Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Planning for the 2008 GABF

2008 GABFIt's getting to be that time of year again beer drinkers! Yes, it's just over 2 weeks until the start of the annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. There is going to be a lot going on that week and now is the time to start planning for all the fun going on that week. I plan on fully participating in the GABF this year and am hoping to meet as many of you readers, brewers and fellow beer bloggers as possible. If you haven't yet gotten you tickets to the GABF you may be out of luck. The Friday and Saturday sessions are already SOLD OUT. There are a few tickets remaining for the Thursday evening session but you'll have to get those from a local retailer as the Brewers Association stopped selling them online earlier this month.

This will be the first in a series of articles covering the Great American Beer Festival on both Fermentedly Challenged and the Examiner.com. Yours truly, Dave Butler, will be on hand covering the GABF from behind the scenes as well as mixing with the crowds during this three day festival. Denver is going to be almost as busy as during the Democratic National Convention when it comes to people heading downtown for the festivities.

While the GABF will be the center of attention between October 9th - 11th, it won't be the only beer event going on that week. In fact, the majority of the activities will be happening before, during and after the GABF in many locations scattered throughout Colorado. Here is a short rundown of some of the extracurricular activities happening during the GABF week:

October 8th
- Highway to Hops Brews Cruise - three different buses will take beer fans to a series of breweries in and around the Boulder, Longmont and Lyons area. Buses leave in the morning and will provide food, transportation and all the brewery tour fun you can handle. More info at Left Hand Brewing Company's web site. Tickets are $50 each.
- GABF Gold Medal Dinner with "The Brett Pack" - now here is a meal with a great line-up of brewers on hand showing off their best beers. Rob Tod, Sam Calagione, Tomme Arthur, Adam Avery and Vinnie Cilurzo will be on hand for this one of a kind beer dinner at The Kitchen Cafe on Pearl Street in Boulder. James Spencer of Basic Brewing will even be on hand. Tickets are $100 and are available via phone 303-544-5973 or by email: ray@thekitchencafe.com.

October 9th
- GABF Pre-parties - most downtown breweries, bars and pubs in LoDo. Check out Falling Rock Tap House, Wynkoop, Chophouse, Breckenridge BBQ, Great Divide for starters.
- Thursday Night Session at the GABF - Session runs 5:30pm - 10pm.

October 10th
- F.B.A.G. (Flying Dog, Brats & Gonzo) - Come party with Flying Dog Ales at their warehouse in downtown Denver. Come meet the Flying Dog crew, the founders of BeerAdvocate Magazine and get interviewed by BeerUtopia from 4-6pm. It will be a great way to warm up for the long session ahead.
- Sensory Analysis Seminar - a 4-hour Siebel Institute seminar on how best to prepare your body for a sensory experience tasting beer. The seminar will take place in the Maddie Silks Room at the Denver Marriott City Center. The seminar costs $125 and will be well worth it as the pro's will teach you how to evaluate and better enjoy your beer. Runs from 1pm-5pm.
- GABF Pre-parties - most downtown breweries, bars and pubs in LoDo. Check out Falling Rock Tap House, Wynkoop, Chophouse, Breckenridge BBQ, Great Divide for starters.
- Friday Night Session at the GABF - Session runs 5:30pm-10pm.

October 11th
- DRAFT Magazine Beer Dinners - Four separate dinners will be held at four different restaurants Saturday night. Dinner sponsors include: Flying Dog Brewery at Braun's Bar and Grill (Denver), Left Hand Brewing Company/Terrapin Beer Company Dinner at The Kitchen (Boulder), New Belgium Dinner at 1515 Restaurant (Denver), and Samuel Adams Dinner at Rioja (Denver). Tickets run between $50-$80.
- GABF Pre-parties - most downtown breweries, bars and pubs in LoDo. Check out Falling Rock Tap House, Wynkoop, Chophouse, Breckenridge BBQ, Great Divide for starters.
- Saturday afternoon Members-only session - AHA and Brewers Association members only session runs from 12:30pm - 4:30pm.
- Saturday Night Session at the GABF - Session runs 5:30pm - 10pm.

While I may not make it to all of the tasting sessions, I do plan on being there at the Colorado Convention Center for at least two of the sessions. I will be working as a volunteer all day Thursday setting up behind the scenes and then pouring beers for all you fans that night. After working my shifts, I'll earn free tickets to the Friday night session and then I'll be back for the members only session on Saturday afternoon.

Meet up with Fermentedly Challenged!

I'd like to meet as many of you as possible who are coming to the GABF this year. Please drop me a comment below and let me know when you'll be attending and if you have any special plans for the weekend. I'd like to put a face to your name and blog. I plan on attending the Friday F.B.A.G. party at Flying Dog from 4-6pm so if you're going to be there let me know too! Lot's more info later on during the days leading up to the festival. I'm psyched up for this! Hope to see you there!

Related articles:
- Fermentedly Challenged Video Blog Episode 1.
- Celebrating anniversary at the 2008 GABF.
- 2008 GABF behind the scenes video.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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