I attended California State University Chico and with that comes a certain respect not only for our local brewery, Sierra Nevada, but for craft beer in general. It’s more than that.
I’m not going to lie, Sierra Nevada was essentially our school mascot. It was rare to have a party without Sierra Nevada and almost every Chico State student I know has owned a Sierra Nevada sweatshirt at some point in his or her life. It’s a beer we will take with us to the grave.
What’s all the hype? Once you develop a palate for craft beer, you realize this stuff is good. You may think we are all a bunch of raving alcoholics but it is truly just a respect for the quality of the product, and the fact that it was ours. I met my husband at college and this brew even made it into our engagement photos. It is that good.
While I am more of a wine girl myself, my husband has continued to develop his passion for the suds. What better first anniversary present than to surprise him with tickets to an epic beer festival? Of course, Oktoberfest in Germany is on the big bucket list but I found something closer to home and maybe more spectacular (with better brew too).
Every fall the Brewers Association, a trade group representing the nation’s craft brewers, hosts the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado. This is the largest gathering of beer fans and breweries in the country and every year, the tickets sell out in a matter of minutes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records®, there is no other place on earth where a beer aficionado can find more beers on tap. With over 600 breweries pouring over 3000 beers, it is almost certainly one of the largest beer festivals in the world. Simply put, the GABF is a most-impressive event.
We will be traveling to Denver to partake in this madness the first weekend of October. I can’t wait to experience all of the shenanigans that can only ensue when you put 10,000 slightly intoxicated beer lovers together in one room. For us Chico State alumni, this sounds a little bit like heaven.