Thirty-six years ago, GABF (Great American Beer Festival) held its first annual festival. Today, it’s one of the most celebrated beer festivals in the United States. Simply put, it transforms downtown Denver into a beer paradise. The festival — which is held October 5 through the 7 — takes over the Colorado Convention Center downtown. While there will be more than 3,800 beers flowing inside the event, the number outside might just be even higher.

Over the past several years, the beer releases, special tappings and dinners surrounding GABF have become just as essential as the two-day festival itself. If you weren’t able to purchase tickets before they sold out, you can still drink your way through Denver imbibing in beers that will only be distributed or released for this special week. This is the time of year where our flourishing beer scene has a chance to show out — so we go from being lucky to live in Denver to downright spoiled. Whether you are a casual drinker or a certified beer geek, there is guaranteed to be something for you.

Below is our running list of the can’t miss events for this week — each event will also say if it’s for the casual drinker or beer geek to help you find the perfect event for you.

Monday, October 2

Beer, Craft Beer, GABF, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, 303 Magazine, Alysia Shoemaker, Events during GABF, Where To Drink During GABF, Special Events for GABF, Freshcraft, Goed Zuur, The Crafty Fox, First Draft, Colorado Convention Center,

Photo courtesy of Goed Zuur on Facebook

GABF Colorado Night

Location: Goed Zuur — 2801 Welton St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: The sour-centric taproom will feature beers from local breweries such as Casey Brewing and Blending, Paradox Beer Company, Verboten, Cerebral, New Belgium and much more.
Perfect For: The local sour beer lover.

Beer Pairing Dinner to Celebrate GABF

Location: Avelina — 1550 17th St., Denver
Cost: $95 plus gratuity and tax. Call to make reservations 720-904-6711.
The Lowdown: Avelina has put together a five-course meal featuring food from Chef Brad Yard and beer from Chain Reaction Brewing Company. Beers to be featured include the peppercorn saison and lavender pilsner.
Perfect For: The food and beer lover.

GABF Week – Sour Monday

Location: Freshcraft — 1530 Blake St., Unit A, Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: Freshcraft will feature a unique lineup of sour beers to start its week-long GABF celebration. These beers will be from in and out of state with special distribution. Taste beers that aren’t normally available and see how Colorado’s sour scene compares.
Perfect For: The sour beer lover.

NC & CO Friends at Tupelo Honey

Location: Tupelo Honey – 1650 Wewatta St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: New Belgium and Oskar Blues are inviting their friends in North Carolina and Colorado to get together and share a few beers. Beers featured include Voodoo Ranger Special Release Passion Fruit IPA.
Perfect For: Colorado Beer Lovers

Tuesday, October 3

Beers Made By Walking. Photo by Lucy Beaugard.

GABF California Breweries

Location: Goed Zuur — 2801 Welton St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: The sour-centric taproom will feature beers from California breweries such as Almanac Beer Company, The Rare Barrel, Russian River Brewing Company, Bruery Terreux and Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
Perfect For: The sour drinker looking for the rarest the West Coast has to offer.

Beers Made By Walking

Location: Denver Museum of Nature & Science — 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver
Cost: $40. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: This beer festival features more than 20 beers that were inspired by landscapes in an area of the brewer’s choosing. For example, brewers have hiked up 14,000-foot mountains or strolled through community gardens. Additional out-of-state beers with foraged ingredients can also be enjoyed.
Perfect For: The adventurous beer drinker.

READ: Review – Beers Made by Walking Uncovers the Magic of Foraged Brews

West Coast IPA Dinner

Location: To The Wind Bistro — 3333 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
Cost: $59. Call to make reservations at 303-316-3333.
The Lowdown: This five-course meal will pair food with beers from San Diego — featuring breweries such as Ballast Point and Modern Times.
Perfect For: The hop loving beer drinker.

Brewer’s Dinner with Strange Craft Beer Company

Location: The Corner Office Restaurant & Martini Bar — 1401 Curtis St., Denver
Cost: $50. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: Chef Rich Byers has paired four courses and one dessert with Strange Craft beers and the head brewer will there chatting about those beers. Learn how to pair meals and about the brewing process.
Perfect For: The beer geek.

