It’s brew fest season here in Colorado. We’re in full swing right now as we inch closer and closer to the Big Daddy, the Great American Beer Festival. Seems like my calendar has some sort of festival or tasting highlighted nearly every weekend. There’s no chance I’ll hit ’em all. My liver couldn’t keep up, but one can dream right?
For me, beer festivals fall into a few different categories. There are a handful of festivals that I probably won’t ever attend again for a variety of reasons (cost, distance, poorly run, etc…). Others, are on the “Maybe” list, which just means it’s a solid beer fest that would be nice to attend again, but life goes on if I can’t make it. While a few make it to the exclusive, “Must-Do!” list, that I make every effort to attend every year. Last night, my wife and I attended the Art and Ale Brew Festival at The Wildlife Experience in Parker, CO and it’s already been added to our “Must-Do!” list for next year.
We went with the Dry Dock crew and spent the evening pouring samples of their Amber, Pale, Hefeweizen and the ever popular Apricot Blonde. We had a great spot outside, in the shade and right next to New Belgium Brewing.
NB Beer Ranger Andrew, kept us stocked with samples of their Peach Porch Lounger, Red Hoptober and Super IPA, their delicious IPA brewed in collaboration with Alpine Brewing out in California. We talked about their sour program for a bit and he mentioned that the next batch of La Folie might be ready as early as this fall. Keep your fingers crossed!
In between pours, we took some time to wander the grounds outside and the halls of the museum inside.
In addition to the 30+ breweries, there were a variety of restaurants, wineries and distilleries in attendance as well.
David Parry, owner of Parry’s Pizza was super-busy all night long handing out slices of their delicious pies. They banged through more than 150 pizzas during the event!
He had just gotten the keg list for his next tap takeover, which will be with Oskar Blues on Saturday, September 15th. There are some mighty fine beers on the list, so mark your calendars now. More details to come.
The gang from Strange Brewing was pouring Cherry Kriek, Colorado’s answer to Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin. God, I love that beer. Thanks again for the full pours guys!
Jim from Rockyard Brewing brought his Redhawk Scottish Ale and Double Eagle Wheat. They also had their chef on duty, who cooked up an amazing batch of Jalapeño Cheddar Soup and Pretzels stuffed with jalapeño cheese. Oh my goodness! Delish!!!
Outside at Elevation Brewing, Xandy was flying through kegs of Mount Blanca Belgian Saison and Apis IV Quadrupel.
Twisted Pine brought three offerings from their monthly Artisan Ale Series.
I finally got a chance to try the Dank IPA from Dad & Dude’s, which was nice and hoppy, but still approachable and very drinkable.
There was even a band inside cranking out 80’s covers from bands like Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. Alcohol + Music + Dance Floor = Best People Watching Ever!
After eating and tasting our way through the festival, we met up with some friends and hit the chocolate fountains for desert. The good peeps from Sir Chocolate brought a variety of things like strawberries, marshmallows and rice crispy treats to dip in three different kinds of chocolate. Nom, nom, nom!
As the sun dipped down behind the mountains, the fire pits lit up and people lounged in the grass around the museum. What a night!
Beautiful weather, plenty of old friends and new ones too, music, amazing beer and food. We’ll definitely be back again next year and so should you!
Anybody else make it out there last night? What did you think?
Big thanks to the staff and volunteers at The Wildlife Experience for hosting a great event. Shoutout to all of the different companies in attendance as well. You guys rock!