I wanted to let you all know that Focus on the Beer will likely be travelling to Vail, CO in early January to visit the Big Beers Festival. If I secure lodging I will be reporting from the Festival, filling you in on what’s going on, reporting about beers to look out for, and relaying educational information from the seminars.
Big Beers are generally beers that are above the 7% alcohol level and as the festival promotional video points out, these are beers that “go so well with cold weather and skiing.” The first paragraph on the Big Beers Fest website reads “Imagine a World Class Winter Wonderland of fun activities in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado…and then top off your trip with a World Class International Beer Festival, complete with Brewmasters’ Dinners and Seminars by some of the world’s most innovative Brewers.” It looks like almost all the beers available at this festival are over 7% and besides the beer tasting the days will be full of seminars and workshops involving beer judging, tasting, hops, experimental (wild) brewing, and more.
I’m posting a schedule of events and information on tickets below, even though most everything has sold out. But first check out the list of participating breweries (this is exciting): Alaskan, Allagash, Altitude, Anchor Brewing, Aspen, Avery, Ayinger, Ballast Point, Baltika, Bell’s, Belzebuth, Bosteels, Boston Beer Co., Boulder, Boulevard, Breckenridge, Bristol, Bruery, Carver, Chimay, Chouffe, Coronado, Corsendonk, Crazy Mountain, DeDolle, Delirium, Des Rocs, Deschutes, Dillon Dam, Dogfish Head, Dry Dock, Dubuisson, Dupont, Durango, Flying Dog, Full Sail, Fuller’s, Glenwood Canyon, Gore Range, Gouden Carolous, Grand Lake, Grand Teton, Great Divide, Green Flash, Hair of the Dog, He’brew/Schmaltz, Hoegaarden, Jolly Pumpkin, LaTrappe / Koningshoeven, Left Hand, Library, Lindemans, Lion, Maredsous, Mendocino, Michelob, New Belgium, Odell, Ommegang, Orval, Oskar Blues, Pagosa Brewing, Papago, Pinkus, Pumphouse, Redstone Meadery, Rochefort, Samichlaus, Samuel Smith, Sierra Nevada, Ska, St. Bernardus, St. Feuillien, Stone, Thomas Hardy, Tommyknocker, Uinta, Upslope, Urthel, Val-Dieu, Victory, Westmalle, Wynkoop
Here’s the Schedule of Events, please see the Big Beers Website for ticket information:
Thursday evening (7:30) opens the Eleventh Anniversary Big Beers Festival Weekend in traditional Big Beers style! Join Adam Avery, Brewmaster/ Founder of Avery Brewing, and Sam Calagione, Founder/President of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, as they start the weekend off right with some incredible beers at our Calibration Dinner. See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.
Friday evening (8:00 pm) is the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner. We are quite pleased to announce that that Steven Pauwels, Brewmaster for Boulevard Brewing will be our American Featured Brewmaster, and Chris Bauweraerts, Co-Founder of Brasserie D’Achouffe, Belgium, will be our International Featured Brewmaster.
Saturday early afternoon (12:30 – 1:30pm) our International Featured Brewmaster, Chris Bauweraerts, Co-Founder of Brasserie D’Achouffe, Belgium, will be speaking on a topic of his choice for an educational seminar.
Saturday afternoon (2:30 – 7:00 pm), the Commercial Tasting portion of the Big Beers Festival begins at 2:30 pm and continues through until 7:00pm. This international tasting is open to the public and showcases over 200 different commercially produced specialty beers from around the world. Saturday’s event includes the 2011 Homebrew Competition Awards Presentation as well as the wildly popular International Beer & Food Pairing Challenge sponsored by CraftBeer.com. Julia Herz of the Brewers Association will be moderating her innovative seminar beginning at 3:30 pm. This CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Pairing Smackdown will feature a panel of Importers and American Craft Brewers and their brews.