With origins as a Gold Rush-era mining community dating back to the late 1850's, Breckenridge has grown into a premier winter destination. Adventure seekers will be enamored with the Breckenridge Ski Resort, which sprawls over 2,900 acres and features downhill runs, superpipe, bowls, and the highest chairlift in North America. Those looking to unwind can make their way to any one of the many local craft breweries such as Breckenridge Brewery and Broken Compass Brewery.
The Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines Festival has been the leading winter showcase of craft beer in Breckenridge since 2001, and it will take place at Beaver Run Resort. This world-class experience will feature beers from more than 100 beer makers, including hundreds of different big, Belgian style, and experimental beers to sample. Attendees can meet and converse with a variety of beermakers ranging from homebrewers to representatives of large breweries. Food also plays a significant role at the event, and patrons can attend dinners with gourmet meals prepared by renowned local chefs. Anyone looking to dive deeper into the world of brewing will love the beer and brewing seminars which highlight subjects like Cigar Pairing, Yoga of Brewing, food pairing, and more. We interviewed Event Coordinator Laura Lodge to learn more about this can’t miss craft beer experience.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
LL: Our event began in 2001.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
LL: Our largest event sells out at 1900 people (max fire code for the available space).
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
LL: It’s an event involving alcohol, so everyone is over 21. However, it is a destination event for people who bring their families for a ski vacation and do this at the same time. We see many couples, adult families, and groups of friends. A good percentage of attendees are homebrewers or industry folks, which are a unique demographic.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
LL: The brewery list, brewing celebrities, and educational opportunities set our event apart from others. Breckenridge is a Rocky Mountain winter wonderland that should be experienced by everyone.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
LL: Each day features different activities. Check out our website for a full breakdown.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
LL: We have a variety of activities where patrons can sample delicious foods such as the Calibration Dinner, Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner, and Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing. We also have several educational seminars which include food pairing.
RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere?
LL: It's a high-end event with a high standard for event execution, but it's also informal and relaxed.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
LL: Follow the link to find out more information about local places to stay.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
LL: Yes, we have some great deals set up with local lodging providers. Visit our website for the complete list.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
LL: The Big Beers Festival is new to Breckenridge, and the town has fully embraced our weekend. There are dozens of affiliate events going on in town during the event weekend in addition to the formal schedule of Big Beers events.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
LL: Of course! Our attendees patronize a variety of local businesses, so everyone wins.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
LL: We work with Breckenridge Mountain Rotary for our largest event, and several of the affiliate events have a local charity involvement or beneficiary, such as the Snowboard Outreach Society benefit at Apres Handcrafted Libations on Saturday night.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
LL: The Big Beers Festival is one of the USA’s 10 Best Beer Festivals in the country, and its high caliber of events, brewers, and top-notch dinners and educational events make it a not-to-miss bucket list item for any beer lover.
For more information about the Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines Festival, please visit the event website.