This Saturday ushers in Two Parts’ Collaboration Fest, which is one of our very favorite beer festivals each year and with good reasons. It has been dubbed the ‘Most Creative Beer Festival‘ by Food and Wine Magazine. Its venue at Mile High Stadium (I’m going with it now that Sports Authority is bankrupt and we don’t know for certain what it will be named in the future) on the club level is simply fantastic, and very appropriate considering one never knows what the weather may be in mid-March from year to year. The best part, however, is the fact that the beers served are almost always ‘unicorns’. By that we mean: the beers are one-off collaborations, made once by a pair of breweries (one of which must be located in Colorado and be a member of the Colorado Brewer’s Guild), and in most cases will never be made again. One might argue that each Collaboration Festival is a once in a lifetime experience; or a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re going to get.
Just kidding, we know exactly what you’re going to get: Excellent beer!
What do you expect when you get 149 breweries spanning 21 states and 5 countries together? The Fest’s poster could barely contain all of them:
What should you seek out at Collaboration Fest? Glad you asked! Here are a few suggestions:
Our top picks:
- Kumquat Saison – Epic and Green Flash – Kumquats can be complex fruits, that can impart citrus brightness and pithy bitterness from sip to sip. Sounds interesting!
- Mocking Baered Episode II: La Isla Se Está Quemando (The Island is Burning) – Mockery, Baere, and Inland Island – Two words: House-smoked pineapple. We don’t know quite what this will taste like, but we bet it’s going to be amazing.
- Fourth Estate Chocolate Stout – Media Collaboration with Lost Highway – Tooting our own horn a bit here, but you simply must try the media collaboration beer that we helped brew. Belgian chocolate stout with just the right amount of sweetness.
Beers with a Story:
- Jim’s Trip – Sanitas and Bru Handbuilt Ales and Wild Woods – The brewers sought out food based ingredients from each of their brewers’ home states. For Maine (Ian) and Massachusetts (Chris) they added maple syrup. For Jake (Wisconsin) they added wild rice.
- S.C.U.B.A. dOOba Dubbel – S.C.U.B.A. = Summit County United Brewers Alliance and includes the following breweries: The Bakers’, Broken Compass, Dillon Dam, Backcountry, Pug Ryan’s, and Breckenridge OG. Their Dubbel contains tart morello cherries, brown sugar, and toasted almonds and fermented with a custom blend of Belgian yeasts.
- Rock Star – Star Bar and Falling Rock Taphouse with New Belgium – This is a blended beer, foeder aged at New Belgium, and is a collaboration between Chris Black, owner of Falling Rock Tap House and Justin Loyd, owner of Star Bar. Very interested to try this beer.
Get a taste from out of State:
- Mother Baere – Mother Road Brewing (AZ) and Baere Brewing – 4 Grain Saison – If the Craftbeer.com writeup is any indication, definitely a must try at the fest!
- Duex Funk – Wicked Weed (NC) and Funkwerks – This barrel aged sour promises to deliver fruit and funk in equal measure from 2 separate brews, 3 fruits, and 4 microorganisms.
- Albino Stout – Koala San (Brazil) and Grist – A ‘stout’ that promises to deliver thick, malty, chocolate and coffee flavors crammed into a beer that is as light as a Kolsch. You have my attention!
There are a number of beers whose details have not been disclosed at this time, so there will definitely be some (pleasant) surprises in store for everyone attending the Collaboration Festival 2016 in Denver.
Couldn’t get a ticket in time for the festival? You can track down a few of the collaboration beers post-Fest at the following locations: