The return of Grand Coffee Bazaar (GCB) means coffee-lovers in the Mile High City have every reason to rejoice. The one-day festival, run by Two Parts, is anticipating its biggest year yet, with 18 participating local roasters. Here’s what you need to know before you head over to the event this Saturday.
1. The festival isn’t a competition—it’s a celebration. “[Grand Coffee Bazaar} isn’t about winning medals,” says Method Roasters’ Kade Gianinetti. “This fest is more focused on our community and highlights the quality of coffee in Denver.” Ask the roasters, festival organizers, or even a barista from a participating coffeehouse, and they’ll repeat some variation of the same message: GCB is all about promoting and celebrating Denver’s craft coffee community.
2. GCB allows coffee-lovers to learn directly from the folks behind their favorite brew. “[GCB] provides the rare chance to speak with roasters,” says Jason Cain of Pablo’s Coffee. “Some are wholesale vendors who don’t sell coffee through their own shop.” To Cain, those interactions between roaster and customer are one of the festival’s highlights.
3. There’s more to GCB than just trying new coffee. GCB also offers seminars led by participating roasters (don’t miss Method Roasters’ presentation on how to make the best coffee while camping), roaster-brewery collaboration beers, and a free mug. Festival sponsor Goodwill donated 1,000 mugs for attendees, says Two Parts project manager Lauren Rapp—cheers!
4. Yes, it’s possible that you’ll imbibe too much caffeine. But that’s why GCB also offers beer, cider, brunch cocktails, and alcoholic drink samples to help slow you down—or at least balance your java buzz with a booze buzz. Attendees can enjoy all beverages for the price-of-admission, Rap saysp.
5. Although this is the biggest GCB ever, it’s still a small fest. When GCB debuted in 2014, the whole festival fit inside the parking lot behind Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company in RiNo, Rapp says. This year GCB is attracting 18 local roasters—up 50 percent from last year’s festival—and it still takes place in a parking lot (albeit OZ Architecture’s much larger one).
If you go: GCB is happening on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will take place in the OZ Architecture parking lot located at 3003 Larimer St., Denver, Co. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.