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A group of beer lovers enjoy the atmosphere of Oskar Blues' Ordeal event; Photo by Yann Photo Video

6 Alternatives to the Great American Beer Festival

Skipping GABF this year? Here are six other fun excuses to drink craft beer this week. 

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If you missed out on a nabbing a ticket to the Great American Beer Festival, there are still plenty of ways to take part in the brewtastic week. Local destinations are holding additional events—from spa packages to beer dinners—for all hops-lovers to enjoy:

Oskar Blues Ordeal: Beer, brunch, and breweries, oh my! This three-day event is jam-packed with activities, food and, of course, beer. The “ordeal” kicks off Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pig roast, complete with live music at Hops & Heifers Farm. The fun continues into the weekend with brunch and tours of Oskar Blues-owned REEB Fabrication Shop, B. Stiff Root Beer, Anti-Corporate HQ, and Longmont Brewery on Friday. The last day of the event includes breakfast at CyclHOPS Bike Cantina, a behind-the-scenes look at Lyons Brewery, lunch at Homemade Liquids & Solids, and one last beer at the Weasel. Pick a day, or be there all weekend long (we wouldn’t blame you). Rates start at $45

Beer-Paired Dinner at 1515 Restaurant: As part of Denver Beer Fest—which attracts locals to beer-related events across Denver—Uinta Brewery owners and Spiegelau Glass Company, famous for their craft beer glassware, are joining forces with 1515 Restaurant to offer a four-course beer dinner this Wednesday. The event will offer courses ranging from steak to tiramisu, each paired with a different beer. The dinner has been a success every year, but the executive chef and restaurant owner Gene Tang says they “may have outdone ourselves on exceptional food and beer pairings” this time around. $55 per person plus tax and gratuity

Joyride Brewing Company’s Beer Yoga with BeerYoga: Yogis, this is your chance to combine your love of yoga with craft beer. Participants will join Brooke Alkire (aka @BeerYoga on Instagram) and Joyride Brewing Company on Saturday at 10 a.m. for a one-hour yoga class followed by beer and social hour in Joyride’s taproom. No need to be an expert, either—the yoga session will be appropriate for all levels. Bring your own mat and come prepared to sweat. $18

Ratio Beerworks’s Happy Hour: Why limit happy to an hour? Ratio Beerworks is offering three full hours of local beer favorites and discussion this Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. Pour some Hold Steady Coffee (Novo Coffee-Infused Dark Scotch Ale), New Wave (Strawberry Berliner Weisse), Wicked Grin (Plum Saison), or Wild in the Streets (Wine Barrel Wild Saison) to get your weekend started right. Ratio Beerworks brewers will be on-hand to discuss their brews on the Avanti Food & Beverage Patio (3200 Pecos St.) for this special event. Bonus: if you stick around until 9 p.m. or so, you can catch the last night of Coors Field fireworks from the deck.

St. Julien Hotel & Spa’s Boulder Brew Package: If “Colorado luxury” isn’t top-notch spa treatments, beer, and food, then we don’t know what is. Boulder’s St. Julien Hotel & Spa is offering a beer-focused spa package during GABF weekend. It includes a room for two, an assortment of Avery Brewing Company beer, a $50 daily food and beverage credit, and transportation to and from a tour and tasting at Avery. It’s the perfect balance of relaxation and fun. Rates start at $355

Avanti’s GABF Hangover Party: It’s all about Avanti this weekend: The new eatery is hosting a Sunday Funday for beer lovers who want to keep the party going until the very end. Starting at 11 a.m. and continuing all day, you’ll find “BroMosas” (craft beer mimosas) on special, along with some sudsy Bloody Mary variations. Pro tip: Try the 1910 sandwich—hand-sliced smoked ham, oaxaca cheese, roasted poblano béchamel, dressed arugula—from Poco Torteria. After a week of beer, booze and fun, there’s no better way to soothe the hangover.

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