Brewers belly-up to new Palisade fest

Paul Wall, left, of Grand Junction and Dylan Reimer of Vail toast in front of the Kannah Creek Brewing Co. booth before downing partial glasses of beer at the Colorado National Bank Brews and Cruise Festival held Saturday at the Palisade Veterans Memorial Park. Wall was drinking an Irish ale from Kannah Creek, while Reimer was tasting the True Blonde Ale from Ska Brewery Co. of Durango.

Just five months ago, a beer festival in Palisade was a hoppy dream.

But Saturday, some 27 breweries, including three that made the trip from California and Oregon, were tapped and pouring in Palisade Veterans Memorial Park during the inaugural Colorado National Bank Brews and Cruise Festival.

“I think we have room to invite more next year,” said Cody Butters, a festival committee member whose efforts were credited by many Saturday for the first-year turnout of vendors.

Butters is a town trustee and also works as district manager for AC Golden Brewing Co. Those beer connections were on display Saturday under sunny skies.

“We want to grow and have it many more years,” she said.

Palisade’s notoriety for festivals made an early May beer festival an easy sell to brewers, she added.

“They recognize Palisade,” Butters said. “We just want to add this one to the list of festivals.”

Jason Meridith, with Bristol Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs, said he was impressed with the vendor roster for a first-year event. They take their flagship brews, such as the Laughing Lab Scottish Ale, to anywhere from 20 to 30 festivals each year.

Meridith and others Saturday expressed hopes to expand distribution in western Colorado.

“It’s fun to come out, meet folks and pass it around,” he said.

Jeremy Pluck, brewmeister at Gore Range Brewery, isn’t packing or distributing his product but hoped to lure future Interstate 70 travelers to his brewery and restaurant, located in Edwards.

“I got an email about this and it sounded like fun,” he said. “It’s worthwhile for promotion, and even if it’s not, I thought it would still be fun.”


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