Start beer season early with Colorado Collaboration Fest
By Ellen Fike
The third annual Collaboration Fest might be a little early in the season for some beer lovers, but Steve Kurowski said Colorado doesn’t have a real beer festival season anymore.
“The summer beer fest we knew 10 years ago is now a 52-week thing,” said Kurowski, operations manager for the Colorado Brewers Guild.
The three-hour beer festival is the kickoff event for the Colorado Craft Beer Week. A general admission ticket will allow attendees into the festival and all of the beer a person can responsibly enjoy. Food will be available for purchase inside the venue.
Almost 150 breweries from 21 states will be on display at Sports Authority Field in Denver to show off the 85 collaborations they’ve been working on for the past few months. Some non-Colorado breweries include Blind Tiger Brewery from Kansas, Goose Island Beer Co. from Chicago and Tow Yard Brewing Company from Indiana.
The breweries get to choose who they partner with for the festival. The majority of the collaborations will be from two breweries, but there are some that will have three or more. Kurowski said all of the Summit County, Colorado breweries, six in total, are collaborating together for the festival, for example.
Brewer registration begins in September for the festival, and some breweries may start working on their concoctions as early as November or December, in order to age the beer. However, most of the participants will start working on their beers around January or February, in order to be ready just in time for the event.
Even though craft beer has exploded in popularity in the past two decades, it still only amounts to less than 20 percent of beer sales nationwide. The festival helps promote the importance of craft beer and the attention to quality and community, Kurowski said.
“These people love beer,” he said. “They keep their focus on world class brewing.”
Colorado is an ideal spot to host this event due to its high volume of craft brewers and continued interest from residents.
Kurowski added the purpose of this event is to celebrate the quality of craft beer and the small businesses they come from.
“(It’s) a small business/family business, that often will keep … working and striving for greatness and helping (their) community,” he said.
Last edited by Banjo; 02-28-2016 at 09:18 PM.