One of the best beer festivals anywhere-ever is just around the bend and tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10am. If you don’t want to take my word here’s what Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, says: “The Big Beers Fest in Vail is always one of my favorite events of the year. It sells out quick and it rules.” I’ve talked to so many people about their favorite festivals and a lot of people agree that the Vail Big Beers Fest is top notch. Also, a lot of people have said that they haven’t attended it yet but it’s on their list. Well, now is your chance! Get your tickets starting this Saturday, the event is far enough advance notice that you can rearrange your work schedule. January 10-12, 2013. It’s going to be awesome.

Check out our photo recaps: Sam Calagione pairs beer and music, the Big Beers tasting.

Here’s Ticket Info

January 10-12, 2013. 
Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
The cheapest package is the $55 and includes entry to the commercial tasting (festival) as well as all the seminars that take place that day and the night before. There’s are other events, such as the beer dinners, that can be bought individually or in packages.
Check out all the ticket packages and prices here.

Here’s a Schedule of Events:


Thursday evening
(7:30 pm) opens the Thirteenth Anniversary Big Beers Festival Weekend in traditional Big Beers style! Enjoy a double beer pairing dinner with fantastic creations from both Avery and Dogfish Head at each course. See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.


Friday morning (8:30 am– noon)
is the opportunity to bone up on your knowledge of everything about beer & brewing. The Cicerone team (perhaps Ray Daniels, creator of the program, himself) will be here to lead this morning workshop! And thanks to All About Beer Magazine, our signature sponsor for this event, the $99 fee per person will be waived. Take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity in Vail! For more information, see the Brewing Seminars page.

Friday afternoon (12:00) is our Welcome Reception in which the following breweries will be highlighted: Alaskan Brewing Co. and others TBD. Each brewery will be showcasing a beer of their choice with a food pairing designed by Exec Chef Todd Bemis and his culinary team at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. In addition to tasting, the Welcome Reception also offers the opportunity to hobnob with some of the most innovative brewers in the world. Guests attending multiple weekend events, Volunteers, Judges, Brewers and Brewery Representatives are welcome to drop in.

Friday afternoon (1:30 pm)
is the American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition. This event is a judging by a select judging panel for entries registered in advance. For more information about the competition, see the Homebrew Competition page.  Spectators and interested parties are welcome to attend, although participation is by prior arrangement only.

Friday afternoon (2:30 pm)
is your opportunity to become a Certified Cicerone! The Cicerone Team will be administering the Certified Cicerone Exam to interested parties who have passed the online Certified Beer Server exam. For more information, see the Brewing Seminars page.

Friday evening (6:30 pm)
CraftBeer.com’s Beer & Food Pairing Taste-Off. Julia Herz of the Brewers Association will be moderating this innovative & wildly popular event.  This year’s contenders will be defending champion Rick Chapman of Coronado Brewing Co., and others TBD. See the Brewing Seminars page for further information.

Friday evening (8:00 pm) is the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner. We are quite pleased to announce Kevin DeLange, Founder/Owner of Dry Dock Brewing Co. will be our Featured Colorado Brewmaster, and Matt Brynildson, Brewmaster for Firestone Walker Brewing Co. will be our International Featured Brewmaster. Join us for a second evening of double beer pairing fun! See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.

Saturday morning (10:00 am – noon) is one of the many highlights of our Big Beers Festival Weekend: our Experimental Brewing Seminar, titled “Brewing Outside of the Box: Brewers Gone Wild!”. The title of this year’s seminar is “Smoke”, and presenters will be Ro Guenzel of Left Hand Brewing Co., one of the smoke gurus from Alaskan Brewing Co., and others TBD.

Saturday early afternoon (12:30 pm– 1:30 pm)
our Colorado Featured Brewmaster, Kevin Delange, Founder/Owner of Dry Dock Brewing Co., in Aurora, CO, will be speaking o a topic of his choice.

Saturday early afternoon (12:30 pm – 1:30 pm)
is a brewing seminar about “Brewing Belgian Styles” led by Steven Pauwels of Boulevard Brewing Co. As Steven is Belgian, he’s got some amazing insight! See the Brewing Seminars page, and seating is limited for this event.

Saturday afternoon (1:45 pm– 2:45 pm)
our International Featured Brewmaster, Matt Brynildson, Brewmaster for Firestone Walker Brewing Co., in Paso Robles, CA, will be speaking on a topic of his choice.

Saturday afternoon (1:45 pm – 2:45 pm)
Daniel Bradford of All About Beer Magazine will be hosting a sensory workshop focusing on TBD! See the Brewing Seminars page, and seating is limited for this event.

Saturday afternoon (2:30 – 6:00 pm), the Commercial Tasting portion of the Big Beers Festival begins at 2:30 pm and continues through until 6:00pm. This international tasting is open to the public and showcases over 200 different commercially produced specialty beers from around the world.

Saturday afternoon (3:00 pm), Saturday’s Commercial Tasting event includes the 2013 Homebrew Competition Awards Presentation as well as…

Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm), brings you a new sensory workshop about an unique beer & cheese relationship. Titled “The Beer in my Cheese” for fun, Ska Brewing Co. will show and tell about the relationship that can exist between the two. See the Brewing Seminars page, and seating is limited for this event.

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Categories: Beer