July 20, 2013 was a day of remembrance across the state of Colorado and whether it was on the internet, television, or any other form of media we were reminded of what had happened a year ago that day. It turned into a day of shared memories and celebrating the lives of those lost, and on that afternoon the masses went to a small microbrewery in Denver, Colorado to celebrate their memory. After months of planning and coordinating, 12 microbreweries gathered behind this small brewery, guests received their sample cup and the 2nd annual Night to Remember event had begun.
The back lot was lined with breweries from all over various parts of Denver and a couple from northern Colorado, and they were all pouring some of the best beers they had. City Star Brewing from Berthoud was pouring the Raspberry Bandit, a brown ale with fresh raspberries added to it. This was a very unique beer that had a great malt flavor and the raspberries added both a sweetness and tartness that added complexities to the beer making it extremely refreshing on a hot summer’s eve. Great Divide brought their newest seasonal offering for people to try with their Rumble, and oak aged double IPA. This beer had all the hops people could ask for but they were muted by the oak creating a full flavored beer that was very enjoyable. The last truly unique beer also from Denver was the Oak Aged Wit from River North. This was a light and refreshing wheat beer with a slight tartness that had great complexities from the oak aging.
But the best beers of the night came from the host brewery Copper Kettle themselves. Not only were they pouring from their regular tap list but they also brought out some special beers for this night only. This included their rich, malty Barleywine from their 2nd anniversary party, plus they also brought out two aged beers that were both equally great. The oak aged double IPA made a return as well as the extremely popular High Country Breakfast Stout. Combine that with owners Jeremy and Kristen walking around socializing with everyone around them and they were very gracious hosts that made this event that much more enjoyable.
But the night was about more than just craft beer, it was about remembering and honoring those who lost their lives in this tragedy, and that was the true highlight of the evening. When victims’ family and loved ones spoke of Alex Teves and all the guests raised their glasses to celebrate his life it made the whole evening worthwhile. With the craft beer community coming together to put on this festival with pouring their beers, and donating items to be auctioned off plus the community of Aurora, Denver, and all across Colorado gathering together it makes these events more memorable. With the great crowd, amazing volunteers, and amazing breweries this was easily one of the most important festivals of the year and one that we can only hope will continue on a yearly basis.
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