Great American Beer Fest – Denver Colorado (Wednesday)

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Beer Drinking Adventures
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So after very little consideration, I have decided to break up my trip to Denver and the Great American Beer Fest into individual days.  I am being presumptive here but the group are going to be headed to so many breweries and beer bars, that a single blog post would take forever to read (and write), so each day will get its own posting.  Please keep in mind as this will not be a LIVE blog as my cell phone would be dead by the time I left my second brewery.

Let’s just say that getting up at 4am, flying 2500 miles then going on a 12 hour bender is very tiring and expensive. My flight from Buffalo to Chicago was 20 minutes late getting in and we had only left ourselves a 45 minute layover to begin with. To make matters worse was that our plane to Denver was in another concourse, so needless to say, we had to sprint from plane to plane.  The weird thing about flying into Denver is that the airport is situated in the middle of nowhere…it is completely flat and barren as far as the eye can see.  The airport is about 45 minutes outside of downtown and there is nothing around it.

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

Our first stop was to Mountain Sun Brewing in Boulder to meet up with friends who arrived the day before.  The brewpub is located in the heart of downtown Boulder.  I ordered a killer burrito that was well worth the price of admission (plus we hadnt had a chance to eat since we got up).  Then we let the fun begin and started working through the beers and breweries…

  • Mountain Sun Brewery Vagabond IPA (CO) ~ American IPA ~ 7.5% ABV
  • Mountain Sun Brewery Blackberry Wheat (CO) ~ Fruit/Vegetable Beer ~ 4.5% ABV
  • Mountain Sun Brewery Saison D’tesh (CO) ~ Saison/Farmhouse Ale ~ 5.2% ABV

Then from Mountain Sun we headed over to Avery Brewing.  The brewery is set in the back end of a business park and space is tight.  Avery’s tasting room was somewhat small as it could hold about 50-60 people, but they also have a barrel room tasting room which can sit another 50 people easily…plus it was cool just to sit amongst the barrels.  They were releasing special one offs and retired beers every couple of hours and had the most expansive and impressive list for the whole trip.  If we werent trying to get anywhere else, we could have easily spent the day there drinking.

  • Avery Brewing Eremita II (CO) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 9.5% ABV
  • Avery Brewing Eremita III (CO) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 10.5% ABV
  • Avery Brewing Eremita IV (CO) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 9.0% ABV

Avery Brewing Barrel Room Tasting Area

Oskar Blues was the next stop and was a really cool building.  The walls are lined with all sorts of breweriana, the ceilings have old tap handles hanging from then, weird chirstmas lights strung all over the building, and a solid back patio with horseshoe pits and corn hole boards.  (I do apologize for not having some of the ABVs but these beers were brewed for this week and we not even listed on BA)(Yes, I missed an opportunity to tick…)

  • Oskar Blues Brewing Gubna (CO) ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 10.0% ABV
  • Oskar Blues Brewing One Nut Brown Ale (CO) ~ American Brown Ae ~ 6.5% ABV
  • Oskar Blues Brewing Liquibod Grain Pumpkin Ale (CO) ~ Pumpkin Ale ~ ABV unknown
  • Oskar Blues Brewing Summers Day IPA (CO) ~ American IPA ~ ABV unknown
  • Oskar Blues Brewing Drinking the Beast Gran Cru (CO) ~ Witbier ~ ABV unknown

    Oskar Blues Bar Area

Left Hand Brewing had a small tasting room but has a nice front patio that can hold a lot of people and also sports Corn Hole boards and slate tables.  This place was by far the cheapest of all of our stops as they were doing $1 for a 6oz sample.

  • Left Hand Brewing Nitro Milk Stout (CO) ~ Milk / Sweet Stout ~ 6.0% ABV
  • Left Hand Brewing Warrior IPA (CO) ~ American IPA ~ 7.6% ABV
  • Left Hand Brewing 4 Foodies Pumpkin Ale (CO) ~ Pumpkin Ale ~ ABV Unknown
  • Left Hand Brewing Hopfenweiss (CO) ~ Hefeweizen ~ ABV Unknown

Left Hand Brewing Company

Grimm Brothers was a small microbrewery that has only been going for a little over a year now.  Located in a business park, it offered a lot of parking and had the advantage of having their tasting room hours when the rest of the nearby businesses were closed, so no neighbors to complain.  This brewery did typical german styles with little changes from original recipes.

  • Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Little Red Cap (CO) ~ Altbier ~ 5.2% ABV

~~~2012 GABF Bronze Medal Winner ~ German-Style Altbier~~~

Grimm Brothers Brewing Company

Funkwerks is a small little brewery (also located in a business park) that focuses a lot of attention onto Saisons and Lighter Style beers.  We had gotten there about an hour they closed for we only had time to get a flight of all their beers.

  • Funkwerks Brewing Nit Wit (CO) ~ Witbier ~ ABV Unknown
  • Funkwerks Brewing Saison (CO) ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 6.8% ABV

~~~2012 GABF Gold Medal Winner ~ French and Belgian Style Saison~~~

  • Funkwerks Brewing Tropic King  (CO) ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 7.0% ABV
  • Funkwerks Brewing Liege (CO) ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 7.8% ABV
  • Funkwerks Brewing Bastogne (CO) ~ Belgian Dark Ale ~ 6.5% ABV
  • Funkwerks Brewing Leuven (CO) ~ Berlinner Weise ~ 5.6% ABV
  • Funkwerks Brewing Green Tea Saison (CO) ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ ABV Unknown   (Their best beer)

Funkwerks Brewing Facility and Barrel Room

Well, we couldnt spend all day drinking so we headed over to The Mayor of Old Town in Fort Collins CO.  The Mayor of Old Town was listed as a Top 100 craft beer bar in the US and had a pretty decent menu too.  From what I figured out, of the 100 taps that they had, 99 of them belonged to Colorado breweries with the lone exception of Lost Abbey Mo Betta Bretta.  Of course, even though I was pretty spent, I still had to have one more beer for the road before we headed back to the hotel and passed out.

  • Odell Brewing Myrcenary Double IPA (CO) ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 9.3% ABV

Overall, we didn’t hit as many breweries as I had anticipated but had we done more, it just would have added to the chaos even more. The several times I was writing this one I got to talk to several different brewers who happened to be staying in our hotel. One of the great things about this trip was not only seeing the places that I don’t get distro on but also the little breweries that we would never see too. These guys are so approachable and love to talk craft beer.  I apologize for those of you who kept reading this before it was completed. There was little time to stop and take a break and the only times I could write this was when I was suppose to be sleeping. Needless to say, sleep was a luxury during this trip and I got no more than 4 hours in any given night.

  1. […] Like last year, we spent a day away from all of the craziness of the Denver area.  After a very early morning flight from Buffalo NY to Chicago IL to Denver CO, the day did not start off well unfortunately.  The place that I ordered my rental car through handled it like it was amateur hour.  I departed my plane at 1010am and hurried over to my rental bus in an expedient manner as my friends were landing at 1050am from Los Angeles.   Unfortunately, the bus filled up very quickly but the bus driver was just stalling for time.  After a nice 15 minute wait on ‘our side’ of the airport, the bus took the 15 minute drive around the airport property to the other side of the airport.   I found out later on that the rental car place was so busy and under staffed, that the bus driver was not allowed to return until he was instructed to do so because they didn’t want a line out of the door.   At 1050am when my friends landed, we had just arrived to the rental car place and guess where the line was….out the door.  After waiting for literally 90 minutes in line to get my rental car (and having my guys just come directly to the rental car place…also after a long delay too), we took the one hour drive north up to Fort Collins. […]

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