BRINGING YOU BEER WITH PEDIGREE!
By: Cari Frank
Spring brings forth a rebirth of all things, with blossoms a snapshot of a great harvest to come. In that same vein, a tiny seed was planted in April of 2009. While watching the last of the snowfall melt and sharing a saison brew, the idea of starting a brewfest in the county seat of craft beer, Fort Collins, Colorado came to life. As Neil Young’s Harvest Moon floated overhead, so did a passing thought, why not make it a Harvest brewfest? A Fall Harvest Brewfest? And thus the bud began to take shape for what is now the 9th Annual Fall Harvest Brewfest. With ties to local brewers and breweries, Brian Hurst, co-owner of Black Lab Walking Productions, started out by contacting a few of the big hitters like Odell and New Belgium, followed by a plethora of other sprouting breweries that were new on the FoCo scene at that time. They were getting their mutual sea legs steady together, buzzing with excitement of a new foray that included a more intimate experience than big time brewfest lore. A focus on quality rather than quantity.
The inaugural year began at the Sunset Event Center with a slim attendance of 180 patrons, quickly growing into larger venues and now housed at the Lincoln Center in Old Town. Each successive year has drawn in more beer lovers due in part to the uniqueness of the event along with a serendipitous pairing with Animal House Rescue and Grooming as the non-profit beneficiary. Both were in a position to collaborate as a stronger duo, utilizing cohesiveness of the Northern Colorado community and a tremendous affinity for both dogs and craft beer. The kinship seemed like a heaven-made match. The charitable aspect was
just the “foam on the pint” and their motto has simply become, “Drink a Beer, Save a Dog.” As a true brewer’s favorite, the event remains a draw for those that appreciate face time with the actual creator of the craft and the opportunity for brain picking over the featured pours.
Unlimited samplings are offered with ticket prices ranging from $37.50 to $55, along with small bites for food pairing and food trucks for more substantial fare. For those looking to expand their palate, be sure to check out some of the new breweries on board for 2017 including Accomplice, Wibby, and Mashlab Brewing. Not a beer drinker? Sample gluten-free options from Talbott’s and Climb Hard Cider or local micro-distillery favorites from Feisty Spirits, Old Elk Distillery, and Syntax, among others.
Live music will play throughout the evening starting in the main ballroom with singer/songwriter and ukulele extraordinaire, Janvi Gurung followed by the evening headliner and roots rockabilly favorites, Kerry Pastine & the Crime Scene. Steve Murray will be wooing acoustic on the rooftop patio and DJ Ska will be spinning old school Jamaican 45’s. The event winds throughout the Lincoln Center, inside and out, with enough vendors to keep the lines down and your taste buds wagging.
A special collaboration with Odell Brewery will feature a small batch release at the tap room on Thursday, September 21 with all proceeds going to Animal House Rescue and Grooming. Bring yourself, your pooch and a little pre-brewfest enthusiasm to kick off what will be a great reason to celebrate fall!’