If you like your beer big or bad or Belgian, then Vail is where you want to be today. The city is hosting the ninth annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival, highlighting an international selection of 175-plus beers, many with more than 7 percent alcohol by volume. These include offerings by Urthel, St. Bernardus and St. Feuillien, all of Belgium; Californias Russian River Brewing; Delawares Dogfish Head; and Boulders own Avery Brewing. In addition to the beers, the festival -- an upscale affair featuring white linens and glass snifters includes educational seminars, a homebrew competition, beer dinners and presentations by some big names in craft beer. Created to challenge consumer tastebuds, the side-by-side presentation of American craft brews with those from overseas is unusual, says organizer Laura Lodge of High Point Brewing & Distribution in Gypsum. Its the time of year when you want to sit down by the fire and sip something unique or big or heavy or different, she adds. The festival, which benefits the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, starts today and runs through Saturday at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort. Saturday passes are $35; prices for dinners and activities, as well as more information, can be found at www.bigbeersfestival.com.
Jan. 8-10, 2009