Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival

1300 Westhaven Drive
Vail, CO 81658

970-977-0100

The Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival is the result of an inspiration/execution tag team by siblings Bill & Laura Lodge. The first event was held in 2001 at 8150 Nightclub with the first seminar hosted by the Hubcap Brewery, just downstairs. It was a one day event, featuring what has become the Commercial Tasting as the primary event and Adam Avery's Hog Heaven vertical tasting as the single "seminar" component.

The inspiration for the Big Beers Festival stemmed from frustration with a consumer base that didn't understand the fantastic beer created overseas and wasn't yet attuned to microbreweries. Set the stage in 2000, when Bill Lodge (pictured on the right in a striped sweater) owned High Point Brewing Corp and distributed an enviable portfolio of early microbreweries and imports in the mountains of Colorado.

Educating and selling to liquor store buyers and restaurant owners who weren't familiar with the wonders of these products was tough. Selling the products that were brought into the bars and liquor stores was even harder for the owners and restaurateurs. Thus the idea: Create a trade show open to the public, where both buyers and end consumers could sample the products in small quantities and create demand through education.

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