Don’t want to spend Black Friday at the mall? Rather hang out at a local brewery instead? You’re not alone! Come join the fun and see what all of these breweries have planned for Friday, November 25th, 2016.
I’ve been attending the annual Winter Brew Fest and Summer Brew Fest in Denver for several years. The first couple of years I went (2009 & 2010) were great. The venue, Mile High Station, worked well for the event and had plenty of space for attendees to enjoy their beers; it was fairly crowded but not unbearable. But the number of tickets keeps increasing each year:
This year, in addition to selling out, the folks at Brew Fest decided to employ a “1 in, 1 out” system, due to the fact that they had a “ton of requests from people who did not buy tickets in time.” Now, I don’t know when exactly the tickets went on sale, but when they did, I got an e-mail about it and ignored it. Then–weeks later–I saw a “daily deal” for half-priced tickets…so I figured I might as well do it. It’s not like GABF, where tickets were gone within mere minutes. But Brew Fest obviously wanted to make as much money as possible, not caring that they were basically screwing the rest of us competent people who actually purchased tickets. The “1 in, 1 out” system allows a non-ticket holder to pay and enter once another person is done and leaves. That way, instead of allowing ticket holders a little bit of breathing room toward the end of the night, the festival stays completely packed the entire time. There are certain breweries which are basically impenetrable after the first hour or so due to the enormity of the crowd (if anyone was there, think upstairs near the restrooms). And at one point, my friends and I found ourselves “in line” to simply try to get to the other side of the room. Beyond annoying.
So, which beers were best (and tastiest) at taking the edge off? Here are my picks:
It was also my first time trying Fate, as they are gearing up for their grand opening in Boulder next week. I am highly interested in Fate and plan on paying them a visit in the very near future.
I’m not sure if I’d had anything from Elevation before, but these two beers were amazing. I’ve tried many bourbon barrel aged stouts, and this one was a standout for sure. And the horchata porter?! Brilliant idea.
I had heard of Big Choice, yet I hadn’t had their beer until this festival. I’ve decided it’s definitely worth the short drive to Broomfield to see what else they have to offer.
I was not aware of No-Li, so I was pleased to discover a new (to me) brewery. I found out they just started distributing in Colorado about 3 months ago, so I’ll be looking out for them.
And Copper Kettle’s Mexican Chocolate Stout is one of my all-time favorite beers. Ever. Always a winner.
That is probably the last time I will attend a Denver Brew Fest (Summer or Winter), as it’s getting (gotten) out of hand. But I’m glad I went last weekend, as I discovered some new favorites. Should the festival organizers decide to either move it to a larger venue or keep ticket sales under control enough so as to not feel like sardines in a can…count me in. But I’m not holding my breath.
I drank more great beers in the past year than I can even begin to remember. So, looking back on 2012, I’ve decided to make a list of my favorite Colorado beers I had throughout the year. Some are not new, but have been around for a while, whereas others were just released in 2012. But here are the best Colorado-brewed beers I drank last year, in no particular order.
These last 2 are new, as these breweries just opened in 2012:
I can’t imagine what my 2013 list is going to look like this time next year, with all the new breweries set to open within the year. But I can tell you I am extremely excited about it!
The stout. My second favorite style of beer. Happy International Stout Day!
If you’re in Colorado and want to stop by a tap room today, take a look at my list of excellent stouts. Or if you’re not here but still want to consume one of our state’s tastiest beverages, there are some bottled/canned ones on the list which, depending on where you live, you can easily pick up at your local liquor store.
Brewpub/tap room only stouts:
*I have not yet tried this, as Wild Woods just opened in September. But it sounds wonderful!
**All of the Yetis are delicious, but my favorite is Espresso Oak Aged Yeti.
There are most likely some other great ones I’ve missed. If so, let me know! Cheers!
Thanks to some of my wonderful followers I was able to get a lot of superb suggestions on breweries to visit during GABF. Specifically I needed help with those East of the Mississippi River, as many of them don’t make their way out to Colorado. If you told me to go see a brewery at the festival, I probably did; I got to most of them but I’m sure I missed a few. If you don’t see that brewery on my list, it just means it wasn’t one of my overall favorites. But that’s o.k.; I appreciate every bit of the input and had a fantastic time sampling them all. Below are some of the most memorable brews I tasted.
I am doing one more post about GABF, focusing on a few of the absolute best ones I tried. All of the above were wonderful brews, but I’d like to specifically point out a few more beers/breweries that I feel deserve special attention.
I had such a great time at GABF. Thanks for all your suggestions, and thanks for reading!