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Best Bets: Denver Beer Fest

Craft beer
Craft Beer

The Great American Beer Festival is just around the corner, but Denver Beer Fest is already here. From October 5 through 13, Denver will be filled with beer pairing dinners, tastings, and brewery tours. There are nearly 100 events over the course of the Fest, which is a bit overwhelming—even for us beer-lovers. Don’t employ the dart-throwing method at the schedule or try to see everything. (Your liver will hate you.) Instead, check out these five events. We think they sound swell.

1. Wynkoop Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout Tapping, 10/8

Why go? Pure curiosity.

2. Left Hand Brewing Company Beer Dinner at Lucky Pie, 10/9

Why go? It is like college, but more sophisticated.

3. Craft Beer Tours with Culinary Connectors, 10/10

Why go? Two-hour tour that hits two tap rooms and a local brewery.

4. Colorado Brewers Brunch at Freshcraft, 10/12

Why go? Breakfast and beer? Why not?

5. Avery Pucker Up Poker Run, 10/12

Why go? Run—or bike—around town to local pubs to collect playing cards and vie for the best poker hand at the end of the day.

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Best Bets: Denver Beer Fest

If you were a procrastinator and didn’t nab tickets to The Great American Beer Festival early (they were gone within a week of going on sale), you can get an early start this week at the third annual Denver Beer Fest (September 23-October 1). With more than 150 events on tap for your choosing over the course of nine days—including brewery tours, rare tastings, beer games, pub crawls, and beer-paired dinners—we promise there will be no time to mourn if you were among those shut out of GABF. Below, our picks for some of the best events:

Breakfast and Beer at the Capitol Hill Mansion Bed and Breakfast, all week Why you should go: It is an excuse to sneak in a beer before 7:30 a.m.

Zip and Sip, all week Why you should go: Soar through the air via a zip-line, 435-feet above the ground, and then sip on brews. Our stomachs agree; that’s the right order.

Beers, Brats, and Burlesque-“Tastings and Tassles”, Tuesday Why you should go: Drinking, dinner, and dancing equals a winning combo in our books.

Meet the Brewer Happy Hour featuring Oskar Blues, Tuesday Why you should go: Pay homage to the makers.

Denver Brews Cruise, Wednesday through Saturday Why you should go: Take a peek at how your favorite local suds are made.

Colorado Fresh Hops Beers Celebration, Wednesday through Saturday Why you should go: Be the first of your friends to sample one (or all) of seven new fresh hops beers.

Beer-Paired Dinner with Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard, Thursday Why you should go: Treat your taste buds to a beer cocktail, a bit of celebrity chef Izard’s own special brew (rumored to be a Honey Porter), and a sit-down dinner.

Left Hand Arm Wrestling Tournament, Friday Why you should go: Test your strength (with a boost of liquid courage) at Freshcraft in LoDo.

11 a.m. Beer and Burritos with Upslope Brewing, Saturday Why you should go: A big, meaty burrito is the perfect hangover fix.

Photo courtesy of VISIT DENVER