Soak Up the Suds in Colorado Beer Country
DENVER (July 29, 2011) – Known for its serious beer scene and award-winning breweries, Colorado is a beer connoisseur’sdream. Home to more than 120 established craft breweries, the world-renowned MillerCoors Brewing Company, and ranked first in gross beer production in the United States, the beer experience in Colorado speaks for itself.
Coloradoplays host to the legendary Great American Beer Festival, the largest commercial beer competition in the world with more than 2,200 different types of beer, as well as countless beer festivals across the state. Many of the state’s breweries also have tasting rooms and offer tours. For more information on Colorado’s craft beer scene, visit the Colorado Brewers Guild website at www.ColoradoBeer.org.
Below is a samplingof Colorado’s most innovative breweries and celebrated beer festivals scattered across the state.
Beer Festivals and Activities
■ GnarlyBarley(August 6). Featuring two dozen breweries, the Hambone Express (piggy races) and gnarly tunes, this beer festival welcomes the whole family in Fort Collins. Gnarly Barley showcases local craft breweries along with national favorites. www.GnarlyBarleyBrewfest.com
■ Grand Lake Crews and Brews Fest(August 27). The event kicks off with a morning crew race (regatta) on Grand Lake while local breweries and musicians will be on hand in Grand Lake Park following the race. www.GrandLakeBrewing.com
■ Brew at the Zoo(September 9). Enjoy Colorado craft brews and good food in the company of zoo animals at the Denver Zoo’s 14th Annual Brew at the Zoo. Add in some dancing under the stars and it’s the perfect party to celebrate summer’s end. www.DenverZoo.org/visitors/events.asp
■ Annual Telluride Blues and Brews Festival (September 15-18).This Colorado favorite combines the best brews with the finest in traditional blues music. www.TellurideBlues.com
■ Steamboat OktoberWest (September 16-18). Celebrate the season in true Steamboat style with live music, food, Rocky Mountain brews and a mechanical bull-riding competition. www.resortqueststeamboat.com/steamboat-summer-events/oktoberwest.htm
■ Crested Butte Oktoberfest(September 23-24). The Crested Butte Brewing Company’s 12,000-square-foot brew house, tap room and adjoining patio is hosting its second annual Oktoberfest this fall. Activities include a barrel race, dog costume contest and the award for Best Beer Belly. www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com/event/oktoberfest
Breweries Ahead of their Class
■ Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyonsmade a name for itself by hand-canning their Dale’s Pale Ale in 2002, starting the “canned-beer-craze.” Since then, the movement has spread across the country with more than 100 U.S. craft breweries canning their own beer. Dale’s Pale Ale has since been named “America’s Hottest Brand” by Advertising Age while Oskar Blue Brewery was featured on the cover of Beverage World Magazine as the “2010 Breakout Brand of the Year.” www.OskarBlues.com
■ New Belgium Brewing is the first wind-powered brewery in the United States, but their saying “alternatively empowered” stems well beyond how their power is generated. New Belgium also encourages their patrons to trade their car for a bike by hosting numerous biking events, including their annual “Tour de Fat” cycling celebration (June 25-October 22). www.NewBelgium.com
■ Wynkoop Brewing Company.With the help of Colorado’s governor and former Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, Wynkoop Brewing Company pioneered the Colorado craft brewery scene by becoming the state’s first brewpub back in 1988. www.Wynkoop.com
■ Asher Brewing Company in Boulderis Colorado’s first all-organic brewery. Their mission is to produce world-class certified organic beer, while utilizing environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business practices. The brewery is run on 100 percent wind power. www.AsherBrewing.com
■ AC Golden Brewing Company hangs its hat on producing Colorado Native, a Colorado beer through and through. The beer is made with Colorado ingredients, for Coloradans, and committed to making Colorado even better by donating 25-cents from every case of Native sold to local charities and non-profit organizations selected by Native drinkers. www.ColoradoNativeLager.com
Brewery Tours and Activities
■ The MillerCoors Brewery in Golden invites visitors to see and taste traditional brewing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The tour winds through the world’s largest single site brewery, highlighting their malting, brewing and packaging processes. www.MillerCoors.com/golden-brewery-tour.aspx
■ The City of “Brewerly” Love Package. Durango’s breweries have teamed up to offer “The City of ‘Brewerly’ Love Package,” a tasting tour to the city’s four breweries (Ska Brewing Co., Steamworks Brewing, Carvers Brewing and Durango Brewing). The package includes brewery tours, beer tasters, transportation and accommodations. www.Durango.org/info/specials-and-packages/specials-dato.brewery_tour.specials_detail_snippet.aspx
■ Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver is celebrating the seasonal release of Rumble Oak Aged IPA, Smoked Baltic Porter and Belgian Style Yeti. Enjoy a cold one in their tap room from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday thru Tuesday or take a tour of the brewery any day of the week. www.GreatDivide.com
■ Hop to it Brewery Tour.The Southwest Colorado Travel Region invites visitors to discover the beers of the southwest with the Hop to it Brewery Tour. The tour takes travelers to 16 breweries in the region, highlighting events in each town. www.SWColoradoHeritage.com/heritage-maps-and-trips/suggested-trips/hop-to-it-brewery-tour
■ BreckenridgeBreweryhas grown from a small 3,000-barrels-per-year brewpub to one of the most successful craft beer companies in the nation. Call in advance to set up a free tour of the brewery and sampling. www.BreckenridgeBrewery.com
■ Bristol Brewingin Colorado Springs brews one-of-a-kind ales for craft-brew lovers. Laughing Lab, one of its most popular beers, took a silver medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival in the Best Scottish Ales category. Call to set up a tour with the brewmaster. www.BristolBrewing.com
Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, 26 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 54 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet and 12 national parks, monuments and historic sites. For more information or a copy of the 2011 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO. Media are invited to visit the Colorado Media Room at www.COLORADO.com/media-room for story ideas, press releases, press kits, and high-resolution, downloadable photos and video for editorial use. Follow Colorado on Twitter at www.twitter.com/colorado or become a Colorado Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/visitcolorado.
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