Whether you couldn’t score tickets to the Great American Beer Festival, don’t want to mingle with 60,000 strangers, or just need as many excuses as possible to drink more brew, Denver Beer Week (September 27–October 6) features 160 beer-tastic events that should satisfy your every desire. Here, 20 of our favorite parties taking place prior to and during the week. (Spoiler alert: You may never want to see lederhosen again.)

Oktoberfest at Denver Milk Market | Now–September 29

Perfect for those averse to big crowds, this is one of the more low-key Oktoberfest shindigs around town. Sip fall-inspired beers on tap at the Stranded Pilgrim and feast on Bavarian bites throughout the market. 1800 Wazee St.; 11 a.m.–11 p.m. daily

Denver Oktoberfest | September 27–29

For its 50th year, the city’s biggest Oktoberfest celebration will bring out the, well, big guns. And by that we mean wiener dog racing, brat-eating contests, barmaid challenges, costumes galore, barrel rolling, and accordions. Oh yeah, and lots of beer. Beer tickets start at $20; 2100 Larimer St.; times vary 

Prost Brewing Oktoberfest | September 28 & October 5

It would be a crime if this German-style microbrewery didn’t host an Oktoberfest party. Polka Folka will provide the festive live music, while Prost provides the lagers and ales you expect from a brewery named after the German word for “cheers.” Free admission; 2540 19th St.; 3–6 p.m.

DOGtoberfest | September 28

River North Brewery is combining your two very favorite things: dogs and beer. There will be pups wearing costumes and pooches available for adoption from Big Bones Canine Rescue. Come hungry (for the food), thirsty (for the beer), and ready to have your heart melted (by the dogs, but also maybe by the heat; who knows?). Free admission; 6021 Washington St.; 12–9 p.m. 

West Denver Brewery Bike Loop | September 28

Atone for all the calories you’re drinking by biking and…drinking more calories! The West Denver Brewery Bike Loop pedals between WestFax Brewing Company, Joyride Brewing Company, Hogshead Brewery, Seedstock Brewery, and Oasis Brewing. Your efforts over the approximately 3 1/2-hour excursion earn you $1 off a 10-ounce short pour at each spot. 6733 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood; 11:30 a.m. at WestFax Brewing Company

Odell Beer Dinner | October 1

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen hosts a six-course dinner paired with iconic Odell beers, including 180 Shilling, Woodcut, Mountain Standard, Odell IPA, Brett Golden, and a Euclid/Odell collaboration brew, in honor of the Fort Collins brewery’s 30th year. $70; 1317 14th St.; 6:30 p.m.

Mini American Beer Festival | October 2

Tivoli Brewing Co. promises shorter lines than you’ll find at GABF for its pint-size beer fest, which features 15 breweries and cideries tapping special brews. Tickets get you eight five-ounce pours. $25; 900 Auraria Parkway, Suite 240; 6 p.m.

5th Annual Mercantile Invitational | October 2

If you like food as much as beer, this might be your can’t-miss event. Acclaimed Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri will join Alex Seidel and nine other master chefs for a paired beer reception and five-course dinner at Union Station’s Mercantile Dining & Provision. $150; 1701 Wynkoop St.; 6 p.m. 

4th Annual All-Star IPA Throwdown | October 2

This isn’t a competition so much as an excuse to drink lots of limited edition IPAs in one convenient, beer-zealous setting. Falling Rock Tap House hosts what is billed as the “official cool kids kick-off party for GABF.” (Non-cool kids welcome, too.) Ticket prices TBD, entitling you to six 10-ounce pours and a souvenir glass; 1919 Blake St.; 9 p.m.

Brew and ’Cue GABF Kickoff Party at Liberati | October 2

Liberati Restaurant and Brewery will offer two of its oenobeers (brews made with wine grapes) with bites from Aurora-based H3SH3R BBQ on its massive, fountain-adorned patio. You can also try a Manhattan featuring “beermouth”—a vermouth that’s also an oenobeer—part of a collaboration between Liberati and Spice Trade Brewing. $30; 2403 Champa St.; 4–9 p.m.

