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Where to drink beer in March

Left Hand's Hops & Handrails festival, Avery's Strong Ale Fest, a coffee beer and doughnut event in Portland and more.
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With an extra-long leap year February behind us, it’s time to see which beer events are on the horizon for March. Look forward to high-octane beers at Avery’s annual Strong Ale Fest, plus snowboard tricks at Left Hand’s Hops & Handrails, and more:

Phantom Carriage One Year Anniversary Celebration, Carson, California: West Coast brewery to keep an eye on Phantom Carriage hosts a one-year birthday bash on Saturday, March 12, featuring exclusive cellar releases, a TBA bottle release, barbecue, live music and horror film screenings. The $36 tickets include five beer tasting tickets, food and glassware; check out the event tap list and buy tickets here.

Courtesy of Schlafly Tap Room

Courtesy of Schlafly Tap Room

Schlafly Stout & Oyster Festival, St. Louis: 50,000 fresh oysters from both coasts fly to St. Louis for Schlafly Beer’s annual event, taking place this year on Friday and Saturday, March 4-5 at the brewery’s taproom. Pair those slurpers with five styles of Schlafly stout: Oatmeal Stout, Coffee Stout, Nitro Irish Stout, Extra Irish Stout and Oyster Stout. No ticket is required; simply show up and pay for the food and beer you consume and enjoy a shucking competition and live music both days. More info on Schlafly’s website.

Braxton Brewing 1-Year Anniversary, Covington, Kentucky: The new brewery celebrates a year of brewing with a taproom party on Saturday, March 26, featuring four musical acts on an outdoor stage; releasing Trophy Pale Ale, the brewery’s second-ever bottled beer; and releasing three new draft beers. See more details at Braxton’s website.

Lickinghole Creek Despot Day, Goochland, Virginia: Tickets are already sold out for Enlightened Despot bottles (the bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout for which this festival is named), but there are still plenty of good reasons to show up at Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery’s farm on Saturday, March 5: You can still try Enlightened Despot and its variants on draft, sample guest taps and enjoy live music and food trucks. See the details and the tap list on the Despot Day website.

Photo by Steven Shomler

Photo by Steven Shomler

Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer & Doughnut Festival, Portland, Oregon: Woe to those who do not live in Portland, Oregon and cannot attend what sounds like the tastiest idea in beer history: a coffee beer and doughnut festival taking place at Culmination Brewing Company on Saturday, March 12. Portland boasts equally impressive coffee roasters and breweries, so naturally, coffee beers are the jam up there. Pair those with doughnuts and just shut up and take my money now. Tickets are $24 in advance, $27 at the door and include a souvenir glass plus 4-ounce samples of all 13 beers and samples of all 13 doughnuts. Details and tickets here.

Texas Independence Festival at Buffalo Bayou, Houston, Texas: Texas celebrates its statehood in early March, so Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. throws a fitting, Texas-sized party on Saturday, March 5. A $20 ticket get you a boot glassware plus four pours (8 ounces of rare or high-ABV stuff; full 16-ounce pours of other beers), with additional drink tokens available for $3 each. Also look for food from Blood Brothers BBQ and Doughmakers Donuts. Purchase tickets via Eventbrite.

Michigan Matinee, Chicago: Crown Liquors invites six Michigan breweries and cider makers (Bell’s, Dark Horse, Vander Mill Cider, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin and New Holland) to its taps on Saturday, March 5. They’ll pour some limited releases such as Bell’s L’Appel Du Vide Saskatoon wild ale, Founders Mango Magnifico con Calor, Dark Horse Plead the 5th imperial stout and more. Tickets are $27 and include 10 drink tickets which can be redeemed for a 4-ounce pour per ticket (with limited releases costing two tickets). The bar will also operate as a cash bar. See details and buy tickets on Eventbrite.

