Guess what friends? The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is now just TWO short days away. The wait is almost over! But if even 2 days is too long, we have even better news for you, because Denver Beer Week has already begun, bringing plenty of great beer events to the Mile High City and beyond.
Denver Beer Week takes place the 9 days leading up to GABF, from September 29 through October 7. During this time, VISIT DENVER and the Colorado Brewers Guild have organized tons of beer-filled awesomeness, and you don’t even need a GABF ticket to participate. With more than 200 beer-filled special events, rare beer tappings, meet-the-brewer opportunities and more, you’re sure to find something incredible to drink. And let’s face it, we could all probably really use a drink right about now.
Denver Beer Week & GABF Week Events
So, today’s GABF preparedness tip will focus on Denver Beer Fest & all the other great things you can do while you wait for your next GABF session. Even if you aren’t stepping foot in the fest, come down and enjoy some great craft beer in Denver this week with these tips.
Denver Beer Fest Events
There are a number of great beer-filled events happening every day from now through Saturday as a part of Denver Beer Fest. For a comprehensive list of official events, visit their event page at denver.org/denver-beer-week/. The list is constantly being updated and you can search for events by date or keyword. The only hard part will be deciding which of the many things to do first!
Explore the Denver Beer Trail
Coming from out-of-town? Get a taste of Denver’s local beer culture by exploring the breweries on the Denver Beer Trail. The Denver Beer Trail features 27 great local breweries in and around Denver, with a map to help you plan your adventure. We would suggest that you start with this list, and not be too afraid to wander off course. After all, with around 100 brewpubs, breweries, and taprooms in the Denver metro area, you may stumble across some hidden gems not listed on your map. Talk to the locals when you visit the breweries and you can get lots of tips and suggestions beyond the map. Most Denverites are pretty happy to share with you their picks for favorite breweries or taprooms! You can get started by downloading your map at Denver Beer Trail.
Tour a Denver Brewery
Want to see where the magic really happens? You’ll want to check out a Denver brewery tour. There are lots of tours available, including self-guided walking tours, bike tours, and the more traditional shuttle bus tours. Personally, we are big fans of Banjo Billy for his fun hillbilly bus. If you want something more dignified, there are lots of options. VISIT DENVER has a list of several downtown brewery tour options at denver.org/things-to-do/denver-attractions/denver-brewery-tours/
Explore River North with the DRiNk RiNo Circulator
If you don’t want to be tied down to a scheduled tour, explore Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood with the GABF DRiNk RiNo Circulator. This free shuttle will run between the festival and Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood from Noon until Midnight, Thursday through Saturday. RiNo is home to 15 craft breweries, cideries, urban wineries and distilleries in a one-mile radius, so it’s the perfect spot for a Denver adventure. Pick up the shuttle at 14th and Welton and get dropped off in one of two spots: 35th & Brighton (near Great Divide Barrel Bar & Mockery Brewing) or 30th & Walnut (near Epic Brewing). From each stop, several more breweries are just a short walk away.
Already have a favorite brewery? Check out their Denver Beer Week events
If you’re coming to town with a few favorite Colorado breweries in mind, check their Facebook pages to see what GABF week events they may have lined up. Many local craft breweries are running special events, tastings, and tours for visitors and locals who are coming down for GABF. Below are just a few examples of great Colorado breweries with special events happening around Denver this week:
Great Divide Brewing Co has will have extended hours and food trucks at both Denver locations, and on 10/5 they are releasing their Jameson Caskmakes Barrel Aged Dark Lager The Smoothness. If you visit the Great Divide Barrel Bar, you’re just across the street from another local favorite, the Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project taproom. Crooked Stave has special bottle releases planned all week. Make sure you try our favorite, Mama Bear’s Sour Cherry Pie, which will be available in two bourbon barrel aged versions. Yum!
Even out-of-town breweries are celebrating in Denver during GABF week. New Belgium Brewing from Fort Collins is hosting special events every day at various Denver hot spots. If you’re a night owl, check out their GABF after parties at the Star Bar, where you’ll find lots of New Belgium rarities and special releases. Durango’s Ska Brewing has a jam-packed GABF week schedule, too. Stop by to say hi to the Ska Brewing team and some of their Mod Project beers and their brand new, super hopped up BHC DIPA.
Finally, if you feel like taking a short drive, Avery Brewing Company in Boulder has extended patio hours and many great Avery beers being tapped, including several you can only receive in their tasting room. You can even snag a few rare bottles to take home at Adam Avery’s Cellar Sale on October 5.
When in doubt, head to Falling Rock or Freshcraft
If you just cannot make up your mind, just make your way to Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake St, Denver). Everyone, and we mean everyone, stops by Falling Rock during GABF. Falling Rock is BFFs with many of the countries best craft breweries. Denver Beer Week, Falling Rock has special tappings from their brewery friends, and they pour many beers that aren’t usually found in the state. Visit anytime during GABF week and you’ll find a constantly changing and always amazing lineup of craft beers.
Meanwhile just a short walk down the road, Freshcraft (1530 Blake Street) is another solid fall-back option if you don’t know where to go. Not only do they offer a rotating lineup of special releases during the week, but they have amazing, fresh, delicious food.
Make time to visit both Falling Rock & Freshcraft during Denver Beer Fest week. Sure they’ll be busy, but we promise they’re both worth the wait.
Want even more options? BMT has you covered.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, look no further than your pals here at Bottle Makes Three. We work constantly and tirelessly to search Facebook for all the best events happening at breweries, brewpubs, bars, and taprooms around Colorado. Everything we find we save to the BMT Facebook Event Calendar. This gives you a one-stop resource for dozens of amazing events in Denver and well beyond.
Hopefully, we will run into you at a few of these Denver Beer Week events!