Taste this

Louisville hosts first beer fest: Pints in the Park

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Susan France

Jon Howland, founder of 12 Degree Brewing recalls how it wasn’t too long ago that Louisville was the Colorado version of naked, with not even a single brewery to dress the city up.

“Now we have three breweries and have become a bit of a destination for craft beer fans, so it’s very exciting to now have our own festival,” Howland says.

The festival Howland mentioned is Pints in the Park, Louisville’s first brew fest, which will go down Saturday, Aug. 30, and feature pours from 16 local breweries along with food vendors and musical entertainment.

Sherry Angell, executive director of Louisville Chamber of Commerce (the group sponsoring the event), says that supporting the growth of the local businesses is what Pints in the Park is all about. To keep the event more manageable, they are limiting tickets to 1,250.

“We hope it will be casual and relaxing,” says Angell.

John Frazee, founder of Louisville’s Gravity Brewing, anticipates a laid-back atmosphere, indicative of the city itself, and says the fest will be a good way to give people a glimpse of what’s available at their brewery. Gravity will be pouring their summer seasonal favorite, Coolship, a pomegranate Belgian Wit; SIPA, a Session IPA that, at 5.1 percent ABV, is a bit lower in alcohol than many IPAs; and Jubileum, a Belgian peppercorn strong ale. They’ll also be sharing their powerful Tsar Bomba, a Russian imperial stout, that Frazee says is a fan favorite in summer despite its thicker structure and higher alcohol content.

Fellow Louisville brewery Crystal Springs will also be there along with Odell, FATE, West Flanders, Upslope, Boulder Beer, Post Brewing, The Old Mine, Industrial Revolution Brewing Co. and Liquid Mechanics, who just celebrated their grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 16, and more.

Odd 13 Brewing will be pouring their Coal Miner’s Uncle, a smooth, dark beer combining roast character with car amel malty sweetness along with Zed the Zorcerer, a Session IPA that is 4.3 percent ABV. Co-owner and President Kristin Scott says it’s fests like these that are the primary means of exposure for their superhero-themed brews.

“Sure, we have done festivals all along the Front Range, but it’s the ones in our backyard that really count,” Scott says.

The “Head Yeast Wrangler” for Pints in the Park says that Community Park (955 Bella Vista Drive) is the perfect setting, providing great views and plenty of space.

And that space will be put to use by local restaurants selling a variety of small bites.

Old Style Sausage will serve brats, hot dogs and sausages, The Blue Parrot will be selling burgers, Double D’s will have their Sourdough Pizza and Lulu’s will be serving their beloved BBQ. Blackbelly Food

Truck is also selling a variety of options.

Nothing Bundt Cakes is handing out samples of their cakes along with selling their Bundtlets, individual-sized cakes serving one or two people for $4.50.

Deana O’Brien, manager at the Boulder bakery that’s been open since February, is hoping this festival will help them gain exposure and introduce people to the bakery. Entertaining the masses will be two live bands: Misadventure Colorado and Many Mountains. Many Mountains band member Dustin Moran says Pints in the Park is a particularly exciting gig for the band since it plays downtown Louisville frequently and has watched as the breweries being celebrated grew from nothing more than ideas to being at this festival.

Looks like Howland at 12 Degree wasn’t the only one watching Louisville’s beer scene grow.

Pints in the Park, 12-4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30, Community Park, 955 Bella Vista Drive, Louisville, www.pintsintheparkco.com, $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

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