India pale ales may be as prevalent in Colorado as Subarus and mountains, but did you know that the hoppy beer has its very own day? The first Thursday in August, which falls on the 6th this year, is National IPA Day, and if you’re looking for a fun way to show your devotion to your favorite brew style, do-gooding, woman-owned Lady Justice Brewing Company has you covered.
For the big day, Lady Justice is hosting an IPA school, complete with to-go flights of IPAs and a YouTube video with co-founder and owner Betsy Lay and Cicerone-in-training Laura Ralston (ICYMI: A Cicerone is a certified beer pro). “People will be able to get a pretty good, well-rounded education on what they’re drinking,” Lay says.
What participants will be drinking is cans of Lady Justice’s four different IPA styles: Sandra Day, a traditional West Coast IPA; Sunday Best, a hazy style; Endurance Insurance, a low-calorie, low-ABV brew; and Git It Goodness, an India pale lager. The idea is that you can pick up your IPA flight from the taproom and enjoy it with the YouTube video, which will cover the different styles and the history of IPA as a whole.
“It’s a significant style,” Lay says. “It was sort of the gateway beer for all sorts of styles that we’re enjoying and drinking today. The West Coast-style IPA is the beer that brought small craft beer back to the United States, decades after Prohibition ended.” Ralston is a fan, too. “Pretty much anywhere I go, I’m going to order at least one IPA. It’s my go-to beer.”
If you haven’t ventured into Lady Justice’s East Colfax taproom yet, well, that’s probably because it opened during the pandemic. The brewery had been producing limited quantities of beer since 2016, but didn’t move into its taproom until mid-March. “We were finally able to grow enough and get to the point where we needed our own bigger space. So we got this taproom on March 14th,” Lay says. “At the beginning it was a little scary, but our model prior to the taproom had been a to-go distribution model, so that wasn’t a strong pivot for us. The neighborhood showed up for us—our previous customers and friends and family—everyone showed up and bought a lot of beer, which was amazing. But now, only being able to hold 50 percent capacity, we’re not getting the numbers we expected when we signed on to the place.”
Apart from IPA school, there’s another reason to help fill the seats (or buy to-go brew) at Lady Justice’s taproom: The brewery uses beer as a catalyst for positive change in the community, donating the majority of profits to local organizations that support women and girls. Recent beneficiaries include Dream Culture USA, a local nonprofit that teaches children entrepreneurship, life skills, and outdoor education, and the Aurora Mental Health Center. Look for a bottle release partnership with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance this fall, when a portion of sales will go to the group.
IPA Day tasting flights are $35 and include four beers, a sticker, and the virtual video class. Call 303-856-3809 to order yours for pick up at the taproom; 9735 East Colfax, Aurora