Beer Man

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

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Thai Me Up Jackson, Wyoming Even the geekiest beer lover probably hadn't heard of Jackson's Thai Me Up Restaurant and Brewery before it won gold medals for its IPA, Melvin, and its double IPA, 2X4, at GABF last year -- and then took home the top honors in the Alpha King Challenge, a more underground contest that rewards the best hoppy beers each year.

And for good reason: The brewery barely makes enough beer to supply the Thai restaurant it's attached to, according to founder and free spirit Jeremy Tofte. (That will change, as Tofte is building a second brewery in nearby Alpine and changing the name to Melvin Brewing. "Thai Me Up is a silly name to see on the shelves of a beer store," he says.)

Tofte wanted to return to Denver to defend his title this year but, like many breweries, missed out on the registration deadline in July when slots sold out within two hours. As a result, he decided to blow off GABF and take a surfing trip to Baja, Mexico.

"It's kind of nice not having to spend all that money to go to GABF," says Tofte, who has mixed feelings about the Brewers Association and his future participation in GABF.

"It's just not going to be as prestigious this year," he adds, not without breweries like Allagash, Prairie Ales and Chuckanut, which won Brewery of the Year 2011 and two silver medals in 2012 -- but which missed out on the deadline for registration in 2013.

You may be able to find Tofte's beer, though.

On Wednesday, October 9 at 6 p.m., Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder will host a Thai Me Up/Melvin Brewing tap takeover, featuring Melvin, 2X4, Asterisk DIPA and Johnny Ryeale Rye IPA. There will also be some Thai Me Up/Melvin beers at the sold-out Pints for Prostates Denver Rare Beer Tasting on October 11.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes