Erie Brewfest Showcases the Growth of Beer in Small Towns

Erie is an old mining town in Colorado that is not known by many people unless they live their or have seen the exit sign when driving along the interstate. Though sometimes I want to deny it as my hometown I did go to middle and high school in Erie; we always said we were from Boulder though because well, no one knew of it and there was not a whole lot to do in Erie. Of course, once I left they got a brand new rec center, library, skate park and a couple breweries! My little hometown is growing! :)

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This last weekend, Erie had their 2nd Annual Brewfest! A section of Briggs street was closed off and plenty of beer tents covered the street. Not only was I excited to witness all the new breweries in Erie and surrounding cities but I was looking to taste some new beers! I love going to festivals in Denver but I have tried a lot of the beers and it was kind of nice to be unfamiliar to a lot of beers and breweries :)

The BEER

I started my taste buds off with something big (at least in comparison to the beers to come)! The Old Burlington Stout from 300 Suns Brewing (Longmont)
got the party started for me. It was a yummy stout that was not too heavy but super flavorful. This was probably the best beer to start with in this situation because I could actually enjoy it since the sun was not beating down on me too hard yet.

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Next I mellowed out with a beer from Beer By Design (Northglenn). I got to meet/talk to Rich the owner. He said they have several beers available at all times at their tap house and they make them all kind of mellow. Their goal was to just hit the basics and not brew anything too extreme. I tried the amber they had on tap. It was very light for an amber which made it enjoyable in the hot sun that was now already making me sweat! It was definitely a thirst quencher- it had a slight sweetness but with a good finish that left no sticky remanence.

Lafayette is the town right next to Erie and technically where my parents live (oh city borders and unaffiliated neighborhoods!). They kind of beat Erie to the punch with Odd 13 and Front Range Brewing opening their doors about a year ago. Now they have Post Brewing in old town and Liquid Mechanics is about to open!

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In the next town over from Lafayette is Lousiville, where I began my schooling as a young lass :) Louisville has gained a few breweries in which I got to try at the festival. 12 Degree Brewing brought their Hibiscus Saison and their Pink Peppercorn Farmhouse Ale. The hibiscus saison was light and dry. It had good flavor but I would have liked it to have a little more punch. I know the goal is probably to have a refreshing summer ale but I also think having a little more hibiscus would have been nice. The pink peppercorn farmhouse ale was also very light and refreshing. 12 Degree Brewing makes all Belgian beers and they brought their two lightest due to it being summer and super hot that day! I want to get by their tap room to try more of their beers :)

Crystal Springs is also located in Louisville. I tried their Solano which is a chili beer! It smelt so amazing! It had a very strong pepper smell but then was not too overpowering to taste.

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Gravity (Louisville) constantly had a line and I am pretty sure it was because of the Pomegranate Wheat! Everyone seemed into this super light, delicately fruity beer.

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Now, Echo Brewing was also a popular tent and a popular discussion amongst people. They started in Frederick but are opening a tap house in Erie and everyone was expressing their excitement! Though Frederick was our rivalry I guess high school was a while ago and I can move past it :) I tried their Mirror Image IPA. It is a dry hopped beer- It was hoppy but also also kind of creamy which made it smooth.

Some of the other Erie breweries are Industrial Revolution Brewing and Old Mine Cidery and Brewpub.

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Though there were a lot of newer breweries, we cannot forget about breweries like Odell and Great Divide that continue to make delicious beers :) Also, Crooked Stave is always making amazing sours!

Other participating breweries:

Industrial Revolution Brewing, Rockyard Brewing Co, Odd 13 Brewing Co, Odell Brewing Co, Wild Woods Brewery, Kannah Creek Brewing Co, Big Choice Brewing, Left Hand Brewing Co, Crooked Stave, CB & Potts, Great Divide Brewing, Front Range Brewing, Lone Tree Brewing, Kokopelli Brewing, Pug Ryan’s Brewing.

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The VIBE

The Erie Brewfest was a very fun and friendly environment. Only the man with the water gun caused any hassle and everyone wanted to get wet due to the hot day! :)

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The DJ was spinning lots of fun, upbeat music which was making people move their hips!

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There was also some hula hooping!

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The Food:

There were a couple food trucks and a stand handing out big soft pretzels! We decided on El Toro the Tot after a women said we HAD to get a burger- there seemed to be no other choice :) I did not feel very hungry at the time but somehow I scarfed it down :) We had the Toro burger with fresh ground beef, chorizo picante, Manchego cheese, pickled red onion, arugula, and roasted garlic aiöli. And of course we got a side of tots! It was so amazing! I cannot even completely describe all the flavors but just trust me, if you get the chance to try it, you must!

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The People

Everyone seemed to be having a great time. There were so many friendly people- I talked to a lot of random people. There were lots of conversations in the shade as people crowded into the small shady spaces. I keep bringing up the heat because we have not had a normal summer. We have had some hot days but in general a lot more rain, thunderstorms, hail, and tornados so I know I felt a little off guard when the sun was finally shining bright!

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Music For Your Ears:

~Pump up the Jam by Technotronic

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7 responses to “Erie Brewfest Showcases the Growth of Beer in Small Towns

  1. The burger and tots look incredible — and I’m not much of a burger person. And the song! It brought me back and made me laugh. Many thanks for spreading cheer and yummyness across the country again!

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