Beer Man

Great American Beer Festival Week 2017: Calendar of Amazing Events

Great American Beer Festival Week 2017: Calendar of Amazing Events
Danielle Lirette
If you don't like beer, then Great American Beer Festival week, which runs today through October 8, is a great time to head for the hills to take in the beautiful reds, yellows and golds of Colorado's fall colors. But if beer is your passion, then those reds, golds and yellows are all right here in town — and they are so, so pretty.

Beer will occupy the minds of thousands of people — locals and tourists alike — in early October as dozens and dozens of beer bars, breweries, restaurants and other venues hosts special tappings, dinners, seminars, mini-festivals and other events in honor of the 36th edition of the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place Thursday, October 5, through Saturday, October 7, at the Colorado Convention Center. It's a glorious time for beer lovers, and it turns Denver into a world-class destination.

And while the festival itself — the largest one on the planet — is amazing, it's also sold out. But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of great beer to enjoy. Here's our list of events you can plan ahead for; we'll continue to update this list on a regular basis over the next few weeks as we hear about more events. Cheers.

click to enlarge DANIELLE LIRETTE
Danielle Lirette
Monday, October 2
Falling Rock Tap House will once again welcome beer lovers and brewery folks from near and far to its annual GABF-week kickoff party starting at 5 p.m. When the GABF clock at Falling Rock counts down to zero, the drinking may commence. There are usually plenty of rare or unusual beers on tap. This year, you'll find special releases from Horse & Dragon, Upslope, some special twentieth-anniversary collaborations and more.


Starting today and lasting all week, Goed Zuur will be featuring "all sorts of enjoyment including local, national, and international brewers, food specials, and much more," the sour beer bar and restaurant says. Today, it features an all-Colorado sour beer and food tap takeover. The breweries involved are: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Casey Brewing and Blending, AC Golden Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing, Paradox Beer Company, Epic Brewing, Avery Brewing, Loveland Aleworks, Cerebral Brewing, Verboten Brewing, Our Mutual Friend, Funkwerks, Call to Arms Brewing, and possibly more.

The beer-industry folks from TRVE Brewing, Ratio Beerworks and Sierra Nevada, along with some kindred souls from Leopold Bros. Spirits, will be grabbing and pouring some lower ABV, easy-drinking "Dad beers" with their industry buds at Ace Eat Serve from 6 to 11 p.m. Come hang out and enjoy a "laid back night of sessionable barley pops, ping pong and a special whiskey forward cocktail from Leopold Brothers."

Walter's 303 Pizzeria and Publik House will tap two New England-style IPAs from Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing at 6:30 p.m. They are Eric's Ex-Wife and Dirk Diggler.

Sloan's Lake Tap & Burger welcomes a few westside breweries into the house at 6 p.m. for the West Colfax Brewery Showcase. Find beers from Seedstock Brewery, Joyride Brewing, Caution Brewing and De Steeg.

Avelina will host a five-course beer dinner at 6 p.m. featuring beers from Chain Reaction Brewing. Examples of pairings include: Slaughter Melon Pale Wheat Ale with Hamachi crudo-mint compressed watermelon, pickled ginger vin, puffed fara, micro acotade; Lavender Pilsner with Lavender Boudin-house made spicy crout and fermented mustard; and Pink Peppercorn Saison with Rohan Duck breast-pink peppercorn gastrique, corn puree, grilled broccolini. Tickets, $95 per person, are available by calling 720-904-6711.

Freshcraft will kick off its GABF-week festivities at 7 p.m. with Sour Monday when it taps or opens a variety of sour beers. Tap list is TBA.

Join Our Mutual Friend during GABF week as the brewery will be featuring beers from Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley and tapping their collaboration beer, the New Boot Goofin’ Golden Sour with Cherries. The beers go on tap at 11 a.m., and you can meet the brewers from 5 to 8 p.m.

This might be the single best thing you can do for your beer enjoyment this week. From 7 to 9 p.m., Bierstadt Lagerhaus will host Melissa Antone, who will lead a Beer School: Sensory Training class that will guide you on "proper tasting techniques, tips and tricks for identifying eight common off-flavors, and their origins in beer. With a self-quiz at the end, you will be armed with more beer-drinking knowledge than 99 percent of the 40,000 people roaming the convention center halls," Bierstadt says. Antone, who worked at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant and Avery Brewing, where she ran the Quality Assurance Department, is a certified cicerone and BJCP judge. Tickets are $25 and available on the brewery's website.

