The Great American Beer Festival is the biggest and best sudstravaganza in the world. This year, the sold-out fiesta will take place October 10-12 and feature 626 breweries pouring an astounding 3,159 beers. But GABF is just the start.
Beginning on Monday, and continuing all week, breweries, bars, restaurants and other venues up and down the Front Range will be pulling out all the stops, hosting beer dinners, parties, special tappings, bar crawls, meet-and-greets, smaller festivals, classes and a few hangovers that should provide even the nerdiest beer nerds with everything they could possibly need -- especially if they missed out on tickets to the main event.
Here is our list of GABF-week events, a list that we will be updating on a weekly -- and probably daily -- basis as new activities are planned and introduced. Cheers!
Sunday, October 6
Hops & Pie will host a special GABF edition of its monthly Littlest Big Beer Fest today starting at 2 p.m. with beers from Firestone Walker, including 2012 Double DBA, 2013 Double DBA, Merkin and several other rarities.
Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder will put on Sour Sunday starting at 1 p.m. and featuring sour beers from from Crooked Stave, Jolly Pumpkin, the Bruery, Black Bottle, Loveland Ale Works, Avery, New Belgium, Trinity, Firestone Walker, Russian River, Perennial, Evil Twin and Prairie Ales.
Monday, October 7
Falling Rock hosts a GABF Kick-Off Party every year on the Monday before the Great American Beer Festival, and this year is no different. The grand-daddy of the Denver craft beer bars will count down on its GABF clock, and when the digital numbers hit zero, at 5:30 p.m. today, Falling Rock owner Chris Black will tap some of the beers from his cellar that he has been saving just for this occasion. Details TBA.
Ernie's Bar & Pizza will be tapping GABF award-winning beers as well as beer that will be found at the festival all week. This year, the joint is focusing on barrel-aged beers, sours and "beers that GABF doesn't have a category for." Flights will be available.
Odell Brewing will take over the taps at Marco's Coal Fired Pizzeria all week with eight beers from the Fort Collins brewery, including some standards like 90 Shilling, IPA and 5 Barrel, as well as seasonals like Isolation Ale, Myrcenary Double IPA and Mountain Standard Black IPA, and a new one, Wellspring Saison.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton will debut The Beer Diaries Season 2 today at 7 p.m. and then at 9:30 p.m. (More episodes will be show at the same times tomorrow). The web show is focusing entirely on Colorado breweries this year. Tickets are available on the Alamo Drafthouse website for $16. They include three beers from the breweries being highlighted and chance to talk with brewery reps.
Barrels & Bottles Brewery, which just opened in Golden will host a tap takeover by California's Mad River Brewing today at 5 p.m. with eight beers, five of them limited releases.
Tuesday, October 8
Black Shirt Brewing will host a party for 1400 Miles today from 5 to 9 p.m. The fourteen-day ride, from Austin, Texas, to Denver, was filmed for a documentary and is part of an effort to raise money for prostate cancer research. There will be food from two Colorado chefs, as well as beer from Black Shirt and the Beerliner, a refurbished 1974 bus (complete with four beer taps, three video screens and a commercial kitchen) that has been picking up rare craft beers during the journey and plans to share them.
Beers Made By Walking, a program that invites brewers to make beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks, will return for its second annual GABF week event today from 5 to 8 p.m. upstairs at Wynkoop Brewing. The unusual and innovative program began in Colorado Springs in 2011 as a way of "inspiring others, through beer, to look at our local landscapes in fresh and community-minded ways." Since then, it has expanded to Oregon and Washington. This event includes beers made by seventeen different breweries, each of which sent employees on a different walk and made a beer based on what they found. You'll get to taste a portrait of Boulder's historic Chautauqua Park, the Palmer Lake Reservoir Trail in Colorado Springs, a beer inspired by a neighborhood stroll in Denver, and many others. Boulder Beer, Crooked Stave, Elevation Beer Company, Fate Brewing, Grimm Brothers, Mountain Sun Pub, New Belgium, Our Mutual Friend with Cerebral Brewing, Paradox Beer Company, Phantom Canyon, Pikes Peak, Strange Brewing, Three Barrel, Twisted Pine, Wit's End, Wynkoop and the Yak & Yeti. Tickets, available the day of the event at the Wynkoop, are $30 for unlimited samples, and proceeds will be donated to the Cottonwood Institute in Denver.
The Rackhouse Pub will hold Sensory Training 101 class today from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with Scott Kerkmans, a lead judge at GABF, certified Cicerone and creator of Colorado Craft Beer Week. For $35, he'll educate you on palate development, flavor recognition, style guidelines, and overall beer enjoyment. Limited to first 60 participants.
