Big Beers festival announces featured brewmasters; event is Jan. 5-7 in Breckenridge |

Big Beers festival announces featured brewmasters; event is Jan. 5-7 in Breckenridge

Phil Leinhart, brewmaster for Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York.
Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines.

When: Thursday, Jan. 5, through Saturday, Jan. 7.

Where: Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, 620 Village Road, Breckenridge.

Cost: Reserved seminar seating is $15, Commercial Tasting tickets are $75, and culinary pairing events are $75 to $125; VIP packages are also available.

More information: Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 7; visit

BRECKENRIDGE — The Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival this week announced that Phil Leinhart, brewmaster for Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York, and Florian Kuplent, co-owner and brewmaster for Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. in St. Louis, Missouri, would be the festival’s 2017 featured brewmasters.

Leinhart and Kuplent will co-host the Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner on Friday, Jan. 6, showcasing five beers each throughout the five-course, double-pairing dinner. Tickets for this dinner, and those for the full weekend schedule of events primarily held at Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, will go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. via the Big Beers website at 2017 marks the first year that the Big Beers Festival will be held in Breckenridge.


As featured brewmasters, Leinhart and Kuplent are also on the hook to present an educational seminar apiece. When discussing potential topics, they decided to present both seminars together. The first is scheduled for noon Saturday, Jan. 7, is titled “Brewing Strong Beers of Belgian & German Origin” and is a precursor to the second at 1:15 p.m. showcasing “Ommegang and Urban Chestnut Collaborations.” True of all Big Beers educational seminars, tasting is part of the experience and attendees can expect to sample beers supporting presentation topics.

The Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival includes 13 educational seminars throughout the three-day weekend, three of which are free and open to the public: the Cicerone Workshop, Cigar Pairing Experience and The Yoga of Brewing. The balance is included with the Commercial Tasting ticket as general admission on a first-come basis, and reserved seat tickets to individual seminars can be purchased for $15 each.

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The Calibration Dinner, hosted by Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Co. and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, will be held in the Imperial Ballroom at Beaver Run Resort on Thursday evening, Jan. 5. The aforementioned Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner and the Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing event, hosted by Chris Trogner of Troegs Independent Brewing and Fred Bueltmann of New Holland Brewing Co., will be held at to-be-determined locations within the town of Breckenridge. The Welcome Reception on Friday at noon and the seminar offered Friday evening also feature food pairings.

In addition to its new location in Breckenridge, the Big Beers Festival has recently introduced its new website, with a photographic experiential focus and an online retail offering, as well as a new newsletter replacing previous email communication. For further information about the festival, schedule, ticketing, volunteering or participating as a brewery, check out or contact event coordinator Laura Lodge at

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