Foam on the Range

No, you can’t try every beer. That’s the bad news. The good news? You can give it shot.

The Great American Beer Festival is back, and as always, it showcases the best of what breweries across the country have to offer. Nearly 500 brewers will be here, serving 2,100 different kinds of beer in 22 styles — from cream ales and wheat lagers to fruit, sour, smoked and spiced beers. “This is the best collection in the country all year long,” says Julia Herz, spokeswoman for the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which hosts the event. To get the past the pretzel necklaces and sweaty drunkenness, Herz suggests that you remember to “further your knowledge on your beer education journey. Try something outside your normal comfort range.” She also recommends any of the Great American Beer School happenings, including classes and presentations on everything from food pairings and cooking with beer to home brewing and pub culture.

And while the three-day festival is sold out, there are still places around town giving away tickets, and more for sale online. There are also events going on at brewpubs and restaurants as part of the September 17-27 Denver Beer Fest. Just make sure you savor the flavor responsibly: one ounce at a time.

The GABF takes place September 24-26 at the Colorado Convention Center. For more information, log on to www.GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.
Sept. 24-26, 2009

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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