VAIL, CO—The acclaimed Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival will be celebrating 15 years of craft beer decadence next year from January 8 – 10, 2015. Think about it now, though, because tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 3 at 10am MST, and sell out quickly for many of the popular events. The Commercial Tasting event, the largest of the weekend, is $65/person and also includes general admission seats to the educational seminars. Other events are ticketed separately.
In addition to the weekend kick-off, aka the “Calibration Dinner” hosted by Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Co. and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Craft Brewery, there are two other double beer pairing dinners, a dozen educational seminars, Welcome Reception, Brewers Reception, homebrew competition judging, and the Commercial Tasting event held throughout the weekend. Over the course of 15 years, this small event has grown tremendously, and owes most of its success to the craft beer industry itself.
“For the first few years the event was simply a beer tasting with a couple of seminars led by brewmasters or brewery owners during the day,” said Laura Lodge, event coordinator, “and it’s grown organically since then, purely by virtue of the brewers spreading the word and recruiting other brewers…locally, nationally and internationally.” The 2015 Featured Brewmasters are testimony to that connection, with Jef Versele, Owner of Brouwerij Van Steenberge coming over from Belgium by invitation from his compadre Ron Kloth, Owner of Papago Brewing Co. in Scottsdale, AZ.
The 2015 educational seminar line up is quite impressive, boasting technical seminars and sensory workshops led by industry leaders including Ray Daniels, creator of the Cicerone Certification Program, who will be hosting a workshop on Friday morning that is free and open to the public. For the event schedule and list of speakers, see www.BigBeersFestival.com.
Outside of ticketed events, the Vail Cascade is hopping with craft beer industry folks for the weekend, and the breweries participating in the Big Beers Festival donate kegs of beer which are served in the Cascade Lounge to raise funds to benefit the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. Vail Village, Lionshead and West Vail are also loaded with special brewery features and events throughout the weekend, and breweries located along the I-70 corridor offer specials before, during and after Big Beers Weekend.
To purchase tickets, for more information about the Big Beers Festival, and for updates about specific events and speakers, visit www.bigbeersfestival.com. For more information about the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, visit www.vailcascade.com. The Vail Valley Charitable Fund, Big Beers’ worthy beneficiary, can be found at www.vvcf.org.