Get ready to welcome back the most wonderful week in Denver, a time when people from all over the country — and the world — descend on the Mile High City to drink beer together. The Great American Beer Festival will return for its 35th iteration October 6 through 8, and the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which hosts the fest, has a few celebrations in store. But the beers start pouring long before that Thursday, as breweries, restaurants and other watering holes and venues tap all kinds of treats from near and far. They will host tap takeovers, meet-and-greets, smaller festivals, special tappings, blowout bashes, concerts, classes, tours, dinners and more — all in the name of great beer.
Here's a list of many of the best things that are happening during the days before and during GABF; we will continue to update this list frequently. Cheers.
Monday, October 3
Falling Rock Tap House will once again welcome beer lovers and brewery folks from near and far to its annual GABF-week kickoff party starting at 5 p.m. When the GABF clock at Falling Rock counts down to zero, the drinking may commence. There are usually plenty of rare or unusual beers on tap. Details TBA.
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen will tap a beer at 5 p.m. tonight that it brewed in collaboration with San Diego's Stone Brewing. Stone Mixtape Ale vol. 15 - Brett the Rockies is a blend of a Brettaomyces-fermented foudre beer, Stone Ruination 2.0 and cannibis oil. They will also tap Stone Barrel-Aged Brown Ale with Balaton sour cherries and Stone Cali-Belgique aged in Tequila barrels.
Avanti Food & Beverage will host a Great Divide Brewing tap takeover tonight.
Freshcraft is bringing the house this GABF season. Today, the beer-centered restaurant will host Trinity Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Cascade Brewing, Wicked Weed Brewing, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Avery Brewing Company.
Strange Craft Beer Company owner and founder Tim Myers will be giving tours of his brewery every thirty minutes today between 4 and 7 p.m. He will also lead a Q&A about Strange's beers and share samples. Each tour is limited to ten people each half-hour. Sign-up sheet in the tasting room.
Backcountry Pizza in Boulder will welcome Firestone Walker and Melvin Brewing today at 6 p.m. for "an adventure through their brewing techniques." Featuring Pivo, Union Jack, Sucaba, Parabola, Helldorado, Stickee Monkey, Lil Opal, SLOambic and more.
Tuesday, October 4
Freshcraft is bringing the house this GABF season. Today, the beer-centered restaurant will host a local showcase starting at 7 p.m., with beers from TRVE Brewing, Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, Ratio Beerworks, Comrade Brewing, WeldWerks Brewing, Lost Highway Brewing, Cerebral Brewing.
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen get things started today with some offerings from Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette. Beers include Codename Superduper Fan, Hawaiian Bartender, The Economist, Codename Superfan, Boulder Brett, Chainsaw the Princess of Karate (collab with Big Choice Brewing; proceeds go to support breast cancer charities). The Odd13 crew will be in the house with giveaways, as well.
Highland Tap & Burger will feature a tap takeover at 6 p.m. from beers distributed locally by CR Goodman. They include Stone Oakmeal, Victory Moonglow Weizenbock, Odd 13 Dragon Fruit Sour, Boulevard the Calling IPA, Dogfish Head 120, Firestone Walker Pivo Pils, River North Whiskey Quandary, and more.
Avanti Food & Beverage will kick off its GABF events today by welcoming in New Belgium Brewing from 6 to 9 p.m. Avanti will be serving La Folie; Nitro Oscar Worthy Coffee, a dark sour infused with coffee on nitro draught; and Apple Loves Felix, a golden sour aged in Leopold Apple Whiskey barrels. They will also be giving away one pair of tickets for Saturday night at the festival.
TRVE Brewing will tap five beers from Asheville, North Carolina's Burial Beer Company today (they will also co-host an event tomorrow at the hi-dive) as part of a friendly collaboration between the two breweries, which share an affinity for music and life. "The breweries met at the TRVE tasting room during GABF 2015. A realization of the similarities in brands, beers, and view of the craft-beer industry was immediate," they say.
Ska Brewing returns to Cheba Hut downtown at 4:20 p.m. today for its annual pot-smoking pipe giveaway. This year, the event is called Pints, Pipes & Pils as the Durango brewery will be debuting its new year-round pilsner, Pils World. The 5.4 percent ABV beer "lends a light malt backbone to a moderately bitter hop presence, transitioning to a lemony orange zest and finishing with a touch of tropical fruit."
The Crafty Fox and CSA Distributing present GABF gems today from 6 to 11 p.m. You'll find some rare stuff
from Lawsons, Bell's, Half Acre, Two Roads, Council, Perennial, Fremont, Jack's Abby, Boneyard, Gigantic, Blackberry Farms, Stillwater, Off Color, La Cumbre, Greenbench, Almanac, Ecliptic, Crux, Cascade, AleSong, Jolly Pumpkin, Against the Grain, and Lord Hobo.
