If you don't like beer, then Great American Beer Festival week, October 2-8, is a great time to head for the hills to take in the beautiful reds, yellows and golds of Colorado's fall colors. But if beer is your passion, then those reds, golds and yellows are all right here in town — and they are so, so pretty.
Beer will occupy the minds of thousands of people — locals and tourists alike — in early October as dozens and dozens of beer bars, breweries, restaurants and other venues hosts special tappings, dinners, seminars, mini-festivals and other events in honor of the 36th edition of the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place Thursday, October 5, through Saturday, October 7, at the Colorado Convention Center. It's a glorious time for beer lovers, and it turns Denver into a world-class destination.
And while the festival itself — the largest one on the planet — is amazing, it's also sold out. But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of great beer to enjoy. Here's our list of events you can plan ahead for; we'll continue to update this list on a regular basis over the next few weeks as we hear about more events. Cheers.
Monday, October 2
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. This year, you'll find special releases from Horse & Dragon, Upslope, some special twentieth-anniversary collaborations and more.
Starting today and lasting all week, Goed Zuur will be featuring "all sorts of enjoyment including local, national, and international brewers, food specials, and much more," the sour beer bar and restaurant says. Today, it features an all-Colorado sour beer and food tap takeover. The breweries involved are: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Casey Brewing and Blending, AC Golden Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing, Paradox Beer Company, Epic Brewing, Avery Brewing, Loveland Aleworks, Cerebral Brewing, Verboten Brewing, Our Mutual Friend, Funkwerks, Call to Arms Brewing, and possibly more.
Freshcraft will kick off its GABF-week festivities at 7 p.m. with Sour Monday when it taps or opens a variety of sour beers. Tap list is TBA.
Join Our Mutual Friend during GABF week as the brewery will be featuring beers from Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley and tapping their collaboration beer, the New Boot Goofin’ Golden Sour with Cherries. The beers go on tap at 11 a.m., and you can meet the brewers from 5 to 8 p.m.
This might be the single best thing you can do for your beer enjoyment this week. From 7 to 9 p.m., Bierstadt Lagerhaus will host Melissa Antone, who will lead a Beer School: Sensory Training class that will guide you on "proper tasting techniques, tips and tricks for identifying eight common off-flavors, and their origins in beer. With a self-quiz at the end, you will be armed with more beer-drinking knowledge than 99 percent of the 40,000 people roaming the convention center halls," Bierstadt says. Antone, who worked at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant and Avery Brewing, where she ran the Quality Assurance Department, is a certified cicerone and BJCP judge. Tickets are $25 and available on the brewery's website.
If you've traveled to Iowa to get some of Toppling Goliath's beer, then you won't mind driving to Fort Collins, where the Tap & Handle, 307 South College Avenue, will host a tap takeover by the highly-sought after brewery at 5 p.m. Featured Beers include: Dorothy’s, Golden Nugget, Pseudo Sue, Morning Delight, King Sue, Kettle Klogger, Dragon Fandango, X Hops Maroon, Pompeii.
Tuesday, October 3
The Crafty Fox will host a variety of rare beer tappings this week. Tonight's include brews distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans (the distribution arm of Crooked Stave): Jester King Boxer's Revenge; Fremont Field to Ferment; Half Acre LA Looks I.P.A. with Coconut Butter & Lactose; Gigantic Hole in the Head; Boneyard; Breakside; Prairie; Arizona Wilderness Superstition Coffee Stout; Jack's Abby Hoponius Union; Almanac Splendid Population; Crux Sour Doublecross; Two Road; Jolly Pumpkin Saison M; Beachwood 28 Haze Later; Captain Lawrence Black Cherry Sour; Perennial Suburban Beverage; American Solera; Hops and Grain; Lord Hobo; La Cumbre Project Dank; Lawsons Sip of Sunshine; and more.
Freshcraft hosts a GABF-Week Local Showcase at 7 p.m. featuring some of the best small breweries in Colorado, including Outer Range Brewing, Lost Highway Brewing, Cerebral Brewing, Horse & Dragon Brewing,
Ratio Beerworks, and WeldWerks Brewing. Tap list TBA.
Goed Zuur hosts a California sour beer tap takeover staring at 5 p.m. The breweries involved are: Beachwood BBQ Blendery, Almanac, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, the Rare Barrel, Russian River Brewing, Pure Project Brewing, Bruery Terreux, Firestone Walker and Modern Times.
Brian Common Brewery + Eatery will celebrate its one-year anniversary from 4 to 10 p.m. with a party featuring a new menu, four limited-edition beers, free beer and food samples, and a raffle with prizes.
Southside Bar Kitchen will give up its taps to breweries from Loveland and Longmont starting at 5 p.m. "These two cities up north have some great breweries we don't see much down here in the city, so we are bringing them all together for a big beer blowout," Southside says. Breweries include: Grimm Brothers, Verboten, Loveland Aleworks, Crow Hop Brewing, Left Hand and more. Oh, and it's Taco Tuesday so $1 tacos all night.
