Mayor Hancock Taps His Own Beer To Kick off GABF 2012

Proclaiming Denver to be one of the world’s great beer cities, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock tapped a keg of pumpkin ale that he helped brew at the Denver Beer Company, and with a toast, kicked off Denver Beer Fest 2012 – a 9-day celebration of all things beer, presented by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Mayor helped brew the beer on September 19, by grinding barley on a pedal-powered mill, shoveling out spent grain, tossing in pumpkins (grown at Denver Urban Gardens) and adding the all-important hops. Denver Beer Co. co-owners Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford then worked their magic and two weeks later, the beer was ready to be served.

A contest was held on Facebook to name the beer, and the winning entry was: Mayor Mike’s 5280 Brew. The beer was made in conjunction with VISIT DENVER and the Colorado Brewers Guild, and will be on sale at Denver Beer Company until it runs out.

At the tapping ceremony, Mayor Hancock referenced all the press that Denver has received lately about beer. On October 3, USA Today proclaimed Denver to be the second best beer city in the world, and the October issue of GQ heralded Denver as one of the top five beer cities in America. In both honors, Denver ranked higher than Boston – a key point for Mayor Hancock, who waged a friendly “war of words” with Boston Mayor Tom Menino back in January 2012 over a wager on the Denver Broncos-New England Patriots playoff game. Mayor Menino made the mistake of thinking Boston beer was better than Colorado’s rich beer culture and Mayor Hancock set the record straight.

On Friday, Mayor Hancock offered payback, stating, “In the recent USA Today article and in GQ, Denver beat Boston in beer. And on Sunday, we’re going to beat them in football,” Hancock said, referencing the Broncos-Patriots game scheduled for this coming Sunday, October 7.


The fourth Denver Beer Fest that Mayor Hancock launched will run October 5-13. The citywide celebration, sponsored by VISIT DENVER and the Colorado Brewers Guild, coincides with America’s most prestigious craft beer competition, the Brewers Association’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF), October 11-13. The nine-day Denver Beer Fest will include rare beer tastings, beer-paired dinners, “brewer vs. brewer” nights, beer tappings, brewery tours, firkin tappings and a variety of entertaining beer events.

The website,, is a one-stop shop for all things beer connected with the festival, and also includes information about local Denver brewers and brewery tours.

VISIT DENVER also launched the The First Annual Denver Beer Crawl that highlights some of Denver’s favorite watering holes AND gives locals a chance to win coveted tickets to GABF. They just have to go to for a chance to win.

Denver’s tap houses, brew pubs, breweries, gastro pub and distillery scene continues to expand with the past year seeing a number of new openings. There are now more than 24 breweries in metro Denver.

Just some of the fun events during Denver Beer Fest include:

A Gourmet Food Truck Festival & Tailgate Party , Oct. 7
Denver Gourmet has brought together an eclectic mix of Denver’s finest food trucks and local beer for a Tailgate Party in the Highlands. They’ll have the Bronco game on, a DJ spinning records, live music, free bike parking, kids’ activities, local craft brews, and eats from 10 great food trucks. Free.

Avery Brewing Co.’s Pucker Up Poker Run , Oct. 12
On the second day of GABF, join the crews from Avery Brewing Co. and Denver Off the Wagon for a crazy crawl among five of Denver’s premier pubs! At each stop, you’ll get a 4oz. pour of a rare, barrel-aged sour beer, a 6oz. pour of a palate cleansing beer, and a playing card. Best poker hand at the end wins a prize! Dress wild, and bike it or walk it but don’t drink and drive. Start at the Falling Rock Tap House at 11am, and split up into groups to visit Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House, Highland Tap and Burger, Euclid Hall, and finish at Star Bar. $45 per person.

Breakfast with The Bruery at Cheeky Monk , Oct. 13
Beer for breakfast? But of course! Join the Cheeky Monk for its annual breakfast tradition with Patrick Rue of The Bruery. Special beer paddles served with some great food choices. No better way to start your day before heading to the GABF awards ceremonies!

Deschutes Brewery Brewer’s Dinner at Appaloosa Grill , Oct. 9
Join Deschutes and the Appaloosa Grill for a special four course Brewer’s Dinner hosted by Chef Sean Boutot & Deschutes Brewmaster Brian Faivre! Space is limited so call to reserve today! $40 per person.

Le Grand Tribute to Beer , Oct. 5-13
Head to the Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar in Downtown Denver throughout Denver Beer Fest for a three-course menu for both lunch and dinner with featured beer pairings for each course.

Renegade Tour Night , Oct. 10
Ever wonder what’s going on back in the brewery? Renegade Brewing Co. is going to clean it up and show it off for a tour night. Tours will be on the hour from 5-8. Learn a little about Renegade, how they brew, and even have some opportunities to win a prize if you’re smart enough. Free.

Wynkoop Brewing Hosts “Beers Made By Walking” Tasting , Oct. 9
Sample ten one-night-only beers from Colorado breweries, each beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks. $15 at the door, each ticket is good for a 4oz BMBW beer. Attendees also get a special sampling glass made for the event. $15

Avery Brewing Company Patio Beer Garden at Lucky Pie , Oct. 11-13
Boulder’s Avery Brewing Co. is setting up shop at Lucky Pie Pizza for a great time all three days of GABF. Every day the Avery team will tap another limited release brew at 3 p.m. Selections include Wet Hop Pale Ale, Double Dry-Hopped Ale to the Chief, Uncle Jacob’s Stout, Oud Floris, Rumpkin, & Odio Equum.

Oskar Blues “It’s All About the Package” GABF After Party , Oct. 11
Be part of some BIG craft beer history in the making! The party starts after the first night of GABF on Thursday and includes larger-than-life live music by Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams, gigantic giveaways and big, badass beers. Print off the “ticket”, get one at GABF on Thursday night, or show it on your phone to the doorman to get in. It’s going to be a HUGE night – bring your party pants.

First Annual Colorado Beer Brunch at Fresh Craft , Oct. 12
A delicious brunch during GABF weekend will help get the day started and pairs perfectly with several rare beers from Colorado Brewers including: Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti; Upslope Pumpkin Ale; Left Hand Java Lava; Denver Beer Company Pueblo Chili Beer; and a barrel aged sour from Dry Dock… so new and rare, it has yet to be named. $30 per person.

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Beer Brunch , Oct. 13
Come join Fogo from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for an amazing brunch featuring Top Sirloin, Sausage, Scrambled Eggs and Fogo’s famous Cheese Bread, paired with bottled selections from Odells and Funkwerks. $19.50 per person.

Denver Beer Fest is presented by VISIT DENVER, in partnership with the Colorado Brewers Guild and Denver Westword. This year’s sponsors include Frontier Airlines, RTD Denver, Denver Yellow Cab, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) and Boelter Beverage. Visit for more information about the citywide event, or for more about GABF 2012, visit

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About Denver Beer Fest
The event was created by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, to offer more beer events around the Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) – organized by the Brewers Association – and also give local breweries, tap houses, bars and restaurants an opportunity to showcase their products to the 50,000 beer lovers who attend the granddaddy of beer festivals, as well as Denver locals who can’t make GABF 2012.

About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating more than 100 years of promoting The Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, generating $3.3 billion in annual spending in 2011, while supporting nearly 50,000 jobs. Learn more about Denver on the VISITDENVER website and at TOURISMPAYSDENVER, on Twitter @iknowdenver and the VISIT DENVER Facebook page, or by phone at 800 2 DENVER.

Photo in article is by Elyse Mitchell via Westword