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Event Preview | 2016 Vail Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines

Vail Big Beers 2014
Avg. Reading Time: 7 min

If you’ve followed PorchDrinking over the years, you’ll have already know that the Vail Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines (VBBB) festival is our favorite event each year. Enveloped by world class ski terrain, and picturesque mountain vistas, VBBB has become truly a destination event, one that is more prominently bolstered by all-star celebrity brewer attendees, premiere educational seminars, a home brew competition, calibration dinner, and most importantly, one of the preeminent lineups of breweries and rare beers on the festival circuit.

This year Vail Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines returns for its 16th iteration, featuring classic headline names in the industry who always bring the house like, Avery, Dogfish Head, Goose Island, Bells, Great Divide, Perennial, etc, as well as several prominent rising newcomers like Arizona Wilderness, Jackie O’s, and Wicked Weed to name a few. Organizer Laura Lodge was kind enough to share the tentative list of attending breweries for this year’s commercial tasting taking place Saturday, January 9 from 2:30 – 6 p.m. *Update, the commercial tasting has officially sold out online however tickets are still available at select liquor stores in the Vail Valley including: Alpine Wine & Spirits (West Vail), West Vail LiquorMart (West Vail), Avon Liquors (Avon), Beaver Liquors (Avon), Riverwalk Wine & Spirits (Edwards), Wine & Wort Home Brew Shop (Eagle)*

For more on the history and importance of VBBB read last year’s profile.

Oh, hi PJ!
Oh, hi PJ!

2016 Vail Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Commercial Tasting Attending Breweries

*Note- List of attending breweries is subject to change up through the day of the Commercial Tasting*

7 Hermits Brewing Co.
AC Golden Brewing Co.
Alaskan Brewing & Bottling Co.
Allagash Brewing Co.
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
Aspen Brewing Co.
Atom Brewing Co.
Atwater Brewery
Avery Brewing Co.
Baere Brewing Co.
The Baker’s Brewery
Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Barrel of Monks
Barrels & Bottles Brewery
Bell’s Brewery
Black Bottle Brewery
Black Shirt Brewing Co.
Bonfire Brewing Co.
Boston Beer Co.
Boulder Beer Co.
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Breckenridge Brewery
The Bruery
Cannonball Creek Brewing Co.
Carver Brewing Co.
Casey Brewing & Blending
Caution Brewing Co.
Copper Kettle Brewing Co.
Coronado Brewing Co.
Crazy Mountain Brewing Co.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
Denver Beer Company
Deschutes Brewing Co.
Destihl Brewing Co.
Dillon Dam Brewery
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Dry Dock Brewing Co.
Eddyline Brewing Co.
Elevation Beer Co.
Elysian Brewing Co.
Epic Brewing Co.
Fate Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Flying Dog Brewery
Former Future Brewing Co./ Black Project
Full Sail Brewing Co.
Funkwerks
Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co.
Goose Island Beer Co.
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Gravity Brewing Co.
Great Divide Brewing Co.
Green Flash Brewing Co.
Grimm Brothers Brewing Co.
Hogshead Brewery
Horse & Dragon Brewing Co.
Jackie O’s Brewery
Jagged Mountain Brewing Co.
Jester King Brewing Co.
Joyride Brewing Co.
Kannah Creek Brewing Co.
Karbach Brewing Co.
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Left Hand Brewing Co.
Liquid Mechanics
Lone Tree Brewing Co.
Lost Abbey Brewing Co.
Lost Highway Brewing Co.
Loveland Aleworks
Mockery Brewing Co.
Nebraska Brewing Co.
New Belgium Brewing Co.
New Holland Brewing Co.
Ninkasi Brewing Co.
Odd 13 Brewing Co.
Odell Brewing Co.
Odyssey Beerwerks
Oskar Blues Brewery
Perennial Artisan Ales
Prairie Artisan Ales
Redstone Meadery
Renegade Brewing Co.
River North Brewing Co.
Shmaltz Brewing Co.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Ska Brewing Co.
Squatters Brewing Co. (with Wasatch)
Stone Brewing Co.
Strange Craft Beer Co.
Surly Brewing Co.
Telluride Brewing Co.
Three Barrel Brewing Co.
Tivoli Brewing Co.
Tommyknocker Brewery
Trinity Brewing Co.
Troegs Brewing Co.
Upslope Brewing Co.
Vail Brewing Co.
Verboten Brewing Co.
Very Nice Brewing Co.
Victory Brewing Co.
Wasatch Brewery (with Squatters)
WeldWerks
Wicked Weed Brewing Co.
Wild Woods Brewery
Wynkoop Brewing Co.

