A record number of beer-centric events in The Mile High City cements Denver as America’s #1 beer city
Denver Beer Fest, presented by VISIT DENVER, will celebrate its ninth consecutive year with more than 260 events – far and away the highest number that have ever been pulled together for the annual celebration of Denver’s craft beer scene. Beginning today, Denver Beer Fest events include everything from the wacky to the wonderful with exclusive pairing dinners, tap takeovers, rare beer tappings, pop-up beer gardens, collaborations and more; and it will conclude with the 35th annual Great American Beer Festival, October 5-7.
Craft beer is an integral part of the Denver lifestyle. There are now more than 70 breweries in the city, and well over 100 in the metro area; and beer-centric events draw sizeable crowds to The Mile High City. Last year, Great American Beer Festival alone had an economic impact of $35.4 million.
“We created Denver Beer Fest nine years ago because we noticed all of these fantastic events taking place throughout the city leading up to Great American Beer Festival, but no efficient way of finding them,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “When we realized how significant the beer culture was becoming, even then, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the incredibly creative, collaborative things people were doing throughout the city to elevate our beer scene.”
At the official kickoff event, VISIT DENVER also unveiled the fifth annual Denver Beer Trail, which features 35 local breweries – all great ways to experience Denver’s booming brewery scene. “The Denver Beer Trail serves a similar purpose as Denver Beer Fest,” says Scharf. “By providing a useful guide for people, they are able to have a better experience and really get to know a lot of Denver’s craft beer culture.”
Below is a small selection of events taking place around the city during Denver Beer Fest; a full listing of the more than 260 events, along with hotel deals, can be found on the Denver Beer Fest website.
Blockbuster Events
Oktoberfest Denver, through Sept. 30
Denver's Ballpark Neighborhood welcomes back one of the city's longest running festivals and one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Oktoberfest Denver is set to once again commemorate this world-famous and time-honored tradition of German heritage by combining dynamic performance of music and dance, bier-based activities, Long Dog Derby and entertainment for all ages.
Truck Stop, A Community Food Truck Rally, Sept. 30
Truck Stop, a rally featuring Colorado’s fleet of amazing food trucks, will feature dozens of food trucks lining Denver’s Welton Street for nearly eight city blocks. This rally will explore the ever-evolving world of food truck fare through small-bite offerings of a variety of food styles, local craft beer and cocktails and a soundtrack of live soul and funk tunes.
The Big Wonderful’s 4th Annual Oktobergrass, Sept. 30 – Oct. 1
The Big Wonderful’s Oktobergrass BEERFEST features unlimited tastings from more than 20 craft breweries, wineries and distilleries, plus select breweries tapping special & unique beers at 4 PM each day. This year, BEERFEST will be interspersed with the BAZAAR vendors and BANDS, creating a fully integrated event featuring local artisans, craft beer and live music.
Great American Beer Festival, Oct. 5-7
The Great American Beer Festival is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in a both a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and diverse beers that make the U.S. the world's greatest brewing nation.
Beer for Charity
DrinkPink Campaign Kick-Off Party, Oct. 1
October 1st, 2017 marks the launch of Denver Beer Co.’s #DrinkPink campaign to support Breast Cancer Research. During the month of October, for every pint, can, and keg of Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch and #drinkpink swag sold across the state, Denver Beer Co. and Breakthru Beverage Colorado will donate ten percent to breast cancer research in Colorado. They will kick off the month-long fundraising campaign with a party at their Olde Town Arvada taproom.
Pink Boots Rare Beer Tasting at Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Oct. 4
This event focuses on the contributions of women in the brewing industry and will serve up exclusive selections from women in Denver’s and Colorado’s brew community. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Pink Boots Society, and represented breweries include Bierstadt Lager, Great Divide, Crazy Mountain, Blue Moon, Avery and more.
Beer Pop Ups
Skyline Beer Garden, through Oct. 7
Celebrating Colorado’s dynamic craft beer culture, the Skyline Beer Garden features 40,000 square feet of outdoor area with vast open air and tented seating in Skyline Park. The Beer Garden, open through October 7, offers a fun and comfortable environment with communal Oktoberfest-style picnic tables, a family-friendly game area and live music on Fridays and Saturdays. With a focus on Colorado craft brews, the Beer Garden has 12 different brews on tap and serves up casual fare, including locally-made brats, house-ground burgers, fresh salads and German pretzels with dipping sauces.
4th Annual Beer Flights, through Oct. 9
This popular event at Denver International Airport brings a taste of Colorado brews to the airport and coincides with worldwide Oktoberfest celebrations and the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. The beer garden is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with happy hour entertainment performances daily 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission includes a souvenir glass to taste samples.
Beer & Fitness
Breathe, Bend & Brew, Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, Sept. 30
Crazy Mountain Brewing Company’s weekly yoga class, led by instructors from Après Yoga, takes place in their outdoor beer garden. Yogis practice outdoors, then enjoy pints of Crazy Mountain beer to hydrate.
