Beer Man

The Great American Beer Festival Week 2014 Calendar of Events

The Great American Beer Festival will welcome nearly 50,000 people to the Colorado Convention Center October 2 through October 4, along with an astounding 3,500 beers from 726 breweries, making it the biggest and best sudstravaganza in the world. Tickets sold out months ago (although you can find them online if you're willing to spend some extra dough), but that doesn't mean you can't get your craft-beer vibe on in Denver and its environs. Starting on Saturday, September 27 and continuing for ten days, breweries, bars, restaurants and other venues up and down the Front Range will host beer dinners, concerts, parties, special tappings, bar crawls, meet-and-greets, smaller festivals and classes that should thrill every beer lover -- from near and far.

Here is our guide to GABF-related events, a list that we will be updating on a weekly -- and probably daily -- basis as new activities are planned and introduced. Cheers!

See also: Nearly 1,400 breweries register for GABF, 81 percent higher than last year

Friday, September 26

Photographer Patrick Andrade and RELIC studios will debut the photography show, Beer Boom, tonight at 5 p.m. with an opening reception in the newly renovated upstairs space at the Wynkoop Brewing Company. For the past several months, Andrade, a former war photographer, has been photographing Denver area brewers and breweries using the Wet Plate Collodion process - or Tintype - process that was introduced in 1850s and is familiar from historic photos of soldiers, presidents and outlaws of that era. The resulting works will be displayed on extra large, museum-quality canvas prints made from the Tintypes. Fourteen breweries participated in photo shoots, including Wit's End, Station 26, Renegade, Cerebral, Black Shirt, Grandma's House, Wynkoop, Great Divide, TRVE, Caution, Strange, Copper Kettle, Dry Dock and Former Future.

Ernie's Bar & Pizza will load up 27 of its taps from nine different breweries today starting at 11 a.m. for an event running into GABF week that is called the Grass Roots of Beer. Each of the breweries will bring one of the flagships that help get them started, as well as a few specialties. They include: Chocolate Stout, Red Banchie Ruby American Ale and Dobblebock from Boulder Beer; Escape to Colorado IPA, Blue Ski Lager and Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing; Little Mo Porter, First Cast IPA and Apis IV from Elevation Beer Company; West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red and Double Stout from California's Green Flash; Glyder Cider and Grass Hoppa from Colorado Cider Company; Redacted Rye IPA, Hypocrisy Pale Stout and Consilium Pale Ale from Renegade Brewing; Hoppy Boy, Raspberry Wheat and La Petite Saison from Twisted Pine; Amber, Scenic Kolsch, Peach IPA and Neomexicanus Pale Ale from Crazy Mountain; 3 Philosophers, Hennepin Belgian Style Saison and Hop House from Ommegang.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill will feature $10 flights of New Belgium beers today from 3 to 6 p.m. and give drinkers a chance to win tickets to the October 4 session of GABF. The beers include Snapshot, Trippel, Hop the Poind, Tour de Fall, Salted Chocolate and Fat Tire.

Verboten Brewing in Loveland will release two barrel-aged versions of its GABF Pro-Am beer, Crossroads Scottish Wee Heavy, at 3 p.m. today. The first was aged in a Blue Corn Bourbon Barrel, the second in a Rye Whiskey Barrel. Try tasters of the original and two barrel versions for $7 today through October 3, while supplies last.

Saturday, September 27

The Falling Rock Taphouse will kick off GABF week a little early this year with a Fresh Hop Festival co-hosted by the Colorado Brewers Guild and Imbibe Denver. Running from noon to 4 p.m., the fest will feature more than 25 fresh- or wet-hopped beers from Colorado and elsewhere. Fresh-hopped beers are made by adding hop cones that have been harvested in the previous 24 hours, giving them a slightly different, more earthy flavor. Falling Rock used to host a fresh-hop festival in late October in conjunction with Oregon's Deschutes Brewing, but that changed last year when Deschutes moved its fest elsewhere and the Guild stepped in. Some of the participants include Black Bottle, Black Sky, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge, Copper Kettle, Crazy Mountain, Dad & Dude's, Elevation, Fate, Great Divide, Grist, Kannah Creek, Our Mutual Friend, Pateros Creek, Station 26, Strange Craft, Telluride Brewing, The Old Mine, Tommyknocker, West Flanders and Wynkoop. Tickets are $40 when purchased in advance at A portion of proceeds benefits the Guild.

