beer glasses on a sampling tray

Relax with a craft beer sampler. (Photo: Getty Images)

Denver

Best Denver Beer Festivals: Find Your Hoppy Place

With more than 700 breweries represented, the Great American Beer Festival is the largest collection of U.S. beer served in a public tasting event. (Photo: Alamy)

From a rich, chocolate stout to a light and refreshing pilsner, craft beers are all the rage and the local breweries making them have become hot spots to hang out with friends and family. Denver is the epicenter of the craft brewing world with over 30 local breweries and brewpubs, the most in any metro area in the country. Every year, the city celebrates its connection with the craft beer industry during two popular festivals: The Great American Beer Festival and the Denver Beer Fest.

The Great American Beer Festival

Founded in 1982, the Great American Beer Festival is the largest collection of U.S. beer served in a public tasting event. There are over 700 breweries represented at the event, hailing from Colorado, Texas and even Hawaii. In addition to the beer tastings available for festival-goers, there’s a competition for professional craft brewers. This year’s competition featured 89 entries developed from breweries around the country.

If you’re feeling inspired from the beer festival, check out the American Homebrewers Association at the event to find out how you can start crafting your own delicious beer varieties.

Denver Beer Fest

To experience the best of Denver’s beer scene in one place, attend the annual Denver Beer Fest. This year’s festival ran from September 26 to October 4, 2014 and featured more than 300 beer-related events from local breweries and restaurants. Events include everything from beer tastings to tours of local breweries and even midnight beer breakfasts for food lovers. Discover why Denver is called the “Napa Valley of Beer” when you visit the festival and immerse yourself in its beer culture.