There are sure to be a few breweries at the upcoming Great American Beer Festival that even seasoned beer geeks won’t know very well. Some of them might even be in our own backyard. If you are heading to GABF and aren’t familiar with one of the breweries on this list you might want to make a mental note to stop by their booths.
Bristol, the 2nd oldest brewery on this list has been turning out delicious beer in Colorado Springs for over 16 years. Their year-round beers, including Red Rocket and Mass Transit, are great. But some of their seasonals, including the Flanders Red, are truly amazing. Over the years, Bristol has stayed true to their roots, and somewhat under the radar, despite starting around the same time as a lot of the big guns in Colorado beer, including New Belgium, O’Dell, Avery, and Great Divide.
Greeley’s only brewery has been turning out beer for several years now, but they are still one of the lesser known breweries in the state. The 13 BBL brewhouse turns out outstanding beers including an amazing Oatmeal Stout. Jeff and Stephanie Crabtree started brewing in 2006 after they decided to make the leap from homebrewing to commercial brewing. If you haven’t had a chance to try their offerings I would make sure to seek them out at GABF.
The 2nd largest brewery in Golden, CO! Charlie & Janine Sturdavant began brewing beer in the machine shop behind their home back in 1993. Originally, the tasting room was in their sunroom, but they have now expanded on the same property. The machine shop is still the brewhouse, but the carriage house now serves as the tasting room and their backyard is the beer garden. Like Bristol, they have stayed small and continue to do what they do best, make craft beers.
Denver’s newest and smallest microbrewery opened just this past May and has been brewing close to full capacity, on their 1 BBL…ish system, during the busy summer season leading up to GABF. Founders Tim Myers and John Fletcher, both former employees of the Rocky Mountain News, jumped at the opportunity to redefine themselves as commercial brewers in early 2010. I have an inkling you’ll be able to sample their awesome Pale Ale at GABF.
Another young Colorado brewery that is creating waves in the craft beer industry is Colorado Springs based TRiNiTY Brewing Company. With just 2 years of brewing, TRiNiTY has quickly built a strong reputation for making great beer. You’ll be able to try some of their high quality brews at GABF, but if you have an extra few hours, be sure to head down to Colorado Springs and stop by the brewpub where they serve up some great food along with their beers and some guest taps as well.