The Paramount Cafe brings back its GABF Beer Fest at 5 p.m., highlighting beers from Upslope, Stone Brewing and Left Hand. Entry is $20, and all proceeds go to the Rocky Mountain Autism Center.
Rebel Restaurant will welcome in Ratio Beerworks for a GABF welcome party and dinner and punk-rock comic-book rager. For the event, called The Rebellion: A Punk Rock GABF Kick-Off, Rebel will feature a special menu paired with Ratio beers, awesome games and live music, "all amongst a punk-rock beer garden in the Rebel parking lot." Come dressed as your favorite punk, comic-book superhero, or some combination of the two. More details TBA.
TAG Restaurant will host a beer-pairing dinner at 6 p.m. featuring beers from Orange County's The Bruery (tickets are $54). Pairings include: Hamachi Poke with Mischief Belgian-Style Ale; Maine Scallop with White Oak Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wheatwine; Braised Veal Cheek with Humulus Terreux and Local Rotisserie Pork with Gypsy Tart.
Ernie’s Bar & Pizza is celebrating GABF as it always does, by hosting a tap takeover starting at 5 p.m. This year, the casual pizza spot will clear fifteen of its thirty tap lines to make way for some handpicked IPAs from all over the country, including Stone Ruin 10 and wine-barrel-aged Cali-Belgique, Bristol Brewing Rye IPA, and Dogfish Head Flesh and Blood IPA. There will be a Cicerone on hand to talk beer and live music from 5 to 7 p.m. The beers will be available throughout the week while the kegs last.
Yes, Brewer's Karaoke is back at Star Bar this year. Join in on industry night "with some of GABF’S most talented karaoke singers and the tapping of specialty beers." It starts at 8 and gets ugly after that.
World of Beer — Belmar, in Lakewood, will welcome in Boulder Beer company at 6 p.m. for the brewery's GABF pre-party, where you can enjoy some rare beers as well as some Boulder Beer classics. Drafts include: Killer Penguin Barleywine (2015, 2014 and 2013), Dragonhosen Imperial Oktoberfest, Good Trip Tripel, Manguila (Mango IPA aged in Tequila barrels), Shake Chocolate Porter on Nitro, and Pulp Fusion Blood Orange IPA.
The Beers Made by Walking program, which was founded in Colorado Springs by Eric Steen, invites brewers to create place-based beers inspired by plants found on nature trails, some in the wilderness, others in more urban settings. This year's event takes place at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for the first time, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. It will feature more than thirty place-based beers, most of which were brewed specifically for the event by Colorado breweries. One example features a collaboration between Odd 13 Brewing and Our Mutual Friend; it's a blended sour ale aged on 500 pounds of palisade peaches. Tickets are $35 and available here. For more information, go to the Beers Made by Walking website.
The fifth annual What the Funk!? Invitational — which celebrates "all things barrel-aged, from boozy and strong to wild, sour and funky" — returns tonight from 6 to 10 p.m., a little earlier in the week than usual, at the Exdo Event Center. Sponsored by Denver-based Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Shelton Brothers, this festival features dozens of breweries from across the United States and the world, who make some rare and sought-after beers. Although last year's festival suffered from some oft-criticized logistical problems, the organizers promise that they have righted the ship this time around. In addition to being held in a larger, simplified and more open space, the fest will feature more beer from each brewer and a reduced number of tickets. Attendees should have access to brewery reps, who they can chat with. Tickets are $100 and are available at wtfinvitational.com. Proceeds benefit a local charity.
Wednesday, October 5
Tivoli Brewing will host a GABF Pre-Party and mini beer fest today from 5 to 10 p.m. outside the historic landmark that Tivoli is located in. "Attendees will enjoy live music, DJs, food, and plenty of beer from a number of Front Range breweries in Tivoli Distribution Company’s portfolio of brands. Industry professionals with GABF brewery credentials will be granted VIP status, which will get them access to private tours of Tivoli’s facilities, extensive beer tastings, and VIP seating where they can rub shoulders in the relaxed confines of Tivoli’s new biergarten. The event will be free of charge, open to the general public, and for $35, anyone of drinking age can purchase unlimited tastings from all the breweries on hand."
Concerned about your health during GABF week? Well, then, you should probably hit Little Machine Brewing's Brewer's Health Fair, which starts today at 1 p.m. "Are you match-fit for the physical and mental challenges of GABF?" the brewery asks. If not, Little Machine's got you covered. First, hydrate with the sixteen beers that Little Machine has on tap, including a few special offerings from the vault. Then, fuel up with a whole-hog pig roast, smoked brats and sides from Il Porcellino. Then, hit the incline: There are three steps up to the brewery's doors. And finally, hit the circuit, with live music, cornhole, ladderball and disc golf. Now, go out there and leave it all on the field.
