Craft Brewers Conference Brings More Beer Celebrations to Denver
Though Aimed at the Industry, Related Events are Open to the Public
By Natasha Lovato
The craft brewing industry’s largest gathering revs up for a week full of educational and sensory packed opportunities April 8-11 at the Colorado Convention Center in Downtown Denver.
The 36th Annual Craft Brewer’s Conference (CBC) is under way! Beer culture is larger than ever in America and according to the Brewer’s Association, Colorado is ranked number three in the nation with the most craft breweries. CBC not only brings forth a week chock full of beer specials and events but an opportunity to dive deeper into the business of beer as speakers, colleagues, exhibitors and beer lovers immerse themselves in the latest trends, tools, technologies, safety tips, leadership techniques and marketing practices.
This year representatives from all 50 states and 65 countries are expected to attend CBC. “Every year is different as seminars and speakers reflect the trends in the industry,” CBC marketing director Ann Obenchain said. “The Welcome Reception will be the first experimental event of its kind, basically a mini-beer festival particularly highlighting the Symposium Beer.” The beer chosen to commemorate the 36th Annual CBC, the Symposium Beer, is a Red Brut IPA brewed at Sleeping Giant Brewing Company, a production brewer in Denver. The Colorado Brewers Guild members decided on the style based on emerging trends.
While the conference sits in the epicenter of the metro area, you don’t have to attend the conference to enjoy a week filled to the brim with special tappings, pairings and parties. Alongside the tappings you’ll find favorites from seasonal, rare and popular beers in just about every brewery and taproom you walk into. Here are a few to highlight:
Hops & Pie have dedicated their taps in celebration of CBC all week long. On Tuesday April 9, you’ll find Bissell Brothers from Maine, Casey Brewing and Blending from Glenwood Springs, and Ology Brewing Co. out of Florida. On April 10 there will be a total takeover by the Trillium Brewing Co. from Massachusetts with their many sours, stouts, ales and IPAs. April 11 is made to be a journey across the country with double IPAs out of Lawson’s Finest Liquids located in the Mad River Valley of Vermont, and the Biére de Blanc du Bois from Jester King Brewery in Austin.
The Poncha Springs brewery Elevation Beer Co. and Athens, Georgia, brewery Terrapin Beer Co. kick off the Craft Brewers Conference at Appaloosa Grill, Monday, April 8 from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. with the new collaboration IPA, Turtles all the Way Up, alongside live music from Denver's own Pick & Howl bluegrass band.
Agave and Beer Pairings will be held on Apr. 11 from 7 p.m. until close at Freshcraft in Denver. Join them for tappings from Boulevard, Ommegang and Telluride Brewing paired with amazing agave spirits, including Derrumbes San Luis Potosi and Fidencio Clasico from the Classic Distributing portfolio.
Master Brewers Dick Cantwell and Peter Bouckaert explore the flavor complexities within their book, Wood & Beer: A Brewer’s Guide, on April 9 from 6:30 -7:45 p.m. at the Basement Community Room at the Park Hill Branch Library in Denver. On the same Tuesday, Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery will hold a Squarrel Tap Takeover from 7-11 p.m. Ten special guest brewers will come together with Jagged Mountain to feature over 14 Squarrel-aged beers. From unique wood species and exciting combinations, they’ll have it all on top of Wood & Beer: A brewer’s Guide book signings.
Join Colorado’s own Leftover Salmon with Roka Hueka at Craft After Dark on April 10 from 7- 11 p.m. at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom hosted by Ska Brewing Company.
WeldWerks Brewing is throwing a CBC kick-off party on April 8 from 12-9 p.m. where you’ll enjoy a free draft pour when you present your CBC badge along with an exclusive release of Coffee Maple Achromatic Imperial Stout and other specials.
Alongside their CBC happy hour, Woods Boss Brewing will host the American Beer Equipment’s CBC after party, April 11 from 3-6 p.m., where you’ll have the opportunity to see the ABE team in person and get a first-hand viewing of their equipment in use at Woods Boss. Snacks and beer will be provided.