Colorado breweries continue to open at a rapid pace in 2013 -- and they're typically swamped the minute they open by beer fans eager to sample their brews. But breweries-in-planning don't usually get a chance to put their products in front of customers (paying customers, anyway) ahead of time.
That's one of the things that makes the South Denver Beer Festival, a brand-new event scheduled for May in Littleton, so unusual. It will feature beers from at least ten would-be breweries right alongside the more established, well-recognized names.
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"We are shooting for sixty breweries and they don't have to be open to the public yet to participate," says festival planner Mike Burns, adding that all of the breweries-in-planning will be located in a Homebrew Pavilion. "There are so many breweries that are coming out and itching to get the word out."
That means festival-goers will find beers from hopefuls like Former Future Brewing (in planning for Denver), 38 State Brewing (Littleton), Resistance Brewing (Aurora), Atom Brewing (Erie), 53 Peaks Brewing (Conifer), Demon Spawn Ale Works (Aurora) and Kannon Brewing (Brighton), mixed in beer from Avery, Breckenridge, Left Hand and Odell.
The other feature that will make the South Denver Beer Festival different is its location: outdoors in Clement Park, in the southern suburbs.
"There are a lot of beer festivals in Colorado now, but there aren't a lot of big outdoor ones," says Burns, who owns the Beer Craving events company, which has put on several festivals recently. "We've got this huge space in Clement Park. It's beautiful, and I'm surprised no one has done a beer fest there before."
The demand for local craft beer is as strong in Littleton as it is in Denver, Burns says, but a lot of people who live there can't make it to the Great American Beer Festival or other big beer events downtown. "So this is right in their back yards," he explains.
The fest, which will also include yard games and food vendors, will take place May 4 and May 5. Tickets are $40 at southdenverbeerfest.com; there are also VIP tickets ($85), which get you in an hour early for drinks from local distillers, as well as samples from cheese and chocolate makers.
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