Feast of Saint Arnold Beer Festival Review

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COLORADO SPRINGS. Beer, spirits, music and family activities. These seem to be the hallmarks of the Saint Arnold Beer Festival, which completed its third installment on June 13 at the Chapel of Our Saviour Episcopal Church in the Broadmoor section of Colorado Springs.

Feast of Saint Arnold Beer Festival Review

The general theme of the festival was one of a laid-back attitude with camaraderie ruling the day.

“The festival is a really wonderful event to have in the (Broadmoor) neighborhodd,” said Patti Morehead from Smiling Toad Brewery in Colorado Springs, which offered one of its beers that was the result of a guest brewer from its own fundraiser to fight cancer. “This gives us a chance to be with some of the other brewers and catch up.”

The event benefited Westside Cares, a charitable consortium of churches in the Colorado Springs area. While not every church in the network subscribes to the idea of responsible drinking, the organization stated appreciation for the fundraising effort.

“The numbers of volunteers have increased greatly (over previous years),” said Maryann Stadjuhar, Westside Cares assistant executive director. “Part of this is to get the word out about who we are. We just moved into a new building and are in the process of a capital campaign, so this helps (with fundraising and awareness).”

General admission attendees were given souvenir glasses and all the samples they cared to drink. VIP entrants were afforded special parking, a catered meal and special beers not offered to general admission entrants.

Premiering Breweries

As has been the case in the past, the Feast of Saint Arnold Beer Festival offered a chance for brewers to debut on the local beer scene. Jeff Zearfoss, a trained chef, was at the festival representing Local Relic, which plans to offer its beers in retail outlets. He said his brewery, which is employing Grant Goodwiler as its brewer, will offer local and seasonal ingredients in its offerings, with samples such as a cucumber saison and earl grey IPA.

“I know Local Relic seems like an audacious name for a new brewery, but we’re hoping to be around in 20-30 years,” said Zearfoss, whose company has been offering beer and wine dinners for about a year. “I don’t want ‘flagship’ beers. We want to be intensely local, intensely season. Beer is food…It’s taking raw ingredients and creating something to enjoy.”

The charitable aspect was enough to get some local brewers out to the event.

“When we started our brewery, we said we would only do charitable events, those that are going to help others,” said Pete from Storybook Brewing in Colorado Springs, noting he liked the fact that all the vendors were from Colorado. “We love this festival. The venue is awesome, the church is nice. It feels comfortable.”

Part of that comfortable aspect was the children’s play area, which featured tumbling; an obstacle course; face painting; a fishing game; and a children’s magician.

Of course, not all offerings at the Saint Arnold Beer Festival were from professional brewers. A group emanating from the Chapel of Our Savior formed the Acolytes of Ale. While members of the parish formed the group, they welcome all comers who enjoy “fellowship and brewing beer,” according to member Fred Slane.

“I think this festival speaks for itself,” said Slane, whose club offered everything from extract beers to all-grain recipes that members were perfecting in kegs. “

If you haven’t attended the Feast of Saint Arnold Beer Festival, make plans to be there for the fourth installment in June 2016. It is a unique festival that is family friendly, serving as a great example of a beer fest with responsible drinking.