Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Jul 3, 2014
Freddie Kitson

London Beer Festival Round-Up: July 2014

London Vegan Beer Fest

For some reason there’s a liver-punishingly dense concentration of beer festivals taking place in London this week, followed by a much more relaxed schedule for the remainder of the month. Here are the highlights; as always let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything.

2-5 July: Ealing Beer Festival

Threatening somewhere in the region of 300 real ales, 30 ciders and perries, and an impressive range of European bottled beers, this is one of London’s largest annual beer festivals. From midday tomorrow until the beer runs out on Saturday, £4 (or £2 for CAMRA members) will allow you one day’s entry to the site in the middle of Walpole Park, and a further £3 will get you an all-important festival glass with which to consume the “reasonably” priced drinks. Satisfyingly unpretentious foodstuffs of the pie/sausage/curry/hog variety will be available, and a special ‘Beer and Cheese Tasting’ (requiring a separate ticket) will take place at 5pm tomorrow, with cheeses provided by Ealing’s local Cheddar Deli shop. See the festival’s website for more details.

3 July: City Beerfest

The impressive surroundings of Guildhall Yard host what must be one of the briefest open-air beer festivals in London, running from 3:30pm to 9pm on Thursday 3 July. Many of the beers are supplied by well-established large breweries (Fuller’s, Marston’s, Wells Young’s, Greene King, etc.), so attendees are unlikely to encounter any great palate-challengers, although the list does include some dependably decent ales. Entry is free, but you can buy beer tokens in advance to beat the queues.

3-6 July: The White Horse American Beer Festival

Another welcome annual fixture sees Parson Green’s excellent beer-focused pub, The White Horse (a.k.a. the ‘Sloaney Pony’), conducting a celebration of beers from, or in the style of, US craft brewers in their American Beer Festival (PDF). As always the festival is timed to coincide with Independence Day, and if previous years are anything to go by, it should deliver some excellent examples of contemporary stateside brewing. Warn your wallet though: some of those imported transatlantic brews are every bit as expensive as they are supercharged with hops and alcohol.

4-5 July: The Gun “Independents” Day Beer and BBQ Festival

Notable Docklands gastro-pub and beer haven, The Gun, has gone one step further with the July 4th theme, punning on the independence of their featured brewers, while promising an assortment of Americana with beers, food and music all taking a transatlantic tinge. The confirmed beer list, while not huge, appears well-judged and well-balanced, and the views from the Thameside pub should also deliver satisfaction.

4-5 July: Cuddington Beer Festival

Expect a local atmosphere at this Worcester Park scout group-organised beer festival, which runs in three four-hour sessions from Friday evening to Saturday evening. More than 30 real ales and ciders should be available, with advance tickets available for £5 online or from a couple of local retailers. It looks like the venue is a bit of a trek from the nearest stations, so the festival organisers have laid on a free coach service.

4-5 July: Hersham Festival

Further into Surrey (but still within the M25) is another beer festival associated with a local scout group. The annual Hersham Festival offers not just an appealing selection of beer, cider and perry, but also live comedy from Arthur Smith, Romesh Ranganathan and others, as well as live music from several local bands. The cheaper early-bird tickets have all sold out, but some non-discounted ones are still available (from £17.60 upwards).

12 July: London Vegan Beer Fest

Back for a second year, this one-day event in Bethnal Green celebrates a love of beer made without animal-derived ingredients. In many cases this beer will be slightly hazy, as the ‘finings’ used to clarify most beers are often made from isinglass or eggs, but this shouldn’t put you off, especially as unfined beers have become more popular recently (regardless of their vegan-friendliness). The rather pretty brochure (PDF) promises beer from seven small UK brewers, as well as vegan food, live music, and charity karaoke; advance tickets for the latter part of the day are still available for £8.

24-27 July: Wandsworth Common Summer Beer Festival

This latest beer festival at the magnificent Le Gothique venue sees the London Brewers Alliance promoting the capital’s burgeoning brewing scene by showcasing somewhere in the region of 120 different beers from London-based brewers. Advanced booking is mandatory (there will be no tickets on the door) and in most cases entry costs £10 – although the £25 entry fee for the preview night on the Thursday includes “all you can drink” beer from cask and keg.

If you’re a lover of beer or pubs, why not buy the Londonist book of London pub crawls for less than the price of a pint.

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Jun 30, 2014
Freddie Kitson

On Tap: NYC Craft Beer Festival Summer International – The Star

In New Jersey and the tri-state area, there’s a beer festival of some sort just about every weekend. While we can’t highlight all of them (although we’ve compiled a list of the summer beer festivals here, and we’ll update as we get word of new events), we do try to highlight new ones, big ones, and special ones.

