Piñata or pilsner, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, Colorado (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

DENVER — The Great American Beer Festival, housed in the 584,000-square-foot Colorado Convention Center, serves over 4,000 beers from over 800 breweries. Who has the time to sit down and eat? For the past few years, festival-goers have gotten creative by fashioning their own edible accessories, most popularly pretzel necklaces. They have become a kind of folk art tradition, providing a refreshing view on food porn usually reserved for a still life. Most bearers of the bready beads were veterans of the festival, some returning for their 10th year. Some baked their own pretzels, while others balanced the sweet and salty, with one even adding beet sticks for a flash of color. Here are a few of the salty knots draping the décolletage of the 62,000 visitors to the 37th annual beer festival and competition.

The minimalist

That is a spare rib on the edge of a string

Packing heat

The classic statement necklace of snack dip, chips, beef jerky, and cheese rods

A lone chicken finger, three types of salami, and a pickled tomato, which the creator said “really brings out the flavor in a saison”

The pendant style

An abundant aesthetic

With homemade pretzels, this is craftsmanship

The horseshoe

Beet sticks for a pop of color


The rejected project

The Great American Beer Festival continues at the Colorado Convention Center (700 14th Street, Denver) through September 22.

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Kealey Boyd

Kealey Boyd is an art historian and writer based in Denver.