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It has almost become a cliché that people in Colorado’s craft-beer world take care of one another — but it’s a good cliché. Last weekend, Copper Kettle Brewing found out that one of its staff members had tested positive for COVID-19, so the brewery immediately closed for indoor service. At this point, almost every brewery in the state has had a positive case either from a staffer or from a customer, so that wasn’t the hard part.
The hard part was that by Monday, only one Copper Kettle employee — co-owner and founder Jeremy Gobien — had gotten a negative test result back, allowing him to head back to work. So Gobien prepared to mind the store by himself, selling beer to go and getting the taproom reopened.
But that’s when a crew of three from Aurora’s Launch Pad Brewery, including its head brewer (and former Copper Kettle taproom manager), Paul Mahoney, decided to head over and help out, working the taproom and allowing people to return. “Thank you Launch Pad for helping us out tonight,” Copper Kettle wrote on Facebook. “We really appreciate you all and this helping community we’re in.”
Keep reading to see craft-beer tappings and releases into late February.
Wednesday, February 10
The latest round of the F*CK COVID four-pack and livestream includes Joyride Brewing’s Czech the Rhime Czech-Syle Pilsner, Left Hand Brewing’s Bittersweet Nitro Imperial Milk Stout with coffee, Pikes Peak Brewing’s Ocean of Clouds Hazy IPA, and Upslope Brewing’s Oatmeal Stout. You can pick up a four-pack with one of each beer at any of the breweries listed in the days leading up to today. The online event takes place on Joyride’s Facebook page at 7 p.m.
Cerebral Brewing releases Baked Epiphany King Cake Pastry Blonde. The beer plays off the Mardi Gras tradition of King Cake (whoever finds the lucky plastic baby inside buys the cake the next year). There will be one lucky baby on the label of one can in every case of this beer, “so when you and yours are reaching in the fridge to get a little liquid Mardi Gras, well, whoever gets Da Baby might be the lucky one…but they are also buying the next round,” the brewery says. The 6.7 percent ABV beer has notes of toasted walnut, strawberry shortcake and dry cherry wine. Cerebral is also re-releasing its Nordic Noir Baltic Porter.
Copper Kettle Brewing is focusing on cherry- and raspberry-flavored brews for Firkin February. This week, the brewery will tap Ménage Golden Sour with raspberry added.
Thursday, February 11
Station 26 Brewing is excited to announce the release of Eternal Lovibond Mocha Milk Stout along with insulated camping mugs. Pre-sale for four-packs of Eternal Lovibond and the mugs goes live on February 11; pick-ups are February 13. Each twelve-ounce mug is made of vacuum-sealed stainless steel with a matte black finish and comes with a Press Fit lid. The beer is a 7 percent ABV milk stout made with Emergentia coffee and chocolate “for an irresistible mocha flavor,” the brewery says.
New cans: TRVE Brewing has canned one of its classic clean beers, Atma, for the first time. This Belgian golden strong ale weighs in at 8.2 percent ABV, making it one of TRVE’s biggest beers. “Aromas of vanilla, bubblegum, clove and banana swirl in the pit, while crisp carbonation and balanced sweetness bring levity,” TRVE says.
Friday, February 12
Fiction Beer Company has teamed up with The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary on a collaborative beer-and-poetry project called Poetic Ales. The brewery will release three canned beers in a limited-edition boxed set (as well as on draft and in sixteen-ounce four-packs); each can will feature a poem by a BIPOC poet who is a member of the Word, a nonprofit organization that “fights for cultural equity through the literary arts” and “promotes voices from underserved communities and diverse backgrounds.” A portion of the proceeds from the beers will go to support the Word. Here are the planned releases: Small Gestures of Vibes, a hazy IPA made with Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Wai’iti hops, with poetry from Franklin Cruz; Phazed Brew, a molé milk stout brewed with Mexican chile peppers and spices, with words by Kerrie Joy; and Cure Your Ales, a purple ale made with elderberries, Hallertau Mittlefrueh and Sorachi Ace hops, with a poem by Deborah Yang. The poets are all responding to the theme of “the In Between, reflecting this middling period of the pandemic and this time of conscious awakening on equity issues,” according to the brewery.
Cheluna Brewing, at Stanley Marketplace, taps a brand-new Xoco Fresa Lager, which was brewed to taste like chocolate-covered cherries, in time for Valentine’s Day.
