Some people like to “live for the moment,” but what if your “moment” is in January. Ours usually is, and much more so this coming January when the Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival comes to Vail.
You may be wondering, “Why should I get all worked up about something in January?” First, it’s worth getting worked up for, but perhaps most importantly tickets for the event go on sale Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. Mountain Time (that means you, Denver!). As we understand it, some programs at the event sell out in hours, plus you can get those early-bird discounts (no worms, just beer).
Last year, the event attracted nearly 1,200 lovers of the fine sudsy stuff upon which all civilization is built, and this year organizers say they expect a larger crowd since the Commercial Tasting and Fireside Bar programs have been re-located to larger venues within the Vail Cascade Resort, nearly doubling ticket availability for the Commercial Tasting.
Scheduled for Jan. 9-11, 2014, Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines tickets will go on sale online at www.BigBeersFestival.com on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. MST. Ticket prices will vary based on selected programs. The Vail Cascade Resort will also offer discounted room rates for that weekend starting at $219 for a standard lodge room with the promotion code BigBeers2014.
During the three-day program, Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines features opportunities to rub elbows with avant-garde brewmasters, owners and enthusiasts, including a Welcome Reception, Brewmasters’ Dinners, educational seminars, and the Big Beers Homebrew Competition.
For the past 14 years, organizers say the highlight of the weekend has been the Commercial Tasting event, which showcases more than 250 craft beers, most poured by the owner or Brewmaster of the brewery that brews said brew. The event, which was previously held on two floors of the Conference Center at the Vail Cascade is being relocated to Gore Range Hall to accommodate all of the brewers in one venue.
Another event favorite is The Fireside Bar Program, which originated at the event’s 10th anniversary, when more than 20 breweries created a special beer to be released at the festival. The beers were introduced at the Welcome Reception, and then poured in the Fireside Bar for purchase to benefit the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. Brewers have continued to donate kegs to the Fireside Bar annually, and the demand for these beers surpassed the capacity and service ability of the Fireside Bar, so the program will be held in the Cascade Lounge, which will provide additional seating, food options, and staffing for both beer and food service.
For a complete listing of weekend events, featured brewmasters, seminars and presenters, go to the event's website or sign up for the Facebook group page, where you can find updates, news and brewmaster confirmations.
The Big Beers Festival offers discounted lodging at several sponsoring Vail properties, including the Vail Cascade Resort and discounted equipment rental at Charter Sports, located inside the Vail Cascade Resort. For more information, visit the website at www.BigBeersFestival.com. For more information about the Vail Cascade Resort and its craft beer program, visit www.vailcascade.com, and for more information about the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, go to www.vvcf.org.