Colorado Beer Girl

A blog focusing on Colorado beer, breweries, bars, beer & food pairings, restaurants with craft beer, beer events & more

Archive for the tag “Great American Beer Festival”

Ticket Alert: GABF 2017

Photo courtesy of the Great American Beer Festival Facebook page

Ladies and gentlemen: Mark your calendars. 2017 Great American Beer Festival tickets go on sale next week!

Tuesday, August 1 is the Member Pre-Sale. Wednesday, August 2 is the Public Sale. 

Here are all the details for GABF 2017, from the Brewers Association:

Find Your #HoppyPlace at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival®

 What: For the 36th year, beer lovers will gather in Colorado at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the renowned American beer festival and competition, to find their #HoppyPlace and sample some 3,800 beers from more than 800 breweries around the country.

 When: Thursday, October 5: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

               Friday, October 6: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

               Saturday, October 7*: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

              *Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members-only session

               Saturday, October 7: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

 Where: Colorado Convention Center (700 14th Street, Denver, Colorado)

 Why: GABF brings together the brewers and beers that make the U.S. the world’s most diverse brewing nation. Since its conception in 1982, GABF has been growing and evolving along with the American brewing community and represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in the format of a public tasting event plus a privately judged competition. Showcasing scores of diverse beers, Thrillist dubbed the event, “The One Beer Festival You Must Go to Before You Die.”

This year, GABF will welcome back popular awards and attractions—including the Golden Ticket Giveaway, Heavy Medal Booth and Support Your Local Brewery Pavilion—offering attendees the opportunity to sample unique indie and international award-winning beers.

 Ticket Info: GABF tickets will be available for purchase to the general public online on August 2, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. MDT/12:00 p.m. EDT via Ticketmaster.com.

A ticket pre-sale exclusively for members of the American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Association will take place on August 1, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. MDT/12:00 p.m. EDT. Members will receive a personal offer code to purchase tickets for this session. You must have purchased a membership to the American Homebrewers Association or Brewers Association by July 23, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, to be eligible for the member pre-sale.

Members-Only Session tickets are $70 each, with a two ticket limit per member number.

General Session tickets are $85 public/$80 members (if purchased during the members only sale on August 1) and include:

  • Commemorative tasting cup
  • Unlimited one-ounce samples of your choice of 3,800 beers
  • Festival guide and free app to help attendees navigate the festival hall
  • Access to dozens of educational and interactive seminars
  • Opportunity to speak with brewery representatives at designated “Meet the Brewer” booths.
  • Complimentary artisan cheese samples, craft soda samples and a variety of other food options.
  • Entertainment, including live music, games, costumes, a silent disco and more.

Note: Due to limited availability, GABF General Session ticket sales are capped at four tickets per session per ticket buyer.

Additional ticket information can be found on the GABF website.

GABF 2016 Is (Almost) Here!

gabf2

The 35th Annual Great American Beer Festival is upon us! Just ONE WEEK away!

Thursday, October 6-Saturday, October 8th, the Great American Beer Festival returns to Denver. And I couldn’t be more thrilled! GABF is my absolute favorite beer festival of the year. Why? For starters, approximately 800 breweries and thousands of unique beers, many of which are unavailable in Colorado 362 days of the year. If that isn’t something to get excited about, I don’t know what is! If you’ve been to the Great American Beer Festival before, you know what to expect. But there are some great new things in store for 2016:

Golden Ticket. This year, six lucky attendees (and their friends) will get the chance to enter the hall early to go tasting with some big names in beer. The brewers below will randomly select one person from the entrance line and personally escort them through the hall before the event opens to the public. How cool is that?!

Thursday

  • Matt Brynildson – Firestone Walker Brewing Company
  • Rob Tod – Allagash Brewing Company

Friday

  • Vinnie Cilurzo – Russian River Brewing Company
  • Tomme Arthur – The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing Company

Saturday

  • Sam Calagione – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • Garrett Oliver – The Brooklyn Brewery

The Backyard. What exactly is The Backyard? Think 1982: Throwback arcade games, temporary tattoos, awesome photo ops and music at the Jambulance and Silent Disco. There will also be picnic tables so attendees can have a place to sit and eat or just take a load off.

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Whether you are a first-timer or a pro, here are a few of my personal tips to help you get the most out of your experience.

First, have a plan. While the official beer list doesn’t come out until Wednesday, Oct. 5 (by the end of the business day), you can get started with the brewery list. Is there a particular region of the US whose breweries don’t distribute in your area that you’d like to try? Have you heard great things about certain breweries but haven’t had a chance to get your hands on their beers? Now is the time to give it some thought. Once beer list is out, if you love a certain style (or five) of beer, do a search for that style, see what’s being poured, and make note of it. So have a plan, but keep in mind that it’s fine to deviate from it. Make random stops when you see something interesting.

Porchdrinking.com’s 2016 GABF Pour List Preview already has over 1500 beers and is being updated on an hourly basis. I highly recommend checking it out for those who want to start their planning early.

Next, eat before the festival. This is very important. Each session is 4.5 hours long (with the Saturday Members Only Session being 4 hours), and there are way too many excellent beers to sample to get too tipsy too early; don’t risk getting overly drunk too quickly and missing your chance to try as many beers on your list as possible. I personally like to eat a fairly light meal so that I’m not completely stuffed, leaving plenty of room for beer. And then of course there are numerous food options inside the venue should you get hungry during the event.

Also, don’t fear the new entrance. In 2015, a second entrance was added at 14th & California. Since I had waited in the usual line at all past GABFs, I decided to try the new one last year. When I got there I thought I’d made a mistake. There were so many people! And people arriving after me were directed to a different line which appeared to be shorter than the one I was in. I wasn’t sure why, and I wondered if I should change lines. Was I ever wrong! Once the doors opened, I was shocked at how quickly the line moved and how fast I got in. Trust those who are working the entrances; they have been through this before and are quite skilled at what they do. UPDATE: Since publishing this post I have received information that the entrance at 14th & California is the only entrance this year. 

Download the app. It contains a ton of helpful information such as a festival map, brewery/beer list, and much more. You’ll be glad you got the app, trust me!

Want to know some of my favorite breweries and beers from years past? Just click the links below to read all about it!

GABF 2015: Recap, Best in Show

GABF 2014: Best in Show

Best in Show: The Standouts of GABF 2013

Best in Show: The Standouts of GABF 2012

Even if you weren’t able to score tickets this year, don’t forget about all the amazing tappings and events going on before, during, and after GABF. Take a look at my special GABF Week Events post for a some truly fantastic options. Take advantage of the entire week and drink some rare and/or otherwise unobtainable beers! And most importantly: have fun! Cheers!

