DENVER (CBS4) – The country’s largest beer festival takes place in Denver this weekend, and it will once again be bringing people from all over to a state that continues to be a leader in the craft brewing industry.
The Great American Beer Festival kicks off Thursday night at the Colorado Convention Center. It continues with a session on Friday night and then with two sessions on Saturday. It has been sold out for months.
The annual festival has 466 breweries participating this year, and a whopping 70 of those are Colorado-based operations. The festival comes in a year when sales of craft beers up 16 percent.
With the wealth of beer brewing operations in Colorado, a beer tourism industry has begun to emerge.
“What you are seeing is a lot of talk of the ‘Golden Triangle’ as it’s called — Fort Collins to Boulder to Denver — where people are coming out and visiting the state largely to drink beer. You’re starting to see tour companies popping up,” said Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal in an interview on the CBS4 Morning News.
Sealover recently wrote a book about the state’s brews titled “Mountain Brew: A Guide To Colorado’s Breweries.” He focused on both large and small operations, and was impressed by the passion driving the brewmasters.
“Some of them have gotten into it as a result of the Recession, but others have just been long-time homebrewers who have decided to go pro in places like restaurants or out-of-the-way industrial malls. There’s even a guy who brews up in his garage in Boulder County,” Sealover said.
One of Sealover’s favorites beers is made by Three Barrel Brewing in Del Norte, which brews its beer in the back of an insurance office in the San Luis Valley.
– Visit the Great American Beer Festival website.
– Visit the website for Sealover’s book at mountainbrewbook.com.