If you've traveled to Iowa to get some of Toppling Goliath's beer, then you won't mind driving to Fort Collins, where the Tap & Handle, 307 South College Avenue, will host a tap takeover by the highly-sought after brewery at 5 p.m. Featured Beers include: Dorothy’s, Golden Nugget, Pseudo Sue, Morning Delight, King Sue, Kettle Klogger, Dragon Fandango, X Hops Maroon, Pompeii.

click to enlarge BEERS MADE BY WALKING
Beers Made By Walking
Tuesday, October 3
Headlands Brewing, of Mill Valley, California, will once again put on BeerRun GABF as a fundraiser for Pints for Prostates, the nonprofit organization that hosts the Denver Rare Beer Tasting. The 32-mile long-distance run takes participants from Boulder to Denver with stops at six brewery aid stations. Runners will set off from the Brewers Association headquarters at 8 a.m. and run at a rate of about ten minute miles. Aid stations are at Fate Brewing, Crystal Springs Brewing, Wonderland Brewing, Bruz Beers, Goldspot Brewing and Factotum Brewhouse. Things will finish at Bierstadt Lagerhaus (35.22 miles), which will pour Check Yo'Self DIPA; $4 from every $5 pint will go to Pints for Prostates. Check Yo'Self Double IPA was brewed in collaboration with Headlands Brewing, Oskar Blues, Periodic Brewing and Perrin Brewing at OB's barn brewing house in Lyons. Bierstadt will also contribute $1 for every house beer sold. Pints for Prostates will have its mobile PSA screening unit and staff out front offering free screenings.

The Crafty Fox
will host a variety of rare beer tappings this week. Tonight's include brews distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans (the distribution arm of Crooked Stave): Jester King Boxer's Revenge; Fremont Field to Ferment; Half Acre LA Looks I.P.A. with Coconut Butter & Lactose; Gigantic Hole in the Head; Boneyard; Breakside; Prairie; Arizona Wilderness Superstition Coffee Stout; Jack's Abby Hoponius Union; Almanac Splendid Population; Crux Sour Doublecross; Two Road; Jolly Pumpkin Saison M; Beachwood 28 Haze Later; Captain Lawrence Black Cherry Sour; Perennial Suburban Beverage; American Solera; Hops and Grain; Lord Hobo; La Cumbre Project Dank; Lawsons Sip of Sunshine; and more.

Ska Brewing returns to Cheba Hut for their annual Pints & Pipes GABF Happy Hour event, this time at the Cheba Hut location on East Colfax Avenue. There will be three Ska beers on tap, including the brand new BHC Double IPA. Buy a beer and get a free Ska pint glass; buy all three, and get a limited-supply Ska pipe.

Freshcraft hosts a GABF-Week Local Showcase at 7 p.m. featuring some of the best small breweries in Colorado, including Outer Range Brewing, Lost Highway Brewing, Cerebral Brewing, Horse & Dragon Brewing,
Ratio Beerworks, and WeldWerks Brewing. Tap list TBA.

Goed Zuur hosts a California sour beer tap takeover staring at 5 p.m. The breweries involved are: Beachwood BBQ Blendery, Almanac, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, the Rare Barrel, Russian River Brewing, Pure Project Brewing, Bruery Terreux, Firestone Walker and Modern Times.

Renegade Brewing will serve up some of its rarest of beers from 5 to 10 p.m. in honor of GABF week. The beers include: barrel aged versions of Berbere, Bedwetter and E3 Endpoint. There will also be non barrel-aged version of Depravity Peanut Butter Cup Stout and Hammer Russian Imperial Stout.

Brian Common Brewery + Eatery will celebrate its one-year anniversary from 4 to 10 p.m. with a party featuring a new menu, four limited-edition beers, free beer and food samples, and a raffle with prizes.

Southside Bar Kitchen will give up its taps to breweries from Loveland and Longmont starting at 5 p.m. "These two cities up north have some great breweries we don't see much down here in the city, so we are bringing them all together for a big beer blowout," Southside says. Breweries include: Grimm Brothers, Verboten, Loveland Aleworks, Crow Hop Brewing, Left Hand and more. Oh, and it's Taco Tuesday so $1 tacos all night.

