Colorado brewers win first GABF medals

Bootstrap Brewing from Niwot accepts a medal for their Wreck Havoc Imperial Red Ale.

Amid a packed house at the Bellco Theatre in the bowels of the Denver Convention Center, representatives from most of the 1,500+ breweries entered anxiously waited as the winners of the 2015 Great American Beer Festival competition were announced Saturday morning. With almost 100 categories to get through, the production was like the Emmy’s minus […]

First-time brewers at GABF

The tap room at Mockery Brewing - Photo credit:  Mockery Brewing

For 33 years, new breweries have been barreling and delivering their beer to the Great American Beer Festival for public consumption and professional appraisal and 2015 will be no different. A medal awarded by the festival’s Professional Judge Panel is instant validation of their efforts and sacrifices along with some enviable hardware for the taproom. […]

GABF is here! What to do outside the big show

Photo © Brewers Association

It’s here! The week of indulgence, intoxication, and dehydration is upon us. It snuck up on me this year, taking place earlier than years past, and I’m not sure if I’m fully hydrated just yet. But, the Great American Beer Festival and Denver Beer Fest have arrived. Ready or not, bottoms up. I’ve been attending this […]

2014 GABF Medals: How does Colorado stack up to the rest of the nation?

Photo: © Brewers Association

Another Great American Beer Festival (GABF) has come and gone meaning it’s once again time to tally up the scores and see how well Colorado’s medal count compares to the rest of the nation.  The first criterion in deciding the winner is the most obvious: Who won the most overall medals? Most Overall Medals 1. […]

And Your 2014 Great American Beer Festival Award Winners Are…

Kevin Delange, Dry Dock Brewing Co. 
American-Style Fruit Beer - Apricot - Bronze

English Style-Mild Ale - S.S. Minnow Mild Ale, Bronze

Now in it’s 33 year, the Great American Beer Festival has more than quadrupled in size. At the first GABF, there were 40 breweries, this year 3,100 breweries participated. Now in it’s 28th year, this year’s competition awarded  268 medals. More than 5,507 beers were entered into the competition. To kick-off the awards ceremony, the State of […]

The 10 people you see waiting in line at GABF

Photo © Brewers Association

Whether it’s to get into the Convention Center, to get a tasting cup, to get a beer, or to go to the restroom, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) experience is 90% waiting in line.  There’s no need to stand idly with crossed arms and an impatiently tapping foot; queue time is people-watching time.  For […]

Fresh Taps: Oct. 1st – Oct. 7th (GABF 2014)

Imagine growler fills at Falling Rock... (Picture courtesy of

Welcome to Fresh Taps! Each week Shea collects the most promising lineup of new and returning beers available by the glass and the occasional bottle hitting taprooms and tasting rooms all over the state. No ticket required, just a taste for great beer and a little adventure. It’s here. The moment we’ve all been waiting […]

Win tickets to GABF at BSide

B-Side beers - Photo Credit PJ Hoberman

Want some tickets to the Thursday night GABF session? BSide (1336 E. 17th Ave), the newest creation from the masterminds behind Star Bar, has three pairs of tickets to give away! Here’s how to win: Option 1 – Head into BSide and fill out a comment card before the bar closes on Wednesday night. While no purchase is necessary […]

Fresh Taps: Sept. 24th – Sept. 30th (Pre-GABF 2014)

Photo Credit: Odell Brewing

Welcome to Fresh Taps! Each week Shea collects the most promising lineup of new and returning beers available by the glass and the occasional bottle hitting taprooms and tasting rooms all over the state. No ticket required, just a taste for great beer and a little adventure. With nearly 100 tapping events over the next […]

GABF: How to see your glass half-full

Photo: Daniel Spiess on Flickr

Scalpers running rampant.  Ticketing websites crashing harder than the Hindenburg.  Exorbitant admission fees if you’re even lucky enough to get that far.  Worthy breweries getting shut out.  Spotty cellphone reception.  Sloppy, amateur-hour drunks crawling all over the city.  It’s easy to complain about Great American Beer Festival (GABF).  I, myself, have been guilty of a […]

Great American Beer Festival Fantasy Draft: The Wagon’s team

Photo: © Brewers Association’s second annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Fantasy Draft occurred this past weekend and Denver off the Wagon was there to challenge other beer journalists of both local and national acclaim.  Here’s a breakdown of the competition. The Participants & Draft Order 1. Mike Snider – USA Today 2. Mark Slattery – Denver Beer […]

DIA to give passengers a taste of Colorado beer culture

Logo: Denver International Airport

What image does Denver International Airport (DIA) project?  The roof of the Jeppesen Terminal looks like snowcapped peaks so our mountains are represented.  It features Western-inspired art like the “Spirit of the People” painting and that gigantic blue devil-horse off of Peña Boulevard so our history is on display, too.  But what about Colorado’s most […]

GABF: A Crisis Averted

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The Brewers Association does an incredible job organizing and executing the Great American Beer Festival. There, I said it. Thing is, two weeks ago you would have never heard those words come out of my mouth. To be honest, I was a bit frustrated with the whole damn thing: frustrated that eight years ago I […]

2013 GABF Medals: How does Colorado Stack Up to the Rest of the Nation?

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Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the Academy Awards of breweries and, needless to say, the folks here in Colorado tend to think we have some pretty damn decent beers.  How much of that sense of superiority is fact and how much is pure delusion?  Let’s look at the results of the 2013 GABF and […]

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The Thoughts and Ramblings of a GABF Virgin


The Great American Beer Festival is horrible.  It’s a mess.  At it’s worst, it’s a showcase of our unrelenting thirst for beer gone wrong, an over glorified frat party of sorts, and an indulgence of excess and satiety. At it’s best, it’s an exercise in patience and self control as you slowly move around from […]

Post-Beer-Week Syndrome: Symptoms and Cures


Another Beer Week has been and gone in the Mile High City. Attendees drank, swigged, and danced at more events and bars all across the Front Range than I care to count. Even the main event, the Great American Beer Festival itself, is still in the long process of cleaning up beer and pretzels not […]

Beer Porn of the Week – Unknown GABF Brew!


GABF ABV – Unknown IBU – Unknown Tickets to GABF – Impossible Remembering Every Beer You Drank –  Impractical Tasting So Much Greatness – Priceless [We’ll share some beer porn every Monday to get your week started off right. Have some of your own? Leave a link in the comments!]

GABF Terminology 201


Words are hard. You may know enough about beer, but I’ve found there are a few things that trip people up as far as brew terminology goes. This is amplified at a festival like GABF, because you sometimes will not take the time to give a fuck. You approach the booth to try something, pick […]

An Epic Firkin Night


Epic Brewing Company, one of Denver’s newest breweries, decided the best way to make a first impression is by making 50 of them – 50 firkins that is. Last night, Epic threw what could be called an epic party – Epic tapped 50 unique firkins as part of its Great American Beer Festival events. “Firkins […]

The 10 Commandments of the Great American Beer Festival


That’s it! It is here! Over the next three days upwards of 49,000 people will be attending the almighty Great American Beer Festival. Since its inception 31 years ago, GABF now spans generations of beer lovers from around the country. Whether this is new territory for you or your wise enough to know better, let […]