It’s no secret Colorado is home to one of the largest craft beer industries in the United States, making it the nation’s fourth-largest in breweries per capita. And among the state’s many brew-focused events: the fourth-annual Collaboration Beer Fest, May 25, at the National Western Complex.
Expect to be handed a beer as you walk in the door: “Board’s in Session,” an easy drinking pale ale with hints of tropical fruit and citrus is a creation from the Colorado Brewers Guild board (consisting of several owners of local breweries), a Colorado-exclusive beer with local malt from Colorado Malting Company, Cascade and Crystal hops from High Wire Hops and a yeast strain from Brewing Science Institute.
Then, try some of more than 100 variations of collaborations selected just for this event from the great minds behind nearly 200 breweries (both local and national).
“This festival is, and will always be about the brewers and the beers they choose to create,” says Tobias Krause, event manager at Two Parts. “That is what sets Collaboration Fest apart from other festivals. Instead of asking breweries to bring a beer that’s one specific style, we let the brewers’ imaginations run wild, and highlight what it is they do best.”
A few collaboration suggestions to try include the Spangalang Brewery and Elevation Beer Company’s New England-style IPA, with a juicy aroma and fruity and slightly bitterness taste. Or, the Spangalang and Real Dill Pickle “Colorado Pickle and Beer Society” project, pairs a wide selection of beers and pickles together.
Taylor Rees, co-owner of Spangalang Brewing says, “Not only is it fun to work with other people and on the collaboration of beer—but it’s that fun, educational experience—getting to meet new people and to be a part of the fun vibe of the festival, as well because of getting to see everyone in the industry.”
Sample the Fiction Beer Company and Ursula Brewery creation, which is a barrel-fermented Brett Old Stock Ale, with a higher ABV of 10.5 percent. This is a malty, rich-based beer, that is dumped into Pinot Verdot barrels to be fermented with a blend of Brettanomyces.
Taste the brew from Cerebral Brewing, who is partnering with Trve Brewing, presenting an ale made with Denali, lemon drop and sterling dry hops from Cerebral, and a base from an oak tank from Trve Brewing with delicate and nuanced characteristics (something they kept in consideration, to not add aggressive hops). The end result is a flavor with light fruit, pineapple, floral and a bit of a lemon zest.
Rees says, “It’s exciting to see where people’s heads are at, see other brewers and what they are doing and how the two kinds of mindsets from two different breweries can come together to create some amazing beer.”
For a full schedule, to see all of the beer selection for the event and to buy tickets go here.
4TH ANNUAL COLLABORATION BEER FEST
WHERE: National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St.
WHEN: March 25, 4-7 p.m.
COST: General admission, $60 plus taxes and fees; VIP sold out
FYI: Lyft is the official ride sponsor for this event with onsite pick-up and drop-off and if you are new to Lyft, they will be offering free rides to and from the event using the code “TWOPARTS”.