Colorado is considered the Mecca for craft beer in the United States and it's not wonder why. Home to more than 100 breweries (2008 BA statistics) and Colorado produces more beer than any other state. The BA (Brewers Association) is located in Colorado too. The BA is a non-profit organization that controls and regulates the beer world from microbreweries to macro breweries. The Great American Beer Fest (GABF) is held in Colorado as well; This being the largest beer festival in the United States and second largest in the world. It's no wonder another beer festival is about to begin; the first annual Colorado Beer Week.
Colorado Beer Week begins April 8th – 16th. This is meant to be a week of celebrating all that's amazing about ales, lagers, and craft beer. All day and night for a week you'll have the opportunity to taste amazing Colorado microbreweries and their amazing beers across downtown Denver. From beer tastings, food pairings, cruiser crawls, rare releases, celebrity tappings, charity golf tournament, and vertical tastings. There are a lot of events going on this week and you should not miss a single one.
The opening ceremonies for the first annual Colorado Beer Week will begin at Blake St. Tavern. Here more than 13 local microbreweries will be unleashed on Denver. VIP passes will be offered for those that do not want to miss a single beer; you'll be able to drink 30 minutes early and have face time with the brewers themselves. This event is hosted by New Belgium Brewery.
Oskar Blues, Ska Brewing, and Fort Collins Brewery will be gracing the opening ceremonies as will Great Divide Brewing. Great Divide (Denver's most recognized brewery) will be unleashing Colette and their 17th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA on Denver during the ceremonies as well.
Day Two of Colorado Beer Week takes us to Euclid Hall, the countries number one beer bar, with a food and beer pairing hosted by Odell Brewing. Jorel Pierce, chef de cuisine, will take four appetizers and pair them with four of Odell's single release 750ml series. Odell Brewing was put on the map last year (2010) when beer promote voted Saboteur their favorite beer of the year. For the food pairing Odell will provide Red, their seasonal red ale that is a hopped up version of most reds on the market. Avant Peche is their Imperial Porter brewed with Colorado peaches and barrel aged with peaches. Friek is Odell's interpretation of a Belgian Lambic Kriek blended with a Framboise. Krieks are cherry style beers from Belgium and Framboise are raspberry style Lambic. Lambics are sour bees that experience spontaneously fermentation and those that are fruit forward are brewed with fruits (such as cherries and raspberries). Friek is quite tart, not sour, with soft hints of raspberries and big cherry notes. Lastly Odell will produce Myrcenary. This is their double IPA (Indian Pale Ale) inspired by Myrcene; a component of the essential oils in the hop flower.
Day Three of Colorado Beer Week has Ska Brewing the microbrewery of Denver for the day. This event begins at Civic Center Park and is a cruiser bar crawl. Everyone will show up with their bikes (cruisers) and then hit local Denver venue's to receive a free Ska Brewing beer on the house. Ska Brewing is located in Durango, and is known as the gofiest and wackiest of brewers in the nation. Paramount Cafe, Fresh Craft, Cheba Hut, and Star Bar will the bars offering free Ska for the day. Expect downtown Denver on April 10th to be full of people riding cruisers and drinking great craft beer.
Day Four of Colorado Beer Week takes us to Pradera Golf Course one of the most exclusive courses in the nation. A charity golf game for NSCD (national sports center for the disabled) will raise money for the disabled children and adults. Fort Collins Brewery will be pouring the craft beer and Denver Life Magazine will also sponsoring this event.
Day Five of Colorado Beer Week takes us to The Rackhouse Pub. Here a slew of Colorado microbreweries will show off their goods to the public. This event is free to attended but a portion of all proceeds will go to the Colorado Brewers Guild. This guild of brewers is what keeps the craft beer industry going in Colorado. Here you can learn the in-depth workings of the beer industry, talk to the brewers themselves, and taste some amazing local beer.
Day Six of Colorado Beer Week takes place at Cheeky Monkey. Known as the premier Belgian beer bar in the city, hosting 15 beers on a tap, and another 15 by the bottle this is where you go for traditional and strictly only Belgium beer. Rouge Brewing (Oregon) will be presenting four of their very best bees paired with oysters on the half shell. First dozen are free as are the beers. Rouge Brewery is known for brewing outside the box; expect some outstanding pairings with some of the best shellfish in the world at one of the best Belgium beer bars in the state.
Day Seven of Colorado Beer Week will see a vertical tasting of Alaskan Brewing (Alaska) Smoked Porker at Falling Rock Tap House. Falling Rock is a great daft house but showcases a ton of beer on and off their menu. Falling Rock is a fantastic Denver beer bar. Alaskan Brewing will show off their flagship ale, Alaskan Smoked Porter, through a vertical tasting. Vertical beer is vintage beer ranging in ages. Featuring 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009 vintages of their award-winning porter, this should be an amazing time.
Day Eight is all about New Belgium. New Belgium places third in 2009 for top craft breweries in the united states. Located in Fort Collins, Co. they are producing some great Belgian style beers. Taking place at a few different beer bars and restaurants around town New Belgium will showcase their entitlement Lips of Faith Series.
The Lips of Faith is an interesting series because the brewery gives anyone who works for them the opportunity to have their own beer made. Employees each month are given a beer by New Belgium that is a combination of two of their beers. The winner of this month competition must guess the recipe of this new beer. The one who is the closest will then be given the ability to add a beer to the Lips of Faith Series.
This is the first annual Colorado Beer Week and the reason behind it all is Scott Kerkmans. Kerkmans started out his brewing career as the head brewer for Kelly's Brewpub in NM. He moved to Alaska and worked with Alaskan Brewing Company. In 2005 Kerkmans starts up a beer consulting firm called Nazdar Beer Inc. Quickly promoted to Chief Beer Officer by Sheraton Hotels for Four Points. He was one of the first Certified Cicerones in the world and is also a beer judge for the Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Co. during September. Kerkman wished to have a smaller festival but one that showedcased only local microbreweries as much as possible and the beer bars where these craft beers are sold.
April 8th through the 16th Denver welcomes Colorado Beer Week. This is a time to enjoy ales and lagers and everything craft beer in the state that produces the most craft beer in the nation. Grab a friend and hit the streets and take on the world of beer one pint at a time.