Thursday, September 15, 2005
Don't put too fine a point on it. The annual Steamboat Mountain Brewfest is about beer, and lots of it.
When attendees slap down $20 for an advance ticket or $25 at the gate, they want to get their money's worth. That means trying beers from as many of the 25 brewers as is possible in a 5 1/2-hour period.
This weekend marks the 15th year for Brewfest -- the last party of the summer.
A few breweries have attended the event every year since its inception, including Breckenridge Brewery, Dillon Dam Brewery, New Belgium Brewery and the Great Divide Brewing Co. There also will be a few new breweries in town this year, such as Kona Brewing Company from Hawaii and Southern California's Stone Brewing Co.
But locals do as locals do, and every year, they wander toward their old favorite, Mahogany Ridge Brewery, for a familiar draft of Alpenglow and the year's last keg of Charlie's Cherry.
Each brewery is asked to bring a minimum of four kegs, and it all gets drank. Steamboat Springs residents can put back some beer.
"Newbies that come and only bring two kegs find out real quick that they're out," Brewfest organizer Jolene Esswein said.
Although Brewfest falls on the same day as Telluride Brews and Blues, many brewers still choose to come to Steamboat.
"They save themselves for us, because it's such a great event," Esswein said.
Proceeds from Brewfest go to the Mountain Business Association for improvements to the base area and Ski Time Square.