Beer Aficionado's Guide To Denver
DENVER (August 19, 2009) - Denver Beer Fest (www.DenverBeerFest.com), September 18-27, 2009, will offer unique opportunities for enthusiasts and amateurs alike to cultivate a broader understanding of the brewer's world with nearly 100 beer-related experiences that solidify the Mile High City's distinction as one of the world's great beer cities.
The city's first establishment was a saloon, but how far craft brewing has come since those days. Denver Beer Fest will be a 10-day celebration of beer-centric events such as beer tastings at restaurants, beer-paired dinners, "meet the brewer" nights, beer tappings and brewery tours.
Denver's celebration of all-things beer leads up to America's most prestigious beer festival, the Brewers Association's Great American Beer Festival (GABFTM), September 24-26. GABF has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as offering the largest number of beers available for tastings of any place on earth and attracts 46,000 beer lovers each year. More than 400 breweries are expected to attend, offering more than 2,000 beers for tastings and medal competitions.
But Denver is also a year-round beer-lover's paradise, thanks to its wide array of microbreweries, brewpubs, tap houses, and outdoor cafes. The city's hip lower downtown historic district, LoDo, offers beer-lovers multiple hops hotspots, all within walking distance of one another.
Denver's first brewpub, The Wynkoop Brewing Company, (1634 18th St., www.wynkoop.com), co-founded in 1988 by current Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, produces more than 4,000 barrels of fresh beer annually, earning it a place among the largest brewpubs in the world. Housed in the 1899-built J.S. Brown Mercantile Building, The Wynkoop is packed with 22 pool tables, multiple dartboards, other bar games and a comedy club, but the beer is the main attraction.
A few blocks away on the popular pedestrian 16th Street Mall, Rock Bottom Brewery (1001 16th St. Unit A-100, www.rockbottom.com) handcrafts 40,000 barrels of beer on-site annually, the highest volume of beer in the restaurant brewery category. Rock Bottom was named Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival.
Behind right field in Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, sits The Blue Moon Brewery at The Sandlot (2161 Blake St.,www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com), the country's only ballpark microbrewery. A bit of a contradiction in terms, this is a microbrewery that is owned by a mega-brewery Ð MillerCoors. But the beer served is mainly of the craft variety, centered on Blue Moon beers, which were first brewed in Denver.
Breckenridge Brewery's Blake Street Pub (2220 Blake St.,www.breckbrew.com), just a block from Coors Field, offers such unique brews as Agave Wheat (created using the nectar of Salmiana Agave), Trademark Pale Ale (boasting hearty amounts of pale and Munich malts) and Oatmeal Stout (a bold, smooth-bodied concoction that magically combines dark-roasted coffee aromas and flavors of espresso and semi-sweet chocolate).
Also near Coors Field is Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake St., www.fallingrocktaphouse.com), boasting more than 69 beers on tap and even more bottled beer, including what is probably the most extensive selection in the world of Colorado-brewed beer under one roof. All beer on tap at Falling Rock is craft brewed -- "no contract brews or megaswill," they proudly state on their Web site.
The Great Divide Brewery (2201 Arapahoe St., Denver, www.greatdivide.com) has racked up its fair share of accolades since its founding in 1994, including 13 Great American Beer Festival medals, four World Beer Cup awards, and a top 10 spot in Beer Advocate's 2008 All-Time Top Breweries on Planet Earth. At the Great Divide's Tap Room, sample any of their beers on tap or in bottles, as well as the occasional Tap Room-only special release.
Just a short cab ride from Downtown Denver, beer aficionados will find even more brew bliss. More than 50 beers are offered at The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe (543 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, www.thecheekymonk.com), including close to 20 Belgian draughts not available anywhere else in Colorado. Sophistication is the name of the game -- the husband-and-wife-owned Cheeky Monk even provides tasting cards allowing customers to take notes on their favorite beverages.
Vine Street Pub (1700 Vine St., Denver, www.mountainsunpub.com), one of the newest and grooviest additions to Denver's microbrewery scene, is all about the Grateful Dead on the sound system, juicy burgers (or veggie burgers) and a dedication to beer, lovingly crafted on-site.
In Aurora, Dry Dock Brewery Co. (15110 E. Hampden Ave., Aurora, Colo., www.drydockbrewery.com) is making a name for itself, thanks to a Gold Medal at the 2006 World Beer Championships for its HMS Victory ESB (Extra Special Bitter) Ale and a Silver Medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival for its SS Minnow Dark Mild.
Every one of these brew-centric spots will be hosting events during Denver Beer Fest, September 18-27, 2009. For more information and a complete events listing, go towww.DenverBeerFest.com, where special beer-related hotel packages and rates can be found along with discount taxi coupons sponsored by Yellow Cab. VISIT DENVER encourages all guests to enjoy responsibly.
Denver Beer Fest is presented by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, and by media sponsor, Westword. Additional sponsors and supporters include Boelter Beverage Company, Downtown Denver Partnership and Denver Business Improvement District, Colorado Brewers Guild, Great American Beer Festival, Karsh/Hagan, Oktoberfest, RTD and Yellow Cab.
About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, generating $3.1 billion in annual spending in 2008, while supporting 65,000 jobs. For more information on Denver call 800-2-DENVER or visit Denver's official Web site at VISITDENVER.com.
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