Lucky Pie Pizza in LoDo will host a lunch event from noon to 2 p.m. with Avery Brewing and tap three of Avery's taproom-only beers. They are: Cloud 9, a Belgian-style white with vanilla beans and orange peel; Double Dry-Hopped Maharajah; and Karma Sutra Belgian sour with rose buds and hibiscus. Lucky Pie will also tap #38 in Avery’s Barrel Aged Series, Certatio Equestris, a barrel-aged sour with Brettanomyces and spearmint. Plus, brewers and representatives will be there shelling out tasters and free merchandise.
Mockery Brewing will tap and release bottles of Party at the Moontower today at noon. This barrel-aged vanilla bourbon imperial porter celebrates the places we go to mark noteworthy occasions. It was aged for six months in Kentucky bourbon barrels with Madagascar vanilla beans.
Falling Rock Tap House will host numerous tappings each day this week. Today you'll find Jolly Pumpkin beers at 3 p.m.; Short Brewing at 9 p.m.; Melvin Brewing, which will present an East Coast vs. West Coast IPA Challenge in the parking lot bar, at 9:30 p.m.; Full Sail at 10; and Nebraska Brewing at 11 p.m.
"For too long, have we stood idly by while out-of-town breweries invade our town for GABF," says River North Brewery, which is teaming up with Funkwerks "to bring local back." To do it, Lucky Pie Pizza in LoDo will host a tap takeover and dual collaboration beer release for the two saison makers. The two collabs are River North Saison Conspiracy Noir (a dark saison with syrah must aged in red-wine barrels) and Funkwerks Saison Conspiracy Blanc (pale saison with white wine grapes aged in white-wine barrels). Other brews on tap include: River North White, River North Avarice, Funkwerks Raspberry Provincial, and Funkwerks Cascade. Brewers from both breweries will be in attendance.
Hops & Pie will bring in a variety of rare beers today, many from breweries that don't distribute in Colorado; the beers will be poured throughout the day at different time, starting at 11:30 a.m. They include Three Floyds, Beachwood Brewing & BBQ, Perennial, Creature Comforts, Stillwater, Melvin, Boneyard, Scratch, Blackberry Farms, Fremont, Almanac, La Cumbre, Green Bench, Off Color, Alesong, Two Roads, Half Acre, Jester King, Fonta Flora and Lawson's. All are distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans.
The Crafty Fox will host a beer-pairing event tonight starting at 6 p.m. with Fort Collins's Horse and Dragon Brewing. "We will be pairing a fun custom food menu with their Sad Panda Coffe Stout, Bounty of the Bine Fresh Hop Pale Ale, The Agitated Aardvark Imperial IPA, The Scottish Tradesman Rum Barrel Aged Coconut Porter, Perambluation Gose, and Harry Hughes Aggie Jasmine Green Tea Pale Ale," the Crafty Fox says. "We will also be cooking the food with their spent grain, hops, wort and yeast."
Ska Brewing returns to Cheba Hut downtown at 4:20 p.m. today for its annual pot-smoking pipe giveaway. This year, the event is called Pints, Pipes & Pils, as the Durango brewery will be debuting its new year-round pilsner, Pils World. The 5.4 percent ABV beer "lends a light malt backbone to a moderately bitter hop presence, transitioning to a lemony, orange zest and finishing with a touch of tropical fruit."
Old Chicago will host a tap takeover by Bells Brewing at 6 p.m. at the beer-centered restarant chain's newest location in the River Point Shopping Center in Sheridan. There will be five beers: Two Hearted Ale, Bell's Best Brown, Amber Ale, Kalamazoo Stout and the very rare Uberon – an imperial whiskey-barrel-aged version of the brewery's Oberon.
TAG Restaurant will welcome in Surly Brewing for a 6 p.m. beer-pairing dinner (tickets are $54). Menu selections include: pork tamale with Smoke (Oak Aged Smoked Baltic Porter); Hawaiian kampachi with Hell (German-style Munich Lager); grilled quail paired with Pentagram (Wine Barrel-Aged Brett Dark Ale); and rotisserie lamb with Bender (American Oatmeal Brown Ale).
Kokopelli Beer Company's Women Wednesday event today features author and entrepreneur Ginger Johnson, who will be selling and signing copies of her new book, How to Market Beer to Women: Don't Sell Me a Pink Hammer, at 7 p.m. She will also deliver her TED talk, "A Hammer, Beer & Women." Space is limited, so register to reserve your spot at the Westminster brewery.
Freshcraft is bringing the house this GABF season. Today, the beer-centered restaurant will host a tap takeover with Upslope Brewing. Beers on tap include: Upslope/Freshcraft Smell My Hand Long Pepper Black IPA; Upslope Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Wine; Upslope Presidents Beer (barrel aged dark Belgian); Upslope Citra Pale; and Upslope Lager.
River North Brewery will bring out Barrel-Aged Nightfare Fuel, its super-stout, aged in whiskey barrels with copious amounts of dark-roast coffee. The beer will be on tap and in bottles. There will also be a special mussels pairing by Roaming Bull Brasserie.