The Paramount Cafe will hold its Seventh Annual Beer Festival from 5 to 7 p.m., where beers from Odell, Epic, New Belgium, Left Hand, Breckenridge, Declaration Brewing and many more will be poured. All proceeds benefit the Miami Animal Alliance, a nonprofit based in Colorado and Oklahoma. Tickets are $20.
The tiny To the Wind Bistro on Colfax Avenue will host a series of beer-pairing dinners this week. The first is today and features the West Coast IPAs of Modern Times, Alpine, Mike Hess, Green Flash and Ballast Point, along with five courses. It's $59 per person. This is a reservation-only event.
Strange Craft and the Corner Office are teaming up on a Brewers Dinner at the restaurant at 7:30 p.m. featuring a five-course pairing from Chef Rich Byers. Tickets are $50-$60. Get info at nightout.com.
One of GABF week's most charming events returns to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science when Beers Made by Walking takes over the space from 6 to 9 p.m., offering up more than thirty beers that were inspired by plants that brewers found by going for walks and hikes in both nature and in urban settings. Each "place-based" beer is a "unique, drinkable portrait of the landscape," the organizers says. "Over twenty of the beers were made specifically for this event by Colorado breweries that have collaborated with us. Each beer is inspired by landscapes in an area of the brewer’s choosing. Brewers have hiked up 14,000-foot mountains, trekked through lush canyons, camped in national parks and strolled through community gardens to find inspiration. Additionally, a select number of breweries from outside of Colorado will serve a few specialty offerings from their respective portfolios that include beers with foraged ingredients. Tickets to the seventh annual Beers Made by Walking festival are $40 and can be purchased on the museum's website; attendees will receive special glassware and unlimited access to the beers until they run out. Food will be available to purchase at the museum. Proceeds will benefit the DMNS. Some of the breweries that have signed on include: Atom, Baere, Black Project, Burial, Cerebral, Crooked Stave, Elevation, Fiction, Fonta Flora, Four Noses, Great Divide, Hopworks, Intrepid Sojourner, Jester King, Mockery, Odd13, Our Mutual Friend, Paradox, Ratio, Scratch, Station 26, Strange Craft, Trinity, Trophy, TRVE, Upslope Vine Street Pub and Wild Woods.
Wednesday, October 4
UNITY! A Plane to Train Beer Showcase welcomes brewers, beer industry folks and beer fans to try some of the country's best rising breweries assembled under the roof of Denver's amazing Union Station. After getting off the plane at DIA, catch Denver RTD's A-Line rail to Union Station Terminal Bar to sample brews, starting at noon and running through the afternoon, from Cincinnati's Rhinegeist, Seattle's Fremont Brewing , San Diego's Modern Times Beer and Denver's own Ratio Beerworks; each brewery will showcase a core brand as well as a more rare or special beer. Here's thelineup: Fremont Brewing Lush IPA (made with Lupulin powder) and Rusty Nail Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with licorice and cinnamon bark; Rhinegeist Brewing Truth IPA and Fluffberry Experimental IPA; Modern Times Perfect Talon Hazy IPA and Spaceship Earth Pale Ale; and Ratio Beerworks Domestica American Standard Ale and Roots Radical Citrus Beet Saison.
Hops & Pie will tap a big lineup of beers at 11:30 a.m. from the breweries distributed locally by Crooked Stave Artisans. Breweries include Almanac, Ale Apothecary, AleSong, Arizona Wilderness, Beachwood Brewing, Blackberry Farms, Boneyard, Captain Lawrence, Creature Comforts, Crooked Stave, Jackie O's, Hops and Grain, Half Acre, Jester King, Lawson's Finest Liquids, Perennial, Pure Project, Jolly Pumpkin, Rhinegeist, Scratch, Societe, The Rare Barrel, Two Roads.
Falling Rock Tap House will be tapping special beers all day long at different times. In the afternoon, you'll find Upslope Brewing at 3 p.m. and Stone at 4 p.m. In the evening, there will be beers made by the breweries that are distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans at 5 p.m. At 9:30, it's Melvin Brewing’s IPA Challenge at the Trailer Park Bar (until the lot closes or beers run out). Then there's Full Sail at 10 p.m. and Jester King at 11 p.m.
Falling Rock Tap House will also host an All-Star IPA Throwdown at 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with Wyoming's Melvin Brewing and Lawson's Finest Liquids out of Maine (who hosted the East Coast versus West Coast event last year). "It's all the IPAs you’ve always wanted under one roof," Melvin says. In addition to Melvin and Lawson's, breweries include Beachwood BBQ and Brewing, Berryessa Brewing, Bissell Brothers Brewing, Boneyard Beer, Breakside Brewery, Carton Brewing, Cellarmaker Brewing, Fieldwork Brewing, Great Notion Brewing, Kane Brewing, Kern River Brewing, La Cumbre Brewing, Lord Hobo, Modern Times, Other Half Brewing, Rhinegeist Brewery, Singlecut Beersmiths, Societe Brewing and Weldwerks Brewing.
