The spirit of collaboration defines the craft beer community, and it will once again take center stage at the Colorado Brewers Guild’s fourth-annual Collaboration Beer Fest when it returns to Denver this weekend.
On Saturday, March 25, 188 breweries will pour more than 100 collaboration brews for festivalgoers at the National Western Stock Show Complex. Participation rules are simple: Colorado breweries can collaborate with any brewery—even out-of-staters—to make any type of beer they want, as long as the final product is a cooperative effort. The result? Unique beers, all of which are available to Colorado craft beer fans for the first time this weekend. Here’s a sneak peek at three collaborations to be on the lookout for at this year’s fest.
A conversation about experimental hops between the brewing teams at New Belgium and Odell spawned this pale ale—a hop-forward mind-meld from the longtime Fort Collins breweries. Both are currently sponsoring unique, secret hops at the Hop Breeding Company in Yakima, Washington, which will be featured in this handcrafted brew. Want to know what the next “it” hop is? You’ll have to sample this one at the festival to find out.
This year, the brewers at Ska Brewing Co. and Boulder Beer Company are literally taking a page from the book of Charlie Papazian (the founder of the Brewers Association and the Great American Beer Festival). Papazian published a recipe for a coconut curry hefeweizen in his 2003 The Home Brewer’s Companion, and Ska and Boulder Beer’s brewers teamed up to create a modern version. “It’s a little bit out there,” Kurt Randall, Ska’s head brewer, says, “but it’s so good.”
Epic Brewing and Telluride Brewing got together to create this experimental brew, which is a style new to both breweries. Blizzard Conditions is a New England-style IPA, cloudy and slightly creamy. The Cashmere hop gives the brew a tropical flavor, but the 7.2 percent ABV might sneak up on you.
Tickets for the 4th Annual Collaboration Beer Festival start at $60 per person and can be purchased at collaborationfest.com.