If there is anything that Fort Collins has plenty of it would be beer. With dozens of local breweries, you would be hard pressed to not find some local craft IPA just minutes away. There is one festival that showcases some of the best beer that Fort Collins and the rest of Colorado offers. With three full days packed with demonstrations, tastings and plenty of other fun activities, the 28th annual Colorado Brewer’s Festival is the place to be.
Beginning on Friday, June 23 and running until June 25, downtown Fort Collins will become a hub for fans of beer, music and food. Located at Washington Park, over 40 Colorado-based breweries will be showcasing more than 90 beers. Admission onto the festival grounds is completely free. If you are of age and want to taste some of the beers, you must purchase tasting packages. There are options to pick up tasting packages before and at the event.
Some local breweries that attendees may recognize are Black Bottle Brewery, CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing and Equinox Brewing. New Belgium and Odell’s Brewing will have some beers at the event as well. Overall, the event will have beers from 16 Fort Collins-based breweries. That is around 32 different beers from Fort Collins alone.
The Colorado Brewers’ Festival is a opportunity for brewers to meet as well.
“With over 20 breweries, Fort Collins beer really has an impact at this festival,” said Shannon Westcott of Equinox Brewing in an email to the Collegian. “The beer culture here is growing and changing very rapidly. We look forward to seeing what everyone brings this year.”
What else goes great with beer? Food of course! In addition to all the local beer, over a dozen local food trucks will be all around this year’s festival grounds. Additionally, there will be vendors. There will be plenty of opportunities to pick up some food. The Colorado Brewers’ Festival aims to promote as many breweries as possible and thus each brewery is only allowed one beer. The only exception to this are the Fort Collins-based breweries, which offer what is called a “Neighborhood Session” in addition to their main tap beer.
Even if you are not a fan of local beer, or not of age yet, there is still plenty of incentive to come to the festival this year. With plenty of local musicians to play for Saturday the 24 and Sunday the 25, festival attendees will have a chance to catch sets from fun acts such as Write Minded, Slow Caves and Maxwell Mudd.
“It is a quintessential Fort Collins experience to enjoy the Brewers’ Festival and Fort Collins in the Summer,” said Dwight Hall of CooperSmith’s Brewing.
With no admission price, this is really one event that anyone can come and enjoy this year’s event, according to Hall.
This year’s event also has more to offer than just tasting some local beer. There will be a Beer School with tasting and demonstrations providing anyone who attends a more in-depth look at some aspects that go into some of their favorite brews.
Proceeds from the event go to fund several downtown Fort Collins activities such as the holiday lighting ceremony and St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The event is put on by the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association, which helps produce other events downtown such as NewWestFest and Fortoberfest.
For more information on this year’s event such Breweries attending, music lineups or any general questions, you can visit downtownfortcollins.com/events/colorado-brewers-festival.
Collegian reporter Alec Erickson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @CTV_Ace.