The Preservery and Beryl's Beer are joining together at 7 p.m. bring you an evening of small plates and barrel-aged beers at the Preservery. Ticket includes four eight-ounce pours of newly released barrel-aged beers paired with small plates. The event will be held at The Preservery. Afterward, visit the Beryl's taproom to enjoy a complementary Dick Nichols IPA (limited release). Tickets are $45 and available at eventbrite.com.
Avanti Food & Beverage will host an Odell Happy Hour from 6 to 9 p.m. with Loose Leaf Session Ale, Drum Roll APA, Dr. Rich’s Mahogany Ale, Brombeere Blackberry Gose, Crossover Sour Blonde and Jolly Russian Imperial Stout. Avanti will give away two tickets for the Thursday session at GABF, as well as Russian dolls, hats and T-shirts.
Join TRVE Brewing, Ratio Beerworks, North Carolina's Burial Beer and Chicago's Revolution Brewing for a tap takeover and punk rock/metal music showcase featuring Cloud Catcher, Space in Time, Major Sports and Cheap Perfume. Taking place at the hi-dive, the event is called Breast Friends and benefits the Keep a Breast Foundation. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show begins at 9; tickets are available for $10 via the hi-dive.
The Wynkoop Brewing Company has brought back its Beer Drinker of the Year contest, which used to be held over the winter, but has been rescheduled for GABF. The contest seeks to find people who not only enjoy drinking beer, but who know how it's made, its history, legend and lore, flavors and who can demonstrate the range and depth of their beeriness, the Wynkoop says. Three finalists have been selected, and they will battle for the title tonight starting at 7 p.m. Prizes include free beer for life at the Wynkoop, the chance to brew a beer at the brewery, and bragging rights. The non-ticketed event is open to the public, but you should RSVP via Facebook. The Wynkoop will be serving some small bites and sampling Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout and Nug Life, Wynkoop head brewer John Sims's first recipe at the Wynkoop. Nug Life is a wet hop IPA made with 150 pounds of fresh Nugget hops.
Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton will kick off its GABF-week festivities by tapping a variety of beers from coast to coast. They include Stone Brewing Xocoveza Charred and Oakmeal; Boulevard Brewing Love Child #7 and Rye on Rye Sazerac Barrelled; Ninkasi Critical Hit and Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh'r; and Wicked Weed Freak Double IPA and Xibalba.
Euclid Hall will welcome Telluride Brewing and Elevation Beer Company for a 6 p.m. collaboration dinner featuring a collaboration beer that both breweries made earlier this year called Bridging the Divide. There will also be a special pairing menu from Euclid Hall Chef Jake Grant Tickets are $85 per person, including gratuity and tax. Find them, and all the details, at brownpapertickets.com.
Renegade Brewing will once again put on Offensively Delicious, a mini beer fest and comedy show at the McNichols Building that it calls "a celebration of the craft and personality behind the beer industry." There will be ten breweries pouring starting at 6 p.m. and them some brewery-industry folks will try their hand at cracking jokes starting at 8 p.m. After that, four local and national comedians will take the stage. Headliners are Beth Stelling and Matt Braunger. This event is a nonprofit fundraiser for the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Tickets range from $30 to $75 at twoparts.com. The breweries are Alpine Dog, Brooklyn Brewery, Fort Collins Brewery, Great Divide, Lakefront Brewery, Liquid Mechanics, New Holland, Renegade and Shmaltz.
Stoney's Bar & Grill will cede its taps to Joyride Brewing, New Belgium, Oskar Blues and Odell (four beers from each brewery) at 7 p.m. Each beer will have a specific small bite paired with it. My Blue Sky (an Allman Brothers cover band) will be playing.
Stop by Ace Eat Serve for the 5th annual Left Hand Brewing Company Tap Take Over + Ping Pong Tournament from 9 p.m. to midnight. Watch a bunch of brewery reps compete in the pong room, sweatbands and all, and try beers from Left Hand.
Jax Fish House in LoDo rolls out a new beer from its sister company, the Post Brewing, today from 4 to 6 p.m. at a pre-GABF party. The Post made a beer this month called Bad Mutha' Shucka, which pairs well with oysters. At this party, they will tap Cask-Conditioned, Dry-Hopped Bad Mutha' Shucka, a 5.75 percent ABV amber ale that "is dripping in citrus and tropical fruit aromas supported by a classic, full malt flavor," according to the Post. It "was brewed from American 2-row barley malt, Munich malt and two types of crystal malt for a rich and satisfying malt profile. The beer was hopped with a blend of Cascade, Willamette and Azacca hops resulting in a distinctly fruity, American hop aroma and flavor."
