Beer Me: December 6, 2016 – December 12, 2016

infographic-copyWith 2017 just around the corner, the Brewers Association (BA) released their annual year in review, which takes a look back at the “defining beer moments” of 2016. “In the face of numerous opportunities and challenges in 2016, small and independent craft brewers continue to thrive,” said the BA’s chief economist, Bart Watson. “This community should be very proud of what it has accomplished and how far it has come.”

At the beginning of the year, the number of breweries in operation in the United States surpassed the previous high of 4,131 breweries in 1873. The count currently stands at 5,005 breweries, with 99% of them falling in the small and independent category. (As comparison there are 10,000 wineries nationwide.)

Small and independent breweries saw 8% growth domestically and export volume increased by 16.3%. IPAs continue to be the most popular style, making up around a quarter of craft volume while easy drinking session beers are up 33%.

“This has been an exponentially exciting year as the beer community continues to grow and evolve. It is incredible to watch local brewers innovate and validate the new way the world views the U.S. beer scene,” said BA craft beer program director, Julia Herz. “Much of the dialogue in 2016 centered around the craft brewer definition, who qualifies as a small and independent brewer, what independence means to beer lovers, beer quality and beer appreciation. We will renew our efforts in 2017 on behalf of our members and the beer drinkers around the world and continue to advance the amazing beverage of beer.”

Here’s what else is going down this week…

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 @ 4 – 7pm: Colorado Gives Day at Lone Tree Brewing Company

Tuesday is the seventh annual Colorado Gives Day, a holiday aimed at strengthening the state’s nonprofits through philanthropic donations. At Lone Tree Brewing they will be helping out the Douglas County Community Foundation and the local charities they support. A $10 donation gets you a free pint.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 5 – 8pm: 12 Days of Giving at Ratio Beerworks

Ratio is no slouch when it comes to charitable giving and the RiNo brewery will be supporting one charity each day as part of their 12 Days of Giving program. On this particular day, they’ll be donating $1 from each beer purchased from 5 to 8pm to Wonderbound, a dance company “committed to the development and sharing of collaborative artistic experiences.” Come drink and support your community at the same time!

Thursday, December 8, 2016 noon – 8pm: Dr. Pat’s Double IPA Can Release at High Hops Brewery

Windsor’s High Hops Brewery will have discounted 4-packs ($2 off) of their newly released Dr. Pat’s Double IPA in cans. They will have flights featuring several versions of Dr. Pat’s and Chaulkboard Gourmet Express will be serving up the eats.

Thursday, December 8, 2016 4 – 11 pm: Barrels and Bitter with Fremont Brewing at Jakes Brew Bar

Jakes will be tapping several barrel-aged and hoppy offerings from Washington’s Freemont Brewing. In the former category are Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star, BBA Dark Star – Coffee Edition, BBA Dark Star – Spice Wars, and Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb. In the latter category are Cowiche Canyon, Brother DIPA, Session Pale, and Interurban IPA.

Friday, December 9, 2016 @ 3 – 10pm: Bike Fight Barleywine Meet the Brewer at Factotum Brewhouse

The latest release from Factotum guest brewers’ program is Bike Fight, a big, boozy, English-style barleywine. The 11.3% ABV ale will be tapped on Friday and you can hang with the brewers and ask them questions about their creation. Legs and Breasts food truck will also be on-site to help you soak up the booze.

Friday, December 9, 2016 @ 8 – 10pm: Live Music & Beer Release at Diebolt Brewing Co.

Diebolt will release Bourbon Barrel Aged C’est La Saison, a slightly dry Saison with notes of spice, candied citrus, burnt sugar, and toffee, aged for ten months in bourbon barrels. Fittingly, Hello Bourbon will provide the musical accompaniment.

Saturday, December 10, 2016 noon – 11:59pm: Fourth Anniversary Party at Our Mutual Friend

It has been four years since OMF opened their doors in RiNo and they’re celebrating with special bottle releases, including Year Four Golden Brett Ale Aged on Damson Plums, Sahti Collaboration with the Populist, 2016 American Wild Ale, Thanatoid BA Russian Imperial Stout, and 24FPS Golden Sour. Stay tuned for their draft list as well!

Saturday, December 10, 2016noon – 8pm: Tennyson Street Holiday Market & Rumpus at Call to Arms Brewing Co.

The holiday Rumpus is back for its second year, featuring dozens of food and craft vendors. Call to Arms will be releasing a few new beers, including a hoppy Holiday IPA, Coffee Oats and Hose Oatmeal Porter, and a hybrid one-off beer called Baltic Gluhwein, a Baltic Porter with plums, cloves, and fresh orange zest.

Saturday, December 10, 2016various times: Ugly Sweater Parties

Saturday must be official Ugly Sweater day as several venues offer the opportunity to dust off your best/worst knitted garments. Things get kicked off over at 11am at Denver Beer Co. where you’ll get a BOGO beer if you wear a sweater and donate a toy to the Denver Santa Claus Shop. Starting at 6pm at Bruz, guests can enjoy raffle prizes, new seasonal beers, live streaming Christmas movies,  photo fun, food truck, and a homemade cookie table. At 7pm, Dunbar will offer Buffalo Trace drink specials and prizes for the best ugly sweater. At 8pm, Black Shirt Brewing Co. will have a DJ, food truck, limited edition brews, drink specials + prizes for the best/worst ugly sweater.

Sunday, December 11, 2016noon – 5pm: Heavy Metal Flea Market at Black Sky Brewery

Still haven’t found the perfect gift for the heavy metal fan on your list? Head over to Black Sky where several metal-themed vendors will be selling everything from dark fashion to new and used records. Live music starts at 2pm with When Darkness Fall and Slingfist.

Monday, December 12 – Friday, December 16, 2016: Winter Beer Tap Takeover at Cedar Creek Pub

Aurora’s Cedar Creek Pub will be tapping winter seasonals all week, including selections from Sierra Nevada, Alaskan Brewing Co., Anchor Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Co, New Belgium Brewing, Samuel Adams, and Tommyknocker Brewery.

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.