Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Lake Dillon Beer Festival

This past weekend presented me with two beer festivals. The first was on Saturday in Dillon, CO.  The Lake Dillon Beer Festival--with bluegrass concerts--is one of my favorite festivals of the year.  It's not the biggest or best, but the location and music is just fine.  About 20 breweries were there at the Dillon Amphitheatre and for $30 I could try as much as I could in a 4 hour span. On top of that, many breweries sent their head brewers or sales (distribution) team. This made for nice, face to face conversations.

Some well known and larger breweries were there, like Breckenridge, Odell, Oskar Blues and Boulder Beer.  Their always popular and widely available.  For me, this is repeat territory, but I still like talking to them. Then there are the smaller guys: Backcountry Brewery, Ska, Renegade and Wynkoop.  And then the very small and/or new places such as Fate, Our Mutual Friend, Butcherknife, Big Choice, Strange Brewing, River North, Hogshead, and the locals Pug Ryans and Dillon Dam Brewery. Always good to grab some Backcountry beers, Alan Simons up there has good stuff.  It was also great to hang out with Jeff Griffith from Fate.  His Watermelon Kolsch was a hit.

It was also nice to see the Colorado Brewer's Guild with a booth. The craft beer scene in Colorado is booming and it needs representation on "the Hill".  Craft brewers also need access to, and knowledge of, valuable resources.  The Guild is doing its best to keep up; beer is growing fast 'round these parts.

Dillon is about one hour outside of Denver and far enough in the mountains to catch some awesome star-gazing.  Unfortunately timing was not on my side Saturday: a full moon (and the biggest of the year) lit up the lake and the sky. Darn. Still, the scenery was fantastic and the weather even better.

Nice place, fairly close, great scenery, friendly people, not all that crowded and good price all add up to a great time and a promise from me to return next year!

Dillon.  The fest is behind me

Music has started

Beer and the lake