Today is awards ceremony day at the Great American Beer Festival.
But yesterday was the best brewery tour that I have experienced. New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins was an amazing complex with pipes and computers and huge towering pieces of brewing equipment. Just an amazing place for a beer geek.
My group boarded a bus at the Denver Convention center and was treated to New Belgium beer on the ride up and a bevy of tasty and fancy appetizers at the brewery before getting the hour long tour (that still did not encompass everything on the campus). I also got tastes of beers like Clutch, Blue Paddle and Snow Day at each of the three bars in the complex.
The day also included a visit to the iconic Falling Rock Taphouse . A must visit when the GABF is not in session and a hectic crowd-ridden place during the four days of the fest. They host many a special tapping, if you can squeeze in. I was shut-out but snuck in later and had a Boulevard Single-Wide IPA.
Better to visit is Freshcraft, which is nearby on Blake Street. Two TV screens with all of your beer choices and some amazing bottle and can selections at great prices. I picked Stingo, a collaboration between Boulevard Brewing and Pretty Things ales. I also tasted a craft lager from Upslope. The food options are great and affordable. You can pick up half orders of sandwiches. They have an extensive can and bottle list which I could have worked my way through if I had more time.
Later that day marked my first visit to German themed Prost Brewing. With a view of the downtown Denver skyline. Their pils was excellent. The marzen and dunkel were too sweet for my taste but the atmosphere of their space was fun. They are on my list of breweries that need to be checked out while in Denver.
Tomorrow: the results from the awards.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.