GABF 2014 | Thursday Recap
The 2014 Great American Beer Festival is officially in session! We started off the weekend’s festivities strong on Thursday with a few stops around Denver. After a quick jaunt in Fort Collins and Boulder the day before, we immediately made a bee-line to The Source to pay a visit to Bryan Dayton’s Acorn before dropping in on Crooked Stave for some pre-fest libations. The energy within what I call my Dream Complex, was static as the never-diminishing line to get into Crooked Stave’s modest tasting room awaited a stellar lineup of beers including their newly released Mama Bear’s Cherry Pie.
By mid-afternoon, I caught myself at Epic Brewing Denver’s Second Annual 50 Firkin Fiasco. I will say though, that it was refreshing to see some die-hard cask ale fans who strongly believed that cask ales were not just a clever ploy for breweries to concoct crazy ingredients to shove into a firkin of warm, un-carbonated beer.
A quick (and inexpensive) Uber ride to the convention center later and we were on the main floor of the festival. Since we were limited on time for this first session, I decided to skip California and generally the west coast completely (to be revisited at a later time) and let myself meander through the crowds to discover some new faces and revisit a few brews not available in SoCal. Bumped into esteemed beer writer Stan Hieronymous who told us not to miss Moody Tongue as we enjoyed some solid sour offerings from Jackson, Wyoming’s Snake River Brewery. Stopped by to see our friends at Prairie Artisan Ales, Shmaltz Brewing, and La Cumbre and made a quick pit-stop to see John Holl, John Palmer, and Jamil Zainasheff who were in the house signing books in the Brewer’s Bookstore.
As much as we wanted to stay and explore more breweries, one of our favorite events of the year beckoned: What the Funk? at the Exdo Event Center, hosted by Crooked Stave. Continuously an impressive event with a great roster of breweries and special brews. Stay tuned for more GABF 2014 highlights all weekend long!