Big Beers Festival to Celebrate 20 years

Photo: Neill Pieper

Photo: Neill Pieper

Breckenridge-based Fest is a Favorite Among Brewers and Beer Geeks

By Natasha Lovato

If you’ve never experienced the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival, it’s time to go big. 

Big Beers, as it’s commonly known, is the perfect excuse for a winter getaway in Breckenridge. Meet big-time brewmasters and brewery owners, taste hundreds of big ABV, Belgian style, or experimental beers and explore food pairings in an action-packed three day weekend.

In addition to the grand tasting, the Small Plates Pairing and Brewmasters’ Dinner are weaved into the weekend, much of which takes place at the base of Breck’s Beaver Run SuperChair.

 “It’s a pretty big deal for us,” Big Beers Director Laura Lodge said. “We are calling it a reunion and showing off everything from the past 20 years while acknowledging everyone who has paved the way to where craft beer is now. So, everything this year is centered on that.”

Adam Avery talks beer with attendees at the Avery Brewing booth. Photo: Neill Pieper

Adam Avery talks beer with attendees at the Avery Brewing booth. Photo: Neill Pieper

Learn from alumni brewers and sip beers in the educational seminars. You’ll likely run into them at a dinner or in a downtown pub. The gathering is the favorite fest among many brewers across the state, as well consumers who appreciate higher alcohol brews.

WeldWerks Brewing Co. Head Brewer and Co-founder Neil Fisher and Casey Brewing and Blending’s Troy Casey are expected to attend. You might cross paths with Matt Lincecum, founder and CEO of Fremont Brewing in Washington, and Phil Markowski, co-founder and master brewer of Two Roads Brewing Co. in Connecticut.

Top level VIP tickets will debut this year with added perks. For the first time, there will be a VIP tasting comprised of a private bathroom, beers unavailable to the general admission ticket holders, charcuterie food pairings and a special view of the slopes. Although there are many levels of VIP tickets, all will have the benefit of short lines and guaranteed seminar seating. Tickets go on sale Sept. 3-4.

The seminars are a huge hit for brewers and fanatics alike. Photo: Neill Pieper

The seminars are a huge hit for brewers and fanatics alike. Photo: Neill Pieper

Seminars are a large part of the Big Beers attraction. No matter your level of beer knowledge, there is a seminar for every interest. More technical workshops will include discussions on chemistry and lab work, while others will feature The Yoga of Brewing, a blindfolded tasting workshop and more. 

Follow the Big Beers program or download the official app to help guide you through more than 150 breweries, over 500 beers and dozens of workshops, all within one epic weekend. 

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