What’s pouring at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s annual Festival of the Brewpubs

Summit Suds: Beer news, reviews, recipes and more

People look out over the base area at 2019’s Festival of the Brewpubs at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. This year’s festival will have six local breweries and two others from the Front Range.
Photo by Ian Zinner / Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

It’s been about a year and a half since I’ve attended a beer festival and I miss the experience of exploring new flavors and the sense of camaraderie they bring. Thankfully, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s Festival of the Brewpubs returns to the Continental Divide this weekend.

Traditionally a spring skiing event, the festival started 20 years ago and is one of the ski area’s most popular. Though later in the year than normal, people can still take part in the fun from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 31. Tickets cost $35 and include a souvenir tasting cup and unlimited pours.

The event also has fresh burgers and brats in addition to live music by Hobo Village. The 6th Alley Bar and Grill is open if you want to sate your appetite in the morning, as well. Enjoy a breakfast burrito or stuffed French toast at brunch before drinking beer at the festival.

The festival isn’t the only thing happening that day either. You can watch athletes in the Reverse Enduro mountain bike race climb 1,500 vertical feet over 3 miles and then descend from the comfort of the base area. Feeling active yourself? Then check out the aerial adventure park, take a scenic ride, or go on a hike to take in the gorgeous views of the East Wall.

“If you want, you can spend the whole day up here,” A-Basin spokesperson Katherine Fuller said. “We actually have a lot more to do this year than we’ve ever had. It’s the first year being open seven days a week in the summer.”

Though the beer menu is subject to change, here is what the breweries are currently planning to pour.

Outer Range Brewing Co.

Frisco’s Outer Range Brewing Co. is bringing two different beers to cater to different of tastes. The first is High Peak, a 5.2% alcohol-by-volume Pilsner for easy drinking, while the other is the 7.2% ABV double-dry hopped Steezy India pale ale.

Angry James Brewing Co.

Silverthorne’s Angry James Brewing Co. is going for a similar combination. Attendees can start with Jake’s Pils, a 4.8% traditional German Pilsner that’s crisp and clean. The sampling is rounded out with the West Coast-style 7% Tricentric IPA that’s brewed with Centennial, Cascade and Citra Hops.

The Bakers’ Brewery

The Bakers’ Brewery is bringing four different beers — the most of any breweries at the festival. People can expect to find the classics like the malty, 4.7% Barking Dog Brown and the 6.9% Elated IPA that straddles old and new school. Then there’s the Party Pils that has been lagered for two months to balance flavors at 5.2%, and the wild and new Tropical Dance Tripel. The 7.5% beer combines double dry-hopped New England-style IPAs that has fruity flavors from Zamba hops with the light and dry finish of a Belgian tripel.

Steep Brewing & Coffee Co.

The newest brewery in Summit County is bringing two of its latest offerings. The 5.3% Coconut Coffee Porter was made with 30 pounds of coconut and the roaster’s homemade cold brew. Hop-lovers should make note to taste double Hopocalypse Now IPA. It was created with four different hops, 10 different hop additions and comes out to 7.4% ABV.

Pug Ryan’s Brewery

More malt can be found at the tent for Pug Ryan’s Brewery. It’ll be pouring its traditional Helles blonde bock and the amber Mexican lager Cerveza Rubia. The beers are 6.9% and 5.2% ABV, respectively.

HighSide Brewing

Frisco’s HighSide Brewing will be tapping the Pro-Czech Ya Neck Pilsner that balances malt sweetness and hop bitterness at 4.6% ABV. Additionally, it will also have the Trip Leader, a 6.9% IPA that has aromas of pine, grapefruit and hints of tropical fruit.

New Belgium Brewing Co. and Denver Beer Co.

Local breweries won’t be the only ones present on Saturday. New Belgium Brewing Co. from Fort Collins will be bringing its Dominga, a 6% mimosa sour ale, along with the 4.4% Mountain Time lager. Meanwhile, Denver Beer Co. will showcase the 6.5% Juicy Freak IPA and the tart 4.8% Princess Yum Yum raspberry kolsch.

If you’re craving more beer after the festival, mark your calendar for A-Basin’s beer pairing dinners. New Belgium will be featured on Friday, Aug. 6, while Avery Brewing Co. is highlighted on Friday, Sept. 3. Each run from 6-9 p.m. at the 6th Alley bar and Grill. Dinners cost $65 and can be booked at, the same place to get Festival of the Brewpubs tickets.

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