The Epic Beer Festival dropped in on Denver over the weekend. The traveling beer fest had previously visited San Diego, and also plans to hit Philadelphia, Dallas and other beer loving cities across the U.S. in 2013. More than 120 breweries were on hand to offer more than 300 beers during the event, which was held on Friday, June 28th and on two sessions on Saturday, June 29th.
We were there and wanted to give you a quick glimpse inside the inaugural event. Better grab a beer though since some of these images may make you a bit thirsty.
Attendees with VIP tickets were given a 1-hour head start on their beer sampling. This allowed us plenty of time to get our bearings and head for some of the more popular breweries.
Although I would have preferred a program listing the breweries and the beers being offered, there were maps throughout the Convention Center listing each brewery’s location and every table had a detailed description of the beers being poured.
There were plenty of local favorites, along with a variety of out-of-state breweries and even an extensive international selection. This was a great opportunity for craft beer fans to sample some of the recent new entries into the Colorado market and explore the variety of great imports we have access to.
Shelf space on local liquor stores continues to get tighter and tighter. Copper Kettle had their newly bottled and always dreamy Mexican Chocolate Stout pouring for the weekend. Bottles are currently for sale in the CKBC tasting room and will enter local distribution later this Summer.
The Great Craft Can Revolution continues to grow and grow. Arvada’s Odyssey Beerwerks launched their first wave of cans over the weekend with Ghost Rider Pale Ale and Helios Hefeweizen.
Boulder’s Asher Brewing will join the can craze later this month when they begin canning their Green Bullet Organic IPA in 16oz. cans. Stay tuned for more details.
Elevation Beer Co. out of Poncha Springs unveiled their newest release at the festival, a Berliner Weisse called Engel Weise. It’s tasty and refreshing and could easily be our new favorite beer for the Summer.
Gravity Brewing in Louisville continues to be one of CO’s new breweries to watch. Every time we see them at a festival, they’re pouring interesting, flavorful, complex beers. This time around they were offering their Louisville Belgian Dubbel, Acceleration Double IPA and Tsar Bomba Russian Imperial Stout. With multiple other breweries open or in various stages of opening in Louisville, this should be a beer town to watch for quite some time.
Rickoli Brewery fired their Disturbed Reflection Imperial IPA through a Randall with a bed of Apollo Hops inside.
Prior to this weekend, the Epic Beer Festival had been compared to the Great American Beer Festival. I suppose this was to be expected since both are held at the Convention Center, attract hundreds of breweries and draw an audience of thousands of craft beer drinkers. But let’s be honest here, nothing will ever replace the GABF, which is an event that has helped shape the face of the craft beer industry for more than 30 years.
That being said, Epic gave us a chance to sip and sample an enormous amount of beer from all over the world, with minimal lines, all at a reasonable price, making this an event we’ll be looking forward to attending again next year. Hope to see you there.