Hops & Pie will celebrate its fourth anniversary today beginning at noon with a tap takeover by Avery Brewing that features Pumpkyn, Uncle Jacob's, Bad Apple, Beast, Chai Brown, Kaiser, Gorde, Lilikoi, 5 Monks, Rufus Corvus, Obscuro, Uberschwein.

River North Brewery will introduce J. Maria (Tequila Barrel Aged) in the taphouse and for sale in bottles today at 1 p.m. It's the brewery's signature farmhouse ale aged in artisan tequila barrels. "Notes of pepper, citrus and cinnamon balance the malty backbone of classic J. Marie, creating the perfect mix of sweet and spicy," the brewery says about the 10.2 percent ABV beer. "No lime or salt required." River North bottled 135 cases; they cost $15 with a limit of three.

Green. Beer. Fest. takes place from 2 to 10 p.m. today in the Boulder Bandshell, at 1212 Canyon Boulevard in Boulder. Formerly known as the Frack Free Brew Festival, the event mixes politics and beer and features live music and living exhibits that highlight ways to save the world. Admission is free, but it's $30 in advance for a beer pass and $40 at the door.

Dorchester Social Eatery and Rooftop Lounge will host the Fort Collins Brewing Company Beer Brunch today featuring Bernard, a 22-ounce Belgian Style Dubbel and Major Tom's, a 16-ounce American Wheat paired with chef Michel Wahaltere's Charuterie, Croque Madame, Grilled Nutella Sandwich and Brussels Waffle.

Odell Brewing in Fort Collins continues its week-long 25th anniversary celebration today with several beer tappings and food truck pairings from Jax Fish House, Common Link, and Taco Stop. Featured beers include 90 Shilling, IPA, Gramps and Mountain Standard.

The culinary team at newly-revamped Boone's Tavern have teamed up with Boulder Beer for a four-course collaborative beer brunch with Boulder Beer at Boone's Tavern today at 11 a.m. The menu includes: Chorizo jalapeño puff roll with arugula salad, paired with Buffalo Gold Golden Ale; poached egg, grilled artisanal bread, bacon fig jam, and pico de gallo with Sweaty Betty Blonde; frog in a pond, crispy pancetta, sweet tomato chutney, and pesto powder with Dragonhosen Märzen; white chocolate mousse, fresh berry compote, and sponge cake with Shake Chocolate Porter. Tickets are $35 per person. Call 720-961-0320 t reserve a spot.

Sunday, September 28

Avery Brewing will release Rumpkin today at 1 p.m. at its Boulder taproom. This monstrous pumpkin ale was aged in rum barrels and weighs in at 16 percent ABV. The taproom will open at 11 a.m. and be pouring rare beers for people in line. Twelve-ounce bottles of this annual release are $12 each.

Odell Brewing continues its 25th anniversary celebration today with an Oktoberfest party in the Fort Collins taproom. In addition to the release of its Oktoberfest beer, there will be a pig roast (free with purchase of Oktoberfest beer for first 100 people), Common Link selling Oktoberfest-themed foods and live music from The Constant Tourists.

Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs will host a pre-sale for its ever-popular Venetucci Pumpkin Ale today from noon to 6 p.m. "Each year both the pre-sale and the release party have a cult following, resulting in lines from the Bristol Pub clear out the door to the street. This year, fans will be allowed to reserve four bottles of the ale, one more than in years preceding," the brewery says.

Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse is hosting an insane Sour Sunday lineup today featuring more than 25 sour beers on tap from the likes of Cantillion (in Belgium), Russian River, The Bruery, Firestone Walker, New Belgium, Almanac, Crooked Stave and many more. There will also be bottles from Cantillon and others. Go to Backcountry's Facebook page for detailed info.

Monday, September 29

Falling Rock will jump start GABF week with its seventeenth annual Great American Beer Festival kickoff party. Denver's patriarch of craft beer bars will tap a variety of brews, including special kegs and one-offs, starting at 5 p.m. Be there early to get a good spot for watching the beer clock count down to zero.

