Though it might as well be called the Northern Colorado Brewers’ Festival due to the sole presence of brewers from the NoCo area, this weekend’s Colorado Brewers’ Fest at Washington Park most definitely delivered on its promises of great beer, food and atmosphere.
Arriving right at the strike of twelve noon on Sunday for the final day of the festival, I wended my way straight to the tasting ticket purchase stand. At $35 day-of, the price included 10 Tasting Tickets and a commemorative plastic COBF tumbler. The cup even had a convenient divot in the side for your thumb, presumably in case you get a little too tipsy and need to get a better grip on your glass.
A staff of friendly volunteers manned the tents to exchange four ounce pours for a Tasting Ticket each. If you found a favorite beer, four Tasting Tickets would get you a full 12-ounce glass, but taking that route wouldn’t be any kind of a deal—exchanging four tasters, at an estimated value of $2.50 each, means you’re paying $10 for a single beer. Fortuitously, we in Fort Collins can eschew that kind of markup and make our way to our favorite brewery taproom by bike or car any day of the week instead.
Several standout beers that I discovered were AC Golden Brewing’s Colorado Native Golden Lager, Boulder Beer Company’s Pulp Fusion Blood Orange IPA, and Rally King Brewing’s Surfer Girl. By far, though, Dry Dock Brewing Co.’s Sour Apricot really hit the spot on that hot day, with both sweet and sour notes and an awesome fizz. While these were my favorite new finds, I was also happy to see other reliable standbys who also made an appearance: New Belgium and Odell had tents showcasing Citradelic and Drumroll respectively, High Hops Brewery brought their Blueberry Wheat, and Black Bottle showcased their Scuba Steve.
Under the hot sun, the shady spots under the trees in Washington Park were highly sought locations by the crowd for enjoying beer in comfort on the grass, while listening to the day’s lineup of musicians. The Seers Band in particular had a great sound and got the crowd’s heads nodding to their grooves.
Spending a few hours at the festival watching folks play corn hole, scarf tacos and queue for beer was definitely a pleasant way to spend a Sunday, and the event is a solid element in Fort Collins’ summer schedule of weekend soirees. One day of the weekend was enough for me, but I’m still planning to check it out again next year.
Until then, though, I will continue to enjoy Fort Collins’ best beer drinking experience: the privilege of being able to brewery-hop to our hearts’ content.
Want to see some photos of this year’s Colorado Brewers’ Festival? Check them out on the event’s Facebook page.
Collegian Print Managing Editor Julia Rentsch can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @julia_rentsch.