Thursday, June 28, 2007
After much extensive research that essentially involved writing to a couple of friends at breweries, I came up with what I think is a fairly extensive list of beer festivals for this summer. If I've missed any, let me know and I'll try to update this. But here's what I have so far:
*July 7, Colorado Brewers Rendevous, Salida Riverside Park, 1 to 5 p.m, 40 breweries, $20 for a glass and 12 beer tokens;
*July 21, Breckenridge Beer Fest, Main Street Station, Noon to 7 p.m., statewide breweries.
*Aug. 4-5, Bluegrass and Beer Festival, Keystone River Run Village, 1 to 5 p.m. both days, 30 breweries, $30 unlimited drinking.
*Aug. 5, Rocky Mountain Wine, Beer and Food Festival, Winter Park Resort, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., $40 for food and beer.
*Aug. 11, Craft Lager Festival, Soda Springs Park in Manitou Springs, 1 to 6 p.m., 30 national breweries, $25 unlimited pours.
*Aug. 24, Art and Ale Festival, Wildlife Experience in Parker, 6 to 10 p.m., $35 for beer and food.
*Sept. 2, Gunnison BeerFest, Jorgensen Park, 5 to 10 p.m., $15. Runs with Taste of Gunnison.
*Sept. 9, Fall Festival of Beers and Chili Cook-Off, Mt. Crested Butte
*Sept. 15, Grand tasting that is part of Sept. 14-16 Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, Telluride Town Park, Noon to 3 p.m., 50 national breweries, $60 for Saturday pass.
*Sept. 22, Steamboat Brewers’ Festival, Torian Plum, Noon to 4 p.m., 30 breweries, $30 includes six 5-oz. tasting tokens
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
First, I want to apologize to all of my readers - that would be both of you - for being away for so long. I moved up to The Gazette's Statehouse Bureau this year, and for the duration of the legislative session I barely had time to breathe, regardless to drink good beer and write about it.
But now the lovely, leisurely days of summer are back, not only here in the Capitol, but in the world of frothy beverage enjoyment. That means beer festivals, the single best excuse for standing outside all day in the beating sun and dehydrating yourself in a good way.
I started the summer off at the Summit County brew festival on Memorial Day weekend and learned a few things:
*Backcountry Brewery, whose Telemark IPA quietly ranks as one of the best IPAs in the state, is not a one-trick pony. It broke out a Breakfast Stout that tastes more like coffee than any brew I've consumed. Wonderfully rich and full, I made a return trip to Dillon last weekend partly just so that I could bring home two more growlers of it.
*Dillon Dam Brewery, which I shellacked in a column earlier this year, broke out a surprisingly impressive 10th Anniversary Imperial Stout. This will never be confused with, say, Stone's imperial stout, but its semi-thick, brown ale-like quality was the best thing I've tried yet from the Dillon brewery.
*Wolf Rock, Keystone's newest brewery, says its reviving an old town pub with more flavor. The effort is appreciated, but judging by the ultra-light quality of the Leroy's Brown, it still has a long way to go.
*Breckenridge Brewery's Winter Thaw is about the sweetest and chilliest brown ale I've ever tried, but it was quite drinkable while I stood in shorts and sandals at the bottom of a ski run.
I appreciate the ability to learn things like this at beer festivals, and that's why I'm heading up to Fort Collins this weekend to take in the Colorado Brewers Festival. It runs from 11 to 6 Saturday and Sunday in the heart of downtown, and the $10 admission (or $6 for Sunday only) gets you access to most of the great breweries in Colorado.
Here is where I need your help, though, dear blog readers: I'm at a loss for a schedule for the rest of the summer. If you know of other beer festivals, please send me details and I will post them here as a running calendar of the summer's greatest hits.