Nitro-fueled funny cans

Left Hand’s Nitro Fest invites drinkers to take a walk on the dark side


Great American Beer Festival aficionados and local craft lovers both have reason to head to Longmont this Saturday, Nov. 15 from 3–7 p.m. The trendsetting brewers at Left Hand Brewing Company are rolling out a unique event to celebrate their 21st anniversary: Nitro Fest. Twenty of the best breweries in America will be bringing a versatile array of beers for lucky attendees to sample and savor.

Though it was long the domain of Guinness Stout, American craft brewers have readily embraced nitrogenated beer over the last ten years for the complex layering it can impart upon beers, especially malt-heavy brews like porters and stouts. But in this era of experimentation, brewers are putting even hoppier beers through the process.

Where most beers use carbon dioxide for carbonation that adds a bubbly and sparkling characteristic when you drink (the bubbles steadily rising from a fresh poured beer are evidence of this), nitro is the polar opposite. Due to the fact nitrogen is largely insoluble in liquid, it creates a thicker, creamier head and mouthfeel that slides smoothly down your throat.

It is only logical that Left Hand would be hosting such an event to celebrate this special style of beer; they are one of the acknowledged leaders in nitro beers. Their 2011 launch of Nitro Milk Stout was a game changer — it was the first nitrogenated craft beer in the nation that poured directly from the bottle and is one of their top sellers. They followed that in 2013 with two more additions: Nitro Sawtooth and Wake Up Dead Nitro.

To throw a proper party you need a great guest list, and Left Hand has not failed with their list of guest taps. Several of the top breweries in America will be in attendance, including Founders, Cigar City, Dogfish Head and North Coast plus local favorites like Mountain Sun, Oskar Blues and Boulder Beer — and for the price of admission you can drink as much of their wares as you like. While the beer list is heavy on darks, there are several IPAs that will be flowing, offering a diverse array of options. The complete list is available on Left Hand’s website.

To liven the event up while you are sampling suds, acts from Boulder Circus School (I had no idea we had one) will be performing throughout the night. They also will be offering someone the chance to win free beer for a year for the best costume that looks like one of their labels.

Food will be provided with hors d’oeuvres from local favorites Happy Cakes, Haystack Goat Cheese and Frontiere Natural Meats, and the Best Western Plus will be offering a shuttle to and from the event for a DUI-free night.

The fest will be held inside a large heated tent in the NW parking lot at Left Hand. Tickets are $50 per person and can be bought online or at the gate on the day of the event. All proceeds benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation, their nonprofit that gives back to the community in numerous ways.

More info can be found at 


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