CSA Distributing Takes Over The Crafty Fox

Location: The Crafty Fox — 3901 Fox St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: CSA distributing will be dropping special beers not currently set up for Denver distribution. Breweries included are Fremont, Half Acre, Jolly Pumpkin, American Solera, Jack’s Abby and much more.
Perfect For: The casual beer drinker looking to expand.

Collaborative Beer Dinner

Location: Appaloosa Grill – 535 16th St., Denver
Cost: $15. Text 720-936-8361 for tickets.
The Lowdown: Appaloosa Grill has put together a three-course meal plus dessert that will be paired with local Colorado breweries. Breweries to be featured are Ratio Beerworks, Spangalang Brewery and Elevation Beer Company.
Perfect For: The food and beer drinker

Wednesday, October 4

Beer, Craft Beer, GABF, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, 303 Magazine, Alysia Shoemaker, Events during GABF, Where To Drink During GABF, Special Events for GABF, Freshcraft, Goed Zuur, The Crafty Fox, First Draft, Colorado Convention Center,

Photo courtesy of Ratio on Facebook

Colorado Invitational: GABF Kickoff Party 2017

Location: New Image Brewing Company — 5622 Yukon St., Arvada
Cost: $35. Get tickets here. 
The Lowdown: New Image is hosting a local beer festival featuring breweries such as WeldWerks, 4 Noses and Odd13 to be a more intimate gathering before the crush of GABF. If you haven’t visited the breweries up north on I-25 this is the perfect opportunity.
Perfect For: The casual beer drinker.

Duvel USA GABF Pre-Party

Location: First Draft Taproom & Kitchen — 1309 26th St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: GABF Pre-Party featuring breweries such as Brewery Ommegang, Firestone Walker and Boulevard Brewing Company. If you can’t make it to GABF this is a great way to taste some perennial favorites of the festival.
Perfect For: The casual beer drinker.

Continuous Thunder Double IPA Release

Location: Ratio Beerworks — 2920 Larimer St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: In time for GABF Ratio releases its bold, hop-forward Double IPA – there is nothing hazy about it.
Perfect For: The hop loving beer drinker

What The Funk!? Invitational 2017

Location: The Studios at Overland Crossing — 2201 S. Delaware St., Denver
Cost: $100. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: This festival hosted by Cooked Stave Artisans is about all things barrel-aged from boozy and strong to wild, sour and funky. This ticket is one of the most exclusive in town as many of these brewers don’t bring these special barrels brews to GABF.
Perfect For: Certified beer geek

Hooves & Hops Dinner with Avery Brewing Company

Location: Osteria Marco — 1453 Larimer St., Denver
Cost: $85 includes tax and gratuity. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: Osteria Marco welcomes GABF with a five-course meal (featuring pig) paired with Avery Brewing Company beers. Features beers include everything from Joe’s Pils to the Nuttiest Professor Bourbon Barrel-aged peanut stout.
Perfect For: Pork and beer aficionado

GABF TRVE Brands Night

Location: Goed Zuur — 2801 Welton St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: The sour-centric taproom will feature breweries distributed under TRVE which includes TRVE Brewing, Burial Beer Company and Finback Brewery among others.
Perfect For: The sour beer drinker

All-Star IPA Throwdown

Location: Falling Rock Tap House — 1919 Blake St., Denver
Cost: TBD at the door.
The Lowdown: Falling Rock is bringing together the most innovative IPA brewers from both the East and West Coast to showcase its styles. Breweries expected to attend include Great Notion, Fieldwork, Melvin, WeldWerks and Lawson’s Finest Liquids to name a few. These are the beers that cause hop heads to go into a frenzy.
Perfect For: The serious hop lover

Pink Boots Rare Beer Tasting

Location: Bierstadt Lagerhaus — 2875 Blake St., Denver
Cost: $30 plus tax and fees. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: This event which benefits the Pink Books Society is the only event to focus on the women of brewing. These rare beers will come from breweries that feature women brewers such as Ashleigh Carter of Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Erin Hamrick of Dry Dock Brewing Company from our local breweries.
Perfect For: The equal opportunity beer drinker

Unity! A Plane to Train Pre-GABF Beer Showcase

Location: Terminal Bar — 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver
Cost: Free Admission.
The Lowdown: If you are coming from out of town this beer showcase is just a quick train ride from DIA away. For the rest of us — this showcase gets the beer party started with Fremont Brewing, Rhinegeist Brewing, Modern Times and Ratio Beerworks.
Perfect For: The adventurous beer drinker

