Summer Brew Fest has been held annually on the 4th Friday and Saturday of July at Mile High Station since 2009 The taps of 50 different microbreweries were flowing in Denver Summer Brew Fest 2016. This event benefits Swallow Hill Music, a nonprofit community for musicians and music lovers who appreciate the ability of music to bring people together. The Denver Summer Brew Fest satisfied all of the senses with live music and multiple food trucks selling pretzels, sausages, turkey legs, pizza & more! We had the privilege to cover this celebration of tasty brews on Friday the 22nd, with a large majority of the breweries coming from Colorado.
I entered Mile High Station during the VIP Power Hour, which allowed me to check out all of the microbreweries. The VIP Power Hour also included a special MouCo cheese sampling with a beer pairing from Weldworks Brewing Company. As soon as I walked into the event I was handed a small Denver Brew Fest souvenir sampling glass. Brew Fest attendees could even have their souvenir glass engraved, which I thought a nice touch to an already excellent event.
Beer lovers of all palates could enjoy a sampling of 2-4 different types of beers at every brewery tent. This was heaven on earth. About half of the breweries were inside and the other half of the tents were outside with the live music and food. The live music during the VIP was Angie Stevens, and Garrett Lebeau took over the stage during General Admission hours.
My favorite brewery at Brew Fest was the Kokopelli Beer Company from my hometown, Westminster, Colorado. Their Kokopelli Red Moon is a nice clean and balanced ale that has a deep red color and a mild malty mouth feel. Weldworks Brewing out of Greeley, Colorado, brought their Apricot Gose. I enjoy sour beers and this beer is tart, dry, salty, fruity, and extremely refreshing.
Brew Fest provided plenty of alternative beer options with Angry Orchard, Big B’s Hard Cider, Stem Ciders, Twisted Tea, Wild Cider, and the “Not Your Father’s” beverage line from Small Town Brewery. Small Town Brewery brought Not Your Father’s Root Beer, Ginger Ale, and Vanilla Cream Soda. I had previously heard of and tried the Root Beer, but the Ginger Ale is definitely my new favorite. My immediate thought after sampling the Ginger Ale was how delicious it would be in a Moscow Mule; the following week I confirmed my assumption. Not your Father’s Ginger Ale is mouthwatering by itself and in a Moscow Mule.
Denver Summer Brew Fest was without-a-doubt one of my favorite events of this summer. The beer, the music, the ambiance and the food were all top notch and I am thrilled that this is an annual tradition in Denver because I will be attending every Brew Fest in the future. I can’t wait for Denver Winter Brew Fest will also be held at Mile High Station January 27-28, 2017!
EDITOR/PHOTOGRAPHER'S NOTE: Another thing that surprised me was the fruity beers. Now, I'm personally more of a darker ale lover with a taste of traditional hops, and an avid disdainer of grapefruit. Why would I mention that? Because some of my favorite brews were the grapefruit flavored crafts! The Traveler Beer Co.'s grapefruit blend astounded me for it's smoothness and transparency of grapefruit bitterness. The result was a refreshing beverage perfect for hot summer days. My personal favorite (being the coffee crack addict that I am) goes to Fort Collins' Horse & Dragon Sad Panda stout. The java taste with the dark stout is a tremendous blend, invigorating the mind and body while also putting the drinker back in his seat.
See you next year Brew Fest!