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Featured Festival: Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park

I’ve attended this festival a number of times and it always makes my list of best mountain destination beer festivals. Find out why in today’s Featured Festival post.

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park, Photo Credit Brewtography Project

Photo Credit: Brewtography Project

Location, Location, Location

First, let’s talk about the location of Fall Back Beer Fest. Estes Park is a short drive from Denver, but oh so far away. When is the last time you saw an elk cross Larimer Street?

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017, elk crossing the road in Estes Park, photo by My Big Day, LLC

Elk crossing the road near YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. Please yield to the wildlife! Photo Credit: My Big Day, LLC

On our last Fall Back Festival weekend in Estes Park, a herd of elk walked through the yard at Rustic Acres where we were staying. That’s not something you see every day. The elk are out in droves in Estes Park in the fall (please give them room to roam).

While Estes Park can be a bit crowded in the summer, the crowds taper off in November, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway that’s close to home for a lot of us.

Education, Education Education

I’m always preaching (often from the pulpit at a conference) that festivals need to work to set themselves apart, especially beer festivals because there are a lot of them.

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park 2, Photo Courtesy of FBBF

Homebrewers at FBBF 2016. Photo courtesy of the fest.

From the beginning, Fall Back Beer Fest organizers realized that they needed a component that would make them different and that’s why there are always fun educational experiences at this beer festival.

In addition to presentations and workshops (and yoga this year), Fall Back Beer Fest is the official site for the American Homebrewers Association’s National Learn to Homebrew Day. Each year, sanctioned clubs set up demos at Fall Back Beer Fest and chat with festival attendees about the process of homebrewing.

Beer, Beer, Beer

Of course, the most important aspect of any beer festival is the beer. Fall Back Beer Festival excels here in part because many of the brewers attend and pour at this event.

With so many beer festivals through Colorado during the year, it’s getting harder and harder to find beer festivals where the brewers are actually present, but many of them come to Fall Back Beer Fest. They too like being in Estes Park for a weekend.

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park 3, Photo Credit Brewtography Project

Photo Credit: Brewtography Project

For a list of breweries at Fall Back Beer Fest go here.

Music, Music, Music

Music isn’t always a big deal at beer festivals, but at Fall Back Beer Fest it is and that’s because each year the festival invites the winners of the 2017 Rockygrass Band Competition to play at their Rocky Mountain festival.

FBBF Band Meadow Mountain 2017

This year, Fall Back Beer Fest will feature Meadow Mountain, the winners of 2017 Rockygrass and the 2017 UllrGrass band competition and third place finalists in this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.

Please note that Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park is closed due to construction until Memorial Day 2018. If you are driving from Northern Colorado or Wyoming to FBBF, take the route through Lyons via HWY 66.

Fall Back Beer Festival

Estes Park, Colorado | Estes Park Events Complex (map here)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

GA $35 | VIP $55 | DD $15 | Beer Yoga $15

Purchase tickets at:

FallBackBeerFest.com

Join this fest on Facebook

Follow this fest on Twitter

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

 

44 Days of Fall in Colorado

We have 44 days of fall left, but the beautiful fall drives are over, so how do we continue to celebrate this shoulder season? I’ve got a few suggestions.

A Late Fall Getaway in Colorado

November isn’t a big getaway month for most people, but the “shoulder season” is a wonderful time to travel in Colorado. There are less cars on the roads, and unless you’re traveling on Thanksgiving, you’ll find some great hotel deals over the next 44 days.

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An elk herd near Estes Park, Colorado.

We have a tradition of doing birthday getaways in our house and since my husband’s birthday is in November, we’ve done quite a bit of fall travel in Colorado. Denver is actually one of my top picks for this time of year because the city dresses up beautifully for the holidays and it’s fun to stroll a brightly lit up downtown. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Fall Back Beer Fest 2016 in Estes Park

Destination beer festivals are just plain fun, and that’s one thing that sets Fall Back Beer Fest apart. This event is an opportunity to drink good beer in the fantastic Town of Estes Park.

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The other thing that sets Fall Back Beer Fest apart is that it’s about more than drinking beer – this festival encourages attendees to learn about beer – the beer making process, hops, tasting and more.

