Jun 232009
Authors: Jessica Cline

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

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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 news@collegian.com.///////

Local participating breweries

Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Est. 1852 Fort Collins

Shock Top, Budweiser American Ale, Budweiser


Aspen Brewery

Est. 2008 Aspen

Ajax Pilsner


Avery Brewing

Est. 1993 Boulder

IPA, Karma


Backcountry Brewery

Est. 1996 Frisco

Ptarmigan Pilsner


Blue Moon Brewery

Est. 1995 Golden

Blue Moon Belgian White


Boulder Beer Company

Est. 1979 Boulder

Sweaty Betty Blonde Wheat, Hazed & Confused


Breckenridge Brewery

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

Orale, Manana


Dillon DAM Brewing

Est. 1997 Dillon

Sweet George’s Brown Ale


Durango Brewing Company

Est. 1990 Durango

Blueberry Wheat


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

Titan IPA


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


Pitchers Brewery

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

Railyard Ale


Information courtesy of http://downtownfortcollins.com

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