Summit County, Bluegrass & Brews

Photo: courtesy of Keystone Resort

Photo: courtesy of Keystone Resort

Bluegrass and beer fest coming to Keystone

By Steve Graham

Bluegrass and craft beer may seem like an obvious pairing in Colorado, but it took a creative mind at Keystone Resort to bring together some of our favorite flavors of both music and beverages.

Back in the infancy of the craft beer movement, in 1996, the year-round Summit County playground launched the Bluegrass and Beer Festival. Now, 23 years later, it is still going strong and growing every year. The festival returns to Keystone Aug. 3 and 4.

A diverse lineup of 13 bands and more than 40 breweries from around Colorado and the nation will participate and step up their game.

“A lot of our breweries, including New Belgium, bring specialty beers and exclusive beers to this event,” said Chelsea Rybak, special events manager for Keystone Festivals and Events.

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She said the musical mix is also special.

“Our goal is to create a space for unique and well-known artists to share their craft and for our audience to be able to enjoy the different bluegrass music year after year,” Rybak said. “We work hard to bring a mix of up-and-coming bands and bands that have been playing on bluegrass stages for years.”

Peter Rowan is coming again, and acclaimed bluegrass soul singer Lindsay Lou will also headline.

The weekend kicks off with a Beer Maker’s pairing at Warren Station with Chef Chris Rybak and New Belgium. 

“The menu changes every year,” Rybak said. “Chef Rybak adds his culinary spin to create spectacular dishes that pair perfectly with beer.”   

Keystone is also working with the High Country Conservation Center to make the festival a zero-waste event with zero-waste education opportunities. The group also has volunteer opportunities at the festival.

The festival also includes other classic Colorado activities. Youngsters can play for free in the Kidtopia Kidzone, and the young at heart can compete in the second annual cornhole tournament on Sunday morning.