Over the past two decades, the craft beer scene in New York has grown, and New York is now home to some of the coolest craft beer bars in the country (see the Blind Tiger, Barcade, Rattle N Hum, Jimmy’s No. 43, the Pony Bar, the Beer Bar, New York Beer Co., etc). So it should come as no surprise that the city is now host to one of the coolest craft beer fests, too.

This year, the NYC Craft Beer Festival returns to New York on June 20th and 21st, at the Lexington Avenue Armory (68 Lexington Ave). After sifting through surveys following recent events, this year’s festival will showcase international beers, as people consistently highlight the fact that the craft beer explosion is happening worldwide, not just in in the United States. It’s also representative of the fact the New York City has become a city where beers from all around the world have become readily available.

And of course, in addition to the international brewers like Westmalle, Reissdorf, Hofbrauhaus, Fuller’s, Monchshof, Porterhouse, Wells Young’s, Ohara’s, Urthel, Faffel, and others, the American selection will be fairly extensive, including breweries like Defiant, Blue Mountain, Breckenridge, Long Ireland, Ommegang, Bronx Brewery, Abita, Greenport Harbor, Port City, Cricket Hill, Perennial, Speakeasy, Oyster Bay, Two Brothers, City island, Wandering Star, River Horse, Steadfast, and Maine Beer Co., in addition to the usual players.

In total, over 75 brewers will be bringing more than 150 beers.

This year, the Festival is partnering with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. For every ticket sold, one dollar will go directly towards LLS’ mission of fighting blood cancers. LLS staff and volunteers will also be at the festival to raise awareness of the LLS’ mission.

This year’s festival will feature three sessions. The first session is Friday, June 20th, from 8-10:30pm (VIP Connoisseur starts at 7pm). Saturday’s first session is from 2-4:30pm, and the second session is from 7-9:30pm, with VIP Connoisseur tickets starting an hour early.

And of course, some local NYC food will be on hand as well.

For more information or to get your tickets in advance ($55 for GA, $75 for VIP, $110 for Connoisseur), visit the festivals website.

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Jun 30, 2014
Freddie Kitson

8 Summer Beer Festivals Across the US

Summer is for beer drinking, pool sitting and overall relaxing. Attending a beer festival knocks out two of the aforementioned activities. You don’t have to be a craft beer connoisseur to enjoy beer festivals, either. Any event involving drinking beer, eating pretzels from a necklace and listening to music with friends is bound to be a good time. If you’re still planning a summer vacation, consider visiting these 8 cities with beer festivals.

Beer Camp Across America, Chico, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Denver, Colo., Chicago, Ill., Portland, Maine, Philadelphia, Penn., Mills River, N.C.: This unique festival travels all over the United States featuring regional breweries. Choose the camp closest to you, or daringly follow the caravan across the nation and try beers from every region. Check the website for ticket information.

Key West Brewfest, Key West, Fla.: Beach, beer and brunch make for a pretty good setup. This festival is easy to incorporate into summer plans since it takes place in Key West, Fla. on Labor Day weekend, lasting an activity-packed four days. With fresh fish and an ocean view, not much could go wrong here. Tickets go on sale July 1, so mark your calendars! Ticket information available here.

Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland, Ore.: Take a trip to the cooler part of the country — the Pacific Northwest — for another waterfront beer festival. This year marks the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival and, get this, admission is FREE! The festivities begin on July 23 and end July 27. Surely, that’s enough time to sample a beer or two from over 80 craft breweries, right? Get admission details here.

Seven Sisters Craft Beer and Music Festival, San Luis Obispo, Calif.: Since you’ll already be out West, how about taking a little trip down to California? Seven Sisters is a 3-day (July 11-13) beer and music extravaganza. Luckily, for those of you who just can’t fathom leaving the grounds for even a day, camping is available on-site. The festival also offers outdoor activities like yoga, hiking, mountain biking and golf. Get ticket information here.

Great Taste of the Midwest, Madison, Wis.: For the 28th year in a row, this popular beer festival offers over 150 craft breweries, live music and local food vendors. Attendees are welcome to bring chairs and blankets to set up on the park lawn. Tickets are unfortunately sold out, but start planning for next year!

Summer Brew Fest, Denver, Colo.: What began as a small craft beer gathering is now an annual tradition in Denver. The Summer Brew Fest hosts 76 craft brewers from all over the U.S. and benefits Swallow Hill Music, which offers instruction and performance of musical arts. Oh, there are also a photo booth, turkey legs and pretzels galore. Get ticket information here.

