Beer snobs, lend me your ears
May 13, 2012
American Craft Beer Week is upon us, a rollicking, nationwide celebration that pays homage to the small-batch brewers and brews that make beer worth drinking. And the best thing about this jubilant jamboree is that there’s a reason to drink a bucket of suds every day of the week.You can’t go on a weeklong bingo bender without starting on Monday. About a dozen breweries in Northern Colorado have banded together with the Brewers Association to present brewery bingo. You have today through Sunday to play the game.”We’ve been talking to a lot of breweries to set this up, so you have to do it over a whole week – you can’t just fit it into a couple of days,” said Russel Fruits, beer evangelist for Grimm Brothers Brewhouse.Grab a bingo card at a participating brewery in Greeley, Berthoud, Loveland or Fort Collins – Odell’s, New Belgium, City Star, Grimm Brothers, Crabtree and Funkwerks are all playing the game – and get a stamp every time you try a beer listed on the card. Complete a bingo line, and you win a T-shirt. Grimm Brothers is also trotting out some fun beer this week.”We’ve got a maibock that’s coming out, plus we’ve got some firkins, some special releases that we’ve been holding back,” Fruits said. “Some beers that we released this past year that were popular and we held onto a barrel or two so we’d have them in the tap room. … We’re just going to be having fun with a lot of beers.”Make a mid-week pit stop at Strange Brewing Co. in Denver for Nostalgia Tuesday. In honor of the brewery’s second anniversary, head brewer Tim Myers is rolling out some classic brews. Stick around Wednesday to try a limited-edition, all-Colorado beer.”Every Wednesday we do One Barrel Wednesday, where we brew an experimental batch of something,” Myers said. “(This week, it’s) an all Colorado ale – malts from Alamosa, Colorado hops from Paonia – we brewed it with Steve from the Colorado Brewers Guild.”Share a pint of the new beer, called Soc ale, in honor of the Brewers Guild social club, in Strange’s brand-new biergarten, or come back later in the week for live music Thursday and Friday and the big anniversary party on Saturday, starting with kegs and eggs at 9 a.m.”Enjoy some Strange brews and Colorado sun,” Myers said. “We’ve got so much going on with our anniversary that we’re trying not to run out of beer – it’s going to be a good week.”
Beer Week also has some love for the ladies. Sisterhood of the Hop, a female brew club in Boulder, will host a screening of the documentary “The Love of Beer” at the Avery Brewing Co. Barrel Aging Cellar in Boulder on Wednesday. The feature-length film celebrates women in the beer industry, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Tickets are $10 and include a pint of beer.Now that you’ve educated yourself, Kill the Keg with Left Hand Brewing Co. on Thursday at Freshcraft in Denver.”We’ve got a beer called Beer Week Sauce, and that is actually a porter fused with coffee,” said Josh Breckel, regional sales manager for Left Hand. “We’re tapping the keg at 11 a.m. and giving away pint glasses to the first 50 people who show up that morning for lunch.”Come back and do it all over again for happy hour. For each round of Kill the Keg, the person who orders the last pint from the keg (there are about 120 pints in a keg, Breckel said) gets a Left Hand survival pack, complete with a 12-pack of beer, two pint glasses and a T-shirt.The local guys are throwing themselves into the fray this week, too. Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. fans are invited to visit the brewery’s Facebook page and submit entries to a trivia contest throughout the week. A winner will be drawn on Friday at a special event at the brewery’s tasting room. “It’s a new thing for Craft Beer Week,” said Holly Velvis, tasting-room manager.The night will feature music from the Stache and food from Belmont Deli, and the trivia drawing will happen near the end of the eveningAmerican Craft Beer Week is the perfect opportunity to cozy up and get friendly with the saucy mistress that is beer. Grab a blonde, brunette or red-headed craft-beer courtesan, and enjoy the ride.