Vail Big Beers Day Two in Photos

The greatest part about the Vail Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines festival is the educational seminars. Yes, there’s a beer festival, but the expansive nature of the seminar track at Big Beers is what keeps people coming back year after year. Every year, there’s something a little different, and it keeps things fresh.

We kicked the day off in the “Coolship” seminar, hearing from four brewers who are continually trying to change the perception of American brewing.

It was standing room only at the first seminar of the day.

It was standing room only at the first seminar of the day.

Jason Perkins from Allagash, Jeffrey Stuffings from Jesterking, Jason Yester from Trinity and Chase Healey from Prairie all walked the seminar through their approach to spontaneous wild ales. We’re still piecing together our thoughts from that seminar, so look for a writeup soon.

With twelve beers to taste, the Coolship seminar used a ton of glassware.

With twelve beers to taste, the Coolship seminar used a ton of glassware.

Next it was on to learn about Casey Brewing and Blending‘s “The Cut” and hear from Troy Casey about his philosophies and his brewing practices. When asked about his lab equipment: “We have a hydrometer.” Troy spoke about how his time with AC Golden almost burned him out completely, but that the romantic side of brewing, feeling his way through the process really brought him back. It’s these type of stories that are going to help propel craft beer forward.

Troy Casey

Troy Casey

The Cut: Apricot from barrel to final blend.

The Cut: Apricot from barrel to final blend.

After that, we joined Rocky Mountain Barrel Company‘s seminar on barrel sourcing. With a star-studded panel featuring Andy Parker from Avery Brewing, Troy Casey, Eric Ponce from Goose Island, Patrick Rue from The Bruery, and Jonathan Buford of Arizona Wilderness Brewing, there were some great stories from their respective experiences with barrels.

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From the mass quantity of “8-year old bourbon” barrels that Goose Island uses to Arizona Wilderness’ experience mixing chalk and garlic to mask the smell of a barrel in their brewpub, all sides of the barrel-aging spectrum were covered.

“There’s four tunas in every beer.” – Andy Parker, Avery Brewing Company joking about the beer Fortuna.

Then it was on to the Commercial Tasting. It was truly epic. If you didn’t make it up this year, we’ll make sure to alert you when tickets go on sale next summer. It’s always worth a trip into the mountains.

Dogfish Head had some old favorites...we frequented their booth a bunch.

Dogfish Head had some old favorites…we frequented their booth a bunch.

River North took some time away from their new location to share some really fun beers!

River North took some time away from their new location to share some really fun beers!

Omar from Surly was representing for the Minnesota teams. Surly's Darkness vertical was epic as well!

Omar from Surly was representing for the Minnesota teams. Surly’s Darkness vertical was epic as well!

Loveland Aleworks had the most intricate setup at the fest.

Loveland Aleworks had the most intricate setup at the fest.

It was awesome having Asheville, NC's Wicked Weed at the fest. We had fun bowling with them at the Avery/Dogfish event on Friday night.

It was awesome having Asheville, NC’s Wicked Weed at the fest. We had fun bowling with them at the Avery/Dogfish event on Friday night.

Ro from Great Divide

Ro from Great Divide

Chad from Crooked Stave

Chad from Crooked Stave

Dave from Ska Brewing

Dave from Ska Brewing

Andy Parker from Avery Brewing

Andy Parker from Avery Brewing

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The Former Future/Black Project crew.

The Former Future/Black Project crew.

Chase from Prairie and some brewery we can't name.

Chase from Prairie and some brewery we can’t name.

Even though there were tons of crazy beers, we did love some good ole Ten Fidy...

Even though there were tons of crazy beers, we did love some good ole Ten Fidy…

The Baere Brewing crew.

The Baere Brewing crew.

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It was a long day for everyone...

It was a long day for everyone…

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It was very convenient to have Dogfish Head right near the coat check…we were able to end where we started.

Focus on the Beer
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