04/08/2011 04:06 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2011

Craft Beer Spotlight: First-Ever Colorado Beer Week!

The first-ever Colorado Beer Week launches in Denver today! This nine-day festival, Apr. 8 - 16, celebrates our award-winning craft ales and lagers that have earned Colorado the "Napa Valley of Beer" nickname.

With the city awash specials, tastings and events, here's the shortlist of what we're most excited about -- and what's worth an advance ticket buy. (There's one sold-out favorite we had to list anyway, so seriously get on it.)

Colorado Beer Week Kickoff Party: Blake Street Tavern gets the party going with rare and classic beers from Great Divide, Oskar Blues, Ska Brewing, Strange Brewing Co., Pumphouse Brewery, Bull & Bush, Silverton Brewing Co., The Fort Collins Brewery and Bristol Brewing.
Fri., Apr. 8 at 5:30 - 8:30pm; $39.99
2301 Blake St.; 303-675-0505

Saturday Afternoon Affair: Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen pairs rare and classic beers from Odell with their award-winning appetizers.
Sat., Apr. 9 at 3 - 6pm; $23.99
1317 14th St.; 303-595-4255

Cruiser Crawls: It's sold out, but if you can work some magic to get into this pairing of various Ska Brewing beers with food from Paramount Café, The Cheba Hut, Fresh Craft and Star Bar... do it.
Sun., Apr. 10 at 1:30 - 6pm; SOLD OUT

Charity Golf Tournament: See how your slice improves with free beer flowing at each hole on the Pradera Golf Club. Afterward, stick around for an exclusive food pairing with beers from Fort Collins Brewery.
Mon., Apr. 11 at 9:30am; $150
5225 Raintree Dr., Parker; 303-607-5700

Colorado Brewers Guild
: Share a pint of almost anything Colorado-brewed at the Rackhouse Pub with the guy who actually brewed it.
Tue., Apr. 12 at 5pm; FREE
208 S. Kalamath St.; 720-570-7824

Fresh Oyster Fest: The Cheeky Monk is overnighting thousands of fresh oysters from Oregon to pair with four exclusive Rogue Ales all night long. Get your ticket in advance to make sure they have oysters waiting for you no matter how late you arrive.
Wed., Apr. 13 at 3pm - close; $25
534 E. Colfax; 303-861-0347

Smoked Porter Tasting: Alaskan Brewing Company's Smoked Porter is the most award winning beer ever in the U.S., brewed only once a year. And Falling Rock Taphouse is pairing it with a yet-to-be-determined food menu -- but who cares about the food, it's Smoked Porter! A ticket gets you a pour of the 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009 vintages.
Thu., Apr. 14 at 6pm - close; $26.99
1919 Blake St.; 303-293-8338