The Great American Beer Festival, which starts tomorrow and runs through October 12, is dominating Colorado this week, as locals and out-of-town visitors fill up breweries, restaurants and bars all along the Front Range. But GABF doesn't just fill up the Colorado Convention Center. The days around it are a time for brewers from other states to cozy up to the locals, hang out -- and try some of the collaborative efforts they've put together.
Oregon's Ninkasi Brewing, for instance, came to Denver last month to create an IPA, Hell Patrol, with its brothers in heavy metal, TRVE Brewing.
"They are cool as hell, and I was lucky enough to get looped in with them at the Craft Brewers Conference two years ago," says TRVE owner Nick Nunns. "[Ninkasi owner] Jamie Floyd was digging our concept. They are metal heads, too."
The beer they brewed is an IPA made with British malts and American hops, and named for a Judas Priest song. It will be tapped at 8 p.m. tonight at Star Bar. El Brian will be spinning classic metal (and FYI, Star Bar opens at noon and will have many other delicious beers on tap, including stuff from Evil Twin, Stillwater Artisan Ales and Jolly Pumpkin).
Here are a few of the collaborative beers that you can try this week:
New Belgium/Cigar City At noon Thursday, October 10, Freshcraft will tap the New Belgium/Cigar City beer, an 8.5 percent ABV concoction made with Anaheim and Marash chile peppers. There will be plenty of other beers from both breweries on hand, including New Belgium's Le Terroir and Cigar City's Humidor Series IPA and Stiftung Berlinerweisse.
Oskar Blues/White Buffalo On October 11 and 12, head to Sculpture Park, where Oskar Blues will host a two-day music and beer festival called FBAG -- or Fuh-CAN Beer and Guitars -- to celebrate beers and raise money to help victims of the recent floods. OB brewed a collaboration beer with the musician White Buffalo to celebrate his new album, Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways. The beer, White Buffalo West Coast IPA, will be flowing both days; you can also find it at Stoney's, Lucky Pie, Rackhouse Pub, Freshcraft, Historians Ale House, Ale House at Amato's, The Hornet, Blake Street Tavern and Star Bar.
Denver Beer Co/Saranac/Rahr/Pizza Port/Telluride Also on tap October 11: Denver Beer Co has collaborated on a new beer with four other breweries -- New York's Saranac, California's Pizza Port, Rahr & Sons in Texas and Telluride Brewing. To celebrate, Denver Beer Co will shut down Platte Street from 3 to 9 p.m. for live music, a tapping of all four beers and a Collaboration Celebration party.
Black Shirt/Dunedin Black Shirt Brewing will also tap a collaboration beer on Friday that it brewed with Florida's Dunedin Brewing in August; the crew from Dunedin drove a mobile, seven-barrel brewhouse across the country to do it. The collab came about because BSB's assistant brewer used to work at Dunedin, which will have staff on hand to chat about the beer -- a hoppy, red, farmhouse-style beer brewed with grapefruit peel, Belgian yeast and exotic hops -- called Blood of the Road.
New Belgium/Wicked Weed New Belgium and Wicked Weed Brewing of Asheville, North Carolina, will host a GABF after-party at the Hi-Dive starting at 9 p.m. on October 11, featuring and beer and live music from A. Tom Collins, Ark Life and the Yawpers (GABF ticket holders get in free). The bar will tap a collaboration beer from the two breweries for the first time.
Back in March, Durango's Ska Brewing headed to Washington, D.C. to put together a collaboration beer with DC Brau and a DC Ska band, The Pietasters. Last month, DC Brau traveled to Durango to brew a second collaborative effort that will be tapped on October 11 during a party and concert with the Pietasters at the Marquis Theater in Denver. Taster's Choice is a doppelbock made with coffee from a Durango roaster. Both Ska and DC Brau beers will be pouring from multiple taps, and the beer will be available in cans for a short time only in Colorado.
Upslope/Crooked Stave There is also a collaboration beer brewed by Crooked Stave and Upslope that was tapped earlier this week at Backcountry Pizza in Boulder. It's unclear if the Brett Belgian Pale Ale will also be tapped at other locations during the week.
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