With a backdrop of sailboats gliding across the Dillon Reservoir and jagged snowy peaks in the distance, the Lake Dillon Brew Festival celebrated bluegrass music and microbrews from all over the state Saturday.
Previously called the Summit of Bluegrass and Blues, the festival did well under its new moniker, attracting a crowd of locals and visitors to the grassy stretch of Marina Park in Dillon.
More than 25 breweries from across Colorado participated in the festival, from locals Breckenridge, Backcountry, Dillon Dam and Pug Ryan’s to breweries from Steamboat, Boulder, Denver, Durango and more.
Lone Tree Brewing Co.’s Acres O’Green Irish Red was popular among festivalgoers, as were Boulder Beer’s Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat, Elk Mountain Brewing’s Whiskey Aged Barrel Stout (aged in barrels provided by the Breckenridge Distillery), Carver Brewing Co.’s Celebrated Raspberry Wheat, Butcherknife Brewing Co.’s Belgian specialty ale and Dry Dock Brewing’s Apricot Blonde, among many others.
Some in the crowd were locals; others had come to town specifically for the festival or had the good fortune to stumble across it. Philadelphia natives Molly O’Connor and Rick Howley were the latter. Out from the East Coast to visit friends in Colorado, the pair were wandering around Dillon when they ran into a friendly local named Ron. It turns out, that man was Ron Holland, mayor of Dillon, who encouraged them to stay for the festival. They extended their stay and made sure to make it to the festival.
“It was just so cool,” O’Connor said, of running into the mayor.
The excitement of the festival was undeniable, not only among the crowd but the gathered brewers as well.
“We love this festival,” said Tess McFadden of Boulder Beer. She said she makes sure to come to the Dillon festival each year. “This is a truly Colorado festival.”
Nate Johansing, master brewer at Butcherknife Brewing Co., was also enjoying himself.
“We’re new on the block, and here to support the craft industry,” he said. “Support” meant lots of time chatting with his fellow brewmasters.
Dan Roos, one of three brewers at Palisade Brewing Co., agreed with McFadden.
“It’s probably our favorite festival,” he said of the Dillon event. “It’s very chill.”
With beers in hand, bluegrass music in their ears and sun overhead, festivalgoers had plenty to smile about.
To see more photos, visit summitdaily.com.