When I first read the lineup for the South Denver Beer Festival, I was very curious and excited. There were breweries on the list that have not even opened yet, so of course I bought tickets right away because I didn’t want to miss tasting beer I might not get to drink again indefinitely. And then the state decided it would be potentially unlawful for these breweries that are not yet licensed to allow the general public to taste their creations. Since I am unable to find that initial lineup, I can’t recall all the ones I was looking forward to. Though one I definitely remember is Former Future Brewing Company, whose beers I was fortunate enough to try at a private tasting event last month and whose Mariner (salter porter) I’ve been craving ever since. So it was pretty disappointing to find out that several upcoming breweries would not be able to pour at the festival. But there were other breweries that I had never actually tried before, so I arrived at the South Denver Beer Festival in hopes I would happen upon something new (to me) and interesting. And, of course, I did.
I thought Clement Park was a good choice for a beer festival. It was very open with plenty of room to move around. And, while I didn’t stay too late into the session, I did not encounter the ridiculous lines that often form at many beer fests. There seemed to be just the right amount of space between each table and each tent. Which is why I didn’t have to stay clear up until the end; I was able to make my way quickly around the festival and try all of the beers I wanted without a wait.
There are so many new breweries that have opened in Colorado it can be difficult to find time to get to every one, especially when they aren’t all that close to where I live. It was great to have so many of them right here in this one central location. So I tried some things I hadn’t had before, and here are my favorites:
- Totally Eye-p-a from Brewery Rickoli
- Imperial Stout from Loveland Aleworks
- Tsar Bomba Russian Imperial Stout and Bourbon Barrel Aged Acceleration Double IPA from Gravity Brewing
- Apricots ‘n Honey Mead from Meadery of the Rockies
The South Denver Beer Festival was a fun time. And now that I know which newer breweries I really like, I plan on visiting a few tap rooms in the near future and sampling more of their beers.