Collaboration Fest 2019 - Recap
This year's Two-Parts Collaboration Fest returned to the Hyatt Regency Denver Convention Center and the lessons learned from the last year really shone through. There was copious space to move around and line up for beers you wanted and the beer lines were never very long. Breweries were well spread out across (and outside) the hall. Entry was much smoother this year as well with some organized queueing that made excellent use of the space outside the ballroom. One quibble was that there was only one food station, which presented some line issues outside the ballroom. Bathrooms were a short hike away and had a somewhat difficult path to navigate to and from, but those were minor complaints in an otherwise excellent setup.Of course, the collaboration beers were the stars of the show and were stellar as usual. Josh and Katie attended this year's fest for Focus, and a number of beers stuck out in their minds. A common favorite among festival-goers we spoke to was the 'Grafted in Paradise' Modern Farmhouse Ale from collaborators Paradox and Purpose Brewing. More than one person called it 'the best beer at the festival'.Other standouts included a cocktail-inspired English barleywine that collaborators Banded Oak Brewing and Odyssey Beerwerks mentioned had seen 3 different bourbon barrels as well as a barrel with botanicals that gave the beer a hint of vermouth-like flavor. It had a lot going on in a very good way.There is always a fun gimmicky beer being poured and this year had Periodic Brewing/Donavon Brewing/Mother Trucker Brewing tossing a few Cap'n Crunch into your glass with their Kapn Crunch IPA.Other favorites on the day included a dessert Berliner Weisse with yogurt and raspberries from New Terrain/Molly's Wine and Spirits, a Wild Ale with Blackberries and Lactose from Crooked Stave/Omnipollo, and a South American Golden Strong from Spice Trade/Intrepid Sojourner, Katie liked how it was a sensory experience with the Palo Santo wood.Some of our other collaborative favorites were on the more simple side, like the Berliner Weisse from Butcherknife/Crow Hop, the IPA from Outer Range/Casey, and the Imperial IPL from Dueces Wild/Cerberus/Brass.There we simply too many great beers to list. It was a fantastic festival.We always enjoy these festivals where the beers are brewed for the sake of the festival itself and not the typical brewery flagship beers. We love to see the brewers stretch their imaginations and highlight the best of the collaborating breweries' capabilities in making their unique combinations. We'll look forward to next year's Collaboration Fest with great expectations!