Enjoy the 13th annual Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival on Saturday
IF YOU GO
What: 13th annual Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival
When: Saturday, April 6, from noon to 5 p.m.
Where: Main Street Station and the Village at Breckenridge
Cost: $35 for unlimited tastings or for being a VIP designated driver and $75 for regular VIP. Prices increase the day of. Visit Spring.BreckenridgeBeerFestival.com to purchase and for the full schedule.
With temperatures consistently above freezing, it’s safe to say that spring is in the air. To celebrate the soft snow and sunny skies, Breckenridge is throwing their 13th annual spring beer festival. Guests will have the chance to sample from over 35 breweries, enjoy live music and chow down on tasty food.
“Maybe the wife skis or the kids ski and the parents, they don’t, or whatever the situation is, it gives the non-skiers another option,” said Lori McLean, director of operations and marketing for festival organizer Radiate Live Events. “But also, if they are skiers, they kind of plan their day where they go skiing, come down the mountain and enjoy the beer festival the rest of the afternoon.”
For those either not drinking or wanting to do more than quaff brews, there will be the opportunity to participate in karaoke and rock out to two Colorado-based bands at the plazas at Main Street Station and the Village at Breckenridge. Festivalgoers are encouraged to dress up in ’80s or ’90s outfits while listening to ’80s cover band opener The Champions and headliner Funkiphino. However, McLean cautioned that they should also dress for the weather since the High Country can be unpredictable in the spring.
Once again, this year will see Sauce on the Maggie host the exclusive VIP area featuring tastings from Breckenridge Distillery and a catered lunch. Expert cicerones — essentially the beer version of a sommelier — created a pairing menu and will be available to answer any questions.
According to the website, free-range Colorado rotisserie chicken and peppered gravy, crispy Brussels sprouts with Parmesan and lemon garlic aioli and meatballs with housemade marinara are all part of the VIP menu.
VIP ticket holders can also enter the event 15 minutes early, at 11:45 a.m., while those who bought tickets online can enter at noon, an hour before the general public. Proceeds for all ticket sales benefit local Breckenridge nonprofit The Cycle Effect, which empowers young women through mountain biking.
If tickets happen to sell out, Radiate Live Events also hosts three other summer beer festivals in Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and Winter Park.
Regular, non-VIP food vendors include Andy’s Kitchen, Ricky’s Island Café, Myla Rose Saloon, Nicky’s Quickie and Styria Bakery. There will also be various retail stands like Climax Jerky, Breckenridge Hemp Company and Lake Dillon Theatre Company.
What to drink
Breweries from all over Colorado and the country such as New Image Brewing, Fate Brewing Company, Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Kyla Hard Kombucha pour their godly nectar. “We don’t really try to exclude anybody,” McLean said. “If breweries are selling their beer in Colorado, we want them to be a part of it.”
However, here are a handful of beers to look out for.
Along with their standard Crank Yanker IPA and Grapefruit Yanker IPA, Buena Vista’s Eddyline Brewery will bring their easy-going 4.5% alcohol by volume Raspberry Wheat and the seasonal double dry-hopped IPA, Summer in the Citra.
Crested Butte’s 2-year-old Irwin Brewery will have five different beers to try. On the lighter side there are the Local Pride pilsner, AlpenLager märzen and the Endless Fresh tropical and hazy IPA. For the more adventurous drinkers there are the Spellbound oatmeal stout and the Rain Shadow, a casked red IPA that has flavors of sticky pine, lightly toasted pumpernickel bread and a bitter bergamot orange finish.
Funky Town Brewery from Florissant will showcase their staple Groovy Golden Ale that’s described as fruity, malty and creamy. On the darker side they’ll also have their Shaggin Wagon Scottish Ale that’s malt-forward and chocolaty but still light-bodied.
Making the trip from Kansas City, Missouri, Boulevard Brewing Company will have the honey-sweet and herbal American Kolsch, the refreshing Ginger Lemon Radler and the juicy Space Camper Cosmic IPA.
Available only in the VIP tent, Boulevard will also bring their aged Whiskey Barrel Stout. Clocking in at 11.8% ABV, the full-bodied beer has strong flavors of vanilla, espresso, chocolate and whiskey.
Left Hand Brewing from Longmont is renowned for their Milk Stout on nitrogen, but to stay with the spring theme the brewery is bucking the trend. Attendees will instead see their newest beer, Flamingo Dream Nitro. The pink beer bursts with blackcurrant and raspberry flavors. More traditionally, Left Hand will also serve up their local-only Colorful Colorado pale ale brewed with Rocky Mountain water.
Just down the road in Eagle, Bonfire Brewing comes over the pass to pour their light and tart Aprescot Blonde and Honey Lavender Kolsch, an embodiment of the season. Meanwhile, hop heads can enjoy their WTFO, a double IPA brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops that weighs in at 8.5% ABV.
Likewise, fans of Edward’s Crazy Mountain Brewery Company will be happy to see the brewery’s amber, pilsner and Shane McConkey IPA, named after the pioneer of freeskiing.
Last, but certainly not least, Summit County’s own Pug Ryan’s Brewing Company will be on-site with Peacepipe Pilsner and Never Say Never Sour. The refreshing, low ABV beers are a stellar way to end a spring day.
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