Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival
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2011 Press Release, Post-Event
February 20, 2011
Kirsten Texler, 970-331-2121

Artful pairing of Beer and Gourmet Food Creates Peaceful “Smackdown” Competition

Vail, Co –As part of the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines festival, the competitive “Smackdown” contest produced a repeat winner: Steven Pauwels from the Boulevard Brewing Company based in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Brewmaster paired the Grafton two-year age cheddar cheese with his Boulevard Tank 7 for the Beer & Food Pairing Smackdown seminar, accepting the grand trophy for his creative pairing. 

Hosted at the Vail Cascade Resort January 6 -8, the Big Beers Festival celebrated its eleventh anniversary with educational seminars, workshops, the Traditional Brewmasters Dinner, opening Calibration Dinner, and culminated with a large public tasting session with attendance reaching more than 1,000.  Additionally, All About Beer Magazine sponsored a Cicerone workshop lead by Ray Daniels.  The Cicerone program was developed by Daniels to provide a certification program for beer enthusiasts, similar to the sommelier designation for wine.

Sam Calagione, Founder and President of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery presented his experiences from his world tour with the Discovery Channel for the popular “Brew Masters” television program.  Other highlights of the three day international festival included an opening night “Calibration Dinner,” pairing Avery & Dogfish Head beers with gourmet edible creations from signature restaurant Atwater’s executive chef Adam Votaw, and a second night dinner with Boulevard & Brasserie d'Achouffe and a completely different feel, according to festival organizer Laura Lodge.

The Big Beers Homebrew Competition judging drew amateur and serious homebrewers and was sponsored by Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate.  Overall, this section saw 319 entries; the best of show winner was Ted Manahan of Fort Collins, Colorado with a beer called “Fossil Creek Kreik” to be brewed by Dry Dock Brewing on a commercial scale.  The joint result will be an entry in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition.

The culmination of the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival was a tasting event offering more than 200 big, Belgian style, and experimental beers for all guests to sample.  More than sixty brewers, brewery owners and importers were present to discuss their product as they poured.  Some of the brew experts on hand included Stone Brewing, Allagash Brewing, Deschutes Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing, Widmer Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing and many more.
Capping off the excellence of this program is the fact that the event proceeds benefit an important charity: The Vail Valley Charitable Fund.  The fund is a non-profit organization that provides aid to those in the Vail area with extreme financial need due to a medical crisis.

For more information about the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, please visit
For more information about the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines and to plan your “beer-cation” visit and 'like' us on Facebook

Media Contact:    Kirsten Texler    970-331-2121


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