American Beer Classic, Washington, D.C.: The aptly named American Beer Classic takes place in the nation’s capital on July 12 at RFK Stadium. Like the other festivals, food and entertainment are available, but, in true American democratic style, there is a people’s choice competition to vote for your favorite beer. The winner earns MVB (Most Valuable Brew). This beer festival only lasts for a day, leaving time to explore the rest of the history-rich city. Ticket information available here.

Music City Brewer’s Festival, Nashville, Tenn.: If your vacation destination is down south, check out Nashville’s beer festival. With a healthy lineup of breweries and prime location in the heart of downtown, this one is sure to keep you entertained. Nashville’s emerging food scene means plenty of late-night snacking options. Get tickets here before the festival begins on July 19.

See how to make your own hard cider here

Host a beer tasting party

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Jun 29, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Festivals offer something for everyone

Looking for something fun to do? You don’t have to look far. The Pine Belt’s calendar is packed virtually year-round with fairs, festivals and special events for all ages.

FestivalSouth ranks as the largest event, tying together a variety of free and ticketed arts events, ranging from art shows to theatrical performance, over two weeks each June.

Craft beer festivals also are luring aficionados of the golden beverage to downtown Hattiesburg, where two small breweries are located. The second annual Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival was held in April at the Hattiesburg Train Depot.

Other events include:

• HUBFEST, a spring event in downtown Hattiesburg that includes live entertainment on four stages, arts and crafts and food booths, a Children’s Village and a juried arts competition.

• Petal Fall Festival, held each fall at Hinton Park in Petal. The free music festival showcases local and regional artists. There is also an antique car show, a Children’s Village and vendors selling arts and crafts and food and beverages.

• Eaglepalooza, a street music festival held each spring in downtown Hattiesburg. It is sponsored by the Student Government Association at the University of Southern Mississippi, and has brought in such big-time musical acts as Train, Gavin DeGraw, Sister Hazel, Phillip Phillips and Better Than Ezra.

• Live At 5, a weekly concert series held at Town Square Park in downtown Hattiesburg each Friday in April and October. The concerts feature a diversity of musical styles including Cajun, Celtic, Latin and the blues.

• Brown Bag Concerts, which are sponsored at noon each Thursday in October at the fountain behind City Hall by the Hattiesburg Arts Council. A variety of musical styles is featured, and brown bag lunches are available for purchase, or you can bring your own.

• The annual St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church’s Irish-Italian Festival, which is held around St. Patrick’s Day each March at the church on Fourth Street in Hattiesburg. The festival honors the congregation’s predominantly Irish and Italian heritage with music, food, a 5K run and a parade. There’s also a Celtic-style Mass.

• Zoo Blues music festival and ZooBoo (Halloween), which are held each year at Kamper Park to raise money for improvements to the Hattiesburg Zoo. In December, visitors can enjoy the Holly Jolly Animal Show and holiday lights. The events are sponsored by the Hattiesburg Zoological Society.

• Redneck Fest is held around December in Baxterville. Events featured a chili cook-off, Miss Redneck Pageant, turkey-calling contest, booths and vendors.

• Juneteenth is held the third Saturday of June to commemorate the day when slaves in Texas found out about the Emancipation Proclamation. There is a parade and festival at Vernon Dahmer Park. Activities include a car show, softball tournament, music, food and arts and crafts booths.

• Poplarville holds its annual Blueberry Jubilee each June.

• Mississippi Pecan Festival is held in a pecan orchard on Wingate Road in Perry County each September. Events include a quilt show, fiddling contest, beauty pageant, old-time craft demonstrations like dulcimer and knife making, and bluegrass and gospel music.

• Art Walks are held by the downtown art galleries in the spring, fall and holiday seasons, although the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association is in the process of rebooting the popular event.

• Mobile Street Renaissance Festival is held each October to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Mobile Street community in downtown Hattiesburg. Events include gospel and blues music stages, Hub City Future Champs Boxing Event, art show, barbecue cook-off, children’s village, and arts, crafts and food booths.

• Pine Belt Farmers and Artisan Market is held from 3-6 p.m. each Thursday from April to October at Town Square Park. Local farmers and artisans set up stands where they sell seasonal produce, goat’s milk and cheese, local honey, bread, jewelry and artwork.

• South Mississippi Fair, one of the state’s largest fairs, is held each October at the Magnolia Center in Laurel. The South Mississippi Fair has rides, games, music and food.

• The Mother’s Day Blues Festival, which is held at the Laurel Fairgrounds, has featured stars such as Bobby “Blue” Bland.

• Blues Bash is held each June on the grounds of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel. Past performers have included The Beale Street Blues Band and James “Super Chicken” Johnson.

• Lonesome Pines Memorial Red Cross Bluegrass Festival features nationally-renowned bluegrass artists twice a year near Laurel. Past artists have included the Osborne Brothers and The Tennessee Gentlemen.

