This past weekend, my mom and I took a trip up to South Dakota to visit family. While it was wonderful to see everyone — and be asked by each and every relative how "high on that marijuana crap" everyone is here — it really made me realize how great Colorado is.
Like those mountains. Beautiful, and practical when you can't figure out what direction you're facing, unlike unhelpful jerk corn fields.
Beer? Forget about it. We've got that locked down.
And as it turns out, we're right in the middle of American Craft Beer Week. Perfect. So here's a few way to cheers to a state that knows its way around hops.
Upslope Brewing is celebrating Saturday with a free Upslope Get Down music festival at Flatiron Park (1898 S. Flatiron Circle) from 2 p.m. to midnight. The festival brings eight bands to two stages for all-day music. Groups like Euforquestra and Rowdy Shadehouse will hit the stages throughout the night. They'll also have food from Blackbelly Catering, Heirloom and Taco del Norte as you sip on some quality Upslope brews.
Let us keep the pints pouring, shall we? Over at Wild Woods Brewery (5460 Conestoga Ct.), folks are releasing their Molasses Brown Ale this Thursday. And then Friday, you'll be able to chow down on some grub from The Wheel and Whisk while you sip. But Saturday, that's when the Big Bonfire Anniversary Ale will be unleashed. Talk about a reason to head over. Try out the ale and enjoy $3.50 pints of year-round beers all day Saturday.
Over at Boulder Beer (2880 Wilderness Pl.), the brewers have a lineup that'll have you happy you stopped by. Like Thursday, you'll have Pro Leisure playing from 5 to 9 p.m. as you drink. Friday, they're tapping into their Hoopla, with a party from 4 to 7 p.m. You'll play games — with Hoopla memorabilia as potential prizes, signed by Kyle Hollingsworth, of String Cheese Incident fame — and get to enjoy the return of the Hoopla! And then Saturday, come over for Blue Soul, playing from 5 to 9 p.m.
Of course, Avery Brewing (5763 Arapahoe Ave.) brewers are all kinds of excited for this Friday. They're 21, and celebrating with Twenty One, an imperial India-style brown ale that's got all the specialty malts and dry hop flavors you could want. It'll be the last anniversary ale out at their Arapahoe Avenue location — a need-to-know as their new "Taj Mahal" of a location is in the works now. So get to the taproom at 5 p.m. and enjoy.
Finally, the horse races continue, and so does The West End Tavern's (926 Pearl St.) fun. The Preakness runs this Saturday, and so will the hermit crab races an hour before the big race. Get your Woodford Reserve Mint Julep and Black-Eyed Susan cocktails and have fun.
Follow Alex on Twitter: @ansieh.