Denver’s Great American Beer Festival is expected to showcase more than 750 breweries from across the nation.
You can’t count Cerebral Brewing and Call to Arms Brewery among them.
Both are two of the several Denver breweries choosing not to participate in the event that will draw more than 60,000 eager lips.
“Not pouring at the fest is mainly just keeping our focus on our local neighborhood and our local patrons,” said Chris Bell, co-owner of Call to Arms in the Highlands.
“There are a lot of breweries [at the festival] and it's also costly with product and everything else,” added Cerebral brewer Chris Washenberger.
For these guys it's a two-fold decision: It's hard to afford and it doesn't align with their vision.
Entry into the festival is $250 and you need to supply all your beer free of charge.
It means little profit and the opportunity of getting dwarfed by the 749 other brewers.
They’re also worried about supplying the beer. Washenberger opened his shop 11 months ago and Bell just last summer. They say they don’t have the volume to produce the kegs required to give everyone a free taste.
“Return on investment is something we had to look at,” Washenberger said. “We're a small brewery. All of our beer is delivered in my little blue Subaru.”
Both say they want to focus on their local craft and tend to the needs of their communities before those scattered across the nation.
If you are choosing to avoid the crowds at GABF, you can check out the more than 100 other beer-related events going on at the same time right here