Artisanal Imports:
Brasserie Omer VanderGhinste
Brouwerij Bosteels
Adbij Koningshoeven
Brasserie St. Feuillien
BOM Brewery
Wals/Belo
NOVO Brazil

Belukus Marketing:
Timmermans Framboise
Timmermans Oude Gueuze
Timmermans Kriek
Timmermans Pumpkin

C2 Imports:
Brunehaut Brewery – St, Martin Triple
White Pony Brewery – 3 beers

Global Beer Network:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge – Gulden Draak
Brouwerij Van Steenberge – Piraat
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouk – Petrus Aged Pale
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouk – Petrus Aged Red
Brouwerij de Brabandere – Barista Chocolate Quad

Latis Imports
Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rodenbach Session
Boon Kriek
Boon Framboise
Boon Gueuze

Manneken Brussel Imports
Chimay
Merchant du Vin
Orval
Rochefort 8 & 10
Westmalle Dubbel & Tripel
Lindemans Cuvee Renee & Framboise
Du Bocq 1858 & Blanch de Namur
Sam Smith Chocolate Stout & Stingo
Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock

Ommegang/Duvel
Ommegang Three Philosophers
Duvel & Duvel Triple-Hop
La Chouffe & Houblon Chouffe
Liefmans Goudenband & Kriek-Brut

Wetten
Delirium Tremens
Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw
Straffe Hendrik Tripel
Oud Beersel Framboise
De Troch Fraise
Samichlaus Classic

Still not convinced? Read our reasons why you should attend VBBB

Peach Grand Cru from Great Divide
Peach Grand Cru from Great Divide

2016 Vail Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Sessions and Seminars

From Thursday at 2pm through close of the Fireside on Saturday night, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine will be sponsoring Happy Hour in Fireside Bar and Atwater on Gore Creek in the Vail Cascade Resort. Draft beers will be $1 off for the duration of the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival!

Thursday (6–9 pm) – Brewers Reception:

This is a closed event; brewers and importers only.

Thursday evening (7:30 pm) – Calibration Dinner with Tim Hawn:

Enjoy a double beer pairing dinner with fantastic creations from both Avery and Dogfish Head at each course. This year, Adam Avery will be hosting the Calibration Dinner with Tim Hawn, Brewmaster for Dogfish Head, and the Vail Cascade culinary team. See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.

Friday morning (8:30 am–noon) – Cicerone Workshop:

Ray Daniels, creator of the Cicerone Program will be here to lead this morning workshop! And thanks to All About Beer Magazine, our signature sponsor for this event, the $99 fee per person will be waived. Take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity in Vail! For more information, see the Seminars page.

Friday morning (9:30 am–noon)  American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition:

This event is a judging by a select judging panel for entries registered in advance. For more information about the competition, see the Homebrew Competition page.  Spectators and interested parties are welcome to attend, although participation is by prior arrangement only. We thank Brew Your Own Magazine for their sponsorship of the Big Beers Homebrew Competition.

Friday afternoon (12:00–1:00pm) – Welcome Reception:

Featuring- The Bruery, Deschutes Brewing Co., and Strange Craft Beer Company. Each brewery will be showcasing a beer of their choice with a food pairing designed by Exec Chef Chris Bates and his culinary team at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. In addition to tasting, the Welcome Reception also offers the opportunity to hobnob with some of the most innovative brewers in the world. Guests attending multiple weekend events, Volunteers, Judges, Brewers and Brewery Representatives are welcome to drop in. We thank YCH Hops for their support of this event!

Friday afternoon (1:00 pm) – 2nd Session Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition:

This event is a judging by a select judging panel for entries registered in advance. For more information about the competition, see the Homebrew Competition page.  Spectators and interested parties are welcome to attend, although participation is by prior arrangement only. We thank Brew Your Own Magazine for their sponsorship of the Big Beers Homebrew Competition.

Friday afternoon (2:00-4:00 pm) is a highly interactive and educational workshop with Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer and Ginger Johnson, LLC. Attend to learn the Why Behind The Buy for women. Register and/or find out more at WomenEnjoyingBeer.com and GingerJohnson.com.

Friday afternoon (2:30 pm) – Certified Cicerone Exam:

The Cicerone Team will be administering the Certified Cicerone Exam to interested parties who have passed the online Certified Beer Server exam. For more information, see the Seminars page.

