By Sheridan Block
Local brew lovers will get a chance to sample regional favorites at this weekend's Grillin' and Chillin' Brew and Music Fest in Ouray.
Presented by the Ouray Chamber Resort Association, the sixth annual event will be held on Saturday in Fellin Park. Bringing in nearly 15 regional craft brewers from the Western Slope and eastern Utah areas, this year's event is also inviting regional distillers to join in on the drinking fun.
Participating brewers and distillers include: Ouray Brewery, Horsefly Brewing Company, Avery Brewing, Durango Brewing Co., Palisade Brewery, Revolution Brewing, Ska Brewing, Steamworks Brewing Co., Moab Brewery, Copper Club Brewing Co., Two Rascals Brewing, Suds Brothers Brewery, Carbondale Beer Works, Kannah Creek and KJ Wood Distillers.
For $25, attendees can enjoy all-you-can-drink beer and custom cocktails from the participating distillery. The price also includes a commemorative tasting glass. Beer and cocktail tasting runs for the first five hours of the event. Throughout the day, festival-goers will be able to vote for their favorite brews. Wine will also be available to purchase for the non-ale lovers.
Non-drinkers and minors can still enjoy the festivities as a number of non-profit and local retail vendors will be selling food and goods as well.The Ouray Elks Lodge will be in attendance serving corn on the cob, and the Ouray Volunteer Fire Department will sell cotton candy and t-shirts.
Live music will keep the party going with three diverse bands taking to the stage. Regional favorite The David Starr Band will kick off the festival followed by the funky soul sounds of Los Angeles' Beat Mosaic. Pop-rock band Fierce Bad Rabbit from Fort Collins will wrap up the event.
OCRA reminds attendees of several event rules to help keep the festival safe and family friendly: alcoholic beverages and glass containers cannot be brought into the park, keep dogs on leashes and be sure to clean up after your pet, parents keep track of your children and public use of marijuana is strictly prohibited.
The Grillin' and Chillin' brew fest is part of many events and activities scheduled for Ouray County's Heritage Weekend, highlighting Ouray's rich culture and history in mining and ranching.
To celebrate the weekend, the Highgrader's Holidays Mining Competitions in Miner's Park (behind the Visitor's Center) will showcase competition in traditional mining skills such as single-jacking, team drilling and mucking. The Highgrader's Holidays begin on Friday evening with a mule race, and competitions will take place all day Saturday and Sunday. Weekend celebrators can also experience gold panning and tour a historic mine at the Bachelor Syracuse Mine Tour, which will be offering a $2 off discount on adult breakfast or lunch combo with a walk-in tour all weekend.
For other Heritage Weekend activities and events in the county, check the calendar listings on page 23.