Beer Man

Beer floats, beer-can history and Beerituality are some of our top picks for Denver Beer Fest and the Great American Beer Festival

UPDATE: Item 6, Gastravaganza, has been canceled. For more info, click here.

You've already heard about beer for breakfast, beer burlesque and beer improv.

Here are ten more top options during the second annual Denver Beer Fest, which takes place September 10-19 in conjunction with the Great American Beer Festival.


10) Beer Floats Yes, they're insanely delicious. Four you should try: the Vanilla Porter float at Breckenridge Brewery, 471 Kalamath Street; the Yeti Imperial float at FreshCraft, 1530 Blake Street; the Malted Stout Ice Cream Float available all week at Elway's inside the Ritz-Carlton downtown, 1881 Curtis Street; and the Cherry Bomb Stout Float, available only during the Steuben's Strange Brewing Brunch on September 12.

9) Beerituality screenings I'm not exactly sure what the hell this movie is: a joke, a satire, just plain silly? But from the trailer, Beerituality looks pretty amusing. Screenings will be held September 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Oskar Blues Brewery, 1800 Pike Rd, Unit B, in Longmont, and at 10:30 p.m. at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th Street in Denver; and again on September 17 at Breckenridge Brewing Ballpark Pub, 2220 Blake Street in Denver.

8) Alpha King Challenge Every year, the hoppiest of the nation's hoppy beers are brought together in the basement of the Falling Rock Taphouse, 1919 Blake Street, for a contest. All beers should have a minimum of 60 IBUs and be available for commercial sale. Join last year's winner, Boulder's Mountain Sun Brewing, from 1 to 3 p.m. on September 17 for the challenge. Sponsored by hops supplier Hopunion LLC, this one will give you serious bitter-beer-face -- in a good way.

7) GABF-winning beer and football at the Rackhouse The Rackhouse Pub plans to have at least sixteen former GABF award winners on tap for all of September. The Rackhouse just got DirecTV's football package. September 12 is the opening day of NFL football. Rackhouse also has rockin' beer chili. Need I say more?

6) Gastravaganza Craft breweries may be aiming for five-star restaurants these days, but beer will always go best with the simpler things in life. On Saturday, September 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., Breckenridge Brewery, 471 Kalamath, will host some of Denver's most popular street-food purveyors, including Gastrocart, Brava Pizza, Pinche Tacos, Biker Jim's, the Cupcake Truck, Steuben's and Deluxe Burger. For $65, Denver Gourmet Tours will pair the grub with Breck's own brews, as well as those from the Wynkoop, Ska, Odell, Avery, Left Hand and Del Norte. 5) BeerAdvocate Pub Crawl BeerAdvocate returns for its storied pub crawl on September 17. Join the Alström Brothers and dozens of like-minded drunks as they crawl through Denver on a day-long, beer-soaked adventure. The tour starts at 9 a.m. at Snooze, 2262 Larimer Street, and continues on to Great Divide, Breckenridge Brewery, the Sandlot and Falling Rock. Stay for the whole thing or just for a leg or two.

4) The Great COntenders The Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th Street, will hold a good-luck pep rally and beer tasting for Colorado breweries competing at the Great American Beer Festival on September 11, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Great COntenders will feature 61 beers from 22 breweries, including some that even the biggest beer geeks may not have tried, like Pints Pub, Dostal Alley, Pug Ryan's, the Sandlot and Golden City Brewing. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 today, but the good karma is free.

3) Beer Can History Bill Coors, who is known as the father of the aluminum can, created the Coors Container Company in Golden in 1959, and the can has been the beer-drinking container of choice ever since. On September 13, from 7 to 9 p.m., a Coors representative will give a class on the history of the beer can at Stoney's, a new beer-centric bar and grill at 1111 Lincoln Street. Stoney's promises to have a "crazy special" on Coors cans for the talk, but -- hint, hint -- Stoney's also offers several Oskar Blues beers in cans as well.

2) Strange Brewing party and tours Strange Brewing Company is Denver's newest brewery, and it will celebrate its first Denver Beer Fest with a Great American Beer Fest kick-off party from 3 p.m. to close on September 15. Strange, located at 1330 Zuni Street, will also be offering tours (it's a small brewery, so you'll have plenty of time) and food from the Steuben's truck after 6 p.m.

1) Cheeky Monk Third Anniversary Party The Cheeky Monk, 534 East Colfax Avenue, celebrates its third anniversary on September 14 with a birthday party starting at 8 p.m. and a special beer brewed just for the occasion. 3 Cheeks to the Wind is a dark, Belgian-style ale made by Boulder's Avery Brewing, and it promises to be a good one.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan.

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