Local(ish), the Colorado-focused gift shop/snack shop/bar at the end of the railroad tracks behind Union Station, will host a small tap takeover from 3 to 5 p.m. by Two Roads Brewing in Connecticut, which just began distribution in Colorado. There will be five beers, including a rare treat or two, along with brewery reps giving away swag. There will also be beer and popcorn pairings courtesy of CityPop.
"There's no haze about this Double IPA," says Ratio Beerworks, which will tap Continuous Thunder, an 8.8 percent ABV double IPA at 5 p.m. "While most of Ratio Beerworks's portfolio focuses on balance and approachability, we purposely built Continuous Thunder to showcase a bold, hop-forward exclamation." Double dry-hopped with Idaho 7 and Mosaic hops, the beer boasts "bright pineapple and tropical fruit notes, as well rich resinous pine aromas."
Iowa's Toppling Goliath, which has become one of the most sought-after "it" breweries over recent years, will tap a few beers at Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen starting at 11 a.m. Lowdown typically keeps a low profile, but the brewery has showcased some interesting beers in the past during GABF, including those from Three Floyds. Beers scheduled to be on tap include: Pseudo Sue APA, King Sue Double IPA, Mornin’ Delight Imperial Stout with coffee, X-Hops Maroon APA, Golden Nugget IPA, Pompeii IPA, Dorothy’s New World Lager, Dragon Fandango American Wild Ale and Kettle Clogger. The will be on until they run out.
Join New Image Brewing in Arvada for "an intimate gathering with a curated group of brewers that offer some of the best beer in Colorado." The Colorado Invitational: GABF Kickoff Party features beer from New Image, Odd13 Brewing, Weldwerks, Wiley Roots, Cerebral Brewing and 4 Noses Brewing. Each brewery will set up, mini-fest style, on the New Image patio to pour two special beers from their portfolios. "Its a chance to meet the people behind the beer, ask questions, relax and not worry about rushing around to try everything before it's gone." Tickets are $35 and include beer, a commemorative T-shirt, a glass and live music. There will be two sessions, one from noon to 3 p.m. and one from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.
The northern Colorado town of Greeley has made a name for itself in craft beer circles over the past two years, and Wiley Roots Brewing and WeldWerks Brewing want to show you why. They've teamed up to offer a round-trip party bus package from Denver to Greeley, where you can visit both and enjoy beer, food, bottle releases and other perks. To find out all of the details, go to the Wiley Roots Facbeook page.
Tivoli Brewing is throwing a GABF-week shindig from 5 to 10 p.m., featuring breweries repped by Tivoli Distributing Company and beers you won't be able to find at GABF. There will also be music by Woodshed Red.
In addition to its own stellar beers, TRVE Brewing will be pouring guest beers starting today through the weekend from some out-of-state breweries that it distributes in Colorado. The breweries are: 7venth Sun Brewery, of Dunedin, Florida; Burial Beer Company, of Asheville, North Carolina; Brewery Bhavana, of Raleigh, North Carolina; the recently-closed The Commons, of Portland, Oregon; Commonwealth Brewing, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Finback Brewery, of Queens, New York; and Three Taverns Brewery, of Decatur, Georgia. All of these breweries will also be showcased around town at other locations with TRVE's help.
Goed Zuur will feature several of the beers mentioned above starting at 7 p.m. as part of its TRVE Brewing and friends sour beer tapping.
Copper Kettle Brewing will start out GABF week at 2 p.m. by releasing several variants of its famed Mexican Chocolate Stout, itself a onetime GABF award winner. They include Vanilla Bean, Coffee, and Pumpkin Mexican Chocolate Stout, available by the pint or in bottles.
Old Chicago will get into the GABF act today by tapping beers from Surly Brewing at two of its locations and from Modern Times at two others. The locations in Brighton and in Denver, on Colorado Boulevard, will start pouring five Surly beers at 6 p.m. (head brewer Omar Ansari will also make appearances). They are Darkness Russian Imperial Stout, Todd The Axeman IPA, Furious IPA, CynicAle Belgian Style Pale Ale, and Extra Citra Pale Ale. Old Chicago Union, in Lakewood, and Old Chicago River Point, in Sheridan, meanwhile, will start pouring five Modern Times beers at 6 p.m. They are Critical Band New England Style IPA, Spaceship Earth Pale Ale, Fruitlands Gose Gose, Nitro Black House Oatmeal Stout and Blazing World Red Ale.
Mockery Brewing rolls out a cookie pairing from 6 to 8 p.m., offering four cookies from Good Sugar Baking and four beer tasters for $12. They are Chocolate Chip Cookies N Cream with Barrel Aged Coconut Porter; Peanut butter Crunch with Hopscylla Double IPA; Tomato Cookie Stuck in Rumination Barrel Aged English Double IPA; and Butterscotch Pecan with Salted Scotch Ale. In addition, Mockery will introduce a collaboration beer that it did with Good Sugar Baking — a Peanut Butter Crunch Imperial Brown.
Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette toasts GABF week by showcasing some of its best beers on tap. The brewery will also release Eric's Ex-Wife in cans (taproom only). Eric's Ex-Wife "has huge fruity aromatics from copious dry-hopping with all of the Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic she got in the divorce settlement," Odd13 says.
