As part of our coverage of the Great American Beer Festival, we cannot forget to talk about the welcome addition of the first spirit sponsor of the festival – Jameson Irish Whiskey. We’ve been following Jameson’s involvement with craft beer ever since they partnered with Great Divide a few years ago to create “The Smoothness’ as part of their Beer Buddies program. Check out our past coverage here. They have since expanded the program and we were looking forward to trying all of their partnership offerings at GABF. Let’s just say we were not disappointed.
Jameson kicked off the festival with a VIP reception for media and friends on a rooftop patio near the convention center.
There they guided us through a whiskey tasting, and served a number of Jameson cocktails using their standard, as well as Caskmates series, whiskey.
Within the Colorado Convention Center hall, they had set up a section in a corner where they featured the beers created through their Beer Buddies program. This program lets American brewers receive Jameson whiskey barrels in which to age their beer. The Barrel Aged Beer Garden was pretty amazing featuring 2 stages with live music and discussions with the master cooper from Jameson; as well as photo booths, cornhole, picnic tables, and a map showing the locations of their partner breweries in the US.
There was plenty of beer to sample from their long list of collaborating breweries which included local favorite Great Divide. They were pouring their ‘The Smoothness’ – a Jameson barrel aged dark lager and ‘Knockout Ginger’ – a farmhouse ale aged in Jameson barrels. Check out the map for all the other beers that were available:
We’re hoping they’ll be back next year so that we can all have an opportunity to sample these again alongside new and delicious beer collaborations finished in Jameson Whiskey barrels.