Even though Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival in the world, The Great American Beer Festival is biggest and best craft beer festival in the United States. With over 4,000 beers being poured from over 800 breweries, craft beer enthusiasts from around the United States flock to Denver, Colorado for the ultimate beercation.
Since GABF was scheduled in September instead of October this year, Denver’s Oktoberfest landed on the same weekend, giving beer enthusiasts the best of both worlds. This event included live music, a stein-hosting contest, Bavarian pretzels, a brat-eating competition, and flowing German beer.
Denver Beer Co GABF Brewers Breakfast: Burritos and Breakfast Beers
During the week of GABF, there was a plethora of beer related events to explore including tap takeovers, pairings, parties and more. Denver Beer Co held a Burritos and Breakfast Beers event at their brewery. This was the perfect event to rise and shine and fuel up for a day of drinking with a hearty breakfast burrito and a breakfast style beer. The Denver Graham Cracker Porter can be described as “a campfire in a glass.” This beer embodies the flavors of vanilla, chocolate and sweet biscuits that will keep you coming back for s’more!
Visit Denver Brewery Tour
The Visit Denver Breweries tours are a great way to see the city, taste great beers and meet the brewers. They rotate the breweries stops at so every time you visit, you can go on a new brew venture. During my tour, I visited the new Oskar Blues Brewery in LoDo.
Oskar Blues innovated the craft beer in a can craze since it’s easily portable, eliminates the damaging effect of light and increased oxygen. Even though aluminum imparts a metallic taste, canned craft beer has increased in popularity. Oskar Blues Brewery has a rock themed décor including 4,000 drumsticks handing from the ceiling, lights made of cymbals, and merchandise displayed inside a drum kit.
The second stop on the tour was Odell Brewing’s newest location in RiNo, a trendy area covered with street art murals, brewpubs and restaurants. This location crafts experimental beers using different types of hops and brews a variety of sour beers which are exclusive to this taproom, motivating craft beer drinkers to visit the brewery.
Odell has a beautiful outdoor patio area with a vibrant hop mural and a fire pit. Some must-try beers from Odell Brewing include Cahmere IPA (6.5% abv), Fluff Too IPA (6.5% abv) and Sippin’ Pretty (4.5% abv), a bright ruby colored fruited sour ale with Himalayan pink sea salt, açai, guava, and elderberry.
The last stop on the tour was Call to Arms Brewing, located in northwest Denver. This brewery was started by three former Avery Brewing employees. Call to Arms is the perfect place for craft beer drinker and Will Ferrell fans since they name their beers after funny movie references including, “Majestic Wolf Lamp” and “Old Old Wooden Ship.” During GABF week, they even held a Catalina Wine Mixer to showcase the brewery’s lineup of wine barrel-aged beers.
Stand-Out Beers from GABF
GABF is the perfect place to try some of the most sought after craft beers in America that you can’t buy in your state. Even though Long Island has a great craft beer scene, it’s always fun to expand your palate and try something new. Here are some stand-out beers from Colorado that are sure to satisfy.
Pumpkin Toasted Marshmallow Porter (6% abv)
If a sweet potato casserole and a s’more had a baby it would taste like the Fluffy Pumpkin Toasted Marshmallow Porter. The combination of roasted pumpkin, seasonal spices, vanilla and marshmallow make this an awesome autumn beer.
Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter (5.8% abv)
Looking for a new breakfast beer for Sunday Funday? Try the Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter made with whole Madagascar vanilla beans, sweet crystal malts, and roasted grains.
Fraggle Rock (5.6% abv)
You’ll want to dance your cares away after drinking DownHill Brewing’s Fraggle Rock tropical saison. Enjoy the fruity blend of passion fruit, lemon peel and the floral notes from the coriander.
Colorado Fall Golden Coffee Stout (8.3%)
This beer has a beautiful amber color opposed to stouts that are black or dark brown. This beer is brewed with North African Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Toddy and dark chocolate espresso bars from a local Coffee Roaster, The Unseen Bean.
Killer Boots (6% abv)
Killer Boots is a hybrid English-style caramel porter with notes of chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth, indulge this decadent chocolate caramel beer.
Roll in Ze’ Watermelons (5% abv)
Roll in Ze’ Watermelons is a gose made with watermelon grown in Colorado. This unfiltered wheat beer has a slight salted flavor, giving it a similar feel to a watermelon tequila margarita.
Intrepid Pear Saison (6%)
Enjoy this crisp saison with fruity undertones of pear, making this beer refreshing and easy to drink.
Basil IPA (7.1%)
Enjoy this IPA with fresh Italian Basil, it gives this beer a sweet finish you won’t forget.
Watermelon Kolsch (5% abv)
Savor the taste of summer with a Watermelon Kolsch beer made with watermelon puree, giving it a refreshing and fruity twist to this German Style Ale.
KnotUrBock (7% abv)
KnotUrBock is a sweet malty beer, with subtle hoppy characteristics. This is the perfect easy to drink beer, especially if you don’t fancy a strong hoppy beer.Twisted Pine Brewing Co
Big Shot Espresso Stout -Timberline Series (6% abv)
The Big Shot Espresso Stout is an American Stout that won the World Beer Cup in 2014. It’s made with roasted Peruvian beans from The Unseen Bean from Lafayette, CO.
Colorado is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a great craft beer destination. Save the date for the 12th Annual Great American Beer Festival October 3-5, 2019 and tour Colorado’s breweries through Visit Denver. Cheers!