I have been looking forward to this trip for a while. I mean, not many people want to avoid this event. I know it isn't for everybody but come on... this is totally me. I have never been to Denver either and I was trying to figure out a way to tour the town on my first trip. The event takes place at night and all of the hot spots have special hours for the event. Word of mouth is usually how I find places but this time, I was given an opportunity. A scavenger hunt. The Lost Abbey described this as, "A Live Version Of Where's Waldo".
Abbot the Monk (we call him “Abbey”) can’t wait for the Great American Beer Festival to start, so he’s heading out a few days early to explore Denver and its thriving craft beer scene. The problem is, Abbey’s terrible with directions (and maybe enjoys the pubs a bit too much), so he’s bound to get lost. We need your help to find him before it’s time to go home on Sunday, October 14.It helped that there was a prize as well to this game and the rules were pretty simple. Figure out the clues and tweet plus check in via FourSquare. There were seven clues and places to check in... too easy... for someone who actually knows the city. The first clue was simple. It was a picture of Abbey with this weird blue blur and a shadow or reflection. I couldn't really tell what it was but as I was sitting in the cab and it drove passed the convention center, I saw this...
Abbey will be issuing clues as to his location in downtown Denver. We need you to follow his trail and track him down. If you do, you can win lots of great stuff including some free beer, Lost Abbey wearables, and the Grand Prize, one of the super limited (there’s only 500), “Ultimate Box Set” barrel-aged beer collections.
Simple enough, IT MATCHED!!! and I was then bestowed with the second clue.
Abbey enjoys a pint among his kind at this place. Check-in there for his whereabouts, but don't be cheeky about it.
This one took a little bit of a google search since I was not familiar with the bars around town. Even a few tweeps helped me out and I found The Cheeky Monk... and a few Belgium Beers that some would be lucky to taste. Delirium Tremens, Stone Cali-Belgique Aged In Red Wine Barrels, Affligem Blond, The Bruery Oude Tart, Mischief, Saison Rue, Hottenroth, and a house brew from The Cheeky Monk, 3 Cheeks To The Wind. Not a bad start to my first trip in Denver and my first GABF... Okay, at the airport I stopped by the New Belgium Hub and had a New Belgium Abbey (perfect start of the hunt), a Red Hoptober, and a Peach Porch Lounger... Now that is a good start to GABF.
Once stepping out from my hydration station I decided to see if another clue was waiting for me. Just as I suspected.
The hunt for Abbey leads next to a place whose moniker combines "new" and "skill". Be crafty & check-in there for a fresh clue.Again, knowing nothing of the town, this took another bit of googling. Trying to figure out what was new and skilled... I decided to take a walk down the street to think...
Okay, so The Great Divide was not my second clue but I mean, I was in Denver. It is a brewery, and I was there to enjoy and celebrate beer... plus it would give me time to figure everything out. I picked up a Hoss, Hibernation, and Wolfgang. Another great round of beers and I figured out the clue from there. Fresh Craft. I enjoyed a brew while charging my phone and decoding the next clue.
An educated monk, Abbey's been known to brush up on his studies at the place named for the father of geometry.That was a pretty simple one to decode and lead me to Euclid Hall where I had an Upslope Thai IPA. Why not have a local brew while in the area.
Rumor has it Abbey, like Simple Simon, met this fortuitous man and tapped him for slice and a beer at his house.Lucky Pie is the place where I first got my hands on Stone Enjoy By. The date on this beer was 11.09.12 and it was actually a damn good IPA. I wish this place sold pizza by the slice because I wanted some so bad... it just didn't work out in my favor.
You're closing on Abbey! He's at a place whose name rhymes -- its not far from where you are.Star Bar was a place that literally blew my mind. It was my favorite bar and the staff was amazing. They feature Colorado beers and have their own line of cocktails that they whip up... and I only had a few beers while I was here... one of my top favorites, La Folie, Funkwerks Leuven, New Belgium Colorado Wet Hop, Tart Lychee, Avery Tweek (which I guess used to be called Meth Addict according to the bartender, and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. One I have been looking for quite some time now. And I forgot to take a picture before I got deep into drinking.
It was here at Star Bar too that I ran into Abbey. It was pretty exciting but not the end of the hunt. I got a bad ass Lost Abbey Hat and a T-shirt. Some of my favorite drinking gear... and people keep asking me if I work for The Lost Abbey when I wear it. HAHAHA I wish. That would be an awesome job. It is pretty crazy that I got all of this in before heading to the first night of the festival. I may or may not have been over beered... Though, I did get the last clue.
Last clue! Be 1st to find Abbey & you win! 10/13 at 4pm: catch the man with a bad mustache where Stones can Tumble. That's our...
That gave me about 24 hours to figure it all out...
Walking into the festival one of the first things I saw was the silent disco. Empty. Though, the festival was not what I was expecting at all being this was my first time. I thought for sure there would be miles of line, the inability to talk to any one about the beers they were pouring, and you know... just a lot of crazy stuff. It was actually a good time. Short lines, a lot of good conversation, a lot of good beer, and... Sam Adams Utopias. A beer that I always wanted to try but never did because, well, the price tag. I have spent quite a bit on a beer before but never that amount.
I started the night off by looking for breweries I knew and beers I wanted to try from them. Ones I missed since moving but also ones that are limited and are hardly available. Dogfish Head Positive Contact, New Belgium Love - Felix, favorites from Ladyface Alehouse & Brassirie, Bear Republic and the list goes on and on. Seriously. I stopped by Sierra Nevada... ok, ok. But seriously the amount of beer.
The next day was the day to find abbey. Of course I did some more beer hunting and figuring out the clue. Luckily it was the Falling Rock Taphouse. I walked past it a few times the day before trying to get to other locations. All of the clues were within walking distance and I noticed a lot of traffic at this location the day before but I did not have time to actually stop being I wanted to workout the other clues. I had my eyes on this place before I caught my flight out to Denver because there was going to be a New Belgium event the last night of the festival.
I was a bit early so I started some conversation and got me a beer and some food. Maybe that was a bad call and I should have been waiting by the entrance. Once I found out Abbey showed up, I made my way outside but I guess someone had just stopped him. I did a once around the bar and before I headed outside. Another bad move? Oh well. I wish I would have one the box set but I had a great time in Denver and some awesome beer. Everything I was hoping for when I purchased my tickets. I can't wait to get out there again. Now I know some hot spots and what to expect. Can't wait to see what else I discover.