This year’s event will be taken to new heights with a new collaboration with the Colorado Brewers Guild, increasing the participation of top craft breweries around the city and state. The nine-day Denver Beer Fest will include rare beer tastings, beer-paired dinners, “brewer vs. brewer” nights, beer tappings, brewery tours and a variety of entertaining beer events.
The website, www.DenverBeerFest.com, will be a one-stop shop for all things beer, including information on Denver beer events sponsored by some of the more than 450 breweries coming to town for the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). There is no cost to list Denver-centric events on the website.
“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 GABF, identified by Guinness World Records as the largest beer festival on the planet, offering a staggering 2,400 different beers for tasting in 2010.
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 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). Colorado brewers won more medals at the GABF (considered the gold standard of beer competitions) than any other state.
The success of craft brewing in Colorado is no coincidence, according to Todd Usry, Brewmaster and General Manager at Breckenridge Brewery. “I think the Colorado lifestyle, which embraces true quality of life, is a major factor in the adoption of craft beer enjoyment,” he says. “I’m not the first to notice that this is a state where you see a $5,000 bicycle on top of a $500 car. Those same outdoors enthusiasts are the ones who see the quality in craft beer and are willing to pay a little more for interesting, satisfying beer. Our Colorado consumers are also willing to experiment and to share with friends. The fun-loving, open-minded, quality-seeking folks who live in this state created the environment for so many breweries to succeed here.”
And then there’s the water. Just as the rivers flowing over the moors of Scotland have added to the indelible taste of Scotch whiskey, so too does water tumbling down from the Rocky Mountains give strength to Colorado beers. Coors Brewery uses the same 44 natural springs that Adolph Coors discovered in the 1870s.
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