Top Sips from Colorado Beer Week

Event Recaps

Highlights from beer festivals and cocktail celebrations.

[Photograph: Sean Buchan]

The 3rd Annual Colorado Beer Week was held May 12-19 across the city of Denver, offering a plethora of choices for craft beer fans. Piggy-backing off of American Craft Beer Week, the goal of Colorado Beer Week is to "host events that bring you great beer and educate everyone on the versatility of this tasty beverage", says founder Scott Kerkmans.

The Opening Ceremonies at Highland Tap & Burger featured beer from 16 breweries, including a few rare surprises if you stuck around long enough. Throughout the rest of the week we visited several breweries and beer bars to take in as much as possible. Here are a few of our favorite sips.

Dry Dock Green Chili Double IPA Firkin

Oskar Blues Brewery: Deviant Dale's This devilishly hopped IPA (85 IBUs) won a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011. The perfect combination of citrusy hops and malty sweetness make it go down smooth despite it's 8.0% ABV.

Denver Beer Company: Colorado Weiss This spontaneously fermented wheat ale is one of the latest brews from the guys at Denver Beer Co., who turn out new beers like they're going out of style. I went back twice for refills of this crisp, clean, and refreshing weiss beer.

New Belgium Brewing Company: Tart Lychee Definitely the most interesting beer we had all week, Tart Lychee is a great new sour offering from the guys who seriously know their sour beers at New Belgium. By itself, the lychee fruit is incredibly sweet, but it was transformed into something else entirely in this sour beer.

Dry Dock Brewing Company: Green Chili Double IPA Most people wouldn't think of adding green chili to their beer, but the brewers at Dry Dock aren't most people. As part of their Firkin Frenzy for Colorado Beer Week, they created this beautiful combination of hops and heat. The beer provided just enough spice on the back of the throat to make it interesting while staying drinkable.

Leopold Bros. Maryland Rye Barrel-Aged Old Chub This beer is the perfect representation of Colorado Beer Week. Oskar Blues (Lyons, CO) Old Chub aged in Leopold Bros. (Aurora, CO) barrels created one of the most balanced and flavorful beers we've had in a long time. Oh the things we'd do to get our hands on a keg of this...

About the Author: Sean Buchan covers the Denver craft beer scene for Denver Off the Wagon in addition to doing freelance photography for Colorado breweries. You can view his beer photography here, follow him on Facebook or on Twitter at @Beertographer.