Glenwood council OKs July 1-3 brewers’ fest
The Wild West Fermentation Fest, slated for July 1-3 on the upper deck of the Ninth and Cooper parking garage, is a go, rounding out a Fourth of July weekend full of activities.
Glenwood Springs City Council, at a special Monday afternoon meeting, upheld a previously approved special event liquor license after one Cooper Avenue resident had appealed the decision.
Council also gave its blessing to the use of the open-air upper deck of the parking facility for the first-time brewfest, which will invite beer and hard cider brewers as well as distilleries for a tasting event with food vendors and music.
Sponsored by the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, the brewfest is modeled after a successful annual event held in Bend, Oregon.
“We already do the Culinary Arts, Wine and Brewfest in the fall, so this is right up our alley,” Christina Brusig, executive director for the local arts, said of the craft brewers and distillers showcase.
Brusig said she heard from Marianne Virgili, director of the Glenwood Chamber Resort Association, about interest in bringing such an event to Glenwood, but that a nonprofit sponsor was needed.
Brusig has been working with Emily and Damon Arrendondo of Roaring Fork Events to stage the festival, proceeds from which will benefit the Center for the Arts.
“We look forward to providing a new event for residents and tourists at a time when there wouldn’t have been much going on,” Brusig said. “We also look forward to reaching new patrons and sponsors with this very culinary experience.”
First, though, the organizers had to work through some logistical concerns brought by Cooper Avenue resident Betsy Suerth, who appealed the liquor license, saying the parking deck would be an inappropriate location for such an event.
“The venue needs to be attractive for an event like this … to succeed,” Suerth, who could not attend the Monday appeal hearing due to a work conflict, said at the June 2 City Council meeting. She suggested the organizers instead consider using the dead-end section of Eighth Street near City Hall.
Among her chief concerns were that the brew-tasting event would take up downtown parking and create noise in the nearby residential areas.
Emily Arrendondo said those and other concerns are being addressed. Organizers are also working on additional shuttle options to bring people to the venue, and parking is readily available at Eighth and Cooper in the CMC parking garage, which is open to the public after hours and on weekends, she said.
Brusig noted that Grand Avenue bridge project officials plan to suspend construction during the long July 4th weekend, so traffic flow in and out of downtown should not be a problem.
Changing the venue at this point, after the liquor license was already applied for and approved, would not be possible, Brusig said.
The event is slated to run from 5-10 p.m. on Friday, July 1, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday that weekend. A $20 entry fee for those age 21 and older earns tokens for 4-ounce beer and cider tastings, and half-ounce liquor samples.
Arrendondo added that the music will be over by 9:30 p.m. each day, and extra lighting will not be necessary as it stays light longer in early July.
Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said the event appears to be well-planned, and any potential problems have been addressed.
“We probably are going to get some noise complaints,” Wilson said, noting that’s typical for downtown events that have live music and that a waiver from the city’s noise ordinance would be necessary.
Police will also have extra patrols that weekend regardless, as it does on other holiday weekends, he said.
Council unanimously upheld the liquor license approval and also OK’d a special event facilities use agreement, including a $1,000 damage deposit.
The upper parking area is to be posted a couple of days in advance that no vehicle parking will be allowed on the days of the event, and that any vehicles left there the first day of the event will be towed. Parking in the covered lower garage will remain open during the event.
The three-day brewfest will be followed by a city-sponsored Fourth of July celebration in Two Rivers Park, including a morning 4K run put on by the Lions Club and family games, music and a community picnic starting at 4 p.m., with fireworks at dusk.
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