ass submarine, which protects our oceans and territories. The 6.8% IPA will be available on draft at Falling Rock and in 22 oz. bottles.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 @ 8 – 10pm: Gaijin 24886 Sake Tasting at The Denver Bicycle Cafe

Mix up your boozing with a special pop-up tasting from local sake brewer, Gaijin 24886!

Friday, July 1, 2016 @ 2pm: Black Project Tap Takeover at Former Future Brewing Co.

The limited availability and incredible demand for Black Project’s spontaneous and wild ales makes them some of the hardest beers in the state to sample. That could change…for one night at least. The taps at Former Future will flow with various Black Project offerings, including Peach Rye Whiskey Dreamland, Kalmar 100% Spontaneous Gose, Kalmar with Fruit, and the never-before-released Black Project Saison and Black Project Saison with Oats and Wheat #exclusive

Saturday, July 2, 2016 @ noon – 11pm: 2-Year Anniversary Party at Baere Brewing Company

Baere is celebrating two years of operation on South Broadway. There will be a slew of tappings, including two anniversary barrel-aged sours, one dry-hopped with Mosaic and the other with El Dorado. You can also grab bottles (2 bottle limit, $12) of Frambruin, a mixed-culture barrel fermented sour brown aged on raspberries and bottle conditioned. Sweet Action Ice Cream will be serving scoops made with beer from Baere.

Saturday, July 2, 2016 @ noon – 11pm: 1-Year Anniversary Party at Boggy Draw Brewery

Sheridan’s Boggy Draw will celebrate its first year of existence with four beer releases: Cosmico Vaquero, a green chili cream ale; Cerveza Colorado, a green chili red IPA; Coco Loco, a chocolate imperial stout; and Elk Down!, a barleywine aged in a Downslope Distilling whiskey barrel. There will also be free breakfast burritos for the first 50 peeps, a food truck, cornhole tournament, beer pong, jumbo Jenga, and a nail drive (which we assume is like STUMP, the drinking game).

Sunday, July 3, 2016 @ 1 – 10pm: Hop Wizard Taproom Exclusive Release at Odd13 Brewing

The Odd13 taproom will be the only place to get the brewery’s latest Origin Series beer either on tap or in cans. Hop Wizard is a heavily dry-hopped pale ale utilizing HS 07270, Mosaic, Citra, and Azacca hops and clocking in at 5.5% ABV.

Monday, July 4, 2016 @ 2 – 11pm: 4th of July Pig Roast and Fireworks Viewing Party at Little Machine Beer

Little Machine is prime real estate for viewing the city’s myriad of fireworks displays. Swing by to celebrate Independence Day and get down on some pig from Baby E’s BBQ. They’ll also have games and separate grills set up if you feel more like cooking your own meats (or veggies!)

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” and Certified Beer Server, 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.