Let’s get a couple things out of the way before I start.
- Colorado loves to throw beer festivals. Some weekends, there can even be too many to choose from.
- I don’t drink IPAs. If you wanted to read about hoppy beers, read a different article.
- I was drinking from a beer mug, not a tasting glass. So I got pretty drunk. The drunker I get, the more profane I become. The more profane I become the less coherent my beer-notes are (pictured below).
Now, on with the show!
I moseyed up into the hills this past weekend to spend some quality (read: drunk as fuck) time with friends and go to the Breckenridge Beer Festival. I decided to go with VIP tickets since there were a few perks: a commemorative mug, a lunch buffet, a private VIP area and access to special releases from brewers. I figured that was worth the extra money, so I forked it over.
First things first: Breckenridge has to be the most gorgeous location for a beer festival, ever. The view was astounding and the weather was perfect. So perfect, it seems, that people decided to make the Breckenridge Beer Festival the Breckenridge FAMILY Beer Festival.
I spent a good deal of time drunkenly dodging double wide strollers with half buzzed parents not giving a fuck and plowing through a sea of people as though their stroller were equipped with a cattle pilot.
As it turns out, making the choice to go with VIP had its perks and its not-so-perks. The best part was definitely the tented area on a sidewalk (no dirt parking lot for we VIP folk, that’s for the plebeians) that had delicious BBQ food perfect for soaking up all the beer. It was also relatively spacious, which was a welcome respite from the overcrowded street.
The one not-so-perk? The very thing that made the VIP ticket seem like a steal. The very thing that turned my five-hour festival into a three-hour one: The motherfucking beer mug.
When we checked in, they gave us a pint glass sized beer mug for “tasting.” This was not only to be our commemorative glass, but our tasting cup for the day. I don’t have to tell you that even when you ask for breweries to give you a half a glass, the pours get heavier and heavier as the day goes on and before you know it, you’re drinking full glasses of beer as tasters. It makes for a complete shit show, which is what I was by 3 pm.
If you don’t believe me, read my notes on the beers that I had (I skipped a couple because they were ones I’ve already had here, but liked, so I had a “half glass”) and judge for yourself.
- Bristol Brewing – Oatmeal Stout: “That’s a smooth drink.”
- San Luis Valley Brewing Company – Alamosa Amber: “I would session the shit out of this.”
- Pug Ryan’s – Helle’s Boch: “Fruity. Not like Carmen Miranda fruity, but I dig it.”
- Boulevard Brewing – Unfiltered Wheat: “Adequate. This makes me get all Vulcan and logical. ‘It’s acceptable, I will allow it.’”
- Widmer Brothers Brewing – Lemongrass Wheat Ale: “I’m healthy as fuck. Healthy. As. Fuck.”
- Echo Brewing – Kolsch: “Missionary style beer. Boring, but it gets the job done.”
- Kona Brewing Company – Big Wave Golden Ale: “If angels could cum, this is what it would taste like.” (Aside: I was pretty hammered at this point, I think I meant this as a very good thing because I remember really like this beer a lot)
- Goose Island – 312: “Bananas. Really.”
And then I walked stumbled back to the condo, sat in a hot tub for too long, ate lasagna and passed out around 8 pm. I think I had a few beers back at the condo too. Gross.
Overall, it was a fun festival. But like I said at the beginning of this blog, Colorado throws a lot of beer festivals yet I don’t think this one is quite right for me. While the setting is gorgeous, the crowd was stifling and the shocking number of children present was fairly off-putting.
Here’s who I think the Breckenridge Beer Festival is perfect for: Parents with children ages 2-6 who want to spend a sunny day outside and have several beers, a catered lunch, while listening to some sort of bands play (I could never really hear them) all while being able to exercise enough restraint to not go too overboard on drinking so they can still put their children to bed before they pass out so they can get up the next day and ski.
That is the exact opposite of my day after, which involved groggily checking out of the condo and silently shoving as much hangover food into my mouth as I could before making the trip back to Denver. A hangover, to be honest, I am still shaking off.