The Great American Beer Festival 2015

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The Great American Beer Festival is a yearly event held in the Colorado Convention Center – This event has been going strong since 1982.  The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) showcases Kraft Beer Breweries from all over the Country.  With over 150 Breweries from Colorado alone, I knew i was in for a great evening.

Upon arriving and collecting my badge, i was given my tasting cup.  I was given VERY specific instructions to not lose or break the tasting glass (plastic) as this is the only one i will get.  Something fun about the glasses – If someone drops one, everyone in the general area of the dropped glass will point at the person and scream.  Made for some fun times through out the evening.

Once i was in the main hall, i was completely overwhelmed by just how many Breweries and beers there were being poured.  Just where do you start?  Do you start at the top of an isle, and just down down tasting everything? Do you start with a Brewery you know, and then go from there?  I was’nt sure, so i went with randomly picking a booth, then randomly picking another booth.  I felt this way was going to be the most fun and entertaining way of attacking GABF.

Of all the different beers i tasted, from Hatch Chili Beer, Cucumber Beer, Chocolate/Chili Beer, Barley Wines and IPA’s – There were two Breweries/Beers i wanted to talk about the most.

First up is Boggy Draw Brewery – Located in Sheridan, Colorado, this recently opened Brewery has some amazing tasting beers.  Their MACH V Porter won over my taste buds.  I re-visited this booth throughout the night. The Owner, Dave “Beef” Miera and his crew are super friendly, knowledgeable about their product and can see the passion they put into their beers. I have since gone to their location off of Hampden and Sante Fe, and can say they have a new regular customer!

While i was walking about the Convention Floor, i saw a sign that caught my eye.  Dads and Dudes Brewery had brought with them, along with their other tasty beers like Pineapple Express and Toffee Porter, their CBD infused Imperial IPA.  I had a chance to speak with both the “Dad” of Dad’s and Dudes Thomas Hembree, but also one of the Brewers, Brian about it.  Thomas spoke to me about the the logistics of getting this beer to market, and some of the hoops they had to jump through and a bit about the brewing process.  Brian then went into greater detail of the brewing process, and exactly how much Cannabidiol (also known as CBD, the Non-Psycho active part of the Marijuana plant) is in each Keg of beer.

This definitely an event i suggest getting ticket to next year.  I’ve had my eyes opened up to so many new Breweries and beers that i might not have known of before.  I’ve a;ready visited a couple of them since i was at GABF on Friday.  I look forward to checking out the this event next year, now that i’ve gotten my feet wet, and know understand the huge appeal there is to GABF.  Be sure to check out the picture gallery on our FaceBook page, and be sure to tune into our Podcasts to hear about the event!

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Nan Desu Kan 2015 Wrap Up

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Once again, POI invaded Nan Desu Kan 2015 in its new location in Downtown Denver. It was a busy weekend in Downtown Denver, with The Taste of Colorado going on and NDK – Downtown was a wash of colorful characters.

This was our 3rd year with NDK.  We love returning to the First Convention that gave us Press Credentials.  This year marked the First year in a new location – The Sheridan Downtown Denver.  This year, everything was bigger; The venue in general has more space, giving each area more room to spread about and invite new faces to the Convention.  This year was also different for me, as i bought a camera and NDK would be my first run at taking pictures at a Convention.

Because of timing, most of my time this year was spent in the evening, roaming the Lobby and Artist Alley – which was open till 12midnight each night!  With the bigger venue, Artist Alley was about 30% larger than it had been in previous years.  I saw some new and familiar faces with the added area.  Artist Alley is always my favorite place to hang out and chat with the Artist.  I was able to sit and chat with Lair of Abraxas – They make custom jewelry and clothing of a Steampunk feel.  I also ran into Carla the Dragon Lady – she and I had a chat at Denver ComicCon earlier this year, and it was nice to catch up with her.

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One thing i never made it to, im sad to report is the Vender Room.  Normally, I make sure get my tasty Japanese treats, and puruse the toys and statues i hope to purchase one day.  I just got so wrapped up in taking pictures and chatting with show goers, that i somehow never made it to the room. I guess these things happen when you’re having fun!

I think the venue change to Downtown will overall be a great move by NDK – The larger space alone should be enough, but the possible added revenue to shops in the surrounding area should benefit as well.  Keeping Artist Alley open till midnight will allow more people to check out what Artists have to offer, but also for the Artist to make more money.  I hope to see the Vender Room hours extended as well. Everyone i spoke with, was happy with the venue change as well.  The general conciseness i got from the people i spoke with was ‘Everything is just, bigger’

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We will have an upcoming wrapup on NDK in an upcoming episode, and we’ll be sure to post it as soon as its recorded – in the meantime, please check out our full photo gallery on our Facebook page!