By Jennifer Pund
What started as a party among friends to try new beers, is now striving to become Colorado’s epicenter to craft beer. The 2nd Annual Fall Back Beer Festival, presented by Poppy’s Pizza & Grill and Mama Roses, takes place Nov. 1, from 1-5 p.m. at the new Estes Park Events Center. Sample over 100 beers from 30 Colorado Breweries, learn from a “full spectrum” of expert vendors scattered throughout the festival grounds, take part in homebrew demonstrations and groove to music for the whole family. Extend the evening with Dinner With the Brewers that includes a “perfectly paired” meal and beer flight.
Festival Coordinator Graham Kopp and his friends set out to find and try new beers, expand their knowledge of craft beer and learn more about beer and brewing in general, and in doing so, inspired the Fall Back Beer Festival. Kopp feels many people love craft beer, but don’t really know why or what goes into creating the unique flavors.
“Fall Back Beer Festival is not only a great place to find great new breweries, but most importantly it is a place where you can ask questions, take part in workshops, or even lend a hand brewing with our homebrewing clubs,” Kopp said. “It’s an event that you can walk away having learned something.”
This year, the organizer is excited to be in the New Estes Park Event Center and Pavilion. “No matter what the weather is like outside, we will be warm, dry, and have plenty of nearby parking,” he explained.
The entire family can enjoy music by Boulder’s The Railsplitters, performing award-winning bluegrass and Denver’s The Atomic Drifters playing hard driving, traditional rockabilly sounds of the ’50s. Soda will also be provided by Durango Soda Company for all ages.
Held each year on the day the clocks are turned back, Fall-Back Beer Fest is not just a celebration of beer, but also the people who make it. “Not only will you find some of the newest breweries in Colorado, but the people pouring your beer will be the brewers themselves,” Kopp said. “We want you to have the opportunity to put a face behind the beer, ask questions and most importantly, get your answers.”
The festival also coincides with the American Homebrewers Association Annual Learn to Homebrew Day. Kopp says every brewer was once a home brewer and hopes someone will get their start at the festival by winning one of several homebrewing kits. To help celebrate Learn to Homebrew Day, four AHA sanctioned Homebrewing clubs—Berthoud Barn Burners, Big Thompson Brewing Collective, Liquid Poets and Weiz Guys—will be represented at the festival.
“From all-electric systems scattered throughout the festival, to propane systems out in the pavilion, these brewers will be putting on a demonstration like no other,” Kopp explains. “They will be brewing full batches of homebrew for everyone to watch, smell, talk about, and even lend a hand with in order to expose the non-brewing crowd to the exciting world of homebrewing.”
A full array of beer styles will be poured by the brewers and staff of 300 Suns Brewing, 1933 Brewing Company, Beer By Design, Black Bottle Brewing, Blue Spruce Brewing Co, Boulder Beer, City Star Brewing, Coda Brewing Co., C.B. & Potts, Crow Hop Brewing, Elk Mountain Brewing, Epic Brewing, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and Horse & Dragon Brewing Company.
Also participating are J Wells Brewery, Kannah Creek Brewing Company, Kokopelli Beer Company, Living The Dream Brewing, Loveland Aleworks, Odyssey Beerwerks, Paradox Beer Company, Pateros Creek Brewing, The Post Brewing Company, Powder Keg Brewing Company, Snowbank Brewing, Two Rascals Brewing, Very Nice Brewing, Wiley Roots Brewing Co., Wonderland Brewing Company, Verboten Brewing and more.
New this year is a large list of experts in the brewing industry hosting seminars and demonstrations. The White Labs seminars will pertain to the world of yeast. Bob Gregg of Elite Brands of Colorado will be hosting several seminars to teach the “whys & hows” to selecting the proper beer glass as well as having “pour-offs” for guests to compete pouring the perfect glass of beer.
David Boone, a Certified Cicerone, will be teaching how to properly pair the correct style of beer with any meal as well as pouring for Dinner With The Brewers.
Visit a complete range of vendors like Beer for Boobs, which creates a positive relationship with the beer brewing community and promotes breast cancer awareness.
Brewski Bones, a tasty treat for dogs made from spent grain and Crafted Brewed Clothing with it’s large variety of beer and brewery specific clothing.
Corvus Coffee Roasters from Denver will be roasting their recently launched Hopped Cold Brew Coffee since many beer drinkers love their coffee just as much and Dragon Leaf Tea will sharing their loose teas, herbs and blends.
Home brewers will benefit from visiting vendors like Janna and Chris Kregoski with Frontier Fermentation who, aside from providing quality control and assurance service for the brewing and home brewing industries, will be brewing onsite with their fully customizable electric brewing equipment.
Lafayette HomeBrew Supply will be offering samples of their selection of malts, yeast strains and all the equipment and kits you will need to get started. Hydro Hop and Rising Sun Organic Hops Farms will be on hand to answer all your hoppy questions. Pick up a Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine then visit Rocky Mountain Barrel Company to learn all about new and used barrels and casks. They also offer specialized furniture and other items made from barrels and staves.
When the festival ends, catch one of the free shuttles to downtown for Dinner With The Brewers. This event allows beer enthusiasts to learn what styles bring out the best in foods in several restaurants around Estes Park with professionally paired beer flights and specialty menu items to enjoy. Pick your favorite brewery because the brewer of your flights will be your special dinner guest that night.
General Admission Tickets to the event, $30 in advance, include official tasting mug for unlimited tastings while VIP Tickets, $50 in advance, include official tasting mug for unlimited tastings, early entry, T-shirt, pretzel necklace and designated-driver tickets. Festival goers are sure to walk away having learned something new about their favorite beer from the people who created it.