Winter Warms Up At Mile High Beer Fest
The Mile-High City is home to a wide variety of festivals, ranging from The Westword Music Showcase to the International Lidar Mapping Forum (ILMF for those in the aerial survey world) and everything in between. So naturally, there are a ton of beer-centric festivals that make their way to or call our wonderful city home. This past weekend, even the single-digit temperatures couldn’t stop the band from playing or the beer from flowing at Mile High Beer Fest. So, camera in hand and winter coat donned, I made my way to Number 38 in RiNo to check out just what Mile-High Beer Fest was all about!
So many fabulous breweries were in attendance! It’s hard to even know where to begin talking about them! Most notable for my evening of the 26 breweries in attendance were the following:
- Avery Brewing Company featured some delicious brews that were not only fabulous on their own, but when followed by another pour (at the recommendation of the brewer) mixed to make an entirely different taste experience! The Vanilla Bean Stout when chased with the Raspberry Sour was like a sweet dessert!
- Crooked Stave is always a solid choice in my book. Naturally, I made my way back for several pours of their crowd-pleaser, Petite Sour Rose. If you have not tried this brew yet, you need to!
- Declaration Brewing was slinging a sour IPA that mixed the two genres well!
- Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery’s New England IPA, Zero Hop:30, was positively mouth-watering! Just the right amount of haze.
- Los Dos Potrillos Cerveceria is newer to the brew-scene and has a killer Mexican Lager that will pair excellently with any of their killer food dishes.
- New Terrain Brewing Company was pouring up their Against the Currant Blackberry Sour and whoa! did it have a color that was only matched by its killer flavor!
- Odell Brewing Company’s Sippin’ Pretty is one of my newest brew-sessions! This fruited sour features the perfect balance of tart and sour.
- Spice Trade Brewing’s Thai Tripel subtlety mixed Indian spices in their brew!
- Strange Craft Beer Company’s Cherry Kriek always delivers!
- Wibby Brewing ultimately won for crowd favorite of the evening and it’s easy to see why! Their Lightshine Raddler was phenomenal!
Probably one of my favorite touches at the fest were the pairing recommendations hung above the brewery’s booths, so you could plan a dish to compliment your favorite brews.
For those that were craving something a little stronger than the abundance of brews being poured up, there were several vendors on hand to make those boozy dreams a reality.
- Keel Vodka was on hand with a shot ski full of vodka for you and your three newest friends!
- Bulleit Bourbon was serving up one heck of a strong and tasty cocktail.
- Ironton Distillery and Crafthouse is a neighbor to the venue and, naturally, they were there pouring up some stiff Colorado-crafted drinks with the rest of ‘em.
Not a lot of food trucks truly rock my world, but I can easily say that the organizers of Mile High Beer Fest knocked it out of the park with the curb-side eats this year!
- Crescent City Connection: Lemme tell you about my love affair with shrimp po boys. Cause it’s pretty out of control. So I was damn excited to see Crescent City Connection parked there when I arrived. Their shrimp po boy is the stuff of dreams!
- Adobo Food Truck: Why these guys won Top Taco last year becomes clear with the first bite. While my guest and I browsed the menu the friendly gal behind the counter overheard us comment on the carne asada fries. She instantly reinforced that we need those in our lives. Done! So good. Perfect amount of heat to the green chile, great ratio of toppings to fries, and a generous portion for two hungry individuals to split. I think I may be stalking them around Denver after that meal!
- Rocky Mountain Slices: While waiting on our order from Adobo I just couldn’t help myself and decided that I just had to grab a slice from Rocky Mountain Slices. I still stand solidly by this decision. They were clearly a popular choice for the evening, as many of their menu offerings had sold out by the time I arrived. I opted for the margarita and it was phenomenal! Wonderfully thin and crispy crust; large, foldable slice; fresh AF ingredients – be still my heart!
- Farm to Truck: Seeking a food truck that prides its self on locally sourcing their ingredients? Well look not further than Farm to Truck! They serve up a variety of comfort and street fare that’s fresh, sustainable, and all produced right here in Colorado!
The fest also featured some excellent non-brew vendors:
- Flatirons Soap Works had been hyping me up with their brew-made soaps and fun products in the weeks leading up to the event. I left their table with a salt scrub and soap made with Avery Brewing Company’s El Gose!
- Mod Bug was in hand to ensure you got a photo strip to remember you evening. Even better was that the photo booth was the backseat of a VW Bug! Ha! So clever.
- Pop Art Candies offered up the sweetest beer lollipops I ever did see!
Entertainment you say?! Well, yeah there was plenty if that to be had!
- Jack’s Axe Throwing was helping the event goers channel their inner Lumber Jack/Jill, responsibly of course, and giving everyone a hand at perfecting their axe-throwing game.
- Each session featured their own DJ and live band helping keep the fest-goers warm with their hot tunes!
Did I mention all this epicness is in support of a tremendous non-profit? No?! Well, Mile High Beer Festival supports Minds Matter of Denver. Minds Matter of Denver is Committed to making college education a reality for accomplished high school students from low-income environments. In fact, the staff at 11 Creative (the hosts of Mile High Beer Fest) are also mentors at Minds Matter! Pairing with students to help with college applications, testing, and much more to help them both academically and personally. How awesome is that?!
It’s clear to see why Mile High Beer Fest sells out year after year. I can’t wait to see what future years of this brew-tastic festival bring to our beloved Mile-High City!
Stay thirsty, Denver!
Carly is a Northern California native turned Coloradan. From night-life to the great outdoors, her twelve years in Colorful Colorado have been a whirlwind; soaking up every bit of its western glory and Yelping about her every adventure. Having held down her Elite status since 2013, Carly is known in the community for detailed and unique business reviews blended with gorgeous photography, her vast local brewery knowledge, and always being in-the-know about local happenings. When not in class at Community College of Aurora finishing her associate degree in business, Carly can be found roaming the Colorado craft beer scene after a morning hike with her Boston terrier, volunteering or indulging as a guest at local festivals, or devouring the latest street tacos. After her graduation in the spring of 2019, Carly intends to transfer to Metropolitan State University to pursue her bachelor's degree in marketing and ultimately her career and passion for beer at one of Colorado's many fantastic breweries.