Expect a bunch of hoppy, malty goodness on Voracious this weekend. I'm headed to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival--3 days, 408 breweries, 1884 beers. I'll be posting and dropping some podcasts from the festival. I'm going to try as many beers as I can, and I want to thank everyone who offered their sage advice.
At Elysian Fields for his release party last week, Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey and Port Brewing (now available from a beer retailer near you) broke it down for me: "Thursday's session is for the die hard beer people. Friday night gets a little crazy. Saturday afternoon is the most civilized because you have to be a member (of the Brewer's Association or American Homebrewer's Association)." And Saturday night? Well, let's just say that consensus paints it the opposite.
I also received some great tips from anonymous readers who want me to remember that alcohol effects you differently at higher altitudes, so don't forget to eat. I should cab it from the convention center so as not to be an easy target with all my electronica. And I should bring mace (not a good prop for a drunk Irish woman). Apparently, many are concerned for my safety. Geez, that's so sweet, people...but it's Denver, not Bombay.
I'm just wondering if I'll be the only one spitting. How else can a 130 pound girl make it through the alphabet? I have devised a caste system for the breweries. I won't go into it too much, but it's based partly on my rules for picking restaurants blind. I'll say that I do ostracize for the word "eatery" and any brewpub with a wrap on the menu. Special consideration is given to breweries with animals I like in the name, and corporate spots with multiple locations are non-entities for my purposes. I have no plans, but my first stop is indubitably Jolly Pumpkin, and my second stop is Walter Payton's American Brewing Co. from my hometown of Aurora, IL. Other than that I'm just going to be a big, beery sponge with a camera, a DVR, and a half-assed mission.
**And thanks to Jason Sheehan of our sister paper the Westword, my meal choices are set.