Today GABF kicks off in Denver. This fest has come along way since its inception in 1982 in Boulder with only 22 breweries representing a mere 40 beers. (reminds me of our upcoming Austin Beer Festival 10/16) Ten years later 7,000 fans of craft beer descended upon the Denver Merchandise Mart with 150 breweries and 500 beers. Over the next few days an expected 49,000 people will be able to sample from 455 breweries.
Look for this big blue bear peering into the window and you will know you’re there. Also look for Sam Wynne – he’s my Flying Saucer Ambassador.
Look for Sam Wynne (photo taken in Bruges enjoying some Moule Frites & Westmalle Tripel)
This year Flying Saucer began a new reward program for our faithful BeerKnurds who make multiple trips around the Ring of Honor and we are sending 19 of them with 10 plates or more (and a friend) to Denver to choose from over 2,200 beers at the festival, the largest selection of American Craft Beer ever assembled. Sam Wynne, my assistant Beer Guru and Certified Cicerone, will be traveling with BeerKnurds from Fort Worth, Raleigh, Memphis, Charlotte, Addison, Columbia and his home store Austin while they attend the king of beer festivals.
2005 GABF: Jeff Mickel (Raleigh GM), Jim Cline (Rogue Ales), Ted Rowell (Austin GM) & me.
Not only can you visit massive beer festival, but Denver Beer Week has a host of special events that began September 10th and will continue to continue until Sunday the 19th. Why can’t all beer weeks last 10 days? There is an open house at Great Divide and Sam also set up a brewery tour at the Avery Brewery in Boulder on Friday to warm up for the fest that night. On Saturday Breckenridge Brewery’s Blake Street location opens their doors for their famous Brewers Breakfast that is always a blast. It will be a fun filled weekend for all 40 of these faithful BeerKnurds , and I look forward to hearing their stories. (SAM – take pictures!!)
I raise my glass to Charlie Papazian, creator of GABF, and to all those who have paved the way for the advancement of craft beer. Every day, those of you who chose to drink better beer help us carry the torch for the craft beer movement and for that – I thank you.