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3rd Annual Collaboration Fest Returns March 19th

Collaboration Fest 2016
Avg. Reading Time: 6 min

Representing the most creative minds in the craft beer industry, the third annual Collaboration Fest will bring brewers from around the world together to brew one-time-only beers. Collaboration Fest will take place on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (1701 Bryant St. Denver CO 80204), and serves as the official  kick-off to Colorado Craft Beer Week.

“Each Collaboration beer is created as a fusion of two or more brewery personalities,” said PJ Hoberman of Imbibe Events. “The recipe formulation is then developed through multiple meetings and email chains. All parties then join forces to brew and put the final touches of the project together. The one thing in common between all of the Collaboration beers is that at least one CBG brewery is involved.”

Imbibe Events and the Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG) hosted the first Collaboration Fest in March 2014. Collaboration gives brewers the opportunity to brew with people they respect, create a narrative behind the beer, and make a beer that they normally would not. Each beer is created with a unique background story, often illustrating the relationships between the brewers themselves. Leading up to the festival Imbibe and the CBG will be sharing these stories via multiple platforms.

The 2016 Collaboration Fest will feature 75 collaborative brews. You can find out more about those breweries and where to buy tickets here.

Here are the current collaborations that we know of:

The 2016 Collaboration Fest will feature 75 collaborative brews. The current list of collaborations include:
300 Suns Brewing and Gemini Beer Co
Avery Brewing Co and Call To Arms Brewing Company
Baere Brewing Company and Mother Road Brewing Company
Baere Brewing Company, Mockery Brewing and Inland Island Brewing and Consulting
Barrels & Bottles Brewery and AC Golden Brewing Company
Beryl’s Beer Co and Goose Island Beer Co
Big Choice Brewing and Black Bottle Brewing
Blue Spruce Brewing Co and Rock Bottom, South Denver
Boulder Beer Co. and Fat Heads Brewery
Breckenridge Brewery and Star Hill Brewery
Call to Arms Brewing Company, Denizens Brewing Co and Conshohocken Brewing Co.
Cannonball Creek Brewing Company and Pizza Pizza Port Carlsbad Village
CO-Brew and Mu Brewing
Comrade Brewing Company and Fat Heads Brewery
Crazy Mountain Brewing Company and Stillwater Artisan Ales
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Evil Twin Brewing
Denver Beer Co and DC Brau Brewing Company
Denver Beer Co and Spangalang Brewery
Diebolt Brewing Company and River North Brewery
Epic Brewing Company and Green Flash Brewing Co
Factotum Brewhouse and Tow Yard Brewing
FATE Brewing Company and Reuben’s Brews
Fort Collins Brewery and Renegade Brewing Company
Funkwerks and Wicked Weed Brewing
Gravity Brewing and Marshall Brewing
Great Divide Brewing Co and TRVE Brewing
Grist Brewing Company and Koala San Brew
Hall Brewing and Kokopelli Beer Company
Holidaily Brewing Company and Yak and Yeti Brewpub
Horse & Dragon Brewing Company and others
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery and Brewery Rickoli
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery and Uber Brew
Joyride Brewing Company and Heretic Brewing Company
Kannah Creek Brewing Company and Moab Brewery
Kannah Creek Brewing Company, Roaring Fork Beer Company and Colorado Boy Brewing
Left Hand Brewing Company and Wibby Brewing
Liquid Mechanics and Bagby Beer
Liquid Mechanics and Odd 13 Brewing
Little Machine and Bull and Bush
Little Machine and Sun King
Living The Dream Brewing and Grist Brewing
Living The Dream Brewing and Rip Current Brewing
Locavore and Tommyknocker Brewery
Lone Tree Brewing Company and Chain Reaction
Lone Tree Brewing Company and Sycamore Brewing Company
Mockery Brewing and Saucony Creek
Mockery Brewing and Baere Brewing
New Belgium and Ratio
Oskar Blues Brewery, 3 Floyds Brewing and Horse and Dragon Brewing Company
Our Mutual Friend Brewing and Cerebral Brewing
Platt Park Brewing Co., Moody Tongue and Old Redwood
Post Brewing Company and Prost Brewing Company
Prost Brewing Company and Dogfish Head Brewing
Sanitas Brewing Company and SixPoint Brewery
Sanitas Brewing Company, BRU handbuilt ales & eats and Wild Woods Brewery
Shamrock Brewing Company and Fitger’s Brewhoue
Ska Brewing Company and Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Ska Brewing Company and Epic Brewing
Station 26 Brewing Co, Cannonball Creek Brewing Company and Comrade Brewing
Steamworks Brewing Company and Dry Dock Brewing Co
Strange Craft Beer Company and Freetail Brewing Company
Telluride Brewing Company and Elevation Brewing Company
Telluride Brewing Company and NYNÄSHAMNS ÅNGBRYGGERI AB
The Bakers’ Brewery, Broken Compass, Dillon DAM Brewery, JP Vander Veen, Pug Ryan’s Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery OG and Angry James Brewing
Tomyknocker Brewery and Mallaskosken Panimo
TRVE Brewing and Prairie Artisan Ales
Twisted Pine Brewing Co and Blind Tiger Brewery
Twisted Pine Brewing Co and Pizza Port – Solana Beach
Two22 Brew and Echo Brewing Company
Upslope and New Belgium
Wibby Brewing and Left Hand Brewing Company
Wit’s End Brewing Company and Ale-Mania
Wonderland Brewing Company and C Squared Ciders
Zwei Brewing Co and Bierstadt

