What you need to know about Denver's inaugural cider festival.
Photo courtesy of Stem Ciders
The alcohol world is teeming with trends, from craft beer to micro-distilleries. Here in Colorado, we’ve been at the forefront of most of them, with the exception of one: cider.
Now (thank goodness) the Centennial state is catching on. The first-annual Pressed Conference , a cider-centric festival showcasing Colorado cider producers, is a great way to experience the apple revolution. Two Parts  and the Rocky Mountain Cider Association  organized the event to allow attendees to sample—and learn about—this up-and-coming beverage. If you need more convincing, here are five reasons to purchase your ticket:
1. There are more Colorado cideries than you think.
Did you know there are more than 39 cideries throughout the Rocky Mountain region? The Pressed Conference is hosting at least 12 of them, including Big B’s Cider  of Hotchkiss, Compass Cider  of Fort Collins, and Snow Capped Cider  of Cedaredge. This festival is the best way to taste a variety of the state’s offerings in one place.
2. Cider is the new “thing.”
While craft breweries dominate the Denver landscape, craft cider is on an upswing. Take the new Boulder hotspot, Arcana , for instance, which has built its entire bar program around ciders. The options for cider drinkers are only going to continue to grow, and you’ll want to be at the forefront of the trend.
3. This is a gluten-free zone.
We Coloradans pride ourselves on drinking local, but that can be trickier for the gluten-intolerant among us. Pressed Conference to the rescue! You can sip and sample to your heart’s content, sans the wheat, thanks to the fact that hard cider is naturally gluten free.
4. Oh the flavors you’ll taste.
Thousands of varieties of apples are grown in the United States—and each variety brings different nuances and dimensions to cider brewing. That’s not to mention the fact that ciders can be flavored with other fruits, herbs, coffee, and even hops. With so many flavor possibilities, tasting ciders is far from predictable.
5. It’s not intimidating.
Unlike beer and wine, hardcore cider snobs are few and far between. Most drinkers are new to cider, so the intimidation factor is pretty low. Just grab your free glass and start tasting and asking questions.
Tickets  are $40 and include unlimited samples and a free tasting glass.
Saturday May 28, 2 to 5 p.m.; Highlands Masonic Event Center , 3550 Federal Blvd., 303-222-2136