Host City: Denver, Colorado

Denver: the Mile High City. Capital of Colorado. Queen City of the West. Host of a humble gathering called the Great American Beer Festival®—maybe you’ve heard of it?

Whether it’s your first time visiting or the fourteenth, Denver always delivers the goods. That’s because it’s a vibrant city with great food, great beer, great cultural attractions, and great weather—all with a stunning Rocky Mountain backdrop. It’s the perfect place for a week of brewing-industry bonhomie.

What Makes Denver So Great?

It’s a craft beer capital. A USA Today Readers’ Choice survey named Denver among the country’s 2018 “Best Beer Scenes,” citing its status as “home to the world renowned Great American Beer Festival” and its 100 craft breweries. (Yeah, one hundred craft breweries.)  And, a 2018 report by TripAdvisor named Denver among “America’s Best Cities for Beer and Brewery Tours.” You’ll feel right at home.

It’s a thriving city. U.S. News & World Report launched a list of the country’s 100 Best Places To Live, and Denver earned a no. 3 ranking based on affordability, job prospects, and quality of life. WalletHub named Denver among “2018’s Best Large Cities to Start a Business.”

It’s bike friendly. With 850 miles of paved urban bike trails, Denver is a haven for cycling enthusiasts. Redfin ranked Denver no. 4 in the country for its “biking friendliness” among the nation’s top 10 cities with a population of 300,000 or more. If you get a chance, hop on a B-Cycle (free bikeshare) and pedal around town.

It’s in Colorado. This is a big one. Colorado is home to 53 mountains above 14,000 feet, four national parks, 348 breweries, 26 ski resorts, and the state gets 300 days of sunshine every year. Denver is your amenity-filled launchpad for enjoying and exploring the Centennial State.

What’s more, Denver has the top ranked airport in the country, according to a study conducted by the Wall Street Journal.

PRO TIP: Get out and explore Denver’s neighborhoods—they’re what makes the city great. Each ‘hood has its own personality and attractions to offer, from the Golden Triangle Museum District (recommendation: Clyfford Still Museum) to the RiNo Arts District neighborhood (craft breweries for daaays).

How to Denver Like a Pro

Bring your shades. With 300 days of sunshine, sunglasses are a must. Ditto for sunscreen. You’d be surprised how much sun you can get during happy hour beers on a sunny patio!

Drink water. Drinking plenty of water is the number one way to help your body adjust easily to our higher altitude. The low humidity in Colorado keeps the air dry, like the desert, so you need about twice as much water here as you would drink at home.

Take it easy at first. The effects of exercise are more intense at 5280 feet; pay attention to your heart rate and breathing. Same goes for alcohol: its effects will feel stronger here.

Dress in layers. Because the sun is especially powerful in Denver, it can feel much warmer than the actual temperature during the day, but then become very chilly after sundown, particularly in spring. Layers for the win.

See you in April!