Beer Events: Special GABF Week Edition!

gabf

Photo courtesy of the Great American Beer Festival Facebook page

Whether you’re attending the Great American Beer Festival or not, there are lots of exciting beer events leading up to GABF and continuing throughout the week. While Colorado is always a great place for craft beer, GABF week is the absolute best time to be here!

***Note: I will be updating this as other event information is released, so check back! Also, there are far too many awesome events to include in this one post; these are just some of my personal picks. See my Facebook Events page for even more good stuff!***

townie-fest

Sat., Oct. 1, 1-5 p.m.: 1st Annual Townie Fest at The Post Brewing (105 W. Emma St., Lafayette).

Uptown, downtown, eastside, westside; we’re all townies and we all need a beer when we meet. Townie Fest is a day of fun with the friends and family and all Townies are welcome. Oktoberfest is happening in Germany and costumes are welcomed! Great American Beer Fest is the next weekend, didn’t get a ticket? Great! Come to Townie Fest and get your drink on and earn yourself a chance at GABF tickets for 2016!
We’ll have a “Celebrity Dunk Tank” for all to dunk their favorite local celebrity. Lots of games and activities to keep you laughing, and winning awesome prizes including an all expenses paid trip to Portland Oregon to tour some breweries!
We’ll have special tappings throughout the day – so get here early and stay a while to get be a part of all the excitement! We’ll have a boot-stomping good time to start it off with a local jam and end with live music from Malai Llama.

fresh-hop

Sat., Oct. 1, 1-4 p.m.: 11th Annual Fresh Hop Fest at The Future Home of Brewery Liberati (2403 Champa St., Denver).

The beer-centric minds of the Colorado Brewers Guild, Falling Rock Tap House, and Two Parts have done it again! We present to you: The 11th Annual Falling Rock Fresh Hop Festival!
This year’s event has landed in a new and improved location—the old Golden Bell Press building, and the future home of Liberati Brewing is located just a few blocks from Falling Rock. This event showcases a medley of fresh hopped beers created by breweries from across the country. The majority of beers will come from the greater Colorado area, but some out-of-state guests will grace us with their presence as well!
What in the heck is a fresh hopped beer? Here’s the timeline… Hops growers have about 24 hours to get the hops from the farm to the brewery’s drying kiln before they start showing signs of spoilage. But if these hops are utilized within that 24-hour window, then eureka, we’ve got ourselves one heck of a beer! These beers are exciting because each one is different, all have varied levels of hoppy flavor, and are super exclusive due to the fresh hop process. Don’t miss out!
Ticket includes entry to the event, unlimited libations, and a commemorative glass. Trust us when we say it will be worth every penny. Buy now and save. At door prices will increase by five dollars (if any tickets remain)…

gratitude

Sat., Oct. 1, 2 p.m.-11:59 p.m.: Gratitude 2016 at Our Mutual Friend Brewery (2810 Larimer St, Denver).

It’s time for Gratitude! A celebration of friendship and the beer made possible by it. Every year (the Saturday before GABF) we take the opportunity to celebrate you! We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our customers, friends, family, and countless people in the craft beer industry.
To show our appreciation we will have $4 standard and $5 special release pours all day! Over 20 beers on tap! At least 6 bottle releases (including Gratitude 3 sour ale)! Food trucks! Music! Giveaways! No ticket required.

corner-office

Sun., Oct. 2, 11:30 a.m.: Brewers Brunch with Ska Brewing Company and Peach Street Distillers at The Corner Office (1401 Curtis St, Denver).

Course 1 – Crispy cabbage roll with blonde dubbel hot mustard + cilantro japanses mayo paired with True Blonde Dubbel 
Course 2 – Pork carnita sopes with citrus black beans + pico paired with Modus Mandarina IPA.
Course 3 – Slow cooked ESB beef rib, tender belly ham + smoky blue drizzle paired with ESB Special Ale
Course 4 – Double chocolate ten tin shake paired with Ten Pin Porter

falling-rock

Mon., Oct. 4, 5 p.m.: Annual GABF Tapping Party at Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake St., Denver).

Join us as we celebrate the Great American Beer Festival in our own special way! Featuring many of the great beers we are are known for carrying as well as some special kegs including new, fun and one-off beers from our friends. Be there early to get a good spot for watching the clock count down to zero and toast the start of one of the Greatest Weeks in Beer!

freshcraft

Mon., Oct. 3-Sat., Oct. 8: GABF Week at Freshcraft (1530 Blake St., Denver).

Freshcraft has special tappings and events all week long, starting on Monday Oct. 3rd and going through Saturday Oct. 8th. Click on individual events for more information:
Mon., Oct. 3: Wild & Sour Monday
Tue., Oct. 4: Local Showcase Tuesday 
Wed., Oct. 5: Upslope Brewing 
Thur., Oct. 6: Casey Brewing and Blending, Cigar City Brewing, and Ska x Telluride Spirit Animal Night 
Fri., Oct. 7: Odell x Wicked Weed, Left Hand Warrior Firkin Tapping, and Stone, Green Flash, Station 26 and Melvin 
Sat., Oct. 8: Breakfast with The Bruery and Surly Brewing 

unnamed

Mon., Oct. 3, 4-7 p.m.: Meet the Brewer at Strange Craft (1330 Zuni St, Unit M, Denver).

Our brewer, Tim Myers, will be giving tours every 30 min. He’ll lead a Q&A about Strange Craft beers and share samples. Limited to 10 people each half hour. Signup sheet in the tasting room.

gd-gabf

Mon., Oct. 3, 6-9 p.m.: GABF Launch Party with Great Divide at Avanti F&B (3200 Pecos St, Denver).

We are working on our line up for GABF week, and its all going to start here with our Great Divide Launch Party! Going to be a great week for craft beer, we hope to see you here.

first-draft-stone

Mon., Oct. 3, 5-10 p.m.: Stone + First Draft Collab Release at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen (1309 26th St, Denver).

We collaborated with Stone on a crazy blend to create Stone Mixtape Ale vol. 15 – Brett the Rockies. With the help of Stone’s Senior Manager of Brewing and Innovation Steve Gonzalez, we blended a Brett-fermented foudre blend with Stone Ruination 2.0, and added cannibis oil as a finishing touch.
Come try this one-of-a-kind beer at First Draft starting Monday during GABF week. We’ll also be tapping Stone Barrel-Aged Brown Ale with Balaton Sour Cherries and Stone Cali-Belgique aged in Tequila Barrels!

beers-made-by-walking

Tue., Oct. 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m.: Beers Made by Walking at Denver Museum of Nature & Science (2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver).