• B95 Colgate Country Showdown Magnolia Festival is held each June in Laurel. It is considered to be one of America’s largest talent searches, and events include a country music showdown.

• Students at USM’s South City Records hosted their second annual SCR Music Fest in April at the Keg and Barrel.

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Jun 28, 2014
Freddie Kitson

The Colorado Brewers Festival in Fort Collins celebrates 25 years with some …

COBF1.jpgColorado Brewers FestivalLike many beer fests, the Colorado Brewers Festival was a victim of its own success.

Inspired by the Oregon Brewers Festival, it was founded in 1990, at a time when there were only nine breweries in Colorado and even fewer beer gatherings. Over the years, the event — one of only five U.S. beer festivals that has now been around for a least a quarter century — grew steadily until it was forced to move several years ago to Fort Collins’s Civic Center Park. But it has also suffered other growing pains, like long lines, complaints about the pricing structure, competing events, and a rash of drunks.

Which is why, in its 25th year, the CBF, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, has made several significant changes, says spokesman Marty Jones.

See also: Renegade, Front Range and the Colorado Brewers Festival celebrate anniversaries

COBF.jpgColorado Brewers Festival“They really want to keep drawing people and keep it interesting. I don’t know if I’ve seen a festival implement so many changes at one time before,” he explains.

Some of the changes include:

The Summit, presented by the Colorado Brewers Guild, is a brand-new feature where attendees can hang out with the brewers themselves and sample twenty rotating kegs on each day of hard-to-find or exclusive beers. There will also be daily beer education seminars “In years past, the brewers would serve the beer, so it would take forever to get a beer because people would want to talk with them,” Jones says. “This year, volunteers will serve, so the beer will get dispensed more quickly.”

For the first time, the COBF will feature different beer list for each day of the festival, meaning that attendees on Saturday will be trying different beers than those on Sunday.

It’s never too late to start a new tradition, which is why COBF co-founders Doug Odell of Odell Brewing and Brad Page, who founded Coopersmith’s Pub Brewing, collaborated on an unusual beer to commemorate the anniversary. The beers is a pale ale that uses apple juice to give it a tart finish. Page now operates the Colorado Cider Company in Denver. The beer, at 5.5. percent ABV, was brewed at Odell.

Playing off that cider theme, the COBF will include hard ciders for the first time from cideries like Colorado Cider Company, Wild Cider and Compass Cider.

The Colorado Brewers Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, in Civic Center Park in Fort Collins. There will be more than 100 beers from fifty-plus breweries on hand. There is no entry fee this year, but beer lover can buy $20 beer packages that include ten festival bucks for ten beer samples.

In addition, there will be a zip line and a climbing wall, as well a beer school and an area where fans can talk to brewers. Fore more information, go to DowntownFortCollins.com.


Follow Westword‘s Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

Location Info

Civic Center Park

Mason and Laporte, Fort Collins, CO

Category: General

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Jun 27, 2014
Freddie Kitson

5 ways to get the most out of a beer fest (there are 2 on tap in Syracuse this … – The Post

This weekend offers Central New Yorkers the opportunity to attend not one, but two different beer festivals.

The World of Beer Empire Brewfest is tonight and Saturday at the State Fair’s Chevy Court. The Tipp Hill Beer Fest is Saturday evening in the pavilion next to Coleman’s. See details on each.

So how do you get the most out of a beer fest? (Hint: It’s not by drinking more than anyone else).

1) Embrace the variety. The greatest thing about a beer fest is the ability to try lots of different beers (in small samples). So maybe you’re primarily a pale ale/IPA drinker who also has a thing for porters. Try branching out: There’s sure to be a collection of summer wheats out there, or perhaps some Belgian styles. Live a little — try a style you’ve never had before.

2) Educate your beer palate. If you’re not an experienced beer drinker, try this: Look for a beer that is touted as being malty, or malt-accented (that’s the grainy, bready side of beer). Then try one that is loaded with hops (bitter, citrus, floral). In the side-by-side taste test, you may have that Eureka moment — you’ll know malt from hops. Then move on to stouts, wheats or Belgians.

3) Advanced education. OK, maybe you’re way beyond malt vs. hops. Do some advance comparisons. Say you really like over-the-top hopped IPAs. This is your chance to try a bunch side-by-side. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to compare the intense bitterness of a beer made with lots of Simcoe hops against the grapefruit aromas of Mosaic.

4) Ask questions. Don’t just walk up with your glass and say “gimme a beer!” Talk to the people pouring the beer — if you’re lucky, it will be a brewer or someone who works at the brewer or distributor. Ask them what’s in the beer, what’s the style, what other beers it could be compared to. That’s the only way to accomplish points 2 and 3 above.