The Colorado Craft Distributors Showcase, taking place at 6 p.m., at Highland Tap & Burger features beers distributed by this small craft startup distributing company. Breweries include: Horse & Dragon Brewing, Resolute Brewing, Acidulous Brewing, Caution Brewing and Jessup Farm Barrel House.

The Preservery in RiNo will celebrate GABF and some its favorite breweries starting at 6:30 with Drink Local, an event that includes unlimited samples from:Black Shirt Brewing, Epic Brewing, C Squared Ciders, Odd13 Brewing and New Image Brewing. There will also be "beer-friendly hors d'oeuvres scratch made from the kitchen," the restaurant says. Find tickets, $48, at eventbrite.com.

The Paramount Cafe will hold its Seventh Annual Beer Festival from 5 to 7 p.m., where beers from Odell, Epic, New Belgium, Left Hand, Breckenridge, Declaration Brewing and many more will be poured. All proceeds benefit the Miami Animal Alliance, a nonprofit based in Colorado and Oklahoma. Tickets are $20.

The tiny To the Wind Bistro on Colfax Avenue will host a series of beer-pairing dinners this week. The first is today and features the West Coast IPAs of Modern Times, Alpine, Mike Hess, Green Flash and Ballast Point, along with five courses. It's $59 per person. This is a reservation-only event.

Strange Craft and the Corner Office are teaming up on a Brewers Dinner at the restaurant at 7:30 p.m. featuring a five-course pairing from Chef Rich Byers. Tickets are $50-$60. Get info at nightout.com.

Walter's 303 Pizzeria and Publik House will tap a black IPA and a white IPA from Boulder's Sanita Brewing at 6:30; then they will pour black and whites using both beers.

"What's better than drinking beer with your friends? Drinking some limited edition beers from our cellar with our brewer's and being able to pick their brains, that's what." That's the word from Upslope Brewign in Boulder, which hosts a beer tasting event and panel discussion starting at 5:30 p.m. Join Upslope head brewer Sam Scruby, along with Lee Hill brewers Charlie Condon and Alex Meyer at the brewery's production facility in Flatiron Park to learn about Upslope's process "from conception to packaging" of its Lee Hill Series beers and its barrel program. With a $5 reservation you receive a complementary core beer, four tasters of limited-edition beers from the cellar and an insider's glimpse. Beers include Dry Hopped Wild Ale (Lee Hill Series Volume 8); Wild Christmas With Cranberries (Lee Hill Series Volume 10); Tequila Barrel Aged Barleywine (Lee Hill Series Volume 11); and Tequila Barrel Aged Quadrupel (Lee Hill Series 13).

One of GABF week's most charming events returns to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science when Beers Made by Walking takes over the space from 6 to 9 p.m., offering up more than thirty beers that were inspired by plants that brewers found by going for walks and hikes in both nature and in urban settings. Each "place-based" beer is a "unique, drinkable portrait of the landscape," the organizers says. "Over twenty of the beers were made specifically for this event by Colorado breweries that have collaborated with us. Each beer is inspired by landscapes in an area of the brewer’s choosing. Brewers have hiked up 14,000-foot mountains, trekked through lush canyons, camped in national parks and strolled through community gardens to find inspiration. Additionally, a select number of breweries from outside of Colorado will serve a few specialty offerings from their respective portfolios that include beers with foraged ingredients. Tickets to the seventh annual Beers Made by Walking festival are $40 and can be purchased on the museum's website; attendees will receive special glassware and unlimited access to the beers until they run out. Food will be available to purchase at the museum. Proceeds will benefit the DMNS. Some of the breweries that have signed on include: Atom, Baere, Black Project, Burial, Cerebral, Crooked Stave, Elevation, Fiction, Fonta Flora, Four Noses, Great Divide, Hopworks, Intrepid Sojourner, Jester King, Mockery, Odd13, Our Mutual Friend, Paradox, Ratio, Scratch, Station 26, Strange Craft, Trinity, Trophy, TRVE, Upslope Vine Street Pub and Wild Woods.

