Day 1 was fun and games, now it was time for the main event.
After a morning of us each individually dealing with our collective hangover, Alex, Ed and I all met in the lobby around noon to head out to Athmar Park for dim sum. Ed’s local friend, Buchy (a character in his own right) took us to Star Kitchen last year and it was more than worth the trek.
Following the hangover cure, we all piled into Buchy’s truck (we didn’t have enough seats so Alex and Curt from Second District rode in the bed of the truck) and we drove over to Bierstadt Lagerhaus. Bierstadt was dope, a must-hit if you’re in Denver. They had a huge downstairs space where they brewed, and also played jumbo cornhole and beer pong, and a huge upstairs bar that looked down on the facilities.
We all ordered a Slow Pour Pilsner (which, true to its name, too about five minutes to pour) and bumped into our friends from Sly Fox, Troegs, and Coppertail. After a few more beers I peeled off from the group and walked over to Epic Brewing up the street to try some of their beers.
Now I was a good three miles from my hotel and needed a quick way to get back to rest up before that night’s session. Uber perhaps? Nah, it was time hop on one of those damn scooters.
For anyone who hasn’t been to Denver, the service in the mountains sucks. I found a few scooters laying around on the sidewalk but couldn’t download the app to get the sucker to power up for me. As I got a few blocks closer to downtown, one called “Lime” finally fired up for me.
Yo, these scooters are the jammm people. They are so damn fun. I hopped on and zipped up to my hotel. I even went around the block a few times while I talked to my girlfriend on the phone. I parked the thing in front of my hotel, “locked” it with the app, and they tallied up my total: $1.20. THE FUTURE IS NOW!
I rested up for few hours and met Ed and Alex in the lobby for our first official night of GABF. When you first get in, especially if it’s on Thursday which tends to be the lightest session attendance wise, you head to the breweries that are going to have the longest lines later in the night.
We dropped by the 3 Floyds booth which was already about 40 people long. From there we dropped by Sierra Nevada (Raspberry Bigfoot), Fremont (Field to Ferment), and Funkwerks (Saison d’Brett). It was at this point that Alex and I realized we had lost Ed somewhere. GABF is freaking huge, and like I said service is pretty spotty, so we weren’t sure how to get back in contact with him.
Alex and I journeyed to a few more breweries and soon found ourselves over in the R section of the festival (everything is organized alphabetically this year) and who should we find standing behind the Russian River booth, handing out samples and chatting it up with all the people waiting in their HUGE line for a 1 oz. pour: Ed Friedland.
I broke off from the group to do some rapid fire samples, which included a bunch of great breweries I had never had a chance to taste before. Fiction Beer Co, Hi-Wire, and Steamworks were all winners.
Some breweries getting a ton of love from festival goers, in terms of line length, were Russian River, Crooked Stave, Brooklyn (with Garret Oliver pouring) Dogfish (with Sam pouring) and The Rare Barrel, which had two killer beers I got to sample.
After about a hundred beers I called it a night, and stumbled around the outside of the convention center trying to power up another scooter (my hotel is only 4 blocks away, but those damn scooters are just way to much fun).
We met up with a few brewers at the hotel bar for a night cap and then called it. Today is our last full day here, so I’m gonna track down one of my trusty scooters and make a day of it here in Denver. Tonight’s session to follow, stay tuned for more!
Oh, and if you actually want your Untappd feed destroyed by my GABF ventures, follow me at Doug_Williams27, cheers!
Beers checked in on Untappd: 105
Favorite beer off the session: The Rare Barrel’s Mister Tea
Favorite brewery of the session: Hi-Wire