Collaboration Festival: Colorado is one big happy brewing family

Breckenridge Brewery and SweetWater © Breckenridge Brewery

Breckenridge Brewery and SweetWater © Breckenridge Brewery

Collaboration. This is a term you do not often hear between competing companies. However, the craft beer industry is not like any other industry. On March 22, Imbibe Denver and the Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG) will present Collaboration Festival at The Curtis Hotel. Each beer featured at the festival was created by at least one CBG member, with other participating breweries coming from near and far. The other breweries will be from both in and out of state and some collaborations involve more than five breweries. The out-of-state brewery involvement is an exciting first for Colorado Craft Beer Week.

Last month we gave you a sneak peek into a few of the collaborations. Since then several more brew days have taken place. I have had the privilege to attend several brew days and the excitement of each brewer has been contiguous. Just chatting with them and hearing how excited they are to work together, has made me even more eager to try these beers. The festival will feature more than 40 collaboration brews. Here is a preview of what you can expect at the festival:

Breweries with Lots of Collaborative Vibes

TRVE, Pikes Peak Brewing Company, FATE, Front Range, and Breckenridge Brewery are all involved in multiple collaborations. TRVE made a rustic saison with Black Fox. They also brewed with River North, and are part of the Beermuda Triangle collaboration (Renegade, Wit’s End, Strange, TRVE, Black Sky and Breckenridge). In addition to the Beermuda Triangle collaboration, Breckenridge was part of the Mountain Sun former brewer collaboration, the Summit County collaboration and had the honor to work with SweetWater out of Atlanta.

Beermuda Collaboration Team ©  Imbibe Denver

Beermuda Collaboration Team © Imbibe Denver

This was SweetWater Brewery’s first ever collaboration. The Atlanta-based brewery met with Breckenridge Brewery to brew, “O’ Tay,” a dry-hopped red wheat wine ale. This beer, brewed with red wheat malt from the Colorado Malting Company, along with malted buckwheat and Mosaic hops, is a tribute to the friendship of brewing buddies.

Mountain Sun Brewing Company has been around for more than 20 years. In that time they have helped launched their fair share of brewing careers. The Mountain Sun former brewer collaboration featured more than seven brewers, all who formerly worked at the brewing company, including Brian Hutchinson of Cannonball Creek Brewing, Dave Chichura from Eddyline, Chris Fish from Telluride Brewing, Wayne Burns of Jagged Mountain Brewing, Dave Mentus a brewery consultant, and current Mountain Sun brewers John Fiorilli and Brad Landman.

This crew met at Vine Street Pub on February 25 where they made a very unique stout. This collaboration is proof that you can’t have too many brewers in the brew house… maybe?

FATE worked with both local and out-of-state breweries. Their first collaboration brew day was with Mission Brewery from San Diego. They also created works of art with Lost Highway and made another collaboration with Bru and Wild Woods.

Collaborations with Soon-to-Open Breweries 

Wynkoop Brewing Company and Wonderland Brewing decided to add a little magic to their Berliner Weiss by adding hops to the mash. They used German grown wheat and barley as well as Germain Saphir hops in the mash and during the boil. Andy Brown, head brewer at Wynkoop, wanted to call the beer “German Sparkle Party,” but that name was already taken, so they settled with “Berliner Hasslehoff.”

Front Range teamed up with Denver Pearl – which will be opening its doors in Platt Park later this year – to brew Cherry Royale, a Belgian Brown Ale fermented in a Burgundy Barrel with 60 pounds of pie cherries. Front Range also collaborated with Echo Brewing Co. and went in a completely different direction, brewing Bing White IPA using a mixture of Colombia, Triskal and Summer hops with lemon peel added at the end.

About Alexandra Weissner


Alex loves craft beer, whiskey and brunch. She has a weakness for Champagne and Prosecco. She also likes to run a lot.

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