The Colorado Brewers Guild, which represents the interests of more than 100 of the state's 160-plus breweries, has acquired the rights to Colorado Beer Week and will revitalize the celebration as Colorado Craft Beer Week.
The fest, which will incorporate events throughout the state, kicks off on March 18 at the Falling Rock Tap House with a Colorado tap takeover that will include beers from eighty of the Guild's members -- an unprecedented square-state accomplishment.
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"Others states and cities have beer weeks, and we thought we would take this on and give it Colorado's flavor," says Colorado Brewers Guild spokesman Steve Kurowski. "My expectation this year is to introduce it to beer drinkers and then grow it next year. It can be as big as the breweries want to make it. Some are taking it to an amazing level."
Colorado Beer Week was created in 2011 by brothers Scott and Jason Kerkmans as a for-profit production, but the concept didn't catch fire, possibly because breweries and other venues had to pay to participate. Kurowski says the new format will allow anyone to participate in whatever way they want -- as long as they are a Guild member.
"It's not so much a money maker for the guild as a way to raise awareness for breweries across of Colorado," Kurowski says.
Colorado brewers for several years have wanted to hold a major event in the spring, one that avoided the busy summer festival months as well as the time period around GABF, when they are already incredibly busy.
"We felt this was far enough away from GABF that there wouldn't be too much beer drinker fatigue," Kurowski says. "But we also wanted to include the entire state of Colorado, and by doing this in March, we thought we could get the ski towns involved."
At the moment, most of the events are scheduled for Denver, Boulder, Longmont and Fort Collins, but there are also some taking place in Eagle, Vail and Durango -- with more being added all the time.
Other events include a Colorado IPA Tap Takeover at Right Coast Pizza; a March 19 beer dinner at the Kitchen featuring brews from Great Divide, Left Hand, New Belgium, Boulder Beer and Avery; a March 20 beer dinner at Freshcraft featuring; a Kick-the-Keg throwdown at Euclid Hall; a special beer lineup at Star Bar; a firkin fest at Breckenridge Brewery and a closing party at Left Hand Brewing called Hops and Handrails.
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