2nd annual Vail Craft Beer Classic schedule for June 14-17
Tickets are now available for the second annual Vail Craft Beer Classic, taking place June 14-17, in the heart of Vail.
The multi-day extravaganza of all things craft beer features paired dinners, educational seminars, brewer-led activities such as mountain biking and hiking, and one of the state’s highest elevation beer tasting. The four-day celebration’s array of events are priced from $35 to $195, and tickets can be purchased online or in person (for select events) at West Vail Liquors.
The Vail Craft Beer Classic has curated a group of lauded industry leaders and public figures to lead this year’s events, including:
Jeremy Campbell: As the advanced sommelier of Root & Flower, Campbell will comparatively pair wine and beer with small plates at the Grapes vs. Grains Flight School.
Jeff Brown: Brown is the president and partner of Boulder Beer Co. and will make appearances at the Bikes & Barley event, mountain biking with brewers from Odell Brewing Co.
Brandon Jacobs: Brewing manager at Great Divide Brewing Co., Jacobs will make an appearance at the Summer Seasonals Brewer’s Luncheon on Saturday.
Carol Cochran: Cochran is the owner and founder of Horse & Dragon Brewing Co. and will trek alongside Hike & Hops participants before pairing food and beer at the post-hike lunch.
Jake Burkhardt: Executive chef of White Bison, Burkhardt will present coursed dishes at the Summer Seasonals Brewers Lunch.
Vail Craft Beer Classic events feature more than 300 beer, wine and spirit samples from craft breweries, wineries and distilleries over the course of the festival weekend.
Brewers Dinner: Thursday, June 14, 7-9:30 p.m. ($65)
The Brewers Dinner will kick off the Vail Craft Beer Festival with a celebration of culinary excellence and specialty craft beer. Hosted at Vail Ale House, chef John Olmstead will showcase a bold and rustic four-course menu, paired with unique beer selections, courtesy of Crooked Stave Artisans and FATE Brewing Co.
Sip at the Summit: Friday, June 15, 6-9 p.m. ($65)
Ride the gondola to the top of Vail Mountain for a high altitude beer tasting, complete with Rocky Mountain sunset views. Presented by the Colorado Brewers Guild, Sip at the Summit will exclusively feature Colorado beers, poured by more than 30 local brewers. The chefs of Vail Resorts will provide paired bites.
Off the Hook: Saturday, June 16, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($195)
The Eagle River supports an abundance of rainbow and brown trout. The Vail Craft Beer Classic offers a unique, intimate seminar for all fly-fishing skill levels, topped off with a picnic lunch and refreshing beers. Limited to 10 tickets, anglers will be outfitted for a guided river trip followed by a boozy picnic lunch.
Bikes & Barley: Saturday, June 16, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ($60)
The Bikes & Barley event combines world-class mountain biking with dining opportunities. A local ambassador from the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association will meet riders at the Evergreen Lodge for a guided excursion in Vail’s scenic mountains. Experts from Odell Brewing Co. and Boulder Beer Co. will be out on the trail, conducting a paired beer tasting during lunch following the ride.
Hike & Hops: Saturday, June 16, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ($60)
Up a mountain and down a beer — local ambassadors will guide guests and the brewer owners of Horse & Dragon Brewery on a scenic hike throughout Vail. Following the outdoorsy outing, adventurers will enjoy a paired lunch from Vail Chophouse, complete with beer from Horse & Dragon.
Grapes vs. Grains Flight School: Saturday, June 16, 11 a.m. to noon ($35)
Grapes vs. Grains will allow wine and beer lovers alike to experience how the hops and tannins can change a singular plate of food, guided by a sommelier and head brewer. Learn which beers and wines pair best with certain foods: i.e. with goat cheese, choose sauvignon blanc or a pale ale. Crooked Stave Artisan Ales will present select beer, paired with several small plates from Root & Flower.
Summer Seasonals Brewers Lunch, Food & Beer Pairing: Saturday, June 16, noon to 2 p.m. ($65)
Kick off summer with a luncheon highlighting fresh summer selections, both in beer and food. Executive chef Jake Burkhardt of White Bison will create a menu just for this special event, paired with small batch seasonals from Great Divide Brewing Co. and Mockery Brewing.
Toast of Vail: Saturday, June 16, 2-6 p.m. VIP; 3-6 p.m. general admission ($79 VIP, $49 GA)
The biggest tasting of the weekend is anything but traditional. The Toast of Vail culminates with a selection of more than 50 breweries from coast to coast (and some international offerings) in the heart of Vail, adjacent to Solaris Plaza. Live bluegrass music sets the tone, and a free concert in Solaris Plaza will carry the fun into the evening, until 7:30 p.m. (giving guests plenty of time to head over to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for the Dispatch concert). VIP ticketholders can bypass the crowds and start enjoying select breweries an hour before general admission ticketholders.
Father’s Day Beerunch: Sunday, June 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($45 for adults, $30 for children)
There’s no better way to conclude a weekend full of beer festivities than celebrating dad with — well, more beer. This Father’s Day, treat dad to a brunch at Flame, located inside the Four Seasons Resort & Residences, complemented by a selection of beers from Bonfire Brewing.
This year, the Vail Craft Beer Classic is offering two festival package options: The Weekender Package for $99 and the VIP Weekender Package for $139. The Weekender Package includes general admission access to the Sip at the Summit and Toast of Vail, allowing festivalgoers to get the most out of their Vail Craft Beer Classic experience with the weekend’s largest tasting events. The VIP Weekender Package includes general admission access to the Sip at the Summit event and VIP access to the Toast of Vail.
Tickets to individual events may be purchased a la carte at VailCraft BeerClassic.com or at West Vail Liquors (for Toast of Vail tickets only).
The arctic blast we saw at the end of October was just a tease. After a warmish, dry start to November, there isn’t much relief in sight.