Speaking of Falling rock, Upslope Brewing will begin pouring a collaboration beer, Southern Hemisphere Rye Pale Ale, at 5 p.m. there. Upslope will also tap the beer at both of its Boulder breweries.

Cheba Hut in Denver will host a Colorado Craft Brew Kickoff Party for GABF starting at 6 p.m. and featuring a collaboration beer between Golden's Cannonball Creek and Call to Arms Brewing, which will open next year on Tennyson Street. The beer, Peace & Assist, is a Belgian farmhouse ale brewed with hibiscus, pink peppercorns, and cardamom, and fermented with a brett/Dupont yeast blend.

Strange Craft Beer Company will tap Barrel-Aged Strange Tail tonight. It will also host the Cheese Peddler for a cheese-and-beer paring featuring five of each for $30 at 6 p.m.

Freshcraft will host Breckenridge Brewery, which will raffle off tickets to the Karl Denson Show later in the week, and give away shwag starting at 7 p.m. On draft will be 471 Over the Moon, BA Cherry Oatmeal Stout, and Mango Mosaic Pale Ale.

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will be tapping a different beer each day this week in honor of GABF. Today's is Blackberry Dark Origins at noon.

The Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru Tasting Tour will stop in town today and stay through the Great American Beer Festival; Denver is the third stop on this twelve-city tour in which Boston Beer Company is showcasing its latest passion project, Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru, a Belgian-style ale that was aged in Hungarian oak tuns for two years and fermented with micro-organisms found in the Barrel Room at the brewery. The beer debuted in August in San Diego at the Beer Bloggers Conference, and will be available on draft in Denver this week. The brewery will announce the bars that will serve the beer on its website.

Loveland Aleworks will be tapping numerous specialty small-batch beers every day of the week this week, and will have two distinct sour beers on tap at all times and possibly more. Some of the beers will include a chocolate coconut porter, soarachi Ace IPA, and Jasmin Tripel. The brewery will also make a strong showing in the convention center at GABF, pouring American Sour ale with Raspberries, Belgian Dubbel, Coconut Porter, IPA, Hefeweizen, and Baltic Porter.

Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder will host a night dedicated to the breweries distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans. Beers on tap include: Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, Imperial Doughnut Break, I Love You With My Stout; Perennial Artisan Ales The Last Word and Funky Wit; Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine 2014; Stillwater A Saison Darkly; Off Color Brewing Apex Predator; Crooked Stave Surette; Jackie O's Brick Kiln Barleywine; Breakside Passionfruit Sour Ale and Aztec Ale; Oakshire Pumpkin Porter and Pumpkin Maricaibo Especial 2012.

Tuesday, September 30

Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery will re-release First Descent Old Ale, a 15.5 percent whopper of a beer today at the taproom. The brewery will release several other rare beers over the course of the week.

Renegade Brewing will tap a Rye Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hammer & Sickle (Russian Imperial Stout) today at 6 p.m.

Star Bar will tap a sixtel of Peace & Assist today at 4 p.m., a collaboration between Golden's Cannonball Creek and Call to Arms Brewing, which will open next year on Tennyson Street. The beer, Peace & Assist, is a Belgian farmhouse ale brewed with hibiscus, pink peppercorns, and cardamom, and fermented with a brett/Dupont yeast blend. The crew from Call to Arms will be there at 6 p.m.

Colorado Plus Brewpub in Wheat Ridge will host the Women of Colorado Craft Beer Calendar Release Party today from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Copper Penny Photography and the and the women who posed for the Pinups will be on hand. Calendars are $20 each, and you can get them signed by all thirteen model/brewery employees.

The Vine Street Pub and Brewery is hosting it's annual Brewer's Dinner today to celebrate GABF. Chef David Lawrence and head brewer John Fiorilli will show off their culinary and creative chops by pairing eclectic dishes with barrel-aged beers. In addition to testing the pairings, Lawrence has gone into the brewery and grabbed some brewing ingredients to cook with. So, for instance, "instead of just throwing some Pale Ale into a cheese and beer soup, look for hop infused lemon granita, or a show stopper dessert that features Heritage malted Barley as the topping for a locally sourced pear crisp," the brewery says. In the meantime, the beers will include two different blended sour barrel-aged beers will accompany duck prepared two ways. There will also be an Oktoberfest paired with the brown butter vinaigrette drizzled over the roots and radish first course. The dinner, limited to forty people, costs $60 per person and requires advanced purchase.

