Avon’s Reds, Whites & Brews festival returns Saturday

Allyson Litt
Special to the Daily

The closer we get to Independence Day, the more people want an excuse to enjoy the sunshine with a drink in their hand. Live music, copious amounts of booze, food and good conversation come naturally with the festivals held in Eagle County, and the Reds, Whites & Brews festival in Avon is no exception. In spirit of the nearing holiday and in true American fashion, getting a buzz is always better when it’s for charity, right?

Harry A. Nottingham Park hosts the second annual Reds, Whites and Brews Festival today from 1 to 6 p.m. All ticket sales benefit the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.

By providing grants, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund helps people in the surrounding community who have major illnesses and need to take time off of work.

“It helps many people get through tough times,” said Holli Snyder, the general manager of Always Mountain Time, which sponsors Reds, Whites & Brews along with many others. “It’s my favorite charity in the valley.”

There will be plenty of drinks to choose from thanks to the 18 regional brewers and 20 domestic and international wineries from Veraison Beverage Distributors coming to Avon for the event.

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Whether you’re a beer buff or prefer to sip a glass of vino, a ticket to Reds, Whites & Brews provides you with an unlimited tasting cup to sample the various wines and beers. Tickets are available at the door for $40. VIP tickets are also offered for $75, which includes catered lunch by The Lost Cajun and commemorative glass. The park is open to all ages too. General admission tickets for those who want to come and enjoy the park, including food vendors and live music, can pay $15 at the gate.

“The whole idea behind the fest is do something that’s more for locals — we have lower ticket price compared to other events, which means more people can enjoy wine, beer and being outdoors,” said Snyder.

Entertainment will be provided throughout the day, starting with the country-rock sounds of “Derringer” from 1 to 2 p.m. Denver’s “Railbenders” will follow, playing alternative-country from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Three-piece string band “The Howlin Brothers” will close out the day, playing from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Brewers will each bring about three different types of their beer.

Colorado breweries San Luis Valley Brewing and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse will be there, as well as Firestone Walker Brewing Company coming from central California, to name a few.

“It’s cool to expose the beer to a different cross section of people,” said Andy Jessen, one of the owners of Bonfire Brewing in Eagle. Bonfire is returning to Reds, Whites & Brews for the second year. “Having the brewers right next to the music is a nice touch, usually we don’t get to enjoy that part of festivals.”

Keep an eye out for Bonfire’s Pink-I raspberry IPA and other specialty beers from its taproom.

White and red wines from Alfredo Roca, Sivas-Sonoma, Bradford Mountain and many other wineries will also be spread throughout the park for sampling.

Made in Argentina, New Age, a white wine blend, will be served at two tents. Stop by and sip on the signature “Tincho” cocktail, made from New Age White wine, poured on the rocks with a slice of lime.

“Last year it was a beautiful event,” said Jill Stacy of Quintessential Wines. Quintessential Wines is an import company that works to nurture family-owned wineries from around the world. “We expect the same phenomenal turn out for this year.”

Safety is key for those attending Reds, Whites & Brews.

Those with a ticket can hop on Eagle County’s Eco Transit bus system for a free ride home. Nottingham Park is centrally located in Avon, and with plenty of bike paths surrounding the area, walking or biking is encouraged.

Also, this event is for two-legged guests only, so please leave your furry friends at home.

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