Last weekend we took a quick road trip to Salida to attend our first-ever Colorado Brewers Rendezvous. It’s nuts that it took us so long to attend this beer festival. This year marked the 21st Annual Colorado Brewers Rendezvous, so how had we always seemed to miss out? So many folks told us that this is a “must go” event, so we finally decided we had to make it happen. The bonus was that we’d also get to visit Salida. The only concern we had was, based on all the great things we heard about this event, could it live up to the hype?
The Colorado Brewers Rendezvous
Short answer: Yes. Yes, the Colorado Brewers Rendezvous lived up to the hype. It was as fun as we heard it was, and then some. In fact if we had to find a complaint, it would be that with 75 brewers pouring, we couldn’t possibly try them all. We actually missed quite a few. But seriously, having too much beer to choose from is really nothing to complain about.
This year’s Colorado Brewers Rendezvous took place on Saturday, July 8 in the beautiful Riverside Park in downtown Salida. There was fantastic live music, several tasty food vendors, and more than anyone’s fair share of great Colorado craft beer. Check out our pictures below to get a tiny taste of what we enjoyed during the fest. Better yet, just plan on being there next year. If you like beer and awesome Colorado towns with incredible mountain and river views, you won’t be disappointed.
Salida’s Craft Breweries
While in Salida we took in some other sights. By sights, of course we mean breweries! We visited both Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub and Soulcraft Brewing while we were in town.
Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub
We stopped by Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub for food and drinks right after the festival. Apparently, so did everyone else! We were lucky to find seats at the bar, though the patio was clearly the place to be on such a perfect summer day. We enjoyed the beers at Moonlight, particularly the Double IPA and the Blueberry Cream Ale. We really loved their killer pizza. The Mirkwood Chicken pizza combines chicken, green chiles, cream cheese, onions and an incredible mix of BBQ and red sauce…. yum!
It was late Saturday night when we got to Soulcraft Brewing, so we didn’t have time to try much of their extensive beer menu. The beers we did have, a Colorado Hoppy Blonde for me and the X-Ray IPA for Jeff, were fantastic. Soulcraft, formerly known as Hubbub Brewing, is less than a year old and already making some really impressive beers. We can’t wait to visit again to try more.
Nearly everywhere we went in Salida was on foot, which was awesome. We stayed at the Gateway Inn and Suites, about a mile from Riverside Park and downtown, and the walks were a great way to burn off those extra beer & pizza calories. Better yet, made us notice all the deer roaming the neighborhood. Deer were everywhere, but we would have probably missed seeing most of them if we were in a car. I mean, they did sometimes try and hide…
Bikes seem to be a really popular way to get around Salida, and now that we know, we’ll bring ours next time. There are lots of great trails and paths to explore, and we could definitely cover more ground on two wheels. Next time we may also look into camping, since there are so many great campgrounds around the Arkansas River. More than a few of the people we spoke with make this a camping weekend. Our first time out we weren’t sure about roughing it, but next time we’re totally in for the adventure.
Sunday morning we explored a bit more of Salida, checking out a few of the sights and hiking around Tenderfoot Mountain and the Arkansas River. There are plenty of easy hikes, which is all we were in the mood for after a beer festival. We could spend days here exploring all the trails and taking in the great Colorado views. Unfortunately, we had to get back home. Another lesson for next time: stay longer.
Wrap It Up
In case there is any confusion (or this was tl;dr – so and you skipped through looking at pictures) here’s a summary of our trip: The Colorado Brewers Rendezvous was awesome. Salida was awesome. Our whole weekend was awesome, and we didn’t want to leave.
We loved Salida. We loved it so much that we could totally see ourselves living there someday. Of course we say that about most the small Colorado towns we visit, so take that with a grain of salt. Still, Salida is a super fun, outdoorsy, artsy town. It’s filled with great people, wonderful places, plenty of good beer and more than their fair share of deer. You never know, we could just pack it all up and head to Salida one day. You’ll have to wait and see. One thing we can promise you is that we will be back to visit again, hopefully soon.
That, and we’ll see you at the 22nd Annual Colorado Brewers Rendezvous!