Tis the season to booze | VailDaily.com

Tis the season to booze

Andrew Harley
Casey Kjolhede and Eric Mankowski, Beer Rangers for New Belgium Brewing Co., greet guests at the Mountain Microbrew Festival Saturday held at the Vail Casade Resort & Spa.

As the end of October draws near, consider getting hammered on fine beer.The second annual Mountain Microbrew Festival kicks off Saturday at Vail Cascade Resort, featuring 19 Colorado breweries, mini massages, balloon art, seminars, live Austrian music, German cuisine and a boozing, good time.Three local breweries – Gore Range Brewery, High Point Brewery and Kaltenberg Castle Brewery, Inc. – will be there offering their wares for public enjoyment.”This will be the first event we’ve done in Vail with High Point beers in over a year,” said Bill Lodge.High Point Brewery has been brewing since 1994, and is better known as a distributor throughout the valley, representing Newcastle, Samuel Adams and Pabst, among others.High Point plans on pouring two beers. One is a Scottish-style red ale, which is a medium-bodied beer with rounded-malt sweetness and a caramel flavor. The other is an extra-special strong bitter, which pays homage to English-style beers with its hoppy, bitter flavor.The 16 other breweries include Odell’s Brewery, Dillon Dam Brewery, Carver Brewing Co., Cooper Smiths Pub & Brewery, Big Horn Brewery, Back Country Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, Great Divide Brewery, Pug Ryans Brewery, Glenwood Canyon Brewery, Tommy Knocker Brewery, Flying Dog, New Belgium Brewery, Oasis Brewery and Stone Brewing Co.”I think it’s a phenomenal idea to showcase Colorado’s most finely-crafted brews in such a pristine place as the Vail Cascade,” said Flying Dog brewery representative Doug Diana. “The bigger mass-produced beer brands usually control beer draft partnerships in resort towns like Vail. Unfortunately for small breweries, these bigger, nationwide brands have much deeper pockets than those of local craft breweries. The result that I see is less brand diversity.”Events such as this beer festival seem to celebrate diversity of beer and culture, while, at the same time, raise money for a local cause.”Flying Dog will be pouring its “In Heat Wheat,” which is an authentic hefeweizen with a smooth, full-mouth feel and a fruity aroma.Flying Dog’s other featured beer will be its “Road Dog Scottish Porter,” which is a rich, malty beer with hints of chocolate and licorice.”I’m expecting a good turnout, and to get a chance to get our name out in the Vail area,” said Mike Keller, New Belgium Brewery’s self-proclaimed “man behind the logistics.’ “It will be a good opportunity for people to try different beers that they can get from the liquor store, but don’t necessarily buy on a regular basis.”New Belgium may feature two or three keg beers, or it may send every beer it produces in a slew of bottles.”We’re most excited for the people who’ve never tried our products, or only tried Fat Tire, to have the opportunity to try all of our products,” said Keller.Dana Johnson, an avid home brewer will have a new booth, representing the Association of Home Brewers, at the festival, featuring an audio/visual presentation of how to home-brew.”The booth will provide a hands-on understanding of how easy brewing really is in your kitchen,” said Association of Home Brewers membership coordinator Erin Fay.To top it all off, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group.So, come get drunk for a good cause.Fine beer, live music, good food and tips on brewing are available at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa Saturday from 1-6 p.m.Tickets can be purchased for $15 by calling 476-7111, or at the door. Ticket price includes a free mug.Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at aharley@vaildaily.com.The Buzz2nd Annual Mountain Microbrew FestivalVail Cascade Resort & SpaSaturday, 1-6 p.m.

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