click to enlarge Euclid Hall employees sampled some beer before the dinner. - EUCLID HALL FACEBOOK PAGE
Euclid Hall employees sampled some beer before the dinner.
Euclid Hall Facebook page
Wednesday, October 4
UNITY! A Plane to Train Beer Showcase welcomes brewers, beer industry folks and beer fans to try some of the country's best rising breweries assembled under the roof of Denver's amazing Union Station. After getting off the plane at DIA, catch Denver RTD's A-Line rail to Union Station Terminal Bar to sample brews, starting at noon and running through the afternoon, from Cincinnati's Rhinegeist, Seattle's Fremont Brewing, San Diego's Modern Times Beer and Denver's own Ratio Beerworks; each brewery will showcase a core brand as well as a more rare or special beer. Here's thelineup: Fremont Brewing Lush IPA (made with Lupulin powder) and Rusty Nail Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with licorice and cinnamon bark; Rhinegeist Brewing Truth IPA and Fluffberry Experimental IPA; Modern Times Perfect Talon Hazy IPA and Spaceship Earth Pale Ale; and Ratio Beerworks Domestica American Standard Ale and Roots Radical Citrus Beet Saison.

Hops & Pie will tap a big lineup of beers at 11:30 a.m. from the breweries distributed locally by Crooked Stave Artisans. Breweries include Almanac, Ale Apothecary, AleSong, Arizona Wilderness, Beachwood Brewing, Blackberry Farms, Boneyard, Captain Lawrence, Creature Comforts, Crooked Stave, Jackie O's, Hops and Grain, Half Acre, Jester King, Lawson's Finest Liquids, Perennial, Pure Project, Jolly Pumpkin, Rhinegeist, Scratch, Societe, The Rare Barrel, Two Roads.

Falling Rock Tap House will be tapping special beers all day long at different times. In the afternoon, you'll find Upslope Brewing at 3 p.m. and Stone at 4 p.m. In the evening, there will be beers made by the breweries that are distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans at 5 p.m. At 9:30, it's Melvin Brewing’s IPA Challenge at the Trailer Park Bar (until the lot closes or beers run out). Then there's Full Sail at 10 p.m. and Jester King at 11 p.m.

Falling Rock Tap House will also host an All-Star IPA Throwdown at 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with Wyoming's Melvin Brewing and Lawson's Finest Liquids out of Maine (who hosted the East Coast versus West Coast event last year). "It's all the IPAs you’ve always wanted under one roof," Melvin says. In addition to Melvin and Lawson's, breweries include Beachwood BBQ and Brewing, Berryessa Brewing, Bissell Brothers Brewing, Boneyard Beer, Breakside Brewery, Carton Brewing, Cellarmaker Brewing, Fieldwork Brewing, Great Notion Brewing, Kane Brewing, Kern River Brewing, La Cumbre Brewing, Lord Hobo, Modern Times, Other Half Brewing, Rhinegeist Brewery, Singlecut Beersmiths, Societe Brewing and Weldwerks Brewing.

Local(ish), the Colorado-focused gift shop/snack shop/bar at the end of the railroad tracks behind Union Station, will host a small tap takeover from 3 to 5 p.m. by Two Roads Brewing in Connecticut, which just began distribution in Colorado. There will be five beers, including a rare treat or two, along with brewery reps giving away swag. There will also be beer and popcorn pairings courtesy of CityPop.

Walter's 303 Pizzeria and Publik House will tap celebrates Oregon's Ninkasi Brewing at 6:30 p.m. by tapping Fresh Hop Pacific Rain Pale Ale, Helles Belles and Triceratops Double IPA. The crew from Ninkasi will be on hand to talk beer. There will be schwag, a hat machine and changes to win free beer.

Lucky Pie Pizza gets that hazy feeling at 7 p.m. when it taps Dirk Diggler and Hopperella, two New England-style IPAs from Lafayette's Odd13 Brewing, along with Cerebral Brewing's Rare Trail.

"There's no haze about this Double IPA," says Ratio Beerworks, which will tap Continuous Thunder, an 8.8 percent double IPA at 5 p.m. "While most of Ratio Beerworks's portfolio focuses on balance and approachability, we purposely built Continuous Thunder to showcase a bold, hop-forward exclamation." Double dry-hopped with Idaho 7 and Mosaic hops, the beer boasts "bright pineapple and tropical fruit notes" and resinous pine aromas.

Iowa's Toppling Goliath, which has become one of the most sought-after "it" breweries over recent years, will tap a few beers at Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen starting at 11 a.m. Lowdown typically keeps a low profile, but the brewery has showcased some interesting beers in the past during GABF, including those from Three Floyds. Beers scheduled to be on tap include: Pseudo Sue APA, King Sue Double IPA, Mornin’ Delight Imperial Stout with coffee, X-Hops Maroon APA, Golden Nugget IPA, Pompeii IPA, Dorothy’s New World Lager, Dragon Fandango American Wild Ale and Kettle Clogger. The will be on until they run out.

