Great American Beer Fest – Denver Colorado (Friday)

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Beer Drinking Adventures
Tags: , , , ,

One of the great things about Denver breweries during the GABF week is not only breaking out special beers but having extended hours, both opening and closing.

Great Divide Brewing Company

Great Divide Brewing is located in downtown Denver only several blocks from Coors Field.  It is not a big building by any means and because they are downtown, they are confined by the other buildings surrounding the brewery.  The tasting room is not a spacious place as it is an L shaped bar that can hold about 10 patrons.  Along the walls are also some bar stools and a small perch for glasses too.  Along the wall were all of their medals won at the GABF in previous festivals too.  Behind the tap wall was another small room for patrons to also stand and drink plus a small gift shop area.  In years past Great Divide would put a up a good sized tent in their courtyard area next to the brewery but that area has since been overtaken by 9 huge fermentation tanks.  There is still a small deck with 6 picnic tables and tent in the courtyard area so anyone who overflowed into the back area were more than likely just drinking underneath the huge tanks.

With all the great beers they had on tap, it was not hard to start drinking at 1030am…Did I mention it was $1 samplers???

  • Great Divide Brewing Colorado Fresh Hop ~ American Pale Ale ~ 6.5% ABV
  • Great Divide Brewing Hercules Double IPA ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 10.0% ABV
  • Great Divide Brewing Wolfgang Dopplebock Lager ~ Dopplebock ~ 8.0% ABV
  • Great Divide Brewing Colette Farmhouse Ale ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 7.3% ABV
  • Great Divide Brewing Rumble Oak Aged India Pale Ale ~ American IPA ~ 7.10% ABV
  • Great Divide Brewing Hades ~ Belgian Strong Pale Ale ~ 7.8% ABV
  • Great Divide Brewing Fall Saison ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ ABV Unknown
  • Great Divide Brewing Leipzig Gose ~ Gose ~ ABV Unknown

The beers were all really good or better, the Fall Saison was a pumpkin saison and the flavors blended perfectly…while the Leipzig Gose was awesome as they had salted it lightly and you could really pull the flavors out, even with the lightly salty finish.

Breckenridge Brewing Company

After leaving Great Divide Brewing (and feeling pretty good), we headed over to Breckenrdge Brewing for lunch before our friend’s flight left.  The place is an old brick building with a wide open interior, brick walls, wooden overhead support beams and plenty of seating.  The bar area is on an upper level and can easily hold 30-40 patrons with plenty of seating around it.  The rest of the building is available seating with a back room available for private parties.    They have a full menu (which was good because we were starving) and about 12 in house beers plus guest taps from Wynkoop too.  Apparently Wynkoop and Breckenridge have some sort of buiness partnership or affiliation as they share taps at each others place.  I ordered a nice order of Salmon Tacos and a bowl of andoule sausage and cheese soup.  Unforuntately, the soup as so heavy, that I was making me exhausted (Im sure the beers we drank earlier had nothing to do with that at all).  After filling up on soup, I decided to take it easy on the beer and went very light…

  • Breckenridge Brewing Peachfork Wheat (CO) ~ Fruit / Vegetable Beer ~ 4.2% ABV

After two very long days, it wasn’t very hard to come to a group concensus for going back to the hotel for quick naps.  A nice hour to recharge batteries, we figured we would hit a smaller local brewery off the beaten path.

Renegade Brewing Company is a small brewery that has been opened for just over one year. The building itself looks like it was previously a three car garage converted into a microbrewery. The interior is old brick on the walls with two garage doors in the front (that open up when the weather is nice). The bar is L shaped and can hold about a dozen patrons.  The remainder of the space is crowded with about a dozen tables and chairs jammed into any open space that they could find.  They do not offer food but allow food trucks to show up and park out front of the building (which seems to be becoming the standard for breweries now as I have noticed the trend in several states).  For a small place outside of downtown and the normal ‘brewery’ foot traffic, it had a lot of people when we went.  Here were a couple of the pints I tried while at Renegade…

  • Renegade Brewing Ryeteous Rye IPA (CO) ~ American IPA ~ 7.0% ABV
  • Renegade Brewing Elevation IPA3 (CO) ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 11.2% ABV

The Rye IPA was okay, had the rye flavor and a bittering hop flavor but not much else, while the Elevation was good but had that boozy finish that wasnt masked at all.

After leaving Renegade Brewing we had dinner reservations in downtown at Tamayo.  Tamayo is considered an upscale dining Mexican place that had great reveiws and was highly rated by the local newspapers too.  The prices of the food were definitely up there (entrees ranged from 18-35 dollars each) but the flavor combinations and freshness definitely made it worth the trip.  I ordered myself the Enchiladas de Jaiba and a Prickly Pear Margarita…the Prickly Pear Margarita was made with Cactus Fruit Infused Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice and Grand Marnier…while the Enchiladas de Jaiba was made with Jumbo lump crab meat, corn, spinach, onions,  queso Chihuahua, mascarpone, roasted tomatillo sauce and cherry tomato-red onion cilantro.  I love Mexican food this place was totally up my alley.  Here is the website for Tamayo in case you ever make it out that way, I highly recommend the place.

Only one more blog post to go (saturday), so keep popping back to see when it is completed.


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