5) Don’t be stupid. A beer fest is a way to sample lots of interesting beers with your friends. It’s not a contest to see who can get staggeringly drunk the fastest. And it’s always a good idea for your group to have a designated driver — or call a cab. And make sure you’re asking the pourer to tell you the alcohol content of beers you’re not familiar with. You don’t want to find out at the end of the night that you’ve drunk a bunch of 10 percent alcohol (or more) super brews.

Don Cazentre will sign and sell copies of his new book, ‘New York Breweries, 2nd ed.’ at the Tipp Hill fest Saturday. Look for him at the Middle Ages booth. Cash only. Don writes about food, beverages, restaurants and bars for syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Contact him by email, on Twitter, at Google+ or via Facebook.

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Jun 26, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Brewfest all grown up after 25 years


In the summer of 1990, Fort Collins’ two craft brewers, Doug Odell and Brad Page, got together with Maggie Kunze of the Downtown Business Association. They set up booths in Old Town Square and they invited nine other brewers from around Colorado to bring some beers and join them.

Unlike the Great American Beer Festival, then 8 years old, the Colorado Brewers’ Festival was social and noncompetitive. All of the brewers, including Odell and Page, stood behind their respective booths to greet customers, pour them a beer and tell them all about the craft, still new to Colorado.

The festival: What to see, do, taste

“In the early days, it was really to let people know about craft beer and communicate what we were trying to do,” said Dwight Hall, who was a brewer with CooperSmith’s Pub Brewing in 1990 and is now head brewer and co-owner of the business.

“We had all 11 Colorado craft breweries,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t remember the exact number of kegs, but it was in the dozens, and we thought it was a wild success.”

Twenty-five years later, the success of the annual festival shows: more than 10,000 in attendance last year, around 400 kegs, and up to 50 breweries participating in 2014.

More: 4 new breweries to try at Colorado Brewers’ Fest

Its duration is also an indication of its success.

“For a festival to be 25, that’s like 125 in craft beer years,” said Marty Jones, Denver-based beer publicist and consultant, who is working with the DBA to promote the festival this year.

As Jones puts it, “it’s hard to picture the Colorado beer landscape of 1990 when you see how much “beerly” splendor surrounds us now. I hope newcomers to craft beer will take a moment to appreciate all the work that’s been done before they got on board.”

Why so many beer weeks?

The beerscape of 2014 is lush and even wild. More than 230 breweries are open in the state, with countless festivals celebrating them, according to Steve Kurowski, operations manager at the Colorado Brewers Guild. On top of the festivals, as of this year there are at least four designated beer weeks that spread their cheer to Fort Collins.

The COBF beer week leading up to this weekend’s Colorado Brewers’ Festival is one of them. Fort Collins Beer Week in May is another. In March, it was Colorado Craft Beer Week, and starting again in September will be the weeklong build-up to Great American Beer Festival, a lineup of events hosted by Visit Denver.

“It’s grassroots marketing at its finest,” Kurowski said of all the events. “That’s how craft beer has built itself, by putting a beer in someone’s hand and talking about it. That’s how we’ve marketed ourselves for 30 years in this state.”

4 new breweries to try at the Colorado Brewers’ Festival

Schedule for Colorado Brewers’ Festival

The beer weeks, which often go hand-in-hand with larger events, such as GABF, COBF or the Craft Brewers’ Conference in March), are also meant to stimulate local economies, to draw more and different people to the festivals.

“People are thirsty for both formats,” Kurowski said of beer festivals and beer weeks. “They have somewhat different target audiences. Festivals pull people from out of town. (Beer weeks) are more geared towards locals. I wouldn’t say (the events) are necessary, but they’re highly functional.”

But Jones said beer weeks work best in the brewers’ and retailers’ slow season, right after the winter holidays, in January and February. Before Visit Denver started a beer week in September, leading up to GABF, they consulted Jones on the matter.

“And I said that would be the last week that I would pick. You should do it when brewers can feel it … Or if your goal is to help local retailers, you want to do it at a time conducive to them as well,” he said.

Part of the difficulty of timing beer weeks and festivals has to do with the shift in control of the events, from brewers themselves to third parties.

“In the olden days it was brewers who put on beer festivals to market their product,” Jones said. “It was an affordable way to get people to try their beer … there was success in numbers.”

Now, though, “A lot of beer festivals are put on by people who do this for a living. More and more charitable groups find that it’s a way to raise money.”

