Sep 30, 2022 - Things to Do

A guide to GABF and Denver Beer Week events

The Great American Beer Festival. Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association

The Great American Beer Festival. Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association

It's Denver Beer Week, a citywide celebration that culminates in the three-day Great American Beer Festival next weekend.

Why it matters: The beer industry supports 58,500 jobs in the state with a total economic output of $11.4 billion, according to industry group Beer Institute.

  • The Boulder-based Brewers Association estimates craft beer alone contributed $2.5 million to the state's economy in 2021. The state ranks 5th in the nation with roughly 428 breweries.

What to know: We compiled his top picks, beer bars and events to celebrate the week.

Where to drink: All week, you'll find some of the best beers in the country pouring at Hops & Pie, Finn's Manor and Goed Zuur. Newcomer MobCraft is partnering with Falling Rock's owner to serve as the de facto headquarters for the week.

Relax: Make a trip to the Beer Spa in Denver, where you can soak in hop-infused waters with a craft beer in hand.

Mark your calendar: Beyond GABF, the two events you can't miss are PorchDrinking's 10th Anniversary Beer Fest at 5pm Wednesday and the can't-beat brewery list at Denver Rare Beer at noon Friday.

Here's a list of my other picks in the next week:

Saturday, Oct. 1

  • Fiction Beer is celebrating its 8th anniversary with an ‘80s-themed party and six beer releases, including hazy mango IPA collaboration with Knotted Root and a barrel-aged Mexican Chocolate version of its Malice & Darkness imperial stout.
  • The Krispy King Competition runs noon to 5pm at Barrels and Bottles Brewery in Golden and features lagers from 20 different Colorado breweries battling for the title.
  • Learn about the fascinating science behind beer at Woods Boss Brewing. The schooling and drinking starts at 11am.
  • Our Mutual Friend is hosting its 9th annual Gratitude Party starting at 11am. Come try the brewery's latest releases, including a customer appreciation session IPA.

Monday, Oct. 3

  • First Draft Taproom and Kitchen taps its first GABF week kegs at noon. From there, expect 50-plus breweries and 250-plus beers to pour all week long.
  • Start GABF week with Beer School, a sensory tasting at Bierstadt Lagerhause starting at 6pm. Tickets $40.

Tuesday, Oct. 4

  • Start the celebration early at Finn's Manor with "Clear Cuts and Hazy Nights," featuring makers from across the country. Kicking off at 5pm, look for beers from Alchemist, Cellarmaker, Monkish and plenty of top Colorado brewers.

Wednesday, Oct. 5

  • PorchDrinking, a popular beer blog, is hosting its own festival from 6-9pm at York Street Yards to celebrate its 10th year. The beer list includes Highland Park, Alesong, Amalgam, Maplewood and other local and national breweries. Tickets start at $60. Nearby Cohesion Brewing will host the afterparty at 9pm.
  • The Colorado Brewers Guild will host a tap takeover at Oskar Blues Grill on Market Street all day. Free live music starts at 6pm
  • Hops and Pie is bringing in extra taps to feature 50 beers at once. This tasting includes Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Jester King, Toppling Goliath, Alchemist, Fremont and Maine Beer. Co
  • Meow Wolf is hosting its first GABF kickoff party. Adulti-verse features complimentary tastings from 15-plus local breweries starting at 5pm. It's an adult-only experience.
  • Wisconsin-based MobCraft Dee Tacko will showcase its new Denver taproom with a tap takeover from its home state along with a fish fry. Tickets are $30 for a cheese pairing.
  • Meet the author of the new "Hooray for Craft Beer," an illustrated guide from Em Sauter at the Slate Hotel starting at 5pm.

Thursday, Oct. 6

  • Cerebral is throwing a "Field Research Party" at Finn's Manor with some of its favorite breweries, including New York's Other Half and Finback, Massachusetts Vitamin Sea and California's Beachwood Blendery. Starts at 5pm.
  • Hops and Pie is tapping Tripping Animals, Drowned Lands, Bow and Arrow, Wolves and People and more hard-to-find beer starting at 11am.
  • Lady Justice Brewing will host a "Brewed for All" event at MobCraft Dee Tacko that will highlight beers from brewers in underrepresented communities, including offerings from Weathered Souls, Perennial Artisan Ales, Raices, Urban Roots and more.
  • Indiana's hop-heads 3 Floyds take over the taps at Lowdown Brewery and Kitchen starting at 11am. It's beer you'll only find in Colorado once a year.

Friday, Oct. 7

  • Denver Rare Beer is the premier event for aficionados looking for the rarest beers. It starts at noon at the McNichols Civic Center Building. Tickets cost $200 for food and four hours of tasting.
  • Find more top breweries from across the country will tap kegs at Finn's Manor starting at 2pm. The list from Crooked Stave distribution includes: Great Notion, Jester King, Sante Adairius and The Veil.
  • Melvin Brewing's IPA Throwdown returns at MobCraft Dee Tacko, featuring hoppy goodness from Breakside, Lawson's, More, Parish, Societe, The Veil and Three Floyds.
  • Raices Brewing is hosting GABFiesta starting at 1pm when the taproom opens with live music starting at 6pm.

Saturday, Oct. 8

  • Casey Brewing and friends are taking over the taps at Finn's Manor starting at 2pm. Find all-stars WeldWerks, Outer Range, Florida's Tripping Animals, North Carolina's Resident Culture and more.
  • If you missed Cerebral's "Field Research Party" earlier in the week, head to Hops and Pie for another chance to try great beers from Vitamin Sea, Finback and Other Half.
  • Lagers and session sours are just what you need after a long week of big beers. Head to MobCraft Dee Tacko for best-of-the-style offerings from Jack's Abby, Firestone Walker, Pfriem, Zwei and more.
  • Cerveceria and sister Denver Beer Co. are hosting their annual Great Mexican Beer Festival, featuring collaborations with brewers from south of the border, along with food and music. It's free and starts at 2pm.

Worthy of your time: For more events, check out this complete list.


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