FREE Homegrown Tap and Dough Run Club 5K, Oct. 2
The regular run club at Homegrown Tap and Dough runs around Denver’s beautiful Washington Park from the restaurant. The run is a 5K led by Boulder Running Company, and anyone 21 years or older can join. Runners will receive their first beer for free, and can use their ticket to receive 15% off for any purchase at Boulder Running Company on select dates.
FREE Great Divide Hoppy Yogis – GABF Special Edition, Oct. 4
Hosted at Great Divide’s Barrel Bar RiNo location, yogis will practice right in the brewery with live tunes and professional instruction. Afterward, they can enjoy some craft brews in the Barrel Bar itself.
Flights, Firkins and Photos
UNITY! A Plane to Train Beer Showcase, Oct. 4
Kick off GABF week with some of the country’s premiere young breweries immediately after arriving on Denver soil. UNITY! A Plane to Train Beer Showcase welcomes brewers, beer industry representatives and beer fans alike to explore some of the country’s best rising breweries assembled under one roof. After getting off the plane at Denver International Airport, catch Denver RTD’s University of Colorado A-Line to Union Station to sample elite level beers from Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist, Seattle’s Fremont Brewing, San Diego’s Modern Times Beer, and Denver’s Ratio Beerworks. Each brewery will showcase a core brand as well as something a little more special and rare. Festivities and special tappings kick off at Noon and will run throughout the afternoon.
Epic Brewing Company’s Fifth Annual Fifty Firkin Fiasco, Oct 5.
Epic’s brewers have created 50 unique firkins for the annual Fiasco, which beer lovers can enjoy as they wander through the brewery. Ticket price includes unlimited sampling of the 50 Firkins from 7pm - midnight.
The Brewtography Project at Hotel Teatro, through Dec. 1
Dustin Hall, the Denver-based photographer and home brewer of The Brewtography Project, will display his art at Hotel Teatro September 15 - December 1. Hall combines his passions for photography and beer by capturing local breweries and the people working in them with his camera lens. The installation, Hall’s first solo exhibition, will provide a window into Colorado’s craft beer culture to travelers and hotel guests. Additionally, in collaboration with Call to Arms Brewing Company and The Brewtography Project, Hotel Teatro will release an exclusive brew – the Beautiful Impression, an oak-fermented Brett Farmhouse Ale – which will be available at the hotel and The Nickel.
Beer Dinners & Pairings
Chain Reaction Beer Pairing Dinner at Avelina, Oct. 2
One of Denver’s newest restaurants has partnered with Chain Reaction Brewing Company to create a special pairing dinner during Denver Beer Fest. The menu will feature items like Hamachi crudo paired with Slaughter Melon Pale Wheat Ale, a lavender boudin with the brewery’s Lavender Pilsner, Rohan Duck breast with a Pink Peppercorn Saison and even an Orange Cream Ale beer float with vanilla gelato.
The Corner Office Brewer’s Dinner with Strange Craft Beer Co., Oct. 3
The Corner Office, located in downtown’s Curtis Hotel, has partnered with Strange Craft Beer Company for a brewer’s dinner. Chef Rich Byers will pair five courses with Strange Craft Beers, and Strange’s brewer will be on-hand to discuss the pairings with the chef.
Hooves & Hops Annual Beer Dinner at Osteria Marco, Oct. 4
This year, for Osteria Marco’s annual beer pairing dinner, the restaurant has teamed up with Colorado favorite, Avery Brewing, to create a five-course meal. Menu items include a crab belly salad paired with Joe’s Pils; a BBQ Rib Banh Mi paired with Heaven Imperial Red IPA; a Pig’s Head ‘Lasagna’ paired with Chai High Ale and more.
Mockery Brewing Cookie Pairing and Small Batch Release, Oct. 4
For something a little sweeter, Mockery Brewing and Good Sugar Baking will be doing a four-cookie pairing, combining flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookies N Cream with Barrel Aged Coconut Porter, and Tomato Cookie with a barrel aged English Double IPA. They will also release a new, special collaboration beer with Good Sugar Baking, Peanut Butter Crunch Imperial Brown.
Green Russell, New Belgium and Leopold Bros. Reserve Dinner, Oct. 5
Join Green Russell for an intimate six-course dinner with very special guests Lauren Salazar, New Belgium’s Master Blender, and Leopold Bros. Distiller Todd Leopold. The menu will feature items paired and prepared with New Belgium brews and Leopold Bros. spirits such as New Belgium Fat Tire Steamed Mussels and Clams paired with a Leopold Silver Tree Vodka, Lemon, Black Garlic, New Belgium White Ale cocktail; or the Leopold Whiskey Barrel Smoked Wild Boar Loin paired with a cocktail made with Leopold Small Batch & Cherry Whiskeys, Single Foeder Felix and Cherry Juice.