Top Summer Beer Festivals in Summit County, Colorado
Summertime Sipping: Summit County’s Beer-Centric Events
There are few things more magical than summer in Colorado’s High Country with its perfect temperatures, plethora of outdoor activities and multitude of opportunities to toast this perfection with the state’s most favorite beverage: beer.
In Summit County, Colorado, there are six local breweries that are serving up tasty brews from Breckenridge to Silverthorne, each with its own unique personality and flavor. From porters to pilsners to pale ales, it’s possible to experience a wide spectrum of styles without leaving the county, which is a worthy quest to undertake. Jump on a bike, and you can visit all six breweries in one fell swoop.
There’s nothing quite like sampling each brewery’s offerings from its origin. Belly up to the bar at Broken Compass in Breckenridge and learn more about the rum barrel-aged Coconut Porter. Or visit The Bakers’ Brewery in Silverthorne for one of their brand new beers, like the French Silk Stout or stop by Pug Ryan’s for a Deadeye Dunkel; if the Tiki Bar is open, it’s one of the best places for a pint in the county.
While going straight to the source is one of life’s great pleasures, there’s another hallmark of summer that is close to every beer-lover’s heart: a beer festival. Combining the joy of tasting beer with icing-on-the-cake elements like live music, food and fellowship in a spectacular outdoor venue, beer festivals are like the camping hammock for your summer plans: They’re not necessary, but they make every weekend better.
Summit County plays host to several beer-centric festivals during the summer, so no matter what your schedule might be, you’re sure to be able to enjoy at least one.
June 21, 2015
Start off your summer with the Lake Dillon Brew Festival, which takes place on June 21 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. on the shores of Lake Dillon at the Dillon Marina Park. Featuring beers from more than 25 Colorado breweries, the party truly starts on Friday night with live music and an after-party at Pug Ryan’s. On Saturday, guests will be able to sip and sample by the lake.
“We’re really excited to be able to be a part of that because it’s one of the best community brew fests in Summit County,” said Stephanie Sadler of The Bakers Brewery. “It’s a smaller festival, and the view and the music is fantastic.”
A truly local event, all six Summit County breweries will be in attendance, along with breweries from Durango to Denver. Live music from bands like Whitewater Ramble and Local Folk round out the experience. Tickets are $30 per person for the brew tasting and $5 for entry only.
August 1 – 2, 2015
August is truly beer-fest season in Summit County, starting with one of the longest running beer festivals in the state — the 19th Annual Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival on August 1 – 2 in Keystone. While “bluegrass” might come first in the name, “beer” is just as important, with more than 30 craft breweries tapping their kegs for your tasting pleasure. Taking place over two days, you can buy a one-day beer glass pass for $40 in advance or enjoy two days of unlimited tasting for $75 in advance. Brewery tents are packed into every nook and cranny of the village during the event, with local breweries like Broken Compass sharing space with big boys like New Belgium.
August 29, 2015
At the end of the month, one of the largest beer festivals will take place in Breckenridge on August 29. The 10th Annual Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival rolls into Beaver Run Resort from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., allowing guests to try beers from more than 40 breweries, including local favorites like Breckenridge Brewery. With food vendors and live music rounding out the party, the Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival is one of the most popular beer festivals in town; as it’s the tenth anniversary, expect some additional surprises to take place this year. Enjoy unlimited tastings for $27.50 pre-sale, or spring for VIP status for $67.50 and enjoy full-sized and limited-edition beers, as well as lunch. This event sells out, so be sure to get your tickets early.
August 29, 2015
Not sure you’re into sampling that much beer? Maybe cider is more up your alley. Taking place on the same day, August 29, the Colorado Cider and Beer Circus is coming to Copper. With more than 75 craft ciders and craft beers available for tasting, this event is, literally, a circus (Most other events are just a figurative circus). With entertainers like jugglers, mimes, clowns and acrobats to entertain you while you imbibe and a performance by the incomparable March Fourth, the Colorado Cider and Beer Circus is a unique addition to the Summit County event lineup. Tickets start at $35 and will go up to $40 on July 1. VIP tickets are available for $60 and will increase to $65 on July 1.
These are major beer festivals that are taking place in Summit County this summer. For additional merriment and beer-centric frivolity complete with oompah bands and dirndls, don’t miss Keystone’s Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 5 and Breckenridge’s Oktoberfest the following weekend, Sept. 11 -13, 2015.
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