Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder at this weekend’s Winter Park Beer Festival

Beer-lovers will be able to taste beers from 39 breweries at this year's Winter Park Beer Festival.
Courtesy / Winter Park Beer Festival

WINTER PARK — From India pale ales to wheats to stouts, it will be a beer-lover’s paradise this Saturday at the 9th annual Winter Park Beer Festival.

This year’s festival will feature bluegrass music, food vendors and, of course, 39 breweries from all over the country bringing over 100 different kinds of beer. It starts at 1 p.m. or noon for anyone who pre-purchased their ticket. Visitors will receive a 5 ounce tasting cup with their ticket for an unlimited number of tastings. No alcohol will be sold on the premises.

“We’re really excited to come back this year and celebrate what we say are brews, tunes and huge mountain views,” said Lee Sims, operations and marketing director for Radiate Live, which hosts the event. “We love to promote craft beer throughout Colorado, but we also love to promote the town of Winter Park because it’s such a cool town.”

The selection this year will feature long-time favorites like Ballast Point and New Belgium, as well as new breweries like Westbound and Down from Idaho Springs. And for those who don’t like beer but still like drinking, this year’s festival will also have hard seltzer and hard kombucha options.

“So for gluten-free people, there will be some seltzers here,” Sims said. “We also have a hard kombucha coming to this event as well, and it’s very similar to a sour beer and it’s delicious.”

For brew enthusiasts who are interested in VIP treatment, Sims said this year has some cool new features. Aside from a commemorative glass mug and getting in early, VIP ticket holders will have access to specialty booths, like Breckenridge Distillery, as well as two cicerones, also known as the sommeliers of the beer world.

Local brewers from The Peak will be bringing some Winter Park favorites, like the pomegranate-blueberry wheat, their Elk Bugle ESB and a pale ale. Tom Caldwell, the brewer at The Peak, said he looks forward to participating in a local event and having new people try his beer.

“It’s always a fun event, you get to see people from around the state and get to hear a lot more reviews about the beer,” Caldwell said. “It’s a good time to hear from beer-lovers and all sorts of people.”

With good weather, Sims estimates about 2500 people will attend the event and she hopes that this year will continue the tradition of being the top event among brewers and attendees.

“We hope people come out and just enjoy themselves, taste really good craft beer, can sit in the park and enjoy the music and the atmosphere,” Sims said.

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