On any given weekend throughout the summer, you can find a beer festival or beer-related event to attend in Colorado. Beer has become a huge part of the culture of our state, and it seems that everyone wants to cash in on its popularity. If you’re tired of going from event to event just to taste the same three beers from the same dozen breweries, seek out one of these nearby festivals that offer up more than just a buzz.
This year’s Guitar Town at Copper Mountain has two beer-themed attractions to go along with the steady stream of free live music cranking out from the main stage. The first is a five-course dinner that pairs chef David Taladay’s cuisine with beers from New Belgium Brewery.
The dinner, which takes place Friday, is a new addition to the festival. Beers featured include Fat Tire, Pumpkick, Rolle Bolle, Rampant Imperial IPA and 1554. The range of flavor profiles and styles allow for a varied menu that ranges from braised lamb short ribs to a chilled golden beet bisque. Tickets for the dinner are $49 and must be reserved in advance.
If you’d rather enjoy your beer in the open air with a backdrop of music from some of the world’s best guitarists, check out the Guitar Town Craft Beer Garden on Saturday. For $25, sample beers from AC Brewing Co., Boulder Beer, Lagunitas, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Tommyknocker and rock out to the Guitar Town Acoustic All Star Jam.
Scott Goldman, who will get the festival started as the first performer to take the stage on Saturday, said seeking out beer is part of his travel ritual.
“When I go, wherever I go, any city in the United States, the first thing that I do when I have a moment is try and find, you know, the best beer venue,” he said in a news release.
Goldman said quality beer and good music are a natural fit for him.
“You know, a situation like Guitar Town is the perfect storm of music and enjoying great beer,” he said.
If you want your dollar to do something more meaningful than pump you full of delectable suds, hop the pass to Edwards for the third-annual Alpine Insurance Agency Ed Fest on Aug. 17. The festival is held in the Riverwalk at Edwards, and aside from featuring beer from more than 35 breweries, it’s also a fundraiser for the Eagle Valley Land Trust.
“We’ve worked with the Land Trust for different events in the past, and this is a great, fun festival where we get to raise money for them and get their message out there,” said Claire Plunkett, director of events and sponsorship for Crazy Mountain Brewery, which puts on the festival.
Throw back some brews from Crazy Mountain, Avery, Ommegang, Duvel, Firestone Walker, Odell, Colorado Cider and more, and know that the money you spent is helping the Land Trust achieve its mission of preserving the character of the Eagle County community by conserving and protecting its natural spaces. Community ties are important for Crazy Mountain.
“This is our home,” Plunkett said. “This is where we’re from, and we’re very involved with the community. We love to partner with different nonprofits in the area and keep things local. We’re very appreciative of all of the local support that we have, so we want to give something back to the people of the Vail Valley, do something special for them.”
Ed Fest also features music from Hot Buttered Rum, a nationally touring progressive bluegrass band from San Francisco, and new this year, VIP tickets will be available to the public. VIP tickets are $65 and include admission to a VIP Food & Beer Pairing at Crazy Mountain Brewery on Aug. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., Ed Fest entry fee, access to the VIP tent with private restroom area and a Crazy Wagon food truck ticket.
The three-city Chipotle Cultivate Festival will make a stop in Denver on Saturday, Aug. 17. The multifaceted festival brings together food, farmers, chefs, artisans, thought leaders and musicians to promote Chipotle’s vision of sustainable, naturally raised food.
Cultivate promotes artisan food, which is a perfect accompaniment to craft beer. The event’s beer tasting hall will house beers from Denver Beer Co., Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew, Infinite Monkey Theorem, Prost Brewing, Renegade Brewing Co., Strange Brewing Co. and more, with individual samples available for $2 each. Great Divide also will be brewing an exclusive Cultivate Farmhouse Ale for the festival.
While you are sipping these craft brews, take in some music from the Cold War Kids, Blitzen Trapper, Allen Stone, Good Old War and Air Dubai or a cooking demo from Richard Blais, Amanda Freitag, Nate Appleman and Joel Holland and Colorado’s own Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, of Frasca, and Scott Parker, of Table 6.