The Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival celebrates a decade of tasty brews and live tunes this weekend on Ridge Street. For its 10th anniversary, the festival will be partying ’80s style, with free live music from the decade and a costume contest to encourage participants to bring their best retro gear.
A GROWING EVENT
The spring festival is a spinoff of the annual Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival that was created with local radio station KSMT. The event has grown each year, with around 3,500 people in attendance at last year’s spring event, said Jen Radueg, event director with Radiate Live Event. Both festivals started at Main Street Station, but had to be moved in recent years due to a higher attendance. Now, Ridge Street is blocked off for the spring festival, with the summer event held in Beaver Run.
The party is open to the public, with mugs sold to those 21 and over who want to participate in the tastings.
“People come and buy tickets to do any of the tastings, but if you want to just go with a friend and hang out or if you are a designated driver, then it’s free to get in for the spring fest,” Radueg said.
Individual beers will not be sold on the streets; only those purchasing the tasting mugs will be able to drink in the festival area. However, she said, people can still drop into any of the local restaurants close by to grab a quick beer before coming back to the festival area for the music.
Forty-five local, regional and out-of-state breweries will be bringing multiple beers for festival-goers to sample. From Summit County, Breckenridge Brewery will be participating along with newcomers to the spring festival, C.B. Potts.
“I’m excited to try a lot this year,” Radueg said. “We have a lot of newer breweries, at least newer to our festival, that haven’t been there before.”
Some of the breweries new to the spring festival include Tivoli, from Denver, Grand Teton Brewing, Declaration Brewing, Destihl Brewery, Boggy Draw Brewery, Storm Peak Brewing Co. from Steamboat Springs, and Full Sail out of Wood River, Oregon.
From Dillon, Pug Ryan’s Brewery will be bringing several different kegs, including a helles bock, dunkel and pilsner, according to brewer Warren Rosenkranz.
“We enjoy seeing all the other local breweries and for all of us to get together in one place,” he said.
From Boulder Beer Company, mountain area sales manager Eitan Lewin said he will be rocking his Jorts and fanny pack.
“I love this festival for many reasons,” he said. “It’s run so incredibly well. From brewer logistics to efficiently getting the public to the beer. I like seeing so many breweries in one spot with so many great and different types of beer. Plus, Breckenridge really knows how to throw a party.”
Boulder Beer Company will be bringing its Mojo Risin’ Double IPA, “a souped-up, extreme version of the one and only Mojo IPA,” Lewin said. He will also be bringing the Emergent White IPA and Shake Chocolate Porter. A twist on the traditional robust American Porter, Shake Chocolate Porter is dark black in color with rich, sweet aromatics and flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and caramel.
Each brewery will be bringing a case of specialty brews that will only be offered in the VIP tent. Two cicerones — beer experts who have gone through a certification program similar to a sommelier in the wine world — will be on hand pouring and educating participants on the beers available.
“(Cicerones) have really gone through the different kinds of beer and the flavors and what goes into the beers,” Radueg said. “So we will have two cicerones pouring, so VIPs can get upgraded experience by talking to the cicerones and doing really some more private tastings with those beers.”
Arapahoe Café will be serving up barbecue in the VIP tent, which will be a private area with separate restrooms.
There will be free water on-site throughout the festival, so bring an empty water bottle to fill up during the event.
Anyone who has pre-purchased a ticket, whether for unlimited tastings or VIP, can enter the event from noon to 1 p.m. before the festival opens to the public.
“Each of the breweries is bringing a true specialty ... beer, or really unique beer to serve during that time, and that’s only for people who pre-purchase,” Radueg said.
’80S TUNES FILL THE STREETS
An ’80s costume contest will be held at 3:30 p.m., featuring VIP passes to the summer festival and gift certificates from local restaurants, breweries and businesses as prizes.
Boulder-band The Goonies will be bringing all the hits from the decade from 12:15–4:45 p.m.
“’80s music is just really fun to dance to,” Radueg said. “The Goonies can pretty much cover it all … they can play the whole ’80s gamut.”
The after-party starts at 5 p.m. at the Hungry Dog on Main Street. There will be a barbecue both in the restaurant and out in front, with drink and food specials happening until the party ends.
Proceeds for the event support the Samantha Remington Angel Heart Foundation, a nonprofit that provides help and support to transplant families with their medical debts, counseling and other unforeseen needs.
“The Samantha Remington Angel Heart Foundation is an amazing organization created by Samantha Remington to give back to families in need,” Radueg said. “She had many medical issues and understood the concerns and issues that families are faced with when medical bills pile up. We chose to work with this organization because they serve the entire state and do great work. The proceeds go towards grants given to the families.”