Peggy Lyle of the DBA said the Colorado Brewers’ Festival is an important fundraiser for her organization. “It’s one of only two each year that help us continue to provide activities and programs for the community,” she said, mentioning downtown’s First Night and Santa Claus. “It all comes back to the community. We’re trying to make sure that downtown Fort Collins stays vibrant.”

Lyle and Jones said the COBF beer week involves downtown businesses that might not otherwise reap the benefits of such a large economic draw to Fort Collins. Throughout the week, retailers from bars to clothing shops to massage businesses offer COBF discounts.

Meanwhile, that original intent, the beer, may be spilling a little farther.

“I’m sure if it seems like a lot (of beer weeks) to beer fans out there, it definitely seems like a lot to brewers, too,” Hall said.

His favorite beer festival is one put on by the Brewers Guild every July in Salida. There, he and the other brewers still stand at their booths, pouring and talking craft with each other and with visitors.

For efficiency and to better cater to more than 10,000 customers, the Colorado Brewers’ Fest now has volunteers, rather than brewers, working the beer stations.

“The festival has been a victim of its own success,” Hall said. “It has changed from those early days, and there’s something lost of that small, intimate contact. But what’s gained is we’re now 50-plus breweries … there’s more choices, more going on and more activities peripherally.”

He will still volunteer this weekend, selling tickets, and he’ll be one more “beer fan” in the crowd on Saturday.

“In the early days, it was really to let people know about craft beer and communicate what we were trying to do,” he said. “And now, certainly in Fort Collins, people are very aware and have a fantastic knowledge base of craft beer. That job has been largely accomplished … Now it’s just an outlet to have a fun environment where we’re being served side by side with other beers.”

A year in review: Beer weeks and festivals

Colorado Brewers’ Festival and beer week, June: Because the 25-year-old festival, highlighting more than 50 Colorado breweries, is organized by the Downtown Business Association, the 5-year-old beer week leading up to it is designed to promote downtown businesses. Restaurants, bars and retail stores offer COBF discounts throughout the week and in turn get visibility from the festival association.

Great American Beer Festival/Denver Beer Fest week, September-October: The festival and competition that brings more than 600 national breweries to Denver each year started in 1982. The beer week surrounding the festival was created in 2009 to showcase breweries and businesses around Denver. While most activity takes place there, Fort Collins beer tourism is abetted as well.

Colorado Craft Beer Week/CBC, March: The week of beer tappings and parties started in 2010 and was taken over by the Colorado Brewers’ Guild in 2012. Last March it coincided with the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America in Denver. During the week’s events, which mostly take place in Denver, breweries in Fort Collins also tap one-off or limited edition beers.

Fort Collins Beer Week (American Craft Beer Week), May: Fort Collins’ first official beer week started this year and featured beer dinners, beer forums and other beer events designed to showcase the craft to the local community. Some events already in place for American Craft Beer Week, such as collaboration brewing and Brewers Olympics, overlapped with the new Fort Collins celebration.

25th anniversary collaboration beer

In honor of the first 25 years, COBF founders Doug Odell, Brad Page (previously of CooperSmith’s, now of Colorado Cider Company) and Dwight Hall(CooperSmith’s head brewer/co-owner), have brewed a collaboration apple ale. The pale, dry, tart-finishing ale is 5.5 percent ABV and will be on tap only at the Brewers’ Fest, Odell’s taproom and CooperSmith’s while supplies last.

Want to go?

The Brewers’ Fest attracts more than 50 brewers from around Colorado for two days of beer-tasting fun. The festival starts Friday with an “All Brewers’ Eve” and continues through the weekend with the main events. An activity area will feature rock climbing, ziplining, bull riding and bungee tram­polining. There are commemorative glasses, brats and a lineup of local bands. See a schedule at Coloradoan.com or www.downtownfortcollins.com.

WHEN: Main festival: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

WHERE: Civic Center Park

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Jun 26, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Upcoming beer festivals and beer dinners

It’s summer, so that means that pretty much every day has some sort of beer events coming up.

Here are some cool looking events thatlook like they’re worth checking out.

Firs up, on Thursday, Rye Thyme in Leominster is hosting a beer dinner with White Birch Brewing of New Hampshire.

The dinner begins at 7 p.m. and costs $40.

The dinner includes grilled coconut and lime chicken skewers paired with the Belgian Pale Ale; pork belly sliders paired with Berliner Weisse; grilled peach-Habanero pork ribs paired with Hop Session Ale; and chocolate goat cheese mousse paired with Our Humble Porter.

White Birch brewer Dave Morrell will be on hand to discuss the beers.

For reservations, call 978-534-5900.

On Friday and Saturday, the third annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewpfest is taking place at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville.

The festival runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday; 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., also on Saturday.

Tickets are $45 and available by clicking here.

