Vail Craft Beer Classic returning June 25-26, a “reimagined” festival |

Vail Craft Beer Classic returning June 25-26, a “reimagined” festival

5th annual food and drink festival offers intimate experience

The fifth annual Vail Craft Beer Classic will take place June 25-26. Sessions will be limited to 250 people. (Special to the Daily)

The fifth annual Vail Craft Beer Classic is set for June 25-26, with organizers calling it a “reimagined craft beer festival.” Thirty participating breweries are listed on the event website.

This year’s festival includes sessions limited to 250 people, making for an intimate sampling event with “no crowds, no lines, but plenty of premium beers.”

“We have limited ticket capacities, but the same number of breweries you’d expect at a beer festival,” Kristen Slater, event director at Team Player Productions, said in a festival announcement. “That equates to no lines at any of the breweries allowing guests more time to mingle with brewers. Without a line behind you, there’s less pressure to get a sample and move to the next booth, which provides a truly intimate experience for brewers and attendees alike. Also, sample sizes are larger than usual, so you can collect a flight to take back to your area to drink at your leisure.”

Last year, the Vail Craft Beer Classic carried a similar format and was able to put on one of the few in-person craft beer festivals in the state — a socially distanced event with more than 700 attendees across multiple sessions.

Tickets are on sale now at

What to expect at the Vail Craft Beer Classic

Sessions and tickets

There will be four Toast of Vail sessions at the park adjacent to the Ford Sculpture Garden and Betty Ford Alpine Gardens on Friday, June 25: 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.; and Saturday, June 26: noon to 2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. All day passes are available for those wanting to attend both sessions on the same day. Each session is limited to 250 guests to allow for social distancing. Tickets cost $49 per session, or $89 for an all day pass, and are available for purchase on March 18 at 10 a.m.

Safe sips — how it works

The festival organizers are working closely with Eagle County Health to make sure this is a safe event for everyone involved. Currently the following restrictions are in place though they may relax by event time depending on the county’s dial.

  • Outdoor venue with open air flow
  • Temperature checks for everyone attending and working the festival
  • Masks may be required, except for the designated areas for eating and drinking
  • Multiple sessions capped based on capacity restrictions
  • A layout that emphasizes social distancing and minimal cross contamination. There will be distanced areas with tables and chairs or picnic spaces for guests to bring their own blankets

In addition to beer offerings, there will also be craft seltzers and non-alcoholic beer. New this year, select beers will have QR codes so that attendees can order from West Vail Liquors directly from the festival and may be delivered anywhere in Vail Valley.

“Last year, one couple visiting Vail told us it was their first outing in five months. With the venue and distancing procedures in place, they felt so safe that they bought tickets to the next day’s events as well,” Slater said. “We’re confident that this year’s festival will be even better!”

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