Tim Myers of Strange Brewing and Chris Hill of Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada are in double trouble. They've both been brewing a Scotch ale called Caber Toss and selling it out of their respective breweries. But instead of fighting about it, the two breweries will host a taste-off as a way to show how breweries can work out trademark battles without going to court. Both beers will be tapped at two locations, Colorado Plus Brewpub in Wheatridge and Black Sky Brewery in Denver, at 5 p.m. today. Drinkers will vote, and the loser has to wear a t-shirt advertising the other brewery.
Barrels & Bottles, which just opened in Golden will host a tap takeover at 5 p.m. by Schmaltz Brewing, including ten beers, including many anniversary Jewbelations.
Alaskan Brewing will take over the tap at Stoney's Bar and Grill at 7 p.m. and offer vintage beer tasting 2008 Smoked Porter and 2009 Baltic Porter. Food will be paired with the beer.
Euclid Hall will be the site of an epic collaboration dinner between California's Firestone Walker, local distillery Leopold Bros. and the gang from Euclid Hall today at 7 p.m. The pre-GABF event features eight course paired with special beers and spirits. Tickets, $100, can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com. Representatives from Firestone Walker and Leopold Bros will be on hand to delve into the complexities of their beverages and offer behind-the-scenes info for attendees. The menu: Welcome beer: Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pilsner Course 1: Leopold Bros. New Release; Oysters, vanilla lime granita. Course 2: Firestone Walker Pale 31 and Leopold Bros. American Orange liqueur Beer Cocktail; Salmon Tartare with Leopold Bros. Silver Tree vodka and American Orange liqueur vinaigrette. Course 3: Firestone Walker Double Jack; Eggplant wrapped tallegio, milles de pain, oregano tomato vinaigrette, garlic chips. Course 4: Leopold Bros. spirit intermezzo; Fruit whiskey toast. Course 5: Firestone Walker DBA and Double DBA; Pheasant, roasted breast and confit leg, caramelized squash, frissée, sherry vinaigrette. Course 6: Firestone Walker Wookey Jack and Leopold Bros. Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur beer cocktail; Juniper-rubbed Venison Haunch, creamy farro, demi bordelaise mounted with bone marrow. Course 7: Firestone Walker Parabola; Candied Almond-Crusted Bleu, frangipane tuille, almond rockets, red wine, quatre-epices sauce Course 8: Leopold Bros. Fernet Leopold; Spumoni and amaretti ice cream.
Beer glass maker Spiegelau will host a Beer Connoisseur Tasting Seminar today at 2 p.m. at Falling Rock, with tips on how the glassware you use changes our enjoyment of beer. The event, held downstairs, has limited seating, and tickets go on sale starting September 14 at 10 a.m. The Seminar includes a four-piece Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Glass Set (retail value $50) including the new IPA glass (a joint project of Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada and Spiegelau) released earlier this year.
Enjoy a night of barleywines at Renegade Publik House tonight beginning at 6 p.m., when the pub will feature twelve different barleywines from around the country. Tickets to One Flew Over the Barleywine are $25 and get you unlimited tastings.
Falling Rock will tap Trinity Brewing's Red Swingline tonight at 7 p.m.
Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder will be pouring two rare collaboration beers tonight at 6 p.m.: Nøgne Ø/Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter, and Crooked Stave/Upslope Brett Belgian Pale Ale.
Vine Street Pub will host its annual Brewer's Dinner today at 6 p.m., featuring six courses highlighting local and organic Colorado foods paired with six special release Mountain Sun brews that you won't find on our usual tap wall (hint hint, check out their cellar). Tickets, $60, are on sale now at Vine Street, Mountain Sun, Southern Sun, and Under the Sun. The dinner typically sells out.
Star Bar will get the juices flowing at 8 p.m. tonight with a GABF Orientation Party and beer-rep Karaoke Cup. Beer are: Stone The Tiger Cub Saison, Imperial Russian Stout aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey Barrels, Grapefruit Slam, Oaked and Toasted Arrogant Bastard; Lefthand Fade to Black Volume 3; Breckenridge Rum Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout with Cherries; Ska Hoperation Ivy, Autumnal Mole Stout; Firestone Walker Helldorado, Sucaba 12 (bottles); Alaskan Smoked Porter 10; Great Divide Peach Grand Cru, Barrel Aged Belgian Yeti; Dogfish Head Birra Etrusca Bronze, Noble Rot. The Karaoke starts at 9 p.m.
Wednesday, October 9
Falling Rock will spend the day tapping beers that aren't normally found in Colorado. They include: Houston, Texas-based St. Arnold, which just began distributing in Colorado, at 3 p.m.; and San Francisco's Speakeasy Ales and Lages, which just did the same, at 4 p.m. And then, after the GABF session, you'll find Sun King beers at 9 p.m.; Cigar City brews at 10 p.m., including Jai Alai four ways; and Schmaltz at 11 p.m.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will release its latest beer, Origins Batch #2, at 11 a.m. today at its brand taproom inside The Source. The beer is an homage to Flanders-style reds and the history of barrel aging. There will be a six-bottle limit and bottles will be sold on a first-come first-served basis.
