About- Brady Akers
‘Go Big or Go Home’ is a motto used by brewers and attendees alike at GABF. Many breweries bring some of their heaviest beers to share during the GABF sessions. Tristan Chan, Chris Day, and I looked through each brewery’s pour list to create our list of the best beers above 9.5%. This route can be incredibly rewarding but please heed our warning.
Tread lightly with our Big Beers list, as the high ABV can easily sneak up on you with these delicious drinks. Big beers can easily lead to an early end to your night and a tough morning the next day. We didn’t just put any big beer on this list. There are a lot of other high-ABV ales for you to find on your own!
Attending a session at Great American Beer Festival can be overwhelming, even for the most experienced beer fan. To help you make the most of your festival experience, Tristan Chan, Chris Day and I would like to be your tour guide through several distinct craft beer journeys including Sour & Wild Beers, Rare Beers, Big Beers, Fruit Beers, Hoppy Beers and Unique Beers. We’ll give you the breweries, beers and descriptions, then let you go from there.
Today’s theme route focuses on Sour & Wild Beers, which have gained incredible popularity over the last few years. If you are looking for beers that make your lips pucker and mouth water, you have chosen the right adventure today. This list is by no means a complete list of all sours, but it is a great starting point. Grab some Tums and join us on your journey through Sour Beers at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.
Almost exactly one year ago, I was lucky enough to interview Adam Cayton-Holland, an up-and-coming Denver comedian on the brink of greatness. In that year, Adam has blown up. Adam’s comedy group, The Grawlix (which includes fellow Denver comedians Ben Roy and Andrew Orvedahl), was named to Variety’s list of Top 10 comedians to watch. The Grawlix also wrote and star in an original comedy series coming to truTV in a few months. Those Who Can’t hilariously explores the trials and tribulations of immature high school teachers.
Adam is back in Denver for the time being and will headline the upcoming Offensively Delicious Craft Beer Comedy Show also starring Sam Tallent, Andy Juett, and Kyle Kinane on September 23 at Oriental Theater in Denver. He took some time to update me on the exciting developments in his life.
Header photo by: Desiree Duzich
800 Lincoln St., Denver, CO 80203
Capacity: 7 Barrel Brewhouse
Open Date: February, 2014
Hours of Operation:
- Sunday-Thursday 11am-11pm
- Friday-Saturday 11am-12am
*There is free parking just north side of the building.
Andy Juett is a comic renaissance man in Denver, Colorado, focusing on stand-up, acting, writing, producing, and hosting. Andy is one of the creators of the High Plains Comedy Festival, which just celebrated its third successful year, and a partner in the Sexpot Comedy. Andy recently starred in and wrote season one of a short online comedy series, Glenn Has Idea$. Andy will be performing at and hosting Offensively Delicious (our preview here), a craft beer comedy show sponsored by Renegade Brewing on Wednesday, September 23, during the Great American Beer Festival.
I sat down with Andy at Renegade to share a beer and a few laughs.
Event Preview | Offensively Delicious: A Craft Beer Comedy Show presented by Renegade Brewing Company and Sexpot ComedyAugust 31, 2015 | Brady Akers
When: Wednesday, September 23, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Oriental Theatre (Denver, CO)
For the second year in a row, Renegade and Sexpot Comedy are joining forces to kick off Great American Beer Festival with the unique and incredibly fun Offensively Delicious Craft Beer Comedy Show. Combining some of the best local and national comics with an elite 10 brewery mini beer fest, the show gets you ready for the U.S.’s premier beer event that starts the following day.
I’m incredibly intrigued and enamored by alliteration. Rapid repetition rewards readers, requires readiness and reaps reward. Wow, it is tough to keep that up. With so many beers that have incredibly creative names, I thought I would focus on breweries that utilized my favorite stylistic literary device. I’ll allow my inner word-nerd to come out to say that alliteration has multiple forms, but I am going to focus on the repeated sound of the first consonant in a series of words. While I would love to put Founders Peter Piper Peppered Pale Ale on my list, I was not fortunate enough to try this taproom-only creation from a few years back.
In honor of 303 Day, we re-visit one of our favorite Denver beers, Renegade’s Elevation Triple IPA
11.2 % ABV, 100+ IBUs
Elevation Triple IPA was the first beer I ever had from Renegade Brewing Company and it can easily be compared to learning to swim by being thrown in the deep end. While it is a big beer in terms of style and ABV, the flavor is surprisingly hospitable and constantly making you want more. Elevation is a beer I love sharing with people getting into craft beer. A couple years ago, my younger brother suspiciously tried a can and now I never make a trip home to Indiana without a 4-pack in my bag for him.
