Ah, October: shorter days and longer nights help make for more excuses to start drinking earlier. Lucky for you, Boulder County has plenty of ways to welcome the new season with a brew or two to quaff.
Longmont Oktoberfest (Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Avenue, Longmont) Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6 — If you like to don lederhosen and dirndls while hoisting a stein or three, then you belong in Longmont. Running seven years strong, Longmont Oktoberfest is the perfect place to ring in colder temperatures, changing leaves and dark lager. Put on by Left Hand Brewing Company — with event proceeds going to the Colorado St. Vrain Football Club and Left Hand Brewing Foundation — Longmont Oktoberfest will be pouring some of Left Hand’s best, as well as some from other Longmont breweries. You’re sure to find Left Hand’s Oktoberfest Märzen Lager on tap, replete with toasted Munich malts to satiate your thirst with biscuity goodness and enough Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops to bring a touch of spice to the party. Fingers crossed Left Hand will also be serving its 25th anniversary Imperial Stout, which was just released a few weeks ago to celebrate its silver anniversary. General admission starts at $5. lhbfoundation.org/Longmont-oktoberfest
Flatirons Food Film Festival (Boulder: multiple locations) Thursday, Oct. 11 – Sunday, Oct. 13 — Helmed by Julia Joun, the Flatirons Food Film Festival brings together the finer things in life, and this year’s opening night festivities highlight a topic near and dear to our hearts: craft beer. It kicks off with a guided beer tasting from Ray Daniels, the founder of the Cicerone Certification Program, followed by a brews and bites tour of downtown Boulder with Megan Bucholz, founder of Local Table Tours. The tour will start at The Post Brewing Co., work its way over to West Flanders Brewing Co. and conclude at Squared Pizza + Beer, the R&D brewery for Boulder Beer Co. At 7:30 p.m., the documentary Brewmaster screens at the Canyon Theater at Boulder Public Library followed by a panel discussion with Charlie Papazian, Betsy Lay, Jonathan Shikes and Daniels. Not enough beer for you? There’s an after-party at The Kitchen Upstairs. Tickets to each event vary in price. flatironsfoodfilmfest.org
Kyle’s Rocktoberfest (Upslope Brewing Co., 1898 South Flatirons Court, Boulder) Sunday, Oct. 13, 2–6 p.m. — Musician Kyle Hollingsworth (The String Cheese Incident) is no stranger to beer, so it makes sense his personal festival doesn’t just bring musicians together, but brewers as well. And if you come to Upslope on Oct. 13, not only will you be able to listen to the Kyle Hollingsworth Band — along with some very special friends — you’ll be knocking back any number of 60 craft beers from 30 breweries, many of whom Hollingsworth collaborated with personally. The festival benefits Conscious Alliance; tickets start at $30. kylehollingsworth.com