Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival
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2015 Events and Weekend Schedule
Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival

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10th Anniversary Big Beers Event

by The Brew Crew

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It’s the perfect combination for a Winter Wonderland getaway: A world-class beer festival at a world-class ski resort! There are discounted ski/snowboard rentals available, discounted lodging, and other arrangements made for Big Beers Festival attendees. Almost all of the Fifteenth Anniversary weekend will be held at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa; the new Village Brewmasters’ Dinner will be held in Vail Village at Terra Bistro in the Vail Mountain Lodge.

Traveling to Big Beers? Check out our Traveling Promotion Tasting!
I-70 Traveling Promotion Tasting

2015Thursday (6–9pm) is our opportunity to thank all of the breweries and importers who make this weekend possible. Our new Brewers Reception will be held in the Conference Center with much fun and camaraderie. BSG Craft Brewing is sponsoring the event, and we thank the brewers for donating libations for the festivities. This is a closed event; brewers and importers only.

Thursday evening (7:30 pm) opens the Fifteenth Anniversary Big Beers Festival Weekend in traditional Big Beers style! Enjoy a double beer pairing dinner with fantastic creations from both Avery and Dogfish Head at each course. Sam Calagione and Adam Avery will be hosting the dinner with the Vail Cascade culinary team. See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.

Friday morning (8:30 am– noon) is the opportunity to bone up on your knowledge of everything about beer & brewing. The Cicerone team will be here to lead this morning workshop! And thanks to All About Beer Magazine, our signature sponsor for this event, the $99 fee per person will be waived. Take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity in Vail! For more information, see the Seminars page.

"(Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines) has become my favorite fest of the year. True camaraderie paired with a high level of brewing knowledge in a relaxed setting." 
- J. Todd Usry, Brewery Director for Breckenridge Breweries, Denver, CO

Friday afternoon (12:00-1:00pm) is our Welcome Reception in which the following breweries will be highlighted: TBD. Each brewery will be showcasing a beer of their choice with a food pairing designed by Exec Chef Chris Bates and his culinary team at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. In addition to tasting, the Welcome Reception also offers the opportunity to hobnob with some of the most innovative brewers in the world. Guests attending multiple weekend events, Volunteers, Judges, Brewers and Brewery Representatives are welcome to drop in.

Friday afternoon (1:30 pm) is the American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition. This event is a judging by a select judging panel for entries registered in advance. For more information about the competition, see the Homebrew Competition page.  Spectators and interested parties are welcome to attend, although participation is by prior arrangement only.

Friday afternoon (2:30 pm) is your opportunity to become a Certified Cicerone! The Cicerone Team will be administering the Certified Cicerone Exam to interested parties who have passed the online Certified Beer Server exam. For more information, see the Seminars page.

Friday evening (6:30 pm) presents Palate Trips and an Insider Tasting with Chef Adam Dulye and Julia Herz. Foodies and beer geeks unite while we tap and help tune your inner pairing guide during this unique and cutting edge demonstration.

vail, COFriday evening (8:00 pm) is the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner highlighting our 2015 Featured Brewmasters, Jef Versele from Brouwerij Van Steenberge and Ron Kloth from Papago Brewing Co. Join us for a second evening of double beer pairing fun! See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.

Friday evening (8:30 pm)
Our new Brewmaster’s Dinner will be held off-site at Terra Bistro, located in the Vail Mountain Lodge in Vail Village just by the Covered Bridge. The two Brewmasters featured for this dinner will be Jennifer Glanville, Brewmaster for Boston Beer Co. and David Cole, Co-Founder of Epic Brewing Co.  See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.

Friday Evening (10pm - midnight)
Cigar Pairing Experience - Join us for cigars and great craft beer. Experiment with various pairings and visit with the people behind the cigars and the featured pairings. No ticket required for this event, and no formal presentation. Come and go as you like.

