Beer Here! DIA Will Host a Beer Garden in the Main Terminal

If only "Mountain Mirage," the public art piece that once graced the center of the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport, were still in business, we might have beer shooting through DIA in a mountain silhouette. But instead, we'll have to content ourselves with a beer garden where the now-decommissioned "Mountain Mirage" once leaked into the trains below.

That's right: Beer Flights at DIA, Presented by the Colorado Lottery, will start pouring at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 19, and the beer will keep flowing through Sunday, October 4. See also: DIA Needs to Allow Craft Beer as a Carry-On

Inspired by both Oktoberfest and the Great American Beer Festival, the beer garden will occupy a fenced-off section in the center of the main terminal, with eight picnic tables and ten tables featuring Colorado craft brewers: Avery, Breckenridge, Bristol, Dry Dock, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Telluride, Ska and Pug Ryan's; all but the last two already have a presence at DIA.

Ten bucks buys you admission to Beer Flights, where you'll get a commemorative glass and can then sample two ounces of each brewery's craft beer (the choices have yet to be determined). The garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, until the GABF leaves town.

Yes, there will be beer garden-friendly snacks -- Southwest has donated bags of pretzels -- and DIA promises appropriate live entertainment during peak travel times, including oompah bands.

And this isn't DIA's only beer-related amenity. A temporary exhibit, Colorado on Tap: The State of Brew Culture, will open September 20 in Ansbacher Hall on the walkway to Concourse A, where it will remain through December. "The goal of this exhibit is to provide passengers an opportunity to better understand the craft beer industry and its contributions to the Colorado creative economy," says Chris Stevens, DIA Art & Culture program manager. The display will feature not just information on the booming craft-beer industry -- including its most famous representative, Governor John Hickenlooper -- but an assortment of artifacts from Colorado breweries, including custom art, tap handles, glasses and growlers...empty, sadly.

We're still dreaming of the day when a smart entrepreneur opens a shop on one of the concourses (conveniently past security) that will sell six-packs of Colorado craft beer that travelers can take home as series. Sadly, this remains a true mountain mirage.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun