Beer Me: September 29, 2015 – October 5, 2015

freshhopposter_15Another Great American Beer Festival (GABF) has swept through our fair city, leaving a trail of trampled pretzel necklaces and next-day apology texts in its wake.

Congratulations, you survived! I mean, I hope you survived. Those one-ounce pours add up and who knew that cross-town Uber, post-fest at peak surge to get that super-coveted, Imperial Barley Wine would leave you struggling to cover this month’s rent? Plus, like the rare lunar eclipse/super blood harvest murder moon (astronomy term) combo we just witnessed on Sunday night, this year’s GABF coincided with Denver’s Oktoberfest, creating a drunken vortex out of some Gambrinus prophecy.

Winston Churchill once said, “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” But, Denver called. It’s feeling a bit haggard and asked if we could keep things chiller this week. We’ll see what we can do…

If Saturday, October 3, 2015 rolls around and you’re up for another festival – granted one that is just a tad under the 60,000 attendee/750 brewery bacchanal that is GABF – then the Fresh Hop Festival at Falling Rock Tap House will certainly suffice. Featuring around 40, mostly Colorado breweries, the 10th edition of this popular fest once again celebrates the fresh/wet hop phenomenon. Basically, the beers are brewed with whole hops recently picked (within 24 hours) sans drying or processing. The result is a beer of often unpredictable, varying hoppiness that affords the distinct hop characteristics to shine brightly. The festival runs from noon until 4pm; tickets are $40 and can be purchased online.

Ongoing: Visit an Award-Winning Brewery

Back to that thing called GABF! Beyond the plastic tasting-glass dropping and three-day hangover, Colorado – and Denver in particular – did quite well at this year’s fest with Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Comrade Brewing Co., Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Denver Beer Co., Prost Brewing, and Spangalang Brewery all taking home GABF medals. You can check out the full list of winners here and since we love maps, here’s a new one with the Denver winners.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 2 – 3:30pm: It’s Past Beer Thirty: How To Differentiate Your Brand In A Saturated Market at TAXI Drive 2 Building

More of a thinking than a drinking event, Brandfolder CEO, Steve Baker, leads this discussion as part of Denver Startup Week. Panelists – including several brewery reps – will delve into the challenges of staying relevant, defining one’s brand, and creating a solid identity in a crowded field. Beer and appetizers will be provided. This event is FREE and open to the public, but please do register online.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 2pm: Pumpkin Oktoberfest Release at Copper Kettle Brewing Co.

Pumpkin beers continue to be released earlier and earlier each year. I saw Sam Adams’ offering in July. Props to Copper Kettle for almost making it to October. This is a traditional German Märzen with the addition of pumpkin pie spices. Pavy’s Food Truck will also be on-site, serving up gourmet sandwiches.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 @ 4 – 10pm: Support the Brewtography Project at Baere Brewing Company

Baere brewed The F/Stops Here, an imperial stout aged in a Laws Whiskey House barrel, to help support the The Brewtography Project: Discovering Colorado Breweries. This coffee table book explores Colorado-brewing culture through photographs. $1 from each pour of the F/Stops here brew goes towards the book’s Kickstarter effort, which continues for 17 more days.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 @  5 – 6pm: Angel Happy Hour at Thrive Ballpark

Another opportunity to think while you drink, compliments of Denver Startup Week. This event will provide the chance for angel investors and entrepreneurs to interact and make connections. In addition to beer and wine, Rockies Venture Club’s Peter Adams will provide a 10-minute presentation, providing best practices for both entrepreneurs and investors when it comes to raising angel capital/investing in local companies. FREE and open to the public.

Friday, October 2 – Sunday, October 4, 2015: Rocky Mountain Oktoberfest at the Pepsi Center, Prius Lot West

Several big-name Colorado breweries will be pouring at Denver’s other Oktoberfest. The American Cornhole Organization (it exists) will be overseeing the “Rockies’ Largest Cornhole Tournament” on Saturday, starting at noon. Winners get $10,000 and second place walks away with $5,000. Live music, stein hoisting competitions, yodeling contests, and kids’ activities round out the event. Tickets start at $15; view the full line-up of activities here.

Friday, October 2, 2015 @ 2 – 4pm: Throwback Prices at the Cherry Cricket

The Cherry Cricket is celebrating its 70th anniversary by serving up burgers and beer for less than you just gave that guy with the clever cardboard sign. Get a burger for $1.90 and a Coors Banquet for $0.72, which – according to this fancy inflation calculator – means they should be charging $9.53 for Golden’s finest nowadays. Shhhhh…

Saturday, October 3, 2015 @ 11am – 12pm: Yoga at Ratio Beerworks

This isn’t your mama’s yoga class. Participants will be flowing to the tunes of Hot Water Music and Fugazi to name a few, so come ready to party. Registration costs $15 and includes one brew. Please bring your own yoga mat and towel. 21+

Matt Sandy, a self-proclaimed “Beer Gadabout,” has been enjoying beer since he was of legal drinking age. Having been born across the pond where “legal drinking age” is a relative term, let’s just say he washed down a shandy or two while still in short pants. He moved to Denver in 2007 and immediately took up residency at the Great Divide taproom. Since then, he’s enjoyed exploring all of the craft corners of this great town and in this column will highlight weekly beer-related events that you should consider drinking in.