Great American Beer Festival
The VBC crew headed to GABF last weekend for yet another exciting weekend of networking and tastings. This year we set up an unreal booth in the Meet the Brewers section that drew praise from other breweries and guests alike. Garrett worked hard to bring the feel of the brewery to the festival by incorporating the reclaimed barnwood wall with our signature metal logo for the back of a beautiful four post booth. We added a climbing rope pergola overhead to complete the look and the response was overwhelming. People loved it and it was fun to hear guests who have already visited our brewery and tasting room saying it felt like they were there. Exactly what we were going for!
Most importantly our beer was well received. We poured our North American Beer Award winning Tourist Trap Double IPA, Us & Them ESB, Hot Mess Blonde, and Apricot Sour. We’re still waiting for that first medal from the Brewers Association but in the meantime we’ll take the rave reviews from a great beer-loving crowd. Our goal isn’t to make beer for judges, we make beer to be enjoyed with friends after a day of adventure and we’re quite sure we’re doing a great job of that based on our amazing guests and regulars!
Curious what our favorite beers were from the festival? Quick list:
- Lone Pine Brewing Co. (Portland, ME) – Everything they brought!
- Georgetown Brewing Co. (Seattle, WA) – Bodhizafa IPA
- Great Notion Brewing (Portland, OR) – Blueberry Muffin Sour Ale
- Speciation Artisan Ales (Comstock Park, MI) - Incipient Golden Sour
- Calicraft Brewing (Walnut Creek, CA) – Guava Trees
Outside the actual festival our crew hosted a mini tap takeover at the best rooftop taproom in Denver, Tap Fourteen! Ryan and his awesome crew were serving up the Tourist Trap DIPA, Hot Mess Blonde, Face Shot White IPA, and Gourd Range Pumpkin Spice Ale. We had a blast sharing some beers, throwing out swag, and partying with our friends from the Front Range and those in town for the festival all while making new friends left and right. The party went well into the night and could not have been more fun! Thanks to Tap Fourteen for hosting us, we can’t wait for next year!
Three days, four sessions at the festival, a skeleton crew, and plenty of partying made for a long weekend but Sunday morning we were all alive. We had survived, some of us barely, but we made it as a team. After breaking down we worked our way back up the mountain, the snow welcoming us back to the winter wonderland we call home, letting us know another great ski season would soon be upon us!
Summer So Far
Can you believe it’s already August? We can’t. It feels like Scott was parading around 4@4 in his singlet just last weekend, yet here we are, over halfway through the summer months, thinking about fall and some of us may even be dreaming about floating through some fresh pow already. Funny how that happens up here. But summer isn’t completely over yet and we’re looking forward to the next few months and all of the awesome events we’re participating in.
This Friday we’ll be sponsoring the Friday Bike Raffle at E-Town. Swing by for discounted VBC beer and a chance to take home a brand new set of wheels! Want some free music after that, then come by our Eagle Vail location from 8:30-9:30PM and catch Bravo! Vail’s string quartet performing for our patrons.
Looking for a beer festival this weekend, then head to Winter Park where we’ll have our tent set up ready to serve the beer loving denizens of Grand County. Other upcoming beer festivals we’ll be attending are:
Make sure to check us out if you’re attending one of these stellar events as we always love seeing old friends while making new ones!
Wanting to stay local? August 17th we’ll be pairing with K2 skis for possibly the best Buckets & Brews ever at the Eagle Vail Golf Course driving range. Then we’ll be supporting the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association’s screening of “Blood Road” at Riverwalk Theater in Edwards, CO on August 24th. Join us for discounted beers with a portion of the proceeds going to the VVMBA. As always, swing by our Eagle Vail location any Thursday night for live music with no cover and make sure you’re following us on Facebook to see who is playing when at our location in Solaris Plaza in Vail Village.
We’ll also be pouring at the upcoming High Fives Foundation golf tournament on August 29th at Vail Golf Course. There will be another post about that awesome organization as the tournament approaches, but trust us when we say it’s one of the most fun scramble golf tournaments around! If you can’t get enough golf, also look into the Businesses, Bogeys & Bragging Rights tournament on September 14th supporting the Tom Slaughter Jr. Memorial Fund helping kids attend Vail Recreation District events they might not otherwise be able to.
As you can see, we’re staying busy here both in and out of the brewery, we hope you’re stopping by whenever able and enjoying everything we have to offer. We think we have the best beer loving fans in the industry and know that we wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for you. Make sure to let us know how you think we’re doing when you see us as we’re always open to new ideas!
VBC is for winners!
