Beer Me: January 3, 2017 – January 9, 2017 – Winter IPAs, Imperial Stouts, and Schwarzbier

geniuswizardDenver and Colorado breweries scored high marks on the various “best of” lists that crop up en masse this time of year. Weldwerks Brewing’s Double Dry-Hopped Juicy Bits was among the top sixteen beers of 2016 as selected by a panel. Left Hand’s Milk Stout Nitro, New Belgium’s Fat Tire, and Odell’s IPA were among the top 50 beers of 2016 as selected by readers and New Belgium, Avery Brewing Co., and Odell appeared on the “if you could only drink one brewery’s beer for the rest of your life” list.

Avery’s Vanilla Bean Stout, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales Peach Rye Dreamland, and Bull & Bush’s Royal Oil made DRAFT Magazine’s top 25 new or newly packaged beers of 2016. Ratio Beerworks, Cerebral Brewing, and Weldwerks were picked by Paste Magazine as the year’s best up and coming breweries while Avery’s Callipygian made Paste’s best new beers rundown and Odd13 Brewing Co. made their list of best breweries (Full disclosure: I’m a Paste contributor). Zymurgy readers included Left Hand’s Milk Stout Nitro, Odell IPA, Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy, and New Belgium’s La Folie on a list of the top 50 beers of 2016.

Among local media, Westword Beer Man, Jonathan Shikes, released his list of the twelve best newly packaged Colorado beers of the year and the Denver Post surveyed around 50 “beer pros” to cultivate a list of the top craft beer and breweries in 2016. The Post also talked to various craft beer movers and shakers to find out what they’ll remember most about 2016. The entire 17-part series can be read here. Bierstadt Lagerhaus was the clear favorite for new brewery of the year, being mentioned by eleven of the respondents. Cerebral, Comrade, and Cannonball Creek all cropped up multiple times for best brewery and Brewery Liberati is 2017’s most anticipated brewery opening.

Now, a light week for events as everyone licks their holiday wounds…

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 @ 3pmWinter IPA Release at Launch Pad Brewery

Aurora’s Launch Pad Brewery is wasting no time releasing new beers in 2017. The first is a 7.3% ABV 60 IBU Winter IPA hopped with Centennial hops and exhibiting a subtle rye malt character.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 @ 3 – 11pmGenius Wizard Wednesdays at Ratio Beerworks

Each Wednesday in January, Ratio will tap their bourbon barrel-aged Genius Wizard at a different location. The first just so happens to be the actual brewery. The 11.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout taps at noon and pours until the keg is kicked.

Thursday, January 5, 2017 @ 5 – 9pm: Schwibby Schwarzbier Release at Wibby Brewing

Longmont’s Wibby Brewing brings back their Black Lager brewed with toasted oats, affectionately known a Schwibby Schwarzbier. The beer was selected as one of the top American Lagers by Food & Wine. The Denny Driscoll Trio will provide musical accompaniment.

Friday, January 6, 2017 @ 2 – midnight: Weirding Way Release at Our Mutual Friend Brewery

Our Mutual Friend kicks of 2017 with the release of Weirding Way, a Citra dry-hopped 100% Brett fermented Saison. From the brewery: “It’s dry but beautifully complex with notes of lemon, hay, and pleasant farm funk, finished with citrusy hop character.” Weirding Way will be on tap and there will be 100 crowlers available at $16 a pop. Rezzy’s Kitchen will be serving the eats.

Sunday, January 8, 2017 11am – 10pm: Velvet Elvis Release at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

Oskar Blues is celebrating The King’s birthday with the release of Velvet Elvis, a seasonal, chocolate oatmeal Stout. The beer was originally brewed in honor of local Elvis impersonator, Jonny Barber. You can watch a video on the collaboration here. Dress like Elvis or answer trivia questions correctly to win a free beer.

Monday, January 9, 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.