Things to Do

Hard Seltzer Festival and Tasting Comes to Denver

Hard Seltzer Festival and Tasting Comes to Denver
Upslope Brewing
Fizz Fight — America’s first hard seltzer festival and tasting competition — is coming to Denver on Saturday, September 14.

Jake Browne, one of the festival's founders, was inspired to create the event after taking a one-month hiatus from beer drinking and discovering a love for hard seltzer. “No one has a festival that is just dedicated to this beverage category,” Browne points out. “There is so much discovery that could take place.”

Fizz Fight will gather twenty hard seltzer makers pouring two-ounce samples of sixty different hard seltzers. Big-name brands, such as White Claw, Truly and Smirnoff, will serve alongside local brands Wild Basin (from Oskar Blues), Spiked Snow Melt (from Upslope Brewing Company), Colorado Spiked Seltzer and Clarita Hard Seltzer (from Cheluna Brewing Co.).

“We’re really proud to have woman-owned Press Seltzer based out of Michigan in attendance,” Browne adds. For those looking for more than variations on hops and barley, companies like Press are creating flavors such as grapefruit-cardamom, pomegranate-ginger, lime-lemongrass and blackberry-hibiscus.

click to enlarge Wild Basin will be competing at Fizz Fight on September 14. - WILD BASIN
Wild Basin will be competing at Fizz Fight on September 14.
Wild Basin
Other seltzer makers descending on Denver include Bon & Viv, Henry’s, High Noon Sun Sips, Crook & Marker, Willie’s Superbrew and Big Sky Brewing Co.

Browne attributes the increase in popularity of hard seltzer to the quest for a balanced lifestyle. “I think people, especially in Colorado, are health-conscious but still like to play,” he says.

There are two sessions for the fest; the first runs from noon to 3 p.m., with VIP early entrance at 11:30 a.m., and the second runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., with VIP early entrance at 4 p.m. A judges' panel will give awards to the best seltzers, and festival attendees will also have the chance to cast votes for the people's choice award.

In addition to seltzer tastings, there will also be local artists creating interactive installations throughout the venue. “I think people are going to have a blast with that,” Browne notes.

All of the fun takes place at Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street. General admission tickets are $30 before September 1 or $40 after. VIP tickets are currently $50 and will go up to $60 after September 1. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Fizz Fight website.
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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering craft beer, food and travel. For Westword, she explores vegan dining and the state's artisan beverages, such as cider and mead.