Euclid Hall welcomes Telluride Brewing and Marble Brewing, out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a special beer-pairing dinner called Brotherhood: Passion for the Craft. The dinner comprises five courses prepared by Euclid's chefs and a collection of suds from Telluride and Marble. Reps from both breweries will be on hand; there will also be live music. Tickets, $85, are available at brownpapertickets.com.
The tiny To the Wind Bistro on Colfax Avenue will host a series of beer-pairing dinners this week. The second one is today and features Burial Brewing out of Asheville, North Carolina, along with five courses. It's $59 per person. This is a reservation-only event.
The Crafty Fox hosts Good Bugs, a fermentation series by Brewed Food, from 3 to 6 p.m. The Good Bugs series is a partnership between Brewed Food founder Jensen Cummings, Inland Empire Yeast Laboratories and several breweries who teamed up to make beers that highlight yeast and bacteria strains. While hops and grains are essential to beer, "there are a community of 'good bugs' that deserve their dues," according to the project. "It’s our hope to one day see tasting notes that bring attention to yeast and bacteria strains like Baron, Conan, Brett Brux, Brevis, Delbrueckii, and the myriad of flavors they (and countless others) contribute to these brews." You can meet the brewers and sample the only batches of these beers ever produced. The breweries are Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Fremont Brewing, Great Divide Brewing, Rhinegeist, Against the Grain, River North Brewery, Odd13 Brewing and Outer Range. There will also be fermented foods from Brewed Food and custom dishes from the Crafty Fox kitchen. No tickets required.
Mercantile Dining & Provision hosts its third annual Mercantile Invitational featuring three breweries, seven beers and seven chefs. The breweries are Trillium Brewing of Massachusetts, Russian River Brewing from Santa Rosa, California, and Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, of Santa Cruz, California. The chefs are: Mercantile's Alex Seidel; John Tesar, of Dallas; Kevin Nashan, of St. Louis; Lamar Moore, of Chicago; Adam Dulye, who works for the Brewers Association in Boulder; Tomos Parry, of London; and Cesar Pita, of Baja, Mexico. There will be beer and appetizers starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a five course dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $150 in advance, $175 at the door (price is inclusive of tax and gratuity); only one hundred spots are available.
Wynkoop Brewing brings back its famed Beer Drinker of the Year event when finalists in the storied and formerly annual contest "vie for the crown as they demonstrate their knowledge, passion, and commitment to drinking great beer," the brewery says. There will be drinks at 4:30 and a meet-and-greet at 5 p.m. in the Mercantile Room. The competition will get under way at 5:30. The event is free to watch, but space is limited, so get there early to claim a spot. Contestants typically come from all over the country to participate.
Join Bierstadt Lagerhaus and the Pink Boots Society, an organization that advocates for women in the brewing industry, for the Pink Boots Rare Beer Tasting from 7 to 10 p.m. "We will serve up exclusive selections from the ladies of brewing as we host the...only event [during the GABF week] that focuses on the contributions of the females in the brewing industry," Bierstadt says. Tickets, $30, are available at nightout.com. Participating brewers include Ashleigh Carter of Bierstadt; Meagan Nelsen of Blue Moon; Jill Brensan of Good Neighbor Brews; Erin Hamrick of Dry Dock; Bridgette Turner of Solace Brewing; Laura Pilato of Grimm Brothers; Julie Rhodes of Merchant Du Vin; Amy Newell-Large of Avery; Alix Daggatt of Fort George Brewery; Erin Cox of Great Divide; Jennifer Kent of McMenamins Thompson Brewery; Sara Davidson of Tin Man Brewing; Mandie Hedick of Intersect Brewing; Lana Adzhigirey of Dystopian State; Kristen Murano of Ska Brewing; Bess Dougherty of Greatful Gnome; Leslie Shore; Anne Sprecher; Cat Weist of Seabright; Monica Mondragon of Santa Fe Brewing; Emily Kramer of Jessup Farm Barrel House; and Melissa Bosak of Crazy Mountain.
It's Wacky Hat Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Avanti Food & Beverage, when Dogfish Head founder and beer personality Sam Calagione shows up to drink beer and, uh, wear a wacky hat? You can also wear a wacky hat for special prizes. There will be a variety of Dogfish beers on hand, including two special beers (TBA) and flights of 120 Minute IPA from 2014, ’15, ’16 and ’17.
Verboten Brewing in Loveland will release two barrel aged beers today at noon. The first is Grow Old With You, an English-style barleywine aged in bourbon barrels; this 13 percent ABV beer will be available on draft and in twelve-ounce bottles to go. The second beer is Double Cask Little Nonsense, a blend of two versions of its Little Nonsense Imperial Oatmeal Stout, one aged in bourbon barrels and one aged in brandy barrels. The 11 percent ABV beer is also available on draft and in twelve-ounce bottles to go. There are no limits on either beer.
