The Denver Beer Fest—a city-wide celebration of suds surrounding Great American Beer Festival—was officially begun last Friday with the initial tapping of Mayor Mike’s 5280 Brew at Denver Beer Co., the pumpkin beer Denver’s Mayor Michael B. Hancock helped brew on September 19th. The Mayor was on-site to pour the first pint.
Amidst a sea of media, representatives from Denver Beer Co., the Colorado Brewers Guild, and VISIT DENVER spoke of the history of Denver Beer Fest, the background of Mayor’s beer, and the strong relationship between Denver and craft beer. To drive home the point that the Mile-High City produces some of the world’s greatest beer, presenters mentioned that GQ ranked Denver among the top 5 beer cities in America and that USA Today ranked Denver as a top 10 beer city in the world. Of course, every beer geek in Denver knows we’re the tops in hops but recognition from outside sources is always appreciated.
The mic was passed to Mayor Hancock who, reminding the crowd of certain, disparaging words the mayor of Boston said about Colorado beer, riled up the locals by mentioning the absence of Boston on both the GQ and USA Today lists. In your face, Beantown! When the thunderous applause subsided, Mayor Hancock tilted his pint to a perfect 45 degree angle, yanked back on the pumpkin-shaped tap dispenser, and kicked-off Denver Beer Fest.
Mayor Mike’s 5280 Brew, served with a rim of brown sugar, is an opaque, russet-brown beer with beige foam and an aroma that’s big on pumpkin, spice, and a certain, honey-like sweetness. While the aroma suggests spices, the flavor is more pumpkin-forward rather than pumpkin pie-forward. It’s malty and hearty and not overly sweet; it’s Märzen-like but with the addition of pumpkin. The beer is available in the Denver Beer Co. taproom; get it while it lasts.
Denver Beer Fest is now in full-swing so those who missed out on GABF tickets or those who are just that hardcore about craft beer now have events on every night from which to choose from including beer dinners, firkin releases, and tap takeovers. No other time of the year afford this many opportunities to imbibe in your favorite libation, beer geeks, so get out into the city and celebrate.