Sunday, June 10, 2012

Burning Can Beer Festival delivers hot fun

2012 Burning Can Beer FestivalWhat do yo get when you combine a hot sunny day, exciting outdoor games and 1000's of metallic containers filled with hoppy brew? You get the Burning Can Beer Festival! This festival returned this year and was sponsored by Oskar Blues and the Lyons Outdoor Games event. The two were combined into one big weekend in Lyons, Colorado. It was a perfect day for a fest and hundreds, if not over 1000 people showed up to witness or participate in the games around town and/or to partake in a beer fest where only canned craft beers were being served up.

The Lyons Outdoor Games were already in full swing by the time beer fest goers showed up. In fact, hundreds were already in line for a fun 5K race that started right on the beer fest grounds in Bohn Park. Also adjacent to the beer fest was a pro and amateur X-games-like bike jumping competition where contestants pedaled their way over big dirt jumps, some doing flips, spins and daring feats of skill while doing their best to impress the judges. Cross town in the streams, kayakers competed in some white water action of their own.

As for the beer festival, a big field was the setting for the return of the Burning Can Beer Festival. Dozens of tents were set-up in a big 3-sided square with a huge shade tent set up in the middle. On the other side of the square, there was a music stage where live music jammed for 4 solid hours.

I got there early to scope out the action. There was a lot of last minute activity going on to finally get the beer fest started. Cans to unpack and ice-down, food booths getting their wares ready, and the volunteers moved into position. Attendees had to first stop by the Mobile Canning tent to get their custom 8-oz tasting can. The can was initially filled on a portable canning line with Cache la Porter beer from Pateros Creek Brewing company, one of the next Colorado breweries who are planning to package some of their beers in cans.

The one thing you noticed about this festival was - absolutely no kegs were being used. All the beer being poured at this festival came out of a can. While there were numerous Colorado breweries represented, there were also nearly a dozen out of state breweries pouring from cans. Attendees got around a 4oz sample for every beer they wished to try.

Overshadowing the festival to the north, it was quite evident that you could see the large forest fire west of Fort Collins building in strength. A huge column of smoke and ash could be easily seen from the festival grounds.

Gubna & Turk - Colorado Craft Beer ShowJust before 1:00pm, I was invited to sit and chat with Chris Katechis (the Gubna) and John Turk on the AM 760 Colorado Craft Beer Show during their live remote broadcast. They've been doing a LOT of live remotes the last several weeks and are wrapping up their live remotes for a week or two here at the Burning Can Festival. You can hear the podcast of that show on their web site. In the Hour 1 segment if you skip to the 42:30 mark you can hear them interviewing yours truly.

So what beers were being poured? A wide variety for sure. Here are some of the beers that I managed to sample: (in no particular order)

- Maui Brewing - Mana Wheat & Coconut Porter.
- Avery Brewing - Joe's Pilsner & White Rascal.
- Twisted Pine - Hoppy Boy IPA.
- Pug Ryan's - Pali Pislner.
- Eddyline Brewing - Crank Yanker IPA and Boater Beer (lager).
- Santa Fe Brewing - Java Stout.
- Sun King Brewing - Chaka Belgian-style ale.
- Upslope Brewing - Craft Lager & Pale Ale.
- Boulder Beer - Hazed and Infused Dry Hopped Ale.
- Breckenridge Brewery - Avalanche Amber & Summer Brite.
- Ska Brewing - Modus Hoperandi (IPA).
- Oskar Blues - Old Chub.
- Telluride Brewing - Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale.
- DC Brau - The Corruption IPA.
- Crow Peak Brewing (Spearfish, SD) - Canyon Cream Ale.
- Crazy Mountain Brewing - Mountain Livin' Pale Ale.
- Great River Brewery (Davenport, IA) - Redband Coffee Stout.
- Golden Road Brewing (Los Angeles, CA) - Hefeweizen.

There were several other beers at each booth and I didn't get a chance to try them all. Mostly, I went after beers I hadn't ever tried before or hadn't had a lot of previously. Which were my favorites? Maui Brewing Coconut Porter, Twisted Pine Hoppy Boy IPA, Ska Modus Hoperandi, and Telluride Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale - just for starters.

Wyatt & Julie - Storm Peak BrewingDuring the festival, I ran into several brewers who were also in attendance. I spoke with Wyatt Patterson and Julie Beckett who are planning to open up Storm Peak Brewing near the first of next year in the RiNo area of Denver. They are planning to open with 5 beers and also put out some whiskey barrel-aged special brews.

I also briefly spoke with Trevor Johnson from Black Cat Brewing who was scoping out the action as well. Then near the end of the fest I ran into Eric Steen and crew from Focus On The Beer (blog) and we talked shop for a while. Both Eric and I will be traveling to Indianapolis in July for the Beer Bloggers Conference.

Catching some airBy 3:00pm, the sun was getting really hot and after sippin' on beers for 3 straight hours and downing some very metallic tasting water and a big hot dog, I was in need of shade and a break. I watched more of the bike jumping competition then headed down to Berthoud, Colorado and stopped by City Star Brewing for a pint and some samples. (yum). What a great way to spend the day!

Hopefully, Oskar Blues will keep this beer festival coming back each year. In light of the fact that Estes Park Brewery didn't do their annual beer fest this year, this festival seemed quite popular. Craft beer in cans taste just as good as bottled brews. I'm definitely a believer.

Mobile Canning LLC Burning Can Beer Festival crowd Dressing up for the fest

More photos of the festival available on Facebook.

Related articles:
- Kick Off Summer with BBQ, Bands and Brews.
- Boulder to feature Clips of Faith late June. (2012)
- Ska Brewing's 17th anniversary to host Reel Big Fish.

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog.
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