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A workshop on beer by Lauren Hoff at last year’s Fall Back Beer Fest.

Plus, this festival always takes place on the day that Daylight Saving Time ends, so you get an extra hour to recover, or to keep partying.

Want to Learn How to Homebrewing?

Fall Back Beer Fest is an excellent beer festival for anyone interested in homebrewing. The festival coincides with the American Homebrewers Association’s “Learn to Homebrew Day.”

Since the beginning, Fall Back Beer Fest has partnered with AHA to be an official Learn to Homebrew Day event location. Local AHA clubs come to Fall Back Beer Fest and brew onsite during the event. This is your opportunity to talk with them, learn about the club and learn about the brewing process.

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Each year, the AHA and the festival give away several homebrewing starter kits to random guests. The idea is to get people excited about all aspects of beer, which seems to be the unwritten mission of Fall Back Beer Fest.

The Rest of the Fest

Fall Back Beer Fest is hosting forty craft breweries this year including some new-to-this-fest brewers such as Wonderland Brewing Co. from Broomfield.

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This was a new-to-me brewery that showed up at FBBF last year.

In the past, a lot of brewers show up at this event – they like destination beer festivals too. This is nice for festival goers because they can meet and chat with the brewers, a rarer and rarer opportunity in the beer festival world, especially during the summer when breweries are stretched thin by the sheer number of festivals occurring on any given weekend.

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In addition to the beer, The Wooks, a Kentucky rhythm and bluegrass band and 2016 RockyGrass band contest winners, will be providing entertainment at Fall Back Beer Fest. Festival food will be supplied by a variety of food trucks, including Umami Mobile Eatery from Fort Collins.

Estes Park for the Win

Estes Park is a wonderful place to visit in the fall. Last year, for Fall Back Beer Fest, we stayed at The Rustic Acre. Their vacation homes are perfect to share with friends and are within easy walking distance of the fest. Read about our getaway here.

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A large held of elk, including babies, walk through Rustic Acres last year when we stayed during Fall Back Beer Fest.

Visit this page, for a list of Estes Park hotels that are offering weekend discounts for folks attending Fall Back Beer Fest 2016.

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Last year, the fine ladies from Feisty Spirits showed up with their bier schnapps. You just never know who you’ll run into at FBBF.

I’ve attended Fall Back Beer Festival for a number of years now and count it among my favorite beer festivals in Colorado. Hope to see you there!

Please note that Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park is closed due to construction this fall and winter. Those driving from Cheyenne and Northern Colorado to FBBF will need to take the route through Lyons via Hwy 66.

Fall Back Beer Fest

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park Events Complex

*shuttles available from downtown

VIP Presale $60 / at the gate $70

GA Presale $35 / at the gate $40

DD Presale $10 / at the gate $10

Purchase Tickets Here

FallBackBeerFest.com

Join this fest on Facebook

Follow this fest on Twitter

***

Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

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HeidiTown on the Radio – Housekeeping & a preview of travels in Grand County

Bikes & Beer Show logo krfc

My segment on KRFC 88.9 FM comes on right before the Bikes and Beer Show at 6 p.m. every Wednesday.

It’s time for another segment of the HeidiTown show on KRFC 88.9 FM.

It’s already been an amazing year here at HeidiTown, and it’s only been a few weeks!

On this week’s show, I do a little housekeeping. There are some changes on the horizon for the HeidiTown show, so listen to find out what’s in store. Also, I preview some of my upcoming trips to Grand County this winter.

So without further ado, LISTEN HERE.

HeidiTown on the Radio – Ullr, Estes & Stock Show, oh my

ice rink at Estes Park Winter Festival

Ice rink at the Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012. This year's event is Jan. 18-21, 2013.

After a week off, it’s time for another installment of the Mayor on KRFC 88.9 FM, community public radio in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Starting in February, these shows will occur on the 1st and 3rd week of each month. Life is just getting too crazy to do a show each and every week.

Remember, if you’d like to catch the show on the radio, I’m on at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesdays, immediately before Bikes & Beer and on Fridays at 5 p.m.

On this week’s segment I talk about what I’m up to this week – it’s ULLR FESTIVAL – and preview one of my favorite winter festivals in Colorado.

