Last weekend was the 2017 Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Festival. It has been held in Vail for the last 16 years and this year Breckenridge welcomed it for the first time. Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center is the new home for hosting Big Beers tasting event, informative beer seminars, and other supporting events.
Big Beers is more than just a beer festival; it is a weekend getaway in a snowy mountain town in the Rocky Mountains. With skiing at your doorstep, it can be made into a long weekend vacation. In addition to the snowy mountains in your backyard, the town of Breckenridge is a great small town to visit. The main street is only about 8 blocks long but has lots of cute shops, along with some good bars and restaurants.
Friday evening we headed up after work to catch some of the good beers on tap at Kenosha Steakhouse. They had a selection of Casey Brewing, Melvin Brewing, Telluride Brewing, and Wicked Weed. We enjoyed multiple tasters and got some grub too. The Big Bacon Steak Burger and Garlic Mashed Potatoes were pretty damn good.
Saturday morning starts with some Yoga and then leads into brewmaster and sensory seminars starting around noon. In the early afternoon the Big Beers tasting event begins. The event was split into two rooms, each filled with breweries, and then hallways coated with even more. The selection was huge and even within the breweries, there were lots of options. Weldwerks brought a plethora of tasty beers. The Coconut Medianoche Imperial Stout was amazing! They also brought Extra Juicy Bits and BAMA, which are both favorites of mine.
Loveland Aleworks also brought a few options. The Bugged and Barreled is their flagship tripel that has been aged for one year in French oak barrels with a mix of yeast and bacteria (brett, lacto, pedio). This beer was both unique and delicious! The Wild Elf Ale was another unique beer. It would probably have not been my first pick but since it was a limited release I went with it. The ale is brewed with cherries and then goes through a second fermentation in wood barrels. I really enjoyed it. Black Project brought all good options. The Cherry Oxcart ran out at GABF so I was happy to get a taste of that.
There were too many good beers to try and not enough time! Here are a few of the ones that were new to me and stuck out.
Favorite Big Beers:
- Coconut Medianoche by Weldwerks (Greeley, CO)
- Bugged and Barreled by Loveland Aleworks (Loveland, CO)
- Cherry Oxcart by Black Project (Denver, CO)
- Wild Elf Ale brewed with Cherries and Honey by Troegs Independent Brewing (Hershey, PA)
- Black Goat Double Block Lager aged in Bourbon Barrels by Perrin Brewing (Comstark Park, MI)
- Proliferous Double IPA by Seventh Son (Columbus, OH)
Big Beers is such a fun event to attend again and again. Though there were a decent number of people, it never felt like you were waiting long for a beer, if at all. The worst part of this event is having to choose which delicious beer to taste next! 😉
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