Gold Fever in Salida

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Brewers Rendezvous Brings Together Colorado’s Best Craft Brewers 

By Kyle Kirves

In days gone by, prospectors would gather annually along a riverbank for a rendezvous, the Arkansas River included. But its liquid gold in them there hills these days, poured for you from Colorado’s best craft brewers – no pan or mule required.

Welcome to the Brewers Rendezvous in Salida, held annually for the past 23 years. Started from humble beginnings in 1995 and featuring a mere eight brewers, it now showcases over 70 Colorado craft beersmiths, pouring over 300 flagship crowd-pleasers and new offerings alike. This year’s event happens Saturday, July 13, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Salida’s picturesque and welcoming Riverside Park, right on the banks of the Ark.

“One attraction of our beer festival is that it’s right in downtown in a tree-shaded park, in the Salida historic district, nestled right on the Arkansas River,” says Lori Roberts of the Salida Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event annually. “But it’s the brewers themselves who are so enthusiastic and set the tone for the event. They love getting a chance to just hang with their peers and pour beers for a few hours. That fun spirit is utterly contagious with the guests and attendees.”

Lori would know, too. This is her 23rd year with the event, having been there at its inception. “It is a great event supported by the entire town and,” she says, “a hoot and a holler.”

Beyond craft brews, the family friendly festival features four local food trucks and a variety of munchables, as well as live music in Riverside Park’s magnificent amphitheater. Salida’s historic downtown district (the first of its kind in the state) welcomes you post-event with a variety of shops, restaurants and entertainments. 

Tickets for the July 13 event are still available via the Salida Chamber of Commerce website and range from $15 for the “designated driver” pass up to $110 for the VIP package, with general admission at $50. A Friday night “Pre Vous” event with beers offered only that evening will be open to the first 100 in attendance. Buy tickets online and find details on the Who’s Who of Colorado Brewing in attendance, at salidachamber.org, or call 877-772-5432.

Please note: While the town of Salida and the Salida Chamber of Commerce love dogs, the Rendezvous is a people-only event. For the safety of all attendees, and your pooch, please leave Fido at home and not in a hot car.