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Light Headed

The organizers of the seventh annual Craft Lager Festival in Manitou Springs are thankful that the hot sun makes people want to drink lighter, lager-style beers and thankful that it will be powering the festival via its rays. They’re also thankful for how quickly their event has grown. “It’s just blown up,” says festival president Julian Heron. “Last year we had 2,000 people. This year we’re expecting 5,000 to 10,000.”

There will also be twice as many vendors, four times the food booths, lots of live music and twice as many breweries (thirty) bringing 54 types of lagers, including pilsners and blondes, Helles and wheats, Oktoberfest, bocks and schwartz biers. “There really wasn’t a celebration of this style anywhere in the country,” Heron says. “Lagers are a difficult beer to master because of the method of fermentation. It takes a lot of artistry.”

Even more unusual is that a good portion of the electricity used will be provided by a truck with a solar array on top. The festival runs today and tomorrow from 1 to 6 p.m. at Manitou Springs Memorial Park, 502 Manitou Avenue; tickets are $35. Proceeds benefit Manitou city parks and open-space restoration in the area. For info and tickets, go to
Sat., Aug. 8, 1-6 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 9, 1-6 p.m., 2009


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