Looking for a great Father’s Day gift? Stop by Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli custom-logo-w-text2-e1367952915562Highway, Everett, on Saturday. I’ll be setting up shop around noon and hanging out signing copies of “Boston Beer: A History of Brewing in the Hub.” Come by for some great beers and a book I hope you or the person you buy it for enjoy.

Also on Saturday, the Wachusett Brewing Company is hosting its 20th Anniversary Brewfest at the brewery, 175 State Road, Westminster.

The event, which runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., will feature tons of Wachusett beers, live music, food, give aways and beer.

Tickets are $25 and available by clicking here.

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Jun 26, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Your guide to beer festivals across Wisconsin this summer

The arrival of summer brings with it a run of beer festivals across the state. Here’s a quick guide to events in the coming weeks celebrating craft brews.

JUNE 7: The Beer Barons World of Beer Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Schwabenhof Pavilion, Milwaukee. This festival is an opportunity to taste more than 200 different beers, meads and ciders. The event also includes presentations and a pig roast. www.wobfest.com.

JUNE 14: The Door County Beer Festival will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Baileys Harbor. The day includes a bicycle ride, live music, seminars and a tasting tent. www.doorcountybeerfestival.com.

JUNE 14: The Great Northern Beer Festival is held at Hi-Pines Campground in Eagle River. Attendees may try many different styles of beers from various breweries from 2 to 6 p.m. Designated drivers get free admission. greatnorthernbeerfestival.com.

JUNE 14: Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival in Glendale boasts more than 40 Wisconsin breweries alongside local restaurants and cheese makers that will provide samplings of more than 100 Wisconsin beers, restaurant favorites and Wisconsin cheeses. The festival is open from 1 to 5 p.m. wisconsinbeerloversfest.com/beer-lovers-festival.

JUNE 21: The 19th annual Brews n’ Blues event features craft beer, home brew and music. With more than 30 brewers on hand from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Leach Amphitheater in Oshkosh, attendees have the opportunity to sample more than 100 home brews and craft beers while enjoying music from local blues bands. jcioshkosh.org/brews-n-blues.

JUNE 28: The Appleton Ale Fest is a benefit for the Appleton Family Ice Center. Memorial Park will serve as the venue for this inaugural event showcasing breweries from around Wisconsin, the Midwest and the nation. Food will be available for sale from local restaurants. www.appletonalefest.com.

JULY 19: The Milwaukee Firkin Craft Beer Festival features more than 150 beers, more than 40 cask-conditioned ales, brewing exhibits and home brew sampling. Held at Cathedral Square Park in downtown Milwaukee, the festival is open from 4 to 8 p.m. www.milwaukeefirkin.com.

JULY 26: Milwaukee will host its fifth annual Milwaukee Brewfest at the Old Coast Guard Pavilion Park on the lakefront. In addition to unlimited sampling of hundreds of craft beers, micro brews and ciders from around the world, there will be musical performances, a silent auction, food for purchase and food sampling. www.milwaukeebrewfest.com.

JULY 26: The 10th annual Lac du Flambeau Brewfest is designed for sampling of micro, craft and specialty brews. The event is held in Torpy Park in Minocqua. lacduflambeaubrewfest.com.

AUG. 9:
Great Taste of the Midwest, held from 1 to 6 p.m. in Olin Park, Madison, features more than 100 of the Midwest’s craft brewers. This year’s event will offer more than 1,000 varieties to sample. greattaste.org.

SEPT. 13:
Great Lakes Brewfest is in its ninth year and will feature unlimited sampling of more than 250 craft beers and sodas from nearly 100 brewers. The festival also features live music and is held at the Racine Zoo. www.greatlakesbrewfest.com.

SEPT. 13: The 12th annual Thirsty Troll Brewfest will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at Grundahl Park in Mount Horeb. This intimate beer sampling features 25 craft brewers serving more than 100 different beers. trollway.com.

SEPT. 20: Stroll among the National Railroad Museum’s historic trains while sampling dozens of craft beers, fine wines and food prepared by local chefs during the annual Rails Ales Brewfest in Green Bay. www.nationalrrmuseum.org.

SEPT. 20: Beautiful Door County offers the Egg Harbor AleFest from 1 to 5 p.m. with more than 100 different craft beers to sample. Complimentary trolley transportation will be available as well as live music by the O2M Band. www.EggHarborAleFest.com.

SEPT. 27: Meet Wisconsin’s best craft brewers in Wausau for the Wisconsin Beer Lovers Brewmasters Oktoberfest. The festival offers samples of more than 100 craft beers and foods from area restaurants. wisconsinbeerloversfest.com.

OCT. 4:
Quivey’s Grove Beer Fest will be held from noon to 5 p.m. in Madison. The 21st annual event features more than 35 breweries with more than 100 beers for sampling. www.quiveysgrove.com.

NOV. 1: Admission to JCI Wisconsin’s Brew Bash ’14 craft brew experience includes sampling of various local, statewide and national craft brews. The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Darboy Club in Darboy. Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of non-perishable items to support the St. Joseph’s Food Program. www.jciwisconsin.org.

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Jun 26, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer festivals on tap across Wisconsin

The arrival of summer brings with it a run of beer festivals across the state. Here’s a quick guide to events in the coming weeks celebrating craft brews.

JUNE 7: The Beer Barons World of Beer Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Schwabenhof Pavilion, Milwaukee. This festival is an opportunity to taste more than 200 different beers, meads and ciders. The event also includes presentations and a pig roast. www.wobfest.com.

JUNE 14: The Door County Beer Festival will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Baileys Harbor. The day includes a bicycle ride, live music, seminars and a tasting tent. www.doorcountybeerfestival.com.

JUNE 14: The Great Northern Beer Festival is held at Hi-Pines Campground in Eagle River. Attendees may try many different styles of beers from various breweries from 2 to 6 p.m. Designated drivers get free admission. greatnorthernbeerfestival.com.

JUNE 14: Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival in Glendale boasts more than 40 Wisconsin breweries alongside local restaurants and cheese makers that will provide samplings of more than 100 Wisconsin beers, restaurant favorites and Wisconsin cheeses. The festival is open from 1 to 5 p.m. wisconsinbeerloversfest.com/beer-lovers-festival.

JUNE 21: The 19th annual Brews n’ Blues event features craft beer, home brew and music. With more than 30 brewers on hand from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Leach Amphitheater in Oshkosh, attendees have the opportunity to sample more than 100 home brews and craft beers while enjoying music from local blues bands. jcioshkosh.org/brews-n-blues.

JUNE 28: The Appleton Ale Fest is a benefit for the Appleton Family Ice Center. Memorial Park will serve as the venue for this inaugural event showcasing breweries from around Wisconsin, the Midwest and the nation. Food will be available for sale from local restaurants. www.appletonalefest.com.

JULY 19: The Milwaukee Firkin Craft Beer Festival features more than 150 beers, more than 40 cask-conditioned ales, brewing exhibits and home brew sampling. Held at Cathedral Square Park in downtown Milwaukee, the festival is open from 4 to 8 p.m. www.milwaukeefirkin.com.

JULY 26: Milwaukee will host its fifth annual Milwaukee Brewfest at the Old Coast Guard Pavilion Park on the lakefront. In addition to unlimited sampling of hundreds of craft beers, micro brews and ciders from around the world, there will be musical performances, a silent auction, food for purchase and food sampling. www.milwaukeebrewfest.com.

JULY 26: The 10th annual Lac du Flambeau Brewfest is designed for sampling of micro, craft and specialty brews. The event is held in Torpy Park in Minocqua. lacduflambeaubrewfest.com.

AUG. 9:
Great Taste of the Midwest, held from 1 to 6 p.m. in Olin Park, Madison, features more than 100 of the Midwest’s craft brewers. This year’s event will offer more than 1,000 varieties to sample. greattaste.org.

SEPT. 13:
Great Lakes Brewfest is in its ninth year and will feature unlimited sampling of more than 250 craft beers and sodas from nearly 100 brewers. The festival also features live music and is held at the Racine Zoo. www.greatlakesbrewfest.com.

SEPT. 13: The 12th annual Thirsty Troll Brewfest will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at Grundahl Park in Mount Horeb. This intimate beer sampling features 25 craft brewers serving more than 100 different beers. trollway.com.

SEPT. 20: Stroll among the National Railroad Museum’s historic trains while sampling dozens of craft beers, fine wines and food prepared by local chefs during the annual Rails Ales Brewfest in Green Bay. www.nationalrrmuseum.org.

SEPT. 27: Meet Wisconsin’s best craft brewers in Wausau for the Wisconsin Beer Lovers Brewmasters Oktoberfest. The festival offers samples of more than 100 craft beers and foods from area restaurants. wisconsinbeerloversfest.com.

OCT. 4:
Quivey’s Grove Beer Fest will be held from noon to 5 p.m. in Madison. The 21st annual event features more than 35 breweries with more than 100 beers for sampling. www.quiveysgrove.com.

NOV. 1: Admission to JCI Wisconsin’s Brew Bash ’14 craft brew experience includes sampling of various local, statewide and national craft brews. The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Darboy Club in Darboy. Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of non-perishable items to support the St. Joseph’s Food Program. www.jciwisconsin.org.

Recommended Reading

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