How do we know when a city is serious about beer? When the tourism office shoots an entire video around the local craft brewers. When visitors rank it atop the list of best cities for microbrews. And when that city sets aside nine whole days to pay a sudsy tribute to hops and yeast.
That city is Denver, Colorado. The video is above. The ranking is part of our America’s Favorite Cities survey. And those nine magical days happen from October 5–13 during an event called (appropriately enough) the Denver Beer Fest, which finishes up (appropriately enough) with the three-day Great American Beer Festival.
GABF was a can’t-miss event when I lived in Denver in the early ‘90s, back when craft beer was just an emerging trend and the hot new hangout was LoDo’s Breckenridge Brewery—only the third craft brewery in the state. And as the microbrew movement has spread, GABF has grown—almost 600 breweries and more than 2,700 different beers will make an appearance this year. It’s no wonder tickets sold out in under an hour.
But until midnight this Sunday, September 16, you still have a shot at two tickets to GABF, as well as two round-trip plane tickets to Denver and two nights’ accommodations. Enter Denver’s Ultimate Beer-cation Contest, on the Facebook page of the Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau. No worries if you don’t win—the Mile High City clearly has enough great suds to create a Beer-cation of your own.
Rich Beattie is Travel + Leisure's Executive Digital Editor.