In the past couple weeks VBC poured beer at Crested Butte’s Chili & Beer Festival, Steamboat’s Oktoberwest, and the Telluride Bluegrass & Brews Festival. That’s a good deal of travel time for our little staff and we’re not done yet with GABF coming up next weekend (October 6-8, tickets are sold out but check on StubHub if you’re interested). Beer festivals are never a bad time and we love it whenever someone tells us they enjoyed one of our beers the most, it’s even better when they go the extra mile and vote for our beer in a competition which is what happened at Crested Butte when Garrett and Colton brought home the award for Best Wheat/Belgian with our Life’s a Peach Belgian Wit featuring fresh peaches from Palisade, CO. Everybody’s a winner if you’re spending a gorgeous day in the mountains at a beer festival but we are truly honored to have been recognized for our hard work and dedication to the craft.
If you are going to GABF, stop by and say hello, we’ll be located in the Mountain section, row I, booth 23. We’re excited to pour for all of the amazing craft beer diehards that make the yearly pilgrimage for this unique gathering and to meet the other breweries that are producing some of the best beers in the country.
what’s new locally?
If you haven’t been to the Vail Village location recently then you don’t know that we now have a piano and are hosting weekly sing-a-longs every Friday and Saturday night. We hope you’ll join in the festivities as a variety of skilled pianists join us to lead the bar in all the best songs that you probably only know the refrain to. If that’s not your thing then join us daytime Saturdays, all day Sunday, and every Monday and Thursday night for football on the projector. They say size doesn’t matter but our 120 inch screen makes it even easier to debate if OBJ was crying or just sweating last Sunday and it’ll be even more fun as the season goes on. Bring your own food and join the festivities!
At the original location we’re still hosting the best cover-free live music every Thursday night and some Fridays and Saturdays. Check the Events link above to see who is coming up next and follow us on Facebook to see who is coming in the future. This Thursday it's crowd-pleasers Lady and the Gentleman, a Colorado-based group you do not want to miss!
What’s on tap?
The leaves have changed, the temperature has dropped, the days are shorter, the tides come in, the tides go out, and Fall means Pumpkin Spice Ale. Stop in and grab a pint of our Gourd Range Pumpkin Spice Ale or grab a 22oz. bomber to go! We’ve also got our Brother From Another Udder chocolate/vanilla/oatmeal stout on tap, the next batch of our Coconut Porter is finishing up as I type, and check back on this blog next week to learn all about our Co-Hop IPA: Local HELP, a wet-hopped IPA made with the freshest local ingredients and an assist from two awesome friends of the brewery!
That’s all we’ve got for this edition, stop in and see us soon!
Where’s my blog updates?
If you’ve been secretly feeling like you’re out of the VBC loop lately, we apologize, we’ve been a bit busy. After taking over the former Carrie Fell Gallery in Solaris Plaza in Vail on May 17th, the ownership group along with some hired hands put in 18-20 hour days in order to get the new tasting room open as soon as humanly possible. As our first customer at the new place can attest, we were still unpacking glassware when he walked in but the beer was ready and we made it happen, we are open! It’s no small feat to open the first brewery-owned tasting room in Vail in over a decade and we have our amazing supporters, both local and out-of-towners, to thank for getting us here. We hope that all of you will continue to come see us at both our original location and the new one.
We worked hard to ensure the new tasting room has the same comfortable atmosphere as our original location. For those of you familiar with the brewery location you’ll find some of the same design elements done slightly differently. If you like the recycled barn wood from the brewery, you’ll find plenty of it here as well. Once again we’re showcasing our love for this great State with a wall sized flag, although for this one our artist Bart Gunderson went with a rustic design that will catch your eye the moment you walk in. On the wall to the right you’ll find the VBC metal logo courtesy of our friends at Sign Design. To your left is a chalk paint mural detailing the brewing process from the plowing of the barley to the bottling of the beer. You may not be able to brew beer as good as VBC’s just by looking at it but you can certainly appreciate the talent and time it takes to create great art and great beer. The menu is behind the bar in chalk, it works for us since we rotate beers so frequently and we’re going to stick with it. Look to the right of the menu and you can try to find yourself on the topographical map of Vail provided to us by Damon Redd of Kind Design. And finally, above our Sabco pilot brewing system you will see the US flag encased in glass to keep it clean. This particular flag has a history all its own and if you catch the right owner walking around, maybe you can hear all about it. As much as we hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it we really hope you’ll come see it for yourself as words can’t do it justice, and we believe everything looks better with a VBC beer in your hand.
