“Ding-Ding!” “Next stop, Denver Convention Center” a pleasant voice states curtly over the loudspeaker. The light-rail train shudders slightly as we come to a quick, controlled stop. The doors whoosh open as I step quickly to the nearest exit. My shoes hit the pavement and I’m greeted with the buzz of cars honking, muffled crowd noise and the tweet of a police officer’s whistle.
What am I, in a 40’s black and white movie? No! It’s the Great American Beer Fest, 2015! Huzzah!
“By far one of the craziest events I’ve been to yet at the Denver Convention Center. And I attended Comic Con this year, all three days, in full costume…”
From the beards to the mustaches, the live music to the lederhosen and the crazy combinations of pretzel, string cheese and slim jim necklaces; GABF 2015 delivered as my favorite experience thus far. Mark your calendars for next year as it should most definitely be on your top 10 list of things to do in Denver.
“With over 3,500 brews from 750 different breweries, find the money for the tickets, it’s worth every penny!”
I had the unique experience of being able to enter the festival floor before the general public this year as media. I’m proud to say our humble and growing website represented well this year, landing an interview with the exuberant and comical John Legnard of Blue Moon Brewing Company. Check out the interview where we speak with the Master Brewer about where his he got his passion for brewing and what’s in store for Blue Moon as they celebrate their 20th year in business and new brewery concept here in Colorado.
John Legnard of Blue Moon poses for Loki Media – Photo Courtesy of Brad Gustafson
Blue Moon was kind enough to allow us a pre-tasting of their 20th-Anniversary Triple White. A delicious Belgian Tripel / Belgian White hybrid brew with a orange and spicy esters. At 9.5% AB, we clanked glasses and started our tasting experience!
“Suddenly, we hear a clattery and booing noise coming from the entrance, someone dropped their tasting cup!”
These roars could be heard throughout the festival in greater intensity as the evening progressed. While all in jest and good fun, take it from a guilty party, don’t drop your cup!
The festival is laid out by region and alphabetized, so it was very easy to find the breweries you were looking for and discover some you weren’t. While it was easy to stop by the local favorites, it was the lesser known breweries that caught my eye, and my tastebuds. A tip of my hat to a new-guy on the block, Keith Antul, Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Medusa Brewing Company in Hudson, MA. Your English Porter, the Blighty, was a tasty and aromatic black ale with the perfect hints of chocolate and coffee.
“This hop-head and self-professed beer snob left satisfied with his first GABF under his belt and plenty of new beers tasted.”
I even got a selfie with Sam Calogione, Founder and President of Dogfish Head Brewing Company! I’ll leave you with my lists of favorite beers from the fest and wish you well, Prost!
Taylor’s Top Beers at GABF 2015
Fate Brewing booth at GABF 2015 – Photo Courtesy of Taylor Mabry/Loki Media
Decima Quad – Fate Brewing Co, Boulder, CO
Peanut Butter Porter – Liquid Mechanics Brewing CO, Lafayette, CO
Wheaton WootStout – Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, CA
Track #08 – The Lost Abbey Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA
Swerve, Sauternes Barrel-aged Apricot Sour Ale – Cigar City Brewing Company – Tampa, FL
Mango Habanero Oberon Ale – Bell’s Brewing Company, Kalamazoo, MI
512 Brewery – Photo Courtesy of Taylor Mabry/Loki Media
Wild Bear – 512 Brewing Company, Austin, TX
BoomSauce IPA- Lord Hobo’s Brewing Company
Colorado Breweries you might not know about, but should try!
Verboten Brewing Company – Loveland, CO
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse – Loveland, CO
Grist Brewing Company – Highlands Ranch, CO
Black Sky Brewery – Denver, CO
Fiction Brewing Company – Denver, CO
Top/Featured Photo Courtesy of © Brewers Association