Now Taking Off: Denver International Airport's Third Annual Beer Garden

Have A Beer

Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport

If you’re a beer lover, then Denver International Airport is the place to be between now and October 10, 2016. The Third Annual “Beer Flights” beer garden happens to coincide with worldwide Oktoberfest celebrations and the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

The beer garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily on the airport’s plaza, located outside on Level 5 between the Jeppesen Terminal and Westin Denver International Airport. Tickets are available at the door for $10 and include a souvenir glass to taste 10 two-ounce samples of beer. And everyone buying tickets has the chance to win two roundtrip tickets on United Airlines.

The idea for the beer garden came from Denver’s sister airport in Munich, said spokesman Heath Montgomery. “Our plaza was inspired by Munich’s plaza. And Colorado is now a craft beer mecca,” he said. “It’s home to the Great American Beer festival, where thousands fly in to attend.”

WIth the airport beer garden, visitors have a chance to sample great beer before going to the festival downtown, said Montgomery. “Our event gets bigger and more popular every year.”

Colorado is home to nearly 230 established breweries and more than 10 percent of the nation’s craft breweries can be found in Colorado. Ten state breweries will be represented at the event and each brewery will have two different beers to sample. They include:

·         Avery Brewing -  El Gose, Joes Pils

·         Boulder Beer – Buffalo Gold, Pulp Fusion

·         Epic Brewing – Tart ‘n Juicy, Lil’ Brainless

·         Odell’s – Drumroll, Myrcenary

·         Oskar Blues – Priscilla, Beerito

·         Elevation Beer Co. – 8 Second Kolsch, Apis IV

·         Tommy Knocker – Butthead-Bock, Pick Axe

·         SKA Brewing – Steel Toe, Modus Mandarina

·         Telluride Brewing – Bridal Veil, Wahcked Out

·         Renegade Brewery – Pancake Maple, Consilium

The airport worked with the Colorado Brewers Guild to choose the breweries represented in the beer garden, said Montgomery. “We looked at who wanted to participate and who has participated in the past, and the guild connected us to this year’s brewers,” he said. “I can’t wait to taste Renegade Brewery’s Pancake Maple porter. Other I like are Telluride Brewing’s Bridal Veil, Wahcked Out wheat.”

“‘Beer Flights’ allows us to showcase Colorado’s outstanding microbrew industry but also recognizes our close friendship with our sister airport in Munich, the home of Oktoberfest,” said airport CEO Kim Day. “We invite beer lovers – whether travelers or neighbors – to stop by our outdoor plaza and sample some of the best beer available this side of Bavaria.”

Denver International Airport will host live musical performances daily from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Attendees can enjoy talks by brew masters and play brew trivia, table games and more. Passengers can also buy souvenir pint glasses that will only available at the beer garden, and participating brewers will have giveaways for attendees.

The event, in the airport’s public Plaza, will have plenty of room, said Montgomery.  “It’s a great event for travelers who have time before their flight or a person coming to pick someone up to have a beer,” he said. “It’s also good for someone who isn’t even taking a flight to enjoy.”

A roundtrip ticket on the city’s A Line train directly to the airport costs $9 roundtrip, said Montgomery. “They then pay $10 for admission to the beer garden, and that’s a lot of fun for under $20.” The airport is using the #DENBeerFlights hashtag for those who post photos or information about the event via social media.

The beer garden is a way to help the airport create a sense of place, said Montgomery. “I want people to walk away saying what a great experience they had and that it reflected Colorado’s brand,” he said. “Craft brewing is a Colorado thing and we’re proud of it. We’re creating an experience for  those who have never been here. We want to show that the airport doesn’t have to just be a place to arrive and depart.”