On Friday, I attended the Denver Summer Brew Fest at Mile High Station. This festival featured over 125 beers from more than 45 breweries, most of which were from Colorado. There was also live music, food, and local vendors at the event which benefited the Swallow Hill Music Association. From their website: “Swallow Hill serves a large community with instruction and performance of musical art forms such as folk, blues, bluegrass, Celtic jazz, world, roots, and dance.”
I was privileged enough to be present during the first hour (VIP Admission), which included an Odell beer and MouCo cheese pairing as well as dramatically reduced lines. This also got me access to some of the more rare beers of the event, including Odell Brewing Co.’s Woodcut No. 5 – an amazing oak-aged quadruple ale. Here are a few of my other favorites from the night (keep in mind I in no way sampled them all):
Dry Glider Cider (Dry-Hopped Version) by Colorado Cider Company
The Colorado Cider Co. said they made this dry-hopped version of their dry cider “just for fun” and I’m glad they did. I usually don’t like ciders, but this was an exception. The dry-hopping created so much flavor, without the typical sweetness that can be associated with ciders.
Una Mas by Renegade Brewing Company
A Mexican-style amber brewed with an “uncommon yeast strain for added flavor” and some roasted chili peppers, giving it a very nice spice profile.
Chocolate Mexican Stout by Copper Kettle Brewing Company
This was another beer that took advantage of adding a little spice. I’m a huge fan of stouts, but this beer is unlike any I’ve had before. There was just enough of the Mulato and Guajillo chili peppers to warm the back of your throat without making the beer difficult to drink.
While the website stated the event only lasted from 7-10pm, they kept the booze flowing much deeper into the night. Live music provided by Bop Skizzum, Westword’s Best Funk Band in Denver for 2011, was a huge hit with the crowd who seemed to be enjoying the free flowing craft brews as frequently as possible. The band featured guitarist Andy Guerrero formerly of local Denver band, the Flobots.
The only negative I could find about the Denver Summer Brew Fest was that the tasting glasses were made out of glass, which is rare for beer festivals nowadays. We’ve all heard the resounding “Oohhhhhhhhh” when a plastic glass is dropped at the Great American Beer Fest… now imagine when the taster is dropped and it shatters into a million pieces on the floor. While the glass makes it a nicer collectible, it got a little annoying having to step over glass shards on several occasions (while wearing sandals).
If you happened to miss the event, you’re in luck. In addition to the Denver Summer Brew Fest, there is the… Denver WINTER Brew Fest! This winter bash will be held on Friday, January 27th, 2012 at the Mile High Station. It’s bound to be just as much fun and a whole lot colder (which isn’t a bad thing given our recent heat-wave). If you attended the event feel free to share your thoughts on the night in the comments.
Don’t like to read? Here’s a recap of the night through photography: