Vail Big Beer Fest 2012 Promises to be Beautiful
If you have not heard, the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival is coming up and it is one killer beer festival. Isaac and I attended last year. It is perhaps the most comprehensive, educational, and fun-filled festival I've ever been to. Not only do you get to taste lots of fantastic beer, but industry leaders from around the world give presentations and you can meet them in person. Last year, Isaac was a judge in the homebrew competition, we attended a small presentation where Sam Calagione talked about Dogfish Head, we went to a few different seminars the next day and finished it off with one of the most exciting four hours of beer tasting I've ever done. Here's is our recap from Day 01 and Day 02 last year. As you know, I've been critical of some festivals throughout the year, and have become quite reluctant to attend many, but let me tell you...based on my experience last year I will definitely not miss this one!
Big Beers takes place in Vail, Colorado, so it's a bit of a trek for us Front Rangers. If possible, I would recommend staying out there on Saturday night because you will likely drink too much to drive home in the snow. If you ski, then you can hit up the slopes on Sunday. Otherwise, bring a DD or plan to hang out in Vail for a few hours after the festival is over.
Let me direct your attention to the Big Beers website, but I'll also list all the events and seminars that you can attend with the purchase of a ticket. There are a series of dinners too, but those sold out long ago. For the seminars, I would recommend reserving seats, or showing up nice and early. The $50 ticket gets you a lot at this festival...access to the seminars (but does not guarantee a seat) and guarantees you entry into the commercial tasting of the festival. The commercial tasting is ridiculous, see my recap of Day 02 here. Okay, for $50 here's everything the festival is offering for 2012:
|Image of last years Experimental Brewing Seminar|
Our first Beer & Cigar Pairing Sensory Workshop! Join Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association, as he and our other special guests lead us through the world of beer and cigar pairing. Remember to bring your coat, since the actual smoking will take place on the Vail Cascade's picturesque pool deck.
One of the many highlights of our Big Beers Festival Weekend. Title: “Brewing Outside of the Box: Brewers Gone Wild!” This year’s “Brewers Gone Wild” theme and speakers are yet to be announced. See the Brewing Seminars page for further information…last year this was perhaps our favorite portion of the whole festival.
Daniel Bradford of All About Beer Magazine will be hosting a sensory workshop focusing on The Elements of Beer Flavor! See the Brewing Seminars page, and seating is limited for this event.
2:30 - 6:00 pm - COMMERCIAL TASTING
3:30 pm - Beer and Food Pairing Taste-Off
CraftBeer.com’s Beer & Food Pairing Taste-Off. Julia Herz of the Brewers Association will be moderating this innovative & wildly popular event. This CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Pairing Smackdown will feature a panel of Importers and American Craft Brewers and their brews. See the Brewing Seminars page for further information.