If dehydration is our enemy, new experiences are our friend at the Great American Beer Festival. The halls of GABF, and even Denver itself are littered with tiny new breweries trying to stand out from the very competitive crowd. Last year, the 2013 GABF, thanks to the media bus, I was able to enjoy a few young breweries in their natural habitat.
Black Shirt Brewing was one notable stop, a family run brewery with a serious devotion to craftsmanship (and craftwomanship!). The owners designed and build just about every aspect of their tap room, from the bar, to their custom glassware, to the unique trays they use to deliver flights.
From BSB's name you might not expect that their beer is red. Every beer is red. Even their porter is red. Red beer is their speciality, a visible and drinkable expression of their devotion to doing one thing well.
As you can see below, their space and their beer reflect their design aesthetic.
Even BSB's bomber fridge looks like a photo from a fashion magazine.
Another stop on the GABF media bus was Our Mutual Friend brewery. They have a different take on the small brewery and tap room. OMF feels cozy and organic, with a bar meant for talking, piles of books, and a brew philosoply that focuses on small-batch experimentation.
If you're visiting GABF this year, don't forget to try new beers, and don't forget that you can visit a few of the amazing breweries you'll see on the floor.