Beer fest doubles as spring thaw

Natalie Pipe, left, and Casey Knuepfer dance Saturday to the tunes of Retrospectacle at the Western Colorado Craft Beer Celebration at Edgewater Brewery in Grand Junction. Ten different Colorado microbreweries provided samples for the crowds, which were larger than expected.

Beer lovers gathered by the hundreds Saturday to enjoy the springtime sunshine and sample beer created by 10 different Colorado microbreweries as part of the second-annual Western Colorado Craft Beer Celebration.

“We’re doing a spring thaw,” said Jim Jeffreys, Kannah Creek’s brew master and co-owner.

“We’re getting everybody out — cabin fever relief. It’s the first event of the season. The whole summer is filled up with brewing events. We decided to get started early.”

Jeffreys said turnout for the festival was much larger than expected.

Hundreds crowded the grass field at Edgewater Brewery, which is situated near the intersection of Riverside Parkway and Seventh Street.

Parking was at a premium.

Joel Gould of Phoenix said Kannah Creek’s Dunkelweiss label was his favorite.

“It’s awesome. It’s amazing,” Gould said.

Leash Achierno, Andrea Humble and Hunter Sharrock, all of Grand Junction, showed their approval by dancing before the stage with their favorite beer in hand along with several other beer drinkers who were eager to move with the music.

Several of the microbreweries left before the event ended because their kegs were empty.

“We’re having a hard time keeping up,” Jeffreys said.

Edgewater is Kannah Creek Brewery’s second location and production facility, he said.

The event was one of several across the state honoring Colorado Craft Beer Week.

Now under the direction of the Colorado Brewers Guild, Colorado Craft Beer Week is a nine-day celebration of Colorado’s craft brewers, pubs and restaurants, Jeffreys said.

Dozens of events were hosted across the state to showcase brewers and educate beer lovers about Colorado’s craft beer community, he said.

For $10, imbibers received unlimited samples of beer from several breweries, including Kannah Creek Brewing Co., Rockslide Brewery, Ouray Brewing Co., Colorado Boy Brewing, Revolution Brewery, Glenwood Canyon Brewing, Palisade Brewing Co., 2 Rascals Brewing, Copper Club Brewing Co., and Telluride Brewing Co.

All proceeds from the event were donated to the Colorado Brewers Guild, Jeffreys said.


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