What if you threw a birthday party and everyone came? And they brought beer? That exactly what happened when Denver off the Wagon, Denver’s best booze blog, celebrated their one year anniversary this past weekend.
Thursday, Feb. 23 kicked off the celebratory weekend with a release party of a Denver off the Wagon and Wynkoop Brewery collaboration – Wagon Ryed. A dry, rye stout with caraway seeds. Brewed at the Wynkoop with Andy Brown, Head Brewer, several members of the Wagon staff and using a recipe from home brewer and Wagon founder, PJ Hoberman, there was a room full of people awaiting the first tapping. And worth the wait it was. A perfect smooth stout with just a hint of anise from the caraway. (Full disclosure: I helped with the brew so all my biases are fully intact.) There was pool played, shuffleboards shuffled, Justin Lloyd, proprietor of Star Bar, was on hand mixing up some beer cocktails and of course, many beers and much merriment was had by all.
As often happens, the “Let’s head to Star Bar!” rally cry was heard around midnight and we celebrated well into the morning, looking forward to keeping it going all weekend.
“The crew from Denver Off the Wagon is as magnanimous as they are besotted. When they first invited to the Wagon Ryed party, I though they were going to cap my ass in order to get me out of the way. Turns out, they just wanted to celebrate the culture of celebrating. The party was a perfect microcosm for what they do, which is to knit together various elements of the city and then toast them with carefully crafted beer or spirits. Huzzah!”
Friday, Feb 24 was Beer Delivery Day! Meeting at the Wynkoop, we loaded up their horse-drawn beer wagon with kegs of Wagon Ryed and made like old timey milk delivery people. Except the milk was beer and the delivery people were booze specialists. Stopping at each bar for a keg drop off and a quick beverage, the wagon and the crawl made quite the spectacle as we made it through the streets of Denver. Stops along the way included: Breckenridge Brewery, Falling Rock, Wazee Supper Club, FreshCraft, Eculid Hall and ending, where else, at Star Bar. Closing down Star Bar has become a Wagon crew pastime, and we did not disappoint this evening either.
Saturday morning started off slow for the birthday crew, while the majority of us were limping out hangovers to various brunch spots for much needed hair-of-the-dog-that-kicked-all-our-asses, Hoberman was off to the radio! He along with, Jonathan Shikes Westword’s resident beer blogger, Dave Butler from Fermentedly Challagned and David Young, beer blogger from The Coloradoan joined host Gary Valliere on his American Craft Beer Radio show. This was Valliere’s for his first blogger-centric show. The guys all did a great job, touching on the Northern Colorado & Denver beer scenes, beer festivals not to miss, and the state of blogging in a region in love with beer. Highlight for me was goading Hoberman into saying “vagina hops” on the program. Amazing what people will do for a bar tab.
“Our three-day birthday party was an absolute blast. I hope that everyone had as much fun as I did. Or less fun. Probably less fun, because it’s Tuesday and I’m still exhausted. So I hope everyone had an appropriate amount of fun that will carry them over until our next party, in 3 weeks.” PJ Hoberman
Saving the best for last, Saturday night was the official Birthday Bacchanalia. Hosted at Star Bar (are you getting the theme here), it was a shit show of wonderful beer goodness. A mini Great American Beer Fest in my favorite bar. A beer lovers wet dream. A veritable beer boner, if you will. And I will.
The headliners were definitely the Star Bar proprietary creations. Two sour collaborations, the Star Folie with New Belgium and the Star Sour #1 with AC Golden.
And two barrel aged. A Leopold Bothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Belgian Yeti with Great Divide and a Leopold Bothers Apple Whiskey Barrel Aged G’Knight from Oskar Blues. Holy crap. The apple whiskey aged G’Knight went from beer boner to beer orgasm in seconds. Others on tap rounded out a multiple orgasmic night for a beer lover. • Wagon Ryed – Wynkoop, Nomad – Great Divide, Maharaja – Avery, Deviant Dale’s – Oskar Blues, Belgian Smidy – Oskar Blues, Saboteur 09 / Saboteur 12 – Odell, Footprint – Odell, Surette – Crooked Stave, Angel’s Share – The Lost Abbey, and Noble Rot – Dogfish Head. Fuck. Yes.
Star Bar was packed to the gills with celebratory spirit, lovely ladies and bearded beer lovers from all over our amazing state. Not only as a congratulatory node to Denver off the Wagon, but I would like to think a tribute to the people, the place and booze that make the Wagon possible. It was nice to end the night where the Wagon started.
For more Denver Off the Wagon Shenanigans, follow some of these merry dranksters:
DOTW – @denverwagon
PJ – @hookedonwinter
Jonathan – @colobeerman
Lee – @Hoptopia
Shellie – @shellieshel
Dave – @ChipperDave