This past Saturday, we headed down to Pueblo for the Steel City Brewfest. For the second year, the Steel City Brewers Homebrew club and the Boats, Bands & BBQ festival have put on a great event.
Walking through the crowd and the multitude of BBQ booths enroute to the festival, its hard not to notice how many people are drinking 32 oz cans of Bud Light. Is there really a haven of craft beer hidden somewhere in the middle of all this?
If you haven’t made a trip down to Pueblo’s Riverwalk, definitely do it soon. They’ve tranformed the area into a wonderful community area. While there was tons of space for the country bands and the BBQ, it seemed like the brewfest was sequestered into a corner far away from everything else. No worries, the good beer was there.
We skipped the VIP session, which seemed like just an extra hour to drink, and hit up the general admission session thanks to the Steel City Brewers. The line to get in never got above 20 people, but seemed consistent for the first hour or so of the fest. Meandering through the usual suspects, it was nice to see some Colorado Springs breweries in attendance. Todd Baldwin was there pouring Red Leg’s Doolittle IPA and their award-winning Devil Dog Stout, and both Mike’s from Iron Bird had their Propaganda IPA and Wit on tap as well.
Bristol and Pikes Peak Brewing were also pouring suds, but it seemed like everyone was still gearing up for true festival season as their beers weren’t as exciting as we hope for. We stopped in and talked with Aaron Koenigseker (a local guy who’s written some articles for us in the past and now reps craft beer for Anheuser Busch) and gave him the required razzing. AB definitely had a big presence, which was to be expected. One thing at beer festivals that can always get annoying is unbearably long lines for samples, but at the Steel City Brewfest, lines never got longer than 5-10 people while we were there, so there was easily enough samples for everyone.
Our only complaint involved the taster glasses. While we don’t expect glass at every fest, there are a lot of plastic cups that have less plastic smell to them. The tasters provided overpowered many of the beers, and if one thing changes for next year, we’d suggest getting some slightly better glasses. Overall, the fest was awesome though even with that.
So what was our favorite beer from the evening? Walter Brewing had an awesome Bock on tap that hit all the right notes. Pueblo is really catching the craft beer wave with Shamrock, Walter and the soon-to-open Brues Bros, and it will be exciting to see if any more pop up after them.