Mockery Brewing has teamed up with Butcher's Bistro for an unusual, partially interactive four-course beer dinner that will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the brewery. Join Mockery owner Zach Rabun "as he takes you on a journey" brewing a funky saison made with white grapes. While guests drink beers that have been paired with dishes like duck bacon salad and beer-braised beef cheeks, Rabun will put on a live demonstration — and have guests help out — of the brewing process, creating wort, which becomes beer after fermentation. The dinner will end with an Apple-Squash Tart Tatin with Wort Caramel (made with the wort the guests brewed during the dinner). Tickets, $50, are available at eventbrite.com.

Ale House at Amato's hosts is second annual GABF Canwood derby party, where hopeful breweries and other "speed-racin'" hopefuls will party and vie for glory in "the most epic beer can derby the world has ever seen," Amato's says. What is a canwood derby? "It’s our version of a Pinewood Derby, minus the pinewood. Instead, participants build race cars out of beer cans and race them down a sixty-foot track. It’s kinda like Matchbox racing, but for adults." There will be prizes, brew swag and tastings throughout the night, but happy hour begins at 4 p.m., followed by racer check-in and final tune-ups at 5 p.m. and the main event at 6 p.m.

Join New Image Brewing in Arvada for "an intimate gathering with a curated group of brewers that offer some of the best beer in Colorado." The Colorado Invitational: GABF Kickoff Party features beer from New Image, Odd13 Brewing, Weldwerks, Wiley Roots, Cerebral Brewing and 4 Noses Brewing. Each brewery will set up, mini-fest style, on the New Image patio to pour two special beers from their portfolios. "Its a chance to meet the people behind the beer, ask questions, relax and not worry about rushing around to try everything before it's gone." Tickets are $35 and include beer, a commemorative T-shirt, a glass and live music. There will be two sessions, one from noon to 3 p.m. and one from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.

The northern Colorado town of Greeley has made a name for itself in craft beer circles over the past two years, and Wiley Roots Brewing and WeldWerks Brewing want to show you why. They've teamed up to offer a round-trip party bus package from Denver to Greeley, where you can visit both and enjoy beer, food, bottle releases and other perks. To find out all of the details, go to the Wiley Roots Facbeook page.

Tivoli Brewing is throwing a GABF-week shindig from 5 to 10 p.m., featuring breweries repped by Tivoli Distributing Company and beers you won't be able to find at GABF. There will also be music by Woodshed Red.

In addition to its own stellar beers, TRVE Brewing will be pouring guest beers today through the weekend from some out-of-state breweries that it distributes in Colorado. The breweries are: 7venth Sun Brewery, of Dunedin, Florida; Civil Society Brewing, of Abacoa, Florida; Burial Beer Company, of Asheville, North Carolina; Brewery Bhavana, of Raleigh, North Carolina; The Commons, of Portland, Oregon; Commonwealth Brewing, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Finback Brewery, of Queens, New York; and Three Taverns Brewery, of Decatur, Georgia. All of these breweries will also be showcased around town at other locations with TRVE's help.

Goed Zuur will feature several of the beers mentioned above starting at 7 p.m. as part of its TRVE Brewing and friends sour beer tapping.

Copper Kettle Brewing will start out GABF week at 2 p.m. by releasing several variants of its famed Mexican Chocolate Stout, itself a onetime GABF award winner. They include Vanilla Bean, Coffee, and Pumpkin Mexican Chocolate Stout, available by the pint or in bottles.

River North Brewery will taproom-only Single Cask series at 4 p.m. with the release of Single Cask J Marie Port-Finished Bourbon. For this beer, the brewery aged is J Marie saison in a single cask; the barrel initially held Port wine but was then used to finish aging bourbon. As a result, it imparted an "elegantly nuanced flavor experience" into the beer. Some of the beer will be on tap as well.

Old Chicago will get into the GABF act today by tapping beers from Surly Brewing at two of its locations and from Modern Times at two others. The locations in Brighton and in Denver, on Colorado Boulevard, will start pouring five Surly beers at 6 p.m. (head brewer Omar Ansari will also make appearances). They are Darkness Russian Imperial Stout, Todd The Axeman IPA, Furious IPA, CynicAle Belgian Style Pale Ale, and Extra Citra Pale Ale. Old Chicago Union, in Lakewood, and Old Chicago River Point, in Sheridan, meanwhile, will start pouring five Modern Times beers at 6 p.m. They are Critical Band New England Style IPA, Spaceship Earth Pale Ale, Fruitlands Gose Gose, Nitro Black House Oatmeal Stout and Blazing World Red Ale.

