Beer Man

Five hip breweries that will pour beer in Denver next week, but not at GABF

The organizers of the Great American Beer Festival -- and craft beer fans -- will face an unusual situation when the three-day event returns to Denver for its thirty-second year on October 10: Not all of the hot, hard-to-find brewers will be inside the convention center hall. There are several breweries that will be serving their beers in other Denver and Boulder venues, either by choice or because they didn't register for the fest in time.

The situation is something that the Boulder-based Brewers Association will have to deal with before 2014, but in the meantime, here's where you can find beer from five hot breweries that won't be pouring at GABF -- and some comments from the owners.

See also: The ultimate calendar to the Great American Beer Festival 2013

[jump] Jester King Brewing Austin, Texas Jester King has quickly made a name for itself by producing limited quantities of carefully crafted, saison-style beers. But after attending GABF for three years running, the young brewery decided not to pour beer in the convention hall this year, says co-founder Jeff Stuffings, although Jester King did enter its beer into the competition.

"The biggest reason is that because of the amount of beer that we would have to bring, it is cost-prohibitive," he explains. Jester King beers typically take anywhere from four to twelve months to brew, ferment and age, "so our whole business model is low-volume, higher-margin. We figured that amount we would have to bring would cost us $5,000."

And while Stuffings enjoys GABF, he says it's more valuable to have his beers presented in more intimate settings and with like-minded breweries. "The beer drinkers at those events are more thoughtful about beer," he notes. "We've had experiences in the past where we felt that some of what we do gets lost on the average festival-goer."

Stuffings participated in the Farm-to-Table Pavilion at GABF last year and says he hopes that GABF will add more of these smaller events inside the fest in the future.

Jester King will be pouring numerous beers on draft and from bottles at Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder on Saturday, October 12 at 6 p.m. The brewery will also be tapping beers and opening bottles at Hops & Pie and Euclid Hall, and is part of two sold-out events, the What the Funk festival on Friday and a dinner at the Kitchen.

Oh, and shhh: Jester King may put some of its beer in liquor stores around town as well, before, during and after the festival -- on a regular basis.