The best parts of the Great American Beer Festival are sometimes found nowhere near the Colorado Convention Center. There’s too much to choose from, really, but here are some highlights from the myriad pourings, tastings, fundraisers, dinners, festivals, and events:
Saturday, September 19
This year, Denver’s Oktorberfest coincides with the GABF. As such, Denver International Airport will host a beer garden from Sept. 19–27. You don’t even have to leave the airport to get your liver going. "Beer Flights," as it’s called, costs $10.
Tuesday, September 22
in Denver’s RiNo District will pour beers from Creature Comforts, Cascade, Bell’s, Almanac, Perennial, Against the Grain, Prairie, Breakside, Crux, Oakshire, Fremont, Off Color, Gigantic, Green Bench, Two Roads, Societe, Evil Twin, Ecliptic, Boneyard, and Jack's Abby. That’s a lot of beers you can’t get here in the Mile High City. Chase these brews with some of the best burgers in Denver. (2615 Walnut St., 720-381-0126)
Wednesday, September 23
What The Funk!?
is its own mini-festival that celebrates all things funky. It’s a sour-beer lover’s heaven and features more than 60 breweries. VIP tix are sold out, but tickets for the regular session are still available. The event runs from 5:30–10 PM at the Highlands Masonic Event Center, 3550 Federal Blvd.
will tap beers from Bell's Brewery from 2–4 PM. (2137 Larimer St., 720-328-2420)
Thursday, September 24
Sun King—a great brewery from Indianapolis—will tap some of its beers from 11:30 AM–10 PM at Hops & Pie
. Beers include Grapefruit Jungle, Velour Soccer Mom, Indy Weiss, Velvet Fog, Afternoon Delight, and P- Funk. (3920 Tennyson St., 303-477-700)
Starting at 2 PM, Melvin Brewing from Jackson, Wyo., will start flowing at the Falling Rock Taphouse
. Melvin is known the country over for producing excellent hoppy IPAs and pales ales. (1919 Blake St., 303-293-8338)
Over at Old Major
, three of San Francisco's Magnolia Brewing Co. beers will be paired with a three-course meal. Tickets are $55 and the meal runs from 10 AM–noon. Reservations required. (3316 Tejon St., 720-420-0622)
Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen
will celebrate Three Floyds Brewing September 24 starting at 5 PM by pouring four beers from the well-known brewery: Zombie Dust, Alpha Kind, Gumballhead, and a sour selection. (800 Lincoln St., 720-524-8065)
Friday, September 25
The Alpha King Challenge
is an annual competition held during the GABF and is dedicated to hoppy beers. Each entry must have a minimum 60 IBUs. Drop in if you’re a hophead. (Rock Bottom Brewery, 1001 16th St., 303-534-7616)
Casey Brewing & Blending
, which produces some of Colorado’s most sought-after beers, will pour at Hops & Pie
. Beers on tap include selections from The Cut Series: Montmorency, Fruit Stand Series: Apricot, the Low End, and Biere De Garde. Taps flow at 11:30 AM. (3920 Tennyson St., 303-477-700)
Saturday, September 26
will pour five beers from North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing Company starting at noon. Wicked Weed makes some of the best sour beers in the nation and has been a darling of the past couple GABFs. (2137 Larimer St., 720-328-2420)
will serve beers from Minnesota’s Surly Brewing beginning at 7 PM. Beer list to be announced. (1530 Blake St., 303-758-9608)
Top photo via GABF; Beer photo via Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen
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