Five Top Tips for Surviving the Great American Beer Festival

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Courtesy of the Brewers Association
Waiting in line isn't really as much fun as it looks here.
The Great American Beer Festival is upon us, and although tickets were hard to get, there are nearly 60,000 people who will be attending sessions at the Colorado Convention Center from October 2 through October 4. Many are people who attend year after year; others are first-timers or haven't been in years. But no matter who you are, the massive hallway full of thousands of beers can be overwhelming. Here are our five top tips for surviving the GABF. Cheers!

See also: The Great American Beer Festival Week 2014 Calendar of Events

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Lost Highway Brewing Opens Tonight in Denver -- After Three Years in the Making

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Lost Highway Facebook page
At long last, Lost Highway Brewing, which has been in the planning stages or under construction for three full years, is opening -- and fast: tonight at 5 p.m.

Owned by James and Tina Pachorek, who also own the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe next door, Lost Highway will have six beers on tap: a pilsner, a blonde, a wit, a pumpkin, a Belgian quadrupel and a Belgian IPA, along with fresh bread, charcuterie, olives and other "lunchables," says Tina.

See also: Lost Highway Brewing Wants to Open Before 2013 GABF

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First Look: Fiction Beer Opens On Colfax With Craft Brews and a Bar Made of Books

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All photos by Danielle Lirette
Fiction Beer Company, owned by Ryan and Christa Kilpatrick, opened its doors on the first floor of the Phoenix on the Fax building last weekend, and will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow at 2 p.m. Located on busy Colfax Avenue, on the border of the Park Hill, Monclair, Mayfair and Lowry neighborhoods, the brewery is one of the few on the east side.

The place boasts a bar made out of books, literary quotes on the tables and a theme that brings together the Kilpatrick's love of both books and beer. It also includes a seven-barrel brewing system, six beers on tap and a patio out back.

Turn the page to see photos from Fiction Beer Company.

See also: Mu Brewery Opens in Aurora as Colfax Avenue's Only Beer Maker -- For Now

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Now That Weed Is Legal, Can It Co-Exist With Beer During the Great American Beer Festival?

Categories: Beer Man

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Notice the squinting eyes.
Brewers love beer. That's no secret. But like much of the rest of the population, the people who work in the brewing industry enjoy marijuana as well. There is certainly no shortage of pot references when it comes to craft brewing and craft-beer names.

Oskar Blues, for instance, helpfully prints a small circle on cans that drinkers can use to turn the package into a pipe. Then there's California-based Lagunitas Brewing, whose attempt to name a beer The Kronik was rejected by the federal government. A few breweries have even gone out of their way to name brews in honor of legalization, like Metacool Maltuwanna at the Wynkoop, Recreational Smoke at West Flanders, and Colorado Kind, at Mountain Sun, which always taps new beers at 4:20 p.m.

See also: Five Colorado Pot-Themed Beers to Pair With Amendment 64


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Beer Calendar: Fresh Hops, Odell's 25th Birthday and the Run-Up to GABF

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The Great American Beer Festival lands on Denver October 2-4, along with myriad other craft beer events around town. How to get back and forth? Uber, the car-ride service has launched a promotion called the Battle of the Breweries.

More than twenty beer makers in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins (where Uber has services) will battle it out to see who can get the most Uber signups. To participate, people can go to Uber's website and click on the logo of their favorite brewery to sign up -- and get $25 bucks of their first ride (new users only).

Turn the page to see all of this week's events, which include some leading up to GABF. Or go to our full Great American Beer Festival 2014 calendar.


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Photos: Great Divide Brewing Breaks Ground on Its River North Campus

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Although demolition began last week, Great Divide Brewing officially broke ground Tuesday on its planned $38.2 million, five-acre brewing campus on the banks of the South Platte River in Denver's River North neighborhood.

Brian Dunn, who founded the brewery in 1994 on Araphahoe Street, rode into the ceremony in a bucket truck alongside the company's mascot, a fluffy white yeti -- namesake to Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide's most sought-after beer.

"I never imagined that this is what it would become," he said, surveying the construction site and addressing Great Divide's roots as a tiny brewery.

See also: Great Divide opening the Barrel Bar, a small tap room on the site of its future brewery

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Beer Calendar: A New Brewery, Anniversaries, Olympics, and Craft Beer Parties Galore

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The Colorado Brewers Guild unveiled a new logo and marketing campaign this week titled, "Colorado: The State of Craft Beer." The campaign includes signage and merchandise and will eventually roll out a a new website along with a State of Craft Beer festival. There are currently more than two hundred operating craft breweries in Colorado (and many more on their way), about 175 of which are represented by the CBG. These breweries generated more than 5,000 jobs and $826 million in revenue in 2013.

Keep reading for more beer events coming up this week.

See also: South Park Brewing Will Offer a Welcome Watering Hole in the Highway 285 Corridor

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Great Divide Head Brewer Taylor Rees Leaving to Open Brewery in Former Five Points DMV

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Taylor Rees pours beer at Great Divide's nineteenth anniversary party in 2013.
Like almost every driving adult in Denver, Great Divide head brewer Taylor Rees spent his fair share of time waiting in line at the drab Denver Motor Vehicles office on Welton Street in Five Points. Now, if his plans come to fruition, Rees, along with friends and business partners Austin Wiley and Darren Boyd, plan to spend many more hours -- days and months -- in that space. But the vibe will be very different -- and although you'll still need to show your identification, you won't need your registration or proof of insurance.

The group will open Spangalang Brewery at 2736 Welton Street, hopefully next year.

See also: Great Divide opening the Barrel Bar, a small tap room on the site of its future brewery

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South Park Brewing Will Offer a Welcome Watering Hole in the Highway 285 Corridor

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South Park Brewing Facebook page
The view from South Park Brewing's planned patio.
One of Colorado's drier stretches will wet its whistle a week from today when South Park Brewing opens, becoming the only craft brewery along a heavily-used 115-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 285 between Lakewood and Buena Vista.

Located in Fairplay, at the junction of 285 and Colorado State Highway 9, South Park Brewing is the dream of Paul Kemp and Megan Sebastian, who have been living in Denver but have owned a house in the Fairplay area since 2006.

See also: Breckenridge Brewery's Massive Beer Campus Takes Shape in Littleton

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The Great American Beer Festival Week 2014 Calendar of Events

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The Great American Beer Festival will welcome nearly 50,000 people to the Colorado Convention Center October 2 through October 4, along with an astounding 3,500 beers from 726 breweries, making it the biggest and best sudstravaganza in the world. Tickets sold out months ago (although you can find them online if you're willing to spend some extra dough), but that doesn't mean you can't get your craft-beer vibe on in Denver and its environs. Starting on Saturday, September 27 and continuing for ten days, breweries, bars, restaurants and other venues up and down the Front Range will host beer dinners, concerts, parties, special tappings, bar crawls, meet-and-greets, smaller festivals and classes that should thrill every beer lover -- from near and far.

Here is our guide to GABF-related events, a list that we will be updating on a weekly -- and probably daily -- basis as new activities are planned and introduced. Cheers!

See also: Nearly 1,400 breweries register for GABF, 81 percent higher than last year

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