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Reinvented festival targets beer fans

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Past Event

Steamboat Springs Brewers' Festival

  • Saturday, September 22, 2007, noon to 4 p.m.
  • Torian Plum Plaza, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / $25 - $30

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Participating breweries

- Amicas (Salida)

- Boulder Beer Co. (Boulder)

- Bristol Brewing Co. (Colorado Springs)

- C.B. & Potts (Highlands Ranch, Denver)

- Coopersmith's Pub & Brewing (Fort Collins)

- Dillon Dam Brewery (Dillon)

- Estes Park Brewery (Estes Park)

- Flying Dog Brewery (Denver)

- Great Divide Brewery (Denver)

- Left Hand Brewery (Fort Collins)

- Odells Brewing (Fort Collins)

- Oskar Blues Brewery (Lyons)

- Palisade Brewery (Palisade)

- Rockyard Brewing Co. (Castle Rock)

- San Luis Valley Brewing (Alamosa)

- Ska Brewing Co. (Durango)

- Steamworks Brewing Co. (Durango)

- Wolf Rock Brewing Co. (Keystone)

— After a year's hiatus, the Steamboat Springs Brewers' Festival is a new event with a new image:

"It's not meant to be a guzzlefest. It's meant to be a beer tasting," event organizer Jody Anagnos said.

On Saturday, 18 brewers from across Colorado will come to Torian Plum Plaza to showcase their brews in what Anagnos hopes will be a tame, family-friendly environment. It will also be on a smaller scale, with each brewer asked to bring at least two kegs, instead of the previous four.

"My goal is for this to be a locals' event - I want locals to tell their friends about it and bring them in the for the week," she said, adding that children will be allowed for the first time and non-drinkers will be admitted for free.

Taking her cues from other beer tasting festivals, drinkers at this year's event will be limited to six, 5-ounce pilsner glasses, with admission tokens to keep track of the amount consumed. Additional tokens will be available for $1.50, and sharing tokens is allowed (sharing glasses is not).

Putting controls on how much each brewer can pour, and how much each ticket-holder will drink, is not uncommon for tasting events, said Heath Greenwald, of Palisade Brewery in western Colorado.

"For the most part, most of them do have a certain amount of controls. I've never seen one get out of hand, except for the Great American Beer Festival, which is a huge event," Greenwald said.

This will be Palisade's first year with the Steamboat Brewers' Festival - the brewery will showcase its Red Truck IPA and Farmer's Friend Irish-style Red Ale, and maybe one more that Greenwald is keeping a secret.

Although the allure of rows of kegs can draw heavy drinkers, Greenwald said a controlled event is better suited for beer lovers.

"I think they'll have a little more of a positive and cognizant awareness of tasting the beers. I'd say it'll attract people who want to taste," he said.

It's a completely different, means-instead-of-the-end style Anagnos sets apart from larger events such as the Great American Beer Festival or the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival.

"The people who want to go there want a completely different experience," Anagnos said.

Brian McEachron, from Steamworks Brewing Company in Durango, said his brewery will pour its award-winning Steam Engine Lager (an American-style amber) and Three Eye Pale Ale (a super-hopped, light copper beer) at the festival.

"It's just a fantastic fest," McEachron said of his brewery's four years with the Steamboat event. "It's very down to earth, very grassroots, and is always a pretty awesome crowd."

Of course, McEachron is talking about the old incarnation of the Brewers' Festival - how brewers will like the new one remains to be seen. Anagnos said she only went to one previous Brewers' Festival, in 2005, and wasn't pleased.

"A lot of people who used to go stopped going because it got really out of control," she said.

After getting to that event at 3 p.m., and seeing the kegs run dry 15 minutes later - something that was guarded against by supplying more kegs each year, only to have more people consume them - Anagnos, an avid beer drinker, decided to start a planning company, Blue Dog Events, and make the festival one she would want to go to.

"I want people to walk in and casually see from the beginning that this is a completely different event."

Comments

dimwitiguess 7 years, 3 months ago

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Is this a black-tie event? Probably the same awesome crowd won't be found this year. $25-30 to taste beer and love it? That's a buck an ounce if my math is right. Think I'll go to Sunpies or the Tap House or the Pub or Double Z or any number of places that sells 12-16 ounces for $2-3 bucks. Yeh, I'll invite my friends up for the week and we'll sit around and look forward to the beer tasting on the mountain. Able to buy more tokens for a buck 50? I thought we were limiting the drink. Sounds like a money making decision to me. This article and idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But then again, I'm just a dimwitiguess.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 3 months ago

Wine tasters will frequently buy a case or more. Beer tasters don't buy squat. I have to wonder how many future sales are generated by this kind of exposure.

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corduroy 7 years, 3 months ago

Ahh the days of Brewfest, getting wayy too sloshed for $20 :) Damn that was fun

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ijustlookhi 7 years, 2 months ago

yea could be a good event (it was fun a few times back in the day) if handled properly...just blows me away at how clueless some event promoters are!

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