The What the Funk? Invitational from Crooked Stave Artisans, the distribution arm of Crooked Stave, returns this GABF to celebrate all things barrel-aged, "from boozy and strong to wild, sour, and funky." It features numerous breweries from across the United States, many of them CSA clients, and around the world. This year, the fest takes place at the Studios at Overland Crossing, 2201 South Delaware Street, from 6 to 10 p.m. All proceeds go to Water for People, an international nonprofit organization working in nine countries to bring safe water and sanitation to four million people. For more information, go to wtfinvitational.com.
Oskar Blues-owned CHUBurger RiNo rocks out with GABF kickofff party starting at 9 p.m. There will be a Silent Disco and live music at Chuburger (and next door inside Oskar Blues-owned Hotbox Roasters) and various specialty beers on tap, including OB Barrel Aged Death by Coconut, OB Barrel Aged Java Fidy, and Cigar City Brewing Good Gourd Have Mercy. In addition, Untappd app co-founder Greg Avola will be hanging out, giving away free Untappd swag and chance to win prizes from Oskar Blues and Untappd.
Thursday, October 5
Uh-oh, did someone say Modern Times? Yes they did. Falling Rock Tap House will tap some Modern Times beers at noon, followed by Boulder Beer at 1 p.m., Trinity at 2, and Rogue at 3 p.m. In the evening, you'll find Green Flash at the Trailer Park Bar at 9:30 p.m., followed by Rare Barrel and Cellarmaker at 10, Alpine Brewing at the Trailer Park Bar at 10:30 p.m. and Jolly Pumpkin at 11 p.m.
Ohio is in the house today at the Crafty Fox, which will tap numerous beers from five Ohio breweries. Rhinegeist beers include: Truth (IPA), Peach Dodo (gose), Melon Drop (pale ale), Barrel Aged Mushhushshu (dark ale blend), and Barrel Aged Barney (Scotch ale). Beers from Madtree: PsycHOPathy IPA, Happy Amber Ale, PSA Pale Ale, Ye Olde Battering Ram barrel-aged dark barleywine, and Out of the Woods. Little Fish beers include: Barrel Aged Saison du Poisson, Reinheitsgewhat, Woodthrush, Petit Poisson and Home Slice. There will also be beers from Warped Wing and Jackie O's.
Bruz Beers hosts a workshop led by head brewer, co-owner and longtime educator Charlie Gottenkieny called the World of Belgian Beers, from noon to 2:30 p.m. This overview and guided tasting of the fifteen major categories of Belgian beers will give attendees the opportunity to learn the history and characteristics of each. Before becoming a professional brewer, Gottenkieny won more than a hundred competition medals as homebrewer over a quarter of a century, including two AHA Homebrewer of the Year Awards. He has taught brewing and beer styles at community colleges, spoken at beer conferences and events, and is a nationally recognized beer judge. Tickets are $10, but registration is limited; get them at bruzbeers.com.
Hops & Pie will host a tap takeover by TRVE Brewing and some of the companies it works with or is friends with. They include Commonwealth, Finback, 7venth Su, Burial Beer, Three Taverns, Modern Times, Kern River, Gigantic and Brewery Bhavana. The beers go on when Hops & Pie opens, at 11:30 a.m.
Call to Arms Brewing is "pumped" to once again host the Catalina Wine Mixer. But rather than selling or leasing helicopters, the brewery will be offering a huge selection of its wine barrel-aged beers. Pow. Starting at noon, Call to Arms will bring back all the wine and port barrel-aged beers its brewers created over the past year, including: Frites Libertatum Farmhouse Ale Batch 1; Frites Libertatum Farmhouse Ale Batch 2; Really, Really Ridiculously Good Tasting Petite Farmhouse Saison; XXXX's Belgian Quadriceps Belgian Quad; Costermonger Tart Apple Ale Batch 2; Zany Razzy Winey Thing Brett IPA with Raspberries; and The Shadow Russian Imperial Stout with Pomegranate Molasses. Each of these beers will be on tap at the same time, and there's a very good chance the brewery will have some additional guest taps and super limited-edition bottles available as well. Pick & Howl will be playing music from 5:30 to 8 p.m. (and there may be a little 80s Billy Joel in there).
Copper Kettle Brewing hosts a barrel-aged day starting at 2 p.m. The brewery will be releasing some new and returning members of its barrel- aged cast members, including Scotch Russian Imperial Stout, Buff Trace Well Bred, Mocha Snowed In (2016), and Maple Snowed In (2017). These are taproom-only beers.
Epic Brewing brings back the annual Fifty Firkin Fiasco from 7 p.m. to midnight, where its brewers and staff have put together fifty unique firkins ranging from silly to sublime. You can sample whichever ones you like as you wander through the brewery from back to front and back again. Tickets are $35 at eventbrite.com and include unlimited samples. Food and souvenir T-shirts sold separately.
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen is hosting a variety of releases this week. Come down at 5 p.m. tonight to try some offerings from Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing.
The Post Brewing and Lola Coastal Mexican — both owned by the Big Red F restaurant group — are teaming up for a trio of pre-GABF parties this week. Guests can enjoy a line-up of Post beers (including 2016 GABF gold medal winner Achtertuin Seizoen), an epic Taco Bar, and adult slushies. The parties are today, from 3 to 5 p.m.; Friday, from 3 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon.
