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2010 Press Release
January 24, 2010
Laura Lodge

Big Beers Festival: A Decade of Success

VAIL, CO – “A world class experience by world class people”, said John Carlson, Executive Director of the Colorado Brewers Guild, who joined hundreds of homebrewers, commercial brewers, brewing industry folks and beer fans from around the globe in celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa on January 7 – 9, 2010. Two Brewmasters’ Dinners totaling 250 seats were sold out, all seminars were full to standing, the Atwater Tavern on Gore Creek was crowded with beer connoisseurs enjoying specialty beers on draft, 230+ beer fans attended the Welcome Reception, the homebrew competition judged a tremendous 302 entries, and the Commercial Tasting hosted over 975 participants and attendees.

“The success of this event can be shown by the tremendous number of Brewmasters and Brewery Owners who attend in person,” said Laura Lodge, Event Coordinator. “For our Tenth Anniversary we are proud to have hosted Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Co., Peter Bouckart of New Belgium Brewing Co. and Lodewijk Swinkels of LaTrappe/ Bierbrouwerij Koningshoeven for our Brewmasters’ Dinners with Executive Chef Adam Votaw.” In addition, Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Co., Nathan Venner of Altitude Chophouse & Brewery, Brad Veltman & Duncan Clauss of Aspen Brewing Co., John Mallett of Bell’s Brewery, Steve Trese of Boulder Beer Co., Steven Pauwels and John McDonald of Boulevard Brewing Co., J. Todd Usry of Breckenridge Brewing Co., Erik Maxson of Carver Brewing Co., Rick Chapman of Coronado Brewing Co., Kevin Selvy of the new Crazy Mountain Brewing Co., Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewing Co., Cory Forster of Dillon Dam Brewery, Kevin DeLange and Bill Eye of Dry Dock Brewing Co., Jeremy Pluck of the Gore Range Brewery, Eric Wallace & Ro Guenzel of Left Hand Brewing Co., Mitch Kunce & Nate Jorgenson, Brian & Tonya Gay of Library Sports Grille & Brewery, John-Michael Holas of Michelob Brewing Co., Doug Odell of Odell Brewing Co., Dave Cichura of Oskar Blues Brewing Co., Ron Kloth of Papago Brewing Co., Dave Mentus of Pumphouse Brewing Co., David Myers of Redstone Meadery, Nick Ison of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Dave Thibodeau & Thomas Larsen of Ska Brewing Co. and C. Andrew Brown of Wynkoop Brewing Co. were all in attendance pouring their own beer for Big Beers Festival weekend.

Previous years have featured Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing and Lost Abbey fame, Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing Co., Hildegard & Bas van Ostaden of Brouwerij de Leyerth, Matt Brophy of Flying Dog Brewing Co, Brian Dunn of Great Divide Brewing Co., and other outstanding Brewmasters and Brewery Owners. “It is certainly a feather in our cap that the industry buzz has become ‘See you in Vail’”, says Bill Lodge, Event Founder. “There are breweries from around the world who are expressing interest in being a Featured Brewmaster for future Big Beers Festivals, and we couldn’t be more pleased.” Tribute was also paid to those breweries who have attended for all ten years of the event: Avery Brewing Co. of Boulder, CO, Great Divide Brewing Co. of Denver, CO, Left Hand Brewing Co. of Longmont, CO, and New Belgium Brewing Co. of Ft. Collins, CO.

Five seminar presentations & workshops were hosted throughout the weekend. Ray Daniels, Founder/Director of the Cicerone Program, presented a Cicerone workshop on Friday morning [underwritten by All About Beer Magazine]. John Mallet of Bell’s Brewing Co, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Steven Pauwels of Boulevard Brewing Co., and Kevin DeLange of Dry Dock Brewing Co. were led by David Edgar of White Labs Yeast Co. for an Experimental Brewing Seminar called “Brewers Gone Wild!” [underwritten by White Labs Yeast Co.]. Lodewijk & Gijs Swinkels of LaTrappe/Koningshoeven spoke on “Brewing with Monks” and Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewing Co. presented a more technical talk on “La Folie: Wood Aged Sour Beers” for the weekend’s Brewmasters’ Seminars. And Julia Herz of the Brewers Association corralled a crazy bunch of Brewmasters who each presented a pairing with Ben & Jerry’s Crème Brulée Ice Cream for her “Beer & Food Pairing Challenge”. Challengers included Nick Ison of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Co. Ron Kloth of Papago Brewing Co., Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewing Co. (defending champ), and Steven Pauwels of Boulevard Brewing Co. who took home the 2010 People’s Choice trophy for his pairing with Boulevard’s Bourbon Barrel Quad.

For information about the 2011 Big Beers Festival weekend on January 6 – 8, 2011, stay tuned at or on the Big Beers Festival’s facebook group. To learn more about the Big Beers Festival’s extremely worthy beneficiary, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, go to or link from the Big Beers Festival website.


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