Sure, resorts are starting to open here in Colorado, but make no mistake, we’re still deep in the throws of autumn. The best skiing is still a long way away. With 578 breweries pouring over 2,700 different beers, the Great American Beer Festival provided a malt-fueled distraction from the doldrums of the season. Here’s what went down at last week’s festival in Denver. Here’s a hint: I drank beer. Lots of it.
If there’s one crowd I like as much as skiers, it’s craft beer lovers—perhaps because so many skiers are craft beer lovers. The energy in the Denver Convention Center was electric. The people really do make this event awesome.
While at the festival, I was on a quest to find new mountain breweries. Skiers have been one of the major beneficiaries of the craft-beer boom. These days, almost every ski town has it’s own brewery. The Great American Beer Festival is the best place to try beers from all over ski country at the same time. Here were a few of my favorites:
Whiteface Black Diamond Stout by Great Adirondack Brewing Company, Lake Placid, New York.
Bootjack IPA by Icicle Brewing Company, Leavenworth, Washington.
Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale by Telluride Brewing Company, Telluride, Colorado.
IPA 395 by Mammoth Brewing Company, Mammoth Lakes, California.
We weren’t the only industry folks in the house. Mike Waesche of Rocky Mountain Underground was holding down a booth promoting Flylow, Sick Sticks, and a pretty sweet pair of skis RMU made for New Belgium Brewing Company. Skiers like beer. Period.
Skiers that like beer also like dressing up in costumes and getting rowdy. The scene at the 2012 GABF was not unlike any closing-day party at a ski area. It was a warm, welcoming , and familiar environment.
Located just up the road from Skiing Mag’s Boulder, Colorado, headquarters, Oskar Blues brewing company throws a hell of a silent disco each year. It’s not to be missed.
Skiing Magazine and Samuel Adams approve of GABF.
If you’ve got the fall blues next season, don’t miss the Great American Beer Festival, or this man will find you and drag you there. As America’s largest celebration of beer, it’s a killer party, and a chance to try new brews from around the country. If you ask me, it’s the second best thing to actually skiing.
Read the rest of the Skiing Mag Beer of the Week blog here.
Get all of your Great American Beer Fest info here.
We like craft beer. If you do too, check out Craftbeer.com.