No matter what time of year, special events are always being created to showcase the local brewers. Colorado will play host to over 100 beer festivals in 2016. The largest of all is the Great American Beer Festival where over 600 American craft brewers gather in Denver for one of the worlds largest beer events. Here is a short list of other top notch beer festivals to include on your beer bucket list.
Bristol’s Firkin Rendezvous, Colorado Springs, CO – Every February, Bristol Brewing Company presents the Annual Firkin Rendezvous, a cask ale celebration to benefit the Colorado Brewers Guild. 37 Colorado breweries share cask conditioned ales of goodness. Cask ales are fermented, dry-hopped, conditioned and served in a single cask, the ‘Firkin’ being the British cask size most commonly used.
Collaboration Fest, Denver, CO – Entering into its third year, Collaboration Fest features some of the most creative beer projects throughout the craft beer industry. This year’s festival will feature more than 90 collaborative projects from across the world, where each beer is crafted by at least two, and at times more breweries working together. Per festival guidelines, one brewery must based in Colorado and a member of the Colorado Brewers Guild, while the collaborating partners could be located next door, across the state, across the country, or even over seas. Food and Wine called Collaboration Fest Americas most creative beer event.
Lake Dillon Beer Fest, Lake Dillon, CO – It’s what we call the official start to the summer here in Dillon with one of our most popular events. Everything kicks off on Friday night with a concert at the Dillon Amphitheater at 7pm. Then on Saturday, it’s a jam packed day of fun for all. From 1pm-5pm taste beers from over 30 Colorado breweries in one of the most dramatic settings around but be sure to pace yourself as Saturday night’s concert is always a good one.
Colorado Brewers Rendezvous, Salida, CO – One of Colorado’s longest running festivals, the Rendezvous will turn 20 years old this summer and has become favorite among Colorado brewers. Over 75 breweries will be on hand to sample over 300 different beers to 2,000 beer lovers.
Sesh Fest, Denver, CO – We can’t find a real definition for session beers, but Sesh Fest defines them as any beer under 5% ABV with a balance of flavor between hops and malt and a clean, crisp finish all combine to give a beer high drinkability. The real purpose of session beers is to allow all the beer lovers out there (we know there are a ton of us!) to enjoy multiple flavorful beers in one sitting without feeling the overwhelming effects of alcohol.
Colorado Craft Beer Week – Colorado Craft Beer Week is a nine-day celebration of Colorado’s craft brewers, pub and restaurants. Dozens of events will showcase brewers and educate beer lovers about Colorado’s unique craft beer community.
Colorado is home to 11 Regional Breweries – Regional breweries are breweries who produce over 15,000 barrels per year. Regional breweries in Colorado are as follows. Avery, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge, Crazy Mountain, Great Divide, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Ska, Upslope.
Colorado has over 300 breweries in operations and they accounted for at least $1.15 billion dollars in revenue to Colorado’s economy and account for over 6,000 full time jobs in 2014, according to the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. According to the Brewers Association, Colorado craft brewers produce 1.67 million barrels of beer per year, or about 13.6 gallons of craft beer per Colorado resident over 21 years old. So, that’s basically a keg for every Colorado adult. See more stats from the Brewers Association about craft beer here. https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics/by-state/
Hop The Vote, Denver, CO – Hop the Vote is a spirited but friendly brewing competition held between the Colorado State House of Representatives and Colorado State Senators. Brewing will take place this month with voting occurring during the first three sessions at the Great American Beer Festival. The Colorado Brewers Guild introduced Hop the Vote at GABF in 2014. The program was launched to highlight the vital role beer plays in the Colorado economy and the relationship between lawmakers and brewery owners. Last year the Colorado State Senators and Cannonball Creek Brewing won with Senate Shout Out Stout. The team was honored in front of the entire legislative body with a custom brewing trophy.
Colorado Governor’s Residence has it own draft system…..and glassware – The Colorado Brewers Guild worked with the state to install a elegant three tap draft system that showcases some of Colorado’s finest IPA’s, ambers, stouts and pilsners. Exclusive custom glassware was added to the program in 2015 and will be available for purchase in spring 2016.