Denver, Colorado and the GREAT American Beer Festival

colorado springs garden of gods great american beer festival denver

Location: Denver, Colorado.
Travel date: September 29-October 2, 2011.

It's only appropriate that I found this book near Colorado Springs! This wasn't the most conventional trip out there, but it sure was a pretty good final leg of my birthMONTH celebration. Since January we started planning for the Great American Beer Festival - or GABF, for intimate friends. From all parts of the country -Florida, Texas, Utah - we all flew in to Denver with the main purpose of celebrating and sampling... lots of beer!

Beautiful weather
I was so happy to leave Florida's 87 muggy degrees behind and land in Denver's 46 degrees at midnight! We wasted no time in exploring downtown by going to the Falling Rock Tap House and by having my first taste of Vietnamese food - from a food truck! (loved it!) Manna From Heaven - and the cool part is that for every 10 patrons who purchase from their food truck, they donate one meal to feed one hungry person in the local neighborhood or truck route.

Having had ONE beer that night, i woke up the next morning feeling so out of it! It was that altitude and jet lag setting in - So what better way to combat that than with a delicious breakfast at Watercourse Bakery, with its crazy cool/peculiar art and 100% vegetarian menu that EVERYONE - carnivores included - loved! Then it was off to explore the local breweries - Starting with mac-daddy of all breweries- Breckenridge, adjacent to Coors Field. ! Next, WynKoop!

Union Station
Before dinner, a lovely but quick stroll (starving group) down the 16th Street mall, a super trendy area downtown and a delicious veggie burger at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery where I had by far the best brew of the weekend - the Mad Cow Milk Stout. So good! After eating, we went to a few places downtown but between us being obnoxiously full and super tired, we all just went home. We had a really long/awesome day ahead to prepare for!

Saturday morning was road trip time - we took our rental to about an hour south of Denver, near Colorado Springs to a place called the Garden of the Gods. The drive was beautiful, with a few snow-capped mountains in the far background, and the weather was perfect for a quick hike and sightseeing. Such a change from flat-tastic Florida :)

Heading south...

Garden of Gods

GABF pictures inside the Denver Convention Center (where the Big Blue Bear stands peeking into the building and whose butt i attempted to grab post event!) will be left up to your imagination - From super Mario Bros to people in robes and lots of Gator fans to mourn with, we saw a bit of .everything and tasted a bit of everything. WHAT a fun weekend - will be there again next October, without a doubt! (Next time I'm making it to Boulder and other cool places around there - has anybody ever been to Durango?)

Couldn't help it.

Photo from the DCC site

A last and pretty cool surprise - as we were getting ready to leave the hotel, we ran into one of the brewers at Shorts Brewery, which had one of the coolest booths at the festival - he gave us some more beer, of course, to get us on our way back home. Awesome guy and pretty darn good IBA.

Football side-note: I'll be seeing 'em Broncos at the Dolphins Stadium in a couple of weeks - Tebow as their starter QB, Pouncey doing great as the 'Fins center, Urban Meyer in the crowd. It's-great-to-be-a-Florida-Gator!

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About the Writer

I'm Louise, a Tampa Bay based Brazilian-American travel blogger. Join us as we learn and share the ins-and-outs of traveling with a toddler and our sweet rescue pup Oreo, while promoting local nonprofits and wellness along the way.