Beer Me: December 20, 2016 – December 26, 2016


It’s big and it’s malty….it’s Strange Craft’s Big Malty.

It’s that retrospective time of year when we reflect upon all of our experiences over the past 365 days and then rank them to see which ones were the best.

Whether it’s board games, albums, wardrobes, or to-do list software, without year-end lists we’d have to form our own opinions based on first-hand experience and miss the opportunity to remind ourselves of everything we lost out on over the past year.

So with that in mind, here are a few of my favorite Colorado beers of 2016…

  • Chubna, Oskar Blues Brewery: Scotch Ales are a preferred style of mine and Old Chub was the first “good” beer I ever remember drinking out of a can. Blend that with Gubna—Oskar Blues’ Imperial IPA—and age in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, and you’ve got Chubna, a 12.65% ABV sumptuous and warming beer.
  • Codename: Superfan, Odd 13 Brewing: A juicy American-style IPA that is now, thankfully, widely available in six-packs. Superfan strikes a great balance between complex flavors and drinkability. It’s imperial brethren, Codename: Superduperfan, is similarly tasty, loaded with hops and bursting with tropical flavors.
  • The Director, Joyride Brewing Co.: The first offering in Joyride’s Phish-inspired Picture of Nectar series that showcased massively hopped, hazy New England-style IPAs. The hop bill on this beer created a rich bouquet of exotic fruits. A high ABV IPA that drank like fruit juice.
  • Persica 2016, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project: 2016 was a decisive year for Crooked Stave. They moved their unused brewing equipment out of The Source—including a much-speculated-about koelship—and reopened the original Barrel Cellar tasting room in Sunnyside. That second grand opening coincided with the release of this year’s Persica, the brewery’s lauded Brettanomyces-fermented sour Golden Ale with peaches, aged in oak barrels.
  • Anniversary Ale, Spangalang Brewery: One of the most unusual brews of the year was Spangalang’s anniversary offering. A blend of various IPAs—both barrel-aged and fresh—this beer displayed oaky-barrel characteristics along with the hoppy, bitter zing of a recently brewed IPA.

And, now, events to get you through the Christmas week…

Tuesday, December 20, 2016, sign-up at 8pm, show at 8:30pm: Star Wars Quiz Show at Ratio Beerworks

Ratio’s monthly quiz show pits teams of up to five people against a panel of “experts.” If a team of audience members win, the prizes are awesome. If the experts win, the prizes suck. Pretty simple. This month’s theme is Star Wars and they’ll be showing clips from everyone’s favorite space opera throughout the night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 @ 3 – 8pm: Big Malty Tapping at Strange Craft Beer Company

Strange’s winter warmer, Big Malty, is back and clocks in at 7.8% ABV this year. The seven malt English Ale features honey from Colorado’s oldest honey company, Beyond the Hive, culminating in a malty, complex, big beer.

Thursday, December 22, 20166 – 9pm: Salyut Tapping at Block & Larder

If you have not had a chance to sample Odyssey Beerwerks’ 11% ABV bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, Salyut, it will be available at Block & Larder. Aged in A.D. Laws’ bourbon barrels, the restaurant will also dust off a bottle of Laws’ 4 Grain Bourbon Batch #1 from their collection. The kitchen will also be offering Salyut-soaked figs. No ticket necessary but reservations are recommended.

Friday, December 23, 2016 @ 4 – 10pm: Ugly Sweater Party & Coat Drive at Diebolt Brewing Company

Bring your no-longer-used winter gear to Diebolt as they help the Denver Rescue Mission ensure that everyone stays warm this holiday season. Diebolt will be tapping a limited amount of Figgy Noir (bourbon barrel-aged Biere de Garde) with cranberry and vanilla. There will be a photo booth on-site and a prize for the best/worst ugly sweater.

Saturday, December 24, 2016: Discounted Growler Fills

If you don;t want to show up empty-handed to grandma’s house, the #westside has got you covered. Swing by Westfax Brewing Company where they will be offering 40% off growler fills from 11am – 4pm or Seedstock Brewery where you can partake in a whopping 50% discount from 11am – 3pm.

Sunday, December 25, 2016 noon – 8pm: Christmas Day Party at Alpine Dog Brewing Company

Spend the ultimate Christmas Sunday Funday at Alpine Dog. They’ll be tapping The Dyatlov Pass Incident, a bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout aged for a year in Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels. Casablanca Mediterranean Food Truck will be serving up eats.

Monday, December 26, 2016 @ 4 – 10pm: Monthly Monday BOGO at Factotum Brewhouse

It’s the Monday after Christmas and you probably have the day off. Double your buying power at Factotum where they’ll be offering buy-one-get-one deals on beer all night long.

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.