Denver’s Best Breweries Name The Beers You Gotta Drink at GABF

Thanks to all the Denver Breweries and Brewers who were kind enough to comment on the beers they are most excited to try during Great American Beer Festival. Hope you enjoy this article!

Ratio Beerworks, Jason zumBrunnen, owner and brewer

Most Excited For: I’m most excited to try Day Tripper Pale Ale from Indeed Brewing Company from Minneapolis, MN. I’ve only had this beer once. I was in Washington DC for the 2013 Craft Brewers Conference. On the closing reception, I was given a beer that was delicious, so much so that I declared it was the best beer I had at the entire conference and wondered what local brewery it was from and maybe we could visit before we left the conference. Alas, I then read the can and realized it was from Indeed all the way out in Minnesota, and not even an East Coast beer! I hope it holds up to my great memory of that beer!

Be On the Lookout for: Ratio Beerworks will be bringing New Wave Strawberry Berliner Weisse to GABF. New Wave is a kettle soured, Strawberry Berliner Weisse brewed with patio sessions in mind. This bright pink Berliner Weisse is light, tart, effervescent, and clean on the finish. Strawberries are the dominant flavor profile, as each batch is fermented on over 300 pounds of real strawberries. New Wave will see a limited taproom return on Saturday, Oct 7th as well as part of our big GABF close out finale Karaoke party featuring beer industry members belting out their favorite songs as the weekend’s final hurrah.

The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, Founders Ben Gettinger and Andrew Moore

Most Excited For: Brewer Andrew Moore is most excited about the five farmhouse ales from Scratch Brewing called Leaves, Roots, Seeds, Bark and Flowers.

Be On The Lookout For: The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project will be bringing a Basil IPA to GABF, a delicate balance of hops, malt and basil, an herb known to the Greeks in the 3rd century BCE. The earthy, spiciness of the basil accentuates the 3-pounds-per-barrel of juicy American hops. All of the flavors work synergistically to create a thirst-quenching, sessionable ale.

Fiction Beer, Owners Christa & Ryan Kilpatrick and Brew Staff Brittany Portman & Brandon Norton

Most Excited For: “We collectively agreed that Rare Barrel was the brewery to seek out immediately. The beer: ‘On the Shoulders of Giants.’ Also on our list: Toppling Goliath’s beer ‘Mornin’ Delight & King Sue.’ And lastly, the brewery Blue Owl. They sour mash and we’ve heard good things about their beers.”

Be On the Lookout for: Fiction Beer Co. will be bringing the bourbon barrel aged version of our Green Tea Milk Chocolate Stout to GABF. This beer has been 18 months in the making. A light oak character on the nose compliments the natural sweetness of our stout and the herbal character of the green tea.

Also, from Ryan Kilpatrick, “Feely Effects is one of the first beers we made and one of our favorites. We are really excited about the barrel aged version which has been sitting on oak for over 18 months. the beer is like a rich decadent cordial filled truffle and one that we think is not to be missed. Deciding what to bring to GABF is tough but this was an easy decision!”

WestFax Brewing Co., Anthony Martuscello, owner

Most Excited For: “I’m most excited about being able to try beers that we normally can’t get around Denver. For example I always enjoy beers from Troegs out of Hersey, PA. I lived in PA for a while and they have always made really good stuff. Their “Mad Elf” has gotten me a few times”

Be On the Lookout for: WestFax Brewing Co. will be bringing our Scottish Ale, Tears of Our Enemies to GABF. 7.0% ABV, a light brown Scottish Ale with aromas of subtle fruit combined with a toasty malt character followed flavors of caramelized sugar and toasted bread and finishes with a pleasant warmth. “The beer William Wallace would’ve drank if he didn’t drink the tears of HIS enemies.”

Little Machine Beer, Brett Williams, Founder/Brewer

Most Excited For: I’m most excited about trying the beers from the new breweries in Colorado I haven’t had the chance to make it to yet. My buddy Doug who recently took over Elk Mountain, and is in the process of re-branding it, is bringing a raspberry beer that he’s been talking up. He thinks it’s on par with ours so I can’t wait to try that.

Be On The Lookout For: “Little Machine will have something for everyone there, like we always do in the tasting room! Our “Razz Against the Machine” Tart Raspberry Beer is always a hit at festivals. It’s fun to see people try it for the first time because it’s different from your typical cloying fruit beer. It’s tart, lightly fruity, refreshing and will be a good palate cleanser to try in between all those hop-bomb IPA’s out there.”

Platt Park Brewing Company, Greg Matthews, Head Brewer

Most Excited For: the pro- am entry, Grapefruit IPA from Snowy Mountain in Wyoming. This brewery is locked and loaded with a new head brewer, and is sure to become a GABF medal winner.

Be On The Lookout For: Platt Park Brewing Company, is bringing Gumps Vienna Style Lager, Watermelon Berliner Weisse, Phaded American Pale Ale, and Velvet Ninja Black Lager. “Brewed for the pleasure it bestows!”

Photographer: Dustin Hall, Brewtography Project

Dustin Hall, Photographer, Brewtography Project

Since I immensely respect Dustin, both as a photographer, storyteller and lover of craft beer, I had to ask him what beers he’s most excited for. In the landscape of so many phenomenal beers, this might have seemed daunting, though I thought he had some sage advice for GABF attendees:

“Oh boy! The pressure… Actually for me GABF is about trying things I don’t normally have access to. Yes, there are lots of great whale beers that will be available, but if you look hard enough or trade, you can get those beers outside of the festival. Since I photograph the event, I also don’t really have a lot of free time to spend in line for said whale beers and because of this, I really focus my attention on the breweries from out of state (Colorado) that I have not heard of or have but have never tried and for me, that’s where discoveries are made. Over the years I have found some great breweries by just trying the ones everyone seems to look over. Sure, get a whale beer or two, but don’t spend your entire GABF session waiting in lines.”

Kayla Jones, Writer, 1000 Things To Do In Denver

I get it, I’m a GABF newbie, so my rec might not hold much weight. But I fan-girl out on Cheluna Brewing, out at Stanley Marketplace. Their CocoXoco Porter is one of my all time favorite beers (you can also find that a GABF). But since I’ve already drank that, many times, what I’m most excited about is Cheluna’s Mezcal Barrel-aged Imperial Stout on blackberries. I asked owner and brewer, Javier Pérez, about the beer, here’s what he said, “The black and roasted barley, along with the Mezcal barrels, impart a smokey depth to the beer. The high gravity (10% ABV) tricks your palate into thinking that you bathed it with Stout and Mezcal. The acidity of the blackberries cuts through the roasted malts and lends a softness to the beer.”

Javier adds, “If you’d like to understand the pairing go out and buy a Russian Imperial Stout, and a bottle of Oaxaca Mezcal. Take them home. Over toast (almost burn) a piece of hardy bread, smother it in blackberry preserves. Sip the Mezcal, drink some RIS, and enjoy your breakfast!”