Beer Me: January 10, 2017 – January 16, 2017 – Hop Disciples, Sour IPAs, and a Case of Elephantitis

hop-disciples-cansGreat Divide recently introduced the first version of their yearly Hop Disciples Rotating Hop Project IPA. The series will focus on a different hop with each release and see what characteristics it imparts on a bright, clean IPA.

“We receive different experimental hops to play around with on our pilot system each year, and this past year we were really blown away by the aromatics and flavor of the Idaho 7,” said Bob Malone, special operations at Great Divide, via press release. “We decided we needed to showcase them on a larger scale, and the idea of taking Hop Disciples to package was born.”

The first release features Idaho 7, an experimental variety from its namesake state first released in 2015. You may have seen the hop cropping up with more frequency as brewers utilize its potent aroma and flavor. The hop typically displays pungent tropical fruit and citrus notes and hints of apricot, orange, grapefruit, papaya, and stone fruit can be detected along with a dosage of black tea.

The beer is golden blonde and exceedingly clean with a nice hop bitterness up front that lingers through the aftertaste. At 6.2% ABV it’s approachable but can still hold its own against more traditional winter brews.

The name of the series grew out of the free educational program founded by Great Divide in 2008 that allows brewers to share their passion with fellow craft beer fans.

Hop Disciples is currently available on tap and in six-packs through April. The beer will be the first release in the 2017 and take the place of Old Ruffian, the brewery’s barleywine-style ale.

“We know that many people, including myself, will surely miss Old Ruffian,” said Brian Dunn, founder and president of Great Divide Brewing Company. “In order for us to continue to innovate, we sometimes have to put great beers into retirement to open up capacity and to push ourselves as a brewery.”

And, here are this week’s events to push yourself as well…

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 7 – 9pm: Chocolate & Beer at WestFax Brewing Co.

Chocolate Lab teams with WestFax Brewing to pair the best of both East and West Colfax. The menu features a Blueberry Wheat accompanied by a maple bacon truffle; Cowboys vs. Hipsters (American IPA) with a dark chocolate truffle; Robust Porter with chocolate-covered glazed pecans; and Coffee Imperial Stout finished paired with a triple chocolate brownie. Tickets are $25.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 5 – 8pm: White Elephantitis Party at Big Choice Brewing

Still not sure what to do with that microwaveable poached egg maker or monogrammed bath mat you got for Christmas? Re-wrap them and re-gift them during Big Choice’s version of a white elephant party. Check out the full overview here.

Friday, January 13, 2017 4 – 8pm: Ski Wax Party at Platt Park Brewing Co.

Having trouble keeping up with your friends on the slopes? Swing by Platt Park Brewing and get your board or skis tuned for your next mountain outing. $15 gets you a wax and a pint of Colorstorm, Phaded, or other Platt Park beer.

Saturday, January 14, 2017various times: Beer Releases

There are a bevy of beer-y releases going down on Saturday, headlined by Cygnus (refermented Oxcart on Montmorency tart cherries) by Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales. Only 100 of these bottles will be available starting at noon, limit one per person. Also at noon, River North Brewery will release Single Cask Mr. Sandman (American Imperial Stout aged in a single Kentucky straight bourbon barrel) and Whiskey Barrel-Aged J. Marie (Imperial Saison). At Mockery Brewing, they’re releasing Brett the Hopman Tart, a barrel-aged sour IPA. At the same time, Baere Brewing Co. will unleash two bottled offerings: Four Grains in the Membrane, a barrel-aged strong ale with Brettanomyces and Raspberry Table Sour Batch 2. High noon will also be marked at Diebolt Brewing Co. with the release of four different bottled barrel-aged versions (Bourbon, Brandy, Cabernet, and Rye Whiskey) of their Imperial French Saison. If you make it past noon, don’t drive but rather get an Uber of Lyft up to Lafayette, where Odd13 Brewing will have their latest taproom-only can release in the form of Hop Hackin’ Harry, a piney West Coast IPA tapping at 1pm. God speed, Denver.

Sunday, January 15, 2017 3 – 7:30pm: Grow to Table – An Interactive Beer Dinner Experience at Ratio Beerworks

Ratio and The Regional are teaming up for a beer dinner to benefit The GrowHaus. Patrons will be transported from Ratio to The GrowHaus where they’ll learn about the urban farm and its programs geared towards growing a healthy community. Once back at Ratio, it’s on to a five-course beer paired dinner. Tickets are $75; view the full menu here.

Monday, January 16, 2017 @ 6:30 – 9pm: Canvas and Cocktails at Fiction Beer Co.

While Rogue One was disappointingly bereft of Wookies, you can paint your very own to hang in your living room at Fiction during Canvas and Cocktails. Tickets are $40 and get you all the materials you need to create your own Chewbacca plus a beer for inspiration.

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.