Under the heat of the weekend sun, the Fort Collins community
thronged to the beer trucks in Old Town to sample Colorado’s finest
small and large brews at the Colorado Brewers Festival, also known
As people strolled through Old Town, cold beers in hand, the
sounds of six different bands drifted through the air throughout
“I’m lovin’ the atmosphere, I’m lovin’ the beer, lovin’ the
choices,” said Megan Garrity, an attendee of this years
Despite Garrity’s positive outlook of the festival, some people
grumbled over the event’s price.
“They could lower the cost a little bit,” said Patty Johnstone,
a community member. “It’s a good way to get the community together
and try all the different beers in Colorado. I think they do a
really good job with the music and the different types of beers
that come out.”
As the bands began playing their sets, Brakeman Junction
announced that it had played its final show as it shared the stage
with the horn section of local ska/reggae band, 12 � for
Marvin. The set was a crowd-pleasing set that culminated in a
jam-band-style final song that was met with a roar of applause as
the drummer pounded the cymbals for the final time.
The people then dispersed to the beer vendors to get new drinks
while the other members of 12 � for Marvin set up.
A receptive crowd welcomed the entirety of 12 cents for Marvin,
which played a mix of its own material with a smattering of songs
from the ’80s.
This year marked the 15th anniversary of brewfest. Since its
inception, the event has gone under radical transformations to
become the event that it is now.
“I’ve been attending Brewfest since number two. It’s progressed
to become one of the best events in Fort Collins,” said Stacy
Thomas, the volunteer manager for the brewfest.
The event began in what was once a barren stretch of tarmac on
west LaPorte Avenue where the downtown parking structure now
stands, Thomas said.
“(The second brewfest) was just a black tarmac that was fenced
in; you could not leave. You would just drink and sit on the
tarmac,” said Thomas, who described the early events as “very
small, with no vendors except maybe a hot dog stand; there were10
to 15 breweries that were there.”
Since then the event has grown significantly. Thomas said that
this year’s event was at least 20 times the size of the second
The hot sun did not keep people away this year as Peggy Lyle,
the event coordinator, estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 people
attended the event.
“We represent 38 different breweries,” Lyle said. She said they
tapped about 360 kegs over the weekend. Fort Collins brewers were
allowed to bring two different brews while other Colorado brewers
where allowed to bring only one type.
“The thing about our festival is that it’s all Colorado brews,”
She said keeping the event open only to Colorado breweries was
in keeping with the original spirit, as “it gave people an
opportunity to find out what the microbrew situation in Colorado
Lyle works for the Downtown Business Association, the nonprofit
group that organized brewfest.