Under a new moniker, the Lake Dillon Brew Festival brings suds from all over the state back to Marina Park in Dillon on Saturday.
“We wanted to broaden the scope of the type of music because the event should be focused on the beer, and it was more focused on the bluegrass,” said Molly Speer, event director of the Lake Dillon Brew Festival, formerly the Summit of Bluegrass and Blues. “We were having problems booking bluegrass music with the Telluride event happening the same weekend, so we wanted it to be more of a beer focus, rather than a music focus.”
The event features beer from more than 25 different breweries, plus live tunes Friday night and throughout the day and evening on Saturday. For $30, you can sample as many brews as you can get your hands on between 1 and 5 p.m. while listening to the musical stylings of Number 9 Coal, Hot Buttered Rum, the Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue and One Ton Pig. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Dillon Business Association and the Colorado Brewers Guild, a nonprofit association that advocates in the state Legislature on behalf of Colorado’s craft brewers.
Here’s a sampling of what a few of the breweries are bringing to the festival.
Echo Brewing Co.
Melissa Richards, owner of Echo Brewing Co. in Frederick, will be bringing two kegs of hoppy goodness to the festival.
“We’re bringing one keg of our Altbier, which is a German amber ale, and one keg of our Mirror Image IPA,” she said. “The Altbier has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 5.2 percent and 48 (International Bittering Units); it’s a crisp beer with complex, rich malt aromas, with a clean and assertive hop bitterness.”
“The Mirror Image has an ABV of 6.5 percent and 70 IBUs, and it has huge citrus, pine and floral aromas, with a light malt background to let the great hops shine.”
Richards said the festival is a chance to get the brewery’s name out, especially since Echo will be opening a second location in Erie in the fall.
“I’m looking forward to the chance to let people sample our beers and get together with the other breweries,” she said. “It’s a good time to let people see all of the great breweries in Colorado.”
Fate Brewing Co.
“We’re going to be serving our watermelon Kolsch and our Moirai IPA,” said Alyssa Lundgren, brand strategy manager at Fate Brewing Co. in Boulder.
The Moirai IPA comes in at 7 percent ABV and 70 IBUS.
“It’s got Summit, Chinook, Columbus, Cascade, El Dorado and Amarillo hops, so lots of citrusy and American hops, with flavors of tangerine and ruby red grapefruit,” Lundgren said. “It’s one of the most popular beers that we serve here at Fate.”
The Kolsch is a twist on a German-style Kolsch, light and clean with a crisp finish and a subtle lime flavor, Lundgren said.
“Kolsh-style ale is one of our core beers, and we’ve added watermelon puree from Columbia,” she said. “It’s super sessionable, really refreshing; we’re really proud of it.”
Renegade Brewing Co.
Denver’s Renegade Brewing Co. is bringing two light, flavorful summer beers to Dillon’s thirsty hordes. The first is 5:00 (pronounced Five O’clock), a beer that the brewery also packages for sale.
“It’s a light, summery session beer that’s made with pilsner malt, so it’s really crisp,” said Brian O’Connell, owner and founder of Renegade. “It’s hopped with Cascade and Fuggle, which are flavoring and aroma hops, so it has hoppy character without being bitter.”
The second beer is a summer seasonal called Alpha Maiden.
“We recently got a new head brewer; her name is Ali Benetka,” O’Connell said. “She’s the second female head brewer in Colorado, and this is the first beer that she’s put out as the head brewer for Renegade. It’s an American wheat that’s pretty hoppy, amber in color, with Citra hops in it for a bright and citrusy, summer beer with 6.7 percent alcohol. It’s not quite as sessionable, but still flavorful and light and good for summer.”
Strange Brewing Co.
Strange Brewing Co., one of the first nano breweries in the Denver area, just celebrated its third anniversary and is hauling three different beers to the Lake Dillon festival. The first is a maibock, a lager for the last waning moments of spring, said Tim Myers, head brewer at Strange. The brewery is also bringing along the Ipaphany IPA and the English-style Powerhouse Porter.
“We’ve got a nice, malty German lager in the maibock, a nice dry-hopped IPA with hop character for the hop heads and the porter is nice, easy drinking, not over the top syrupy or anything,” he said.
Other breweries attending the Lake Dillon Brew Fest include Big Choice Brewing, Backcountry Brewery, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge Brewery, Butcherknife Brewing Co., Carver Brewing Co., Denver Beer Co., Dillon Dam Brewery, Dry Dock Brewing, Durango Brewing Co., Eddyline Brewing, Elk Mountain Brewing, Gravity Brewing, Hogshead Brewery, Left Hand Brewing Co., Lone Tree Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing Co., Odell Brewing Co., Our Mutual Friend Malt and Brew, Oscar Blues Brewery, Palisade Brewing Co., Pug Ryan’s Brewery, River North Brewery, Ska Brewing Co., Trinity Brewing Co. and Wynkoop Brewing Co.