IT’S THE LONGEST RUNNING CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL IN COLORADO!
Yes, there are many craft beer festivals in Colorado these days, but Keystone’s Bluegrass and Beer Festival has been around for 23 years and boasts over 40 breweries in attendance! As a true Coloradoan, you can’t miss this chance to drink local Colorado beers just an hour from Denver! Here are some tips to optimize your festival experience and sure you have the best weekend possible.
#1 SIGN UP EARLY FOR THE BEER MAKER’S DINNER
Kicking off the weekend is Eat, Drink, Pick at Warren Station. Refreshing beer by New Belgium Brewing will be served, and the event will feature culinary creations from locally renowned Executive Chef Chris Rybak. Chef Rybak will pair six different menu items with specific New Belgium beers to delight your senses and heighten your Bluegrass and Beer experience.
Eat, Drink, Pick is a great way to begin your festival weekend and get a sneak peek at the New Belgium specialty beers that will be showcased throughout the weekend.
#2 CHECK OUT #KEYSTONEBESTBREW
Crowning the best beer of the Bluegrass and Beer is a fun way to see the most popular (and delicious) beer of the event weekend. Vote by tagging your fav #keystonebestbrew on social media or more traditionally, throw you best brew token into the brewery’s bucket at the event. The contest to name the best brew at Keystone Beer and Bluegrass starts on Saturday, and the winner will be announced at the end of the day on Sunday. Only one beer will be chosen at the end of the festival. Check out the entries from last year and make sure you vote for your favorite!
#3 BE PREPARED FOR MOUNTAIN ALTITUDE
The festival is August 3rd and 4th in Keystone, Colorado located at 9,280 feet. The high altitude means that if you are coming from sea level or even the Denver Metro Area, the elevation gain is substantial. Make sure to acclimate to the best of your ability pre-festival by drinking lots of water and giving yourself time to adjust.
#4 CHECK THE WEATHER
After a fantastic snow season, this winter in Keystone, CO, the summer is finally here! The weather in the Rocky Mountains is unpredictable but glorious at the same time! August is the perfect time in the high country with a slight cool breeze and long warm (but not sweltering hot) days. Make sure to check the weather pre-festival and come prepared with a rain jacket and warm weather clothes, just to be safe!
#5 RESEARCH THE BREWERIES AHEAD OF TIME
Over 40 breweries will be featured at Keystone’s Bluegrass and Beer Festival which gives you an excellent opportunity to try a variety of styles of beer. It also allows you to check out breweries from all around Colorado in one place and one weekend. If you have any favorites in mind or want to know the breweries attending check out that info here so you can plan your beer drinking accordingly.
#6 SAVE YOURSELF FROM DRINKING AND DRIVING
Plan to take the free Keystone Shuttle, free Summit County bus The Summit Stage or better yet book a room walking distance to the festival so you can best enjoy all the beer, dancing and food at the festival!
Since it is summer, make sure to ask about lodging deals (it’s always cheaper in a resort town in the off-season) and check out the deals below to get the best bang for your buck:
#7 CHECK OUT THE BANDS BEFOREHAND SO YOU CAN SING ALONG
One of the best feelings ever is knowing every single word to a song and dancing with your friends surrounded by fantastic mountain views, with a beer in hand. Check out the incredible lineup for FREE (yes, free) music during the festival and start memorizing your favorite tune.
Bands include Local Folk, The Pine Beatles, Sugar & The Mint, Ground Score, The Mighty Pines, Grass It Up, Chain Station, Oakhurst, Woodbelly, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Peter Rowan, Larry Keel Experience and Lindsay Lou. There will be multiple stages, so listen ahead, so you know where to be when your favorite song comes on!
#8 BUY YOUR TICKETS EARLY BEFORE THEY SELL OUT
Bluegrass and Beer in Keystone is wildly popular and such a good time that is it is not worth stressing by waiting to by your tickets at the festival. Keystone Festivals has you in mind by offering two different packages. You can purchase a One-Day Beer Glass Pass for either day that is only $40 or the Weekend Beer Glass Pass for both days that is $75 if you buy it beforehand and $80 at the gate. Who doesn’t love to save $5? Buy your tickets beforehand and save money!
#9 VOLUNTEER TO SUPPORT HIGH COUNTRY CONSERVATION CENTER
High Country Conservation Center is a local non-profit here in Keystone, CO that focuses on green initiatives such as water conservation, recycling, and energy efficiency. A portion of the proceeds from the Beer and Bluegrass will be given to High Country Conservation Center, and the event will be focused on zero waste! Volunteer to help and receive a complimentary beer and a sweet event t-shirt. Plus, the satisfaction from helping the world and our community!
#10 EXPLORE FREE GONDOLA RIDES
On Fridays, Keystone Resort offers Friday Afternoon Club with FREE Gondola Rides up to the Summit House. If you can’t make it on Friday for a free ride, check out the long list of activities that Keystone has to offer in the summer. There is mountain biking, yoga, summer tubing, and two beautiful golf courses to add in some adventure to your weekend.
#11 SIGN UP EARLY FOR THE FREE BEER SEMINAR
New this year is the New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Seminar at Warren Station. New Belgium is a Colorado craft beer company that was started over 30 years ago and has grown from its Fort Collins, CO origins into a household name across the U.S. If you love IPAs, experimentation in beer flavors and specialty beers; this is a seminar for you. There is limited capacity, so sign up today to ensure your spot is saved!
#12 BRING YOUR KIDDOS
One of the best things about Keystone Festivals is that they always offer a fantastic Kidtopia KidsZone with free and paid activities for the little ones! Kidtopia means you can make the event family focused and you don’t have to hire a babysitter! The kids will be entertained, don’t worry we have face painting and you can enjoy your favorite bluegrass bands, and drink delicious beer at the same time.
#13 SUPPORT SUMMIT COUNTY BREWERIES
Did you know that there are now a ton of local breweries right in the Breckenridge and Keystone area? From the longtime Dillon Dam Brewery to the newer Angry James Brewery, there is some good beer to drink in the mountains. Make sure to check them out at the festival and then support them in person at their locations around Summit County.
#14 BRING CASH TO SPEND ON THE INCREDIBLE VENDORS
Both days there will be fun vendors set up all around the festival. Shop while you’re enjoying yourself in the Colorado Sunshine! There will be art from Colorado Artist Lindsay Sutton, Eno Hammocks and cute gifts from Drift & Amble, plus a bunch of other options!
#15 DON’T FORGET THE CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT
The end of the festival on Sunday boasts double elimination cornhole (or bags, as some people call the popular game) tournament hosted by New Belgium at Warren Station.
Cornhole will be located on Warren Station Patio, and the tournament starts at noon on Sunday. Per usual, cornhole teams will be in pairs. The best part of this is that the winner will walk away with a grand prize. A bonus prize will also be given for the best team uniform!
Cornhole tournament entry is $30 per team. Start practicing!
SUMMER IS FOR BEER DRINKING, BLUEGRASS LISTENING, AND WEEKEND FESTIVALS
Keystone’s Bluegrass and Beer Festival is the original beer festival in the Rocky Mountains. Just 20 minutes from Breckenridge, an hour from Denver and right in the heart of the beautiful Keystone Resort, this is a festival that cannot be missed.