DENVER (September 30, 2016) – The eighth annual Denver Beer Fest, presented by VISIT DENVER, kicks off on Friday, September 30; and the nine-day celebration of Denver’s preeminent craft beer scene will feature nearly 200 events, including unique festivals, creative pop-ups, pairing dinners at top restaurants and more; and it will culminate with the 34th annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF), October 6-8. Additionally, at the official kickoff for Denver Beer Fest, VISIT DENVER will unveil its annual Denver Beer Trail which, like The Mile High City itself, will feature more must-try local breweries than ever before.
There are now more than 60 breweries in Denver, more than 100 in the metro area and some 350 throughout the state; and Denver brews more beer than any other American city – more than 200 unique beers are produced and served every day in Denver’s tap houses, brew pubs, breweries and gastro pubs. Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and USA Today have all selected Denver as the No. 1 Microbrew Beer City in the nation, an opinion shared by the New York Times. CNN.com also named The Mile High City America’s Best Beer Town in 2015.
“Craft beer has become one of the pillars of the Denver lifestyle and brand,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, which stages the annual celebration. “The more than five dozen breweries we have here exemplify the entrepreneurial, creative spirit of the city; and it is a privilege to be able to celebrate such a renowned beer scene as we prepare to host the largest annual beer event in the world, Great American Beer Festival.”
Below is a small selection of events taking place around the city during Denver Beer Fest; a full listing of events can be found on the Denver Beer Fest website.
Mercantile Invitational: The Brewer’s Table (Oct. 5) – Mercantile dining & provision will host some of GABF’s most sought-after breweries for a celebratory brewery/chef paired dinner. Bringing to the table a convergence of creativity from both the culinary and craft beer side, Union Station goes back to its historical roots of welcoming hungry travelers and thirsty steadfast wanderers in the form of this rare ‘meeting of the palates’ dinner.
Hooves & Hops Beer Dinner (Oct. 6) – Join Osteria Marco and Great Divide Brewery for a Hooves & Hops Dinner. The evening will feature five courses from the Osteria Marco kitchen paired with five unique Great Divide beers.
The Nickel Diner (Oct. 5-8) – Each night post-GABF, from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., The Nickel — located inside Hotel Teatro — will transform into The Nickel Diner. Guests can find late-night reprieve in dressed-up versions of diner favorites, including tater tots and charcuterie; house-made pretzels; buttermilk pancakes; chicken and waffles with Tabasco honey; Joe’s Cubano; and a chicken-fried steak sandwich with bourbon honey mustard and pepper jam.
Unique Beer Events
11th Annual Fresh Hop Festival (Oct.1) – Fresh Hop showcases a variety of fresh hopped beers created by breweries in Colorado and around the country, including Alpine Dog Brewing Co., Black Sky Brewery, Caution: Brewing Company, Fiction Beer Company and more from Denver. This year's event has landed in a new and improved location - the old Golden Bell Press building; this future home of Liberati Brewing is located just a few blocks from Falling Rock Tap House, which co-sponsors the Fresh Hop Festival.
Farm to Bottle Fall Festival (Oct. 1) – A toast to local craft breweries, distilleries and farmers, Farm to Bottle Fall Festival will feature tastings of local craft beer, wine, spirits and food, as well as live local music on Old South Gaylord Street. Vendors include Cowgirl Lemonade, Mountain Crow, The Real Dill, Prost Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, Leopold Bros., Peach Street Distillery and more.
Oktoberfest Denver (Sep. 23 – Oct. 2) – 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. The second weekend of Oktoberfest Denver is set to once again commemorate the world-famous and time-honored tradition of German heritage by combining dynamic performances of music and dance, bier-based activities, Long Dog Derby and entertainment for all ages.
What the Funk!? Invitational (Oct. 4) – What the Funk!? Invitational is a celebration of all things barrel-aged – from boozy and strong to wild, sour, and funky. Sponsored by Denver-based brewery Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Shelton Brothers, this festival features numerous breweries from across the United States and around the world making some of the best barrel-aged libations.
Beers Made By Walking (Oct. 4) – Beers Made By Walking invites brewers to go on nature hikes and make new beers inspired by plants observed on the trail. Each beer is a unique, drinkable portrait of the landscape. Now in its sixth year, the event showcases more than 30 plant-based beers to the countless beer lovers gathered in Denver for GABF.
Fourth Annual 50 Firkin Fiasco (Oct. 6) – Epic Brewing Company will host its 4th annual Fifty Firkin Fiasco. The brewers have put together 50 unique firkins for beer lovers to enjoy as they wander through the brewery. Ticket price includes unlimited sampling of the 50 Firkins from 7pm - Midnight
GABF Pre-Parties & Special Releases
Falling Rock Tap House (Oct. 3) – Falling Rock Tap House will once again welcome beer lovers and brewery folks from near and far to its annual GABF-week kickoff party starting at 5pm. When the GABF clock at Falling Rock counts down to zero, the drinking may commence. Falling Rock’s more than 75 taps will feature rare and unusual beers, along with some local favorites.
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery (Oct. 2-7) – Jagged Mountain will be doing special releases and firkin tappings throughout the week; the highly anticipated releases include Barrel-Aged Swan Song (Belgian dark strong), Whiskey Barrel Aged Bike Built for Two (lavender Belgian golden strong), Wild Old Cougar (blackberry saison) and a Mystery Firkin.
Tivoli Brewing Co. (Oct. 5) – The Tivoli PreParty will take place outside the Tivoli Brewery Historic Landmark building on the Auraria Campus’s beautiful new student quad, which offers panoramic views of the Denver skyline and is located just steps away from the Colorado Convention Center. Attendees will enjoy live music, DJs, food and plenty of beer from a number of Front Range breweries.
Collaboration Celebration (Oct. 7) – Denver Beer Co. will introduce six collaboration brews they have created with breweries from around the country. The celebration will also feature live music, food trucks, a block party, games, photo booth, and more. A portion of every ticket goes to Denver Beer Co.’s charity partner, First Descents.