This weekend is the GoPro Mountain Games put on by the Vail Valley Foundation (is that good enough Melissa?), there are multiple events located right in Solaris Plaza, we hope you’ll swing by and check out the view on our new second-deck balcony while enjoying your favorite brew. Thanks for checking in on us, hope to see you all soon!
Vail Brewing Co. Opening Tasting Room in Vail Village
Two months after celebrating its one year anniversary on April 1, 2016, Vail Brewing Co. (VBC) is ready to open its second tasting room in the Solaris complex of Vail Village. The new tasting room will open the beginning of June and will be the first stand alone brewery-owned location in Vail since the Kaltenberg Castle Royal Bavarian Brewhouse and Hubcap Brewery in the early 2000’s. The new tasting room will share the same mountain aesthetic of the original taproom connected to the brewery but brings VBC’s fine, hand-crafted ales closer to the guests that visit Vail throughout the year.
In its first year VBC earned a reputation for great beer delivered with expert customer service in a terrific environment for both chatting with friends or catching a live show. Owner Scott Harrison is hoping to transfer that same reputation over to the new location, “Obviously any time you scale up there are risks but we saw this opportunity and knew we had to seize it. We have a great team here at the brewery and we are excited to bring our brand of fun into Vail Village.”
The new tasting room will feature up to 32 taps and apres live music will be a staple. The new tasting room is located above Cinebistro and Bol in the Solaris complex of Vail Village. Hours are 11:00AM - 12:00AM Sun-Wed and 11:00AM - UTC Thur-Sat. Hours may change during peak seasons. Please visit www.vailbrewingco.com or visit their Facebook page for more information.
First Blog Post!
As I sit here at the brewery, at 12:30PM on May 2nd, 2016, I can’t help but think maybe spring is finally here in the Vail Valley. The sun is out, the Crossfitters are running along 6, and as usual, the brewery is bustling. Even during this slow season our regulars are keeping us company, getting to know our new beertenders, and enjoying Garrett’s latest creations. What is the newest treat? Well, today he’s throwing on Tourist Trap 2.0 since we know some of our most ardent supporters have been missing their Double IPA fix. If you missed the original Trap, don’t fret, this new version is even better, made with heaps of Mosaic and Citra hops to please your discerning taste buds.
New beertenders? That’s right, if you haven’t been in much over the past few months you might not know that VBC has added some team members. Courtney and Charlotte have already added new energy and ideas to our amazing staff in just a short period of time. We’re looking forward to having them continue to help us expand and grow throughout the summer. Whether it’s beer festivals, farmers’ markets, the Avon Concert Series, or other sponsored events, our staff is always looking for the next opportunity to serve the amazing people of the Vail Valley and this great state our hand-crafted ales! If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking what it would be like to work here, shoot us a resume at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can talk soon.
Popular question of the month: Is VBC shutting down for mud season?
Short answer: Nope!
Long answer: As a fully operating brewery, it’s hard for us to shutter the doors for any period of time, but beyond that, we don’t want to close! We love offering our beer-loving guests options for something to do while everything else slows down for a couple months. We’ve actually expanded on our traditional offerings of weekend music. In case you haven’t heard, Tuesday night is now Trivia Night @ VBC! Join local renaissance man Gabe Hogan: tax lawyer, weather man, and now trivia host, for 5 rounds of quizzical delight. Trivia starts at 7:00PM and goes until 9:00’ish. Looking for a way to celebrate Hump Day? Every other week join us for Yoga & Brews with Revolution! $10 gets you a yoga class courtesy of Revolution Power Yoga AND your first beer of the night at the brewery. Yoga & Brews starts at 6:30PM at Crosstraining Fitness of Vail immediately followed by beers at VBC. Staying flexible is the best way to kick off the second half of the week. Finally, keep following us on Facebook to see what bands are playing at the brewery in the coming weeks. If you know us at all you know we love offering cover-free music by local bands and national touring acts every week because nothing goes better with great brews than great beats!
Upcoming event to be most excited about: “A Beer in their Honor” – Saturday, May 28th
Our 1st annual Memorial Day event “A Beer in their Honor” marks the first of what we hope will be many times where VBC will partner with the Vail Veterans Program to raise money supporting their awesome mission. The event will feature music by Denver-based Lola Rising who rocks the brewery every time they perform, as well as food by Rocky Mountain Tacos. Whether you go out adventuring during the day, or spend it at Blues, Brews, & BBQ at Beaver Creek, this will be the best way to end your Saturday on Memorial Day weekend! We’re running a suggested donation of $10 at the door and there will be raffles throughout the night with all proceeds going to Vail Veterans Program. Join us for a great night supporting an even greater cause!
Cheers and see you at the brewery soon!