Lucky Pie Pizza in LoDo continues its GABF Kickoff week by tapping six beers from San Diego's Green Flash Brewing: Genius Lab New Zealand Single Hop, part of an experimental series from the brewery; Barrel-Aged Barleywine, a version of Green Flash's barleywine aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for a year; 30th Street Pale Ale, a dry-hopped pale ale usually only available in San Diego; Treasure Chest Belgian Brown, which raises money to fight breast cancer; Green Bullet Triple IPA; and Saison Diego. There will also be four special beers on tap from fellow San Diego brewer, Stone.
The Rackhouse Pub brings back its GABF Beer School this year. The first confirmed session is today from 4 to 6 p.m. when Avery Brewing Company Barrel Herder Andy Parker will be teaching class on Gestalt Theory: Blending a Barrel-Aged Sour Beer. Parker "shares his philosophy and approach to blending an Avery barrel-aged sour ale. By deconstructing the beer into its component parts and taking you through the thought process behind countless blending sessions, Parker will demonstrate how he came to the final beer, a blended sour that is greater than the sum of its parts." Tickets are $45. Get more info on the Rackhouse website.
Hops & Pie will tap several special beers from breweries not normally seen in Colorado, along with some that are, today beginning at 11:30 a.m. Breweries include Perennial, Jester king, Jolly Pumpkin, Prairie Artisan Ales and Crooked Stave.
Star Bar will be the scene of collaboration beer tapping from TRVE Brewing and Ninkasi Brewing, which banged their heads together to create Hell Patrol, an 8 percent ABV double British IPA with American hops. The keg taps at 8 p.m., and El Brian will be spinning classic metal. But 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.
Barrels & Bottles, which just opened in Golden will host a tap takeover today at 5 p.m. by New York's Ommegang, which will feature eleven beers include the most recent beers brewed in honor of the HBO series, "Game of Thrones."
Join Master Cicerone Rich Higgins -- one of only a handful in the country -- for a five-course beer dinner tonight at 6 p.m. at Mizuna. Higgins will pair two beers beer, one from each side of the Atlantic, with a dish designed by executive chef Stephen McCary. The dinner costs $95 per person.
Copper Kettle Brewing will tap a firkin of White Stout today. The beer is named for when strong beers where always called stouts, just because of their ABV and not their color. Ckrepes will be serving food at 4 p.m.
For the third year in a row, Oskar Blues Brewery is offering three days of its highly-acclaimed Oskar Blues Ordeal, a series of all-day bus trips and behind-the-scenes adventures at the brewery's various locations in Boulder County. Today's adventure, the Oskar Blues Ordeal and Hops and Heifers Barn Burner Pig Roast, runs from 11 a.m., when the bus will pick you up in Denver at Falling Rock Taphouse, and end at 9 p.m. when it drops you back off. In between, you'll stop at CHUBurger for Ten FIDY Handshakes and at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids for a cajun-style lunch and two OB beers. Then you'll head to the brewery and the Tasty Weasel taproom for a tour and more beers. But the main event takes place at Hops and Heifers Farm, where there will be "live music, plenty of food, specialty beers, a bonfire and ridiculously awesome views of the Flatirons from 5 to 8 p.m." Tickets are $100 per person. Reserve them at eventbrite.
New Belgium Brewing and Leopold Brothers distillery will crash down on Root Down tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a cocktail dinner, featuring beers, cocktails and beer cocktails. Staffers from both companies will be on hand to bring knowledge. Make reservations by calling Root Down at 303-993-4200.
OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder will put on a GABF-related beer dinner tonight featuring a pork-centric menu produced by Chef Steve Redzikowski and beer from Oskar Blues and Los Angeles's Golden Road. Oak co-owner Bryan Dayton will guide attendees through the menu, along with reps from each brewery. The diner is $65 (plus tax and gratuity) and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 303-444-3622.
SOLD OUT Sample some "freakishly exotic rare beer from your favorite Colorado breweries" at the Rackhouse Pub's 2013 Colorado Rare Beer Tasting, an event it has been holding since 2011. Last year's tasting featuring rare beers from more than twenty breweries and this one should be the same (the details are TBA). Tickets, $35, entitle you to unlimited samples, a buffet and a chance to win prizes. The tasting runs from 6 to 9 p.m.
The Rialto Cafe Brewer's Alley Beer Fest takes place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and includes beers from Upslope, and delicious food pairings. Entrance is in the alleyway off of 16th Street Mall between Curtis and Champa streets. Event is $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased at: brewersalley.eventbrite.com.
River North Brewery will have B-Side Quandary -- a barrel-aged version of its Belgian Quadrupel, aged in bourbon barrels with cherries -- alongside Rum Barrel Quandary, which was aged in Jamaican rum barrels. They'll be available side-by-side, so you can taste how a barrel can change a beer. First pours at 1 p.m.
