Saturday was the last day of the Great American Beer Festival. I was lucky enough to snag a members only session ticket during the great Ticketmaster GABF fail of 2012. Many people missed out, but I got through. The rest of the crew had long sinced planned a trip to Fort Collins to visit the breweries there on Saturday. As tempted as I was to join them, I wantred to check out more of Denver and the festival.
Kevin LA was gracious enough to drop me off downtown. I got out of the truck and immediately realized I forgot my all important precious iPhone charger inside. I figured I’d have to find somewhere downtown and buy another. That’s when I got the call that they were coming around the block to bring it to me. Crisis averted, thanks for looking out fellas.
They drove off and I headed towards Falling Rock Tap House. I got there early, and they weren’t open yet. I headed down to Freshcraft instead. They had the foresight to open early because of the festival, and the place had a pretty good size crowd for only being 10 in the morning. I knew I’d have to get some food to power myself for the day. I got seated (by a wall charger, please) and ordered the best beer cheese soup I have ever had in my life. I also ordered some herb crusted cheese dippers that were to die for. Of course, I had to have a beer to wash it all down.
Herb Crusted Cheese Dippers at Freshcraft FTW!
First Beer of the day, Dry Dock’s Hefeweizen.
Big Bear at the convention center
I really like Freshcraft and hope to spend some more time there in the future. NextI headed to the convention center and was surprised how long the line was. Luckily I saw my buddies Erich and Pam from Studio Brew & thier crew near the front. They invited me to join them and I was glad to!
Erich and Pam and everyone waiting to be let in to the convention center floor
We’re going in!
Going in! Woooo!
I love being a member of The Brewers Association!
The first place I headed to was Cigar City’s booth. I was the 1st person in line but NO ONE WAS THERE!
Blurry picture but a really good beer by Russian River and a silver award winner
Myself and Erich Chilling like villians
The Stone Brewing Company Booth
Maybe one day I’ll be set up in the brewpub pavilion. There’s some great beers in there.
Random shot of the convention hall. There were no lines at first
One of my favorite things at GABF is the bag pipes
Myself with brewing celebrities, authors and all around cool guys John Palmer & Jamil Zainasheff
Myself with Author & brewer at Stone Brewing company, Mitch Steele, I brought my copy of his IPA book to sign.
Epic doesn’t even begin to describe the craft beer and cheese pairing. I almost cried it was so good.
Here’s me rocking a Suttree’s sticker on my back. Because if there’s one thing I do well besides brewing beer, it’s representing the home team. #KnoxBeer
Myself with one of the owners of Uinta Brewing company after the beer and cheese pairing
These people right here? THESE ARE MY PEOPLE! #TeamStudioBrew
This man did more for craft beer consciousness then any person alive. R.I.P. to the Great Beer Hunter, Michael Jackson
Myself with Catabwa Brewer Todd. He is one of the most artistic, creative and awesome brewers in the Sotuheast, and we are lucky to claim him.
The cutie in this picture is Melissa from Ass Kisser Ales. Always a pleasure to see her at Beer Festivals.
I got that beer armor on for the last pour at GABF
It was a great session, but I wasn’t ready to leave the convention center yet. I saw there was an area that to get into, you had to have brewer credentials. I thought I might know some people back there, or at least meet some of the brewers that I didn’t get a chance to see. So I bluffed my way back there, it wasn’t even hard. I made a plate from the buffett and looked around for familiar faces. I didn’t see any, and sat down at a half empty table. The people there were really nice and come to find out they were volunteers. I didn’t stay long and headed out to continue my adventure.
The back volunteer and brewer area
I left the convention center and took a pedi-cab over to Falling Rock Tap Room. I experienced first hand what all the hype was about. It is craft beer bar with an amazing selection. I walked in and ordered a pint of Rumpking. I was surprised how cheap it was considering everywhere else we went it cost $20-30 a bottle. I also overheard people talking about 521’s Wild Bear. They had a 2 year old aged keg, so knowing I would probably never see this beer anywhere else, I had to get it.
Outside at Falling Rock
Inside at Falling Rock
Avery’s Rumpking and 512’s Wild Bear
Outside at Falling Rock
I met some cool brewers while hanging out downstairs at Falling Rock, this is Justin, one of Twisted Pine’s brewers
A brewer from a small place in Florida. I feel bad for forgetting his name and the name of his brewery. Especially since we drank and talked together for a long time.
I saw on twitter that the Beer Advocate crew was hanging out at another local Denver beer bar I wanted to check out. I looked up the address and walked the few blocks away to The Star Bar.
The Star Bar
Inside at The Star Bar
Tap list at The Star Bar
The back bar at the Star Bar
I really dug the Star Bar. It’s probably my favorite bar of the whole trip. It was a small dive type bar, with a great selection. I met some really cool people and enjoyed a beer that was just released for the 1st time anywhere. While hanging out there, I recognized some social media and twitter celebrities that I follow and am a fan of. I introduced myself and got pictures taken.
Myself with twitter celebrity, Ashley Routson aka @TheBeerWench
Follow these craft beer people on Twitter: @TheHopfather and @BREWPUBLIC
Well my phone was dying and I knew it was time for me to find my way back to Kevin LA’s. The crew was back from their Fort Collins trip and were partying at Kevin’s downstairs bar. I went to a bus station and after trying to understand the routes, I gave up and took a cab home. When I got there, the beer was flowing and everyone was having a great time. After a few rare beers from Kevin’s generous cellar collection, It was time for me to pass out. What a great time in Denver. I will (hopefully) being coming back next year as part of Studio Brew’s Pro-Am. It’s something Erich, Pam and I spoke about during our time hanging out at the festival.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my trip with the Knox Beer Crew. I had such a great time, met so many cool beer people, and am so thankful to Kevin and his wife for putting up with us. I hope that some of the people I met stay in contact with me. If you read my site, please leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.
Everyone at home, I miss y’all and will see y’all soon.