Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Colorado Brewer's Festival

This is just a quick note after returning from the 20th annual Colorado Brewer's Festival (CBF) in Fort Collins. Every year a group of friends and I make the one hour journey north from Denver to the CBF. I have not missed one since 1992. It is always a great time with good food, fun bands, interesting people watching, and of course great Colorado beer! The organizers marketed this year's event with "Brewfest XX" posters that resembled Dos Equis labels. Despite the symbolism, only Colorado beers are allowed. There were over 50 beers on tap split between three serving tent areas at the end of what is basically a large cross (Linden and Walnut Streets) in the blocked-off old town Fort Collins. The remaining end of the cross is the center of old town where local bands perform through out the day.

Each year the crowd seems to grow, and this year was no exception. The CBF takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the last full weekend of June each year from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Already at noon long lines had formed to enter the event. (ID check and token purchase) Beer lines are pretty reasonable until the final two hours where they can grow to 15 minutes or so. It has helped that the event doubled tent space by using both sides of the beer cooling semis, and they no longer allow half pours, but with more and more people attending each year, it can still get crowded. A couple years ago the CBF started allowing breweries to offer two beers (previously just one was allowed), and most breweries now do offer two. Most serve a summer beer as their primary (Pils, Weissbier, Golden Ale, etc.), but the second offering allows them to offer a flagship, or something unique and/or darker.
The CBF is definitely a daytime event, but we always book a couple rooms and make a day out of it. The streets of downtown Fort Collins are always alive on this weekend, and there are plenty of bars to chill at after a long hot day, and plenty of dance clubs to visit if that is what one likes. After the bars close, and before the one mile walk back to our hotel, we usually hit the Gyros vendor on the corner of Mountain and College for a snack to enjoy on the much needed walk.

If you live in Colorado, I'd say visiting the CBF is a must! If you live out of the state I'd recommend a late June visit to take it in. It is a well organized event, and always a great time!
I've included just a couple of pictures. One is of Les and his custom Montana made "Stetson" Miller Lite cowboy hat. Next year he says he'll bring a stack of them to sell to the 50 or so people that wanted to buy one off of him!

1 comment:

  1. CBF looked like a grand time with everyone letting the good times roll with the young man strutting his stuff in his "Montana Stetson". :-)