Used as fermentation to get Denver and beer nuts everywhere geared up for the annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the Denver Beer Fest (site) is a 10 day blow out of beer tasting, brewery tours, and food pairings. The Denver Beer Fest runs from September 10-19 (a quick AC search for GABF will give you info on that festival).
If you are lucky enough to be in Denver to experience any part of this 10 day beer festival, even if you’ve missed out on sold out tickets for the GABF, there is still tons to do. And a lot of it is free!
Getting Around: Driving can be tough in Denver, especially if there is a ball game. Denver civil engineers thought it would be a great idea to put the Colorado Convention Center and all the sports stadiums in the same general vicinity. Your best bet is to stay near the downtown area and either hoof it or use public transit. Besides, you’re probably drinking. Colorado has a near zero tolerance on blood-alcohol levels for drivers.
Things to Do: Hit the brewery tours. Sure, Coors has tours, but Breckenridge and Great Divide Brewing Companies are far better brews. You can get the same tour at Coors that you do at Budweiser and Miller anyway, why bother with all the great other spots to visit?
If you have a car and have the time and effort, go to New Belgium. Their tours are free, they take great pride in their brewery and you get four free brews going in. Get there early. Because they are free and truly unique, the tours fill up fast.
The Denver Zoo is doing a ‘Brew at the Zoo’ so start your 10 days on the right foot. $65 gets you in the door and trying upwards of 40 of Colorado’s best Brewery beverages and ‘free’ appetizers. It might cost pretty penny, but its unlimited 4 ounce tastings the whole night.
New Belgium and Boulder Brewing are both doing free (count it, free) tastings at primebar (No, there is no capital letter in this establishment’s name) on Arapahoe St just east of Speer Blvd.
Steer Clear: Now, I know a lot of you serious beer nerds will want to try brews you’ve never heard of, and I encourage that. However, there are some you should steer clear of. For instance, Crabtree Brewing is doing a meet and greet at City, O’ City. You pay happy hour prices, and to be frank, the brewmaster’s creations are dull at the very least.