Beer Me: December 27, 2016 – January 2, 2017
While Colorado didn’t experience quite the same glut of brewery openings in 2016 as it did the previous year, it’s clear that the state’s thirst for craft beer remains unsated. According to my notes, 25 entities opened breweries or kickstarted brewing operations in 2016, starting with Castle Rock Beer Co. and Whistle Pig Brewing Co. (Colorado Springs) back in January and finishing with Mash Lab Brewing (Windsor) earlier this month.
Denver proper witnessed eight new breweries (Seedstock Brewery, WestFax Brewing Co., 14er Brewing [no taproom], Banded Oak Brewing Co., Bruz Beers, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Brewability Lab, and Briar Common Brewery & Eatery); two second locations for established breweries (Blue Moon Brewing Co. in RiNo and Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. in Baker); one reopening (River North Brewing Co.), and one A-B InBev-owned transplant (10 Barrel Brewing). For me, European Lagers from Seedstock and Bierstadt Lagerhaus stood out. Most impressive facility? Definitely New Terrain Brewing Co. in Golden.
Here’s what else we’ll remember about Colorado craft beer in 2016:
- The Colorado Brewers Guild broke up and got back together
- Colorado breweries took home 38 GABF medals, including first-time medals for Denver breweries Cerebral Brewing, Baere Brewing Co., 14ers Brewing, and Fiction Beer Co.
- A study revealed that Colorado’s craft beer industry has had an overall economic impact of $1.7 billion with $369 million in direct value added in 2015
- Aurora’s Dad and Dudes Breweria debuted the first federally approved cannabis-infused craft beer
- Great Divide Brewing Co. revamped their Denver Pale Ale
- A bill was signed, paving the way for grocery stores to sell full-strength beer
- DOGS NO LONGER ALLOWED IN DENVER BREWERIES!!!
And now….events! Happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2017.
Tuesday, December 27 – Friday, December 30, 2016: Week of Lagers at Call to Arms Brewing Company
Call to Arms will be tapping specialty one-off Lagers all week. On Tuesday, sample Khores Fiesta Beer, a version of Khores Ballroom Beer with chilis. The week culminates with the release of Nine-Toed Woman—a reimagined Swedish lager—on Friday.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016 @ 8 – 10pm: Live Comedy Taping: Ian Douglas Terry at Ratio Beerworks
Ratio is kicking off a new comedy series called “Live at Ratio” and the first installment features Ian Douglas Terry. The show will be video/audio recorded. Hosted by Andrew Bueno with support from Geoff Tice and Nicole Conlan. FREE.
Thursday, December 29, 2016 @ 4 – 10pm: Gingerbread House Decorating at Grandma’s House
Still looking to pad out your holiday decorations? Head over to Grandma’s House, where a $10 donation to Urban Peak will get you everything needed to build a gingerbread house.
Friday, December 30 & Saturday, December 31, 2016 @ 5 – 9pm: 7-Course Beer + Spirits Dinner at To the Wind Bistro
To the Wind Bistro is teaming with Black Shirt Brewing Co. and Bear Creek Distillery to offer a seven-course paired dinner. Food selections range from Maui white shrimp to pecan pie and tipples include a Belgian Farmhouse Triple IPA and a rum old fashioned. The meal runs $100 and reservations can be made by contacting To the Wind Bistro. This menu will be offered both Friday and Saturday night.
Saturday, December 31, 2016: New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Pretty much every brewery is doing something for New Year’s Eve. Here’s a sampling, click on the links for full details: 50% off growlers at Seedstock Brewery; Depravity Peanut Butter Cup Stout release at Renegade Brewing Company; dance party at Beryl’s Beer Co.; dance party at Our Mutual Friend Brewery; live music at Kokopelli Beer Company; beer brunch at Black Shirt Brewing Co.; beer dinner at Avery Brewing Company; early New Year’s at Saint Patrick’s Brewing Company; metal New Year’s at Black Sky Brewery; good beer and good people at Denver Beer Co.; unlimited beer and food at Brewability Lab; Cherry Pie firkin at Alpine Dog Brewing Company; live music and special tappings at Fiction Beer Co.; dress-to-impress at Ratio Beerworks; diet starts tomorrow NYE party at Grandma’s House; NYE disco at Caution: Brewing Co.; special tappings and awesome food at Freshcraft; music, food, and special tappings at Odyssey Beerwerks; nostalgia NYE party at Declaration Brewing; and coast-to-coast party at Epic Brewing Company.
Sunday, January 1, 2017 @ 11am – 9pm: Holiday Hangover Party at Epic Brewing Company
Stave off your hangover by tying on another at Epic where they’ll be screening football and serving up breakfast dishes from Mile High Cajun. Take a photo on their red carpet walk of shame while getting 10% off your tab if you show up in pajamas and 20% off if you are wearing what you were the night before.
Monday, January 2, 2017 @ 3 – 10pm: FU Mondays at Beryl’s Beer Co.
Beryl’s flips Monday the bird with specialty keg tappings each week.
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.