Buena Vista Archives – PorchDrinking.com
As the brewing industry ebbs and flows through the many styles that interest consumers, beer festival organizers are finding ways to cater to tastes and stand out. Festivals such as Big Beers, Collaboration Fest, The Firestone Walker Invitational, and the recent inaugural WeldWerks Invitation go above and beyond the standard convention cup format by providing one-off offerings, sought after rarities, and highlighting the education and spirit of the brewing community. The 2nd annual Rapids & Grass Beer Festival in Buena Vista, CO this past weekend is another example of how organizers are upping the ante on beer festivals with more than copious amounts of unique brews—they are making it an experience. Rapids & Grass celebrated innovation and camaraderie in craft beer. Also, it offered attendees live bluegrass, camping, and whitewater rafting in the grandeur of the Collegiate Peaks alongside the roaring Arkansas River.
Nestled at the foot of the Continental Divide at 8,000 feet lies Buena Vista, a Colorado town known for its pristine mountain peaks and roaring rapids. This weekend more than 45 breweries will be pouring beer along the Arkansas River at the Second Annual Rapids & Grass Beer Festival, a weekend long event on June 29 – July 1, that includes unlimited beer samplings, live music and rafting. If the sweeping mountain views of the Collegiate Peaks and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range weren’t enough of a draw, the beer will be; Jester King Brewery, Beachwood Brewing, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales and Wiley Roots (slushy sour, anyone?) are among many notable breweries that will be pouring beers.
In most small towns, it’s a given that everybody knows everybody’s business. This is a bummer when you’re trying to get away with something but is entertaining when someone else is. But for the Ark Valley Libation Society (AVLS), this small town phenomenon totally works in their favor. For this group of craft libation experts – four breweries, a winery and two distilleries – everybody’s business is everybody’s business.
Or as Andy Astor of Elevation Beer Company and AVLS vice president says, “Rising tides raise all boats.”
Watch out, Buena Vista. You are about to get your first-ever craft beer bar. Get excited.
Eddyline’s 14’er Java Stout with Papua New Guinea coffee from Buena Vista Roastery. (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)
Since 2009, Eddyline has been inconspicuously brewing beers for outdoor enthusiasts in Buena Vista, a small town in the Arkansas River valley of Colorado with a population of under 3,000 people. Surrounded by the towering Collegiate Peaks, it’s easy to see how Eddyline brewers can be inspired to craft “beers for any adventure.” Packaged in 16oz cans, Eddyline’s River Runners Pale Ale, Crank Yanker IPA and Boater Beer Pilsner are meant to be drank outside, Chaco feet in the river.