Bitch Beer’s Guide to the Great American Beer Festival

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.33.48 PMWe’re very excited to have Bitch Beer writers from both Austin and Seattle covering this year’s Great American Beer Festival. So excited, in fact, that our Austin team is hitting the road for Denver early (tomorrow AM to be exact) to spend a little extra time checking out a brewery or two twelve.

This will be our third consecutive year covering this all out American craft beer bonanza, and while it certainly doesn’t give us old timer cred, we have learned a few tricks for making the most out of the festival experience.

So, before we hit the road for Denver, we’ve decided to channel our inner Rick Steeves, and give you this little travel guide to help make your GABF trip a big, boozy success, starting with a few do’s and don’ts.

 Great American Beer Festival Do’s and Don’ts

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  • If you plan on even minimally using your smart phone while on the festival floor, make sure to bring along an external battery pack or charging case. With thousands of highly wired folks each furiously, simultaneously entering every beer into Untapped, battery life absolutely plummets. You’ll be thankful to have a battery pack so you don’t have to miss valuable beer drinking time scouring the convention center hallways for available outlets.
  • Make a stop at the festival’s American Cheese Society booth for some artisan sustenance.
  • Bring along a spacious bag if you plan to take advantage of free swag and brewery merchandise for purchase. If you’re not interested in that, travel light.
  • Take advantage of all the other great GABF week events going on around Denver. The festival is only the beginning, local bars, breweries and restaurants will serve up hundreds of opportunities to try craft beer from all over the country. More on that later in this post.
  • Put all the events you might even potentially consider going to on your Google Calendar/iCal, etc. so you can review all your drinkin’ options for any given hour of the day on the fly. Will you attend each and every one of these events? Of course not. But will your drunk ass be thankful to have them in a finger’s reach when you’re trying to decide between walking towards Falling Rock or Star Bar 30 minutes before last call? You betcha.

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    Exhibit A: an ambitious GABF Calendar

  • Visit some local breweries while you’re in town. From industry giants, to neighborhood nano-pubs, Colorado boasts more than 200 breweries. Branch out, and try some beer straight from the source.
  • If you’re heading home on Sunday, take Monday off of work. You’ll thank us later.

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  • Don’t waste your rinse water. When you’re drinking at this level, it’s important to stay hydrated. People will tell you to go to the water stations located throughout the hall between every pour, but let’s face it….that’s pretty unrealistic. You’ll want to rinse your glass between every beer you sample at the festival anyway, so just use the pitcher provided at every booth, and then give that rinse water a quick chug rather than just dumping it out.
  • Don’t be one of those people that lets out a big “Ooooooooooooooooooooooh!!!!!!!!” when someone drops their tasting glass on the festival floor. Nobody likes those people. Especially by day three.
  • Don’t take a taxi from the Denver airport unless you plan to split it between several people. It’ll run you at least $60 depending on where your hotel is located. We recommend Uber or a Super Shuttle to save some beer money.
  • Don’t ask if you can poop on the Beerliner.


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You don’t even have to step inside the Colorado Convention Center to have a blast at GABF. Here are some sites who are doing a fantastic job at chronicling all of the unofficial beer events going on in and around Denver during GABF week.

First Drafts:

Porch Drinking:

Denver Westword:

GABF Website:


And, finally…


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Uber has teamed up with GABF this year to provide attendees with a safe ride home. If you’re new to Uber, enter the promo code below for $25 off your first ride.


If you’re at GABF this year, or are simply interested in updates from the fest and coverage of breweries around Colorado, make sure to follow Bitch Beer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the fun. If you’re out there, let us know what you’re up to too. Hell, we’re always down to meet up for a beer.


2 Comments on Bitch Beer’s Guide to the Great American Beer Festival

  1. Thanks for the love, Bitch Beer! Can’t wait to grab some drinks with you ladies when you get out here!

  2. Excellent guide. Especially about the screaming when a plastic glass is dropped. Soooooo stupid! We will see you gals in CO!

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