LISTEN HERE.

 

HeidiTown on the radio – the Colorado ghosts, goblins & zombies edition

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved)

It’s October and that means Halloween. It just so happens that I am a big scaredy cat, however, I do love a good ghost tour and I share some Colorado ghost tour information in this week’s radio segment. There’s also a nod to dead people and zombies in this show – you have been warned!

So without further ado, LISTEN HERE if you dare.

Note: Each Monday I upload my  KRFC 88.9 FM  segment to HeidiTown. You can here it on the radio on Wednesdays at noonish and Fridays at 5:30 p.m.

Win tickets to Estes Park Winter Festival including beer, wine & chili tasting

Estes Park Winter Festival ice castle

The Estes Park Winter Festival is fun for the entire family. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

The 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival runs Friday, January 13 through Sunday, January 15, 2012.

Last year, my husband and I decided to randomly check out this event without really knowing what to expect, and we had so much fun! In addition to the interactive ice castle, which is really great for kids, we loved the chili cook off. I think we sampled over forty green and red chilis. The hot green chilis are always my favorite and there were some memorable ones with a good kick.

The event starts on Friday night with a Céilidh Barn dance and outdoor bonfire that includes cowboy poetry and ghost stories, hot chocolate and s’mores. This event is free and sponsored by Estes Park Weddings.

Estes Park Winter Festival chili cook-off

Last year's chili cook off attracted more than forty competitors. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

The next day is Winter Trails day at Rocky Mountain National Park and the two days of live music, chili, beer and wine tasting commence at the Estes Park Winter Festival. This event has become so popular it has been moved from Bond Park to the heated, enclosed pavilion at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park. This has allowed the festival organizers to increase the size and scope of this event and I can’t wait to attend again this year! To read the entire schedule of events planned for Winter Festival, go here.

Admission to Estes Park Winter Festival is just $5, and this includes chili tasting. For $25 you can purchase festival admission that includes chili tasting and the extensive beer and wine tasting. Purchase tickets here.

And now for the really, really good part”¦ you can enter here to win admission for two to this event. One luck winner will receive two $25 full admission tickets that include beer and wine tasting. ID required at the door.

Estes Park Winter Festival beer photo

Estes Park Winter Festival includes an extensive beer and wine tasting. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Just leave a comment below telling me if you prefer green or red chili and you’ll be entered to win a pair of tickets to this fantastic Estes Park  event. Feel free to tell us who makes your favorite chili, whether it be a restaurant, family member or friend.

I think I make a darn good red chili, but my friend Lara, of Fly By Chili,  makes my favorite green chili.

A winner will be chosen at random this Friday, January 6, at approximately 3 p.m.

Join the Estes Park Winter Festival on Facebook  and  check out more photos from last year’s Estes Park Winter Festival on HeidiTown’s Facebook page.

Good luck!

~ CONTEST CLOSED ~

Top 5 things to add to your Colorado to-do list in 2012

Photo from Grand Adventure Balloon. Click on photo to go to their website!

I’m not one for resolutions. I have too much guilt when I stray, but I do like lists”¦ to-do lists, packing lists, and even grocery lists. Here’s a list of the things I think should be on your 2012 Colorado To-Do List. Do one or do a few, or make it your New Years Resolution to do them all! And if you do, do them all, I’ll come up with some sort of prize or make you the HeidiTown citizen of the year.  Seriously, I will!

1) Train. I know, I know. I write a lot about trains, but they are just so neat! I’ve mentioned them before and probably will again, but here’s the list of rides I love: Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and Georgetown Loop Railroad. If I’m missing any great Colorado train rides, please let me know! I also enjoy taking the Amtrak from Denver to Glenwood Springs. This train ride is scenic at any time of year. I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Ski Train!

2) Hot Air Balloon. I see hot air balloons all over Colorado, and one of these days I’m going to get a lift! I’d like to give a shout out to a Facebook buddy, Grand Adventure Balloon Tours based in Winter Park, Colorado.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Photo from Strawberry Park Hot Springs on Facebook. Click on photo to go to page!

