What To Do In/Around Denver and CO during GABF
- September 18, 2017 -
If you link your smart phone to anything during GABF, bookmark this: Jonathan Shikes' Westword article about happenings surrounding Great American Beer Festival, Oct. 5-7 at Denver Convention Center.

Thanks, Jonathan and crew at Westword Magazine. Literally hundreds of separate, special events take place throughout Colorado during late September and early October, and they've got the worthy ones listed here. We will augment as we can, but chances are if it's a good thing to check out, it's already listed here.

While you need a ticket to GABF to attend Thursday, Friday or Saturday sessions, most of the events outside don't require a ticket, and offer plenty of absolutely unique beer tasting experiences for the masses. Get ready, be prepared, and don't drink and drive!
Colorado Mountain WineFest Still One Of The Best
- September 13, 2017 -
The Colorado Mountain Winefest, held for 16 years in Palisade, may be to Colorado Wine what GABF is to Colorado Beer. USAToday calls this event the Best Wine Festival in the US, and they wouldn't print it if it weren't true. Holy Crap! And it's coming up this weekend!!!

Check out the WineFest website for additional info. The main event is on Saturday, Sept 16, when the Festival in the Park features wine tasting, music, grape stomping, demonstrations and seminars from 10:30am to 5:00pm.

Other events include tours, tastings, farmers markets, and classes. Shuttles are available from select locations in Grand Junction to Saturday's Winefest, and nearby parking is conveniently linked to the Park. It's a great place to discover the full range of Colorado Wines, and stock up on selections you'll only find at the event.
GABF Sells Out In Record Time
- August 02, 2017 -
Think of it: propping yourself up in long lines next to a big blue bear, elbowing sleep-deprived but enthusiastic beer fans to be the first to get tickets to the Great American Beer Festival. There were always enough tickets to go around. Hell, you could buy tickets at the door the day of the event Ah, the good old days.

Skip ahead to August 2, 2017, 10:00 AM Mountain Time. GABF tickets are offered for sale at Ticketmistress, online only, no lines, no waiting.

August 2, 2017, 10:13 AM Mountain Time. GABF tickets are "Sold Out". That was quick. BA doesn't release exact numbers, but they say there were 60,000 attendees last year.

If you were online looking for GABF tickets, you probably saw messages from Ticketmeanie like the ones at right. Or maybe you got lucky and paid $85 apiece for up to four tickets.

If you missed out, within an hour you could surf over to StubHub and find tickets for $90 and up. Isn't technology great? Don't scalpers and buy-bots suck?

Here's hoping you had better luck buying your GABF 2017 tickets this year than we did. If not, there's always a lot happening outside the event, in and around Denver, during GABF. And there's about a bazillion other beer festivals to check out. No, most won't have 4200 beers to sample, but as the granddaddy of all, there's a little GABF in every beer fest. There's always next year, too.
Beerland Winner is from Colorado!
- June 05, 2017 -
If any of you have watched Viceland you may have heard about their series Beerland. Meg Gill founder of Golden Road Brewing Company set out to find the best home brewer and brews across America. She found one homebrewer in Colorado Springs Colorado. Jess Fierro won over all the other states and competitors in the competition. Her winning beer is Dona Neta. Look for it in your liquor stores near you. If it is not available ask them to order it. Congratulations Jess!
New Texas Law Will Kick Craft Brewers In The Nuts
- May 24, 2017 -
The Texas Senate just approved a sweeping bill - HB 3287 - that regulates beer sales and distribution for the growing craft beer makers - for the worse. With a big ole wink and a tip of the hat to distributors, the bill if enacted will restrict brewers to selling a certain amount of product themselves before they must hire (and pay) a distributor to sell any more. You can read all about it here, in its full legislative splendor. It's confusing as hell, and will likely piss you off unless you're a beer distributor.

Brewbound did a nice story you can read here, and Texas Brewers Guild fills in the story here. We'll be following up with more info soon. This is important not just for Texas craft beer but all craft beer. The legislation, if signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, treats craft beer makers (and craft beer consumers) as revenue generators. The new regulation is a novel way to extract more money in the form of added taxes, and you can guess who's going to be paying more whenever a pint changes hands.

It seems odd that in a state where craft beer is gaining huge traction as a business and a culture, HB3287 puts the brakes on growth and expansion for many Texas brewers. It moves decades-old alcohol regulations further back in time. The three-tier distribution model, born of organized-crime fears and loathing during Prohibition, separately regulates the production, distribution and sales of alcohol - with close scrutiny and added taxes collected at every step in the chain.

This three-tier model was amended throughout the years in Colorado to allow brewers of a certain size to self-distribute, sell beer on-site, and otherwise conduct beer sales directly. No middleman. It worked, other states changed their laws, too, and self-distrubiton is today a huge enabler of craft beer businesses and growth wherever it is allowed.

The Texas bill has one final conference session to sail through before it hits the governors desk for final-final approval. It might help to contact Texas legislators and Gov. Greg Abbott and tell them not to support HB 3287. Who knows. In today's political climate, anything is possible. Will this embolden more states to squeeze more money from the ever-growing craft beer industry? Again, who knows... but if this is a sign of things to come, watch out. They're gunnin' for craft beer, and it's almost high noon... Let's hope that legislators don't train their sights on craft drinkers next.
Colorado Brewers Guild Hires New Executive Director
- March 21, 2017 -
After seven months without one, the Colorado Brewers Guild has hired a new Executive Director. Say "cheers" to Andres Gil Zaldana, fresh from law practice in DC. Andres fills the void left after Jon Carlson left CBG in July, and takes charge of a trade group only recently reunited after a membership dispute. Check out our past coverage in Don't Miss This and Colorado Craft News.

You can read all about Andres' new gig at the CBG website, but here's a taste:

"We're extremely pleased that Andres has joined the Guild as its new executive director," said Eric Wallace, chairman of the CBG Board of Directors. "Andres' history of advocating for small businesses will be an immediate benefit to us, especially as the Guild works to ensure a business and regulatory climate that benefits all of our members."

Gil Zaldana will work closely with current staff members Steve Kurowski and Shawnee Adelson on CBG's priorities, including its legislative agenda, events, and opportunities for member engagement and education.

Good Luck Andres, and Welcome to the State of Craft Beer!
Budweiser Plans For Big Things On Mars
- March 21, 2017 -
Ask the folks in Crested Butte who are still picking bright blue paint flecks out of their teeth, gardens and streets just how inventive Budweiser's PR gigs can get. With barrels of cash, you can do a lot or crazy stuff.

But we gotta love this one. And maybe it's not that crazy. As a Space Foundation Certified Space Imagination Product ourselves, this story about a panel discussion at SXSW last week in Austin, courtesy Fast Company, appeared on our radar and space-base infrared, and we thought you might want to know about InBev's galactic domination plans:

From the story: The panel was very exciting for the Budweiser folks hosting it, who seemed well-versed in the problems that come with drinking beer in space. In order to drive that point home to an audience that has spent less time considering the physics of carbonation, they laid out the challenges mankind will face as it begins to develop beer for the humans who will eventually be visiting the Red Planet: In addition to the whole gravity thing, the lack of water will make brewing difficult, the lack of direct sunlight will make it difficult to grow hops, the carbonation causing a yucky-sounding problem known as "wet burps," and the fact that you can taste less food in space because your tongue swells. These are the challenges Budweiser announced that it's committed to solving.

How much total seriousness this garners remains to be seen. But beer in space? Hell yeah! What's not to like about that? All this is just getting off the ground, and we'll keep you posted as it accelerates into orbit and beyond.
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