Strange Craft Beer Company taps its annual Valentine’s Day beer, Belgian Chocolate Raspberry Love Stout. First brewed in 2012 with John and Stacy Turk of Walter’s 303, the stout weighs in at 10.5 percent ABV.
Epic Brewing continues its Firkin February tappings in support of the Colorado Brewers Guild by tapping a firkin of its Escape to Colorado IPA dosed with Sour Patch Kids.
Joyride Brewing is also participating in Firkin February by releasing a limited ten-gallon batch of one-off beer each Friday at 4 p.m. Today’s beer is Doontoon Scottish Ale with apricot.
Ursula Brewery has a special Valentine’s Day version of its Barrel Aged 180 Gram Imperial Stout on tap through the weekend. The beer has been infused with strawberry and raspberry purée with a hint of vanilla.
Burns Family Artisan Ales releases three beers for Stout Month. Imperial ’Nanana is a 10.5 percent ABV bourbo- barrel-aged vanilla milk stout. A View From the Top of Gogebic is a 10.1 percent ABV maple milk stout named for Gogebic County in Michigan, which has the largest stand of silver maples in the U.S. Stolen Kiss is a 14.5 percent ABV imperial brown ale aged in rum barrels.
Little Machine Beer Company taps Hittin’ Switches Apple Cider, a millet-based beer that is as close to apple cider as a brewery is legally allowed to get. Brewed with fresh-pressed apple juice from Talbott Farms in Palisade and fermented with Champagne yeast, the beverage has a “naturally tangy, dry finish of a millet-based fermentation” that is “a perfect companion to the mild, fruity touch that comes from being 49 percent apple juice,” Little Machine says. “All combined and rounded out by the unmistakable character of Champagne yeast.”
Seedstock Brewery is joining forces with Alma Kitchen & Catering for a $25 beer-infused dessert package that includes a Crowler of your choosing, Scotch ale brownies made with Seedstock’s Scotch Ale, Bohemian Ale salted caramels made with Seedstock’s Bohemian Ale, and chocolate-covered pretzels. There are a limited number of packages available until February 14, so reserve in advance.
Cerveceria Colorado releases two new beers, Pomegranate Hibiscus Marg Citrus Sour and a Prickly Pear Jalapeño Marg Citrus Sour. Both were fermented with lime juice and a touch of pink Himalayan sea salt, while “pomegranate and hibiscus were added to create an interesting mélange of floral and sweet flavors to complement the sour for the Pomegranate Hibiscus Marg. And prickly pear and jalapeño were added to create a unique blend of sweet, sour and spicy for the Prickly Pear Jalapeño Marg,” the brewery says. Both will be available in the taproom and to-go in sixteen-ounce Crowler four-packs.
Woods Boss Brewing re-releases Oceans of Gold, a hybrid beer that it calls “the perfect blend of the best characteristics of a classic hefewiezen and a wit. Subtle banana and clove aromas descend on to soft sweet bready flavors with a hint of orange and coriander that finishes with a nice little wit bite.”
Ratio Beerworks can’t celebrate its sixth anniversary like it wants to, so the brewery is releasing a beer instead. Undone Vol. 8 is described as “a juicy IPA brewed with Strata, Sabro and Simcoe hops. It has a deep orange amber hue with notes of passionfruit, coconut and pine.” It is available in six-packs and on draft.
Coal Mine Avenue Brewing has again teamed up with its friends at Peak View Brewing and Chain Reaction Brewing for a “salty, sweet and tart surprise” called Salted Apple Caramel Gose, Coal Mine says. The beer will be available at all three taprooms.
4 Noses Brewing will have two brand-new beers available in cans. Galactic Farm Stand is a New England-style double IPA brewed with Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin and Citra hops for “notes of citrus, rich tropical fruits and slight white-wine flavors,” the brewery says. Galactic Fruit Stand is a New England-style double IPA brewed with guava and pineapple, along with Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin and Citra hops.
Sunday, February 14
Dos Luces Brewing, in collaboration with Cultura Craft Chocolate, is once again celebrating its South American chicha and pulque with a chocolate-and-beer tasting for Valentine’s Day. This year, there are two options: Come to the brewery anytime between 5 and 10 p.m. and enjoy four four-ounce beers per person and chocolate paired with each (there is very limited seating), or take the beer home in bottles, along with the chocolate. For more information on times, pricing and details, go to the Dos Luces website.