The Business of Fun and Crafting A Nation Present Beyond The Beer Craft Beer Showcase today at Battery 621. It's designed to "provide beer enthusiasts with insight on what makes the craft beer industry tick beyond the hops. Expert panel discussion kicks off the night focusing on supporting industries such as cycling, sustainable agriculture, design, film and legislature that gives brewers the freedoms to provide customers with the products we love. Expert panelists include: Dale Katechis of Oskar Blues, Davis Tucker of NXNW, Amanda Johnson King of Odell Brewing, and Paul Evers of TBD Creative. This panel discussion will also be broadcasted live via Google+." After the panel, more than 25 breweries will be pouring beers that they say can't be found anywhere else in Denver during the week of GABF. Check Facebook for updates. Doors for the panel (limited to 100 people) open at 5 p.m. The full event runs from 8 p.m. to Midnight; tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.
Ace Eat Serve will host a Left Hand Brweing Tap Takeover & 32 Brewery Ping Pong tournament today at 8:30 p.m.
Freshcraft will tap a beer tonight at 7 p.m. that it brewed in conjunction with Alex Violette of Boulder's Upslope Brewing. Described as a "silky smooth Oatmeal Brown Ale," the beer was aged in an Appleton Estate Rum barrel for six months. Upslope reps will be in the house to talk about it and to tap their GABF Gold Medal winning Pumpkin Ale, along with their Imperial IPA, Craft Lager and more.
World of Beer in Glendale will host a a Barrel Aged competition today featuring one beer a piece from 25 of the best breweries in the country including a Port Barrel Aged Deviant Dales (only one of two kegs made), Goose Island Lolita, Firestone Walker Parabola, Odell Fernet, and about 25 others. Details TBA.
Chef and brewer Ian Clark will lead a tour of his new Boulder brewery and restaurant, BRU Handbuilt Ales, today at 6 p.m. Guests will sample five beers and try some small bites from the kitchen. Tickets are $20. Call 720-638-5193 for reservations.
Thursday, October 10
Lauren Salazar, New Belgium's sensory Jedi, wood-cellar manager and specialty brand manager, will teach two sour beer symposiums today upstairs at Euclid Hall. Session one runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and costs $65 (buy tickets here). Session two, also $65, runs from 1:30 to 4 p.m. "This workshop is a once in a lifetime experience and have been held in cities such as Chicago, Asheville, Portland, San Diego, and Washington D.C. Spaces are limited and both sessions will sell out," according to Euclid Hall.
Crooked Stave will release a bottled beer at 11 a.m. today at its brand-new brewery at the Source. L'Brett d'Or is a golden sour aged in oak barrels. There is a six-bottle limit and it will be sold on a first-come first-served basis.
The Country Malt Group and Black Shirt Brewing Company are hosting a party from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight to celebrate a beer they concocted together. The special Sticke Alt uses the new Best Malz RedX, and food will be skillfully prepared by renowned Chef Bill Greenwood using Denver based Tender Belly Pork purveyed products. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oskar Blues continues its series of all-day Oskar Blues Ordeal bus adventures today with a tour that picks you up at 8 a.m. at Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver and lasts til 4 p.m., when the bus drops you back off in time for the first GABF session. The tour starts at the OB Grill & Brew brewpub in Lyons for steak-and-egg breakfast burritos and Coffee Stout and a tour. From there, you'll head for Hops and Heifers Farm for another tour and 19.2-ounce cans of Dale's Pale Ale and Mama's Little Yella Pils. A barbecue lunch (and more beer) follows at Homemade Liquids and Solids, along with a VIP tour of the brewery. Ticket are $75 and available at eventbrite.com.
Here's Falling Rock's tapping schedule for today: Rogue at 1 p.m.; Boulder Beer at 2 p.m.; Lagunitas at 3 p.m.; and a special meet-and-greet at 4 p.m. with the authors of four new beer books. They are: The Pocket Beer Guide by Stephen Beaumont; The Complete Beer Course by Joshua M. Bernstein; California Breweries North by Jay R. Brooks; and The American Craft Beer Cookbook by John Holl. Then, after the GABF session, you'll find: Oskar Blues at 10 p.m. with 1Nut Brown, Double Impact Belgian Strong Ale and A Fresh Hop; Alaskan at 11 p.m. with a Vertical of Smoked Porter on tap.
Stapleton Tap House will turn over some of its taps to River North Brewery tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. by offering a beer and cheese pairing with River North owner Matt Hess and Devin Lamma of Whole Foods. They'll be serving six beers paired with six cheeses. Tickets are $35 in advance and are available at River North or the Stapleton Taphouse.
