New Summit County collaboration barleywine to raise money for rescue group |

New Summit County collaboration barleywine to raise money for rescue group

Jessica Smith
Brewmasters and brewing assistants from Summit County's six craft breweries gathered together in early December to brew their second collaboration beer, a barleywine.
Jessica Smith / |

If You GO

What: Brewers Rock for Rescue

When: Saturday Jan. 24, 5-9 p.m.

Where: Silverthorne Pavilion, 400 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door

More information: Tickets can be purchased in person or by phone at the Silverthorne Recreation Center (970) 262-7370

The first time they came together, they created the Summit Dark and Stormy, a smooth black saison that featured Colorado ingredients from cherries to spruce tips. Now, Summit County’s brewmasters are at it again. The minds behind the six local craft breweries — Backcountry Brewery, Bakers’ Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, Broken Compass Brewing, Dillon Dam Brewery and Pug Ryan’s Brewing Co. — have created their second collaboration beer.


The first time around, Broken Compass co-founder and brewmaster Jason Ford likened the experience of gathering brewers together to “herding cats.” This second gathering seemed to go a bit more smoothly.

“I feel more relaxed,” confessed Jimmy Walker, head brewer at Breckenridge Brewery.

The decision on the style of beer was decided through exchanged suggestions on an email thread that the brewers estimated to be several hundred messages long. In the end, they agreed to embrace the barleywine style.

Barleywines are top-fermented ales with high alcohol levels. They are darker in color, and flavors range from malty sweet, somewhat fruity to varying levels of bitter, depending on the ingredients.

The collaboration barleywine features several types of malts, including caramel malts, nutty Munich malts and a “Special B” Belgian malt, which, according to Cory Forster of the Bakers’ Brewery, “is kind of a caramel raisin flavor” with hints of toffee. Other ingredients include chopped up dates and figs, and some Mosaic hops, which bring in a tropical fruity flavor, with hints of citrus, pineapple and passionfruit, among others.

“We went a little aggressive on the hops, but not to the point where it’s going to be like an IPA, to balance out the sweetness of the caramel malts and the dried fruits,” said Forster. “So there’ll be some richness but with a nice hop balance to it.”

Thirty kegs of the barleywine were split up among the six brewers. While some of the beer will be whiskey barrel aged and poured at the Collaboration Festival in Denver this March, the rest will be available at each of the breweries. However, the brew will make its public debut this Saturday at the Brewers Rock for Rescue event in Silverthorne.


Brewers Rock for Rescue is a combination live music show, beer tasting, silent auction and general good time that also generates funds for the Summit County Rescue Group. The SCRG is a local nonprofit organization made up entirely of volunteers who support the sheriff’s office with backcountry search-and-rescue operations.

“All proceeds, all profits of the beer fest and all proceeds from the silent auction and the collaboration and food sales are all going to Summit County Search and Rescue,” said Forster.

The event will take place at the Silverthorne Pavilion, where two live bands will perform. The members of Denver-based Oakhurst describe themselves as “Rocky Mountain guerrilla grass,” meaning a mix of rock and roll and bluegrass. The night’s headliner, Eufórquestra, comes out of Fort Collins and offers “modern funk and roots with vintage soul,” according to their Facebook page.

“It’s kind of a groove, jam, funk and soul,” said Forster. “It’s great dance music. It just makes you want to get up and boogie.”

More than 20 regional craft breweries, including Summit’s six local breweries, will be present at the festival, offering tastes of their various brews.

The collaboration barleywine, dubbed Safety Meeting Barleywine, will be poured in a side room that also holds the silent auction.

“Part of the naming of the Safety Meeting Barleywine was, ‘Hey, go have a safety meeting and check out the silent auction for Summit County Search and Rescue,’” said Forster.

Among the silent auction items are backpacks, trekking poles, gloves and goggles, skis and three snowboards, one each donated by Unity, Venture and Neversummer.

The fundraiser is similar to one that Forster started when he was with the Wolf Rock Brewery in Keystone called Rock for Rescue. That event featured punk and metal music, while also raising money for the SCRG.

“I am an active Summit County adventure seeker,” said Forster, when asked why he chose the SCRG as the beneficiary for the fundraiser. “All four seasons, kayaking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, backcountry, you know, you name it, I’ve done it, I’m into it. And so when I found out that the Summit County Search and Rescue Group has virtually no funding whatsoever, it’s all volunteer, they even have to buy their own equipment, it was pretty easy for me to choose them as my favorite.”

Tickets for the festival cost $25 in advance, $35 at the door and can be bought at the Silverthorne Recreation Center.

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