Allagash Saison Day, Oakland and San Francisco: March is a great month for saison drinking, as temperatures thaw and minds turn toward warm-weather sipping. On Saturday, March 12, venerable Allagash Brewing Co. hosts two events at Portal in Oakland and Rosamunde’s Mission Street location in San Francisco, both celebrating saisons. Allagash will be joined by brews from Stillwater, Henhouse and Woodfour to offer a rainbow of saison options with food pairings. Find more information on Allagash’s website.

New Kids on the Block, Denver, Colorado: If you can’t keep up with all the newest Colorado breweries, catch a crash course on Thursday, March 24 at the fourth annual event showcasing under-two-years-old Colorado breweries. Head to The Lobby restaurant, wear your ’80s garb (there’s a costume contest) and enjoy unlimited samples of beers as well as ’80s music. Tickets are $30 (a $45 VIP ticket includes a three-course seated beer dinner beforehand) and are available here.

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Courtesy of Andaz San Diego

Andaz San Diego Rooftop600 Beer Graden pop-up, San Diego: The bar atop the Andaz hotel temporarily morphs into a beer garden this spring. From now until April beginning at noon daily, the rooftop bar pours local brews including Ballast Point, Lightning and Mike Hess paired with German-leaning snacks and offers games like Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and Cards Against Humanity. See the full menu and info at the Andaz website.

River Horse Spring Thaw, Ewing Township, New Jersey: Temperatures might finally be warming, which means it’s time to get reacquainted with easy-drinking styles like pils and saison. River Horse Brewing Co. debuts their new year-rounder Roly Poly Pils and pours Farmhouse Saison, along with Tripel Horse and other drafts for Spring Thaw party on Saturday, March 12. Tickets are $15 and include your first beer plus live music. Additional beer tokens are available for $5 at the event. Details and tickets on Eventbrite.

Photo by Eddie Clark Media

Photo by Eddie Clark Media

Hops & Handrails, Longmont, Colorado: A beer festival meets X-Games, sort of, on Saturday, March 12 as Left Hand Brewing Co. hosts its fourth annual Hops & Handrails at Roosevelt Park. Enjoy beer from 60 breweries while you watch boarders show off their best tricks on the 40-foot ramp, all to the sounds of Sam Bush’s, who headlines at 4:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10 (general admission with beer for purchase) to $30 (complete access with four hours of beer sampling) to $75 for a VIP lounge access with beer and food. Tickets and details at Left Hand’s website.

Hey, Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here Tapping and “The Big Lebowski” Screening, Chicago: Pipeworks Brewing Co.’s cult favorite Hey, Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here is both an homage to The Dude and a delicious Imperial White Russian Stout brewed with vanilla, chocolate, and cold-pressed Dark Matter coffee. Sip that while you watch the film that inspired it on Thursday, March 22 at The Logan Theater. The beer taps at 8:30; film screens at 10:30 with prizes awarded for best costume. Keep an eye on Pipeworks’ website for more info.

Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery’s St. Patrick’s Day After-Party and 5K Tornado Benefit Run, Garland, Texas: Work off all that Guinness on Saturday, March 19 with a 5K run to benefit victims of recent area tornados. Post-run, enjoy live music, jumbo-sized beer pong, giant Jenga, smoked corn beef stew and beer specials. For details and to sign up for the run, see Instrinsic’s Facebook event page.

Avery’s Boulder Strong Ale Fest, Boulder, Colorado: The fourteenth annual toast to beers above 8% ABV goes down on Saturday, March 5 and features such high-octane treats as Firestone Walker Parabola, Grimm Brothers The Count and The Bruery’s So Happens It’s Tuesday. Tickets are $50 and include 16 three-ounce samples plus a commemorative glass. Details and tickets at Avery’s website.

Orval Day 2016, multiple locations: Raise a glass to Orval, one of the most classic of Trappist ales, on Saturday, March 26 during the first-ever nationwide Orval Day. Multiple venues across the U.S. will participate, donating a portion of proceeds to charity. See the Orval Day website for locations and details.

 

Author
Kate Bernot is DRAFT’s beer editor. Reach her at kate.bernot[at]draftmag.com.

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