Epic Brewing, which just opened its Denver taproom on September 28, will celebrate with the First 50 Firkin Fiasco, featuring fifty unique firkins "that highlight Epic's beer portfolio and the creativity of their brewers and cellar staff." And although ten of those firkins will be available in the taproom, which is open to the public, you'll have to buy a VIP pass for $55 to try the other forty. But you also get a t-shirt, glassware, logo goods and access to the brewery itself. The event runs all day from 3 to 11 p.m., and the brewery staff from Denver and Salt Lake City will be on hand to talk beer. Food vendors will be onsite. Buy your passes at http://50firkins.eventbrite.com. Some of the firkins that will be on hand include: Imperial IPA high krausened with Hopulent IPA and cask hopped with whole leaf Cascade, Imperial Red Ale with cocoa nibs, Utah Sage Saison with cracked black pepper corns, Brainless Golden Ale high krausened with Hopulent IPA and cask hopped with whole leaf Amarillo, Spiral Jetty with Chipotle Peppers, Imperial IPA with toasted coconut flakes, and Captn' Crompton's Pale Ale high krausened with Hopulent IPA and cask hopped with whole leaf Chinook.
Hops & Pie will tap several beers from Indiana's Sun King Brewing today at 11:30 a.m.; they include Pink Taco, Afternoon Delight, Oktoberfest, Cream Dream VI, Barrel Aged Timmie and 777.
At noon, Freshcraft will tap a beer brewed collaboratively by New Belgium and Florida's Cigar City; the 8.5 percent ABV concoction was made with Anaheim and Marash chile peppers. But 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, Cafe Americana (Imperial Stout) and Stiftung Berlinerweisse. Then, at 3 p.m. Freshcraft will welcome Boulevard Beer Company from Kansas City, who will tap Saison Brett, Mid Coast IPA, Pop Up IPA.
Osteria Marco will host a tap takeover by Mountain Sun Brewing today beginning at 11 a.m. It's rare to find Mountain Sun brews outside of the company's four Boulder and Denver pubs. All of Osteria Marco's taps will be given up to the brewery. In addition, Osteria and Elevation Brewing will hold a Hooves & Hops pork/beer dinner tonight at 6 p.m. Tickets are $45/person.
Freshcraft turns up the head after the GABF session with its Second Annual Ska Brewing. Peach St. Distillers GABF Week Party at 10:30 p.m. The three companies worked together to brew a new beer and create a barrel-aged cocktail. The beer is DaSkave de Fuego, a heavily hopped Extra Pale Ale infused with tropical fruit and habanero and aged in a Peach St D'Agave Gold barrel. "After the beer was transferred from the barrel we filled with DaSKAve Bam Bam - a cocktail made with more Peach St D'Agave and other great ingredients," Freshcraft adds. Other beverages in the house include: Cru D'etat, a Belgian specialty ale aged in oak foeders for nearly two years, Hoperation Ivy and Modus Hoperandi.
Lucky Pie LoDo will tap two Avery beers at 10 a.m. as part of its Breakfast with Avery Brewing. At 2 p.m., there will be a celebration of southern Colorado breweries with beers available from Elevation Beer Co., Telluride Brewing, Amicas Brewing, 3 Barrel Brewing and Pagosa Brewing. That evening, at 10 p.m., Lucky Pie will host a Lagunitas After Session party and giveaway some GABF passes.
Denver's TRVE Brewing will host a beer-and-heavy-metal festival tonight in the Summit Music Hall's Moon Room with three like-minded and acclaimed breweries from elsewhere in the country, Minnesota's Surly Brewing, Real Ale Brewing of Texas, Three Floyds of Indiana. It will be a good opportunity to drink beers that aren't normally available.
The 1Up will feature an unusual mini tap-takeover by four Chicago-area breweries that don't distribute in Denver. Haymarket Pub, Revolution Brewing, Half Acre Beer Company and Solemn Oath Brewer will all be pouring.
Star Bar and New Belgium will team up for a New Belgium throwdown after the GABF session, featuring several stashed Lips of Faith beers and live music.
Euclid Hall and Avery Brewing have hosted one of the hottest events of GABF week for the past two years, and they're bringing back the Midnight Breakfast at Euclid Hall for a third go-round this year -- but with a slight twist. The epic nine-course, late-night beer breakfast/pairing will be a sit-down event so that attendees don't have to fight one another for food and beer. Chef Jorel Piece is planning a menu that includes Hog Head Benedict, a Bloody Joe cocktail, Bad Apple, Fresh Fruit Ambrosia, Smoked Loch Duart gravlax, Caraway Bagel Holes, Lyonnaise potatoes, Braised Eggs and Brown Butter Shortbread, while Avery will be bringing some of its rarest beers, including Ross's's' Melange, Momi Hiwa, Tweak and the unreleased Thensaurum, a sour ale aged in rum barrels. Doors open at 10:45, following the end of the Thursday night GABF session, and the breakfast gets underway at 11. Tickets are $100 per person (tax and gratuity included) and are available at Brown Paper Tickets.
