The Vail Craft Beer Classic is Coming to Town
If you know anything about Colorado, it comes as no surprise that Coloradans love their mountains, outdoor activities, and—of course—their beer. Hence the raison d'etre for the Vail Craft Beer Classic, a summer festival that returns to Vail Village and Vail Mountain June 15-17 for its second-ever stop in the valley. Here's what you need to know:
Over 300 beers will be on tap from brewers around the western United States, with a particular focus on Colorado, in addition to a few international breweries. The fun begins Friday evening with "Sip at the Summit"—the state's highest elevation beer tasting—atop Vail Mountain at Eagle's Nest (June 15, 6-9 p.m.; $65), reprised by another tasting in Solaris Square and various Vail Village venues on Saturday (Dubbed "A Toast of Vail,"; June 16, 3-6 p.m.; $49). But there's more to the fest than beer. On Saturday and Sunday that weekend, you'll have your pick of beer-centric activities, from a fly fishing seminar on the Eagle River with picnic lunch and complimentary brews ("Off the Hook," June 16, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; $195) and a guided mountain bike ride on Vail Mountain hosted by Odell Brewing Co. and Boulder Brewing Company ("Bikes & Barley," June 16, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; $60) to a guided hike on Vail Mountain followed by a beer pairing lunch at Vail Chophouse hosted by Horse & Dragon Brewing ("Hike & Hops," June 16, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; $60). Not-so-active beer aficionados also can geek out on seminars, from the a discussion (and tasting) on beer pairings with Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and local wine bar Root & Flower ("Grapes vs. Grains," June 16, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; $35) to a summer seasonals brewers lunch (June 16, 12 to 2 p.m.; $65). Looking for a Father's Day gift that will be better appreciated than another bottle of Old Spice or a cliche "World's Greatest Dad" coffee mug? The Craft Beer Classic has you covered there, too, with a special Father's Day "Beerunch" at the Four Seasons (June 17, 10 a.m.; $45).
So, now that you've got the scoop, how do you attend the first-ever event?
Pick and choose which events you want to attend and purchase online; insider tip: bypass the crowds that are all-but-certain to descend upon the main event on Saturday with an $79 VIP ticket that earns you early admission (at 2 p.m.) to a Toast of Vail.