2018 Event: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Big Beers Affiliate Events | Commercial Tasting Program
It’s the perfect combination for a Winter Wonderland getaway: A world-class beer festival at a world-class ski resort! There are discounted ski/snowboard rentals available, discounted lodging, and other arrangements made for Big Beers Festival attendees. Almost all of the Eighteenth Anniversary weekend will be held at Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, with some single events (and all affiliate events) held in other locations.
Join us at the new Falling Rock Tap House at Big Beers! Located on Level 3 next to the Beaver Run hot tub area, Falling Rock has a curated list of craft cans available, acoustic guitar music each evening from 8 – 11pm, and free tastings on Friday afternoon. Hours are Thursday 6 – midnight, Friday 1pm – midnight, and Saturday 6pm – midnight. Swing by for a beer, meet your friends, or hang out and see who else randomly shows up in true Big Beers fashion!
Plus, Craft Beer & Brewing is sponsoring perpetual Happy Hour at the Falling Rock Pop-up for all of Big Beers weekend!
Thursday, January 4th Schedule
Thursday (6–9 pm)
This is our opportunity to thank all of the breweries and importers who make this weekend possible. Our third annual Brewers Reception will be held at Beaver Run Resort with much fun and camaraderie. We thank the brewers for donating libations for the festivities, and BSG Craft Brewing for sponsoring this event since its inception. This is a closed event; brewers and importers only.
Thursday Evening (7:30 pm)
The Eighteenth Anniversary Big Beers Festival Weekend opens in traditional Big Beers style! Enjoy a double beer pairing dinner with fantastic creations from both Avery and Dogfish Head at each course. Adam Avery will once again be hosting the Calibration Dinner, although this year we welcome Bryan Selders of Dogfish Head as co-host. The dinner will be held at Quandary Grille in Breckenridge, featuring a host of chefs headed up by Executive Chef Dan Hoyle and guest Chef Adam Dulye, Executive Chef for the Brewers Association. Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association, will be your Master of Ceremonies. See the Calibration Dinner page for further information.
Friday, January 5th Schedule
Friday Morning (8:30 am–noon)
This is the opportunity to bone up on your knowledge of everything about beer & brewing at our Cicerone Workshop. The Cicerone Team will be here to lead this morning workshop! And thanks to thanks to our sponsors, the $99 fee per person will be waived.
Take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity in Breckenridge! For more information, see the Seminars page.
Friday Morning (9:30 am–noon)
The first session of the American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition. This event is a judging by a select judging panel for entries registered in advance. For more information about the competition, see the Homebrew Competition page. Spectators and interested parties are welcome to attend, although participation is by prior arrangement only.
Friday Afternoon (12:00–1:00 pm)
Our Welcome Reception in the Imperial Ballroom will be featuring the following breweries:
- Jeff Aragon, Co-Founder and Head Brewer of Paradox Brewing
- Alex Bakken, Head Brewer of Hogshead Brewery
- Matt Potts, CEO and Brewmaster of Destihl Brewery
Each will be showcasing a beer of their choice with a food pairing designed by Exec Chef Phil and his culinary team at Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center. In addition to tasting, the Welcome Reception also offers the opportunity to hobnob with some of the most innovative brewers in the world. Guests attending multiple weekend events, Volunteers, Judges, Brewers and Brewery Representatives are welcome to drop in.
Friday Afternoon (1:00 pm)
The second session of the American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition. This event is a judging by a select judging panel for entries registered in advance. For more information about the competition, see the Homebrew Competition page. Spectators and interested parties are welcome to attend, although participation is by prior arrangement only.
Friday Afternoon (1:30 pm)
This is your opportunity to become a Certified Cicerone! The Cicerone Team will be administering the Certified Cicerone Exam to interested parties who have passed the online Certified Beer Server exam. For more information, see the Seminars page.
Friday Afternoon (4:00–6:00 pm)
Our Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing event will be held off-site at Modis in Breckenridge. The two Brewmasters/Owner teams featured for this dinner are Jeremy Tofte of Melvin Brewing Co. and James Howat of Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales. John Holl, Senior Editor of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, will be your Master of Ceremonies. See the Small Plates Pairing page for further information.
Friday Evening (6:00–7:00 pm)
CraftBeer.com presents Craftbeer.com Beer and Food Experience with Chef Adam Dulye and Julia Herz. Foodies and beer geeks unite while we help tune your inner pairing guide during this unique and cutting edge demonstration. Get ready to enjoy craft beers from small and independent U.S. brewers along with a strategic pairing plate of locally sourced ingredients representing the basic tastes of sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami while we take your palate and mind on a ride. See the Seminars page for further information.