Beers Made By Walking invites brewers to go on nature hikes and create new beers inspired by plants identified on the trail. Each beer is a unique, drinkable portrait of the landscape. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Museum. Must be 21+ to attend. Tickets are $35. 
Participating breweries: Baere, Black Project, Bonfire, Burial (NC), Cerebral, Crazy Mountain, Crooked Stave, Dry Dock, Elevation, Fiction, Fieldhouse, Fonta Flora (NC), Great Divide , Happy Leaf Kombucha, Hopworks (OR), Horse and Dragon, Living The Dream, Mockery, Odd 13, Odell, Our Mutual Friend, Paradox, Ratio, Riff Raff, Scratch (IL), Spangalang, Stem Cider, Strange Craft, TRiNiTY, TRVE, Goldspot + The Grateful Gnome collaboration.

wtf

Tue., Oct. 4, 6-10 p.m.: What the Funk!? Invitational 2016 at Exdo Event Center (1399 35th St., Denver).

What the Funk!? Invitational is a celebration of all things barrel-aged from boozy and strong to wild, sour, and funky. Sponsored by Denver-based brewery Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Shelton Brothers this festival features numerous breweries from across the United States and around the World making some of the best Barrel-aged libations. For more information and tickets please visit wtfinvitational.com

odd13

Tue., Oct. 4, 5-10 p.m.: Odd13 Brewing Showcase at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen (1309 26th St, Denver).

We’re getting the GABF party started early with some great offerings from Odd13 Brewing! The Odd13 crew will be in the house with giveaways as well. Taplist includes:
– Codename Superduper Fan
– Hawaiian Bartender
– The Economist
– Codename Superfan
– Boulder Brett
– Chainsaw the Princess of Karate (collab with Big Choice Brewing. Proceeds from Odd13 Taproom sales go to support breast cancer charities)

crafty-fox

Tue., Oct. 4-Fri., Oct. 7: GABF Week Events at The Crafty Fox (3901 Fox St, Denver).

Tue., Oct. 4: The Crafty Fox & CSA Distributing Present GABF Gems! Come on down to The Crafty Fox on Tuesday October 4th and try some rare beer gems! We will be tapping fun rare beers from the following breweries: Lawsons, Bell’s, Half Acre, Two Roads, Council, Perennial, Fremont, Jack’s Abby, Boneyard, Gigantic, Blackberry Farms, Stillwater, Off Color, La Cumbre, Greenbench, Almanac, Ecliptic, Crux, Cascade, AleSong, Jolly Pumpkin, Against the Grain, and Lord Hobo!
Wed., Oct. 5: The Crafty Fox & Horse and Dragon Food/Beer Pairing! We will be teaming up with Horse & Dragon Brewery out of Fort Collins and doing a custom food and beer menu. We will be pairing a fun custom food menu with their Sad Panda Coffe Stout, Bounty of the Bine Fresh Hop Pale Ale, The Agitated Aardvark Imperial IPA, The Scottish Tradesman Rum Barrel Aged Coconut Porter, Perambluation Gose, and Harry Hughes Aggie Jasmine Green Tea Pale Ale! Not only will be have some fun food/beer pairings we will also be cooking the food with their spent grain, hops, wort, and yeast.
Thur., Oct. 6: The Crafty Fox presents Wicked Weed! We will be teaming up with Wicked Week Brewery out of North Carolina and we will be tapping 21+ of their rare beers. Like sours, IPAs, stouts?! Well, Wicked Weed will be sending out a very diverse lineup of beers which will help showcase the brewery. Come on down and help us welcome Wicked Weed to Colorado!
Thur., Oct. 6: The Crafty Fox presents Odd 13! We will be tapping some of the rarest beers that Odd 13 Brewery out of Lafayette CO has to offer! Like Odd 13 beers? Well, we will be tapping some of Odd 13’s heaviest hitters.
Fri., Oct. 7: Bellingham Beer in Denver w/ Melvin & Crooked Stave! Check out Bellingham’s finest breweries as they visit the Crafty Fox in Denver on October 7th from 4:00 PM – close! Drink beer and win prizes!
 hops-and-pie

Wed., Oct. 5, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.: CSA Portfolio Tasting at Hops & Pie (3920 Tennyson St, Denver).

Featuring Beer FromThese Breweries:
3 Floyds
Beachwood Brewing& BBQ
Perennial
Creature Comforts
Stillwater
Melvin
Boneyard
Scratch
Blackberry Farms
Fremont
Almanac
La Cumbre
Green Bench
OffColor
Alesoong
Two Roads
Half Acre
Jester King
Fonta Flore
Lawson’s

jax

Wed., Oct. 5, 4 p.m.: Jax LoDo pre-GABF party featuring Bad Mutha’ Shucka at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar LoDo (1539 17th St., Denver).

Doors open at 4:00 p.m. and happy hour runs 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar LoDo will be the official GABF headquarters for The Post Brewing Company. On Wed., October 5, the day before the festival kicks off, Jax LoDo will host a pre-GABF party with a special tapping of Cask-Conditioned, Dry-Hopped Bad Mutha’ Shucka. Weighing in at 5.75% ABV, this amber ale is dripping in citrus and tropical fruit aromas supported by a classic, full malt flavor. It was brewed from American 2-row barley malt, Munich malt and two types of crystal malt for a rich and satisfying malt profile. The beer was hopped with a blend of Cascade, Willamette and Azacca hops resulting in a distinctly fruity, American hop aroma and flavor. And while no oysters were harmed in the making of Bad Mutha’ Shucka, it pairs exceptionally well with a dozen on the half-shell.
This one-of-a-kind firkin will offer beer fans a different drinking experience. Similar to the cask-conditioned ales that fill beer halls across Europe, this batch of Bad Mutha’ Shucka was put into the cask immediately after the initial brew, at which point an enormous amount of dry hops was added. And until it is tapped, no one will know what it tastes like!
Jax LoDo will feature five additional Post Brewing Co. beers on October 5, and Brewmaster Bryan Selders himself will be in-house to tap the firkin, answer questions about cask beer and beer in general, and throw back a pint or two. Complimentary snacks will be provided, and guests drinking POST beer can enjoy $1.50 oysters all night long. Also, anyone drinking from the firkin will get a chance to win a $100 Big Red F gift card.

1400-miles

Wed., Oct. 5-Sat., Oct. 8: Beerliner & Chill: Brewers Health Initiative at 14th & Stout, Denver).

