With all of the fantastic suds right here in Denver, it seems silly to leave the city in search of craft brews. But a few months ago, Barley’s Angels, a women’s craft beer education group, realized that there was a demand for beer-centric field trips. “The idea to do a beer travel program just evolved organically out of our group’s mission to educate people about craft beer,” said Barley’s Angels Colorado chapter founder Deborah Cameron. This summer, the group will embark upon its first “tasty trip” outside of Denver.
The decision to head to Salida July 10–12 was born out of member input. “We really wanted to know if people were looking to travel in-state, nationally, or even internationally,” Cameron says. She sent out anonymous polls to interested parties, and destinations were discussed at three in-person meeting sessions, where the group laid out a planning framework for future expeditions. While the group’s second trip will be to beer-loving Portland, Oregon, Barley’s Angels also has its sights set on eventual expeditions to Belgium or even Italy, where the up-and-coming beer scene is thriving.
Unlike many of the group’s activities, the trips are co-ed and completely open to nonmembers. One glance at the itinerary, and the perks of traveling with Barley’s Angels are immediately evident. Rather than just booking group brewery tours, Cameron has made sure that attendees will be treated to exclusive events and gain access to well-respected beer visionaries. Salida trip goers, for example, will not only receive VIP tickets for the Colorado Brewers Rendezvous, but will also enjoy a “Hair of the Dog” brunch at Elevation Beer Company, featuring a three-course brunch paired with brews and educational tasting notes from the Elevation staff themselves. And though many of the details for the Portland trip are yet to be finalized, Cameron is already coordinating private events with some of the area’s top craft brewers like Ecliptic Brewing, Rogue Ales, and Deschutes Brewery.
While these trips are clearly a way for Colorado beer lovers to experience a wider range of brews, Cameron says that the trips could eventually do the opposite, luring curious travelers into Colorado for beer tourism programs. Winos have been schlepping it to Napa or Burgundy for years, and it’s easy to see how a similar (but beer-focused) experience could be a boon to Colorado brewers.
For more information (or to reserve a spot on the upcoming Salida trip), click here.