Craft Beer Festival kicks off summer season in Snowmass |

Craft Beer Festival kicks off summer season in Snowmass

Jeanne McGovern
Special to the Snowmass Sun
The crowd at the 2017 Snowmass Rendezvous Craft Beer Festival.
Anna Stonehouse/Snowmass Sun file photo

At last, summer has arrived in Snowmass Village.

And a sure sign it’s for real: The Snowmass Rendezvous Craft Beer Festival.

“This is the kickoff to summer,” said Keanan Stoner, of Denver-based Two Parts, which organizes the annual festival with Snowmass Tourism. “It’s the first major event in Snowmass, and our first chance to get up in the mountains. A great combination.”

As in years past, the festival — which takes place Saturday afternoon as a lead up to the first Fanny Hill concert that night featuring Brent Cowles & Heavy Diamond Ring — will feature 30-plus breweries from across Colorado serving up suds on the Snowmass Village Mall. Stoner said it’s a chance for everyone from beer newbies to beer snobs to check out what’s brewing in our state this summer.

“We have breweries from the Front Range and mountains, of course, but also places like Durango, Fort Collins and smaller towns where you might not be able to get your hands on their beers locally,” he said.

And, of course, “we always have our local heroes,” such was Aspen Brewing Co., Capitol Creek and Roaring Fork Beer Co., among other hometown favorites.

Steve Nolan of Grist Brewing Company out of Highlands Ranch pours a beer at the Snowmass Rendezvous Craft Beer Festival on Saturday.
Anna Stonehouse/Snowmass Sun

New this year, festival organizers have added a VIP ticket where guests gain admission to a pre-party featuring beer and food pairings (and there also is an option to add Brewer’s Pairing Dinners at various village restaurants, as well as a launch party at Base Camp Bar & Grill on Friday night) .

“We always try to add something new; keep things fresh,” Stoner said. “And this new tasting/pairing event is a great way for people who are looking for a more intimate experience, or who want to dive a little deeper into the beers they’re tasting, to enjoy the event.”

The VIP portion of the afternoon will be in Base Village where after eating and imbibing, guests will jump on the Skittles to join the rest of the party on the Mall.

But don’t drag your feet buying your tickets.

“The Snowmass Rendezvous Craft Beer Festival just keeps getting better and better,” said Rose Abello, director of Snowmass Tourism, adding that Rendevous Craft Beer Festival has sold out the past couple of years. “Plus, it’s followed by the first free concert series of the summer. Fun, fun and more fun.”