3) Hot Springs. When I moved to Colorado about 12 years ago, I had no idea that the state was brimming with hot springs. My new favorite is Mt. Princeton Hot Spring Resort, and I recommend booking a room at the resort so that you can use the VIP pools. We always have fun at Glenwood Hot Springs, and lastly, I think Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs is one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially during winter.

4) Snowshoe. My favorite Colorado winter activity, second only to my newest love of cross-country skiing. It’s a great way to see the beautiful backcountry during the snowy months and it’s an awesomely fun way to burn calories.

5) Festival. As you know, there are many great festivals happening year-round in Colorado. Pick a new one and give it a try. We visited the Estes Park Winter Festival for the first time last year and if you are a fan of chili, this one is not to be missed. The annual chili cook off at this festival is a sight to behold – I think we tried over 40 chilis last year.

Top 5 Colorado Christmas Towns

I love Colorado during the holiday season. From Denver’s Larimer Street to the Christmas Market in Georgetown, there’s something about Colorado that make me feel as though I’m spending the holiday season in a postcard.

As the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, I attend a lot of events and festivals and I spend a lot of time at holiday events around the state, so I’ve decided to share what I deem as the Top 5 Colorado Christmas Towns. This list is in no particular order, although if I were to pick a number one Colorado Christmas town, it would be Georgetown.

 

Georgetown, Colorado horse & sleigh

1.   Georgetown, Colorado is a hidden gem just 45 minutes west of Denver along I70. I’d driven by it a hundred times before actually stopping in, but once I did I realized what a great little place it really is, and during the holidays it’s truly outstanding. With the a tree lighting ceremony, Letter Day and the Georgetown Christmas Market running for two weekends, this town commemorate the holidays the way they were intended to be celebrated. Visit HistoricGeorgetown.org for more information.

 

Breckenridge holidays carolers Scofield

2.   Breckenridge, Colorado is well known as a ski town, but this place has a lot of other stuff going on and that’s why it makes my list. The Victorian style architecture of the town looks resplendent during the holidays. With the Lightening of Breckenridge on the first weekend in December to carriage rides available throughout the holidays, and wonderful shopping opportunities, this town will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a holiday postcard. Check out GoBreck.com to keep an eye what’s happening in Breckenridge year-round.

 

Polar Express arrives at the station Durango

3. HGTV recently named Durango, Colorado as one of their “Top Ten Christmas Towns,” and it’s no surprise. Durango is home to the Polar Express, a production of the Durango & Silverton Narrow  Gauge  Railroad. This train ride is a memorable way to celebrate the holidays with your children. During the month of December, Durango is alive with festive music and the hubbub of the holidays. There’s never a dull moment and always something Christmassy happening, and that’s why it makes my list. Go to Durango.org for more information on this top Christmas town.

 

 

Aspen.Winter.NewYearsEve.Fireworks3.JeremySwanson

4.   The 12 Days of Aspen, is just one reason this ski town is making the list. From December 20, through New Year’s Eve, Aspen, Colorado celebrates the season with all sorts of cheery activities from concerts to theater, from street entertainment to free ice-skating, to shopping and restaurant specials and so much more. Aspen is also quite lovely during the holidays – just one more reason they made this list.

 

Estes Park Colorado holiday photo

5. Nestled between the soaring peaks of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado is known as the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s always a bustling during the summer, but this charming little village lights up during the holidays. Visitors should stop at Longs Peak Coffee & Paper House for a cup of hot chocolate and then stroll the streets of this picturesque town. While in town, be sure to visit the famous The Stanley Hotel, to see the holiday décor.

HeidiTown.com on KRFC 88.9 FM – What to do in Colorado Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2011

Looking for something to do this weekend in Colorado?

It’s time for another KRFC 88.9 FM segment, and I can’t believe this is already my 6th segment. Time flies when you are having fun and I am certainly having lots of fun – my hope is that you are too!

There’s another great weekend in store for Colorado and it includes everything from fall festivals to a bass festival – that’s the bass instrument, not the fish. So hold on to your hats and get our your calendars, because here’s what’s on the agenda for Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2, 2011.

Note to Subscribers: Remember, you’ll have to head on over to the blog in order to view this video. Here’s a direct link! HeidiTown.com


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