When: Wednesday, October 5th – Saturday October 8th
Texas Craft Beer Showcase: 3-5 PM and 10-12 PM EVERY DAY
FREE PSA TESTS: Onsite Thursday from 12:00pm-5:00pm and Saturday 10:00am – 2:00pm.
30 SECOND FUNDRAISER | Worlds’ Largest #shotgunfriday 11:00pm Friday
Tickets: Prepaid Tickets Available.
$10 Day tickets (good for afternoon and night session) $10/wristband
$30 4-Day Tickets (valid all 4 days!)
$5 #ShotgunFriday Token (must have a token to get a canned beer)
Food Available for purchase inside the event from Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

This awesome event is brought to you by 1400 Miles with some generous help from our friends at Pints for Prostates, Prostate Conditions Education Council, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and more.
Don’t forget, #dontfearthefinger, y’all! See you in Denver!

breast-friends

Wed., Oct. 5, 8:30 p.m.-12 a.m.: Breast Friends w/TRVE, Ratio, Burial and Revolution at Hi-Dive (7 S Broadway, Denver).

Join TRVE Brewing, Ratio Beerworks, Burial Beer Co. and Revolution Brewing for a night of pre-GABF fun. These four Breast Friend breweries have teamed up for a tap takeover and punk rock / metal music showcase featuring Cloud Catcher, Space In Time, Major Sports, and Cheap Perfume all benefiting Keep A Breast Foundation!
Doors open at 8:30 show begins at 9pm, tickets are available for $10 via the Hi-Dive Denver.

oskar-blues

Wed., Oct. 5, 4-10 p.m.: GABF ORDEAL: HMLS Pig Roast at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids (1555 S Hover Road, Longmont).

The Oskar Blues ORDEAL is back, and we’re showcasing our beers, our brewery, and the brand new outdoor patio and stage at Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids. You’re going to be treated to an all you can eat family-style Pig Roast as well as the brewery experience at the Longmont Brewery and Tasty Weasel tap room! Don’t wait! There are a limited number of tickets available, so save your spot right away!
Come on out for some live music courtesy of Coop and the Chicken Pluckers, good times, and great beers on Wednesday, October 5, to indoctrinate you to the Great American Beer Festival.  We’ve arranged for transportation from the Denver Hyatt Regency to the brewery and back in the ORDEAL Ride Along ticket. Don’t need a ride? We’ve got you covered with the ORDEAL Local Ticket.  Festivities will kick off at HMLS at 6:30 PM.

tivoli

Wed., Oct. 5, 5-10 p.m.: Pre-GABF Shindig! at Tivoli Brewing (900 Auraria Pkwy, Denver).

It’s that time of year again!  And just as you’d expect, we’re going to kick this week off the only way we know how…Party!
Join our mischief and bafoonery Wednesday October 5th!

offensively-delicious

Wed., Oct. 5, 6-10 p.m.: Offensively Delicious, a Craft Beer Comedy Show at McNichols Building (144 W Colfax Ave, Denver).

Offensively Delicious is a celebration of the craft and personality behind the beer industry. Laugh the night away with 10 breweries and 4 comedians. The event begins with a sampling from 10 breweries. At 8 PM brewers take the stage to crack some jokes. After the brewers’ stand-up, local and national comedians take the stage and are certain to leave the crowd rolling in their seats. Headliners for Offensively Delicious are Beth Stelling and Matt Braunger (bios below). This event is a nonprofit fundraiser for the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

gabf2

Thur., Oct. 6-Sat., Oct. 8: Great American Beer Festival (SOLD OUT) at Colorado Convention Center (700 14th Street, 14th and Stout Streets, Denver).

The Great American Beer Festival is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and diverse beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. GABF was founded in 1982, and has been growing and evolving along with the American craft brewing industry ever since.

strange

Thur., Oct. 6, 12-2:30 p.m.: GABF Pre-Party at Strange Craft (1330 Zuni St, Unit M, Denver).

• Beer tasting
• Keep the Pint Glass and get a free fill
• Pretzel kit to make your own necklace
• Brewery tour
$10 Signup sheet in the tasting room

firkin

Thur., Oct. 6, 7 p.m.-12 a.m.: 4th Annual Fifty Firkin Fiasco at Epic Brewing Co. (3001 Walnut St., Denver).

Join us for our 4th Annual Fifty Firkin Fiasco! Our brewers have put together 50 unique firkins for your enjoyment as you wander through the brewery to sample all of them. Be a part of history, be a part of the fun and chaos of this popular event!
Ticket price includes unlimited sampling of the 50 Firkins from 7pm – Midnight. Last call is at 11:45pm. Food and Souvenir t-shirts sold separately.
General admission tickets will be available for $30 until October 5th (price does not include shirt). A limited amount of tickets will be available the day of at the door for $45 (price does not include shirt).  Must be 21+, must have valid photo ID (non-expired: passports, military ID, driver’s license or state issued ID cards).

lowdown

Thur., Oct. 6, 5-11 p.m.: Three Floyds Night at LowDown Brewery + Kitchen (800 Lincoln St., Denver).

We are so excited to host Three Floyds Brewing the Thursday of GABF this year!!! We will have all of our own craft beer plus four offerings from this amazing brewery. Join us! No tickets. No reservations. Just drinking, eating and happiness.

dogfish-head

Thur., Oct. 6, 10 p.m.-12 a.m.: 120 Minute Happy Hour with Sam Calagione! at Avanti F&B (3200 Pecos St, Denver).

Join us for a GABF after party with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Beer! We will be featuring flights of everyone’s favorite IPA, the 120 Minute from 2007, 2009, and 2011. Who better to taste with than the man himself? Join in celebrating the 120 minute IPA with 120 minutes of party!

copper-kettle

Thur., Oct. 6-Sun., Oct. 9: Mexican Chocolate Stout Tap and Bomber Releases at Copper Kettle Brewing Co. (1338 S Valentia St, Ste 100, Denver).

