Beer Me: September 13, 2016 – September 19, 2016
You’ll notice this week’s event listings are laden with Oktoberfest festivities. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me why we celebrate Oktoberfest in September, I’d be well on my way to 12-minutes of parking at a downtown meter.
Sit back and allow me to fill your stein with knowledge… Back in 1810, Kronprinz Ludwig – soon to be King Ludwig 1 – put a ring on Bavarian beauty, Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The marriage took place on October 12th and all of Munich was invited to the weeklong shindig, which culminated in an epic horse race. It was such a rager that they decided to do it again the following year (and the year after that) and that’s how Oktoberfest was born.
Traditionally, the beer of choice was Oktoberfestbier or Märzen — beers brewed in March and then allowed to ferment slowly in cool caves over the warmer summer months. Once the harvesting was done – which included the grain crop – it was time to tap the kegs in order to have space to store the new freshly brewed batches. In this case, maybe partying did indeed help.
But, “why September?” you still ask. Well, mid-October in Bavaria can be quite chilly. In order to take advantage of better weather, the festival was moved up and prolonged. The 2016 “die Wiesn” – as the locals refer to it – takes place September 17th through October 3rd. It will be the 183rd Oktoberfest with only wars and the occasional cholera outbreak dampening the celebration.
Colorado Native Lagers is asking all amateur hop growers to bring their yield to Rock Rest Lodge for possible inclusion in an upcoming brew. Hops must be pesticide free and grown in Colorado to be considered. Native Lagers will buy a beer and some snacks for those hop farmers who stick around to talk shop.
Stone Brewing and Ratio have a cure for the standard autumnal offerings in the form of a collaborative India Black Lager. Using Pilsner, Flaked Rye, Munich 1, and Caraga III malts, the two breweries have created a complex, malt-forward brew. Double dry-hopped with Azacca hops, the extra step imparts a tropical fruit aroma and hoppiness to what would typically drink like a Schwarzbier.
A gold medal winner at this year’s World Beer Cup in the Pumpkin Beer category, 4 Noses will release Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale at their Broomfield brewery. The ABV-pushing Pumpkin Ale is brewed with real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices to create a season-evoking, balanced beer.
Diebolt is celebrating three years of existence with a slew of specialty tappings and some limited bottle releases. On Friday, the party goes from noon to 11pm and they’ll tap a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout, Magdalena Double Pale Ale, and have cans of their Postcard Porter available. Saturday (same hours) will see the release of Blueberry Rhubarb Grisette and Cabernet Barrel-Aged Biere de Triomphe, plus a cornhole tournament. Sunday’s tappings include Palisade Peach Sunnyside Wheat and Smoked Serrano Sunnyside Wheat. There will also be a Bluegrass Brunch, the Broncos game, and Little Man Ice Cream beer floats on Sunday with festivities running from 11am to 8pm.
The Terminal Bar in Union Station is celebrating Oktoberfest with polka and beer. Tunes to be provided by the Polkanauts with New Belgium pouring the beer. There will also be a Bratwurst Eating Competition with the winner taking home a Fat Tire cruiser bike.
Blue Moon celebrates the grand opening of their new RiNo brewery. “For the last 21 years, we have been experimenting with and creating new beers, and having a lot of fun with that process,” said Blue Moon founder, Keith Villa. “Now, we’re excited to bring that same creative spirit to our new, inspired space.” The brewery features 24 taps, a full kitche,n and the capacity to produce 10,000 barrels of beer. The party will feature appetizers created by Chef Roy Choi of Kogi food truck fame and live music by Family of the Year and Mayer Hawthorne. This event is FREE but guests must RSVP.
Saturday, September 17, 2016: Oktoberfest Celebrations at various locations
If you hadn’t noticed by now, it’s Oktoberfest season. Prepare to loosen the lederhosen and dirndls as the intake of sausages and suds increase. At noon, Copper Kettle will kick off their celebration and Prost Brewing will release their Prost Marzen. At 1pm, Station 26 will tap Oktoberfest Lager, available by the liter in branded glassware and there will also be a “live punk oompah band” and masskrugstemmen, a feat of strength where competitors hold a stein full of beer out in front of them for as long as possible. And while it’s not an Oktoberfest celebration per say, Lost Highway will also be celebrating their 2nd anniversary by releasing Pumpkin Pie-Eyed Ale. The 6% pumpkin-infused beer will be paired with Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Sunday, September 18, 2016: Broncos vs. Colts at various locations
After narrowly dodging a bullet in the season opener, the Broncos look for a less dramatic win against the Colts. Beryl’s Beer Co. has teamed up with Denver Deep Dish Pizza to offer free shuttles to the game. Spend a little money pre-gaming at the brewery and then hop the free shuttle to the stadium. Factotum Brewhouse is opening early with lawn games, a food truck, and bringing back Oatmaha, their beer-y homage to Peyton Manning, brewed in collaboration with Indianapolis’ Tow Yard Brewing. Tailgating starts at 10am with Streetz food truck and lawn games. Kokopelli Beer Co. opens at 11am and will be giving discounts on growlers, pizza, and in-house beer #GoBroncos
Fiction continues their once-a-month sour series and kicks off their anniversary week celebration with Rakua Dry-Hopped Synchronic Sour Blend. The Rakau hop is sometimes described as “the whole orchard” as it imparts bold fruity characteristics and a balanced but bitter kick.
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.