Stone Brewing will be among more than twenty breweries participating in the 2014 Paramount Café Beer Festival today from 5 to 8 p.m. One hundred percent of the proceeds from beer sales will be donated to the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association. Stone beers available will include Stone Enjoy By 10.31.14 IPA and 2013 Stone Old Guardian OAK-SMOKED Barley Wine.

Upslope Brewing in Boulder will release its GABF-award-winning Pumpkin Ale today with a party in its Flatiron Park tap room. Although the beer will start flowing at 11 a.m. the official party runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and includes live music from Alex Maryol and food by Heirloom food truck. Four-packs of the sixteen-ounce cans will return to shelves this week or next.

Hops & Pie will also focus on Upslope today, tapping a collaboration beer that they two entities brewed together. Plum & Cardamom Saison, plus other Upslope beers, will be on tap all day at the restaurant, in addition to the Upslope's two Boulder taprooms.

Freshcraft will host New Belgium Brewing today at 7 p.m. along with reps from its barrel program. Beers in tap include: NBB Love Blackberry, Transatlantique Kriek, The Odd Couple, Fat Tire, Tour De Fall. Snapshot.

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will tap a different beer each day this week in honor of GABF. Today's is Surette Reserva at noon.

Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder will have beers from Melvin Brewing in Jackson, Wyoming, and Comrade Brewing, here in Denver, on tap. They include: Melvin Morris DIPA, FYM DIPA, Hubert; and Comrade Super Power IPA; Fresh Hopped Super Power IPA, and Donny.

Jake's Brew Bar in Littleton kicks off GABF week by tapping a host of beers distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans. They include Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Doughnut, Evil Twin Femme Fatale Kobosu, Stillwater Autumnal, Stillwater Folklore, Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin and Almanac IPA Hop Bomb. And when those tap out, Jake's will dig into Evil Twin Love You With All My Stout, Almanac Dark Pumpkin Sour, Almanac Cerise Sour and Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break. Also, Gnar Dogz will be out back serving food. The beers tap at 5 p.m.

Former Future Brewing will hold a beer-and-empenada pairing today at 7 p.m. featuring four beers and grub from Maria Empanada. Tickets are $18 and they can be purchased in the taproom or by calling 720-441-4253).

Strange Craft Beer Company will tap its fresh-hopped IPA today, called Fresh-Hopped 1,000 Barrels Heather's Ale. A portion of the proceeds will go to a cancer charity.

Verboten Brewing in Loveland will release and sell bomber bottles of Night Has Fallen, a blended barrel-aged American sour. Bombers will be available starting at 1 p.m. Buy two bottles and take home a free logo glass.

Fort Collins Brewery will invade Denver's Lower 48 Kitchen today from 5 to 8:30 p.m. for a GABF kickoff party featuring six beers paired with small plates.

Chain Reaction Brewing will tap a series of collaboration beers this week in honor of the Great American Beer Festival. Today's is with Black Sky Brewing. The Rolling Italian food truck will also be in the house.

Barrels & Bottles Brewery in Golden will host a tap takeover from 5 to 10 p.m. by the breweries distributed by Crooked Stave Artisans. The fifteen brews on tap include: Crooked Stave Origins and Batch 100; Almanac Strawberry Sour and Dark Pumpkin Sour; Prairie Cherry Funk; Evil Twin Yin, Yang and Imperial Biscotti Break; Perennial Abraxas and IPA #8;Stillwater Of Love & Regret and A Saison Darkly; Local Option Die Konigen; Off Color Troublesome; and Gigantic IPL.

Star Bar will bring back its Beer Rep Karaoke and GABF kickoff party tonight staring at 9 p.m. where beer-industry reps, um, sing. There will be lots of great beer on tap, including rare offerings from Firestone Walker and Stone, including 2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Passion Project and Matt's Burning Rosids Imperial Cherrywood-Smoked Saison w/Sour Cherries & Apple Blossoms.

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

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