October 6 – We will release the first of four new adaptations of our 2011 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner, Mexican Chocolate Stout! Coffee Mexican Chocolate Stout – brewed with Pablo’s coffee, cinnamon, cacao nibs, and chili peppers to create this rich, historical Central American inspired desert drink with a coffee twist. – ABV: 7%, IBU: 50
October 7 – We will release the second of four new adaptations of our 2011 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner, Mexican Chocolate Stout! Pumpkin Mexican Chocolate Stout – brewed with pumpkin, cinnamon, cacao nibs, and chili peppers to create this rich, historical Central American inspired desert drink. – ABV: 7%, IBU: 50
October 8 – We will release the third of four new adaptations of our 2011 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner, Mexican Chocolate Stout! Double Chocolate Mexican Chocolate Stout – brewed with cinnamon, a double dose of cacao nibs, and chili peppers to create this rich, historical Central American inspired desert drink. – ABV: 7%, IBU: 50
October 9 – We will release the fourth new adaptation of our 2011 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner, Mexican Chocolate Stout!Vanilla Bean Mexican Chocolate Stout – brewed with vanilla bean, cinnamon, cacao nibs, and chili peppers to create this rich, historical Central American inspired desert drink with a vanilla twist. – ABV: 7%, IBU: 50

avery

Thur., Oct. 6-Sat., Oct. 8, 3-8 p.m.: GABF Celebration at Avery Brewing Co. (4910 Nautilus Ct N, Boulder).

Who is ready for GABF?!! We are!!! In case you weren’t able to get tickets, or if you just want to come by and grab some beer and grub we will be hanging at the brewery both inside and out. We will have food tents and the draft trailer rolling outside as well as Tap Room and restaurant open. Food tents will be running Thursday 3-8pm and Friday/Saturday 3-8pm. We look forward to seeing you soon!

gabf-nb

Thur., Oct. 6, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.: Star Bar After Party hosted by New Belgium at Star Bar (2137 Larimer St, Denver).

The legendary after party for the first GABF session continues!
Tappings Include: Whiskey Barrel-Aged Fat Tire, NBB Love Blackberry Oscar, NBB Love Apple Felix, Peach Wheat Wine, Tart Lychee, RockStar

hops-and-pie

Fri., Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.: GABF week Tapping: Casey Brewing & Blending and Cascade Brewing at Hops & Pie (3920 Tennyson St, Denver).

Featuring:
From Casey –
Cherry Cut : Balaton
Cherry CFP :Attika
Apricot Cut
East Bank
Cherry CFP : Golden Cherry
From Cascade –
Elderberry
Black Cap Raspberry
2014 Project : Noyaux
Sang Noir
Manhattan Project

oskar-blues

Fri., Oct. 7, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: GABF ORDEAL: Gospel Brunch at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids (1555 S Hover Road, Longmont).

Come on out for some live music and the brewery experience on Friday, October 7, and get saved before the Friday session of the Great American Beer Festival.
The Oskar Blues ORDEAL is back, and we’re showcasing our beers, our brewery, and the brand new outdoor patio and stage at Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids. You’re going to be treated to Gospel Brunch, live music courtesy of the Jonny Barber Gospel Review with Erica Brown, as well as the brewery experience at the Longmont Brewery and Tasty Weasel tap room! Don’t wait! There are a limited number of tickets available, so save your spot right away!
We’ve arranged for transportation from the Denver Hyatt Regency to the brewery and back in the ORDEAL Ride Along ticket. Don’t need a ride? We’ve got you covered with the ORDEAL Local Ticket.  Festivities will kick off at HMLS at 10:30 AM.

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Fri., Oct. 7, 3-9 p.m.: 2016 GABF Collaboration Celebration at Denver Beer Co. (1550 Platte St., Denver).

Come celebrate the Great American Beer Festival! We will be introducing 6 collaboration brews with some amazing breweries from around the country. Plus, live music, food trucks, block party, games, photobooth, and more! Entrance is FREE and open to the public!
Beer Tickets: $25 gets you:
A 2016 Collaboration Celebration Commemorative Glass
8 oz. pour of each of the 6 Collaboration Celebration Beers
PLUS – $5 from every ticket goes to our charity partner, First Descents!

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Fri., Oct. 7, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.: Levitt Pavilion Denver Live! at Summit Music Hall (1902 Blake St, Denver).

Levitt Pavilion Denver Live! with Jameson Irish Whiskey and Great Divide Brewing Co. present a special evening of music, drinks, and food at The Summit Music Hall Friday, October 7, 2016.
This event celebrates the final show of the season for Levitt Pavilion Denver’s free concert programming with performances by 2016 The Voice runner-up, Laith Al-Saadi, along with Colorado’s rising star Brent Cowles and Austin mainstay Garrett Lebeau Band.
Tickets are only $25 and 100% of ticket sales will benefit the Levitt Pavilion Denver (501(c)(3), a local non-profit focused on elevating the local music scene and increasing accessibility to live music through construction of the new Levitt Pavilion in Ruby Hill Park, a free music venue opening in July of 2017.
Each $25 ticket includes:
– An exclusive opportunity to try ‘The Smoothness’, a Jameson and Great Divide collaboration beer
– Jameson Irish Whisky
– Great Divide Brewing CO. beer
– Sliders, appetizers and more.
Must be 21+ to attend.

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Sat., Oct. 8, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.: GABF Brewers Breakfast: Burritos & Barleywines at Denver Beer Co. (1695 Platte St, Denver).

A little hair-of-the-dog always helps during GABF weekend. It also helps get the party going again! Saturday, October 8 we will serve up a Brewer’s Breakfast:$12 for an awesome smothered breakfast burrito & a glass of barleywine!

If barleywine is not your breakfast bevie of choice, we’ll have a few of our other aged big beers on tap for the tasting.

Roll out of bed, put your sunglasses on, and get here while the burritos last!

Black Project

Sat., Oct. 8, 10 a.m.: Special GABF Bottle Releases at Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales (1290 S. Broadway, Denver).

Join us on Saturday, October 8th at 10am for a special release of MULTIPLE beers, new and old! We are clearing out a bit of the back-cellar and have a couple never-before-released bottles. Note that ALL of these bottles will be extremely limited, and the list is subject to change:
NEW RELEASES
-LUNEX – Spontaneous Blended Sour with Corvus Coffee
-DREAMLAND (Batch 3) – never released in bottles
CELLAR STOCK
-кальмар Spontaneous Imperial Gose
-SUPERCRUISE Tempranillo
-DREAMLAND (Batch 1) – Waxed and capped old-school bottle
-DREAMLAND (Batch 2)
-VOODOO (Batch 1)
-ELSEWHERE (Batch 1)
-JUMPSEAT (Batch 2) (cold-stored since release)
-EJECTOR (Batch 1) (cold-stored since release)
-JUMPSEAT (Batch 3)
-EJECTOR (Batch 2)
-Probably some other stuff that I find a couple bottles of 😉

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Sat., Oct. 8, 4-10 p.m.: Bottlefest 2016 Sponsored by Tavour at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen (1309 26th St, Denver).

