“Beer is in Denver’s DNA,” says Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who owned the first brewpub in Colorado – the Wynkoop Brewing Company – before he entered politics. Today, Denver brews more beer than any other city, is home to the world’s largest single brewing site, Coors Brewery, and hosts the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), identified by Guinness World Records as the largest beer festival on the planet, offering a staggering 2,200 different beers for tasting in 2010.
And for the third straight year, the Mile High City is also home to Denver Beer Fest, taking Friday, September 23 – Saturday, October 1, 2011. The 10 day celebration of suds will ultimately include more than 150 beer-centric events, many of which can already be found on the just launched website www.DenverBeerFest.com.
Sponsored by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau and Westword, the festival was created to welcome GABF to town and create other events for attendees to do. Since GABF sold out 11 weeks early this year, Denver Beer Fest offers a variety beer tastings for those who did not get tickets. Some of the events include:
- Beer Tastings
- Meet the Brewer Nights
- Firkin nights (a cask conditioned beer will be tapped and drained until it is gone)
- Tap Takeovers (a brewery takes over all the taps at a bar or restaurant)
- Beer-paired dinners (a restaurant works with the brewery and has a different course paired with a different beer in a fixed-price dinner)
- Beer Competitions (beers are paired off against each other, often with the bar patrons voting for their favorites, until there is one winner)
- Beer Specials (special prices on select beers for the evening)
- Beer Education (special programs or lectures that discuss different aspects of beer tasting or brewing)
- Pub Crawls (two or more bars work together on a pub crawl, or beer walking tour, or beer cruiser bike night)
- Rare Beer Tastings (ability to taste rare or exclusive beers)
- Brewery Tours (special theme-tours of breweries)
- Beer Games (quizzes, contests, special events)
- Music (music events that take place during Denver Beer Fest and can be tied into it)
- Beer and athletic competitions (like the Tour de Fat)
- Beer fundraising events (Beer tastings like Brew at the Zoo, or a proposed fundraiser for the Brewers Guild, possibly hosted by Westword)
- Other (any other type of beer event)
Denver’s tap houses, brew pubs, gastro pub and distillery scene continues to expand with the past year seeing a number of new entries including Denver Beer Company, Denver Strange Brewing, Renegade, Copper Kettle, and Amato Ale House, which features 45 Colorado beers on tap. Downtown Denver alone added more than 250 taps in just a year. Five Colorado brewers have made the Brewers Association’s latest list of the country’s Top 50 Craft Breweries: Fort Collins’ New Belgium (3) and Odell Brewing Co. (33); Louisville’s Rock Bottom Brewery (35); Longmont’s Oskar Blues Brewery (36); and Denver’s Breckenridge Brewery (45).
For information on Denver Beer Fest, www.DenverBeerFest.com
For information on Beer Tours around the world, www.WalkingAndDrinkingBeer.com