Jun 282005
 
Authors: Kate Dzintars

 

Host breweries:

Anheuser-Busch

Bighorn Brewery/C.B. & Potts

Coopersmith's Pub & Brewing

New Belgium Brewing Company

Fort Collins Brewery

Conor O'Neils

Odell Brewing Company

Golden beer flows from keg to pitcher to cup. People mill about, beer in hand, drinking, eating and laughing. It may seem like a normal Fort Collins weekend, but this wasn't your average kegger.

It was the 16th Annual Colorado Brewers' Festival.

This weekend, about 30,000 people took over Old Town to tap 300 kegs of Colorado beer. Known to the locals as "Brew Fest," this event provides a venue for more than 25 Colorado brewers to showcase more than 42 of their best brews.

Even the high temperatures of 88 degrees Saturday and 84 degrees Sunday did not deter the crowds.

"It's frickin' hot," said Chad Hudson, a senior speech communications major, "but it's a good time. It's illmatic."

In the middle of Walnut Street, the north border of Old Town square about twenty-five patrons sought relief from the heat in a blue plastic wading pool Saturday afternoon. Those not splashing in the water, lounged in lawn chairs surrounding the pool.

Will Overbagh, owner of the Road 34 bike shop, has set up the pool for the past three years, hauling water in 5-gallon buckets from a spigot down the road.

"We all like to drink and have a good time," said Overbagh "and it's always really hot, so a pool seemed right up our alley."

Samplers, ages 21 and up, paid $10 for a Saturday and Sunday pass or $6 for a Sunday pass, plus $1 tokens for beer.

But beer wasn't the only form of entertainment. Local bands played in the middle of Old Town Square both days. The Second Hand Smokers, The Boondock Saints and George's August Brew rocked Saturday. Sunday's lineup featured Michae Waido, 12 cents for Marvin and Mojo Mama.

Peggy Lyle, an Event Coordinator and Entertainment Director for the Downtown Business Association has been organizing the event for five years.

"I thought everything went great, said Lyle, "There weren't any big changes from last year, but the crowd keeps coming back, so I guess we are doing something right."

Eleven vendors lined Walnut and Linden streets, selling gyros, turkey legs and other festival fare to curb festivalgoers' munchies.

Some people came for the music, some came for the food, some came for the atmosphere and some came for the beer that the festival is all about.

"(I came) Because it's called Brew Fest," said Wade Miller, a senior accounting major. "With a name like that, how can you not come?"

Disappointed because he could only make it to the festival on Saturday, Miller said, "I would come again if I didn't have anything to do tomorrow. I'll be in the work force and still take time off to come."

More than 400 volunteers worked in Identification and Tickets, Merchandising, Pepsi's Designated Driver Booth, or as Beer Truck Personnel. Volunteers got complimentary admission to the festival and a special edition T-shirt.

Next year's Brew Fest is scheduled for June 24-25.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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