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A Weekend in Denver: Gold Medals, Great Beer and a Love for the Craft

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Hi there, I’m Alyssa and I am the Marketing Programs Coordinator here at Karl Strauss. I recently had the pleasure of attending the Great American Beer Festival in Denver with the KARL team. The Great American Beer Festival is the largest collection of U.S. craft beer served and judged anywhere in the world. Medals awarded here are among the most coveted in the industry and this year there were 4,809 beers from 732 different breweries being tasted, judged and displayed. It was my first trip to GABF, so I had A LOT of tasting to do.


It’s hard to explain the joyful madness known as GABF, but imagine yourself as a child on your first trip to a theme park with (almost) no lines for all the best rides, and you’re on the right track.



The weekend was filled with amazing experiences, but the standout was getting up on stage with the KARL team to accept a Gold medal for our Red Trolley Ale in the Irish Red Ale category. So many people had a hand in making it happen, and it was an honor to help accept the award on behalf of our whole company.


Another highlight was working the Karl Strauss booth. I got to serve beer and interact with fans, and it was awesome to hear their reactions to our beers. Many visitors were from other parts of the country and had never heard of Karl Strauss before. I got to be part of their introduction and experience their positive feedback firsthand.

Karl Gold GABF

Denver’s beer scene reminded me a lot of our hometown here in San Diego. I checked out a number of great bars and restaurants with some incredible tap lists, but there were certainly a few that stood out.

The brewers welcome reception was hosted by Wynkoop Brewing Company; a large, old building with great architecture and a very comfortable vibe.


Falling Rock Tap Room was another neat spot. They were so excited about GABF; the enthusiasm was impossible to resist! They had a great selection of beers and we left in high spirits.


I also enjoyed Great Divide’s Tasting Room. It was packed to the brim with patrons, and the employees were just as fun as the customers – everyone was having a blast.


My favorite outing of the weekend was my trip up to Fort Collins to visit New Belgium. They were fantastic hosts and made us feel right at home (complete with plenty of beer, of course). I got to tour the gigantic facility and meet industry members. It was a fantastic day and really opened my eyes into how welcoming and friendly the entire brewing industry is.


I had a phenomenal experience at GABF. I learned so much about breweries from all over the country, and  the trip reminded me why I love this industry and why it’s a privilege being part of it. So cheers to Red Trolley and our SWEET gold medal. Cheers to you, our fans. And of course, cheers to Karl.