Friday afternoon (4:30–6:00 pm) – Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing:

The two Brewmasters/Owner teams featured for this dinner will be Paul & Kim Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Co. and Phil & Emily Wymore of Perennial Artisan Ales.  John Holl, Editor of All About Beer Magazine, will be your Master of Ceremonies. See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.

Friday evening (6:00–7:00 pm) – Craftbeer.com Beer and Food Experience w/ Chef Adam Dulye and Julia Herz:

Foodies and beer geeks unite while we help tune your inner pairing guide during this unique and cutting edge demonstration. Get ready to enjoy craft beers from small and independent U.S. brewers along with a strategic pairing plate of locally sourced ingredients representing the basic tastes of sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami while we take your palate and mind on a ride. See the Seminars page for further information.


Friday evening (7:30 pm) –
 Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner:

 2016 Featured Brewmasters, Geoff Larson, President/Co-Founder of Alaskan Brewing & Bottling Co., and Omar Ansari, Owner of Surly Brewing Co. Join for a second evening of double beer pairing fun! See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.

Friday Evening (10pm–midnight) Cigar Pairing Experience – Join us for cigars and great craft beer with Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association and Greg & Bridgette Geiger. Experiment with various pairings and visit with Clay Carlson of Palma Cigars and your hosts behind the featured pairings. No ticket required for this event, and no formal presentation. Come and go as you like. Bring a jacket for smoking cigars outside.  See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday morning (9:30–11:30 am) – Experimental Brewing Seminar: “Brewing Outside of the Box: Brewers Gone Wild!”

The topic for this year’s seminar is “Koelschips”. Presenters are Jason Perkins of Allagash Brewing Co., Jason Yester of Trinity Brewing Co., Jeffrey Stuffings of Jester King Brewery, and Chase Healey of Prairie Artisan Ales. The Barrel in Estes Park and Mueller & Associates CPA are Co-Sponsors of this crazy panel, and David Edgar will lead the charge and try to keep them under control. See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday Morning (10–11 am) The Yoga of Brewing:

Discover yogic wisdom and practices to enhance your skill as both a brewer and a consumer of amazing beer. This session is the perfect way to prepare your body, mind, and soul to receive the outstanding selection of beers coming your way throughout the day. Join Rachel Ponce of Bend Yoga & Movement Studio in Chicago and her husband, Eric Ponce, of Goose Island Beer Co. for this experiential session. No yoga experience, mat, or yoga pants required! Roll out of bed for your first – and most unique – pairing of the day. No ticket required for this event. See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday First Session Seminars (12:00 pm– 12:50 pm)

  • Brewmasters Seminar Track: Geoff Larson of Alaskan Brewing Co. will be speaking about “How Local Ingredients and a Remote Location Have Pushed Brewing Innovation at Alaskan.” See the Seminars page for further information.
  • Technical Seminar Track: Troy Casey of Casey Blending & Brewing will be speaking on“Check The Blend: Tasting a Blend of The Cut from Start to Finish.” See the Seminars page for further information.
  • Sensory Workshop Track: “Miracles From Mistakes.” Moderated by John Holl of All About Beer Magazine, learn tips and techniques to make better beer, learn from mistakes, and get some insight into the challenging and ultimately rewarding profession of brewing beer. See the Seminars page for further information.
  • Random Track: “Experimental Homebrewing – Mad Science in the Pursuit of Great Beer.” Join Denny Conn & Drew Beechum for homebrewing wizardry. More details to come.  See the Seminars page for further information.

Saturday Second Session Seminars (1:15 pm– 2:05 pm)

 

  • Brewmasters Seminar Track: Omar Ansari, Owner of Surly Brewing Co. will be speaking on “Shades of Darkness.” See the Seminars page for further information.
  • Technical Seminar Track:  “Sourcing Barrels” with Noah Steingraeber of Rocky Mountain Barrel Company and a panel of barrel specialists from various breweries.  See the Seminars page for further information.
  • Sensory Workshop Track:  “How to Cook With Beer: Wandering Around Your Kitchen With Ginger” with Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer. More details to come.  See the Seminars page for further information.
  • Random Track: “Build Your Beer IQ: The Science Behind Flavor” with Dr. Nicole Garneau of Flavor Lab, LLC. See the Seminars page for further information.

 

Saturday afternoon (2:30–6:00 pm) Commercial Tasting

This international tasting is open to the public and showcases over 300 different commercially produced specialty beers from around the world.

Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm) 2016 Homebrew Competition Awards Presentation.

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