Mercantile Dining & Provision will host a GABF-week beer-pairing dinner to end all beer-pairing dinners, showcasing six breweries and eight chefs who will discuss "the current state of beer and food." The chefs are Alex Seidel, of Mercantile and Fruition; Nicholas Balfe, of Salon Brixton in London; Kevin Nashan, of Sidney Street Café and The Peacekeeper in St. Louis; Adam Dulye, Executive Chef to the Brewers Association and CraftBeer.com; David LeFevre, of Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite, The Arthur J. in Los Angeles; Paul Zerkel and Lisa Kirkpatrick, of Milwaukee's Goodkind; and Steve McHugh, of San Antonio's Cured at Pearl. The breweries are: Crooked Stave, Jester King, Alesong, Side Project, The Bruery, and Call to Arms. Tickets are $150 in advance/$175 at the door. Call 720-460-3733 to reserve.
Five craft brewing rock stars will reconvene tonight at Avery Brewing in Boulder for the third annual Brett Pack Dinner. In 2006, these guys — Adam Avery of Avery Brewing, Rob Tod, of Allagash, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey and Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River — went to Belgium together to learn about the wild yeast Brettanomyces and thenceforth called themselves the Brett Pack. Tonight at 6:30 p.m., they will gather at Avery to help present five-course meal paired with two beers from each brewery. "Not only will guests be treated to a first class meal paired to perfection with rare beer from around the country, they will also get a detailed walk through of each featured beer from an all-star cast of brewery founders," Avery says. The evening will continue through the night with a lot of great stories, which bubble out in conjunction with friendly banter, for a truly unforgettable experience." Beers being poured include: Avery Brewing Co– El Gose, Callipygian, Certatio Equestris. Russian River Brewing Co – STS Pilsner 2009, Consecration 2008, Beautification. Dogfish Heed – Namaste, Flesh & Blood 2015, Black and Blue. Allagash Brewing CO – Sixteen Countries, James Bean, Farm to Face. Lost Abbey Brewing Co – Port Pils, Ad Idem, Bret Devotion. For more information visit www.averybrewing.com.
Feeling Metal? Hang out with Ninkasi Brewing, TRVE Brewing and Prairie at Star Bar, starting at 9 p.m., for a night full of metal music and metal beers, including Ninkasi Imperial Sleighr., Ninkasi Helles Bells and Ninkasi Dawn of the Red.
Melvin Brewing and Lawson's Finest present East vs. West, an IPA battle at 9:30 p.m. at Falling Rock Taphouse. You'll find a variety of beers from both coasts and both styles, including the two above, Wicked Weed, Cannonball Creek, Comrade, Dogfish Head and more.
WeldWerks Brewing in Greeley will release Barrel Aged Mexican Achromatic today at noon; the beer is an imperial stout brewed with cacao nibs, cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans and then aged in Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels. "BAMA" will be sold in 375 mL bottles and only available in the taproom.
The Oskar Blues Ordeal is back. Today's event features an all you can eat family-style pig roast as well as the brewery experience at the Longmont Brewery and Tasty Weasel taproom. There will also be live music from Coop and the Chicken Pluckers. If you are in Denver, you can get a ride at 4 p.m. from the Denver Hyatt Regency to the brewery and back. But there are also local tickets. Festivities will kick off at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, which are very limited, are available at ticketfly.com. They range from $30 to $60.
Thursday, October 6
Sold out: The 35th edition of the Great American Beer Festival begins today at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets were $80 but can be found on after-market sites for a variety of prices. This is the main event, the Mecca, the bucket-list attraction — featuring thousands of beers from more than 800 breweries — and, like last year, with an additional 90,000 square feet of space for a better experience.
Hops & Pie will host Sun King Brewing, from Indianapolis, today ta 11 a.m. for an exclusive tasting of some of its beers, including Diddy Muckle, Classic Example, Bourbon Barrel Timmie, College Avenue, Velvet Fog and Hot Rod.
Cerebral Brewing will host its first-ever bottle release today starting at noon. Monochrome is a 4.1 percent ABV Grisette; fermented in stainless steel tanks for five months with the brewery's house mixed-culture of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces, the beer was dry-hopped with Motueka hops. "Originally brewed for Belgian coal miners in the late 1800s, Grisette was created as a low-alcohol refreshing beverage," Cerebral says. The 500-ml bottles are $10 each, limit one case per person.
Falling Rock Taphouse will host numerous tappings each day this week. Today, you'll find: Odell Brewing at noon; Boulder Beer at 1 p.m.; Rogue Brewing at 2 p.m.; Green Flash in the parking lot bar at 9:30 p.m.; Alaskan Brewing at 10 p.m.; Alpine Brewing in the parking lot at 10:30; and Stone Brewing at 11 p.m.
The Crafty Fox will team up with Wicked Week Brewery out of North Carolina for a massive, 22-beer tap takeover from 1 to 5 p.m. There will be sours, IPAs, stouts and many more.
Strange Craft Beer Company will host a pre-GABF party today from noon to 2 p.m. in its tasting room, with a beer tasting, keep-the-glass, pretzel kit making and brewery tour. It's $10. Sign up at the brewery.
Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen will once again host Indiana's Three Floyds Brewing, which doesn't normally distribute in Colorado, for an evening of "drinking, eating and happiness," the brewery says. There will be four beers on tap from Three Floyds. No tickets or reservations necessary.
Fermaentra Brewing will tap Bourbon Barrel Aged Meristem today at 3 p.m. Meristem, their Russian Imperial Stout, was aged on a fresh Bourbon barrel from Heaven Hill Distilleries. "Everything we love about Bourbon barrel aged RIS is here; delicate flavors of vanilla, dark cocoa, espresso and a hint of maple — colliding with a rich, dessert-like texture, without being too sweet," the brewery says.
In honor of GABF, Call to Arms Brewing formally invites you to its first Catalina Wine Mixer where you can taste five of the brewery's wine-barrel aged beers at once. They are Yu Zu Yu Wild Saison; Frightened Baby Chipmunk, a tart farmhouse saison blended with D'Anjou pears; Deinde Repedo, a barrel-fermented blueberry saison; Sneakin' Lindsey Through the Alley, a Cabernet barrel-aged dark sour blend; and Tim Blackbarry, a single barrel-aged dark sour with blackberries. There will also be food and music.
Freshcraft is bringing the house this GABF season. Today, the beer-centered restaurant will host a variety of mini tap takeovers. The first is at 4 p.m. when Casey Brewing & Blending is in that house. That will be followed by Cigar City Brewing at 7 p.m., which will tap Guayabera Citra Pale Ale, Jai Alai IPA, Lager and Outskirts Imperial Porter (aged in bourbon barrels). Then, at 10 p.m., Freshcraft will host Spirit Animal Night with Ska Brewing and Telluride Brewing. "Come in rocking your best spirit animal attire with the Ska Brewing and Telluride Brewing Co. crew! we will be!," Freshcraft says.
River North Brewery will hold a bottle release for Saison Conspiracy Noir Bottle at 4 p.m. The beer is River North's version of its wine-aged collab with Funkwerks.
To the Wind Bistro will welcome Comrade Brewing for a beer-pairing dinner tonight at 6 p.m. It costs $59 and you must make reservations. Courses include: crispy sweetbreads with Munich Helles Lager; Veal Weisswurst with Oktoberfest Marzen; and smoked Blue Prawns with Honeyman VII. Get all the details on this dinner and other beer dinners this week at To the Wind at the restaurant's web site.
Epic Brewing will host its fourth annual Fifty Firkin Fiasco tonight starting at 7 p.m. "Our brewers have put together 50 unique firkins for your enjoyment as you wander through the brewery to sample all of them," Epic says. Tickets are $30 and include unlimited sampling until last call at 11:45 p.m. Food and Souvenir t-shirts are sold separately. A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door for $45.
Avanti Food & Beverage will host a Dogfish Head 120 Minute After Party from 10 p.m. to midnight, with guest of honor, Dogfish founder Sam Calagione. Avanti typically serves a lot of Dogfish beer since one of its owners is friends with Calagione. Tonight, they will pour four different vintages of 120 Minutes, from 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2016; as well as Alt Takes #2, which is Raison d’Etre aged with Syrah grape must and brettanomyces; and SeaQuench Ale, a lime zest, black lime, sea salt Gose, Berliner Weiss, Kolsch combo.
Joyride Brewing will take over the taps at Society downtown throughout the week. Today and tomorrow, it also hosts GABF after parties there starting at 9 p.m., with beer specials and giveaways.
Friday, October 7
Sold out: The 35th edition of the Great American Beer Festival continues today at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets were $80 but can be found on after-market sites for a variety of prices. This is the main event, the Mecca, the bucket-list attraction — featuring thousands of beers from more than 800 breweries — and, like last year, with an additional 90,000 square feet of space for a better experience.
Hops & Pie will host special pourings today at 11:30 a.m. with two rock stars of the sour beer biz: Casey Brewing & Blending in Colorado Springs, and Portland's Cascade Brewing. From Casey, you'll find Apricot Cut, East Bank, Cherry Cut Balaton, Cherry CFP Attika, and Cherry CFP Golden Cherry. And from Cascade, try Elderberry, Black Cap Raspberry, 2014 Project Noyaux and Sang Noir Manhattan NW.
Falling Rock Taphouse will host numerous tappings each day this week. Today, you'll find: the annual Sierra Nevada Brewing Kill-A-Keg event at noon; Boulevard Brewing at 1 p.m.; Lagunitas at 2 p.m.: Trinity at 3 p.m.; Crooked Stave and other breweries from the Crooked Stave Artisan Distributing portfolio in the parking lot bar at 9:30 p.m.; Ecliptic Brewing at 10 p.m.; Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada in the parking lot bar at 10:30 p.m.; and Shmaltz Brewing at 11.
