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Courtesy of Colin Bridge

12 Alternatives to the Great American Beer Festival

Once again, GABF tickets sold out in less than a day. But never fear—Colorado is still rich with opportunity for ticketless beer lovers to get their hops on.

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Are you missing the Great American Beer Festival this year? You’re not alone. For the sixth consecutive time, GABF tickets sold out in a matter of hours. Thankfully, events that keep the beer flowing are just a stone’s throw away in Denver. Here are some of our top picks:

Beer School Sensory Training
GABF attendee or not, it’s always nice to know what you’re doing when beer sippin’ and samplin’. Start your week off with this all-about-beer training session at the Bierstadt Lagerhaus to learn how to sip the right way. The class is taught by Melissa Antone, a certified cicerone and Beer Judge Certification Program recognized judge, and self-proclaimed “ambassador for quality beer.” In other words, you’ll be in good hands. October 2, 7-9 p.m., Bierstadt Lagerhaus, 2875 Blake St.; $25

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2017 Beers Made By Walking
Enjoy more than 30 nature-inspired beers at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s seventh annual Beers Made By Walking festival. More than 20 of the featured ales were made specifically for the event, including one by Spice Trade Brewing that was made in collaboration with the Botanic Gardens. All proceeds will benefit the Museum. October 3, 6-9 p.m.; Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd.; $40

Blue Moon Festival of Friends
Be a part of Blue Moon’s inaugural RiNo beer festival, where you can take advantage of unlimited beer samples from seven local brewing companies, including Blue Moon, the Sandlot Brewery, and Terrapin Beer Co. Blue Moon will also be serving up some light appetizers. October 5, 12–5 p.m.; Blue Moon Brewing Company, 3750 Chestnut Place; $10

Epic Brewing’s 5th Annual Fifty Firkin Fiasco
Epic Brewing Company throws one heck of a party for GABF week every year, during which they break out 50 unique firkins from which attendees can enjoy unlimited sampling. October 5, 7-11:45 p.m.; Epic Brewing Company, 3001 Walnut St.; $45

Beer Hall Brawl
Head to the Bierstadt Lagerhaus Thursday for a night of beer and beat-downs, courtesy of Rocky Mountain Pro and special guest, WWE star Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Bierstadt will provide the lager and Melvin Brewing will provide the hops. Tickets include your first beer and the mug you drink it in. October 5, 10 p.m.-12 a.m.; Bierstadt Lagerhaus, 2875 Blake St; $25

Silent Disco Garden
RiNo’s Black Shirt Brewing Company is converting their beer garden into a silent disco, so you can dance your GABF FOMO woes away. The dance party will feature three local DJs – DJ Ephemyral, DJ Ricky and BSB’s resident DJ, Details. Tickets include one free drink. October 6, 8-11 p.m.; Black Shirt Brewing Co. 3719 Walnut St.; $15

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GABF Casey Jester King Side Project
You’ll want to check out this epic beer and food pairing featuring a meat and cheese board, entree, and treat from the kitchen at Goed Zuur paired with four different pours from Casey Brewing & Blending, Jester King Brewery and Side Project Beer Company. October 6, first seating at 5 p.m.; Goed Zuur, 2801 Welton St.; $60

GABF Brewers Breakfast: Burritos and Barleywines
The good folks at Denver Beer Co. know that GABF week can be hard, so they’re bringing you a little hair of the dog and a tasty breakfast burrito to get you back on track after a hard night exploring all of the amazing beers available around town. October 7, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.; Denver Beer Company, 1695 Platte St.; $15 early bird, $18 day-of

Hard Cider Tasting at Lakewood Cider Days
Perfect for those who prefer sweeter suds, the Rocky Mountain Cider Association will present Colorado’s largest hard cider tasting event at the annual Lakewood Cider Days festival. Tickets include a commemorative tasting glass, unlimited access to more than 50 hard cider samples and admission to the Cider Days festival. October 7–8, 12 p.m.; Lakewood Heritage Center, 801 S. Yarrow St. Lakewood, CO; $28 in advance, $30 day-of

Golden Hayride Beer Tour
What better way to welcome the fall than with a hayride and beer? Enjoy the cooler temperatures on this tour of Golden’s Micro Brews and Pubs. The tour includes eight brewery stops and a cupcake from Gold Mine Cupcakes. Space is limited so it’s first come first served— groups up to 20 are welcomed. Oct 7-8 and Oct 14–15, 5–7:30 p.m.; meet at the Miners Saloon parking lot, 1109 Miners Alley, Golden, CO; $30

Post-GABF Hangover Brunch
Treat your hops hangover at the Lone Tree Brewing post-GABF brunch event on Sunday with Mama Said Eat breakfast and, of course, a Lone Tree breakfast beer. Tickets include brunch and first beverage (hair of the dog for the imbibing over-21 crowd and soda or juice for the kiddos). October 8, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.; Lone Tree Brewing Company, 8200 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree, CO; $10-$15

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Local(ish) Market GABF Week
The new quick bite and beer market that opened behind Union Station this summer is celebrating GABF with a week of their favorite brews on tap. Starting Tuesday, Local(ish) will hold daily sessions (See below) highlighting five beers from different breweries and special eats to go along with them. 1803 Sixteenth Street
Oct 3: New Terrain Brewing, 3-5 p.m., GABF tap takeover (cult-fave new brewery in Golden)
Oct 4: Two Roads Brewing, 3-5 p.m., GABF tap takeover (new to CO, led by legendary Phil Markowski)
Oct 5: The Post Brewing, noon-2:30 PM, fried chicken and beer pairing (GABF-medal-winning and chicken-frying local hero)
Oct 5: Crooked Stave, 3-5 p.m., GABF  tap takeover (experts in sour/wild beers and new non-wild wonders, led by mighty Chad Yakobson)
Oct 6: Schmaltz Brewing, 3-5 p.m., GABF tap takeover (kings of Jewish beer schtick, fronted by the ever-witty Jeremy Cowan)
Oct 7: Zombie Crawl beers and Living Dead red mimosas, all day, with special guest beers (including Lone Tree’s Hop Zombie on tap)

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