Rackhouse Pub will double its taps today through Sunday from thirty to sixty so that it can host Battle of the Barley, a curated list of the some of the best beers from the best breweries in both Colorado and California. The list is pretty stellar, so you're going to want to log onto the Rackhouse web site to check it out.
The Copper Kettle will be tapping four barrel-aged beers today that it submitted to GABF -- and you can vote for your favorite and the one that you think has the best chance of winning a medal (and which medal). If CK wins, you also win, although CK hasn't said what the prizes will be yet. Beers are: 2012 High Country Breakfast Stout, 2012 Bourbon Barrel English Barleywine, 2012 Bourbon Barrel Aged Double IPA, and 2013 Port Barrel Belgian Dark Strong. Dogtown Concessions will be in the house serving food at 4 p.m.
Great Divide takes over the taps at Row 14 Bistro all day today right across from the Colorado Convention Center. On tap: Fresh Hop Pale Ale, Hibernation Ale, Colette Farmhouse Ale and Hoss Rye Lager.
World of Beer in Glendale will be tapping some rare beers today, including several from Florida's Cigar City and the new Game of Thrones beer from Ommegang.
Friday, October 11
Hops & Pie will tap beers from Florida's Cigar City today at 11:30 a.m., including Jai Alai, Maduro Brown, Marshal Zhukov, Poblano Wit, Black Currant Berliner and Humidor Red.
Oskar Blues will host a two-day music and beer festival in Sculpture Park today and tomorrow called FBAG -- or Fuh-CAN Beer and Guitars -- in conjunction with the Love, Hope Strength foundation. OB brewed a collaboration beer with The White Buffalo to celebrate his new album, Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways. The beer, White Buffalo West Coast IPA, will be flowing both days at FBAG. He'll be headlining Friday night along with eighteen other local and national bands over the two days; today's include Interstate Stash Express, Bonnie and the Clyde's, Musketeer Gripweed and Jeff Brinkman. Oskar Blues will be releasing additional details on its Facebook page. One of the goals is to raise funds to help rebuild Lyons and Longmont in the wake the devastating floods there. (The beer can also be found around town at Stoney's Bar and Grill, Lucky Pie Pizza and Taphouse, Rackhouse Pub, Freshcraft, Historians Ale House. Ale House at Amato's, The Hornet, Blake Street Tavern and Star Bar.)
Oskar Blues continues its series of Ordeal events with the Ordeal and Gospel Brunch, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; tickets are $100. Board the bus at Falling Rock and take it to OB's Hops and Heifers Farm, where you'll begin the day by confessing your sins to OB's preacher among the hops rows on the farm and then chow down at a Southern-style brunch paired with specialty Oskar Blues beers and some "soul-saving live music." After that, you'll head to Homemade Liquids and Solids and then finish the trip with a VIP brewery tour of the Oskar Blues Brewery and Tasty Weasel Tap Room.
Falling Rock will once again host its annual Kill A Keg event with Sierra Nevada's Harvest Ale. The rules are simple: a 15.5-gallon keg and one person (probably Falling Rock owner Chris Black) filling glasses out of one tap. Last year's time? Nine minute and 36 seconds. But Falling Rock will tap many other beers today as well, including stuff from Boulevard at 1 p.m., Anderson Valley at 2 p.m., NoLi and 3 p.m., and Odell at 4.
After the GABF session, you can return to Falling Rock for more beer, including Stone at 10 p.m., Dogfish at 10:30 and the Fade to Black Vertical Tasting from Left Hand Brewing, at 11 p.m. Try all five of the brewerys' seasonal winter beer: Vol 1: Export Stout; Vol 2: Smoked Baltic Porter; Vol 3: Pepper Porter; Vol 4: Rocky Mountain Black Ale; and the brand new Vol 5: Black Rye Ale.
Oh, and at 9:30 p.m., Falling Rock will offer a Taste of the Windy City with one keg each from Haymarket Pub, Revolution Brewing, Half Acre Beer Company and Solemn Oath Brewer.
Last year, Denver Beer Co collaborated with New York's Saranac to create a beer, Continental Collide, that celebrated the mountain ranges in both states. This year, Denver Beer Co will amp things up by collaborating with four other breweries -- Saranac, California's Pizza Port and Rahr & Sons in Texas and Telluride Brewing. To celebrate, Denver Beer Co will shut down the street today from 3 to 9 p.m. for live music, a tapping of all four beers and a Collaboration Celebration party. The brewers will be in on hand to talk and answer questions at various tents on the street.
Black Shirt Brewing will tap a collaboration beer today that it brewed with Florida's Dunedin Brewing back in August; the crew from Dunedin drove a mobile seven-barrel brewhouse across the country -- they were on their way to the Oregon Brewers Festival -- to do it. The collab came about because BSB's assistant brewer used to work at Dunedin, which will have staff on hand today for the release to chat about the beer -- a hoppy, red, farmhouse style beer brewed with grapefruit peel, Belgian yeast and exotic hops -- and talk about the unusual circumstances of the brew, which is called Blood of the Road.
