Good morning! Have you had your first beer yet?
Denver kicks off its second annual Denver Beer Fest today, a ten day fiesta celebrating all things hopped. While the heart of the party - the Great American Beer Festival - doesn't take place until next week, there are plenty of things for the malt-minded to do today.
And Mayor Hickenlooper knows what he wants to do.
Last year, Hick kicked off Denver Beer Week by drinking a Paulaner, in honor of the city's fortieth incarnation of Oktoberfest, which also takes place over two weekends this month. This year, gubernatorial candidate Hick will drink a Colorado craft beer (hello, constituents) at Brew at the Zoo this afternoon.
And not just any Colorado craft beer. The mayor will have a Silver Back Pale Ale from the Wynkoop Brewing Company, which he co-founded. A portion of the proceeds from sales of that beer go to the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, which is appropriate since the mayor will be at the Zoo.
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Brew at the Zoo (find the details here) is just one of several awesome ways to kick the Fest.
There's also the family-friendly Beer Gardens @ Elitch Gardens," which will feature beer from Odell Brewing paired with - you guessed it -- funnel cake and other amusement park specialties. There will also be food, music and games. The $29.99 admission ticket includes entrance to the park, access to the event, souvenir cup and one beer pour.
Or, more something a little more mellow, check out a brewery you've never tried before by heading to City, O' City, 206 East 13th Avenue, which is hosting Jeff Crabtree, owner of the Crabtree Brewing Company in Greeley starting at 4 p.m. They'll have plenty of beer, and City is also selling $20 Beer Fest goody bags that include a 12-ounce 'City, O' City Denver Beer Fest' commemorative pilsner glass, a City, O' City Denver Beer Week t-shirt and a punch card for two free beers a day for the entire ten days of Denver Beer Week.
For dozens of other Denver Beer Fest activities today, see the website here.