No Ticket Required: Free GABF Week Events

Chris Events, GABF Leave a Comment

You don’t need to have a ticket to the Great American Beer Festival to have some great craft beer experiences next week. Today we’re rounding up some fun & free events you may want to attend during GABF and Denver Beer Fest week.  

We are just one week away from GABF, can you believe it? The last few months have just flown by for us, but that may be because we’re in the midst of home selling, buying, and moving madness. However, as crazy as our schedules are we have priorities. That’s why we’re taking time off from our obligations next week to enjoy the 37th Great American Beer Festival and all the fun that surrounds this annual fest!

GABF kicks off on Thursday, September 20, but you don’t need to wait until then for some craft beer-filled fun. All next week there will be incredible tap takeovers, special beer releases, meet the brewer events, fun parties and much more, all to celebrate GABF and Denver Beer Fest week. Even better, is that there are dozens of happenings each day that don’t require a ticket or admission cost. Just show up, buy beers as you go, and you can enjoy some priceless experiences without breaking the bank. Hooray!

No Cover GABF Week Events

The list below is long, but it’s just a mere sampling of what’s happening around Denver next week while GABF is in town. For a more comprehensive listing of GABF week happenings (including those with fees to attend) visit our Bottle Makes Three Facebook event page. You can also find great suggestions on the GABF website and the Denver Beer Week event page.

Just to be clear, the events below do not have a cover charge or admission fee, at least as far as we can tell from their published event listings. That being said, you’re on your own when it comes to paying for your drinks, food, merchandise, and/or gratuity. 

Monday, September 17


Falling Rock’s 21st Annual GABF Kick-Off Tapping Party
Falling Rock Tap House, 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 
Monday, September 17, 5 p.m.
When the GABF Countdown Clock reaches zero at 5:00 PM, Falling Rock Tap House will begin tapping into their 20 handles of rotating special releases & vintage beers to celebrate the beginning of Fest Week. This includes their Southern Hemisphere Imperial IPA collaboration with Upslope Brewing, plus many other fresh new beers from friends around the state and across the country. After the kickoff, Falling Rock will continue to have special tappings and events all week long. For Falling Rock’s full schedule of events visit

RadCraft at Strange
Strange Craft Beer Company, 1330 Zuni St Unit M, Denver, CO
Monday, September 17, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
RadCraft is taking over Craft Night at Strange for GABF week! Emily from RadCraft will serve up some delicious samples. There will be book signings and storytelling by Colorado beer author Ed Sealover, and a craft beer woodworking showcase by Spooky Bat Designs. Be sure you arrive by 5 p.m. to be eligible for the raffle at the end of the discussion!

TRVE & Freshcraft Launch High Plains Beer Distribution
Freshcraft, 1530 Blake St Unit A, Denver, CO
Monday, September 17, 6 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Join Freshcraft as they kick of GABF week with their friends at TRVE Brewing, who will be launching the next evolution in their beer distributorship: High Plains Beer Distribution. They’ll have several amazing beers on tap from TRVE Brewing, as well as planned tappings from Alvarado Street Brewery, J. Wakefield Brewing, Great Notion Brewing, Scratch Brewing, and Three Taverns Craft Brewery.

Tuesday, September 18


2nd Annual Tour of Colorado
Tap Fourteen Ballpark, 1920 Blake St, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Thirst Colorado is proud to present this GABF week tap takeover of epic proportions. Join the Thirst crew alongside brewery and distillery friends at Tap Fourteen to sample exclusive collaborations from a few of our favorite artisans around the state. In addition to one-of-a-kind brews and spirits, there will be a silent auction featuring some amazing prizes from Colorado companies and commemorative glassware available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, Colorado Chapter.

Trophy Brewing Guest Taps & Keep the Glass at OMF
Our Mutual Friend Brewery, 2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Trophy Brewing Company of Raleigh, NC will be taking over the OMF taps and offering a keep-the-glass in celebration of GABF week. On tap will be Trophy Husband Saison, Trophy Wife Session IPA, Cloud Surfer Modern IPA, and Yacht Rocked Pina Colada Pale Ale. You can also pick up some 4-packs of select Trophy Brewing beers to go.