Join the crew from Avery Brewing for a crazy Denver poker ride/pub crawl between 1 and 5 p.m. today. At each of five stops, you will get a four-ounce pour of a rare, barrel-aged Avery beer, a six-ounce pour of a palate cleansing beer, and a playing card. The crawl begins at Falling Rock Taphouse for our first beers, then splits into groups heading by bike to Lucky Pie Pizza and Tap House, Highland Tap & Burger, and Euclid Hall. The final destination is Star Bar, where the best poker hands win a prize. Tickets are $45 and available at eventbrite. Ride your own bike or a B-cycle (From Avery: "Denver B-Cycle has stations around the city that rent bikes for $8 for a 24-hour rental. Just head to one of their stations by Falling Rock and use your credit card to check out a bike; the closest stations to Falling Rock are at 19th & Market Street (one block away) and 17th and Blake (two blocks away). Then after the ride, you can bring back the bike to any B-Cycle station in town and be on your merry way.)
Lucky Pie LoDo will host an 11 a.m. brunch with Left Hand Brewing, featuring Polestar Pilsner, Milk Stout and Jackman's Pale Ale. Then at 2 p.m., it will feature a Dogfish Head tapping with 2011 Saison du Buff, My Antonia, 90 Minute IPA, and Raison D'Etre.
At 10:30 p.m., Falling Rock will host a special event outside on its patio featuring some crazy stuff from Dogfish Head, including World Wide Stout poured thru a Randall containing locally roasted coffee beans and cigar tobacco, along with 61, Palo Santo Marron and other treats. There will also be samples of "Dogfish Head's Beer Infused Chowder & Pickles," according to Falling Rock.
New Belgium Brewing and Wicked Weed Brewing of Asheville, North Carolina, will host a GABF after-party at the Hi-Dive starting at 9 p.m., featuring and beer and live music from A. Tom Collins, Ark Life and the Yawpers (GABF ticket holders get in free). The bar will also 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 DC Ska band, The Pietasters. This month, DC Brau will travel 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.
The Alpha King Challenge returns to the Rock Bottom downtown this year (it had been held at Falling Rock for many years before switching venues in 2012) from 1 to 4 p.m. The somewhat informal competition pits the very hoppiest of the hoppy beer against one another, and while most of beer is reserved for the judges, there is usually enough to pass around -- in small amounts -- to those in attendance. The event is sponsored by Hopunion, Brewing News Publications and Three Floyds. Last year's winner was Kirk McHale of Thai Me Up Brewery (which won't be at GABF this year).
Freshcraft will be the scene of some Barrel Madness from Firestone Walker and Odell tonight at 10:30 after GABF. Beers in the house include: Odell Udderly Cherry (Barrel Aged Cherry Chocolate Cream Stout), Odell Extra Special Red, Odell '12 Deconstruction, Firestone Walker/Mikkeller Lil Mikkel Farmhouse Saison/Wild Ale, Firestone WalkerHelldorado - Blonde Barleywine, Firestone Walker Parabajava - Parabola infused with local (CA) coffee.
Avery Brewing brings back its GABF Hardcore & Softcore party at Star Bar tonight from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. featuring four low-alcohol beers (softcore) including one around 4.2 percent, and high-alcohol ones (hardcore), including one at 17 percent. Hardcore beers: Double Dry-Hopped duganA, Samael's, The Kaiser and Tweak. Softcore beers: 4Point2 Pale Ale, Bolder Weisse, Lilikoi Kepolo, Joe's Pilsner.
Sold Out: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will host the What the Funk festival today from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Sherman Street Events Center -- at the same time as the GABF session -- as an alternative for people who weren't able to get tickets to the big show. The fest will feature barrel-aged, sour and wild beers from around thirty breweries, including some who weren't able to register in time for GABF and some who weren't planning to attend in the first place. Tickets are $80 and will likely sell out. Breweries include: Cascade, Yazoo, Jester King, Prairie Artisan Ales, Ale Apothecary, Perennial Artisan Ales, Block 15, Side Project, Widmer, Gigantic Brewing, the Bruery, AC Golden, Evil Twin, de Garde, Oakshire, the Commons, Hogshead and Crooked Stave. The party will be catered by Jensen Cummings, a certified Cicerone and owner of the Slotted Spoon.
Saturday, October 12
The Bruery will land on the Cheeky Monk this morning for its annual Bruery Breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. Batch 1000 Bryeian homebrewers Brian Pramov and Bryan Keas will be on hand. More info on Facebook.