I’ve got a golden ticket. Being able to attend New Belgium’s Lost in the Woods event draws similarities to that of a beer-centric Willy Wonka plot. With one of the most respected sour programs in the country, beers like La Folie, Le Terroir and TransAtlantique Kriek are some of the most sought-after sours in the country and their creators Lauren Salazar, Eric Salazar and Peter Bouckaert are industry rock stars. New Belgium does a tremendous job of taking fans behind the scenes with their brewery tours, but getting a chance to venture into the depths of their foeder farm is a special opportunity.
Showing up at Union Station early on Saturday morning felt a little bit like the first day of camp. I was really excited about what was in store, but still a little nervous. My nerves were immediately calmed when I checked in with Justin Patti, who gave me a much needed hi five and a smile. Before we hopped on the train, I fueled up on a delicious Illegal Pete’s breakfast burrito and enough coffee to drown a child.
I am not a frequent shopper of Whole Foods and nothing about my daily activities would make you confuse me for someone that buys organic. Whenever I see the word “organic” on a label, I automatically think, “Well this is going to be expensive.” Luckily for me, Fuel Cafe Organic Coffee Stout from Lakefront Brewery has all the goodness of organic foods without the typical organic price tag.
When kids think of Christmas, they generally think of a jovial fat man and the presents he bribes in return for good behavior. Although it wasn’t for good behavior, I was rewarded a 6-pack of Fat Head’s Holly Jolly Christmas Ale from my older brother because my Indianapolis Colts stomped on his Cincinnati Bengals earlier this season.
Over the last five years, Parade of Darks has become a Denver staple, helping with the transition from Thanksgiving into the holiday season. This year’s event switched gears from year’s past by moving from the comfortable confines of the upstairs area at Wynkoop Brewery to the exciting and bustling Bindery on Blake.
The complex at 29th and Blake was extremely busy, hosting both a flea market open to the public and the ticketed beer festival. The Parade of Darks was separated from the Flea Market in a large open-space area as well as a long hallway. Breweries lined the large area as well as the backside of the hallway.
What: 5th Annual Parade of Darks Beer Festival
Where: The Bindery on Blake – 2901 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205
When: Saturday, December 6, 2014 – 1:00pm to 4:30pm
Ticket link: http://www.imbibe-events.com/event/2014-parade-of-darks/
Parade of Darks, the beer festival for lovers of ambers, porters and stouts, will return for its fifth year on December 6 from 1-4:30 PM. Wynkoop Brewing Company has changed the location from their downtown brewery to the Bindery on Blake (2901 Blake St.). Your $35 ticket includes unlimited samples of more than 60 brews from 25+ breweries, a commemorative festival tasting glass, and that warm feeling inside that comes from knowing all the profits go to Metro CareRing.
The holidays are a great time to spend with friends and family. For a Colorado transplant like myself, that means a lot of travel. When I left Indiana for the bright lights of Colorado eight and a half years ago, the craft beer scene in Indiana had its bright spots but left a lot to be desired. Whenever I would head back for a visit to Indiana, I felt like a beer sherpa with the crazy amount of Colorado craft beers in my bags for family members. But every year at Great American Beer Fest, I found more and more Hoosier breweries in attendance (and more of them getting great buzz).
When I think of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, I usually think of the hop-heavy portion of their offering, from their classic IPA and Torpedo to the less traditional Flipslide Red IPA. I was both surprised and excited to see Sierra Nevada snag a bronze medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival in the Imperial Stout category. A couple days after the festival, I saw this blingtastic brew at Argonaut and I was not able to turn it down.
ABV: 5.70% | IBU: 75
During a recent family trip to Nashville, I not only got to experience the tranquility that Old Hickory Lake offers and realized how much I miss my family that lives 1,000 miles away, I also got to experience some of Tennessee’s best craft beer. One brewery that stood out was Yazoo. I was able to try their IPA, Hefeweizen and a beer named Sue (a crazy awesome Imperial Porter).
Great American Beer Festival is a unique opportunity for people that enjoy beer to rub elbows with the amazingly talented people that have propelled the craft beer scene into the vastly successful industry you see today. Here is a quick guide to some of the beer celebrities you may see in Denver this year during GABF. By no means is this a complete list of everyone to look for. If you have a favorite brewery, author, blogger or personality that is not on this list, try to find them on Twitter to see if you can meet them.