Forbidden Cheba
Cheba Hut Denver, 1531 Champa St, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 4:20 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.
Introducing Chicago’s Forbidden Root to Cheba Hut, so you can pair their amazing beers with some delicious sandwiches and kick your GABF week off right. Forbidden Root beers being offered are the TORO triple dry-hopped triple IPA, Ghost Tropic NE style double IPA, Strawberry Basil Hefeweizen, and a brand new beer – Assembly Required V.4, a sour farmhouse IPA featuring Raspberry-Peach-Vanilla-Lactose DDH with Mosaic and Galaxy hops.

GABF Sour Night at Snowpack Taproom
Snowpack Taproom & Kitchen, 11863 Springs Road #210, Conifer, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
If you’re up around Conifer and don’t want to head to the city for your pre-GABF fun, Snowpack Taproom & Kitchen has you covered. They’ll be celebrating all week with amazing beers that only come to Colorado for this world-famous celebration of everything beer, starting with a night of delicious sours from CSA Distributing.

HoeDown at LowDown!
LowDown Brewery & Kitchen, 800 Lincoln St, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
LowDown is having a HoeDown to celebrate the release of their first ever collaboration beer. Social Lubricant, an Imperial Black IPA, was created by LowDown together with Elevation Beer Company and Lagunitas Brewing Company. It will be tapped at 5 p.m., along with three special reserve beers from Elevation and two rare beers from the Lagunitas cellar. Pick & Howl, a great Denver-based bluegrass band, will be jamming on the patio throughout the evening. Head to LowDown for beer, music, games, swag… all the makings of a great HoeDown!

Finn’s Manor, 2927 Larimer St, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 5 p.m. – midnight
Finn’s Manor will be kicking off GABF week by providing their patrons with a life choice: Will you accept hops into your life? How will you accept those hops in your life? Will you choose the turbid path of the rebellion, or the lucid road well traveled? Opaque? Vivid? Flocc’d? Un-Flocc’D? Hazy? Clear? One thing is for sure, there will be IBU’s for all. Don’t like IPAs? That’s cool, they also have 400+ spirits.

Boulevard/Ommegang/Firestone Walker Tap Takeover
Goed Zuur, 2801 Welton St, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
You won’t want to miss this special GABF Week event, featuring a bunch of limited and vintage Boulevard Brewing Co beers along with beers from their sister breweries, Ommegang and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Jameson Caskmates & Friends
Freshcraft, 1530 Blake St Unit A, Denver, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
You know what goes well with beer? Whiskey! That’s why Great Divide Brewing Co, Revolution Brewing, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co and Green Flash Brewing Co have all partnered with Jameson Irish Whiskey in their Caskmates program. Freshcraft will be pouring Caskmates IPA edition, Caskmates Stout edition, and plenty of great beer to pair with them. The whiskey and beer will be flowing starting at 6 p.m.

Live Recording: The Brewing Network’s Sour Hour
The Hop Grenade Taproom, 347 E Foothills Pkwy Unit 120, Fort Collins, CO
Tuesday, September 18, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Brewing Network’s Scott and Jay will be recording live, all while the taps will be filled with fantastic sours. Breweries include The Rare Barrel, Casey, Jester King, Beachwood Blendery, Purpose Brewing & Cellars, Firestone Barrelworks, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales,  Amalgam, Baere Brewing and more!

Wednesday, September 19


CSA GABF Portfolio Tasting
Hops & Pie, 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Enjoy a huge lineup of great beers from CSA Distributing and some delicious Hops and Pie pizza all day long at this GABF Portfolio Tasting. Some of the breweries you can expect to find on the menu are 3 Floyds, Jester King, Perennial, Creature Comforts, Crooked Stave, Jolly Pumpkin, and many more.

