The Stapleton Beer Festival: Round IV

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By Troy Gardner

Pretzel necklace, check.  Sunscreen, check.  EcoPass, check. After three years of practice, I thought I finally had a handle on the Stapleton Beer Festival. Despite my preparations, I was in for an evening full of surprises.

First, the fourth annual Stapleton Beer Festival (a/k/a SBF IV) was hot. And, I’m not talking about Saturday’s record high temperature. The beautiful people of Stapleton were on display in full force. That coupled with the exclusive nature of the event (a special VIP ticket and an advance sell-out of the festival), I thought I had stumbled into Cannes. You can only imagine how much more attractive everyone became after three hours of consuming high-alcohol beer. Stapleton has never looked better.

Second, I know there are a lot of young children at Stapleton, but where did those teenagers come from? No matter, the Young Austin Band is welcome back anytime. Great job.

Did I mention beer? A record 32 craft (and a few not so craft) brewers presented their creations to a thirsty, yet discerning, crowd. The variety and quality of beer offered at the festival has never been better. We are extremely fortunate to live in a place where the craft beer community is growing, collaborating, and innovating.  Despite my best efforts, I was unable to visit all 32 brewers during SBF IV. I’ve always considered myself an Average Joe, but next year maybe I’ll splurge for the VIP ticket and get an extra hour of consumption.

Each year I discover a new favorite brewer or new favorite style of beer. Who would have ever guessed I’d become an IPA fan? It will be difficult to go back to Coors Light on a regular basis.

In an evening full of surprises, there were a couple of “givens” that I could count on. Chris Daniels & the Kings and the Stapleton Master Community Association knocked it out of the ballpark.

One more surprise. I’ve learned that SBF V will be held in July next year. Only 11 more months to wait.

Read Troy’s past reviews of the Stapleton Beer Festival: