Hard to believe that in the year since we last published this guide, the brewery count in the Pikes Peak region has gone from 22 to 27. I've heard people ask if we, the beer drinking public, can continue to support the growth. Well, if you've been to any of the 27 breweries in the past several months, the answer seems to be a resounding "yes." We are putting butts in the seats and beer in our bellies.
If you have yet to delve into the world of craft beer, the time is now. And that is why we offer you this guide. In these pages you will find as comprehensive a list as we could gather from our local breweries and taphouses on the special events and tappings they have going on during American Craft Beer Week. But here's the deal: Brewers are busy making beer, so they don't always have the time to call us back. For those that could not send their events, we have a working list of the regional breweries and their contact information here.
For the second year, 16 downtown restaurants have partnered with breweries to offer a unique local craft beer and dish combo available only May 16-20 in the Pints and Plates showcase. Here they offer pairings that highlight how chefs and brewers can work together to give you a rockin' culinary experience. You'll have a chance to vote on your favorite pairing, so make sure to hit up as many as you can.
Last year, Odyssey Gastropub and Smiling Toad Brewery took home the trophy, pairing pork cheek pho with a watercress pineapple wheat beer.
Even if you can't make any events this week, take time to check out our local beer scene. It's truly awesome: breweries, taphouses and liquor stores all offering amazing selections of craft beer.