Mockery Brewing rolls out a cookie pairing from 6 to 8 p.m., offering four cookies from Good Sugar Baking and four beer tasters for $12. They are Chocolate Chip Cookies N Cream with Barrel Aged Coconut Porter; Peanut butter Crunch with Hopscylla Double IPA; Tomato Cookie Stuck in Rumination Barrel Aged English Double IPA; and Butterscotch Pecan with Salted Scotch Ale. In addition, Mockery will introduce a collaboration beer that it did with Good Sugar Baking — a Peanut Butter Crunch Imperial Brown.

Cerebral Brewing offers you an open invitation to try Open Invitation, a collaboration IPA made with California's Almanac Beer Company. "Brewed with spelt and oats, hopped with Citra, El Dorado, Motueka and Galaxy in the whirlpool and then dry-hopped with all of the above, plus Citra Lupulin pellets," the beer was then fermented with a blend of Conan and Sacch Trois yeast, Cerebral says. Starting at 4 p.m., the brewery will sell a limited amount of Crowlers. It will also be on draft.

Woods Boss Brewing will welcome GABF at 5 p.m. with a party featuring the tapping of a Belgian Single made in collaboration with Bruz Beers, acoustic music from Keith Hicks and Jessica Holloway from 6 to 8 p.m. and food from the Clamato Time Food Truck.

Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette toasts GABF week by showcasing some of its best beers on tap. The brewery will also release Eric's Ex-Wife in cans (taproom only). Eric's Ex-Wife "has huge fruity aromatics from copious dry-hopping with all of the Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic she got in the divorce settlement," Odd13 says.

Euclid Hall welcomes Telluride Brewing and Marble Brewing, out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a special beer-pairing dinner called Brotherhood: Passion for the Craft. The dinner comprises five courses prepared by Euclid's chefs and a collection of suds from Telluride and Marble. Reps from both breweries will be on hand; there will also be live music. Tickets, $85, are available at brownpapertickets.com.

The tiny To the Wind Bistro on Colfax Avenue will host a series of beer-pairing dinners this week. The second one is today and features Burial Brewing out of Asheville, North Carolina, along with five courses. It's $59 per person. This is a reservation-only event.

The Crafty Fox hosts Good Bugs, a fermentation series by Brewed Food, from 3 to 6 p.m. The Good Bugs series is a partnership between Brewed Food founder Jensen Cummings, Inland Empire Yeast Laboratories and several breweries who teamed up to make beers that highlight yeast and bacteria strains. While hops and grains are essential to beer, "there are a community of 'good bugs' that deserve their dues," according to the project. "It’s our hope to one day see tasting notes that bring attention to yeast and bacteria strains like Baron, Conan, Brett Brux, Brevis, Delbrueckii, and the myriad of flavors they (and countless others) contribute to these brews." You can meet the brewers and sample the only batches of these beers ever produced. The breweries are Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Fremont Brewing, Great Divide Brewing, Rhinegeist, Against the Grain, River North Brewery, Odd13 Brewing and Outer Range. There will also be fermented foods from Brewed Food and custom dishes from the Crafty Fox kitchen. No tickets required.

Mercantile Dining & Provision hosts its third annual Mercantile Invitational featuring three breweries, seven beers and seven chefs. The breweries are Trillium Brewing of Massachusetts, Russian River Brewing from Santa Rosa, California, and Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, of Santa Cruz, California. The chefs are: Mercantile's Alex Seidel; John Tesar, of Dallas; Kevin Nashan, of St. Louis; Lamar Moore, of Chicago; Adam Dulye, who works for the Brewers Association in Boulder; Tomos Parry, of London; and Cesar Pita, of Baja, Mexico. There will be beer and appetizers starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a five course dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $150 in advance, $175 at the door (price is inclusive of tax and gratuity); only one hundred spots are available.

Wynkoop Brewing brings back its famed Beer Drinker of the Year event when finalists in the storied and formerly annual contest "vie for the crown as they demonstrate their knowledge, passion, and commitment to drinking great beer," the brewery says. There will be drinks at 4:30 and a meet-and-greet at 5 p.m. in the Mercantile Room. The competition will get under way at 5:30. The event is free to watch, but space is limited, so get there early to claim a spot. Contestants typically come from all over the country to participate.