Sample some of the tastiest brews ever put into a bottle! A mini beerfest with the cream of the crop craft beer. Buy tokens to use for 4 oz. pours of high quality suds. Bottle list includes: Casey Brewing & Blending, Cantillon, Jester King, Avery, Tilquin, Drie Fonteinen, Hill Farmstead, Paradox Beer Co, The Bruery, Lawson’s, Westbrook, and much much more!
Limited space available. Purchase a timeslot for $10 to guarantee attendence and receive 6 tokens. Tokens will be sold first come first serve on the day of the event at $2 per token.
Purchase Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bottlefest-2016-sponsored-by-tavour-tickets-27687326539

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Sat., Oct. 8., 9 p.m.-12 a.m.: 2nd Annual Ratio Karaoke GABF After-Party at Ratio Beerworks (2920 Larimer St, Denver).

You made it! You survived GABF, now let’s party! After the final session of the Great American Beer Festival on Sat., Oct. 8, join the Ratio Beerworks team in belting out some of your favorite hits and sending off the final night in a blaze of glory! We will be firing up the karaoke machine around 9pm so come prepared to throw-down your go-to tune. Everyone is welcome join the party, but if you bring your brewers badge and sign up to sing a song, your first beer is on us. Additionally, we’ll be tapping some serious heat during the party, to put the kibosh on a massive weekend.

Denver Gets Funky with Sam Adams

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Jim Koch toasts two of the 2015 winners of the Sam Adams LongShot American Homebrew Competition at the Quench Your Own Thirst brunch in Denver last week.

Denver is an amazing place to be during the week of the Great American Beer Festival. In fact, it is the place to be. Craft beer enthusiasts and breweries alike travel from all over the country to attend this legendary event. And what happens when breweries and the people who love their beer come together in one place for an entire week is extraordinary.

Most craft beer drinkers are familiar with Samuel Adams‘ flagship beer, Boston Lager. And rightfully so, consdering it’s been around since 1984. But I have found that many people aren’t familiar with a lot of the other Sam Adams beers that, at least for me personally, are some of the most truly outstanding beers they brew.

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GABF is the perfect opportunity for breweries to showcase the best of the best, and that’s just what the Sam Adams crew did last week in Denver. In fact, Denver was chosen as one of the locations lucky enough to be on the Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF) Grand Cru Tour. KMF Grand Cru, an American Wild Ale, is tart and funky, and is my favorite Sam Adams beer. Note to other cities: click this link to see if you’re up next, as the tour continues through December. (I’m looking at you, Portland, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Austin…and several others).

In addition to having the good fortune of KMF Grand Cru, there were plenty of other rare and seasonal beers to be had, both at GABF as well as at tap takeovers around town. A few examples include American Kriek (from the Barrel Room Collection), small batch beer Fat Jack Double Pumpkin, and of course Utopias, a limited release.

If you enjoy craft beer and solely think of “Boston Lager” when you hear the name Sam Adams, I implore you to branch out and try some of the other interesting things they are doing. If you’re into IPAs, check out the Rebel Family. Prefer a beer that’s fit for the current weather? The seasonals have you covered whether it’s 9 or 90 degrees outside. If you like aged beers, the Barrel Room Collection is calling your name. In short, whatever your style, it’s likely that Sam Adams has a beer (or two, or three…) for you.

GABF 2015: Recap, Best in Show

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The 2015 Great American Beer Festival promised to be “Bigger. Better. Beerier” than ever before. There was an additional 90,000 square feet in the tasting hall, a second entrance for ticket holders and around 3,800 beers from 750 or so breweries. And in my opinion, it was the best yet.

I’ve been to dozens of beer festivals over the last several years, and GABF is the most well run fest I’ve experienced. The Brewers Association–along with many other folks that make this massive event possible–clearly work extremely hard to get everything just right. A festival of this magnitude faces many potential logistical challenges. But the team is on top of it, ensuring that every aspect runs as smoothly as possible. Therefore, the Great American Beer Festival was just as organized as ever, even with approximately 60,000 people in attendance.

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Nothing says “Welcome to GABF” like bagpipes!

The following list contains my top picks of all the beers that I tried. Even with attending more than one session, I still ended up with numerous breweries on my list that I simply didn’t have enough time to stop by, despite my best efforts. But here are my favorites out of the countless beers I drank.

GABF 2015: Best in Show (in no particular order)

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Perhaps it’s due to the fact that there were more breweries and beers this year, but I had more awe-inspiring beers than any previous GABF. I only had to dump a couple, as I was impressed with the majority of everything I tried.

I’d like to make an additional mention about a few breweries that were probably my overall favorites. First, Wicked Weed. While I didn’t get to taste the award-winning Pernicious IPA (due to the constant long lines at their booth–and rightly so), every one of their sours blew me away. If Wicked Weed ever distributes in Colorado, I’ll be one happy girl. Also–being very into sour beers–I had hoped to sample more of what The Rare Barrel had to offer. But by the time I made it they were down to one, Another World, which was one of the best beers I had at GABF. And of course The Bruery did not disappoint with my standard fave Tart of Darkness as well as a newer beer, Souren.

242 breweries took home medals at this year’s event (including 31 Colorado breweries). Congratulations to all winners! And a huge thank you to the Brewers Association and everyone else who made the 2015 Great American Beer Festival utterly amazing.

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Want to see more photos? Click here for my Facebook album.

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Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru from Sam Adams: It’s Coming for You, Denver!

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Denver! Beginning next Monday, Samuel Adams will be bringing one of its rarest and most unique brews to Denver: Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru. Denver is one of 20 stops on a KMF coast-to-coast tasting tour.

What is KMF Grand Cru? Below is some information from a 9/1/2015 press release from Sam Adams that will give you more information about this limited beer.

The Kosmic Mother Funk recipe was inspired by the Belgians, known for their unique beer styles and brewing techniques including blending, aging and conditioning beers that deliver wild and flavorful results. The Samuel Adams brewers began by taking a Belgian ale and aging it in Hungarian oak tuns where it evolved and took on a life and character of its own over time. Aged for up to a year, the long contact with the wood allows air to slowly seep into the beer during secondary fermentation, smoothing out any harsh flavors. Wild yeast and bacteria including Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus also interact with the beer, imparting unique spicy, fruity and bright tart flavors. This distinctive beer was then blended at varying levels into a series of Belgian brews, the manifestation of which became the Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection.

Originally a French term used to describe wine vintages, when used in the context of beer, ‘Grand Cru’ has come to denote a brew that is the ‘best of the best.’ When crafting Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru, the brewers at Samuel Adams aimed to create a unique beer unlike anything they had barrel-aged before. At 6.5% ABV, KMF Grand Cru is a wild, funky and complex ale aged for just over a year, with a depth of flavors ranging from earthy and spicy to floral and sweet.