A Recap From Last Year’s Festivities

Up an escalator and onto the club level of the home of the Denver Broncos, Imbibe staff and members of the Brewer’s Guild welcomed festival goers with their first sample of the day in a festival glass that was sponsored by Star Bar and Falling Rock Tap House. Beer lovers then had free reign and an unlimited supply of blissfully beautiful beverages to fancy their thirst.

(Read more: Festival Recap | 2015 Collaboration Fest)

With the entire club level showcasing TV’s emblazoned with brewer collaborations over each booth, we were able to make our way over to where we wanted to go with ease. We walked from jockey box to jockey box congratulating all of our local brethren and welcoming some of the out of state brewers the same. Five minutes into the festival, we knew that the venue provided a much more ample setting than last year’s packed and sometimes difficult-to-navigate Curtis Hotel corridors. The spacious club level provided a great conduit of movement with minimal wait for beer in each line. With an improved layout and better visibility of brewer tables, we sampled through specialty and rare beers first so as to snag them up before they were kicked by the masses. So, here is a quick breakdown of our biggest discoveries, favorite brews from this year’s festival and our takeaways from the expertly planned and well attended event.

A bevy of support and ongoing hosting prowess from the Locals

We are no strangers to a wealth of craft beer goodness here in Colorado. But having breweries pile in on the fun from other states doesn’t hurt either. Collaboration Fest would not be the same if the local guys didn’t totally welcome and host out-of-state brewers to use their equipment and share their space to craft these brews. Good on you, Colorado Craft brewers.

Our favorite beers from Collaboration Fest 2015

The Powder Keg and Avery blended Sour, Baere Brewing and Mockery Brewing Inland Island sour, Station 26 and Call to Arms Schwartz with Caraway, Strange Craft Beer Co and Copper Kettle Basil Cherry Blonde, and Wynkoop/Ska/Reel Big Fish Stout, Ska and TRVE Horns Big Brown in Bourbon Barrels.

Surprised by the folks from:

Wit’s End. They always bring a surprising offering. This time around they unleashed their collaboration with Colorado Cider Co. The “Apple of My IPA” was such a tasty treat. A Graff and IPA hybrid that tastes like a malty, slightly hopped cider mixed with a white, citrus IPA. This may have been Cory’s favorite pour all day. Desi and Chris really enjoyed the Kokopelli and Front Range Brewing Carrot Cake Brown ale as well. It paired really nicely with Desi’s beer truffles!!!

Tried and true continued doing what they do

Tristan, Chris and Cory all agree that Oskar Blues Brewery and DC Brau rolled out a doobie doozy of a delicious quaff with their collaborative nod to the world of dank with “Smells Like Freedom.” This beer smelled just like freedom and tasted like sweet, skunky bliss. Yum. Tristan reiterates that both of the New Belgium collaborations were fantastic for differing reasons. The RockStar which featured a New Belgium, Falling Rock and Star Bar partnership showcased New Belgium’s forte in sour blending, however their take on a Black and Tan with Verboten Brewing in Loveland was also great because it pushed the boundary of beer with it’s creamy, minty characteristics.

If there is a downside to a festival like this

We just needed a bit more info, even just the style that the breweries brewed up together posted up on all of those TV’s have helped us maneuver to the most desired lines quicker and may have helped us steer clear of some of the beers that don’t suit our particular fancy. That being said, the mystery of each line helped breweries gain exposure and we won’t scoff at that.

Why we truly loved every second of this festival

Style options, location, collaboration, layout and facilitation, and of course the close knit community of craft beers from near and far. Oh, and the jerky! Craft Jerky for all! The side room discussions and education component was another brilliant idea and really brought some great speakers to the forefront.

Tickets can be purchased starting Tuesday, November 24 at 10 a.m. MST at CollaborationFest.com.


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