As he does every year, Stone Brewing's Dr. Bill Sysak will host his annual beer tasting event at the Falling Rock Taphouse tonight from 8 to 11 p.m. This low-key affair (at least, it is supposed to be low-key) takes place in the basement. "For those of you who haven't attended my previous events we ask for a $40 contribution to help pay for the beers supplied and that we will order from [Falling Rock owner] Chris [Black] and to tip out the service staff. Also feel free to bring beers you may want to share," Sysak explains in an announcement for the event. "That being said I will be pouring 100 great offerings. Beers from; The Lost Abbey, Russian River, Cascade, Alesmith, Firestone, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Crooked Stave, DFH, Stone, Avery, New Belgium, Great Divide, the Bruery, 50/50, Cigar City, Upright, Stillwater, Deschutes, Mikkeller, Evil Twin, Pretty Things, Iron Fist, Nebraska, Alpine, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, De Dolle, and many more."
Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse will host a very rare event featuring beers from Austin's Jester King Brewing. There will be several beers in the house at 6 p.m.
Freshcraft will host two special tappings today. The first is of beers from Indian's Sun King at 4 p.m., including Pappy Van Muckle, Pink Taco, 666: Sympathy for the Devil. The Sun King crew will be in the house. Then, at 7 p.m., Elevation Beer Company will be tapping several beers, including Cabernet Barrel Aged Apis IV Quad and First Cast IPA.
Black Shirt Brewing will host its first anniversary celebration today from 2 to 10 p.m., featuring love music, food and beer: Beet Saison, Coffee Red Porter, Chai Red Ale, Caraway Pale Red, Sticke Altbier, Red Farmhouse, Barrel-Aged Red Ale and Imperial Red Rye Stout; beers will be tapped every hour.
Upslope Brewing's smaller Lee Hill Tap Room in Boulder will be serving all of its past GABF winners from noon to 10 p.m. today, including Brown Ale, Dunkelweizen, Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Style Pale Ale, plus their Oatmeal Stout (2013 Pro-Am entry). The Burger Radio food truck will be dishing burgers at 3 p.m.
Russell's Smokehouse will be the best place to find Great Divide Brewing beers today outside of the brewery itself. Head brewer Taylor Rees will be on hand today at 3:30 p.m. to debut two mystery beers during this meet-and-greet session.
Lou's Food Bar and Prost Brewing will host a German Beer Brunch at 11:30 a.m. Lou's Food Bar executive chef Mike Peshek will serve a four-course brunch spread paired with signature beers from Prost. Tickets are $40.
Falling Rock will tap a variety of rare and unusual beers today. They are: An Avery beer at 4 p.m.; both Ommegang Game of Thrones beers at 9 p.m.; Firestone Walker's PNC, Parabola and Agrestic (a double DBA inoculated with brettanomyces) at 10 p.m.; and some vintage treats and barrel-aged beers from New Belgium at 11 p.m.
River North Brewery will host the Empty the Cellar Party at the taproom from 1 to 10 p.m. today, bringing out everything barrel-aged or rare on tap, including Anniversary Ale #1, Barrel Reserve 2013, whiskey-aged Hello, Darkness Black IPA, Quandary Quadrupel aged in rum barrels, J. Marie Barreled and Bretted, with more.
At 2 p.m., Star Bar will be the scene of a Beer Advocate Special Release Party featuring Crooked Stave Surette, Vieille Saison, St. Bretta, Origins Burgundy Sour, L'brett D'or; Perfect Crime Hollow Point; Local Option Dampf Loc, Vokuhela; Prairie Merica, Funky Galaxy, Somewhere; Perennial Heart of Gold, Saison de Lis, Belgian Stout. At 10 p.m., Star Bar will continue the fun with an Oskar Blues Extravaganza, featuring Freedom Tickler Saison, Wet Hop Dream, Barrel Aged G'Knight, Station #3, along with Sun King - Osiris, Oskar Blues/Sun King Deuce and Shaka. At 9:30, the New Ben Franklins play.
"If you work for the Avery Brewing Company, by the last night of the Great American Beer Festival you have probably drank at least 50 beers in the last three days, gotten maybe 15 hours of sleep and had to have other people remind you what happened the night before at least once," says Avery Brewing. But the party's not over. So based on something that happened last year, when two of Avery's top sales guys -- both exhausted -- grabbed the bathrobes from their hotel and headed out for the final night, the brewery will host the Robe One Out party and bar crawl tonight at 10 p.m. Wear and robe and slippers and join Avery at Freshcraft, Lucky Pie LoDo and The Pour House Pub. A limited supply of Avery embroidered robes will be available for purchase at all three bars. Purchase an Avery robe and you get a free beer. Or wear your own robe and be one of the first thirty through the door and you also get a free Avery beer. Rare Avery beers and Tap Room exclusives will be on tap at all three locations.
Sunday, October 13
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The Copper Kettle will bring back the tequila-barrel-aged version of its GABF award-winning Mexican Chocolate Stout today. Gusto's Kitchen will serve food at 2 p.m.