“Craft beer drinkers are adventurous and opening their palates to new and interesting flavors,” said Samuel Adams Brewer and Founder Jim Koch. “Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru isn’t for everyone, but those who enjoy it appreciate the depth and complexity that make it one of the most unique beers we’ve ever crafted, only to be described as a kosmic collection of flavors.”

When and where can I find KMF Grand Cru in Denver? Find out here. Don’t miss your chance to taste KMF!

Gearing up for GABF: Past Favorite Beers to Watch For

I was very impressed with Short's at GABF 2014

I was very impressed with Short’s at GABF 2014

Beer lovers, rejoice! It’s almost time for the 2015 Great American Beer Festival. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned GABF veteran, this year’s festival is sure to be one of the best yet, with 90,000 additional square feet and over 800 breweries.

For those who haven’t attended before, there is lots of helpful information on the GABF website. And with the venue being larger this year, everyone can benefit from checking out the festival map and brewery list.

The list of beers being poured doesn’t usually get posted until either the day before of the day of, but keep an eye out for it as it’s a good idea to browse it for any particular styles of beer you may be seeking, or to see what your favorite breweries will have at the fest.

Curious to know some of my personal favorite beers from 2013 & 2014? You can find them here:

Best in Show: The Standouts of GABF 2013
GABF 2014: Best in Show

What are some of your past favorites that you suggest looking for this year?

 

 

September Beer Events

Sure, the Great American Beer Festival is sold out. But whether you’re attending or not, there are plenty of other fun beer events in September!

Note: Due to events being continually announced, I will update this post as necessary.

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  • Starting Tue., Sep. 1: The Great Douglas County Libraries Brew Tour 2015  (takes place at 8 breweries; click link for details). In addition to the Brew Tour, each Wed. in Sep. at 6 p.m. at the tappings of  “library brews,” a special guest speaker will be in attendance:
    • September 2: John Holl, author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook at Living the Dream. The library brew is a Blackcurrant Saison.
    • September 9: Beer and Chocolate Pairing with the Chocolate Therapist at Elk Mountain. The library brew is an ESB.
    • September 16: Ed Sealover, author of Mountain Brew: Colorado’s Colorful Craft Breweries at Barnett & Son. The library brew is a Dunkel Weizen.
    • September 23: Randy Mosher, author of Tasting Beer at Grist. The library brew is a Southern English Brown Ale.
    • September 30: Dan Rabin, author of Notes from the Tap Room at Lone Tree Brewing. The library brew is a Pumpkin Ale.

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  • Fri., Sep. 11-Fri., Sep. 18: New Belgium Tap Takeover at Thirsty Lion (1605 Wynkoop St., Denver). ***Promotion on Sep. 18th 3-5 p.m.: Win 2 tickets to GABF and other New Belgium Prizes.***
  • Fri., Sep. 11, 7-10 p.m.: 7th Annual Fall Harvest Brewfest at The Lincoln Center (417 W. Magnolia, Ft. Collins).

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  • Fri., Sep. 11-Sun., Sep. 13, 4-6 p.m.: The POST Brewing Co. Townie Ale & Howdie Beer Can Release Parties. Sep. 11 at Centro Latin Kitchen, Sep. 12 at The POST Brewing, and Sep. 13 at LOLA Mexican Fish House.

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  • Sat., Sep. 12, 1-10 p.m.: Gravity Brewing’s 3 Year Anniversary Celebration at Gravity Brewing ( 1150 Pine Street Unit B, Louisville).
  • Sat., Sep. 12 and Sun., Sep. 13, 12-7 p.m.: The Denver Flea at Sculpture Park (Speer & Champa, Denver). At 1, 3 and 5 p.m., both days there will be special tappings (see schedule below). RSVP in advance for a free New Belgium beer upon arrival. 

    Saturday, 9/12

    1 pm New Belgium Special Tapping: Fleak Out! at the New Belgium Tent

    3 pm New Belgium Special Tapping: Le Terroir at the New Belgium Tent

    5 pm New Belgium Special Tapping: Fleak Out! at the New Belgium Tent

    Sunday, 9/13

    1 pm New Belgium Special Tapping: Fleak Out! at the New Belgium Tent

    3 pm New Belgium Special Tapping: NBB Love Apple Felix at the New Belgium Tent

    5 pm New Belgium Special Tapping: Wild Wild Dubbel at the New Belgium Tent

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  • Wed., Sep. 16: National Guacamole Day and Tivoli Tap Takeover at Kachina Southwest Grill (10600 Westminster Blvd, Westminster).
    • Guacamole flavors include Scorpion Pepper, Charred Tomato, Smoked Avocado, and two flavors which utilize local Colorado ingredients: Roasted Hatch Guacamole and Palisade Peach Guacamole.
    • Tivoli Tap Takeover, starting on September 16, lasting through the end of Great American Beer Fest.
  • Fri., Sep. 18, 11 a.m.: New Belgium Tap Takeover at Next Door Union Station (1701 Wynkoop St., Ste. 100, Denver).
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  • Sat., Sep. 19, 2 p.m.-midnight: 2nd Annual Gratitude at Our Mutual Friend (2810 Larimer St., Denver).
  • Fri.-Sun., Sep. 18-20 & Fri.-Sun., Sep. 25-27: Oktoberfest Denver (Between 20th St. & 22nd St. on Larimer St., Denver).

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  • Sat., Sep. 19-Sat., Sep. 26: Odell Brewing Tap Takeover at Thirsty Lion (1605 Wynkoop St., Denver). ***Promotion with Odell Brewing Co. on Sep. 24th (first day of GABF) 3-5 p.m.: Win 2 tickets to GABF and other Odell Prizes.***

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  • Sat., Sep. 20 & Sun., Sep. 21, 10 a.m.-close: First Draft’s Oktoberfest at First Draft (1309 26th St., Denver).

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  • Thur., Sep. 24-Sat., Sep. 26: Great American Beer Festival at the Colorado Convention Center (700 14th Street, Hall F, 14th and Stout Streets, Denver). SOLD OUT.
  • Thur., Sep. 24, 10:30 p.m.: 2015 Avery Midnight Breakfast at Euclid Hall (1317 14th St., Denver).