Friday Evening (7:30 pm)
The Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner highlighting our 2018 Featured Brewmasters, Jeffrey Stuffings, Founder/Brewmaster of Jester King Brewery, and Cory King, Founder/Brewmaster of Side Project Brewing Co., will be held at in the Imperial Ballroom at Beaver Run Resort. Your Master of Ceremonies will be Jamie Bogner, Cofounder & Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine. Join us for a second evening of double beer pairing fun! See the Brewmasters’ Dinner page for further information.
Friday Evening (10 pm–midnight)
Cigar Pairing Experience – Join us for cigars and great craft beer with Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association and Greg & Bridgette Geiger. Experiment with various pairings and visit with Clay Carlton of Palma Cigars and your hosts behind the featured pairings. No ticket required for this event, and no formal presentation. Come and go as you like. Bring a jacket for smoking cigars outside. See the Seminars page for further information.
Saturday, January 6th Schedule
Saturday Morning (9:30–11:30 am)
One of the many highlights of our Big Beers Festival Weekend: our Experimental Brewing Seminar, titled “New England IPAs: The Bitterness Challenge!” The topic for this year’s seminar is “Debunking Myths About New England-Style IPAs” by Neil Fisher of WeldWerks Brewing, Ross Koenigs of New Belgium Brewing Co., Lee Cleghorn of Outer Range Brewing Co. and Sean Buchan of Cerebral Brewing Co. (Saturday)
David Edgar will lead the charge for this high profile panel and try to keep them under control. See the Seminars page for further information.
Saturday Morning (10–11 am)
The Yoga of Brewing: Discover yogic wisdom and practices to enhance your skill as both a brewer and a consumer of amazing beer. This session is the perfect way to prepare your body, mind, and soul to receive the outstanding selection of beers coming your way throughout the day. Join Kim Fuller, Yoga Instructor and Co-Founder of In Your Element Yoga, and Bobby L’Heureux, Yoga Instructor. No yoga experience, mat, or yoga pants required! Roll out of bed for your first – and most unique – pairing of the day. See the Seminars page for further information.
Saturday First Session Seminars (12:00 pm– 12:50 pm)
- Brewmasters Seminar Track: “Blending: Approaches and Philosophies of Side Project & Jester King” by Cory King of Side Project Brewing Co. and Jeffrey Stuffings and Averie Swanson of Jester King Brewery. See the Seminars page for further information.
- Technical Seminar Track: “Good Bugs: Flavor Expression of Fermentation” by Jensen Cummings of Brewed Food with fellow panelists John Giarratano of Inland Island Yeast, Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave Artisan Ales, Troy Casey Of Casey Brewing & Blending and Nile Zacherle of Mad Fritz Brewing Co. See the Seminars page for further information.
- Sensory Workshop Track: “The Coffee in Your Beer” with John Holl, Senior Editor, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine. Panelists will include Kevin Crompton from Epic Brewing Co., Augie Carton from Carton Brewing Co., Tim Matthews from Oskar Blues Brewery and Jeff Joslin from Left Hand Brewing. See the Seminars page for further information.
- Random Track: “Homebrewing Belgian Styles: The Champagne Method” with Annie Johnson of PicoBrew. See the Seminars page for further information.
Saturday Second Session Seminars (1:15 pm– 2:05 pm)
- Brewmasters Seminar Track: “Tasting the Native Culture of Jester King & Side Project” by Cory King of Side Project Brewing Co. and Jeffrey Stuffings of Jester King Brewery. See the Seminars page for further information.
- Technical Seminar Track: “Adventures In Babysitting Barrels” by Andy Parker, Special Projects Manager & Barrel Herder, Avery Brewing Co. See the Seminars page for further information.
- Sensory Workshop Track: “Pairing Your Way” with JoAnne Carilli-Stevenson and Jeff Mendel of Sapere Aude. See the Seminars page for further information.
- Random Track: “The Science of Pairing with Spicy Foods” by Dr. Nicole Garneau, DraughtLab, LLC. See the Seminars page for further information.
Saturday Afternoon (2:30–6:00 pm)
The Commercial Tasting portion of the Big Beers Festival begins at 2:30 pm and continues through until 6:00 pm. This international tasting is open to the public and showcases over 400 different commercially produced specialty beers from around the world.
Saturday Afternoon (3:30 pm)
Saturday’s Commercial Tasting event includes the Homebrew Competition Awards Presentation.