Downtown Fort Collins will be hosting the 21st annual Colorado Brewerâ€™s Festival with a whole new look this weekend.
It will continue to feature a combination of beer, music, food and entertainment from all around Colorado, but will be held in a new location at a new price.
The festival will be held at Civic Center Park this year, instead of Old Town Square.
â€œWeâ€™ll miss Old Town, but we wanted to have room for the festival to grow in the future,â€ said Peggy Lyle, who is the programming and event director for the Downtown Business Association, DBA.
Requests to move the celebration came last summer when businesses and attendants complained about general debauchery â€“â€“ violence, vomiting and urination near their storefronts.
Brewfest-goer and CSU alumnus Gage Martin, 23, said that while he enjoyed the spot in Old Town Square, he wonâ€™t worry about the new location until he has seen it.
The time-honored, Fort Collins tradition, Lyle said, will feature approximately 60 beers from more than 30 different breweries across Colorado.
Several participating breweries reiterated the excitement for the change in venue and price.
â€œI think itâ€™s a pretty fantastic venue,â€ said Dwight Hall, the head brewer for CooperSmithâ€™s Pub and Brewing.
The new system creates a more controlled environment for everyone â€œin a positive way,â€ Hall said. â€œI think (the change) is a good thing all the way around.â€
The different venue will allow the festival to grow and give an opportunity to bring in â€œgreat bands and fun entertainment,â€ Lyle said.
Another change that has been made this year compared to years past is the opportunity for the participating breweries to do the pouring and providing of samples instead of a third party volunteer system.
â€œItâ€™s always fun for us to educate our customers, to discuss what goes into our beers,â€ said Amanda Johnson, spokeswoman for Odell Brewing Co.
In addition to local beer and camaraderie, Brewfest features various live bands and plenty of food to accompany the beer sampling, and for a good price, Lyle said.
This year, it will cost patrons $25 for one session if they buy the ticket in advance; tickets are $30 at the door. The new price, Lyle said, is comparable to last year, where tickets were $10 and each sample was $2.
The festival features three sessions:
Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.,
Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m., and
Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Martin said he was in favor of the price change, because last year, he had to re-load his tokens three or four times during the event.
â€œWhen you put it in one lump sum it seems steep, but I think Iâ€™ll end up spending less money,â€ Martin said.
While a ticket only provides beer sampling for one of the sessions, patrons will not be asked to leave the event, Lyle said.
â€œWe want people to have that social atmosphere where they can hang out with their beer and not feel rushed to get to the next sample,â€ she said.
Once someoneâ€™s session is over, they are welcome to stay and hang out with friends and enjoy the music and other entertainment that the festival provides, Lyle said.
Tickets cost $10 for non-drinkers and children 10 and under will be admitted for free, according to information released by festival hosts.
Proceeds from the event will help fund other city events like free concerts, Lucky Joeâ€™s Saint Patrickâ€™s Day Parade, 4th of July Downtown, Santaâ€™s House and the holiday lighting around Fort Collins, according to information from the Downtown Business Association.
While the event has seen some significant changes, Lyle said she and the committee who planned Brewfest are confident attendees will like the changes.
â€œWe want people to give it a try,â€ she said.
Staff writer Nick Childs can be reached at email@example.com.