WeldWerks GABF Medianoche & Can Releases
WeldWerks Brewing Company, 508 8th Ave, Greeley, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
WeldWerks has some extra special releases planned for Wednesday, September 19th to kick off GABF week! They’ll have several new beers in bottles and 4-packs, plus some draft-only surprises. One release they have already confirmed is their Coconut Medianoche, which was aged 18 months in 7-year Breckenridge Distillery bourbon barrels before being racked onto nearly 25 lbs of toasted coconut! They should have plenty of all their new releases, with limits in place to make sure they don’t run out on Wednesday – so no need to camp out before they open! More details on their releases will be updated on their official event page.

Black Project’s OXCART Blend B Release
Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, 1290 S Broadway #A51, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Visit Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales on Wednesday, and pick up a bottle of OXCART Blend B. OXCART is a 3-year blend of 100% spontaneously fermented beer, bottled in February and left to age in the bottle for 4-6 months as is part of the Methode Traditionnelle guidelines. OXCART is Black Project’s cornerstone beer, the beer that is the pinnacle of what they do and why we do it. You won’t want to miss getting a bottle for yourself. There is no lottery, just an old-school style beer release. The limit is 3 bottles per person (may change at any time) and the cost is $22/each for 375mL cork and cap bottles.

Odd13 GABF Week Can Releases: Chainsaw & Hop Hearted Hanna
Odd13 Brewing, 301 E Simpson St, Lafayette, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 3 p.m – 10 p.m.
Odd13 Brewing is releasing two new beers to celebrate GABF week. Beer #1 is Chainsaw Princess of Karate V2.0, a sour smoothie IPA. It’s their collaboration beer with Big Choice Brewing, but this year Odd13 put their own twist on it, doubling the fruit and including Citra hops, lactose, and vanilla for a smoothie-like experience. From 9/19 to 10/31, Odd 13 will give $1 for each draft or 6-pack of Chainsaw Princess sold to support Hope Lives, a local breast cancer non-profit. Beer #2 is Hop Hearted Hanna, a Double IPA built around Vic’s secret, Citra, and Idaho 7 hops. Wheat and honey malt contribute to a rounded, soft malt profile and mouthfeel.

Verboten Tap Takeover at Tap Fourteen
Tap Fourteen Uptown, 400 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In honor of GABF, Verboten will be showcasing five beers at Tap Fourteen Uptown, including their 2016 GABF medal-winning imperial oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels, Little Nonsense. Hang out with the Verboten crew, pick up some swag, and meet their head brewer Josh Grenz. All that, plus beer!

Fort Collins Breweries GABF Tap Takeover
Tap Fourteen Ballpark, 1920 Blake St, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 4 p.m. – midnight
Tap Fourteen Ballpark will celebrate GABF eve by hosting a tap takeover for 17 Fort Collins breweries, several of which you can’t normally find in Denver! Take a tasting tour of Fort Collins beer, meet the brewers, and grab some swag.

3rd Annual Can-Wood Derby at Ale House
Ale House, 2501 16th St, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
In honor of GABF week, join Ale House for their Third Annual CAN-WOOD Derby! Party with some of Colorado’s best GABF participating breweries as you speed race your hopefuls down the most epic beer can derby the world has ever seen. They’ll have prizes, brewery swag, and exclusive GABF tastings all night. For more info and details on how to take part visit the Can-Wood Derby event page.

Ska Pints and Papers
Cheba Hut Denver, 1531 Champa St, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 4:20 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.
Ska Brewing is returning to Cheba Hut for GABF, so kick off your night with this awesome brewery. Cheba Hut will have several Ska beers, including Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is crafted with 100% German-sourced Munich and Vienna malts that impart nutty, bready, toasty flavors, all balanced by noble hops. Pick up some limited SKA branded papers and pint glasses with every purchase, while supplies last.

Crooked Roads Collaboration Release Event and Takeover
Lucky Pie Lodo, 1610 16th St, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Lucky Pie will be the home for an extremely limited special tapping of Crooked Roads Sour Saison, a collaboration between Crooked Stave and Two Roads. In addition to the collab beer, they’ll have additional beer offerings from each brewery. Get their early, and get them while they last!