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  • Wed., Sep. 23-Sun., Sep. 27: Sunnyside Beer Stroll at Factotum Brewhouse, Diebolt Brewing and Denver Beer Co Canworks.
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  • Thur., Sep. 24, 7 p.m.-12 a.m.: 50 Firkin Fiasco at Epic Brewing (3001 Walnut St., Denver).
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GABF 2014: Best In Show

I was impressed by Short's Brewing from Bellaire, Michigan.

I was impressed by Short’s Brewing from Bellaire, Michigan.

I’ve been to the Great American Beer Festival for the past several years. Normally I don’t run into too much of a problem paring down my list of favorites…but this year is proving to be the most challenging yet. Perhaps it’s that, with all the beer drinking I do on a regular basis, my palate is improving. Or maybe it’s that breweries are brewing better and better beer. Or–most likely–a combination of both. Regardless, this is a good problem to have! So I’ll just go with it and share all of the ones that I truly loved.

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Without a doubt, one of my top picks is Belching Beaver‘s Peanut Butter Milk Stout. I usually end up with a peanut butter beer on my final list, which is no surprise considering my love of beers that taste like food. But this one blew me away! So much peanut butter, exactly as it should be. And an exciting side note: Belching Beaver won this year’s Alpha King Challenge with their double IPA Pound Town. Congratulations!

2014 Alpha King Champs! Belching Beaver.

2014 Alpha King Champs! Belching Beaver.

Next up: Bourbon Carrot Cake from Short’s Brewing. Another beer that tastes like food?! But of course! Bourbon Carrot Cake is a dessert ale made with carrots, marshmallow, vanilla, maple syrup, orange zest, walnuts, pecans and spices and then aged in bourbon barrels. While it might not be for everyone, I feel it is something that can certainly appeal to craft beer lovers as well as those who “don’t like beer.” I only wish I could get my hands on some to test out this theory! Short’s won a Gold in the Experimental category for their Key Lime Pie. Way to go!
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Since I seem to be on a roll with beers brewed with food, this would be a good time to mention the Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine by Almanac Beer Co.. I don’t consider myself to be a big fan of barleywines in general; I find most of them are too sweet for me. But I didn’t run into that with the Heirloom Pumpkin. I thought it was quite easy to drink, which could be dangerous considering it’s actually 12% ABV.

Pretzel necklaces: great for cleansing the palate. Necklaces with jerkey, cheese crackers, candy, etc. = you're too cheap to buy food. I loved these guys' idea for bread necklaces! Different, yet practical.

Pretzel necklaces: great for cleansing the palate. Necklaces with jerkey, cheese crackers, candy, etc. = you’re too cheap to buy food. I loved these guys’ idea for bread necklaces! Different, yet entirely practical.

Not a food beer, but a delicious combination of coffee and beer: Coffee IPA from FATE Brewing. This is a local beer brewed just 30 minutes away in Boulder, Colorado. Why would I “waste” time stopping at a booth whose beer is a but half hour drive away? Because it’s just that good. And FATE doesn’t currently distribute this beer, so it was definitely worth a trip (or three) to their booth. A shout out to them for winning a Gold for their Laimas Kolsch!

The crew from Black Star Co-op in Austin.

The crew from Black Star Co-op in Austin.

I have a special fondness for Texas beer. Having family & friends there, it’s the one place I’ve spent more time than anywhere else outside of Colorado. And my favorite thing to do while there is to explore the craft beer scene. One in particular really did it for me at GABF, and that was Benedictum from Real Ale Brewing Company. This sour brown with tart cherries is part of Real Ale’s Mysterium Verum (Latin translation: Real Mystery) barrel aged series. Very solid sour ale. I will be looking for this during my upcoming Austin trip–fingers are crossed that I’ll find some!

Saint Arnold Brewing Company (Texas' Oldest Craft Brewery) brought this chapel where people could actually wed at the festival.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company (Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery) brought this chapel where people could actually wed at the festival.

Over the past several months I’ve begun to realize what an outstanding barrel-aging program Avery Brewing has. There have been many Sundays I’ve made the trip up to Boulder for their special releases, and the one that I constantly rave about is Opuntia, a tequlia barrel-aged sour. Pretty much every sour I’ve had from Avery has been top-notch, but the combination of prickly pear and tequila makes Opuntia one of the most unique tasting sours I’ve ever had.
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I don’t have any specific order for my favorite beers at this year’s GABF. I consider every beer mentioned above to be “amazing.” And here are some more for you:

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I know there were so many more worthwhile beers present. If only I was somehow capable of sampling them all! But I can only do so much, and I’m anything but disappointed in the beers I elected to try at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. Check out my Facebook album for a few more photos. Until next year!

GABF Media Luncheon 2014

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I’ve attended the Great American Beer Festival for several years and, for the past couple, have provided coverage on my blog. But this year was definitely different in that I was granted a media pass for the very first time, thereby giving me the privilege of being part of the GABF Media Briefing and Luncheon.

Vegetarian starter. Not sure what it is, as it wasn't listed on the menu.

Vegetarian starter. Not sure what it is, as it wasn’t listed on the menu. But it sure was good! Paired with Serenity from Wicked Weed and Opal from Firestone Walker.

Throughout the working lunch we were given lots of great information by the Brewers Association‘s Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz. It was great to listen to the panel discussions with knowledgeable brewers and brewery representatives during the meal.

Granny Smith Apple with Ginger and Grapefruit. Paired with Berliner Weisse, Napoleon Complex by the Brewers Association Team Homebrew.

Granny Smith Apple with Ginger and Grapefruit. Paired with Berliner Weisse, Napoleon Complex by the Brewers Association Team Homebrew.

I love beer and food pairings, so I was excited to attend this event. The pairings were so well thought out. I really appreciated that they were able to accommodate the vegetarians in the group, and the food was anything but boring. I truly enjoyed every course!

Vegetarian main course: Grilled Portobello stuffed with green chile quinoa & queso fresco, smoked tomatillo salsa verde and crispy shallot. Paired with Black Eagle Baltic Porter by Black Tooth Brewing and Old Tom Porter by Piney River Brewing.

Vegetarian main course: Grilled Portobello stuffed with green chile quinoa & queso fresco, smoked tomatillo salsa verde and crispy shallot. Paired with Black Eagle Baltic Porter by Black Tooth Brewing and Old Tom Porter by Piney River Brewing.

While all the food looked wonderful, our dessert was beautiful! It was called Dusty Miller Semifreddo with warm toffee sauce, paired with Balt Altbier from Union Craft Brewing and Tsunami Stout from Pelican Pub & Brewery. I tried to select just one photo to upload, but I couldn’t choose. So here are a couple:


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The 2014 GABF Media Briefing and Luncheon was fantastic! Thank you to everyone involved for a job well done!
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