Wondering where to go this weekend to sample more than 50 beers and 400 kegs, carefully crafted by more than 30 breweries, all at one convenient location? The answer: the 20th Annual Colorado Brewers’ Festival in Downtown Fort Collins.
Nearly 30,000 beer lovers and festival-goers are expected to grace the streets of Downtown Fort Collins June 27 and 28, an increase from the attendance at the festival’s birth two decades ago, which started up to showcase the work of a few local breweries and a drew in only a couple hundred people.
“The Colorado Brewers Festival was started by Doug Odell of Odell’s Brewing, Scott Smith of Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing and the Downtown Business Association to help celebrate and promote all of the breweries here in Fort Collins,” said Peggy Lyle, entertainment and event director for the Fort Collins Downtown Business Association.
When this event started it featured only local breweries and provided an outlet for brewers to introduce their recipes to the crowd and the process of how they brew their liquid creations. Now, however, it has evolved into a festival complete with breweries from all over Colorado, eating, listening to music and having a good time, event coordinators said.
“Brewfest has grown to be a celebration of Colorado brewing. It is a time for people to get together and enjoy an industry that Colorado clearly enjoys a lot,” Lyle said.
She said the festival aims to showcase Colorado brewing and to bring the community together as well as to bring those who have moved from Fort Collins back to the community for a weekend. The scene offers a chance to reunite with old acquaintances and make new ones.
“To me, there is nothing finer than a warm summer day drinking copious amounts of carbonated malt beverage with friends,” CSU alumnus Caleb Shuler said. “You throw in good food and music and you have the makings of a fine weekend.”
There is a $10 entrance fee for two days and a $6 entrance fee for Sunday only. Attendants can purchase as many $2 tokens as desired, either from the entry station on Mountain Avenue or at the merchandise tent located in the center of the festival venue. Tokens are needed to sample the more than 50 beers on display.
All of the breweries donate one or two of their beers to give people a chance to try them out.
“It is a great opportunity for folks to sample beers that they might not always find or try out,” Bryan Simpson, a New Belgium Brewing employee, said.
To make the event run smoothly there areProxy-Connection: keep-alive
ore than 500 volunteers who work throughout the weekend. They not only participate in set up and take down, but also serve all day and make sure everyone has a good time.
Many of the volunteers, who will come out from across the state, have worked the summer event for many years and say it’s a good way to give back to the community and most importantly, enjoy the festival as much as those in attendance.
“I think (the Brewers’ Festival) is important because it raises money for Downtown and I think it’s one of the best festivals that Fort Collins does,” said Rose Schlosser, a seven-year volunteer. “My favorite part is just being able to hang out Downtown with good friends, beer and food.”
As one of the DBA’s largest fundraising outlets, all proceeds from entrance fees and beer sampling tokens will go to the association to fund free events for the community throughout the rest of the year.
To go along with all the beer, food and people, there will be live music both days provided by local Colorado bands.
“We will have some great performers, all from Colorado, performing both days,” Lyle said. “We will recognize our volunteers, and we have specifically ordered some sunshine, so we are going to have a great weekend.”
Staff writer Jessica Cline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.///////
Local participating breweries
Est. 1852 Fort Collins
Shock Top, Budweiser American Ale, Budweiser
Est. 2008 Aspen
Est. 1993 Boulder
Est. 1996 Frisco
Blue Moon Brewery
Est. 1995 Golden
Blue Moon Belgian White
Boulder Beer Company
Est. 1979 Boulder
Sweaty Betty Blonde Wheat, Hazed & Confused
Est. 1989 Breckenridge and Denver
Lucky U IPA, Agave Wheat
Bristol Brewing Company
Est. 1994 Colorado Springs
Laughing Lab, Compass IPA
CB Potts Restaurant & Brewery
Est. 1992 Fort Collins
Colorado Blonde, Buttface Amber, Apricot Ale
Est. 1873 Golden
Coors Banquet, Killian’s Irish Red
CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewery
Est. 1989 Fort Collins
Punjabi Pale Ale, Razzmatazz Belgian Ale, Wayfarer Copper Ale
Crabtree Brewing Company
Est. 2006 Greeley
Serenity Amber Ale, Blonde Ale
Del Norte Brewing Company
Est. 2004 Denver
Dillon DAM Brewing
Est. 1997 Dillon
Sweet George’s Brown Ale
Durango Brewing Company
Est. 1990 Durango
Estes Park Brewery
Est. 1994 Estes Park
Stinger Honey Wheat
Golden City Brewery
Est. 1993 Golden
Goldener Gose Bier
Great Divide Brewing Company
Est. 1994 Denver
Left Hand Brewing Company
Est. 1993 Longmont
Polestar Pilsner, JuJu Ginger
New Belgium Brewery Company
Est. 1991 Fort Collins
Fat Tire, Mothership Wit, Organic Wheat, 1554
Odell Brewing Company
Est. 1989 Fort Collins
IPA, St. Lupulin, Easy St. Wheat
Oskar Blues Brewery
Est. 1997 Longmont
Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Est. 2005 Greeley
Sunset Amber Ale, 808 Wheat
Ska Brewery Company
Est. 1995 Durango
True Blonde Ale, Buster Nut Brown Ale
The Fort Collins Brewery
Est. 2004 Fort Collins
Major Toms Pomegranate Wheat, 1990 Amber Ale, Rocky Mountain IPA
The Grand Lake Brewing Company
Est. 2002 Grand Lake
White Cap Wheat
Tommy Knocker Brewery
Est. 1994 Idaho Springs
Jack Whacker Wheat, Pick Axe Pale Ale
Twisted Pine Brewing Company
Est. 1995 Boulder
Honey Brown, Raspberry Wheat
Wynkoop Brewing Company
Est. 1998 Denver
Information courtesy of http://downtownfortcollins.com