Cerebral Brewing will celebrate GABF and the almighty IPA today by releasing a brand-new beer and bringing back a few hoppy favorites from the recent past. "Letters & Numbers is an IPA brewed with wheat and hopped with a new experimental South African hop (N1/69), as well as Columbus, Amarillo and Azacca," Cerebral says. "Pure hop candy this one." The brewery will also be pouring: Muscle Memory, an American pale ale hopped with Simcoe, Centennial, Mandarina and Equinox; Instinctive Drift, an IPA hopped with Ariana, Simcoe and Amarillo; Rare Trait, an IPA hopped with Citra, El Dorado, Azacca and Mosaic; Fantastic Planet, a blueberry IPA hopped with Mosaic, Hull Melon and Hallertau Blanc; and Tandem Jetpack, a double IPA hopped with Simcoe, El Dorado and Vic Secret.
Denver Beer Co will honor GABF will its annul Collaboration Celebration from 3 to 9 p.m., an event featuring six different collabs done with other breweries around the country. The breweries this year are New York's Sarnac, Portland's Base Camp Brewing, Mother Road Beer in Arizona; Destihl in Illinois; Montana's Draught Works Brewery, and Rhinegeist, of Ohio. (Find details of the beers on DBC's Facebook page). Tickets, $25, get your a commemorative glass and eight ounce pours of each beer. There will also be live music, food trucks, block party, games and a photo booth, and more.
Freshcraft is bringing the house this GABF season. Today, the beer-centered restaurant will host a variety of mini tap takeovers. The first is at 4 p.m. with Odell Brewing and Wicked Weed Brewing. Then, at 7 p.m., Left Hand Brewing will be on hand to tap a special firkin of Warrior Fresh Hop IPA. And finally, at 10 p.m., Freshcraft will showcase beers fromStation 26, Stone, Green Flash and Melvin.
Join the crew from Beer Advocate tonight at 8 p.m. at Hogshead Brewery for "a proper session of delicious cask-conditioned real ales." No cover. Pay as you consume. More details TBA.
The Crafty Fox will celebrate breweries from Bellingham, Washington, tonight from 4 to 11 p.m., along with Crooked Stave and Melvin Brewing. Beers on tap include those from Aslan Brewing, Boundry Bay Brewing, Chuckanut Brewery, Kulshan Brewing, Wander Brewing, Melvin Brewing, Tap Trail, Crooked Stave Artisnal Beer Project. The event, which is also a booster for Bellingham tourism, will let attendees enter for a chance to win a trip to Bellingham for two. There will also be a malt raffle.
Great Divide Brewing and Jameson Caskmates will present a post-GABF fundraiser concert at Summit Music Hall tonight at 8 p.m. The event features the 2016 The Voice finalist Laith Al-Saadi, along with Colorado’s Brent Cowles and Austin mainstay Garrett Lebeau. Called Levitt Pavilion Denver Live, the event will showcase a collaborative beer that Great Divide made with Jameson. It will also serve as a fundraiser for Levitt Pavilion Denver, a local nonprofit focused on "elevating the local music scene and increasing accessibility to free live music through construction of the new Levitt Pavilion in Ruby Hill Park." The beer, called The Smoothness, is an 8.5 percent ABV dark larger "with whiskey notes, chocolate, oak, and leather aroma. Upon first sip, drinkers will experience a velvety, silky feeling with roasted malt, vanilla, and oak flavors," Great Divide says. "In 2015 Great Divide was honored to be one of the five American craft breweries selected to partner with Jameson for their Caskmates Drinking Buddies program. After their first collaboration beer, they sent their barrels back to Ireland for Jameson to fill with whiskey. This year, Jameson invited Great Divide once again to join them in Ireland for more collaboration. Together they created a one-of-a-kind beer aged in Jameson Whiskey Barrels." Tickets to the event are $25 and available at this website.
Avanti Food & Beverage will host a Ratio Beeworks GABF Friday Session Pre-Game part from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring Major Nights Lime Gose, New Wave Strawberry Berlinerweiss and India Black Lager.
Head over to Denver Bicycle Cafe after GABF tonight for a post-party featuring a variety of beers, including two from Strange Craft.
Star Bar will tap a variety of beer from Wicked Weed and Creature Comforts tonight starting at 9 p.m. Wicked Weed will be pouring Juiceless IPA, Pernicious IPA, Oblivion and Benevolence.
The Oskar Blues Ordeal is back, and today the Longmont brewery says it will be "showcasing our beers, our brewery, and the brand new outdoor patio and stage at Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids. You’re going to be treated to Gospel Brunch, live music courtesy of the Jonny Barber Gospel Review with Erica Brown, as well as the brewery experience at the Longmont Brewery and Tasty Weasel tap room...
We’ve arranged for transportation from the Denver Hyatt Regency to the brewery and back in the Ordeal Ride Along ticket. Don't need a ride? We've got you covered with the Ordeal Local Ticket. Festivities will kick off at HMLS at 10:30 a.m." Tickets, $30 to $60, are very limited. Find them at ticketfly.com.
