HeeeeeYYYY!!!… Want to get away for a long weekend or have a special occasion coming up? How about getting out of your comfort zone?When’s the last time you tried something new? Want to see a different city that you have always wanted to check out? Why not try out a Craft Beer Festival? Places like Denver, Miami,Chicago or Toronto. You may not know that many large citys and tourist towns in North America are Brewing it up with Beer Fests.
As the Craft Beer Market continues to grow and capture its’ share of the big Beer Pitcher, the popularity of locally crafted brews are on the rise. Beer Fests are a great way to find some hidden gems, new products and seasonal grogs mixed with local food fare.
Last October, the www.wickedpubs.com team travelled to Denver for The Great American Beer Festival. We were not sure what to expect of Denver or the Festival, but after 3 days in this city and attending the Beer Fest, we knew that we were in love and had to come back.
When I first went to www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com and read about the 600 Craft Breweries and 3000 Beer being poured at the event, I immediatly called the boys and said we are going to Denver. There really wasn’t much of a debate from them and before you knew it we were sitting at The Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Denver.
Let the Pub Crawl Begin
We found the downtown to be vibrant, happening and easy to get around. Hitting The Pour House, Cheeky Monk, Old Chicago Market which where we discovered Pizza Rolls and fell in love with Coconut Curry Hefeweizen Lips of Faith series from New Belgium Brewing.
We had to ‘paddle’ our way around the downtown; tasting some of the finest Crafted Beer from Colorado including a stop at The WynKoop Brewing Company for a pint of the Paddy’s Chile Beer and Cowtown Milk Stout then over to The Great Divide Brewing Company in search of the Yeti. After a couple of hours at the corner of the bar in the tasting room, we not only spotted Yeti but we also found Hercules, Titan and a Nomad.
One of the highlights of this Wicked Pub adventure was a visit to Falling Rock Tap House. The walls lined with a collection of over 2200 bottles of beer from around the world (maybe the inspiration for where the song came from), 75 beers on tap and 130 + bottled on the list. The staff were excellent and knowledgeble making The Falling Rock a true Wicked Pub.
Selling out in only a couple of hours, we had to visit Stub Hub to purchase our tickets. Held at the Denver Convention Center located downtown and attracting 49,000 people over 3 days, the Who’s Who of the American Craft Beer Industry are represented and showcasing their art at this annual event.
The sound of bag pipes fill the air, as the Hop Heads march into the hall which is lined with row after row of beer and their makers. At this point of the day, I thought I was in heaven and I knew that I couldn’t possibly taste every beer, but I would try and do my best.
From the iconic Dogfish Head Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing to the cutting edge of Right Brain Brewery out of Traveres City, Michigan, the brewers where there to showcase an assortment of flavors. Everything from Asparugus IPA’s, Peanut Butter Brown Ales, Cucumber Basil Saison, Cherry and Apple Pie Amber Ales, I was blown away with so many creative recipes. The atmosphere was energetic with German Beer Hall Girls, Silent Disco, American Cheese Pavillion and many people dressed in costumes that would give you a good chuckle, all with the common goal to taste great beer.
A Little Night Cap
To end the day of copious amounts of beer, we stumbled upon the Celtic Tavern and Delaney’s Cigar Bar for a little good night nip. Leather couches and winged back chairs, I was ready to spend the night, with a great selection Cigars and impressive line up of Single Malt Scotches it was great way to end the day and reflect with great friends.
So, if you are looking for that next get away try a BeerFest. Time it with a concert, sporting event or just be a tourist for a couple of days..