Friday, June 4, 2010

Beer dinners, conferences, and festivals... oh my!

It's been a while since I actually wrote a column that wasn't a movie/brew review.  Which means now is a good time to do just that... especially since I actually have several things to write about!

Crafty beer dinner at Craftwood Inn

Fran and I attended a beer dinner a few weeks ago hosted by Craftwood Inn (Manitous Springs) featuring beers from New Belgium Brewing. It was spectacular. In attendance from New Belgium were Travis Flett and Matt Jones, and brew master extraordinaire, Pete Bouckaert. Craftwood's Executive Chef, Ben Hoffer prepared all the food and specific pairings. You can see the full menu of what you missed by visiting Craftwood Inn's Facebook page.

For me, two dishes really stood out. First was the peppered buffalo and grilled asparagus salad paired with Blue Paddle, a Czech style pilsner with a refreshing crispness that went perfectly with the buffalo and the summer heat. The dessert, according to Chef Ben, was the riskiest of all the dishes. This sour cherry lambic float was paired with Transatlantique Kriek, a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with Polish cherries. Ben rocked that float!

The next time Craftwood Inn hosts a beer dinner - featuring beer from any brewery, but especially New Belgium's - get on down there!

Beer Blogger is as Beer Blogger does

This week Zephyr Adventures, headed by Allan Wright, announced the world’s first Beer Bloggers & Social Media Conference to be held November 5-7, 2010 in Boulder, Colorado. The conference will bring together an estimated 150 beer bloggers and others involved with online and social media in the beer industry.

And I'd like to say... IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!

Our good friend Ashley Routson (aka The Beer Wench) will be the Chief Blogger for the 2010 conference. And since this first of its kind conference is taking place here in Colorado, they'll be working directly with several of Colorado's finest beer bloggers to help make sure it has the full Rocky Mountain flavor, including Chuck at Beer at 6512, Rick at Big Foamy Head (who also operates Epiphany Brewing), as well as myself and Erik Boles from Beer Tap TV.  

The conference will include dinners, tastings, speakers, and academic sessions designed to help beer bloggers improve their trade. They've already lined up some serious support including the Boulder Beer Company and Oskar Blues Brewery as their two dinner sponsors, Draft Magazine and Mutineer Magazine to help promote the conference, and the Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Colorado Brewers Guild. The host hotel is the Boulder Marriott. More sponsors will be announced soon.  For more information check out their website (, send them an Email at, or leave a comment on there blog. And be sure to sign up on their mailing list to receive updates. This is gonna be EPIC!

Chili Peppers & Beer... at Altitude

The 7th Annual Chili Pepper & Brew Fest, which combines three fiery components into one smokin' weekend, starts today in Snowmass, Colorado. 

The International Chili Society holds two chili competitions/tastings, microbrewers and homebrewers face off in two separate competitions, and festival-goers will get to sample beer from over 50 breweries. New this year is a European and exotic beer tasting tent.  Oh, and then there's the music!  Fanny Hill will be rocking with the Kyle Hollingworth Band, The Wailers, and George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic!!!!

Me and the rest of the Beer Tap TV gang will be up there on Saturday to schmooze, film, sample great beers (we'll be helping to judge the home brew competition as well), light our mouths on fire with chili peppers, and enjoy the setting! This one of the best outdoor beer festival in the state... don't miss it!

Tickets range from $25 - $75.  For more information, surf over to their website (, call 1.800.SNOWMASS (1.800.766.9627),  or Email them.

Until next time... ZIVJELI!