Join Bierstadt Lagerhaus and the Pink Boots Society, an organization that advocates for women in the brewing industry, for the Pink Boots Rare Beer Tasting from 7 to 10 p.m. "We will serve up exclusive selections from the ladies of brewing as we host the...only event [during the GABF week] that focuses on the contributions of the females in the brewing industry," Bierstadt says. Tickets, $30, are available at nightout.com. Participating brewers include Ashleigh Carter of Bierstadt; Meagan Nelsen of Blue Moon; Jill Brensan of Good Neighbor Brews; Erin Hamrick of Dry Dock; Bridgette Turner of Solace Brewing; Laura Pilato of Grimm Brothers; Julie Rhodes of Merchant Du Vin; Amy Newell-Large of Avery; Alix Daggatt of Fort George Brewery; Erin Cox of Great Divide; Jennifer Kent of McMenamins Thompson Brewery; Sara Davidson of Tin Man Brewing; Mandie Hedick of Intersect Brewing; Lana Adzhigirey of Dystopian State; Kristen Murano of Ska Brewing; Bess Dougherty of Greatful Gnome; Leslie Shore; Anne Sprecher; Cat Weist of Seabright; Monica Mondragon of Santa Fe Brewing; Emily Kramer of Jessup Farm Barrel House; and Melissa Bosak of Crazy Mountain.

It's Wacky Hat Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Avanti Food & Beverage, when Dogfish Head founder and beer personality Sam Calagione shows up to drink beer and, uh, wear a wacky hat? You can also wear a wacky hat for special prizes. There will be a variety of Dogfish beers on hand, including two special beers (TBA) and flights of 120 Minute IPA from 2014, ’15, ’16 and ’17.

Chowder Room hosts a pairing dinner at 6 p.m. with Great Divide Brewing. The restaurant will be pairing eight Great Divide beers with fresh seafood prepared by chef Matt Stein. Tickets are $70. Call 303-777-3474

Verboten Brewing in Loveland will release two barrel aged beers today at noon. The first is Grow Old With You, an English-style barleywine aged in bourbon barrels; this 13 percent ABV beer will be available on draft and in twelve-ounce bottles to go. The second beer is Double Cask Little Nonsense, a blend of two versions of its Little Nonsense Imperial Oatmeal Stout, one aged in bourbon barrels and one aged in brandy barrels. The 11 percent ABV beer is also available on draft and in twelve-ounce bottles to go. There are no limits on either beer.

The What the Funk? Invitational from Crooked Stave Artisans, the distribution arm of Crooked Stave, returns this GABF to celebrate all things barrel-aged, "from boozy and strong to wild, sour, and funky." It features numerous breweries from across the United States, many of them CSA clients, and around the world. This year, the fest takes place at the Studios at Overland Crossing, 2201 South Delaware Street, from 6 to 10 p.m. All proceeds go to Water for People, an international nonprofit organization working in nine countries to bring safe water and sanitation to four million people. For more information, go to wtfinvitational.com.

Didn't make What the Funk? Then head to Finn's Manor for the official Crooked Stave After-party. The beers, provided by Crooked Stave Artisans, include: Alesong Oregon Honey, Baere Brewing Company Frambruin, Beachwood Brewing Amalgamator, Beachwood Strawberry Provence, Blackberry Farm Wild Saison and 18 MO Brett, Casey Brewing Low End, Peach Fruit Stand and Dry-Hopped Apricot Casey Family Preserves, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, La Cumbre Hibiscus Querkus and Persica Querkus, Lawson's Finest Liquids Super Session IPA, Perennial Artisan Ales BA 17, pFriem Family Brewers Pilsner, and Rare Barrel Map of the Sun.

Oskar Blues-owned CHUBurger RiNo rocks out with GABF kickofff party starting at 9 p.m. There will be a Silent Disco and live music at Chuburger (and next door inside Oskar Blues-owned Hotbox Roasters) and various specialty beers on tap, including OB Barrel Aged Death by Coconut, OB Barrel Aged Java Fidy, and Cigar City Brewing Good Gourd Have Mercy. In addition, Untappd app co-founder Greg Avola will be hanging out, giving away free Untappd swag and chance to win prizes from Oskar Blues and Untappd.

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