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Beer lovers will turn this town inside out during GABF week

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Denver began welcoming beer fans from near and far yesterday as the city girded its liver for the annual Great American Beer Festival, which starts tomorrow. More people poured into town today as the Brewers Association opened registration for all of the breweries, vendors and media.

Here is a brief look at some of what happened yesterday:

See also - Master Cicerone Rich Higgins on GABF, Denver restaurants and melancholic beers - Fifteen non-Colorado breweries to try at GABF - Twelve beers to track down in Denver outside the Great American Beer Festival

At Hops & Pie, it was all hands on deck as the craft beer-focused pizza joint began pouring some of the rare and specialty beers it will have on tap. Owners Drew and Leah Watson started on Tuesday with beers from Cigar City, the Florida-only brewery that will have some of its award-winning beers on tap in Denver just this week. (For more places to find Cigar City Beers -- and to see the dozens and dozens of other events on tap this week, see our GABF 2012 Calendar of Awesome Events).

The brand-new Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar, meanwhile, is tapping a new beer every day at noon and saying hello to cab-driven customers who are visiting from other states and other countries. "Day by day, hour by hour, we will see some craziness for sure," says Danny, who was working the taphouse on Tuesday. Crooked Stave, which specializes in sour and wild ales, is also showing off its three new wooden foeders (formerly used for chardonnay), each of which can hold 1.798 gallons of beer. Yesterday also featured one of the most unusual beer parties of the week, when the Wynkoop Brewing Company hosted Beers Made By Walking, a Colorado Springs organization that takes both commercial and home brewers on hikes around Colorado and teaches them about edible and medicinal plants. For this event, nine different breweries around the state made a beer based on their walk.

Some of the brewers on hand included Tim Myers of Strange, Bess Dougherty of Wynkoop, Thomas Larsen of Ska, Chris Wright of Pikes Peak Brewing and Dave Chichura of Oskar Blues. All of them made beers that pushed the boundaries of craft brew creativity, and tasted the way nature smells.


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