The Best of the Best: DOTW’s GABF Superlatives

It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for the Great American Beer Fest to arrive… and just like that, it’s gone.  The Denver off the Wagon crew had a great time at all 4 sessions.  We came, we drank, we conquered… and we saw many of our loyal readers in the process.  Perhaps we even grabbed a photo of you in your [insert ridiculous outfit].  So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you the 1st Annual Denver off the Wagon GABF Superlatives:

Million Dollar Smile
It’s always awesome to have your beer poured by the brewer, but it’s another level of cool when it’s Garrett Oliver (Brew Master, Brooklyn Brewery).  He won over our hearts with a wink, a smile, and a pour of Black Ops (ok, so maybe he didn’t wink but we can pretend).

Biggest Hop Head
I’m pretty sure this thing was at least a foot tall, pretty impressive if you ask me.  I wonder if he likes IPA’s?

Ambiguous Outfit
Are they Monks?  Jedi?  Homeless people?  Who cares, they’re awesome.

Best Pirates
Sure, they don’t have an eye patch or spider monkey that’s also dressed like a pirate… but look at that hat!

Best Beer Refs
No, these are not judges from the Brewers Association, but it would be a hell of a lot cooler if they dressed like this.

Best Group Costume
We heard rumors of “impostor” Waldo’s travelling around GABF, but these guys were the real deal.  They were even present during two sessions.

Best Pajamas
The cool part?  They’re the only ones on this list that got to sleep in their outfits.

Best “Pretzel” Necklace
Anything with Frosted Animal Crackers is winning in my book.

Youngest Patron
I’m really bad at guessing ages… so let’s just say we know this little guy isn’t 21.

Surprise Brewery of the Year
These guys offered up 6 sours that made us pucker and fall in love with them at the same time.

Coolest Name
His name is Bear Twynan and he had a pretty sweet outfit.  This was not Bear’s first rodeo.

Least Drank Beer
I don’t actually know which beer was consumed the least, but High Life is fucking terrible.  So I’ll leave it at that.

Volunteer With the Most Name Badges
Note: It was not verified if it was actually his birthday or if anyone ended up yelling at him.

Most Likely to Wear His Costume Outside of GABF
Let’s be honest, there’s a good chance this guy is a furry.

Biggest Beer Celebrtity
There were a lot to choose from on this one, but you can’t get much bigger than Charlie Papazian (founder of the Brewers Association and the Great American Beer Festival).

Most Random Hats
We ran into these guys at the Farm-to-Table beer and food pairing.  Perhaps they’re trying to tell us that Guinness goes really well with squid?

The Odd Couple
Duff Man and a beer wench?  I don’t really know what else to say about this one.

Best Beer Wench Outfit
No, I did not ask them to get my next beer.

Easiest Group to Find in a Crowd
Cone Heads think, and drink, alike.

Most Photo Bombers
Count them… one, two, three, four.  They’ve got nothing on Jess Hunter though, you can spot her in just about half of our pics.

Best Beard
This graphic designer for Jester King Brewery in Austin, TX was shocked that we thought he had the best beard of GABF.  Who would have guessed it wouldn’t be a brewer winning this award?

Best Mustache
This fine example of a man was from Iowa, land of… well, I don’t know.  How about amazing mustaches?

Most Likely to Host a TV Show About Drinking
Oh wait… he already does.  So maybe I’m just bragging about getting a photo with Zane Lamprey of Drinking Made Easy, can you blame me?

Most Likely to Pillage Denver’s Suburbs After GABF
Besides drinking a lot, that’s what Vikings do… right?

Most Organized
What’s better than trying to eat pretzels off a string of twine?  How about munching from separate Tupperware containers of nuts, cheese, and whatever the hell else you want.

Best Outfit Rendition of a Drinking Game
Now who’s going to ask these girls to lie down?  You know… so we can play beer pong!

Most Excited Volunteer Coordinator
The leader of Team Richmond was putting his hands in the air like he just didn’t care.  Only he did care.  Unlike some of the volunteers this weekend.

Our Favorite Volunteer of the Year
This coveted award goes to Travis, who recently moved here from Atlanta (or somewhere else down South, I was pretty drunk).  He told us he’s been a loyal Denver off the Wagon reader since moving to Denver which in no way played a part in him winning.

Best Use of Pork
The head brewer told me they bagged up 5 whole pig heads as well as some ribs and threw it into the boil for 90 minutes.  Don’t just assume this was some gimmick though, this beer was good!

Most Hops Worn
Between them, there may be enough hops to brew a ‘Triple Hops Brewed Miller Lite’.

Most Amazing Cup Holder
Yes, this is the same guy from ‘Most Hops Worn’, but how could we deny him.  Look at this thing!  And yes, it’s real.

Booth with the Most Pussy
Yeah, I said it.  I’m pretty sure that’s what The Bruery was going for when they designed this booth though.

Most Random Product Advertisement Turned Costume
These guys were marketing the ‘Octotap’.  I can’t really comment on how well it actually works, but it looks cool.

Most Dangerous Booth
Who thought to put a face-trimming station at a beer festival?  Wahl did… and it led to some pretty interesting results (see next award).

Most Interesting Facial Hair Arrangement
Who knows if these guys would have made this decision sober… so we’re sure glad they were far from it!

Best Group Missing Two Members
Everyone knows there are 6 members of the Village People, but somehow they lost 2 members along the way.

Best Merit Badges
Do they still call them merit badges in the Girl Scouts?  Regardless, we were big fans of this creative costume.

Most Drunk Random Guy
We found this guy leaning against the door as we left the Saturday afternoon session.  We were shocked he was able to remain upright.

Best Sidekick
It’s not often the sidekick upstages the superhero, but this one was an easy call.

Most Likely to Succeed
Anyone dressed this well at a beer fest has to be important, right?

Interested in seeing the rest of our pictures?  Here they are:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

So how’d we do?  Miss anything good?  Let us know in the comments.

About Sean Buchan

Sean is a Physical Therapist and Photographer living in (and loving) Denver, Colorado. He enjoys shooting just about anything but his true passion is capturing the craft beer culture here in Denver. If you enjoy his photographs check out Beertographer.

  • Jess Hunter

    Heh. Well, I can’t thank the photobombing without the illustrious Sean Buchan. I mean, I had a picture alongside Zane, Noah, Tyler, etc etc etc.

    • Sean Buchan

      Next year you’re taking the camera and we’re switching roles.

  • Beer Soaked Erik

    Thanks for posting all the great photos from GABF. Hard to pick a favorite but I’ll give it to “Best Sidekick” because the caption made me laugh. Cheers!

  • Jakemo

    I poured next to the Bruery, and nobody there had a clue why all the cats, either. I’d be tempted to give them “Most Unrelated Decor” too. Glad to see that even bigger names still know how to have fun.

    • PJ

      Where were you pouring? I was doing laps on Black Tuesday.

  • Katie

    Woot! Travis is awesome and will talk to you about beer all the time if you let him! Not surprised at all that he’s bringing his Atlanta awesomeness to you Denver-ites!