Tap Takeover by SCUBA at Skyline Beer Garden
Skyline Beer Garden, 1601 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 
Wednesday, September 19, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m
Come and join the breweries of the Summit County United Brewers Alliance (SCUBA) for a selection of delicious beers to get the ball rolling and the taste buds excited for GABF!

GABF Welcome Party with Funkwerks, Brooklyn & 21st Amendment
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, 1309 26th St, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Kick off GABF week at First Draft with a welcome party hosted by the teams from Funkwerks, The Brooklyn Brewery, and 21st Amendment Brewery. Taplist TBD, check the event page for the latest details.

Sour + Wild Ale Guild Showcase
Goed Zuur, 2801 Welton St, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Visit Goed Zuur to enjoy beers from brewery members of the Sour and Wild Ale Guild (SWAG). SWAG exists to promote the brewing, fermentation, and drinking of sour and wild beer. Participating breweries include Atom Brewing, Breakside Brewing, Central State Brewing, Jester King Brewing, The Rare Barrel, Urban Artifact Beer and Yazoo Brewing. These are breweries you won’t want to miss!

Renegade Brewing’s 90’s Tap Takeover
Improper City, 3201 Walnut St Suite 101, Denver, CO
Wednesday, September 19, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Party 90’s style on GABF eve! Renegade Brewing is taking over the taps at Improper City, but that’s not all. They’ll also have a DJ playing the 90’s jams you still know and love after all these years!

Thursday, September 20

Three Floyds Day at Lowdown
Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen, 800 Lincoln St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 11 a.m – 11 p.m.
Three Floyds is coming to LowDown! Join them as they tap some of the best beers in the world. They’ll have 6 beers on from the world-renowned Three Floyds Brewing Co, in addition to their house lineup of LowDown classics. No tickets, no cover, just great beer.

Mama Bear’s Sour Cherry Pie Day
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Join Crooked Stave as they tap their latest release of Mama Bear’s Sour Cherry Pie along with several variants. Try all 7 varieties in a flight for $30. Select varieties are available in 750mL to-go bottles.

Casey Brewing & Blending at Hops & Pie
Hops & Pie, 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Hope & Pie will be pouring several beers from Casey Brewing & Blending. This includes Casey Family Preserves Apricot, Casey Family Preserves Nectarine, Cherry East Bank, Blackberry East Bank, Oak Theory, Saison, Funky Blender, The Cut: Plum, The Mix: Nectarine Bank, and several varieties of Fruit Stand.

3rd Annual [email protected]#*ing CTA Catalina Wine Mixer
Call to Arms Brewing Company, 4526 Tennyson St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Get ready for the biggest wine barrel-aged beer selection in the Western Hemisphere since 1997… again! Call to Arms will bring back all the wine and port barrel-aged beers they created over the past year, in addition to some new ones and even a few special guest taps. All tappings are available at noon and are limited; when they’re gone, they’re gone. Plan accordingly! 

GABF BA Sister Cities Saison Tapping
Falling Rock Tap House, 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
This will be one of the last chances to taste the Barrel-Aged Sister Cities Saison that Renegade Brewing Company made in collaboration with Brasserie du Baril in Brest, FR in honor of the 70th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Denver and Brest. This special Barrel-Aged version takes the French Saison and ages it in Chardonnay barrels.

Barrel Aged and Bigger Beers
Jakes Brew Bar, 2530 W Main St, Littleton, CO
Thursday, September 20, 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.
If you’re into big beers, sweet beers, and boozy beers, this is the night for you. Jakes Brew Bar will be serving up a host of big beers in the form of barrel aged stouts, porters, pastry stouts, and more. This includes offerings from WeldWerks, Fremont, Cerebral, Highwater, Jack’s Abbey, Wiley Roots, Perennial Artisan Ales, and many more.

GABF Pre-Party w/Avery Brewing + Improper City
Improper City, 3201 Walnut Street Suite 101, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
What’s the biggest beer festival without a proper pre-party? Well, Avery Brewing will be bringing rare beers over to Improper City to celebrate the kickoff of GABF. Head on over and kick back with brewers and friends and enjoy some really special taps.

