DENVER — After six hours on the road, plus a stop for lunch/beer in Pueblo, I finally made it up here for Great American Beer Festival Week. Then I sat in traffic for another 30 minutes before reaching one of the greatest local breweries, Prost, for a mug of Marzen, a tour of the brewery, and oh, hey, look, there’s Zach Guilmette from Canteen and Mick Hahn from Turtle Mountain enjoying pre-fest pints. It is unlikely to be the last time I run into fellow Burquenos even outside the festival.
Yours truly does not have a pass for tonight’s opening session, but I will be inside the Denver Convention Center starting at 5:15 on Friday. They gave me a choice of which two (of four) sessions to attend on a press pass, so I picked Friday night and Saturday afternoon, a sort of just-in-case should I run into bad weather or traffic on I-25 driving up today (Thursday).
What does a GABF press pass mean? Well, if technology cooperates, look for some Facebook live videos directly from the convention center. I will give you a live look at this mega-sized festival. (As a point of comparison to, say, Hopfest, it’s basically the Death Star compared to a regular Star Destroyer.)
The biggest coup of having a press pass, though, will mean live, direct access to Saturday morning’s awards ceremony. For all of you that could not get tickets to come up here, you can head to Quarter Celtic on Saturday morning for the live internet broadcast of the ceremony. You can also follow me on all the Crew social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as I update things live as they are happening. Sure, I’ll probably (definitely) be hungover and sleep-deprived, but the brewery staffs are usually in the same sort of shape, so don’t feel bad for me or anything.
While I am up here, I do intend to review some of the beers I try, maybe a new brewery or two (really, though, Prost and TRVE are my only guaranteed destinations), and generally try to convey to all of you how much insane, ridiculous fun this event/week is every year. If you have questions, requests, or just want to tell me what an a$$hole I am for bragging about being up here, use social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until Friday night, I am packing up the computer and just kicking back with some Marzen. After that drive, I earned this.