Where to Drink [Anything but Beer] During GABF

What to Drink Other than Beer During GABF On the surface, beer week doesn’t appear to offer much opportunity in the realm of cocktails. Beer is literally everywhere and in everything, all over the city from your cheese soup to someone’s soggy Lederhosen. Our stance on GABF is that it’s actually the best time to enjoy a cocktail- in between all that beer you are going to consume. After all, it’s sometimes fun to wake up with a different kind of hangover, right?

We’ve compiled a fairly comprehensive list of go-to cocktail bars in the Denver area for when you are looking for something a little different.


Instead of providing a list of venues where you can go for a great drink, what we have here is a compilation of some of our favorite non-beer beverages and where you can find them. It’s a slightly different approach, but at least you will know what to order in each spot when you have that much-needed beer break.

  • Row 14 [14th St, between Champa & Stout] – Fernet Branca (on tap)
  • Wazee Supper Club [15th & Wazee] – Wazee Supper Club recently got a face lift, new menu, and a huge new selection of cocktails. And it’s smack-dab in the middle of an awesome historic neighborhood. Try the: Barrel-aged Sazerac
  • Osteria Marco [Larimer St, between 14th & 15th] – Negroni
  • Colt and Gray [Platte St] – Old Fashioned
  • Euclid Hall [14th St, between Market & Larimer] – Assuming you aren’t here for the mid-night breakfast after Thursday’s GABF session, Euclid’s tenders will happily dish out Leopold’s Apple Whiskey “Luge Shots” (from the bones which previously contained bone marrow)
  • Star Bar [Larimer St, between 21st & 22nd] – Albeit, as a relentless supporter of The Wagon and the craft beer scene in general, Star Bar will likely be packed with beer-fans from all over the city/state/country during Denver Beer Week. However, they will gladly mix you up a beer-cocktail, dish out a booze-cicle (trust us on this one) and invite you to lounge about their newly-rennovated outdoor patio. Try the: Navy-Strength Singapore Sling, or Barrel Stave-smoked Cocktail
  • Pints Pub [13th Ave, between Cherokee & Bannock] – Very extensive collection of single-malt scotch (It’s hard to suggest which one you should order. Pick an expensive one.)
  • Prohibition [Colfax & Pennsylvania] – Liquid Swords
  • GHOST Tap & Plate [18th & Stout] – Assortment of easy drinking “breakfast cocktails”
  • Lancer Lounge is now Vesper Lounge!  [E 7th Ave & Grant] – Previously one of the finer dive bars in Denver that attracted all sorts of folks that could only be described as “truly Denver”, Lancer became Vesper – A Frank Bonnano concept. Still a cool vibe, but long gone are the days of endless, cheap cocktails.
  • Mile High Spirits – 30th and Larimer-  A tentpole institution in one of Denver’s up and coming neighborhoods. Everything is distilled on site. They’ll mix their Elevation Vodka or their Fireside Whiskey with just about anything.
  • Matchbox [Larimer, between 28th and 29th streets] – need a bloody mary for your hangover? Here’s where you go to get some of the best ones in the city. No breakfast, however.

Of course, these are just recommendations. Order what you like. I also left out wine, which is a completely different article. Any of these wonderful institutions will be able to accommodate your tastes and wishes when it comes to booze. Just remember to drink responsibly- save room for the beer.

About Jim Halligan

Jim is a modern day conquistador. When not teaching his three parrots to speak Italian, he spends time poking flags in things and calling them his own.