Boulevard and WeldWerks Collaboration Tap Takeover
Freshcraft, 1530 Blake St Unit A, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. 
Join Boulevard Brewing Company & WeldWerks Brewing Company at Freshcraft for this can’t-miss event. They’ll be tapping both of the collaboration beers they recently made: Imperial Brut IPA brewed at WeldWerks and Hazy IPA brewed at Boulevard. Freshcraft will also be tapping Rye on Rye on Rye on Rye and Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard, and Extra Extra Juicy Bits and Achromatic S’Mores from WeldWerks.

GABF East Coast vs. West Coast IPA Night at Snowpack Taproom
Snowpack Taproom & Kitchen, 11863 Springs Road #210, Conifer, CO
Thursday, September 21, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
What do you like better, bitter or hazy? Find out if you’re all about the West Coast IPAs or more of a East Coast IPA fan by tasting a small stockpile of some of the finest IPAs at Snowpack. They’ll be featuring styles from both coasts.

Forbidden Root Presents: Chicago Meets Denver 2018
Rino Beer Garden, 3800 Walnut St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 5 p.m. – midnight
Forbidden Root is getting some of their favorite breweries together for one big party in Denver during GABF. Join them at the RiNo Beer Garden and enjoy some of the best brews Chicago has to offer from more than a dozen breweries. In addition to some award-winning and rare brews, catch the limited return of Fernetic, Brewbound’s 2017 Collaboration of the Year made by Forbidden Root and the good people of Fernet Branca. See the full list of participating breweries on the Chicago Meets Denver event page.

North vs South California Showdown
Goed Zuur, 2801 Welton St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Taste California’s finest, featuring 10 great breweries from across the state. Then you can decide if the North or the South has the best sour ales. The Goed Zuur kitchen will be preparing a range of seafood dishes to pair, and DJ Skip Rip will be spinning some California hip-hop and rap from the past 3 decades.

GABF Kick Off at Epic Brewing
Epic Brewing Company Denver Taproom, 3001 Walnut St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Its GABF time and Epic Brewing says, “Let’s Party!” Join Epic Brewing and DJ Digg Haze for a night of big beers and dancing. They’ll even have a special firkin for you to enjoy. Beer is fun, so let’s PLAY!

GABF Lager Party with Rhinegeist, Wiseacre, & Friends
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, 1309 26th St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Settle into GABF with some great craft lagers and other specialties from Rhinegeist and Wiseacre! First Draft will be tapping a lager from each brewery, along with some other goodies from a dozen more great breweries, including Creature Comforts, Half Acre, Green Bench, Modern Times, 3 Floyds, 21st Amendment, Ratio Beerworks and more.

Joie de Vivre – Drop the pH
Finn’s Manor, 2927 Larimer St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 8 p.m. – midnight
The Gods have bestowed upon us their finest gifts of ale via our most affable friend, Gambrinus. Join Finn’s Manor as they elevate their weekly industry night to new levels of jovial hoopla. At 8 p.m. they’ll take over all beer taps with the best wild ales around while DJs set the mood. Check out the event page for the full tap list and more details. 

Wibby Brewing Tap Takeover
Cheba Hut Denver, 1531 Champa St, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 9 p.m. – midnight
The stars have aligned in Denver… GABF and Oktoberfest are coming together for one crazy weekend! To celebrate, Wibby Brewing is teaming up with Cheba Hut once again to make all your post-GABF session food and drink dreams come true!

Spirit Animals: Laid Back Collaboration Ale Tapping
Freshcraft, 1530 Blake St Unit A, Denver, CO
Thursday, September 20, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
This party starts after the GABF ends, with the Spirit Animals tapping at Freshcraft. Once again Freshcraft has gotten together with Ska Brewing & Telluride Brewing to make a collaboration brew. This time it’s a Gin & Juice inspired ale they’re calling Laid Back, brewed on the Ska Mod Project system in Durango. In addition to the collab beer, Freshcraft will be pouring several other great Ska and Telluride Brewing beers.