Food & Drink

Beer, music flows in Central City

Sample some of Colorado’s best brews and support the Gilpin County Historical Society at the Great Central City Beer Fest, Aug. 22 from 1-6 p.m. Back for its fourth year, the event features 25 breweries and unlimited pours that will flow along with live music, food and art vendors on Central City’s historic Main Street.

While the event is relatively small compared to some of the state’s many other beer festivals, it still sets itself apart. “Most beer festivals are preaching to the choir,” Very Nice Brewing Brewer Jeff Green said. “This one is unique in the fact that there are many first-time craft beer drinkers and they are getting a heck of a baptism with some really great breweries from their immediate area. Many walk away with the seeds of a new passion.”

It’s also popular with the staff of the breweries that participate. “Everybody, including those brewers who attend many other beer festivals throughout the year, say the cozy atmosphere of closed-off Main Street, ability to quickly duck into local businesses if it rains, food vendors and music program make the GCCBF one of their favorites and want to be invited back each year,” Dostal Alley Brewer Dave Thomas said.

Very Nice Brewery will be back for the fourth time this year. Green, who feels all craft beer benefits from “exposing folks to beer other than just the yellow and fizzy stuff,” backs the festival because “first and foremost, we get to support local, it’s in our back yard after all.”

According to Thomas, the event is “maybe the only beer fest that is held in tandem with and supports a historic cemetery crawl.” The 27th Annual Gilpin County Historical Society Cemetery Crawl takes place at the Bald Mountain Cemetery above Central City from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Proceeds from the beer festival also support the historical society.

Visiting with the other craft brewers and having the cemetery crawl characters and Wild Bunch gunfighters walk the street along with craft beer and music aficionados is something else Thomas appreciates about the festival. More importantly, “some of the brewers who attend GCCBF pour beers that have never been available for sale or at any other beer festival,” he added.

Live music will also be featured during the event. The Lookout Mountain Boys, Jewel & The Rough, and the Potcheen Folk Band will all take the stage.

The Great Central City Beer Fest is free and open to the public, but if you want to participate in the brew tastings, tickets can be purchased at TicketsWest online or at King Soopers and City Markets in advance for $30. Tickets will be on sale at the event, if available, for $40. VIP tickets for early admission, a private VIP tent hospitality zone, casino comps and appetizers, are $50 each. To-go cups will be allowed in and out of licensed establishments and casinos, too.

Visit to learn more or to purchase tickets in advance.

Originally published in the August 2015 issue of the MMAC Monhtly

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