Bruz Off the Fax, the Capital Hill taproom outlet for Bruz Beers, celebrates its one-year anniversary this weekend by pouring its very small-batch Sérénité Barrique on draft. There will also be other special tappings, a chocolate pairing, Girl Scout Cookie pairings, deals, merch and discounts.
Black Sky Brewery has been celebrating Stout Month, and today it taps a new black beer. Hazelnut Porter is a robust-style porter with freshly roasted hazelnuts. Get a slice of cheesecake to pair with it.
Spice Trade Brewing will be showcasing stouts all month, including its Chai Milk Stout and King Montezuma Mayan Chocolate, along with some small-batch releases like today’s Chocolate Cherry Chai Milk Stout.
New Image Brewing brings out two hop bombs. Betterer Togetherer is a 9.5 percent ABV double-dry-hopped double IPA made with Citra and Mosiac, while Double Double Double is a 9.5 percent ABV triple-dry-hopped double IPA with Citra, Motueka and Idaho Gem hops. Both are available on tap and in cans to go.
Monday, February 15
Spice Trade Brewing will be showcasing stouts all month, including its Chai Milk Stout and King Montezuma Mayan Chocolate, along with some small-batch releases like today’s Horchata King Montezuma.
Friday, February 19
Copper Kettle Brewing is tapping a brand-new brew called Lemondrop Pilsner. “Named after our brewer’s new puppy, Lemon, and brewed with Lemondrop hops, this Pilsner has subtle lemon hints with an earthy feel,” Copper Kettle says. The 6 percent ABV beer is also available in Crowlers to go.
Little Machine Beer Company also has a hop-forward pilsner on tap. Low Low Dry-hopped Pilsner is a German-style pils, but with Saphir and Galaxy hops.
Strange Craft Beer Company taps Shipwrecked Stout for Stout Month. “Brewed with Lotus hops and finished on mangos, this 6.2 percent ABV tropical stout is all you need to get shipwrecked,” the brewery says.
Joyride Brewing is participating in Firkin February by releasing a limited ten-gallon batch of one-off beer each Friday at 4 p.m. Today’s beer is DDH Ah, Ale Yeah! #10 Hazy Pale Ale.
Saturday, February 20
River North Brewery celebrates its ninth anniversary by releasing Anniversary 9, a whiskey-barrel-aged coconut imperial stout. Both taprooms will have food trucks on hand.
Factotum Brewhouse celebrates its anniversary with several circus-themed seatings, each involving different music and entertainment, anniversary glassware and food and beer. Make reservations here.
For some, gluten-free Oreos, which debuted recently, were a watershed moment for people who have to follow gluten-free dietary restrictions. “They are the only thing our community has been talking about,” says Karen Hertz, the founder of Holidaily Brewing, an entirely gluten-free brewery in Golden. So Hertz decided to put the brewers to work making a beer with the cookies. Gluten-Free Oreo Stout will go on tap today as part of Holidaily’s five-year anniversary celebration this weekend. At 6.8 percent ABV, the stout was brewed with more than 35 pounds of the Oreos (about 65 packages), along with whole vanilla beans and cocoa nibs, not to mention ten different varieties of gluten-free malts (including chocolate millet and caramel millet).
Friday, February 26
Strange Craft Beer Company sends off Stout Month in style by tapping this year’s version of Strangely Epic, an 8 percent ABV blend of Strange Craft’s famed Cherry Kriek and Epic Brewing’s bourbon-barrel-aged Big Bad Baptist Stout. The beer has hints of coffee, chocolate, bourbon barrel, and loads of cherries.
Joyride Brewing is also participating in Firkin February by releasing a limited ten-gallon batch of one-off beer each Friday at 4 p.m. Today’s beer is Doontoon Scottish Ale aged on Amburana wood.
Little Machine Beer taps Super Show New England-style IPA. “We went balls-out on this one. Totally new process and the most expensive hops [Lotus, El Dorado and Mosaic] we could find,” the brewery says.
Copper Kettle Brewing brings back Scooter’s IPA. Named for the brewer’s dog, the 7.4 percent ABV beer was brewed with Motueka, Sabro and other hops. It is available on draft and in Crowlers to go.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.