One of our favorite brewfests in the world calls one of our favorite places on Earth home. That’s why we do our best to make a beeline to the Brewers Rendezvous, which is held annually in Salida, Colorado.
Located along the Arkansas River and surrounded by the Sawatch Range, the Mosquito Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, it would be difficult to find any town more “Colorado” than Salida. Bikes, boarding, rafting, and a plethora of amazing craft beer continuously call us back. And being located near the center of the state, it calls Colorado’s craft brewers to convene every year for Brewers Rendezvous.
Why is Brewers Rendezvous such an amazing beer festival?
Anyone who knows Living a Stout Life knows that we are all about the community that surrounds good craft beer. Anyone who knows Colorado’s beer scene knows that the state’s rich history of beer making is engulfed in a community of brewers that support one another.
Sure, breweries are businesses that must compete on some level, but they are also a collective that embodies the ideal that a rising tide lifts all boats. That’s not to say that brewers aren’t constantly trying to one-up each other, but it’s a good-natured competition rooted in friendship. And that is what makes this beer festival so special.
What is Brewers Rendezvous?
In short, Brewers Rendezvous is a beerfest that has been going strong for more than a quarter century. The festival is held annually during July in Salida. It is a fundraising event held jointly by the Salida Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Brewers Guild.
Brewers Rendezvous attracts a large sampling of breweries from across Colorado. Because of the friendly competition between breweries, many of the head brewers and their assistant brewers attend Brewers Rendezvous, bringing their best, most unique offerings to the table in an effort to outdo their neighbors.
In addition to the mind-blowing beers that freely pour throughout the day, Brewers Rendezvous also includes tasty bites from several food trucks, as well as live music.
Riverside Park in historic downtown Salida hosts the annual Brewers Rendezvous. It’s a gorgeous outdoor park with massive trees, the Arkansas River running alongside it, and a stunning view of the Collegiate Peaks. People float by in their kayaks, as you float in a glass of barley, hops, yeast, and water.
Pre-Vouz the Brewers Rendezvous
In addition to the Saturday afternoon unlimited beer sampling at Brewers Rendezvous, a smaller curation of brewers pours on Friday night at a separate related event called Brewers Pre-Vouz. It generally features about 20 breweries pouring extra special beers that will not be available at the full fest the following day.
Brewers Pre-Vouz is extremely limited. It is typically capped at about 120 attendees, making for an intimate beer tasting event.
2022 Brewers Rendezvous to feature 70 breweries, hundreds of beers
The 2022 edition of the Brewers Rendezvous on July 9 features 70 breweries from across the state. If you follow Living a Stout Life, you know that we love the breweries in our home state, but still have some that are extra special. Many of our brewery faves will converge in Salida for Brewers Rendezvous.
Broken Compass, Woods Boss, Strange Craft, and Burns Family Artisan Ales are all breweries you’ve likely heard us mention time and again. Salida locals Elevation, Tres Litros, Soulcraft, and Moonlight – ALL GREAT! – will all also be pouring. As will Colorado standouts such as River North, Ratio, Storm Peak, Odell, Great Divide, New Terrain, Angry James, WestFax, Verboten, Fiction, Holidaily (certified Gluten-Free and Good), Launch Pad, Left Hand, Ska, and many, many more.
From some of the Colorado pioneers to a few new kids on the block and everywhere in between, a wide range of breweries will be on hand to show what makes Colorado the State of Craft Beer.
When is Brewers Rendezvous?
Brewers Rendezvous takes place on July 9 in 2022 at Riverside Park in downtown Salida, Colorado.
As we mentioned, the festival takes place in early July on an annual basis. During 2021, it was held in September because of pandemic induced changes. But with the 2022 edition, the fest is back on track.
How to attend Brewers Rendezvous
Attending is pretty simple: purchase a Brewers Rendezvous ticket. It is a reasonably priced brewfest. While many others are inching close to $100 and up, Brewers Rendezvous tickets can be had for $55 (plus fees). This general admission ticket gets you four hours of unlimited tastings.
If you want to step it up a bit to gain early access before the crowds, have access to a special VIP section, and a few other amenities, you can purchase a VIP entry from $120.
SALIDA LOCALS PRO TIP:
If you are a Salida local, you can get tickets at a special discount. All you have to do is swing by the Salida Chamber of Commerce in person with cash or check. (Click here for more info about Salida locals tickets.)
How to find a brewfest you love
As you can see, we love the Brewers Rendezvous. Heck, we said it right up front: it is one of our favorite beer festivals in the world. There are a lot of factors that combine to put Brewers Rendezvous in the upper crust of our beerfest bucket list.
Brewers Rendezvous is held in a place we love: Salida, Colorado. It’s outside, nestled in the Colorado mountains on the banks of the Arkansas River. Many of our brewer friends and favorite breweries converge in a setting that fosters connections. And they all bring their A Game. Some of the best beers in the state are always flowing at Brewers Rendezvous.
But that doesn’t make it a brewfest that everyone will love. Just like the beers that you gravitate toward, a brewfest has flavors and characteristics that draw different people for different reasons.
Do you like large gatherings?
Do you thrive in crowds, amidst the hustle, bustle, and comradery? If you do, you’d love the general admission session of Brewers Rendezvous (think hundreds of attendees) or the mass of humanity that is the Great American Beer Festival held annually in Denver (think thousands of attendees).
Looking for something a bit more intimate?. Many beerfests are actually fairly small gatherings, particularly events that also include added elements such as pairing beer with food. Other festivals have an early entry VIP session that limits attendance to a smaller number.
Would you rather drink beer inside or outside?
We love the outdoor setting of Brewers Rendezvous. In fact, a large number of beer festivals across the country are held outside. This is because it generally allows for more room to spread out and still host a ton of breweries and attendees.
If the great outdoors isn’t for you, that’s okay. There are a number of brewfests across the country, both large and small, that are hosted indoors.
Do you like to drink all the beers or just certain styles?
Most beer festivals feature a wide range of beer styles, but there are numerous fests that focus on specific styles or broad categories.
These are but a few of the beer fests that show the focus they take on a particular style or category of beer:
- FOBAB – Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer
Obviously focused on barrel-aged beers of many varieties.
- The Fresh Hop Ale Festival
The brew fest is focused not on IPAs, but very specific IPAs, those of the Fresh Hop or Wet Hop variety.
- Where the Wild Beers Are
The spotlight here is on sour, wild, and farmhouse style ales.
- Extreme Beer-Fest
This festival is for beer drinkers that like to sample drinks that push the boundaries of what a beer can be.
- Belgium Comes to Cooperstown
A trip to Belgium is on any beer aficionados bucket list. Can’t make it to Belgium? This brewfest brings Belgian and Belgian-style beers to you.
This festival provides gourmet pairings of beer and food geared toward the most discriminant of palates.
There really is no end to the different types of beer festivals on offer. You simply have to do a little research and keep your eyes open. A great source of information is the craft brewers guild in whichever state you hope to attend a festival. Most of them are linked out from the Brewers Association.
Whether you are new to brew fests or not, we’ve got 10 Tips on how to get the most out of your beer festival exploits.