By Jerrod Cotosman & Neill Pieper
The Great American Beer Festival is October 6-8 in Denver and is the must-do beer happening of the year. But if you live in the metro area or have come to town prior to the big weekend, there are plenty of other related events you can attend. These range from special beer offerings and parties to the just plain weird. In order to give you some ideas, here are some things to do in Denver before the GABF.
1. Tap Takeover at DIA - Flying in for GABF? Start tasting as soon as you land. Timberline Steaks & Grille and Smokin’ Bear Lodge, located within Denver International Airport’s C Concourse, have partnered with Fort Collins, Colo.-based Odell Brewing to launch a 10-tap takeover in celebration of Great American Beer Festival, October 6-8.
2. The Denver Beer Trail – Perhaps it isn’t as adventurous as the experiences of Daniel Boone or Lewis and Clark, but following the Denver Beer Trail can be just as rewarding. The map will lead you to 20 local craft breweries within a three-mile radius of downtown. You can train for the GABF by getting a preview from those brewers planning to attend the big event. denver.org
3. Beers Made by Walking – If highbrow cultural activity is your forte, check out this Oct. 4 event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. For $35 you can sample beers inspired by plants observed while hiking along Colorado’s beautiful trails. Try out the flora of our great state used as craft beer ingredients.
4. Denver Rare Beer Tasting VIII – (Sold Out) The craft beer aficionado should not miss the chance to sample some of the most sought after and exotic brews on Oct. 7. Although a bit pricey at $115 a head, this is a golden opportunity to scratch that elusive offering from your Beer Bucket List.
5. Geeks Who Drink Trivia – Nerd chic is sweeping the country so bring your horned-rimmed glasses and pocket protector to the Jagged Mountain Brewery on Oct. 6. Geeks Who Drink is a trivia quiz designed to cover the entire spectrum of pop culture. Be forewarned, however, unless you are Dr. Johnny Fever, too many drinks may adversely impact your score.
6. What the Funk Invitational – If barrel-aged beers are your thing, voyage to the What the Funk Invitational sponsored by the Crooked Stave Brewery. This is traditionally a tough ticket to get to a very popular event. Around 50 breweries are scheduled to attend Oct. 4, including rare international importers such as Belgian-based Cantillion.
7. Oktoberfest Denver – Finally there is the traditional Denver Oktoberfest on Larimer Street which takes place in the weeks before GABF. Events such as bratwurst eating contests, wiener dog races and keg bowling help pass the time while you raise a stein of good German beer. Check the website for scheduled event times and live music. thedenveroktoberfest.com
8. Falling Rock Tap House – A GABF staple, Falling Rock is hosting it's 20th GABF kickoff party Monday, Oct. 3rd! Featuring 22 special taps including Upslope and Spangalang collaborations, and the following highly acclaimed breweries...
- River North
- Black Bottle
- Firestone Walker
- De Proef
- Lost Abbey
- Russian River
- Wicked Weed
So as you start the countdown to the big day, don’t short yourself by forgetting about the other great beer-related things going on in Denver. Check out denver.org/denver-beer-fest for other events like jogging and board gaming. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Denver in the weeks before the GABF.
You can also find more @ http://www.thirstcolorado.com/events/