GABF Beer & Cookie Pairing & Small Batch Release

Location: Mockery Brewing — 3501 Delgany St., Denver
Cost: $12 at the door.
The Lowdown: Mockery is pairing four cookies with four different beers to add a bit of sweetness it GABF week. The team will also be releasing a new beer — a Peanut Butter Crunch Imperial Brown.
Perfect For: The casual beer drinker

Open Invitation Release – An Almanac Collaboration

Location: Cerebral Brewing – 1477 Monroe St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: Cerebral got together with Almanac Brewing out of San Francisco to brew a very special beer. It’s brewed with spelt and oats, hopped with Citra, El Dorado, Motueka and Galaxy in the whirlpool and then dry-hopped with all of the above + Citra Lupulin Pellets and then fermented with a blend of Conan and Sacch Trois
Perfect For: The collaborative beer drinker

Wynkoop Brewing Company’s Beer Drinker of The Year 2017

Location: Wynkoop Brewing – 1634 18th St., Denver
Cost: Free admission but space is limited and you can RSVP here.
The Lowdown: A Wynkoop original, three finalists will vie for the crown as they demonstrate their ability to entertain judges and the crowd with their arsenal of craft beer knowledge, passion, and experience. There will be plenty of swag and beer to go around for all of the spectators.
Perfect For: The competitive beer drinker

Good Bugs Bottle Release and Food Pairing

Location: Mr. B’s Wine & Spirits Downtown – 2101 Market St., Unit 112, Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: This tasting event is dedicated to fermentation. Ryan from Brewed Food will be on site with snacks both fermented and prepared with beer to pair with exclusive offerings from Outer Ranger Brewing, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Odd13 Brewing and River North Brewery.
Perfect For: The beer geek

Thursday, October 5

Beer, Craft Beer, GABF, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, 303 Magazine, Alysia Shoemaker, Events during GABF, Where To Drink During GABF, Special Events for GABF, Freshcraft, Goed Zuur, The Crafty Fox, First Draft, Colorado Convention Center,

Photo courtesy of Bierstadt Lagerhaus on Facebook

2nd Annual CTA [email protected]#*ing Catalina Wine Mixer

Location: Call to Arms — 4526 Tennyson St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: In honor of GABF Call to Arms is hosting its second annual wine mixer which features seven wine barrel-aged beers along with the chance of additional guests taps and bottle releases. This is the biggest wine barrel gathering in Denver.
Perfect For: The wine barrel loving beer drinker

Ohio Takes Over Denver GABF

Location: The Crafty Fox — 3901 Fox St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: The Craft Fox is hosting breweries from Ohio such as Rhinegeist, Little Fish Brewery and Jackie O’s brewery and each will be tapping five beers. This is the only time you can get these beers at your local taps.
Perfect For: The casual beer drinker looking to try something new

Late Night Happy Hour with Ratio Beerworks for GABF

Location: Avanti F&B — 3200 Pecos St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: If you are looking for something to do after the first night of GABF this is it. It’s a late night happy hour featuring beer talk with the founder of Ratio Beerworks.
Perfect For: The beer geek who can still party after GABF

Beer Hall Brawl

Location: Rackhouse Pub — 2875 Blake St., Denver
Cost: $25. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: Head over to the Rackhouse Pub to enjoy beer by Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Melvin Brewing while witnessing an epic wrestling beat down.
Perfect For: The beer drinker who can appreciate live wrestling

Oskar Blues Tap Takeover

Location: Stout Street Social – 1400 Stout St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: Oskar Blues is going to the dark beers with this tap takeover. Special taps include hard to get beers such as Barrel Aged Death by Coconut, Barrel Aged Java Fidy and from Cigar City Good Gourd Have Mercy
Perfect For: Barrel Aged beer lovers

Outer Range Tap Takeover at Mellow Mushroom

Location: Mellow Mushroom – 1201 16th St. Suite 108, Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: Outer Range Brewing company has been making some noise with their Hazy IPAs up in Frisco and are making the journey down I-70 for GABF. Outer Range is taking over four taps for their Forestry IPA, In The Steep IPA, Rustic Ways IPA and Final Summit French Farmhouse.
Perfect For: Hazy IPA drinkers