The West End Tavern in Boulder is having a Gold Medal Tap Takeover at 6:30 p.m. at which guests can taste a line-up of past GABF gold-medal winners, including brews from Victory, Boot Strap, Left Hand, 4 Noses, Russian River, and The Post. The beers are: Victory Brewing Golden Monkey (gold for Belgian-style tripel in 2014); Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 1 (gold for export stout in 2010 and 2013); The Post Achtertuin Seizoen (gold for saison in 2016); Bootstrap Brewing Stick’s Pale Ale (gold for American-style pale ale in 2016); 4 Noses Brewing Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale, (gold for pumpkin spice beer in 2016; and Russian River Temptation (gold for Belgian-style strong in 2002).
To the Wind Bistro, the tiny spot on Colfax Avenue, will host a series of beer-pairing dinners this week. The third one is today and features Frisco's Outer Range Brewing. along with five courses. It's $59 per person. This is a reservation-only event.
Casey Brewing and Blending returns to Freshcraft "with another killer lineup" of beers from this Glenwood Springs sour and wild ale specialist. Details TBA.
Local(ish), the Colorado focused gift shop/snack shop/bar at the end of the railroad tracks behind Union Station, will host a small tap takeover from 3 to 5 p.m. by Crooked Stave. There will be five beers, along with brewery reps giving away swag. There will also be beer and popcorn pairings courtesy of CityPop.
TRVE Brewing and a bunch of out-of-state brewery friends will take over the Hi-Dive for a heavy-metal rager and GABF kickoff party staring at 8 p.m. Bands include: Glacial Tomb, NightWraith, Space In Time and URN. Breweries include: TRVE, 7venth Sun, Burial Beer, Brewery Bhavana and more. Tickets are $10.
Ska Brewing and Telluride Brewing will descend on Freshcraft at 10 p.m. for the Spirit Animal Party featuring "a juicy red ale" that the two breweries collaborated on for the occasion. "Come in rocking your best spirit animal attire" and hang with the crews for Ska and Telluride, which will have several other beers on tap as well.
SOLD OUT: The 36th edition of the Great American Beer Festival begins today at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets were $85 but can be found on after-market sites for a variety of prices. This is the main event, the mecca, the bucket-list attraction — with thousands of beers from more than 800 breweries.
Prepare yourself for an epic beatdown that only the likes of Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Melvin Brewing could deliver, courtesy of the local Rocky Mountain Pro wrestling group and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. For $25, you get your first beer, "a mug to drink it and your mind blown," Bierstadt says. The events runs 10 p.m. to midnight at Bierstadt/Rackhouse Pub.
Friday, October 6
Here's a new concept. As part of its GABF festivities, Station 26 Brewing will debut Same Day IPA, a beer that will be packaged, delivered, and tapped in less than twelve hours in its taproom and across town. "Same Day IPA is brewed with Galaxy and Citra hops and is going straight from tank to tap for maximum freshness," the brewery says. Things kick off at 9 a.m. at Cheba Hut, followed by Southside Bar Kitchen and Park Burger RiNo at 11 a.m. They will continue at nearly twenty locations over the course of the day and night and again at a few spots on Saturday. To see the full list and times, go to Station 26's Facebook page.
The Crafty Fox has been celebrating GABF week with numerous tap takeovers and special beers. At 3 p.m., the beer-and-pizza joint will tap rare and specialty beers from Outer Range Brewing in Frisco and Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley. It will also tap a collaboration IPA that the two did for this week only and two collabs that the Crafty Fox did with Outer Range (an IPA) and Wiley Roots (a pastry porter).
Falling Rock hosts its annual Sierra Nevada Kill-A-Keg event at noon. Then it taps beers from Boulevard at 1 p.m., Ommegang at 2, and Elevation at 3 p.m. In the evening, you'll find Epic Brewing at the Trailer Park Bar at 9:30 p.m., Ecliptic Brewing at 10, Dogfish Head at the Trailer Park Bar at 10:30, and New Holland at 11 p.m.
Casey Brewing & Blending invades Hops & Pie at 11:30 for a takeover showcasing the following beers: The Cut: Sour Danube Cherry, Dry Hopped Apricot Casey Family Preserve, Dry Hopped Oak Theory, The Low End, The Cut: Grape, The Cut: Plum, Cherry Fruit Stand, Grape Fruit Stand and Plum Casey Family Preserves.
Goed Zuur is hosting Casey Brewing and Blending, Jester King Brewery, and The Side Project Cellar for a ticketed event featuring four different time slots that will fit 75 people per session. The time slots are 5 to 7 p.m.; 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.; 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. to close. Details are TBA.
Freshcraft hosts a mini tap takeover at 9 p.m. by both Station 26 Brewing in Denver, which will bring some special beers (including a mango habanero gose firkin), and Indeed Brewing out of Minnesota, which will tap a few different beers from its Wooden Soul series.
Cerebral Brewing will release Trophy Hunt, an imperial milk stout aged in bourbon barrels for eighteen months. More details on ingredients and bottle allotment and time are TBA.
