Visit Denver, Denver’s convention and visitors’ bureau, is presenting the third annual Denver Beer Fest from September 23 to October 1.
The event will coincide with the Great American Beer Festival beer competition, to be held from September 29 to October 1; and the two-weekend-long Oktoberfest Denver, which takes place from September 16 to September 18 and from September 23 to September 25.
This year’s event will launch a new collaboration with the Colorado Brewers Guild, increasing the participation of top craft breweries around the city and state. The nine-day Denver Beer Fest will include rare beer tastings, beer-paired dinners, “brewer vs. brewer” nights, beer tappings, brewery tours and a variety of other beer events.
Visit Denver says the website www.DenverBeerFest.com will be a one-stop shop for all things beer, including information on Denver beer events sponsored by some of the more than 450 breweries coming to town for the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). There is no cost to list Denver-centric events on the website.
“Beer is in Denver’s DNA,” says Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who owned the first brewpub in Colorado – the Wynkoop Brewing Company – before he entered politics. Today, Denver brews more beer than any other U.S.city, is home to the world’s largest single brewing site, Coors Brewery, and hosts the GABF. The GABF is identified by Guinness World Records as the largest beer festival on the planet, offering 2,400 different beers for tasting in 2010.
According to Visit Denver, Denver’s tap houses, brew pubs, gastro pubs and distillery scene continue to expand. The past year has seen a number of new entrants including Denver Strange Brewing, Renegade, Copper Kettle, and Amato Ale House, which features 45 Colorado beers on tap. Downtown Denver alone added more than 250 taps in just a year, the tourism organization says.
Five Colorado brewers have made the Brewers Association’s latest list of the country’s Top 50 Craft Breweries: Fort Collins’ New Belgium (ranked number 3) and Odell Brewing Co. (33); Louisville’s Rock Bottom Brewery (35); Longmont’s Oskar Blues Brewery (36); and Denver’s Breckenridge Brewery (45). Colorado brewers won more medals at the 2010 GABF than any other state.
The success of craft brewing in Colorado is no coincidence, according to Todd Usry, brewmaster and general manager at Breckenridge Brewery.
“I think the Colorado lifestyle, which embraces true quality of life, is a major factor in the adoption of craft beer enjoyment,” says Usry. “I’m not the first to notice that this is a state where you see a $5,000 bicycle on top of a $500 car. Those same outdoors enthusiasts are the ones who see the quality in craft beer and are willing to pay a little more for interesting, satisfying beer. Our Colorado consumers are also willing to experiment and to share with friends. The fun-loving, open-minded, quality-seeking folks who live in this state created the environment for so many breweries to succeed here.”
Visit Denver cites the water that Colorado’s breweries use as being a key factor in their success. Coors Brewery uses the same 44 natural springs that Adolph Coors discovered in the 1870s.
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