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Beer lovers enjoy live music, food trucks, games, a photobooth, and brews at Denver Beer Company's Platte Street Taproom. Photo by Denver Beer Company

8 Alternatives to the Great American Beer Festival

This year’s GABF sold out in record time (67 minutes!), but there are still plenty of opportunities for ticketless beer enthusiasts to keep the beer flowing.

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Beyond the elusive festivities happening inside the Colorado Convention Center during this week’s Great American Beer Festival, the Mile High City’s restaurants, breweries, and more are playing host to their own sudsy events. Here are some of our top picks for experiencing the best of the city’s brews, whether you have GABF tickets or not.

Beers Made by Walking: Can’t get enough of Colorado’s natural scenery? Get ready to take it all in by tasting nature-centric ales. This event challenges brewers to explore their local trails and lush national parks to present a plant-inspired brew reflective of their chosen landscape. Stop by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Tuesday for unlimited access to more than 30 brews, including ones by Crazy Mountain Brewery, Paradox Beer Company, and Strange Craft Beer Company. Tuesday, 5:30–8:30 p.m.; Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd.; $35

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The Rebellion: A Punk Rock GABF Kickoff: Ratio Beerworks and Rebel Restaurant are joining forces for a punk rock, comic book rager. Try a special comic book-themed menu of Rebel’s eclectic American dishes, paired with a lineup of Ratio beers, outdoor drinking games, and live music from Denver-based Colfax Speed Queen. Be sure to come dressed as your favorite superhero, and you’ll fit right in at the “punk rock beer garden” in Rebel’s parking lot. Tuesday, 5–11 p.m.; Rebel Restaurant, 3763 Wynkoop St.; free admission

Denver Beer Ice Cream Fest: Change up your hops consumption with a two-scoop cup or cone that will satisfy your sweet tooth. For a week starting on Wednesday, Sweet Action Ice Cream will be churning out beer-themed flavors for the eighth year, this time with new varieties made with brews from Baere Brewing Company, Wit’s End Brewing Company, Renegade Brewing Company, Copper Kettle Brewing Company, TRVE Brewing, and 4 Noses Brewing Company. Vegan flavors will be available, as well as six packs of pints to take home so you can share the sweetness. October 5–12, times vary; Sweet Action Ice Cream, 52 Broadway; free admission

Offensively Delicious: There’s nothing like a few adult beverages to get the laughs flowing. Start your Wednesday night by sampling beers from 10 breweries, including Renegade Brewing Company, Great Divide Brewing Company, and Alpine Dog Brewery, and then get to know some of the comedic minds behind those ales when a few brave brewers take the stage. It all ramps up to headliners Beth Stelling, a leading Chicago stand-up comedian, and Matt Braunger, a Portland-based comic who’s appeared on NBC’s Up All Night, MADtv, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Wednesday, 6–10 p.m.; McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax; $30­–75

Levitt Pavilion Denver Live: Grab a glass of Smoothness, Great Divide new dark larger aged in Jameson Whiskey barrels, and kick back for a night of live music to support a cause. Headliner Laith Al-Saadi, a 2016 finalist on The Voice, will perform soulful blues after opening acts from Colorado’s Brent Cowles and Garrett Lebeau from Austin. Proceeds benefit the Levitt Pavilion Denver, a nonprofit created to help build community through music. Friday, 8 p.m.; The Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St.; $25

Denver Beer Company Collaboration Celebration: Get to Denver Beer Co.’s block party to try out six unique collaborative brews between the host and select breweries from across the country, including Portland’s Base Camp Brewing Company and New York’s Saranac Brewery. From 3 to 9 p.m., locals Dave Connelly and Thunder and Rain will provide the live acoustic and country tunes as you sample bites from Coastal Summit, Burger Chief, and the Kitchen Next Door food trucks. Friday, 3–9 p.m.; Denver Beer Company, 1695 Platte St.; free admission, $25 for beer tickets and a commemorative glass

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Brewers Breakfast: Burritos & Barleywines: Cure your Saturday morning hangover—or simply postpone it—with a smothered burrito from Tamales By La Casita, paired with an early morning ale from Denver Beer Company. Take your pick of the brewery’s Chris Farleywine, Badmotorfinger, and Wild Turkey Barrel Aged Graham Cracker Porter, and relish in all you have yet to drink for the rest of the weekend. Sleeping in isn’t encouraged, as the burritos are limited. Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Denver Beer Co., 1695 Platte St.; $12

October Bluegrass Brunch: Finish off your suds-soaked week with one final hoorah of live music, brews, and brunch bites at Station 26 Brewing. Glazed and Confuzed will be serving new donut flavors—like the fired passion fruit glaze topped with chili-soaked mangos—and Turn-In BBQ food truck will offer brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and more. Golden-based Burn it Blue will keep you entertained with acoustic bluegrass tunes. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Station 26 Brewing Co., 7045 E. 38th Ave; free admission

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