Bruz Beers taps two new beers. The first is Stubborn Monkey: Belgian-Style Quadrupel, at 11.6 percent ABV, which the brewery describes as an "intricate and flavorful quad with many notes of malt, fruit, spice and dark sugars. A long (stubborn) fermentation produced exceptional complexity and finesse." The second is Currant Monkey: Belgian-style Quad with Blackcurrants, which is the same beer with black currants added. "A popular fruit addition in Belgium, black currants add dark fruit aromas and flavors to an already rich and complex quad."
Mockery Brewing will welcome their friends from Virginia's Adroit Theory at 2 p.m. They will tap several Adroit Theory beers (not found anywhere else in Colorado) along with a collab called Heart of a Hellraiser. To make it, "we brewed an Oud Bruin during the Craft Brewers Conference in April at Adroit Theory," Mockery explains. "This big, barrel aged beauty was fermented with yeast propagated from flowers near the brewery in Virginia. We then drove whiskey barrels full of the beer all the way across the country. The barrels were left to open ferment during the drive, so we picked up some wild yeast/bacteria making this beer one of the only American teroir beers available in the world."
Star Bar welcomes the Curiosity Ball starting at 7 p.m. and featuring some hot breweries from around the country, most of whom have worked together on other projects or collaborations. They include: Creature Comforts, Other Half Brewing, Arizona Wilderness, 7venth Sun Brewing, Wicked Weed and Jester King.
Boulevard Brewery will kick off its week from 7 to 9 p.m. with a special tapping at Lucky Pie that includes Jam Band, a beer that can only be found at select places. Lucky Pie will also be pouring a Tequila Barrel Aged Lime Gose and Saison Brett. Boulevard brewers and representatives will be there with tasters and free merchandise.
"Turns out that Adam Avery has an obsession with cellaring beers." That's the word from Avery Brewing in Boulder, which is having a cellar sale because they "are running out of room here at the brewery." The one-day-only event includes "Barrel-Aged Series gold foils, discontinued brews, and maybe even some beers that you have never heard of.... No limits.... The list of available beers is massive and will be shared soon."
Laugh your ass off and drink some lagers after GABF at Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which will host the GABF LaGhER. For $20, you get your first drink and jokes from Adam Cayton-Holland, Dusty Slay, Christie Buchele, Janae Burris, Rachel Weeks and a "very special surprise headliner."
Wyoming's Melvin Brewing is hosting a party — a ninja rodeo, really — at 10 p.m. called Enter the House of Flying Barrels, along with Avery Brewing and 4 Noses Brewing; it takes place in a warehouse at 1235 Delaware Street in the Golden Triangle neighborhood. "DJ Cut la Whut will be dropping dirty beats while we drink Heyzeus, Killer Bees and Hubert and build the world’s largest beer-can pyramid. We’re welcoming circus performers, dancers and martial artists. Ring toss? How about human ring toss?" Melvin says. Proceeds benefit Water for People & the Chill Foundation. Sign up for Melvin's mailing list to be notified of the location. Look for the Melvin bus from GABF to the party for easy transportation.
SOLD OUT: The 36th edition of the Great American Beer Festival continues today at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets were $85 but can be found on after-market sites for a variety of prices. This is the main event, the mecca, the bucket-list attraction — highlighting thousands of beers from more than 800 breweries.
SOLD OUT: The ninth edition of the annual and exclusive Denver Rare Beer Tasting runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the McNichols Building, where more than fifty of the country's top craft breweries will be serving rare, exotic and vintage beers to raise funds for the Pints for Prostates campaign.
Saturday, October 7
The Bruery ha moved its annual GABF breakfast from the Cheeky Monk, which closed last year, to Freshcraft, which will welcome the California in at 8:30 a.m. for Breakfast with The Bruery (as well as The Bruery Terreux and Offshoot Brewing) prior to the Saturday GABF session. "This will be your chance to meet Patrick Rue and ... to enjoy some amazing beer and an all you can eat breakfast buffet," Freshcraft says. "This year we are trying something a little different. We are asking that you pre-purchase a ticket to the event. We have a very limited number of Early Bird tickets for twenty five people that would like to join us right at 8 a.m. and get a chance to mix with The Bruery crowd before we open the doors to the rest of the crowd. At 8:30 am we will begin allowing General Admission ticket holders in the door. Regardless of ticket type your admission gets you unlimited trips to the buffet as well as one pour of beer from our draft list." The beer list includes: Midnight Autumn Maple, The Wanderer, Mischief, Guava Libre, Terms (Offshoot Brewing), Conditions (Offshoot Brewing), Chocolate Rain
and White Chocolate with Cherries.
Hey beer geeks, wanna watch the GABF awards ceremony, but you don't have a ticket? Head to Lone Tree Brewing from 9 a.m. to noon, where the brewery will be live streaming the entire event on the big screen. The Savory Life food truck will be there early serving breakfast items. RSVP here to guarantee a spot.