Friday, October 6

Beer, Craft Beer, GABF, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, 303 Magazine, Alysia Shoemaker, Events during GABF, Where To Drink During GABF, Special Events for GABF, Freshcraft, Goed Zuur, The Crafty Fox, First Draft, Colorado Convention Center,

Photo courtesy of Denver Rare Beer Tasting on Facebook

Denver Rare Beer Tasting IX

Location: McNichols Building — 144 W. Colfax Ave., Denver
Cost: $115. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: This festival features the rarest of the rare from deep in the cellars from breweries across the country. There is nowhere else that you can sip on these beers. Breweries featured include Jolly Pumpkin, The Lost Abbey, Jester King and Side Project Cellar to name a few. The event is hosted by and supports Pints for Prostates.
Perfect For: The certified beer geek

Denver Beer Company’s Collaboration Celebration 2017

Location: Denver Beer Company — 1695 Platte St., Denver
Cost: $30. Get tickets here. 
The Lowdown: Each year Denver Beer Co. celebrates GABF by collaborating, and this year it went international with collaborations with a brewery from Mexico and Brazil. The ticket includes six eight-ounce pours — one of each beer. There will also be live music and food trucks on site for this block party.
Perfect For: The collaborative beer drinker

Enter The House of Flying Barrels

Location: 1235 Delaware St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: This post-GABF party hosted by Avery, Melvin, 4 Noses and Firestone Walker will feature sick beats and the world’s largest beer can pyramid. It will benefit Water for People and the Chill Foundation.
Perfect For: The party-loving beer drinker

GABF Week: Great Divide x Captain Lawrence x Jameson

Location: Freshcraft — 1530 Blake St., Unit A, Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: Great Divide and Captain Lawrence Brewing company have partnered with Jameson Irish Whiskey to create a series of barrel-aged beers for this release.
Perfect For: The beer drinker who appreciates whiskey

Same Day IPA

Location: Station 26 Brewing Company – 7045 E 38th Ave., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: Station 26 is taking freshness to a new level with an IPA that will be packaged, delivered and tapped in less than 12 hours. The first tapping is at 9 a.m. and every hour after all over Denver – for the complete list of participating locations click here.
Perfect For: The Hop Head

Blake Street Vault After Party Throw Down

Location: Blake Street Vault – 1526 Blake St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: If you are still standing after the second session of GABF you can head down 16th street and party the rest of the night away is Oskar Blues – the after party starts at 10 p.m.
Perfect For: All night drinkers

Saturday, October 7

Beer, Craft Beer, GABF, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, 303 Magazine, Alysia Shoemaker, Events during GABF, Where To Drink During GABF, Special Events for GABF, Freshcraft, Goed Zuur, The Crafty Fox, First Draft, Colorado Convention Center,

Photo courtesy of Denver Beer Company on Facebook

GABF Brewers Breakfast: Burritos & Barleywines

Location: Denver Beer Company — 1695 Platte St., Denver
Cost: $18. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: To help your hangover over Denver Beer Company will be providing smothered breakfast burritos and barleywines — if you prefer something else, the team will have other aged big beers on tap.
Perfect For: The hungover beer drinker

GABF Hangover Brunch

Location: Renegade Brewing Company – 926 W 9th St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: To clear your head from the night before and to prep you for the day and night to come Renegade is selling hangover helpers food truck style – which you can, of course, pair with another beer.
Perfect For: The hungover beer drinker

Breakfast with The Bruery

Location: Freshcraft – 1530 Blake St., Unit A, Denver
Cost: $25-$30. Get tickets here.
The Lowdown: This year Freshcraft is offering breakfast buffet style with hangover favorites such as corned beef hash, cheese egg strata, green chili and Hi-Rise biscuits and gravy. Go for the early bird ticket for a chance to mingle with the Bruey crew – beers expected include Chocolate Rain, White Chocolate with Cherries, Midnight Autumn Maple and The Wanderer.
Perfect For: The hungover beer geek

Third Annual Ratio Karaoke GABF After-Party

Location: Ratio Beerworks — 2920 Larimer St., Denver
Cost: Free admission.
The Lowdown: Celebrate surviving GABF week by drinking more beer and belting out karaoke tunes until midnight.
Perfect For: The party-loving beer drinker

So if you are going to GABF or not — there are more than enough cool events and beers to try that week. Go ahead, take a day or two off of work — this only happens once a year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.