GABF Kickoff/Boulevard Brewing’s 30th Anniversary Party | October 2–6

Smōk chef-owner Bill Espiricueta is opening up his barbecue restaurant to fellow Kansas Citians and all those excited about Boulevard Brewing coming to Denver. Besides discounts on special beers all weekend long, the Thursday night party will feature special tappings and $3 chocolate ale mini floats. Free admission; 3330 Brighton Blvd.; times vary

Curtis Garage Party | October 3

Rock tunes by Jonah Wisneski and the Band, a beer-themed costume contest, light bites, lawn (asphalt?) games, and libations from Breckenridge Brewery headline this charity bash on the ground level of the Curtis Hotel’s parking garage. All proceeds will go to Camp Southern Ground, an inclusive camp for children of all backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Free admission; 1405 Curtis St.; 3–7 p.m. 

Melvin Party at Avanti | October 3

Steal away from the crowded Colorado Convention Center and head to the slightly less-crowded food hall across I-25. Avanti Food & Beverage and Melvin Brewing will host a party with DJs, live painting, and beer tappings galore. Avanti is even running a free shuttle to and from the Convention Center from 8 p.m. to midnight; show your GABF ticket to grab a ride. Free admission; 3200 N. Pecos; 4 p.m. 

Safta X GABF Israeli Meat & Three | October 3

For one night only, diners have the opportunity to savor Alon Shaya’s modern Israeli cuisine paired with pours from Denver’s TRVE Brewing Company and Athens, Georgia’s Creature Comforts Brewing. Buy a token at the Safta’s Counter in the Source Hotel lobby and choose from three food-and-beer stations, where you can have a plate of za’atar fried chicken, corned beef pot pie, or kebabs—with all the fixins’—accompanied by three four-ounce brews. $30; 6–9 p.m.; the Source Hotel & Market Hall, 3330 Brighton Blvd., 720-408-2444

Denver Rare Beer Tasting | October 4

Make some real headway on your beer bucket list at this benefit for Pints for Prostates. Sample sixty of the world’s most sought-after beers, served by the men and women who made them, at the McNichols Civic Center Building. Ticket price includes all the rare beer, a buffet lunch, tasting glass, t-shirt, and other goodies. $200; 144 W. Colfax Ave.; 124 p.m.

Former Saint Tap Takeover with New Belgium Brewing | October 4

Duck inside the Former Saint Craft Kitchen & Taps inside the Hyatt Regency Denver, just steps from GABF, to enjoy six classics from New Belgium during this tap takeover. Prices depend on beer selection; 650 15th St.; 11 a.m. until the kegs run out

Suds & Stogies | October 4

Miami’s Tank Brewing Company and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing are teaming up for the official GABF after-party at Tap Fourteen. Besides more beer, you can puff on premium cigars, or just enjoy the live music and rooftop views. $30 pre-sale, $40 at the door; 1920 Blake St., 8 p.m.

Adam Avery’s Cellar Sale | October 4

The bottle list isn’t yet released, but beer geeks haven’t been disappointed by Avery Brewing Company’s previous cellar beer sales. Grab some of the rare, barrel-aged, foil-topped sours while you have the chance. Prices depend on beer selection; 4910 Nautilus Ct., Boulder; 11 a.m.

Goed Zurr Presents Austin’s Jester King | October 4

Denver’s only sour beer bar will host daily happenings in honor of GABF week—but pop in on Friday to taste selections from Jester King, lauded as one of the most respected leaders in the sour beer movement. Prices depend on beer selection; 2801 Welton St.; 12 p.m.–1 a.m.

Great Mexican Beer Fiesta | October 5

It’s all about south-of-the-border brews at this Mexican street fiesta at Cerveceria Colorado. Besides gulping down traditional Mexican beers brewed by the country’s best craft brewers, you can cheer on luchadores (wrestlers), watch a live art demonstration, dine on food truck fare, and shop goods from some of the region’s finest Latin/Hispanic vendors. Free admission; 1635 Platte St.; 1­–8 p.m.

Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy is a freelance writer and ice cream fanatic living in Broomfield.