Saturday morning (9:30 - 11:30 am) is one of the many highlights of our Big Beers Festival Weekend: our Experimental Brewing Seminar, titled “Brewing Outside of the Box: Brewers Gone Wild!” The topic for this year's seminar is Stouts: Beyond Tradition. Presenters are John Mallett, Bell's Brewery; Cory King, Perennial Artisan Ales; Brian Dunn, Great Divide Brewing Co. and Jeremy Gobien, Copper Kettle Brewing Co.

Saturday Morning (10 - 11am)
The Yoga of Brewing: Discover yogic wisdom and practices to enhance your skill as both a brewer and a consumer of amazing beer. This session is the perfect way to prepare your body, mind, and soul to receive the outstanding selection of beers coming your way throughout the day. Join Registered Yoga Teacher and beer lover (especially Belgians, Big Beers, and Barleywines) Stephanie Long for this experiential session. No yoga experience, mat, or yoga pants required! Roll out of bed for your first - and most unique - pairing of the day.  No ticket required for this event.

"This is one killer beer festival. I look forward to it now every year, and it continues to be my very favoritist beer festival."
- Eric Steen, Focus on the Beer

Saturday early afternoon (12:00 pm– 12:50 pm) Brewmasters Seminar Track: Jef Versele, Owner of Brouwerij Van Steenberge. will be speaking about “Yeast Cultures and Keg Refermentation”. See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday early afternoon (12:00 pm - 12:50 pm) Technical Seminar Track: Ben Knutson of AC Golden Brewing Co. will be speaking on "American Style Sour Beer". See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday early afternoon (12:00 pm - 12:50 pm)
Sensory Workshop Track: “Beer & Food with the Beervangelist.”
Join Fred Bueltmann from New Holland Brewing Co. on a beer & food adventure featuring Michigan cheese and chocolate. See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday early afternoon (12:00 pm - 12:50 pm)
Random Track:
"Send In The Clones: Sensory Analysis and Recipe Formulation Techniques for Homebrewers.” Amahl Turczyn will be discussing his sensory and software analysis as well as recipe development for reproducing several commercially available beers on a homebrew scale.  See the Seminars page for further information. 

Saturday afternoon (1:15 pm– 2:05 pm)
Brewmasters Seminar Track: Ron Kloth, Owner of Papago Brewing Co., will be speaking on the subject of "Non-Traditional Ingredients and Flavors". See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday afternoon (1:15 pm – 2:05 pm)
Technical Seminar Track:
"Belgian Inspiration" with Peter Bouckaert & Lauren Salazar from New Belgium Brewing Co. They will be sharing stories about who inspires whom, and the brewing evolution on both sides that have evolved as a result.  See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday afternoon (1:15 pm – 2:05 pm)
Sensory Workshop Track:
Join us for "Harvesting Yeast From Strange Places" with John Holl, Editor of All About Beer Magazine.  See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday afternoon (1:15 pm – 2:05 pm)
Random Track:
Learn about “Vintage Beer: Identifying Cellar-Worthy Brews” from Patrick Dawson, author of the recently released book “Vintage Beer”.  See the Seminars page for further information.

"(We) have made some friends that we see each year at this event and we look forward to it every year. For us, this festival combines snowboarding, fantastic beer, a beautiful setting, and great doesn't get much better!"
- Darrell Maudlin, Homebrewer, Houston, TX

Saturday afternoon (2:30 - 6:00 pm), the Commercial Tasting portion of the Big Beers Festival begins at 2:30 pm and continues through until 6:00pm. This international tasting is open to the public and showcases over 200 different commercially produced specialty beers from around the world.

Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm), Saturday’s Commercial Tasting event includes the 2015 Homebrew Competition Awards Presentation.

Lodging Rates and Information

vail valley charitable fundThe Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival actively supports the efforts of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, a local organization that helps individuals who live and work in the Vail Valley that have critical financial need due to medical catastrophes, accidents or long-term illnesses. For more information about the VVCF, visit, email or contact Michelle Maloney, 970-524-1480.


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