Vail Big Beers 2012 Image Recap

I think I've talked enough about the Vail Big Beers Festival over the past month. I've been to quite a few beer festivals, I've written a few times about my opinions on good vs. bad beer festivals, and this one is hands-down my favorite. If you go next year, you should plan to go to the seminars earlier in the day, and if you can afford it, go to the ones the night before too. Because I've talked about the festival so much already I'm not going to say a whole lot in this post, I'm going to let the photos do most of the talking. Oh! And if you haven't seen it yet, here is our recap of the DJ Dogfish Head seminar, here's a recap from Denver Off The Wagon and another nice summary from the Beer Run Blog.

One reason to go to this festival: you can meet and talk to
all these pretty amazing brewers and brewery owners.

And if you needed another reason to attend the festival...
Yes, this happens there too... (from Crazy Mountain Brewing)

I do want to say a few things about a couple beers at the festival. There's no way I could try them all, and there's no point in talking about all the beers that everyone always talks about, but there are a couple beers/breweries that perhaps don't get the attention that others do and I'd like to put them on your radar:

Crazy Mountain - In the photo above you can see a French Press filled with hops and beer. This one comes from Crazy Mountain and it is a really great beer, at the brewery you can apparently order a whole press the way you would order a pitcher.

Altitude Brewery and Chophouse from Laramie, Wyoming - I mentioned them last year as well because they made a few really unique brews. This year they pulled out some stuff that was a slightly more standard but their Biere de Garde really stood out to me. I'm really impressed with this place and will have to make a point to stop in when I'm in Wyoming.

Crooked Stave - Okay okay, if you've read this blog you know it's not a secret that we are pretty big fans of this brewery, and they've been getting good attention lately, but I have to mention that they've got a new beer in the Wild Wild Brett series that's a 100% Brett fermented IPA. Pretty exciting stuff.

10th And Blake - I'd never heard of these guys and I found out they're owned by MillerCoors, just as AC Golden is. In fact, they may be the umbrella company where AC Golden and other craft offerings are placed. I'll need to do a bit more research on these guys. Not sure what their normal flagship beers are but holy cow they brought out some seriously phenomenal and experimental beers. I was very impressed, as I have been with AC Golden. It will be interesting to really look into MillerCoors and see what they're up to.

More reasons to attend...the Denver On The Wagon crew
Jess and Sean from Denver On The Wagon ;)
Monica on the right from the Wagon crew
Booya! Tommyknocker brings out the cask beers!
Firestone Walker rep Elizabeth Kagan hanging with the brewer Matt Brynildson
Surly and Bell's were in attendance and they were very generous. Hope to
see their beers in our liquor stores sometime soon!

Our man Grant Goodwiler talking with Joe Mohrfeld of Odell. Joe is leaving Odell to start up the new Pinthouse Pizza brewery in Austin, Texas. The new brewery will be hop-focused, something I wish more CO breweries would do. It sounds like the five or so flagship beers will all be hoppy and/or bitter and the IPA will be on a constant rotation.

Thomas Larsen of Ska having a real good time.
And last, but certainly not least...

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