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Old 01-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
cmhargrove
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Default Great American Beer Festival?

So I was planning to head out to Denver next fall to catch a game in October. Being a decently well rounded (not waist line) beer snob, I thought I would try to hit Denver the same weekend as the Great American Beer Festival. I really enjoy tasting all kinds of bizarre and rare brews so this sounds right up my alley.

I just had a few questions for those that have been there.

1. Is it worth the $65.00?
2. Seeing that they give ot 1oz samples, is that still a fun experience? That's like half a swallow.
3. Is it a mad house? Will I even get to try 30-40 samples, or will the lines be too long?
4. Is it worth getting a homebrewer's association membership for "members only" day on Saturday? Sounds like the corwd might be thinned out quite a bit.

Any other advice?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
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I've heard mixed things on it, but I haven't been to one since moving here. I want to go to one.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:52 PM   #3
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I know... One oz samples sounds pretty weak, but consider this- how many different breweries will be there, each with at least several types of beers. How many shots of beer can you get down before feeling full? There's less waste for those who don't like a certain brew, and in my experience, towards the end of the very last session, the pours get more "generous", especially if you show more appreciation for their stuff. Just don't drop your commerative glass. It's the only one you get.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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GABF is a magical experience. We go every year. Although tickets are getting *very* difficult to get.

The pours are just fine. There are like 2,000 beers at the damn thing. Can you drink 2,000 ounces of beer in four hours? Quantity is never the problem.


Although the best part of GABF isn't the event itself. The week leading up to GABF is just amazing in Denver. There is so much going on every night. Tappings, industry folks, tasting dinners.. the whole thing is just amazing. The scene at the local breweries up and down the front-range is a non-stop party.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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Also, if you still live in Tulsa, the elevation can play a factor in some people regarding levels of inebriation.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:53 AM   #6
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First. It's a total **** show, especially if you go Friday or Saturday night. The VIP only tasting really is a much better experience, especially if you REALLY know your beers.

Second, tickets are getting tougher to find. They're letting brokers buy all of them up now, and sell them at a massive upsell. Pretty ****ty, really.

Third, it's a blast. Definitely something everyone should experience.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:18 AM   #7
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Thanks for letting us know your well roundedness isn't in your waist line! I was pretty worried there for a second!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:20 AM   #8
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If you want to drink some great beer for free go tour New Belgium in Ft. Collins. You'll need a reservation well in advance because it's very popular.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
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If you want to drink some great beer for free go tour New Belgium in Ft. Collins. You'll need a reservation well in advance because it's very popular.
As one who has been trapped down here in Florida for way too long, I cannot wait for my next Fat Tire!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
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just buy a 40 and sit on the curb at 7-11
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheElusiveKyleOrton View Post
First. It's a total **** show, especially if you go Friday or Saturday night. The VIP only tasting really is a much better experience, especially if you REALLY know your beers.

Second, tickets are getting tougher to find. They're letting brokers buy all of them up now, and sell them at a massive upsell. Pretty ****ty, really.

Third, it's a blast. Definitely something everyone should experience.
Ok, a couple clarification questions.

The asterisk word, was that the s word, the f word, or another? If so, do you mean it is just an overcrowded, rowdy mess? Or, were you implying something different? I just want to get my expletives correct.

I was seriously thinking about just getting the Homebrewer's membership (which has other benefits). It says on the website that they sell to them first, before tickets go to the public.

Finally, it sounds like all the week prior activities are worth it as well. In general, are these items invitation only, pay at the door, or what? I wouldn't mind trying to find any event sponsored by Left Hand since they are also a local brewery (and one of my favorites).
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhargrove View Post
Ok, a couple clarification questions.

The asterisk word, was that the s word, the f word, or another? If so, do you mean it is just an overcrowded, rowdy mess? Or, were you implying something different? I just want to get my expletives correct.

I was seriously thinking about just getting the Homebrewer's membership (which has other benefits). It says on the website that they sell to them first, before tickets go to the public.
You pretty much have to have the homebrewers membership to have any shot at tickets. Even then tickets for all four sessions sold out in like 15 minutes this year.

Quote:
Finally, it sounds like all the week prior activities are worth it as well. In general, are these items invitation only, pay at the door, or what? I wouldn't mind trying to find any event sponsored by Left Hand since they are also a local brewery (and one of my favorites).
Some are, a lot aren't. Just visiting the breweries themselves that week is worth it. Left hand is in Longmont, so go visit them during beer week.

However, don't lock yourself into the "big guys". There are so many amazing breweries you've probably never tried (Crooked Stave for instance) that do big things that week. It's about finding new beers and brewers that you love...
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
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I used to brew for Twisted Pine in Boulder and I'm currently the brewmaster at a brewery in Nashville. If you want the best experience, go Thursday night or Saturday morning.

If you end up going, stop by my booth, Cool Springs Brewery!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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My sister and her boyfriend go every year and they love it. I've never been.

Last edited by Greatspirits; 01-22-2013 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhargrove View Post
Ok, a couple clarification questions.

The asterisk word, was that the s word, the f word, or another? If so, do you mean it is just an overcrowded, rowdy mess? Or, were you implying something different? I just want to get my expletives correct.

I was seriously thinking about just getting the Homebrewer's membership (which has other benefits). It says on the website that they sell to them first, before tickets go to the public.

Finally, it sounds like all the week prior activities are worth it as well. In general, are these items invitation only, pay at the door, or what? I wouldn't mind trying to find any event sponsored by Left Hand since they are also a local brewery (and one of my favorites).
It was the S word. Problem is, at least the last couple times I've gone, it's been a mass crush of college kids there lookin' to get F'd UP, and they really go after it. Some of them foul out within a couple hours. I've seen a guy pass out and take down four people with him. I saw one guy puke in the middle of his buddies.

Some folks don't know how to act. That seems especially true at the BeerFest.

That said, none of those things occurred at the VIP tasting I went to a couple years ago. Highly recommended.

The week-of events are pretty fun. Mostly, I just hit up the breweries for their special batch tastes, sour beer tastes, etc. It's a good week to love beer and live in Denver.
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Last edited by TheElusiveKyleOrton; 01-22-2013 at 11:40 AM..
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