Sold out: Denver Rare Beer Tasting 8 takes place today from noon to 4 p.m. at the McNichols Building. A fundraiser for Pints for Prostates, it features dozens of rare and sought-after beers.
Saturday, October 8
Sold out: The 35th edition of the Great American Beer Festival concludes today with two sessions, one at noon and one at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets were $80 but can be found on after-market sites for a variety of prices. This is the main event, the Mecca, the bucket-list attraction — featuring thousands of beers from more than 800 breweries — and, like last year, with an additional 90,000 square feet of space for a better experience.
"A little hair-of-the-dog always helps during GABF weekend. It also helps get the party going again," says Denver Beer Company, which will serve up a Barleywine and Burrito Breakfast this morning from 9 a.m. to noon. It's $10 for a breakfast burrito and a glass of DBC barleywine. "If barleywine is not your breakfast bevie of choice, we'll have a few of our other aged big beers on tap for the tasting."
Freshcraft is bringing the house this GABF season. Today, the beer-centered restaurant will host a variety of mini tap takeovers and events. Today's begins at 8 a.m. with Breakfast with The Bruery, the Orange County California beermaker. Then, close things out at 7 p.m. with Surly Brewing.
Starting at 10 a.m., Black Project Wild & Spontaneous Ales will host a special bottle release of multiple beers, new and old. All are extremely limited. New releases are: Lunex, a blended sour with Corvus coffee, and Deamland Batch 3. Older beers include: Supercruise Tempranillo, Dreamland (batch 1 and 2), Voodoo, Elswhere, Jumpseat, Ejector, and more. For details go to Black Project's Facebook page.
Hops & Pie will tap a collaboration brew that it made with Boulder's Upslope Brewing today at noon. You can also find other rare Upslope brews, including Belgian Tripel, Whiskey Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Barleywine, Belgian Quad, Zwickel Pilsner and Barrel-Aged Dopplebock.
River North Brewery will hold its 2016 Cellar Sale today starting at 11 a.m. "In what has become a GABF tradition, we’ll break open the brewery cellar and offer rare bottles from the past year," the brewery says. "Look for limited amounts of beers like Quad XO, 2015 Barrel Aged Avarice, and some B’Side, among others. Doors open at 11am with sequentially numbered tickets, bottle sales start at Noon."
Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton will give up its taps to the portfolio of breweries from Crooked Stave Artisans today beginning at 2 p.m. You'll find beers from Bell's, Boneyard, Two Roads, Half Acre, Jackie O's, Melvin, La Cumbre, Perennial Artisan Ales. Fremont Brewing, Ecliptic Brewing, Jolly Pumpkin, Stillwater Artisanal, Omnipollo, Jack's Abby Craft Lagers, Gigantic Brewing, Almanac and Crooked Stave.
First Draft Taproom will host a Cellar Bottle Tasting and mini beer fest from 4 to 10 p.m. "with the cream of the crop craft beer." Bottle list includes River North Brewing, Casey Brewing & Blending, Cantillon, Jester King, Tilquin, Drie Fonteinen, Hill Farmstead and much more. Purchase a timeslot for $10 to guarantee attendance and receive six tokens good for one four-ounce pour each.
Lucky Pie Pizza in LoDo welcomes Melvin Brewing at 4 p.m. for an exclusive tapping of some of the Wyoming brewery's sought-after Melvin beers. They include Killer Bees honey blonde, 2X4 double IPA,
Ch Ch Cherry Bomb, Couchlock (a 9.5 percent IPA powered by Amarillo, Mosaic hops, and Columbus hops), Ruckus Russian Imperial Stout. There will also be reps, tasters and free merchandise.
Beer Advocate is throwing down at Bierstadt Lagerhaus starting at 8 p.m. Come hang out with the crew from the magazine/web site and drink some of the finest lagers in town.
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Euclid Hall and Wicked Weed say goodbye to GABF with a ten-tap takeover, featuring Juiceless IPA, Barrel-Aged Xibalba, Pacificmost, La Bonte Plum, Benevolence, Ricks Pils and much more.
Falling Rock Taphouse will host numerous tappings each day this week. Today, you'll find: a book signing with author Stephen Beaumont and friends at 2 p.m.: Avery Brewing at 4 p.m.; Casey Brewing and Blending at 5 p.m.; Jester King at 9 p.m.; Bell's Brewing in the parking lot bar at 9:30; Firestone Walker at 10 p.m.; Epic Brewing in the parking lot bar at 10:30; and New Belgium for the grande finale at 11 p.m.
Sunday, October 9
Wrap up GABF weekend in style at Station 26 Brewing with beer, live music from Burn it Blue, donuts from Glazed and Confuzed Doughnuts, and barbecue from Turn-In BBQ.