Food festivals are back with a vengeance this summer. To help you plan your season, we’ve compiled a full lineup — starting in July and continuing through September — of events to attend for your fill of local beer, wine and produce.
Some parties pick up exactly where they left off before 2020, while others have adapted to the times and changed formats. We’re especially excited for the revamped A Taste of Colorado, coming toward the end of the season. It will fill downtown Denver with street art, local food and live performances — and what a welcome revitalization.
Here are a dozen food, wine and beer festivals to check out, from Denver to the Western Slope and mountains.
Blues & BBQ, Denver (July 17)
Benefiting Habitat for Humanity, this music and barbecue festival costs $10 to enter (though $100 will get you access to the VIP area, complete with food, craft beer and wine). Once there, you can set up a picnic and enjoy live performances in the park from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m.
Citizens Park, 5560 W. 24th Ave., Edgewater, bluesnbbq.com
Crested Butte Wine & Food (July 19-25)
This annual fundraiser for the Crested Butte Center for the Arts includes a week’s worth of wine dinners, seminars and tastings for participants who pay anywhere from $325 to $2,500 to attend multiple events. For the most economical “tasting pass,” attendees get access to educational seminars as well as the reserve and grand tasting. Individual event tickets also are available starting this month.
606 6th St., Crested Butte, cbwineandfood.org
Summer Brew Fest, Denver (July 24)
Revelers at this twice-annual festival get unlimited beer tastings for $35-$65 a head. You can choose from a daytime, evening or VIP session, the latter featuring local food pairings. Ticket costs benefit Swallow Hill Music Association, and live performances feature bands The River Arkansas and Elder Grown.
Mile High Station, 2027 W. Lower Colfax Ave., Denver, brewfestevents.com
Heritage Fire, Snowmass (July 31)
Chefs from around Colorado gather at this one-day-only event to grill whole pigs, goat, rabbit and more heritage-breed animals over open flame, creating signature dishes from each. Festival-goers pay $99-$150 including all food, plus beer, wine and spirits, and access to butchering and up-close fire-cooking demonstrations.
Base Village, Snowmass, cochon555.com
Cherry Creek North Food & Wine, Denver (Aug. 11-14)
The four-day neighborhood restaurant celebration includes wine dinners, cooking demos, oyster shucking classes and more interactive events, with a percentage of proceeds going to Food for Thought Denver. Attendees will pay $45-$240 for various events, including a community dinner on the plaza and grand tastings.
Various participating venues, Cherry Creek, ccnfoodandwine.com
Vail Wine Classic (Aug. 12-15)
Wine dinners, grand tastings, a hike followed by a wine-paired lunch — and all of it set in the picturesque Vail Valley. Classic attendees pay $65-$225 for individual events. An all-day pass gets you into back-to-back tasting sessions.
Athletic Fields and more venues, Vail, vailwineclassic.com
A Taste of Colorado, Denver (Sept. 4-6)
The beloved Labor Day weekend festival expands across downtown Denver in 2021 with local food trucks, street vendors and restaurants all participating. Artists will create murals for the event and bands will perform live over the three-day weekend.
Multiple streets downtown, Denver, atasteofcolorado.com
Food & Wine Classic, Aspen (Sept. 10-12)
See and be seen at this annual retreat for food and wine lovers from across the U.S., featuring celebrity chefs and exclusive parties. Tickets don’t come cheap (and for now, they’re sold out). But you can always plan a visit during the festival and experience the mountain town during its most gluttonous weekend.
Throughout downtown Aspen, classic.foodandwine.com
Breckenridge Wine Classic (Sept. 16-18)
More than 100 food artisans, wineries, breweries, distilleries and more makers are featured over a weekend filled with luncheons, seminars and tastings in this mountain hamlet. Tickets range from $99 to $199, and the pricier option will get you back-to-back wine tastings.
Multiple venues around Breckenridge, breckenridgewineclassic.com
Colorado Mountain Winefest, Palisade (Sept. 18-19)
Experience Colorado’s wine country at its best with this two-day festival featuring tastings, dinners, demos, seminars and live music. Tickets for Saturday’s tasting are already sold out, but wine lovers can still snag spots on Sunday. General admission costs $75 and includes a commemorative glass and tote with access to unlimited tastings.
Riverbend Park, 451 Pendleton St., Palisade, coloradowinefest.com
Telluride Wine Festival (and Autumn Classic) (Sept. 23-26)
Now in its 40th year, this four-day fest includes everything you’d expect, and also classic cars, motorcycles and airplanes to ogle against the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains. Tickets range from $100 to $1,700 — the more modest of entry fees allows access to four hours of unlimited food, wine, bubbly, beer and spirits.
Town Park, Telluride, telluridewinefestival.com
Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival (Sept. 24-26)
A true Colorado classic, this festival is also one of the more accessible activities of the season, with a $5 entrance fee for live entertainment, food vendors, cooking competitions and, of course, everything Pueblo chile. You’ll go for one of the state’s top homegrown crops, but stay for the jalapeño eating, the chihuahua parade and more endearing events.
Union Avenue, Historic Downtown Pueblo, festival.pueblochamber.org
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