Even the losers...get lucky sometimes. That's the word from Call to Arms Brewing (and Tom Petty), which is hosting the inaugural Even the Losers Pity Party, "an event for all the freaks and geeks that walk away from the GABF awards ceremony empty handed," the brewery says. "If you show up at the awards ceremony full of hope and enthusiasm, only to walk out entrenched in heavy, deep sobbing, just show up at CTA with the Brewer's Badge from your losing brewery and you'll receive: Beautiful, shiny, magestic 4th Place medals; $2 Off ALL your beers - ALL OF THEM; and the chance to drink an exclusive beer created just for the losers: ConSOLation Prize IPA." "Even The Losers" and "We Are The Champions" radio will be playing all day, "and we'll likely have some other foolish little goodies laying around to brighten your crushed spirits. And no worries, we have a special place reserved for all the fancy-dancy winning breweries as well..."
A little hair-of-the-dog always helps during GABF weekend, says Denver Beer Company, and also helps get the party going again. So, join DBC for a Brewer's Breakfast from 9:30 a.m. to noon, that includes a smothered breakfast burrito and a glass of barleywine (or another beer of your choice since DBC will have a few of its other aged big beers on tap. Tickets, $15, are available at denverbeerco.com.
The Corner Office welcomes Odell Brewing from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a paired brunch featuring four courses from chef Rich Byers paired with four Odell beers. Tickets, $40 are available on the restaurant's web site.
Love Saisons? Then you're in for a real treat at Cerebral Brewing, which will dig into its cellar and re-release all of its bottled Brett Saisons to date (for on-site consumption only), like Dreamy Thing, Ambiguous Vibes, Ripping Through Dimensions and Monochrome. The brewery will also release its newest creation, Tonal Language; this beer was brewed with wheat, oats and Colorado wildflower honey, and then conditioned on Mandarin oranges. Fermented with a mixed culture of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces, it has been living in Sauvignon Blanc barrels for six months. More details on the release and bottle allotment are TBA.
Falling Rock will tap beers from Avery Brewing at 4 p.m, followed by Casey Brewing and Blending at 5 p.m. and Telluride at 6 p.m. In the evening, it's Shmaltz/Renegade at 9 p.m., a Crooked Stave Artisan Distributing’s sour beer showcase at the Trailer Park Bar at 9:30 p.m., Firestone Walker at 10 p.m. and New Belgium at 11 p.m.
The Crafty Fox will highlight beers from TRVE Brewing today, in addition to beers from Night Shift, Modern Times, Seven Sun, Common Wealth, Finn Back and Surly.
To send GABF-week off in style, River North Brewery has pulled out all the stops, running wild with its top-rated imperial stout. Starting at noon, you can find Toasted Coconut Mr. Sandman and Mayan Chocolate Mr. Sandman, both in bottles and on tap. In addition, try Mr. Sandman (classic) and Single Cask Mr. Sandman: Rum on tap. Stay tuned for details on limits, food truck, and additional cellar kegs.
For the final day of GABF week, Copper Kettle Brewing will release Coconut Snowed In, a coconut variation of the brewery's imperial oatmeal stout. Grab a pint and a bomber while supplies last.
Freshcraft will say goodbye to GABF-week by tapping a killer lineup of beers from Surly Brewing at 7 p.m. (while everyone else is at the session. Beers on tap include: 2016 Barrel Aged Darkness, Todd The Axeman, Barrel Aged Pentagram, Coffee Bender, and Xtra-Citra.
Join Ratio Beerworks after the final session of GABF for a karaoke party, running from 9 p.m. to midnight. Belt out some of your favorite hits and "help send GABF's final night off in a blaze of glory," Ratio says. "Everyone is welcome to join the party, but if you bring your brewer's badge and sign up to sing a song, your first beer is on us. Additionally, we'll be tapping some serious heat during the party, to put the kibosh on a massive weekend."
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SOLD OUT: The 36th edition of the Great American Beer Festival wraps up today with two sessions, one at noon and one at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets were $85 but can be found on after-market sites for a variety of prices. This is the main event, the mecca, the bucket-list attraction — highlighting thousands of beers from more than 800 breweries.
Sunday, October 8
Cerebral Brewing will be serving up a Recovery Brunch with the Adobo Food Truck starting at 11 a.m. There will be pancakes, French toast, bacon and more to go along with Work From Home, Cerebral's Imperial Breakfast Porter made with Vermont maple syrup and cold-brewed coffee.
Not ready for the fun to end? Detox and then retox at the fourth annual bRUNch Run — both a 5k and a 10k — at Stapleton Stapleton Central Park from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be Great Divide beers, a mimosa bar with Barefoot Wines, and Bloody Mary bar with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, The Real Dill, STEM Ciders, and non-alcoholic beverages from Health-ade Kombucha, Logan House Coffee, and Eldorado Springs. Participating restaurants include La Sandia, Just Be Kitchen, Hi Rise, Bacon Social House, Moontime Crepes, Interstate Kitchen + Bar, noosa, Flippin’ Flapjacks, Sunshine Bowls, Quality Italian, The Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar and Hoof Wing & Fin. There will also be live music (Scott Brooks Band), yoga with Core Power Yoga, lawn games, giveaways and swag, top finisher's awards and more. Register and get info at brunchrunning.com.