Driving to Denver and GABF

Jess and I got into Denver late Wednesday night after 3 days, 2 nights, and more than 2,000 miles later. It felt less like a road trip than a lot of driving, but we fit in some good stops at St. Louis (4 Hands Brewing Co.--amazing Chocolate Milk Stout, Urban Chestnut–amazing beer garden, Schlafly Tap Room–great food) and Kansas City (Boulevard! Such a beautiful brewery) and also saw the World’s Largest Wind Chime and the soon-to-come World’s Largest Rocking Chair.

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Now I’m in Denver and no longer a GABF virgin after attending the fest last night. It was as overwhelming as I expected, but I did get to try some amazing beers including The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye With Peaches, Lost Abbey’s Duck Duck Gooze, everything from Almanac Beer, a Northern California brewery which uses ingredients from local farms to make fantastic beers like an Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine aged in brandy barrels. I also tried a lot of coffee beers, perhaps because I could have used a coffee or two: TAPS Mocha Stout, Smog City Groundwork Coffee Porter, and my favorite, the Beachwood System of a Stout, “brewed with blackstrap molasses, green cardamom, and a custom Armenian coffee.” Big thanks to Randy Clemens for the tour of the California breweries. Oh and the Nodding Head Lava, a blonde ale brewed with lavender and vanilla beans, was lovely and distinctive.

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High-quality GABF photo

Thoughts about GABF in general: Festivals are not my cup of tea, or tasting cup of beer, if you will, but I understand its value in getting to try so many different beers, meet some of the brewers etc. It is what it is, I’m not going to whine about the obnoxious-at-times crowds or the lines because you know exactly what you’re getting into. That being said, I am more looking forward to exploring Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins’ beer scene and having a full pint or two.

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2 comments

  1. Just started following your travels and have to say that you picked some good stops on your path through the Heartland. Growing up in Kansas City I cannot speak highly enough of Boulevard and am stoked you got to see the awesome facility they built!

    Keep up the good work and maybe we’ll see you down the road.

  2. Thanks Brian! I was so pumped we got to see Boulevard, been wanting to stop by for a long time. A beautiful brewery, and some of my favorite beers. Wish we could have stayed in KC longer!

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