Beyond Happy Hour: Special traditions in the Northern Colorado Beer Scene

By Aaron Burns on Friday, July 12, 2013

One of the most exciting things about craft breweries and tap rooms is their emerging ability to revolutionize Happy Hour. Just like any service-industry business, they want to lure you in during non-peak hours. But more and more, they're getting creative in this effort. Everything's more fun with beer, so why stick to the traditional Happy Hour? We have noticed that any given brewer or tap room can really advance or enhance its brand -- and customer base -- with a well-crafted weekly tradition.

We have compiled a list of some such traditions in Northern Colorado. Please note that this is not necessarily an exhaustive list and some of these traditions occur more regularly than others. It's a good idea to call in advance and/or check Facebook and websites for confirmation and details. Without further ado, here are some great ways to insert a little extra beer fun into your week:

*Live music is a sure-fire way to liven things up. Here's where to go and when: O'Dell Brewing, Wednesday afternoons; Verboten Brewing, Sundays at 4:30 PM; Equinox Brewing on weekends in their beer garden.

*Equinox Brewing usually has a firkin tapping on Thursdays at Noon. The firkins are known to get quite inventive, such as these recent creations: Sunrise Golden Ale conditioned with mangoes, Cumilus Witbier conditioned with organic ginger, and Cocoa Coffee Porter. And, of course, firkins open the door to cross-promotion for nearby businesses: Past firkins have featured fruit from Happy Heart Farm and spices form Old Town Spice Shop.

*Much like Equinox, Pateros Creek Brewing does a one-off keg of beer every Thursday called "The Outlaw." This allows Pateros Creek to get experimental while it allows you to start the weekend early!

*Big Beaver Brewing Co. has the too-good-to-be-true sounding "Free Beer Fridays." It's not exactly how it may sound, but still a great deal: A free flight of beer on Fridays for CSU students and faculty. And a free pint for everyone else.

*In the late summer/early fall, New Belgium devotes Thursday nights to "Bike-In-Cinema." (September 12 - October 3 in 2013). It's born from the notion that a Drive-In movie theatre is a great idea...except for the cars. So New Belgium encourages you to ride your bike to the brewery and join a crowd on the lawn for beer drinking and a classic movie. All beer proceeds go to local non-profits

*Every night at Choice City Butcher is beer night, right? Well, sure. But actually it's Wednesday night that owner Russ Robinson has officially dubbed "Beer Night." That means $1 off drafts and sliders for $1 apiece!

We hope you get the chance to enjoy these traditions as much as we do.