I flew into Denver yesterday and immediately headed for the Highland Tap & Burger. My Great American Beer Festival experience would start with beer and running.
The Highland Tap Run Club meets every Wednesday for a 5K or 5 mile loop before returning — while still in running clothes — to drink beer.
Before we even made it back, though, there was a surprise beer station filled with Tecate. Since I’m getting used to the altitude and drier climate, this was a welcome stop. You have to stay hydrated in Colorado.
Back at Highland Tap, my first post-run beer of GABF was appropriately a Pabst, thanks to a new friend from Wisconsin who now lives in Denver. (Thanks Annie!)
Then we got into classier beers. DRAFT was sponsoring a Suds and Sliders post-run event, which included Highland Tap’s burgers paired with Avery, Left Hand and Ska Brewery beers.
Avery’s IPA was paired with the burger, their Salvation Golden Ale went with a portobello, and Ska’s local series Sethvleteren Belgian Dubbel was paired with pulled pork.
Those were all incredible, but my favorite was a home-made ice cream cookie sandwich paired with Left Hand’s Week Sauce Coffee Porter. It was exactly like drinking coffee, if coffee was beer.
The Highland Tap itself had a great vibe, with live music and dogs hanging out just outside the patio. You can’t go wrong starting off GABF week with a visit here.
Tonight I’m headed to the Irish Snug Run 5K, which I hear draws an insanely huge crowd for running and beer. I expect more scenes like the one below.